Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is located in KwaZulu-Natal, on the east coast of South Africa and is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. Umfolozi Game Reserve and Hluhluwe Game Reserve combine to form South Africa’s largest Big Five reserve and offer an unrivalled safari experience for those wanting to embark on a journey into the great outdoors.
The park boasts an impressive and diverse landscape and differs from north to south. In the south, the Umfolozi landscape is defined by the Umfolozi Rivers, undulating countryside, and wide deep valleys that are made up of grassland. To the north, the area is rugged with mountainous forests and grasslands. Because of the diverse landscape, the park is a mecca for African wildlife, and home to the iconic Big Five, the elephant, the rhino, the Cape buffalo, the lion, and the leopard. Further highlights of the park include spotting the elusive cheetah, wild dog, and nyala.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is located about 250 kilometres from Durban, which boasts King Shaka International Airport, making the park a convenient destination.
Imfolozi is in a low risk malaria area so it is recommended to consult your doctor/travel clinic before travelling.
Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is suited to self-drives for those keen on this route. There are tarred surfaces in the park to ensure a comfortable experience.
Home to the iconic Big Five, Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is a prime safari destination in South Africa. Africa’s Big Five include the African elephant, the rhino, Cape buffalo, the African lion, and the African leopard. These five are always an incredible sight during a guided game drive, and well worth the stopover. Furthermore, the park provides a sanctuary for 86 special species, including the Nile crocodile, the nyala, the African wild dog, and blue wildebeest. Also a top destination for bird watchers, there are over 340 bird species at Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park.
The best time to visit Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is during the dry season between May and September. These winter months mean thin vegetation and an abundance of wildlife around available water sources. Safari-goers should note that the dry season occurs during winter, which means it can get quite cold during a safari.
During the wet season, which is from October to April, and also the warmer, summer months, the landscape is lush and provides scenic photo opportunities for nature photographers. Around this time, newborns are around, and it is the best time for birding.
Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is an excellent safari destination in South Africa and beckons travellers far and wide. The Big Five are ever-present, along with both species of rhinos. Safari-goers visiting the park can embark on an adventure into the wilderness, with numerous walking trails that carve through the landscape. Guided game drives offer plenty of wildlife viewing and exceptional educational experiences with a passionate and knowledgeable ranger conducting the activity.
Guided walking safaris are also popular activities within Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, as well as exciting boat tours on the Hluhluwe Dam, where safari-goers can gain a different perspective of the surrounding area and wildlife. Birding is great during the wet season, so avid bird watchers are encouraged to bring along their gear between November and April when the migratory species arrive.
There are many accommodation options at Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, and most of them offer modern amenities to make any discerning guest feel at home. From luxury lodges and self-catering options to tented camps and hostels, there is something for everyone. Guests can see our accommodation options below.