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Top 10: Wildlife wonders in KwaZulu-Natal

A lesser jacana in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park 

1 Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve

One of South Africa’s most celebrated game parks. Situated across 96 000 hectares of wild Zululand bush, this reserve is renowned for Big Five sightings and its phenomenal white rhino conservation initiatives. more

2 The iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

This incredible wilderness region and World Heritage Site runs for 280 kilometres from Kosi Bay in the North to Cape St Lucia in the South. Here you’ll find an abundance of wildlife including hippos, crocodiles and leather-back turtles. more

3 Turtle Safaris, Kosi Bay

One of the major wildlife attractions along the Elephant Coast are the guided turtle safaris on offer at Kosi Bay, when the baby turtles break out of the eggs on the beach and journey back to the ocean (during January/February). more

4 Tembe Elephant Park

Bordering South Africa and Mozambique is the Tembe Elephant Park – a 30 000 hectare protected area set up to protect the unique elephant population in this part of the world. more

5 Mkhuze Game Reserve

Situated in Maputaland, Mkhuze Game Reserve is renowned for its incredible birdlife – there are over 450 species of birds in this wild area with its open grasslands, dense forests and coastal dunes. more

6 Thanda Private Game Reserve

An exquisite reserve with the Big Five, a romantic attitude and only an hour away from some of the best diving South Africa has to offer. more

7 The uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park

This World Heritage Site is home to prolific birdlife (over 300 species) and small mammals including baboon, leopard, lynx, aardvark and small antelope. more

8 Zululand Birding Route

Zululand is renowned for its exquisite birdlife and the Zululand Birding Route is a network of guided or self-guided routes that celebrate the birdlife of the area including the magnificent Ongoye Forest. more

9 Phinda Private Game Reserve

This exclusive private game reserve has won many kudos over the years for their conservation ethics. A number of luxury lodges are found in this game reserve that has cheetah, lion, leopard and an abundance of other wildlife. more

10 The Zululand Rhino Reserve

Home to the Black Rhino Expansion Project, the Zululand Rhino Reserve consists of 20 000 hectares dedicated to conserving this endangered species. more