The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in the KwaZulu-Natal province is a safe haven for endangered black and white rhino, along with the rest of the Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.

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Established in 1895, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is the oldest game reserve on the African continent and one of South Africa's largest.

Among South Africa's largest game reserves, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is one of the best places in the country in which to see the endangered rhino. The reserve has both black and white rhino, along with other members of the Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.

It falls under the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, a provincial conservation body, and is divided into two distinct areas. The northern Hluhluwe region of the reserve is forested and mountainous, markedly different to the undulating open savannah common to the southern Imfolozi region. This varied habitat attracts over 340 bird species, including the endangered bateleur eagle and ground hornbill.

Aside from black and white rhino, elephant, too, are plentiful here and many visitors to the park rate a close encounter with the world's largest land animal, on a reserve road or at a waterhole at twilight, as a highlight of their visit.

Photographers are spoilt for choice as the reserve also has cheetah, hippo, hyena, jackal, giraffe and wild dog. Nor should one discount the scaly and shelled denizens of the reserve, such as crocodile, tortoise, terrapin, snake and lizard, which also abound.

Well-disguised viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes where the birds and animals gather to drink, so you'll be able to see plenty game at an unusually close range.

You can experience the diversity of flora and fauna in this majestic reserve via 4x4 game drives or guided walks. Whatever your choice, this particular South African wildlife experience is guaranteed to be a memorable one.

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