Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, a place of wonder and wildlife. This amazing reserve with the Big 5 lets you explore and access Hides, Loop Roads and more. A reserve where Zulu Kings hunted and Game Captue was established when the Rhino’s just 100 left in the world was started. Be memorized by its rolling Hills, pans and rivers. The open savannah grasslands and thick bush a true Reserve in Africa. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi is the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa its size 96000 hectares offers the wildlife enough space to roam freely from the Northern reaches to the Southern reaches in the lower Umfolozi.
With numerous Accommodation’s scattered in and around Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, due to popularity it is vital that one books accommodation well in advance. The two main accommodation centres are namely the Hilltop Camp and Mpila Camp both offer self catering and non catered for accommodation. The northern section hluhluwe is far bussier and this may cuase frustration at various game sightings, smaller in size and easier access contributes to this side being bussier. Therefore we would advise that you travel to the Umfolozi side not only is it larger in size but also less bush and open savanah grasslands makes for some amazing sightings. The Umfolozi Game Reserve offers some interesting history as one may still see hunting pitfalls dug out by the Zulu’s used for hunting. Other interesting areas is the Centenery Centre, developed to showcase the various techniques used by the Game Capture team to translocate animal species. Also situated at the Centenery Centre is the Holding Boma’s used for medical purposes and translocation of animals, Tours are possible sometimes and one may be just afforded an opportunity in witnessing some animals close up.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi can be described as magical, the staff are passionate in conservation and the reserve is truly worth a safari. Just to think that only 100 Rhinos where once left in the world and it is the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi’s efforts to safeguard these amazing creatures from extinction. In 1895 with only 20 surviving Southern White Rhino’s left in the world, this invoked the proclamation of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve’s. By the 1960’s the populations had recovered to such an extent that the Umfolozi faced overpopoulation of White Rhino. Operation Rhino was created and this was the start of translocation and Game Capture. In the early days rangers would dart animals by foot or horse back today Helicopters are used.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve not only has the Big 5 but also offers sightings of Cheetah, Wild Dogs and much much more.
Herewith some Game Viewing Tips while in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve
With a lot of excitement and expectations one enters the reserve, however with prior research one may be able to enjoy so much more. It is imperative that one tries to research before entering the reserve.
Key Points to take into consideration:
- Duration of visit
- Hluhluwe versus Umfolozi
Seasons play an important part in good sightings, dry season versus wet season. During the dry season (May to end June) less grass offers better sightings, wet season (August to end February) the grass is a lot higher making sightings a lot harder.
Duration and Time of arrival at the gates are also important as predators are very active early and late afternoon, try to enter the gate as early as possible and when possible try to leave when the gates close. The more time spent in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi the better your chances are of great sightings.
Hluhluwe versus Umfolozi the northern Hluhluwe remains bussier and also offers alot more dense bush, the lower Umfolozi offers open grass savanahs and a far better chance of sightings.
Take your time while in the reserve, it is not a race keep to the speed limitations (40km/h). Ask other vehicles especially the tour operators as to what it is that they have seen and where it is that they have encountered the sighting. Make sure that you have purchased a map of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. The map indicates all pans, Loop roads and hides. Please do not make use of the management roads.
The Big 5 are present within the reserve take your time and explore and enjoy this reserve.
We have game drive vehicles out in the reserve all of the time, should you need some more advice or information please do not hesitate in contacting us.