Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
is one off the oldest reserves in Africa. It was proclaimed in 1895 and covers 96,000 ha. Characterized by rolling hills and open spaces, it is home to the white rhino, once almost extinct. Due to the dedicated conservation efforts of the Kwazulu-Natal Parks Authorities since 1920, these animals are now no longer endangered. Apart from the black and white rhino, the rest of the Big Five plus the Nyala antelope, a variety of other animals and birds can be found in this park.
Mkuze Game Reserve lies between the Lebombo Mountains in the west and the Mkuze River in the east. This enchanting 40 000 hectare reserve was proclaimed a protected area in 1912 and, with more than 420 bird species on record, is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers. The animal life is abundant and six permanent hides provide good viewing for game. Mkuze lies in a confluence of moderate and tropical climate zones which has created a habitat ranging from flat dry savanna to sandy ridges, riverine forests, pans and swamps.
“The St Lucia Wetland Park must be the only place on the globe where the world’s oldest land mammal (the rhinoceros) and the world’s biggest terrestrial mammal (the elephant) share an ecosystem with the world’s oldest fish (the coelacanth) and the world’s biggest marine mammal (the whale).” – Former President Nelson Mandela 10 August 2001
The St Lucia Wetland Park is a vast unspoilt area and at its heart the 38 000 ha Lake St Lucia is connected to the sea via a narrow estuary. Fed by multitudinous river deltas, swamplands, mangroves and forests, it is separated from the beach by high-vegetated sand dunes.
The Park, which has been declared a World Heritage Site, stretches from the St Lucia Estuary in the south to Sodwana Bay in the north and includes Mkuze Game Reserve and part of the Maputaland Marine Reserve.
Interesting places to visit include False Bay Park, Charters Creek, Fanie’s Island, Cape Vidal, St Lucia Village, Mapelane, Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and Lake Sibayi. All these areas comprise five ecosystems that promise an impressive diversity of fauna and flora.
Ticks can be picked up when walking in the bush or long grass. Ticks, such as pepper ticks, burrow under the skin and can be itchy. The best way to avoid them is by wearing socks and insect repellant on exposed skin. After walks check all over your body for any ticks.
Sunburn: Temperatures in summer can be very high with February as the hottest month of the year. The sun is at its strongest between 11h00 and 15h00. Always wear a hat and use a waterproof suntan lotion with a high protection factor. Drink plenty of fluids and remember that cloud and wind are no protection against sunburn, because it is the sun’s ultra violet rays that cause sunburn and they penetrate cloud.
Best time to visit
From early Autumn through untill Spring is the best time to visit Zululand as summers can be very hot and humid. Game Parks can be visited all year round. The Indian Ocean is warm enough to swim in during our winter.
Kwazulu Natal experiences hot summers and mild winters all year round in the low-lying coastal areas. In the Midlands and the northern interior, winters are cold with frost. The Drakensberg is extremely cold in winter with occasional snowfalls. The province is a summer rainfall area.
Other essential information
- Banks are open from 09h00 to 15h30 on weekdays and 08h30 to 11h00 on Saturdays. Automated
Teller Machines (ATM’s) are available and most major credit cards can be used to withdraw cash.
- Tap water is safe to drink.
- Shopping hours is generally from 08h00 to 17h00 on weekdays and 08h30 to 13h00 on Saturdays.
- Some shops might be open on a Sunday.
- Swimming is generally safe and hygienic. Always make sure that the beaches you use are considered a swimming beach with lifeguards and shark nets.
- The Elephant Coast is an environmentally sensitive area and to protect the area, regulations must be adhered to. Specific permits are required for boating, fishing and visiting Kosi Bay Mouth.