Mkhuze Game Reserve of 40 000 hectares, is on the Western edge of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. An area of beauty and contrasts, Mkhuze or uMkhuze is a bird-watchers and nature lover’s paradise.
Diverse habitats, from the slopes of the Lebombo Mountains to broad expanses of savannah plains, woodlands, riverine forests and swamps, provide varied places to spot a wide variety of bird and wildlife. Home to some 91 mammal species including Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog, Buffalo, Black and White Rhino (without horns) and Lion. Other large predators include Wild Dog, Cheetah, Leopard and Spotted Hyena plus a number of different antelope.
4 outstanding game-viewing hides are hidden alongside watering holes or pans and large concentrations of game visit to drink or wallow in the mud. The best game viewing is possibly the Bubu and Masingu hides while the hide at Nsumo Pan is excellent for bird-watching plus Crocodile and Hippo.
The game reserve is home to more than 450 species of birds and is one of the country’s top bird watching locations. Rare sand forest occurs here and this is the habitat of many rare species including Suni, Crested Guineafowl, Grey-Hooded Kingfisher, Broadbill, Neergaards Sunbird and Pink-Throated Twinspot. Don’t miss the Fig Forest Guided Walking Trail: a 2 hour walking trail with a trained ranger. This is the last Sycamore Fig Forest in Africa. The forest is over nine hundred years old with some magnificent trees of around 400 years old. The walk includes crossing a sturdy swing bridge over a river tributary. The forest teems with bird and insect life. With fruit all year round, it is a good place for birds including the elusive Pels Fish Owl.
You can self- drive or book a tour with a qualified guide for daylight game viewing. The reserve offers guided night drives from the camps which are very special, providing good game viewing and a different perspective. Book these early at the camps to avoid disappointment.
The best time to visit is from September and October, towards the end of the dry season, when the temperatures are milder and vegetation less dense.
Mkhuze Game Reserve is in a Malaria area and visitors should take the necessary precautions prior to and during their visit. As Bilharzia is present, never enter the water in the pans or rivers.
Accommodation in the reserve: 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 tent
Gate Entry times: Summer 05:00 – 19:00 (1 November – 28 February) and Winter 06:00 – 18:00 (1 March – 31 October)