Ndumo Game Reserve
Size: 10,200 ha / 102 km2
Nearest major city: Durban (5h approx by car)
Species Numbers: 84 Mammals 438 Birds 80 Reptiles
Big Five: No
- Some of the best birding in South Africa
- Good for hippo and crocodile sightings
- Beautiful pans with fever trees and sycamore figs
Ndumo game reserve is a relatively small protected area on the north-eastern border of KwaZulu Natal conserves the floodplains of the Usuthu and Pongola Rivers. These two rivers spread out into huge floodplains and pans at Ndumo, and the reserve is probably best known for its two large water bodies – Nyamithi and Banzi Lakes, both of which are home to a sizeable hippo population, as well as a multitude of bird species. Ndumo Game Reserve may have been proclaimed in April 1924 to conserve some of the last hippo in KwaZulu-Natal, but it’s the bird life that makes Ndumo world famous among avifaunal fanatics.
This little reserve shows records of more than 85 per cent of all the 470 birds of Maputaland. Ndumo does not have a large numbers of large animals, and there are no lions or elephants here, but there are both black and white rhino, who move freely between Mozambique and South Africa across the unfenced border of the Usuthu River.