"On a hunt for the white rhinoceros?" Umfolozi by Bunsch

Umfolozi Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 60 photos

Time to visit the Zulu Royal Hunting Grounds!

Visitors to Umfolozi, one of the twin game reserves (the other is Hluhluwe) created in part to conserve the then-endangered white rhinoceros, are more likely to be "armed" with digital cameras than with anything which might harm the animals -- and Umfolozi has plenty of those. A stop at Wikipedia provided some additional data: "The park is home to Africa's Big Five Game: Elephant, Rhinoceros (Black/Hook-lipped and White/Square-lipped), Cape Buffalo, Lion, Leopard. It is home to 86 mammal species including Nile crocodile, hippo, cheetah, hyena, blue wildebeest, jackal, giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, nyala, eland, kudu, impala, duiker, suni, reedbuck, warthog, bushpig, mongoose, baboons, monkeys, a variety of tortoises, terrapins, snakes and lizards. The park is also prime birding destination and is home to 340 bird species." So get those cameras loaded!

Stay in your car, please

There are sandy roads throughout Umfolozi. (This means that things can get quite dusty during the dry season, and I'm told they can be rather treacherous when it's wet.) We visited during a hot September, and saw many rhinos lazily camped under whatever shade trees were available. There are several "rests" in the park where one can get out of the car, but caution is advised...just think about that list of critters, many of which do not welcome human interlopers. We were not able to book one of the guides but the gate attendants are very good about letting visitors know where various types of game have been spotted.

Be sure to go "on safari"

There are many places to stay in the general vicinity of the state-run game parks. Many of these are private game preserves where game "drives" can be taken in the early morning or at night. You see quite different kinds of animals depending when you go -- we were fortunate to see hippos with babies, elephants, Cape buffalo (scarier than you'd think), giraffe, zebra and many varieties of gazelle during the day, but I liked the night safari even more because the guide's light would be reflected from hundreds of pairs of eyes of antelope who had settled down for the evening in their herds. Plus, I saw a bush baby!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Outstanding conservation, beautiful surroundings
  • Cons:None
  • Last visit to Umfolozi: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (2)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2009 at 10:59 PM

    Plenty to see here, sounds like you had a good time!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Oct 3, 2008 at 1:31 PM

    Sounds like a great trip for shooting animals...by camera, of course! I would love to see a lion in the wild--but from a distance and not up close and personal.


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