Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve Travel Guide

Map of Hluhluwe Imfolozi

One of the oldest and most prestigious wildlife reserves in South Africa, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, is located just 280km north of Durban. This large wildlife reserve has a tropical climate and offers phenomenal game viewing. Combine this with the warm Indian ocean and you have a perfect Beach & Bush Holiday 


Established in 1895, it's the oldest proclaimed park in Africa and it has a dramatic history. The reserve was previously two separate parks however in 1989 the Umfolozi and Hluhluwe reserves were joined to form the super-safari reserve known as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.


The park has a great history of saving endangered wildlife species, the white rhino is one of its finest examples.  Home to the Big Five, there are amazing wilderness trails and some of the best bushwalks in South Africa. For birders, more than 400 bird species have been recorded here.


The north and south of the reserve are completely different -

The Northern Area – Hluhluwe - is characterised by perennial forest, hills and riverine valleys. This area is outstanding for bird watching (particularly the more rare forest birds). Buffalo, elephants. Sykes monkeys and baboons are also easily spotted in this area.

The Southern Area – Imfolozi - was once the personal hunting reserve of King Shaka Zulu. It has a rich and wild history. Enjoy a sultry wilderness of rolling, bush-covered hills located between two tributaries of the great Mfolozi River. The wide-open acacia grassland makes the area perfect for predators and you'll see a greater amount of game in this portion of the reserve. Apart from rhinos, the area is good for spotting cheetah, lion, leopard, elephant and antelope


Top things to do at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve


  • Spot the Big Five!
  • Open 4 x 4 safari vehicle day and night game drives provide unique opportunities for viewing game
  • Go on a short game walk (approx. 2 hours)
  • A 45-seat boat takes visitors on twice daily cruises on Hluhluwe Dam
  • Go on a self-guide game viewing safari in your own car  
  • Go on a self-guide walking tour of the Imfolozi Game Reserve
  • Go bird watching - this coastal region is a birders paradise