Babanango Game Reserve, in the heart of Zululand, KwaZulu-Natal, is a demonstration of one of Southern Africa’s most significant rewilding efforts in recent years. The reserve is set among the beautiful scenery of the upper White Umfolozi River Valley and encompasses a vast wilderness region of over 20,000 hectares.
The rocky mountains and valleys shelter an incredible variety of birds, plants, insects, reptiles, and mammals, including the elusive aardvark and aardwolf. The return of the African elephant will round off the Big Five. Visitors to Babanango Game Reserve can be assured of an exceptional safari experience, with highly knowledgeable guides and a variety of activities to choose from.
Guests will have a memorable safari experience that goes beyond the Big Five thanks to the continuous commitment to rewilding and science-based conservation. Babanango provides something for everyone, whether you’re a birder, a butterfly aficionado, or simply want to experience stunning vistas and the beauty of nature.
An astonishing array of wildlife and birds thrive among the varied landscapes of Babanango Game Reserve. Visitors can expect to see the Big Five during a game drive, as well as the likes of giraffes, warthogs, mongoose, herds of wildebeests, zebras, and graceful antelopes. Furthermore, hippos frolic in the shallows near the river's edge, sharing the waters with elusive leopards who skilfully cross the granite mountains and jagged outcrops.
The reserve is also home to 32 species of butterflies and 311 species of birds, including the uncommon Pel's Fishing Owl and Narina Trogon, in addition to an abundance of game. There are also Black Eagles, Lappet-Faced and White-Backed Vultures, Crowned Eagles, and nine breeding pairs of Blue Cranes on the Reserve.
The best time to visit Babanango Game Reserve is from April to September (the dry winter months) when it is warm during the day but chilly at night, and the wildlife is easier to spot amongst the vegetation.
Babanango Game Reserve has a variety of safari activities aimed to provide tourists with an immersive experience on the reserve. Guests can embark on a guided game drive for a traditional safari experience. Walking safaris provide the opportunity to explore the reserve on foot, in the company of a specialist guide, for those seeking a more 'up close' experience and those with a special interest in birds or flora.
At Matatane, adrenaline junkies can go zip-lining, while Valley Lodge visitors can explore the ruins and shafts of an old copper mine. Babanango Game Reserve offers helicopter patrols, camera trap repair, and other activities to tourists who want to help with wildlife monitoring and research.
Babanango Game Reserve offers four secluded lodges, each catering to the personal preferences of the safari-goer. From the delicious food and hand-picked wine to the friendly team and curated activities, you’re bound to create memories for a lifetime.