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TThe Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal province is a safe haven for endangered black and white rhino, along with the rest of the Big 5: namely lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo.
Among South Africa's largest game reserves, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is one of the best places in the country in which to see rhinoceroses. 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 more than 340 bird species, including the endangered bateleur eagle and ground hornbill.
Aside from black and white rhinos, elephants are plentiful here too, 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 which also abound in the reserve, such as crocodile, tortoise, terrapin, snake and lizard.
Well-disguised viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes where the birds and animals gather to drink, so you'll be able to see plenty of game at an unusually close range.
You can also experience the diverse flora and fauna in this majestic reserve via 4x4 (SUV) game drives or guided walks. Whatever your choice, this South African wildlife experience is guaranteed to be a memorable one.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife Central Reservations
Tel: +27 (0)33 845 1000
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
Tel: +27 (0)35 562 0848
How to get here
From Durban take the N2 north for 220km. Pass the Mtubatuba off-ramp. Take the next off-ramp, the R618 west, for 25km to the reserve gate.
Best time to visit
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi has hot, humid and rainy summers between September and April. From May to August conditions are dry and warm during the day, cooler at night. During winter the vegetation is sparser and watering holes busier, so game spotting is easier.
Options include self-drive, guided 4x4 (SUV) tours or walking, both guided and self-guided.
Tours to do
Evening game drives offer an exciting alternative to day drives, since many predators hunt under cover of darkness.
What will it cost?
That depends on the accommodation you opt for in the park; check the latest fees on the website.
Length of stay
Two nights and 3 days is the minimum you should give yourself, to experience all the reserve has to offer, but you could happily chill for a week in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.
What to pack
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is in a low-risk malaria area, but consult your doctor before travelling. Ticks are prevalent, so insect repellent should be used when walking in the reserve. In summer, sunblock is a must.
Where to stay
Accommodation options range from self-catering rondavels and chalets to fully catered luxury lodges.