Hluhluwe lies in the heart of Zululand, in the eastern interior of KwaZulu-Natal. This tourist-friendly destination is surrounded by protected conservation areas with numerous game farms and nature reserves. With easy access to the coral reef coastline and an abundance of flora, Big 5 game viewing, and bird watching, you can enjoy the most tranquil nature getaway in Hluhluwe. Book today at one of our accommodations below.
Hluhluwe is home to the Zulu kings Dingiswayo and Shaka, who is believed to have initiated conservation laws and established the country’s first game reserve, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The adjacent Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserves were formed in 1895 and are considered an icon of conservation. It was here that the last remaining African white rhinos were saved from extinction. The 96,000 hectare park is a low-risk malaria zone and offers excellent Big 5 game viewing (with black and white rhino) on auto-trails and guided walks.
The nearby iSimangaliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s first World Heritage Site and 3rd largest animal reserve. Listed for its unmatched natural beauty and unique values, the 332,000 hectare park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 species of birds, and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes that are among the highest in the world. The coastal region also protects a coral reef, rock pools, and the ocean itself. The pristine and uncrowded beaches of St Lucia, Cape Vidal, and Sodwana Bay are easily accessible and provide some of the world’s best scuba diving, whale and dolphin spotting, and other water activities.
Other parks and reserves include Weavers Nature Park, Zululand Rhino Reserve, and Falaza Game Park, which boasts an extraordinary variety of birdlife. Phinda Private Game Reserve is an exciting safari destination with seven distinct habitats as well as unspoiled beaches and reefs nearby. Ubizane Wildlife Reserve offers close-encounter game viewing on horseback. The small Emdoneni Game Farm boasts a lodge surrounded by sand forest vegetation. Here you can enjoy guided walks amongst the wildlife. Tourists can visit the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Project, which aims to protect and rehabilitate abandoned or injured wild cats, including cheetah, serval, lynx, and African wild cats.
Hluhluwe accommodation is fully booked every second June when it alternates as host to Africa’s largest annual Game Auction, attracting bidders from around the world. Another calendar highlight is the Hluhluwe Rhino Classic, a cycle race that forms part of the Zululand Big 5 Mountain Bike Series.
Learn about the Zulu nation at the Dumazulu Traditional Village. Cultural shows with traditional dancing are performed daily, with the 11am show featuring an authentic Zulu lunch. Take the kids to see crocodiles and snakes at Dumazulu Reptile Park; tour the pineapple and sugar cane farms; and commemorate your visit with a traditional Zulu handcrafted item from the cultural village, Ilala Weavers, or Zamimphilo market.