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Mkhuze Game Reserve, South Africa
Part of the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Reserve
Mkhuze Game Reserve forms the north western section of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Reserve, designated a protected area in 1912 it is one of the oldest reserves in South Africa.
Mkuze is located in Kwa-Zulu Natal about 335 km from Durban. It lies on the western boundary of St Lucia joining with Phinda Game Reserve on it's eastern boundary. It's northern border follows the Mkuze river and it has the beautiful Lebombo Mountains in the west. The reserve has ab excellent road network 84km long that will take you through a variety of bushveld habitats giving you excellent game viewing opportunities.
There have recently been a number of improvements made to Mkhuze, that has enhanced its appeal to visitors. These include the upgrading of roads as well as some fantastic game viewing hides.
Mkuze boasts four of the Big 5: Elephant, Black Rhino, Buffalo and Leopard. There are also White Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Spotted Hyena, Kudu and Nyala to name a few. At two pans on the reserve (Nhlonhlela and Nsumo) where you can find Hippo and Crocodiles. Rare to see, but present in the reserve are the small suni antelope. Mkhuze has also recently introduced 140 buffalos as well as two packs of wild dogs and four Cheetah's.
Whilst the list of big game is impressive, Mkhuze game reserve is probably more well known for it's birdlife. The game reserve has one of South Africa's largest birdlists for a protected area with over 400 species of birds recorded.
On-top of the birds that you can spot in the Greater Wetland reserve, you could get the chance of spotting more rare species like the Pel's Fishing Owl and the Pink-backed Pelican.
The main reason for the large diversity of birdlife is the variety of habitats included in the reserve. These include pans, swamps, acacia thornveld, sand forest, riverine forest and open woodland. There are even mountainous areas with cliffs as well as open grassland in places.
Mkhuze has three game viewing hides located at the Kubube, Kamasinga, Kwamalibala pans and the two elevated hides at Nsumo and Nhlonhlela, offer you a fantastic place to watch wildlife from and visiting them on your trip is highly recommended. The hide at Nsumo pan in particular will give you a chance of spotting hippo as well as crocodile in the water, as well as what ever decides to come down for drink. It is also the breeding site of the Pink-backed Pelicans.
This is an area where there is malaria and it is recommended that you take the necessary precautions if you visit this area. More information on Malaria.
The main accommodation is found at Mantuma Camp, this is around 10km's from the main gate and consists of comfortable self-catering chalets, rest husts and safari camps.
Nhlonhlela Bush Lodge
The Nhlonhlela Bush Lodge is located at Nhlonhlela Pan and consists of 2 bedroom thatched chalets, with en-suite. There is a central lounge and dining area and a fully staffed kitchen.
Mantuma Main Camp
This camp at Mantuma has cottages that can sleep up to six people, as well as self-catering chalets and a tented camp. You will also find the small curio shop and a pool here.
uMkhumbe Tented Bush Lodge
This tented camp, is used as a lodge from November to March. The tents have a wooden deck and bathroom. There is also a central fully staffed kitchen.
Camping at Mkhuze Game Reserve
There is a campsite at the entrance gate
To make reservations for any of the accommodation above, contact KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife (contact details below)
At Mkhuze Village and the surrounding areas there are a variety of private lodges, including Ghost Mountain Inn and Leopard Mountain Game Lodge, both are pretty close to the reserve, and offer tours into Mkhuze. Leopard Mountain Game Lodge also offers birding tours on its own premises.
From Hluhluwe town, take the N2 heading north. About 50km's north is a sign for the town of Mkhuze. Follow the road through town to the T-junction. Here take a right turn and follow the fairly good gravel road, (suitable for all cars), for about 10km. Look out for the signboard which indicates the left turn leading into Mkhuze Game Reserve. If coming from the north, Mkhuze village is about 60km from Phongola Town.
Below is a map showing the location of Makhuze Game Reserve and other points of interest in the surrounding area including the other sections of St. Lucia.
Mkhuze forms only a part of the whole reserve, below are links to other sections within the Greater St Lucia Wetland Reserve.
The Parts that make up the whole of St. Lucia Wetland Reserve
Because of St Lucia's large size, individual reserves and diversity of habitats, to understand it properly I have decided to break it down into more manageable chunks.
All the areas below are within the Greater iSimangaliso Wetland Park:
- Lake St Lucia
- St. Lucia Village
- St Lucia Crocodile Center
- Maphelana Nature Reseve
- Mission Rocks
- Cape Vidal
- St Lucia Marine Reserve
- Sodwana Bay
- Lake Sibaya
- Mkhuze Game Reserve
- Phinda Game Reserve
- Ndumo Game Reserve
- Tembe Elephant Reserve
Phinda Resource Reserve:
Tembe Elephant Reserve:
Tel: +27 (0)31-2670144
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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.
Phinda Private Game Reserve
Situated in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and bordering the iSimangaliso/Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, not far from Hluhluwe National Park is the Phinda Private Game Reserve, It's 7 different habitats shelter a vast array of wildlife including all of Africa’s Big Five as well as cheetah, many species of antelope and over 380 species of birds... more >>
Lake St Lucia
Forming part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland reserve, Lake St Lucia contains a wealth of wildlife, including South Africa's largest population of hippopotamus, crocodiles and more than 530 species of birds. Take a cruise on a boat or stay in a lodge on it's shores.. more >>
Sodwana Bay South Africa
Part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland reserve and located within the Maputaland Marine reserve Sodwana Bay is the place to go Scuba Diving and snorkeling in South Africa... more >>
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