About Mkhuze Game Reserve

Also known as uMkhuze, uMkuzi, uMkuze and Mkuze Game Reserve it is renowned for year round bird sightings with a list of over 420 species. Mkhuze is one of the lesser known reserves that make up the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, but is not to be missed!


This 40 000 ha reserve is a place of great beauty and high contrasts with an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo mountains along its eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. Even a type of sand forest occurs in the reserve which harbours the elusive suni!
As if that wasn’t enough the Mkhuze River curves along the reserve’s northern and eastern borders with a luscious fig forest along its banks. It is not uncommon to see Fish eagles swooping over the pans, snatching their prey from their roosts in the lofty fever trees.

Game Viewing

This diversity of habitats means a wide variety of animal species including black and white rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, eland, hippo, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring in the reserve are cheetah, hyaena, suni and leopard.

There are now three game viewing hides at pans within the reserve. These are the Kubube, Kamasinga and Kwamalibala pans. Visitors park their cars and enter the hides on foot.

During the drier winter months, large concentrations of game may be seen at the waterholes, although this does depend on the amount of surface water e.g. recent rain in the reserve. Visitors are therefore offered excellent views of most of the reserve’s larger mammals. These hides offer unique opportunities to photographers and many famous wildlife pictures have been taken in them.

Two of the largest and most beautiful pans in the reserves, Nhlonhlela (in the North) and Nsumo (in the East) are home to communities of hippo, crocodile, pinkbacked and white pelicans, as well as a diverse selection of ducks and geese that gather in spring.


Mkhuze Game Reserve has a diverse population with over 420 birds meaning that whenever you visit the park there are plenty of different bird species to spot! Birders have the chance to see pink-backed and white pelicans, gorgeous bush shrikes, vultures, bee eaters and even a red-headed weaver has been seen recently in the park!
Guided birding walks may be booked at the camp office, and these take place twice daily starting at 06h00 in summer, and 15h00 in winter. Checklists with the 420 most regular sightings are available from the curio shop.

Mkhuze Game Reserve Activities:

Birding, game viewing and sitting quietly at the game viewing hides are the most popular activities in Mkhuze. Night drives, guided walks, the auto trail and swimming are also available (some activities may be restricted to those staying within the park).

The reserve has 100 kilometers of tourist roads for game viewing.

Guided Game Walks can be booked at the camp office and these take place twice daily starting at 06h00 in summer, and 15h00 in winter.

Self-Drive Safaris

A great self-drive option to one of the lesser known parks in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (South Africa’s first World Heritage Site). Best known for its abundant birdlife (approximately 420 species).
Also good sightings of Buffalo, Black Rhino, White Rhino, Elephant, Wild Dog, Leopard.
There is no need to book to enter the Mkhuze Game Reserve (about 1 hour from Umkhumbi Lodge). Just pay your entry at the gate and you are free to explore.

Meals for long days

Want to get to the park as it opens at 6am? Take one of our breakfast packs for you to eat at your leisure in the park – You’ll find plenty of fantastic picnic sites, or you could even eat them as you wait for the elephants to cross the road.
There is also a take-away, the “Rhino Diner” which is open in the morning/noon and evening be sure to check the opening times for the day before planning your lunch stop!

Where to stay

Stay with us at Umkhumbi Lodge, of course! It’s the best!

Safari Essentials

Please note, if you’re travelling in open game vehicles, they have a roof to keep light rain and the sun off, but there are no sides. Waterproofs are recommended (they will help keep the wind off when travelling as well). Most importantly, don’t forget your sun cream and insect repellent.

Gate fees

Visitors pay a conservation fee (subject to change) per person per day replacing entry fees. South Africans get a discount.
Gate entry times: Summer (1 October – 31 March) 05:00 – 19:00, Winter (1 April – 30 September) 06:00 – 18:00. These times are strictly enforced.
Office hours are from 08:00 – 16:30 daily. Sundays and Public Holidays are 08:00 – 16:00 daily.


A quick glimpse of what you might see on your African Safari at Mkhuze Game Reserve!