Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

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Hluhluwe-Imfolozi

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

"World renowned for the valiant efforts of continual conservation to black and white endangered rhino, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a remarkable testament of Africa’s ever increasing commitment to the preservation of wildlife. The park is a sanctuary to more than 400 black rhino and over 1600 white rhino, this being the largest population of endangered rhino species in the world.

The grasslands, forests and woodlands of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five, as well as the last remaining population of wild dogs in Africa. Nesting within the lush habitat of the reserve are more than 425 bird species, a paradise to the avid twitcher. With two predominant sections, Hluhluwe in the north and Umfolozi in the south, the protected lands of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve have been proclaimed in 1895 and is the is the oldest reserve found in Africa.

Before the proclamation of Hluhluwe-uMfolozi Game Reserve, many brutal battles were fought in northern KwaZulu-Natal, in an area now known as the Battlefields. Six famous South African battles occurred within the Battlefields between the Voortrekker and the Zulu nations, the British and the Zulu nations and the Boer and the British. The most famous of these clashes are the Battle of Isandiwana and the Rorke’s Drift battle in 1879, which was the first attempt by the British to conquer the Zulu nation."

"World renowned for the valiant efforts of continual conservation to black and white endangered rhino, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is a remarkable testament of Africa’s ever increasing commitment to the preservation of wildlife. The park is a sanctuary to more than 400 black rhino and over 1600 white rhino, this being the largest population of endangered rhino species in the world.

The grasslands, forests and woodlands of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five, as well as the last remaining population of wild dogs in Africa. Nesting within the lush habitat of the reserve are more than 425 bird species, a paradise to the avid twitcher. With two predominant sections, Hluhluwe in the north and Umfolozi in the south, the protected lands of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve have been proclaimed in 1895 and is the is the oldest reserve found in Africa.

Before the proclamation of Hluhluwe-uMfolozi Game Reserve, many brutal battles were fought in northern KwaZulu-Natal, in an area now known as the Battlefields. Six famous South African battles occurred within the Battlefields between the Voortrekker and the Zulu nations, the British and the Zulu nations and the Boer and the British. The most famous of these clashes are the Battle of Isandiwana and the Rorke’s Drift battle in 1879, which was the first attempt by the British to conquer the Zulu nation."

Access Details

The Battlefields and wildlife reserves are easily accessed via the N2 national road from Durban, which is approximately a 2 hours drive. Daily international flights arrive at and depart from Durban’s King Shaka International Airport.

Suggested Stay Details

We suggest that you spend at least 2 days in the battlefields and 2 days in Hluhluwe.

Type of Experience

Visit the many sites known as the Battlefields of northern KwaZulu-Natal which occurred between 1838 and 1906. Explore the regions of Dundee, kwaDukuza, Nqutu, Newcastle, Spioenkop Dam and Nkandla. These areas are drenched in the history of life and the land is stained with the memory of conflict. National monuments, museums and small graves fill the Battlefields and many journey to the Battlefields to pay homage to the bravery of fallen soldiers.

Infrastructure

The Battlefields are surrounded by lush countryside and historic towns are connected by well established road networks. Accommodation ranges from reserve lodges to quaint country hotels.

Geography

The topography of KwaZulu-Natal is largely lush farmlands, countryside hills and valleys interspersed with villages and towns, and wildlife parks and areas of natural beauty with river, streams, dams and lakes.

History

The Blood River Battle in 1838 which took place in Dundee and resulted in the death of about 3000 Zulus by the hands of the Voortrekkers. The second battle took place in kwaDukuza in 1856 two brothers of the Zulu tribe which left more than 6000 killed. Most notably battles are the Isandiwana and Rorke’s Drift battles which took place in 1879 at Nquta.

The Zulus ambushed the British which resulted in the largest defeat in colonial warfare outside of Europe but the display of defense against the Zulus and heroism at Rorke’s Drift resulted in the highest decorated battle in British history. Anglo-Boer Wars took place between 1880 to 1881 and 1899 to 1902.

The second Anglo-Boer war was the first of the twentieth century, which introduce trench warfare. Interesting to note is that Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and Louis Botha were present at the Battle of Spioenkop which took place near Ladismith in KwaZulu-Natal.

Activities & Highlights

"WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS: Game viewing is abundant at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, Mkuze and Phinda Private Reserves. With lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and leopards; the African Big Five may be viewed from close and safe distances in guided morning and evening drives. The largest concentration of rhino are found here and more than 80 Cape hunting dogs, the last population to be found in Africa. The black rhino forms part of the African Big Five and can be identified by its pointed triangular shaped lip. More than 425 bird species fill the air so keep an eye open for the whitebacked vulture and the bateleur.

CULTURAL ENCOUNTERS: The towns surrounding the Battlefields exude traditional and ancient Zulu culture. Towns such as Eshowe, Melmoth, Ulundi, Babanango, Vryheid and Paulpieterberg are all easily accessed on a self-drive tour. You may even get a chance to meet a traditional sangoma."



Season Travel Details

KwaZulu-Natal is hot and humid in summer and mildly humid and warm in winter. The subtropical climate causes rain throughout, with 1400 mm of rainfall a year. Rainy seasons set in with hot and humid temperatures during September to April. Pleasantly warm days are expected during the dry season’s winter months from May to August.

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