"It's pronounced "Sho-Shloo-wee"" Hluhluwe Game Reserve by CatherineReichardt
Hluhluwe Game Reserve Travel Guide: 94 reviews and 246 photos
(work in progress)
The hardest thing about visiting Hluhluwe is learning to pronounce the name!
Over the years, I have visited many game reserves throughout Southern Africa, and virtually every one has something special to offer. However, I have a particular affection for Hluhluwe, which I think is much underrated and offers a different sort of game experience to that of the Bushveld reserves (Kruger, Pilanesberg and the like). It is also easy to access on excellent roads from Durban and the KZN North Coast.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi (as the reserve is officially known) was originally two adjacent reserves: the old Umfolozi reserve was incorporated into Hluhluwe to form a single management unit some time in the late 1990s. Umfolozi is famous as the reserve which pioneered the South African rhino breeding programme, and the reserve boasts both white rhino (which you are almost guaranteed to see) and the much shyer black rhino. The work that they have done in this regard is absolutely outstanding, and has arguably made the biggest contribution to reestablishing rhino numbers to a viable level.
You should bear in mind that Hluhluwe is not a National Park: like the Pilanesberg, it is run by the provincial authority (in this case, the KwaZulu Natal Parks Board). As a result, if you are clever enough to have bought one of the excellent Wild Cards from the SAN Parks Board that gives you unlimited access to the national parks (see my travel tip under my South African page), it will not allow you to access Hluhluwe without paying.
One of the few downsides of visiting many of South Africa's excellent game reserves is that there often isn't a great deal to see en route, which can make the journey a bit of a chore. I believe that one of Hluhluwe's great attractions is that it can be combined with other attractions en route - I would strongly suggest taking a detour via Eshowe, the old capital of Zululand, which provides a fascinating insight into the British colonial era in the 'Last Outpost" (as well as what I believe to be South Africa's only aerial boardwalk in the Dlinza Forest) as well as dropping into the Natal Sharks Board in Umlanga Rocks (if you're going via Durban) which will present you with a smorgasbord of wildlife and cultural experiences - this could be concertina-ed into 3-4 days if needs be, although, as with most banquets, it is much better to take your time and savour what's on offer!
One last word on health and weather. Hluhluwe (and indeed much of northern KZN) falls within the malarial zone. The risk is probably not as severe as in places further north, but it would still be unwise to visit without taking prophylactic measures. Medication is the most obvious line of defence, but don't forget to bring mozzie repellent (easily available in all supermarkets - Peaceful Sleep is an excellent local brand) and to cover up exposed flesh at night when the mozzies are at their most active. The weather can be very hot and humid in summer - particularly in January and February - so pack light clothes in natural fabrics that can be layered if necessary. It may sound unglamorous, but I would also suggest bringing some baby talcum powder to prevent chafing in sweaty crevices! By contrast, winter can be cool - especially if you are intending to do a night drive - so bring a fleece or jumper to keep warm.
Over the years, I have visited many game reserves throughout Southern Africa, but I retain a particularly soft spot for... more travel advice
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