Mkhuze Game Reserve Travel Guide

Forming part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, uMkhuze Game Reserve is a popular safari park in South Africa; where African wildlife including Giraffe, Zebra and Buffalo roam freely.

A Travel Guide to uMkhuze Game Reserve


The safari park is located 35 kilometres (21.7 miles) north of Hluhluwe Game Reserve and 335 kilometres (208 miles) from Durban.


The closest airport is King Shaka International Airport in Durban.


A dizzying assortment of game, providing excellent game-viewing opportunities especially from the 4 highly-rated hides located near to watering holes or pans. The game reserve is home to more than 450 species of birds and is considered to be one of South Africas top bird-watching destinations. A not to be missed experience is the Fig Forest Guided Walking Trail that takes visitors out on a 2 hour walking trail with a trained field ranger.


There is a road network of over 100 kilometres (62 miles) for visitors to enjoy on self-drive game viewing expeditions. Enjoy guided game viewing and bird-viewing walks where experienced guides will lead you through the African bush looking down at the ground for footprints and markings, out across plains in search of wildlife including Greater Kudu and Nyala, and up into the trees and blue sky where Hornbills and Sunbirds might be spotted.

Guided night drives offer a unique insight into the nocturnal wildlife that exists in the park. Visitors to the safari park can also enjoy day excursions into the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park or Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Accommodation within the uMkhuze Game Reserve consists of 8 fully equipped safari tents, 17 self-catering cottages and 60 campsites within a well maintained camping ground. Nhlonhlela Bush Lodge offers accommodation for 8 people in a beautiful lodge overlooking the Nhlonhlela Pan while the Umkhumbi Tented Bush Lodge offers 4 large, 2 bedded safari tents.

The Experience

uMkuzesafari park is a 40 000 hectare game reserve within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. A land of extreme beauty and contrasts, uMkuze is a bird-watchers paradise and a popular holiday destination for nature lovers.

The astonishing array of diverse habitats, from the slopes of the Lebombo Mountains to broad expanses of savannah plains, woodlands, riverine forests and swamps, all provide unique and very different locations for spotting African wildlife and birds.

Home to some 90 mammal species including Elephants, Giraffe, Warthog, Kudu and Buffalo, the only animal from the Big Five that the reserve does not have are Lion, however; other large predators found within the safari park include Wild Dog, Cheetah, Leopard and Spotted Hyaena.

The 4 game-viewing hides are found hidden alongside watering holes or pans and guests can look forward to sightings of large concentrations of game, all visiting the water to drink or wallow in the mud along the banks. The hides provide many excellent photography opportunities as visitors are able to get close to the game animals without disturbing them.

During the middle of the summer months the heat often drives game animals away from the watering holes near to the hides and towards the more sheltered natural pools and rivers and with the dense grass and thick vegetation, game viewing can become sparse. The best time to visit the wildlife reserve is in September and October, towards the end of the dry season, when the temperatures are milder and vegetation less dense.


uMkuze is located in a summer rainfall region with most of the rain occurring from November to February generally in the eastern sections of the reserve. In summer temperatures can range from 22°C to 33°C (71.6 - 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit), dropping to 10°C - 12 °C (50 - 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit) inthe winter months.

Useful Information

uMkhuze Game Reserve is located in a Malaria and Bilharzia area and visitors to the reserve should take the necessary precautions prior to and during their visit to the park and should never enter the water in the pans or rivers.

The best game viewing locations are considered to be the kuBubu and kuMasingu hides while the hide is Nsumo Pan is recognised as an excellent location for bird-watching and Crocodiles and Hippos can be found at the Pan. The presence of Crocodiles in the waters means that visitors should not go down to the water's edge while having a picnic at the Nsumo Pan.

There is a petrol station (fuel) as well as a take-away outlet and small store at Mantuma Camp where visitors can stock up on basic supplies.

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