The Ndumo Game Reserve is home to the Ndumo fever forest, a superb birding and game viewing destination in KwaZulu-Natal. Hiking in the reserve’s lush tropical environment promises encounters with a number of rare birds, animals and insects.

Did you know?

Ndumo Game Reserve has the highest bird count in South Africa – approx. 430 species.

Greenish-yellow fever trees and amazing bird life are characteristic of the Ndumo fever forest, which lies in KwaZulu-Natal's Ndumo Game Reserve.

The fever trees for which the forest is famed are so-named due to the mistaken belief that they cause malaria. The true culprit, however, is the mosquito, with no less than 66 recorded species found here!

In this idyllic spot on the banks of the Pongola and Usutu rivers, you'll find over 400 species of birds that inhabit the forest's fertile and lush environment.

Keep an eye out for woodland species like the flappet lark and lilac-breasted roller, or, in the denser woodland regions, see if you can spot the oriole, shrike, warbler and kingfisher.

In the riverine forest section of the park, broadbill, trogon, weaver, sunbird and Pel's fishing owl are likely to be seen, while over 40 raptor species, such as the bataleur, various eagles, hawks and osprey, soar in the skies above.

However it's the reserve's rare birds that are most sought after. These include the long-toed lapwing, African skimmer, chestnut-fronted helmet shrike, thick-billed cuckoo, southern carmine bee-eater, white-breasted cuckooshrike, eastern saw-wing and Ayres' hawk-eagle.

The Ndumo Game Reserve is also home to crocodiles and hippos, endangered white and black rhino, impala, buffalo and the rare Nyala antelope.

The park can be toured by car or on foot and offers excellent game viewing on guided wilderness hikes and drives. Visitors can stay overnight at the reserve in chalets or tents to ensure that they completely immerse themselves in the reserve's many attractions.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Ndumo Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 35 591 0004

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Central Reservations
Tel: +27 (0) 33 845 1000
Fax: +27 (0) 33 845 1001

How to get here

The Ndumo Game Reserve is north of Durban on the N2. Take the Jozini turn off. Go through the town of Mkuze and follow the signs to Ndumo. The last 14km of road is rough.

Best time to visit

Autumn and spring are particularly pleasant, but summer is likely to be very hot.

Get around

Hiking offers the best view of the fever trees. Experienced field guides and game rangers are available to conduct guided tours.

What to pack

This is a malaria area so anti-malaria precautions are a must, as is insect repellant. Don't forget to pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat along with comfortable hiking shoes or boots.

Where to stay

The Ndumo Game Reserve has a camp with basic self-catering cabins and ablution facilities. There are also several rustic campsites in the reserve.

What's happening

Guided bush, birding and game walks are available, as well as guided game drives.

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