The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is a superb option in KwaZulu-Natal. Once, it was two separate preservation areas, but now they’ve been combined in a spectacular way.
Zulu kings formed the Hluhluwe Game Reserve in 1895, so it’s the oldest in Africa. Imfolozi, the southern part of the modern reserve, is quite a bit younger but equally as impressive. The two were brought together to protect local ecosystems and wildlife in the area, and now it spans over 960 square kilometres that are perfect for exploring.
The main draw of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is the wildlife. There are over 84 species of mammals to be found and elephants, leopards and African buffalo have roamed here for years. Lions were recently reintroduced after they all died out. So, it’s worth visiting just for that, even if you’ve been here before.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is still one of the best places in the world to see a rhinoceros. There are both black and white rhinos hidden throughout the reserve, so keep an eye out. There are a few other animals too. Predators such as cheetahs, spotted hyenas and wild dogs chase animals like blue wildebeest, giraffe, hippos, impalas and zebras. You might even get to see this during your stay.
You can take a guided game ride through the reserve to see these animals in their natural habitat. However, you can also use your own vehicle if you want to explore the area in your own way. Go to Hilltop Camp for the best chance of seeing some of the animals. We’d also suggest trying the walking trails; you’ll sleep under the stars and might even see some of the animals come out at night. However, you’ll need a guide for this one!
You might have heard of Imfolozi due to ‘Operation Rhino’. The reserve was the base for this project in the 50s and 60s, and the team of researchers and locals managed to save the white rhino from extinction.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is a beautiful and exciting destination for any traveller. Some say it’s even better than Kruger. It may not match it in size, but it feels much wilder and there are animals all over the place.
This is a fantastic destination for those looking to get closer to nature and explore the wonders of South Africa.
Plan your trip to to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi today.