This well-established national park is home to the planet’s biggest population of white rhinos. In fact it was originally set up to save this animal from extinction.
There are now close to 2,000 of these animals here, with many thousands more being sent out to other parks in the country.
The fact that it is only 2 and a half hours drive from Durban means that it is also pretty easy to get to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park. This is a wonderful spot to look for the Big Five and it gets very busy during the holidays.
‘Imfolozi’ the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, the home of the White Rhino, where wilderness trails take you along mighty rivers wandering through thorn savannah inhabited by the big five of African legend. Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is the oldest game reserve in Africa proclaimed in 1895.
It was the exclusive hunting preserve of the Zulu kings who protected the area by proclaiming conservation laws long before any formal protection.
The game pits in which animals were trapped can still be seen today. Game viewing is the prime attraction. Viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes enabling visitors to see animals at close range.
As the home of “Operation Rhino” in the 1950s and 60s, the Park became world renowned for its White Rhino conservation. Other areas of focus for which it is famed include its wilderness trails which originated in Imfolozi in the 1950s and its renowned Game Capture unit recently upgraded into the Centenary Capture Centre which is a bench mark for animal capture and sustainable utilization in Africa.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi covers some 96 000 ha and an immense diversity of fauna and flora occurs in this region. Imfolozi, the southern component of the park lies west of the town of Mtubatuba.
The region is generally hot in summer, and mild to cool in winter, although cold spells do occur. Larger mammals to be seen include buffalo, blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, elephant, and large numbers of impala, waterbuck, common and mountain reedbuck, nyala, kudu, bushbuck, steenbuck, duiker, warthog, black rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and jackal.
In excess of 300 species of birds have been recorded. There are a number of picnic sites and three self-guided walks providing magnificent views. Two daily walks in the company of a field ranger can be booked through the camp office.
Finding somewhere to stay here is easy and it makes for a terrific multi-destination trip when combined with tropical Durban and maybe somewhere else in South Africa.