Size: 96,000 ha / 960 km2
Nearest major city: Durban (3h approx by car)
Species Numbers: 93 Mammals 383 Birds 55 Reptiles
Big Five: Yes
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- Good game viewing especially in iMfolozi section
- Excellent chance of seeing white rhino, black rhino also present
- Affordable accommodation options
- Great for birding particularly during the wet season (Oct - Apr)
Two of the oldest game reserves in Africa, Hluhluwe and iMfolozi were proclaimed separately in April 1897 and amalgamated into Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in 1989. This park may be one of the finest game reserves on the continent, and certainly in South Africa. Despite being relatively small and situated in a highly-populated rural area, it conserves a diverse and varied landscape and visitors are rewarded with a wild atmosphere.
In the lower-lying iMfolozi, gently-sloping hills and valleys are covered with savanna and acacia woodland, cut through by the White and Black Umfolozi Rivers, the former broad and sandy, the latter narrow and more dramatic.
In Hluhluwe, the altitude rises steeply to over 500 metres, where rare scarp forest stands atop hills covered in grassland and bushveld; the Hluhluwe River meanders from west to east. The wildlife in these different habitats is abundant, including lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo, spotted hyena and a host of herbivore species. But most famous of all is the white rhino, which was saved from extinction in the late 1890s because of the proclamation of iMfolozi Game Reserve, as well as the enormous efforts of Natal’s conservationists in the 1950s to repopulate the rest of Africa with white rhino from iMfolozi.