Hluhluwe Accommodation Venues & Tour Operators

TRAVEL ...to the ends of the earth...

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The Mfolozi ('zigzag') River is so named because of its complex course through the hills of central Kwazulu.  In its middle reaches the river divides into two: the Mfolozi emnyama ('Black Mfolozi') to the north and the Mfolozi emhlophe ('White Mfolozi') to the south.  The colour differences are due to the soil through which the two rivers flow before they unite.  Where the rivers converge there is a tongue of land 50 000 hectares in extent, which is among the loveliest bush country in Kwazulu, backed in the north bu a high ridge of hills.
This area between the two rivers has always been frequented by wild animals.  It is classic savanna country.  The grazing is rich, the climate – warm to hot, with ample water – suited to most African mammals.  Hunters were for long kept out of the region by tsetse flies.  Rhinos in particular liked the area and long after they had been hunted almost to the point of extinction in the rest of Africa, this area remained a sanctuary for both the black and the white species.
In 1897n the Umfolozi Game Reserve was proclaimed.  This and the Hluhluwe reserve were to be permanent game sanctuaries, particularly for white rhino, then on the list of endangered species.  Unfortunately, however, a serious problem problem arose.  Zululand, as it was then called, was becoming settled by European farmers.  They acquired land cheaply around the game reserves of Umfolozi and Hluhluwe, but when they introduced livestock into the area they suffered heavy losses owing to the disease of nagana, carried by the tsetse fly. 
A campaign began to have all game animals destroyed – by killing the game, it was argued, the tsetse would be deprived of nourishment, and it would be deprived of nourishment, and it would be eliminated.  Thus large, desirable area would be open to human settlement.  Conservationists found themselves very much on the defensive.  Farmers, politicians and veterinary experts were determined to destroy the remaining wild animals in Zululand.  The reserves had never been opened to tourists and scorn was poured on any suggestions that future generations would take a dismal view of their wanton destruction, or that more profit and pleasure would come from them as game reserves than from the establishment of a few additional cattle ranches.
Umfolozi was regarded as an experimental area in the war against the tsetse fly.  A research station was established here in 1921 and a long and controversial struggle began to eradicate the fly.  The story of this anti-tsetse campaign makes sad reading.  About 100 000 animals were slaughtered in the reserve before the lunacy of the campaign became apparent and the introduction of DDT spraying in 1945 effectively eradicated the fly.  Even at the height of the slaughter, however, white rhinos were preserved, and today a population of about 1 000 is maintained. 
The surplus – beyond the carrying capacity of Umfolozi and Hluhluwe – is distributed annually to other  reserves and zoos throughout the world.  There are also many black rhino, as well as lion, giraffe, buffalo, leopard, bushbuck, zebra, blue wilde- beest, waterbuck, red and grey duiker, steenbuck, mountain reedbuck, klipspring, impala, kudu, nyala, warthog, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal.  Cheetah have also been re-established in the Umfolozi Reserve.  The lions of Umfolozi have a unique story.  By the beginning of the 20th century it was thought that they had been totally eradicated form this region.
Then in 1958 a solitary male lion wandered south from Mocambique into the bush of Tongaland.  What motivated its travels is unkown. It continued on its way south for 350 killometres, crossing well-populated farming country, slaughtering a few head of cattle for food, and being tracked and hunted by the usual band of trophy hunters who sought the questionable honour of shooting 'the last lion of Zululand'.  The lion outmaneuvered all pursuers and, by a miracle, found itself safe in the Umfolozi Game Reserve, stocked with fat antelope which had not seen a lion for generations.
After a few years of celibacy the lion as joined by a bevy of females under mysterious circumstances and about 40 lions now keep the population explosion of game animals in Umfolozi under control.  The reserve is open throughout the year.  There is a hutted camp, a game-viewing hide at one of the main drinking pools, a network of roads and 24 000 hectares of wilderness area where parties are escorted on three-day walks, camping at night in the bush.
Bird life include night heron, wood stork, Wahlberg's eagle, Shelley's francolin, black-bellied korhaan, Temminck's courser, Klaas's cuckoo, little bee-eater and crested barbet.
The Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa. Pages 359-363. The Reader's Digest Association South Africa  (Pty) Limited. 1986. ISBN 0 947008 17 9

Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve
, located 280 km north of Durban, is the oldest proclaimed park in Africa. It consists of 960 km² of hilly topography in central Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

  • Throughout the park there are many signs of Stone Age settlements.
  • This area between the Black and White Umfolozi rivers was also once the personal hunting area of King Shaka Zulu.
  • The Hluhluwe and Umfolozi Game Reserves were proclaimed separately in 1895. Their turbulent histories have included temporary deproclamations for veterinary programs and mass slaughter of game under the banner of "disease control"!
  • Operation Rhino was started during the 1960s, resulting in the white rhino being saved from extinction. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi is now focusing its efforts on saving the endangered black rhino, whose number in Africa has dwindled from 14 000 to a pitiful 2 550 in the past decade. You'll find at least a fifth of the world's black and white rhino population here.
  • It was also here that the first guided wilderness trails in Southern Africa were run.
  • Both reserves were joined in 1989 through the Corridor Reserve.
  • Due to inbreeding Hluhluwe-Umfolozi introduced the Lion Project in 1999. This project is to save the lions by infusing new blood into the existing bloodlines.

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • ikhaya likababa house of the father abandoned babies home south africa empangeni kwazulu natal umhlathuze

    "Abandoned Babies Home"
    iKhaya LikaBaba is an organization based in uMhlatuze, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. 
    The name iKhaya likaBaba is an isiZulu phrase which means "House of the Father".
    Tel:  +27 35 791 1116