Exploring the Spectacular Game Reserves in KZN Near Umkhumbi Lodge
When it comes to game reserves in KZN, Umkhumbi Lodge serves as your ultimate basecamp for wildlife adventures. Situated conveniently close to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Mkuze Game Reserve, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, and Tembe Elephant Reserve, our lodge offers an unbeatable location for nature enthusiasts.
When you stay at Umkhumbi Lodge, you’re not just booking a comfortable and affordable safari experience; you’re opening the door to a world of incredible wildlife adventures. Situated in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), Umkhumbi Lodge offers easy access to some of the most renowned game reserves in the region. Just a stone’s throw away is the legendary Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, known for its remarkable conservation efforts and the Big Five.
Mkuze Game Reserve, another jewel in KZN’s crown, is also within an hour’s drive, as is the coastal iSimangaliso Wetland Park, both of which offer a diverse array of wildlife species, an astonishing number of bird species and stunning landscapes waiting to be explored. For an encounter with the gentle giants of the animal kingdom, Tembe Elephant Reserve is not far away, where you can witness some of the largest elephants in the region.
Plus, if you’re yearning for a more intimate connection with these majestic creatures, there is an African Elephant interaction a short drive away, providing an opportunity for an up-close experience. Your adventure into the enchanting world of game reserves in KZN begins right at Umkhumbi Lodge’s doorstep.
This is the main attraction for guests staying at Umkhumbi Lodge, offering a chance to experience a Big-5 safari game drive. It is the oldest game reserve in Africa. 25,000 hectares of the park were set aside as a ‘wilderness area’ in the 1950s thanks to conservationist and Ranger Ian Player. It was originally a royal hunting ground in the Zulu Kingdom, and was the place of legendary battles fought by Shaka’s lieutenants. Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park holds a prominent place in Zulu history and is one of Kwazulu-Natal and South Africa’s top wildlife attractions.
River beds, hilly slopes with valleys through to mountainous regions. Rising from sea level to a height of 540 meters.
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is home to the Big 5: Lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhinoceros. The white rhino population is the largest in the world. In addition to the Big 5 there are most of Africa’s iconic species, including giraffe, zebra, wild dog, cheetah, hyaena, crocodiles, hippos, warthogs, and the list goes on…
Options include a full day, half day and 3 hour drives to suit your itinerary. Speak to us about your needs when you book, on arrival or nearer the time – that way we can let you know what the weather’s doing and provide local game reports too. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is approximately 30 minutes drive from Umkhumbi Lodge.
You’ll find it’s best to meet your open safari vehicle at the game reserve itself – saving you from getting blown about in the chilly temperatures at 5am! Your guide will arrange the tickets at the gate as you transfer your binoculars and camera gear from your car to your game vehicle – don’t forget your breakfast packs!
There is no need to book to enter the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and Umkhumbi is only a 30 minute drive away! Just pay your entry at the gate and you are free to explore. Take one of our maps with you (you’ll get a full brief on where’s best to go).
If you’re travelling in open game vehicles, wear layers to stay warm to and from the park. It warms up later in the day – bring a bag to put your extra layers into! The game vehicles 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.
Is a drive in the park too tame for you? Looking for something more memorable? How about an overnight wilderness trail in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi reserve? – You must book in advance as availability is limited.
Please contact us by email for full details and availability.
The Centenery Centre is in Imfolozi Park on the eastern side of the reserve – it’s a good place to stop for lunch or just a break. Enter the large rondavel (round house) filled with many different curios, or pick up hot food, drinks and ice creams from the cafe. There’s also game capture bomas (enclosures). These don’t always have animals in them, but you may be lucky and see a Rhino or antelope. The centre was established to allow visitors to view animals in transit to their new homes.