The combined 96000-hectare Hluluwe and Umfolozi reserves are set in the heart of Zululand in South Africa. They were made famous though ‘Operation Rhino’ in the 1950s and 60s, where white rhino were brought back from the brink of extinction to repopulate other reserves throughout Africa. Of the abundant large mammals in the reserve, elephant, white and black rhino, zebra, lion, cheetah, buffalo, leopard, hippo, wildebeest, spotted hyena and wild dog are commonly seen. Hluhluwe is made up of high rolling hills and thick riverine valleys. The reserve is vast and the scenery is stunning. Wilderness trails are a must here– these are guided walking safaris where you carry all or most of your belongings and camp out in the wilderness over 3 to 4 days. Self-drive safaris are popular; or, one can jump on a guided safari. Several operators and lodges based just outside the reserve run daily tours into the park. There is a great road network and abundant self-catering accommodation in the park.

Why we like it

Spectacular natural scenery; Differing habitats; Big 5; Wilderness Trails; Self-drive and guided safaris

Facts & Figures

Park / Reserve Size: 96 000 Hectares
Reserve Type: National Park
Big 5: Yes
Specialist Specie: Black Rhino
Malaria Area: Yes
Nearest Town: Hluluwe

Accommodation in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve

Gqoyeni Bush Lodge, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi

Gqoyeni Bush Lodge is situated on the banks of the Black Mfolozi River in the vast and spectacular Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in South Africa’s Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. This intimate lodge provides uninterrupted views of the river from its accommodation units, each of which features en-suite facilities. The lodge accommodates eight guests in four chalets; the camp must be booked out…

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Accomodation Type: Self-catering
Budget: Less than $150 p.p.p.d.

Hlathikhulu Bush Lodge, Hluhluwe

Overlooking the Black Mfolozi River and nestled amongst Tambotie woodland, Hltatikhulu Bush Lodge is the perfect location for an affordable Big 5 safari holiday. Located in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, the self-catering lodge is the perfect base from which to explore this gem of a safari destination. Four 2-bed accommodation units are available, each…

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Accomodation Type: Self-catering
Budget: Less than $150 p.p.p.d.

Hluhluwe Hilltop Camp

Hluluwe's crown, Hilltop Camp, is situated upon a forested hill in the game rich Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. From the main restaurant and reception one can enjoy panaromic views of the hilly horizon. Hilltop holds the distinction of being the oldest tourist resort in KwaZulu-Natal, and provides a wide variety of accommodation, from an eight-bed lodge to a variety of superbly appointed…

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Accomodation Type: Self-catering, Camping
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.

Tours and Activities in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve

Hluhluwe Walking Trails

There is no better way to get up close to nature that on a walking safari. Walking through the bush enables you to experience the sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of your surroundings on a level that is not possible from the back of a safari vehicle. The Hluhluwe Wilderness Walking Trails are ideal for those who want this…

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Duration: 3-5 days (2-4 nights)
Budget: Less than $150 p.p.p.d.

Kruger and Zululand Explorer Safari

This seven-day packaged safari lets guests experience two of South Africa's premier safari destinations: KwaZulu Natal and the Kruger. You will first visit the Kruger region, where you will stay at the popular Hippo Hollow Lodge or similar, which is situated near Hazyview. The package includes all transportation and game drives. On your transfer from Johannesburg, you will be taken…

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Duration: 7 days
Budget: $300 - $500 p.p.p.d.

Zululand & Elephant Coast Safari Tour

This safari tour journeys through South Africa's KwaZulu Natal region, through the wilder parts of the province. Each destination is located a short distance from each other, which means that driving time is reduced. On the tour guests will visit various wilderness regions, coastal stretches and cultural hotspots, each offering unique experiences and promising an expedition not to be forgotten.…

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Duration: 11 Days
Budget: $150 - $300 p.p.p.d.

Lookout for

Black Rhino
White Rhino
Spotted Hyena
African Wild Dog

Key Species

Black Rhino
White Rhino

Purple Crested Turaco
Black Breasted Snake Eagle
Pink-throated Twinspot
Rudd's Apalis
Lemon-breasted Canary

Mozambique Spitting Cobra
Vine Snake
African Rock Python

Fever Tree
Natal Fig
Scented Thorn Acacia

Savannah Woodland
Rocky Outcrops
Sand Forest

Wildlife Ratings

Big 5: 8.5
Mammals: 8.5
Birds: 8.5
Reptiles: 7.5
Trees: 8.5
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