Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve Information
Most IMPORTANT please at all times adhere to the speed limit, tragically animals are killed due to reckless drivers, speed kills…
The Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve might not look large on a map, however, the area with its loop roads, and off road tracks make it a large Reserve.
It is important to try and pre-plan one’s trip and realise the time it takes to travel within the park it is estimated that while traveling with in a game reserve the approximate speed is 20km/h.
Arriving late at the gate to depart may end up in a fine and also bear in mind that the opening and closing times do change according to the seasons.
Late arrivals at the gates may be refused as the public are not allowed to travel within the park after a certain time.
Gate Entrance Hrs & Gate Fee’s;
Hluhluwe Game Reserve – Hilltop Resort & Mpila Camp Imfolozi
Gate Time: Nov – Feb = 05h00 – 19h00 and Mar – Oct = 06h00 – 18h0. Gate times are strictly enforced. Conservation Levy to be paid on arrival at the gate. International Visitors pay a conservation levy of R210.00 per person per night (1 Nov 2016– 31 Oct 2017) South African Visitors are discounted by 50%. Children aged 3 to 12 yrs pay half the adult rate.
Always make sure of the arrival times as well as the needed traveling times to arrive at one’s accommodation way ahead
Both the Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserve have picnic areas open to the public, please be aware that this is a game reserve and to remain observant at all times.
Picnic areas in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve include:
In the Umfolozi Game Reserve the picnic areas are as follows:
- Game Capture Centre ( Centenary)
- Mpila Camp
- Sontuli Loop
The Hluhluwe Game Reserve entrance gates name is the Memorial Gate & the Umfolozi Game Reserves gate name is the Nyalazi Gate, in the South West is the Congeni Gate.
Upon arrival it is advised to purchase a map of the Game Reserve, it not only indicates all of the roads that are tarred but also all of the off road tracks.
CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT TIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS IF STAYING IN THE GAME PARK OVER NIGHT:
Check-in time: 14:00 until reception closes on the arrival date.
Check-out time: 10:00 on the day of departure
Game Viewing in the Reserve
Always look and understand the movements of the animals that you are looking for.
Just like a Kudu would be browsing next to the road side a cheetah would rather be hunting on the grasslands,
it therefore, is important to have some prior knowledge of where the animals are most likely to be.
Seasons and time of the day will also make a difference in spotting various species of animals, One of the
most important places one can ever be would be as close to a water source as possible.
TIPS: Take a Mammals guide book along, Binoculars. Ensure that you are in the park as early as possible, drive slowly you have all the time in the world. The Big 5 are in the reserve however take the time to witness the smaller species as well.
Tell Tale Signs
The movement of animals create telltale signs, be observant Vultures circling, rubbing posts, Dung,
tracks, broken branches and marks on trees are just some of the signs left behind by the animals in the Parks.
Vultures Circling depending on the time of the day this may indicate a kill Rubbing Posts a good place to witness a Rhino
Dung (fresh) indicates the recent movement of a particular animal Broken branches could indicate that Elephants may be near by
Markings on trees an indication of Cats territory Tracks if still fresh well we all know what that means
Vigilance is key while game driving, therefore, slow down so that you don’t miss all the signs otherwise missed..
Ever wanted to experience the Big 5 on foot ?
Well in the Umfolozi Section of the Game Reserve guided walking trails are available
these incredible trails offer one an experience of a lifetime.The trails offered vary in duration a must do..
This activity is seasonal and pre-bookings are essential, should you require additional information please Drop us an email for Booking Inquires!
Why Travel To The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park
Not as busy as Kruger even in the High Season
Closer access to water sources as well as picnic areas
Great Price compared
Larger area to travel in
Great sightings of Cats, African Wild Dog, Rhino ( Black & White) and Elephants
As the seasons change and the Elephants migrate spectacular sightings of herds of Elephants may also be witnessed in the Umfolozi Game Reserve.
Make use of the Hides as these have been erected at water sources, be patient they offer good sightings, not just of the Big 5 but other animals as well.
Sontuli Loop is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch while observing the animals down below in the Black Umfolozi River.
A small kiosk with takeaways is also available at the Centenary centre approx 3km from the Nyalazi gate.
The landscape changes tremendously as one travels south.
Through thick bush towards the Mpilla camp and once past it starts to open up with great vantage points to observe various animals.
The Mpila Camp also has a kiosk, fuel pump station ( No Diesel) and various types of accommodation.
The rondavels have recently been upgraded and serve as a great base from which to travel from early morning and late afternoon.
Night Drives are also on offer from the camp, however please book early to avoid disappointment.
The night drive experience is a great way to witness the movements of nocturnal animals.Each person should most definitely do one in any Game Reserve.
Dress warm as they do tend to get a bit cooler in the evenings.
Other places of interest in the Umfolozi section include No17, 24 and Mpafa hide these areas are good for spotting Cheetah, Lion, Wild Dog and Lion.
The key to great sightings is, gathering as much information prior to the excursion, Ask the friendly Kzn Wildlife Staff or Game Drive Safari operators while on your drive.
They will gladly update you with the sightings they have witnessed.
Please remain inside your car at all times as this is Big 5 country, exiting your vehicle may result in a fine or being injured by one of the many animals that are residents in this great Park.
Gate times are strictly enforced NO late arrivals are allowed into the park.
Driving Directions GPS coordinates 28 00 26 S, 31 41 09 E How to get to Nyalazi Gate
From Durban up the N2 take the Imfolozi game reserve turnoff (R618) 3km north of the Mtubatuba turnoff. From the north take Nongoma Mtubatuba turnoff (R619) follow the (R618) for about 25km this road has lots of speed humps and once you go over the cattle grid you are in the park and approximately 2km you will see the signpost to Nyalazi gate (turn left)
To Memorial gate it is a lot simpler, coming from the north or south along the N2 look out for the Hluhluwe turn off then follow the signposts to the gate it is about 5km to the gate from the N2
Estimated traveling times
3hrs from Durban less half an hour from King Sharka airport
7 to 8hrs from Johannesburg via Pongola
8hrs from Mpumalanga or southern exits of Kruger travelling around Swaziland
6hrs from southern exits of Kruger if passing through Swaziland (this time depends on how busy the border posts in Swaziland are)
1hr 30min from St Lucia and Richards Bay
If one is coming from Johannesburg or Swaziland it is better to enter through the Memorial gate.
3hrs from Durban and less 30 minutes from King Shaka airport.
45 minutes from St Lucia and Richards Bay.