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Mkhuze Game Reserve

Stunning scenery and a great place to go on Safari

Mkuze Game Reserve South Africa

40 000 hectare reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa

Greater St Lucia Wetland Park

Mkhuze forms part of the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park

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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's Hides

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.


Malaria Area

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.

Accommodation at Mkhuze

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)

Private Lodges

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.

Directions to Makhuze Game Reserve

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.

Map of Mkhuze & Surrounding Area

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:

Contact Information

KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife

For Reservations:
Tel: 27(0)33-8451000

Phinda Resource Reserve:

Tembe Elephant Reserve:
Tel: +27 (0)31-2670144

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