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Hluhluwe Game Reserve South Africa
- Wilderness Trails
- When to Visit
- Getting Around
- Map & Location
- Contact Details
Hluhluwe Game Reserve forms the northern section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park in Natal, South Africa. Both reserves were created in 1895, making them one of the oldest wildlife conservation areas in Africa. Initially Hluhluwe and Imfolozi were separated by a corridor of land that was there to stop the spread of diseases between the wildlife and the domestic farm animals owned by the local tribes. Now the land between the two reserves has also been given reserve status and thus the massive 96 000 ha Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park was formed.
Hluhluwe, it's all in the name
The game park gets it's name from the Hluhluwe river and the fact that it is close to the small town called Hluhluwe in northern KwaZulu Natal. Hluhluwe is a Zulu term that refers to the thorny Monkey Rope that is common in the area. (IMfolozi, means river of fibres in Zulu)
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park Wilderness Trails
One of the highlights of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park are the guided walking safaris, that can range from a few hours, to a four night expedition. The Imfolozi section of the park has three self-guided foot trails, at Emoyeni Mpila, Enkulu and Masinda Ncane. Guide books are available to help visitors interpret the many points of interest along these trails.
Within the Hluhluwe section, there are short day walks of approximately two hours that leave from the Hilltop Camp under the supervision of an experienced field ranger. These walks may be booked at Reception (see contact details below).
For more details on the longer walking safaris, take a look Wilderness Trails section on the Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park page.
Hluhluwe Game Reserve is the home of Operation Rhino for which the Park became world renowned for its white rhino conservation and as such now has one of, if not the largest populations of White Rhinoceros anywhere in the world. It is also a fantastic place to see the wonderful Nyala Antelope.
- Black Rhino
- Cape Buffalo
- African Elephant
- Wild Dog
- Spotted Hyena
- White Rhino
- Nyala Antelope
- Samango Monkey
- Plains Zebra
The Hluhluwe region,with it's many diverse habitats, is a bird watcher's paradise and has become a favorite birding place in Zululand, South Africa. There are over 425 recorded species of birds within the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, A few of the highlights include:
- African Goshawk
- Crowned Eagle
- Little Sparrowhawk
- Martial Eagle Vultures
- Lappet-faced Vulture
- White-backed Vulture
- Ground Hornbill
- Helmeted Guineafowl
- Pink-throated Twinspot
- Four-coloured Bush-shrike
- Crowned Hornbill
- Cinnamon Dove
- Golden-rumped Tinker Barbet
- Purple-crested Lourie (Turaco)
- Red-fronted Tinker Barbet
- Tambourine Dove
- Trumpeter Hornbill
There are many self catering and catered lodges in the reserve, that will suit most budgets and tastes. Below are a few that we have been able to research:
The Hluhluwe Section forms the northern section of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park.
This is the main rest camp within the HluHluwe-Imfolozi National Park and provides the guest with fantastic views all around the reserve. Hilltop Camp is located in the north of the HluHluwe section of the park and there are both catered and self-catered options available as well as luxury and more basic options that have shared kitchen and shower facilities.
At Hilltop Camp in HluHluwe, there is also a restaurant and pub, shop and petrol available. There is also a hide near a water hole which makes a great place to watch many species of animal as the come down to drink
Contact the Hluhluwe main office (see contact details below) to book the Hiltop Camp
Munywaneni & Muntulu Bush Lodges
These are two thatched and reed walled lodges built on stilts on-top of a rocky hilltop and linked together by wooden walkways, Each lodge accommodates 8 people and have viewing decks that overlook the Hluhluwe River, where you can often see Elephant, rhino and antelope coming down to drink.
Contact the Hluhluwe main office (see contact details below) to a stay at either of these lodges.
Privately Run Accommodation
Dinizulu Cottage & Safaris
Established in 1969, Dinizulu Safaris is an owner managed safari company based in Hluhluwe. They offer affordable, three star graded self-catering accommodation 1km from the entrance to False Bay Park, 13km from Hluhluwe Town and 30 km from Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve.
The fully furnished three star house consists of 2 apartments, the first has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen, dining-living area and gauze-enclosed veranda with 2 beds. (Sleeps 6-7) and the second apartment has 1 bedroom, en-suite bathroom, kitchen, dining-living area, gauze-enclosed veranda with 2 beds. (Sleeps 2-5)
All bedrooms are air-conditioned and clean linen and towels are supplied. Apartments have an interleading door and can be used as one unit for big families or groups. (There are special rates for children)
As well as the accommodation they offer full and half day guided game drives in 4x4 open vehicles within Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and Mkuze Game Reserves, as well as to other local attractions conducted by fully qualified FGASA field guides (safari guides). Road transfers to and from Durban and Richards Bay can also be provided if needed.
Tel: +27 35-562 0025
Web: Dinizulu Cottage & Safaris
Ama Zulu Guesthouse & Safaris
Situated in the heart of Hluhluwe on the beautiful untamed Elephant Coast in KwaZulu Natal, is the Ama Zulu Guesthouse, a newly renovated house that offers comfortable accommodation in a relaxing atmosphere at affordable rates.
The Guesthouse lies between the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and is also within easy reach of Sodwana Bay, St Lucia, Cape Vidal, Lake Sibaya, Mkuze Game Reserve as well as Ndumo Game Reserve, Tembe Elephant Park and Lake Josini. The safari company, "umHluhluwe Safaris", arranges three, six and nine hour safaris into the game reserve.
The tastefully furnished and decorated bedrooms all have private entrances, en-suite bathrooms and are equipped with coffee and tea making facilities a bar fridge and colour satelite TV.
Continental or full English breakfasts are served daily and dinners are available on request.
You are welcome to relax in the courtyard or the pool and jacuzzi area and enjoy the Braai/ barbecue facilities that are available and children are welcome.
As well as the accommodation, game drives, guided walks, horse riding, whale watching, boat cruises and much more can be arranged and is available in the area. You can also arange to play golf at the Umfolozi Country Club or Monzi Country Club.
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 3132
Web: Ama Zulu Guesthouse & Safaris
Leopard Walk Lodge
Located at the edge of a unique sand forest in Suni-Ridge Private Wildlife Reserve a short drive from the Hluhluwe Umfolozi and Mkuze Game Reserves.
Accommodation options at Leopard Walk Lodge include the “Secrets of the Forest A+ Suites” where even with glass walls with all round views into the amazing forest you can enjoy absolute privacy in the exclusive, luxurious and spacious suite.
The Buffalo Thorn rooms are nestled underneath a 100-year-old Buffalo Thorn tree (Ziziphus mucronata) and are perfect for families or a group traveling together.
The Secrets of the Forest honeymoon suite which has an outdoor Jacuzzi and a private deck. The double room, has hidden views into the forest where you can watch antelopes like impalas and nyalas and other forest dwellers in the undergrowth. Many species of birds, butterflies and other creatures can be observed in the forest canopy.
There is plenty to do in the area: Visit the nearby Greater Saint Lucia Wetland Park or the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Parks, or you could join a qualified safari guide and canoe up the river at Muzi Pan, a pristine wildlife wetlands area with it's vast array of water birds like African Jacanas, Whistling Ducks, Storks as well as plenty of the bigger stuff like hippos and crocodiles.
Tel: (+27) 035 5620614
Web: Leopard Walk Lodge
Hluhluwe River Lodge
Situated just 25 minutes from the Memorial Gate entrance and offers daily morning, evening and full day guided trips into Hluhluwe.
Tel: +27(0)35 562 0246 / +27(0)35 562 0247
Situated in a tropical garden, amidst large trees and flowering shrubs in Hluhluwe surrounded by the Hluhluwe Umfolozi and Mkuze Parks.
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 1039
Mhlosinga Bush Lodge
Located in the heart of the Kwa-Zulu Natal bush along the Elephant coast and central to Hluhluwe, Mfolozi & Mkuzi game reserves, Sodwana Bay and the World Heritage Site of St. Lucia
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 0709
Backpackers Accommodation & Camping in Hluhluwe
Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp
Located in the village of Hluhluwe in the Elephant Coast Tourism region and offer affordable Self Catering, Camping and Backpacking accommodation.
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 2258/61
The Imfolozi section consists of the southern part of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park
Click here for Accommodation in Imfolozi Game Reserve
The busiest times tend to be December, January, April and July as this coincides with South African school holidays.
The bird watching is in the reserves is excellent year-round, but for a special treat, sunbirds attracted to the flowering Weeping Boer Bean trees make for a special sighting in spring and summer, November to February.
For me, winters (June to October) are the best time to visit this wonderful National Park, true, it can get cold at night and in the early mornings, but there is less chance of rain, the grass is shorter, making it easier to spot wildlife and in this part of South Africa, afternoon thunderstorms are common in summer and the days tend to be very hot and humid.
Hluhluwe Gate Opening Times:
- 05:00 to 19:00 in Summer
- 06:00 to 18:00 in Winter
While self-drive safaris are the main way of discovering the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, there are also guided night and day game drives. I would highly recommend a guided safari game drive rather than a self drive option, to see why check out this report on an Elephant and Swiss couple at Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
There are also guided bush walks daily, which can be booked through the camp office. (see contact details below) Two and three day guided wilderness walks are also available. Boat tours on the Hluhluwe Dam offer families a different view of wildlife as well as insight to Zulu culture.
The Hluhluwe Game Reserve is located about 270 km (175 miles) north of Durban.
Hluhluwe Game Reserve
The main entrance is at the Memorial Gate and is the recommended access point for the Hluhluwe area.
To get to the gate, take the Hluhluwe Village exit from the N2. Follow the tarred road to the entrance, roughly 15 km (9 miles).
Below is a map showing the location of Hluhluwe National PArk and other points of interest in the area.
Main Camp: Hluhluwe Section
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park
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St Lucia South Africa
One of the seven World Heritage Sites found in South Africa, the Greater St. Lucia Wetland reserve has something for everyone: game viewing in any of the four game reserves, fishing, boating, scuba diving, hiking, horseriding, whale and bird watching. The reserve consists of a stunning variety of unique habitats: lagoons, swampland, mangroves, swamp forests, different types of thornveld and savannah, subtropical coastal forest, dunes and sandy beaches as well as coral reefs offshore.
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