Just 20km South of the world-renowned Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, Africa’s oldest proclaimed game reserve, lies a flourishing privately owned reserve teaming with wildlife.
Having touched down at King Shaka International Airport a relatively short 160km (99 mile) road trip brings you to the doorstep of our Zulweni Lodge. This, in contrast to a typical 3 to 4-hour drive to the Hluhluwe/Mkuze bushveld regions found further to the north of KwaZulu-Natal province.
Once bedded down, a short 33km (20 mile) road trip will get you to the uMfolozi Big Five Game Reserve and another 20km (12 mile) on to the Cengeni Gate of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park itself. A 44km (27 mile) drive eastward will take you to Naval Island in the coastal harbour of Richards Bay.
With a warm and temperate subtropical climate and an average 950mm (37 inches) of largely summer rainfall the non-perennial Yothu River, with its source on the western border, traverses the full length of the reserve. This river, its several tributaries, the Ntambanana crossing the northern sector and the main tributary of the Majaji running inside the south western boundary of the property have all been dammed in multiple locations to provide 37 different water sources, widely distributed across the reserve. These serve as the life source for the 32 species of mammal, 23 species of reptile, 362 species of bird, 165 species of butterfly and 88 species of odonata found on the reserve.
The diverse terrain ranging from high bushveld clad hilltops and steep densely vegetated valleys in the northern and western sides of the reserve to open grasslands and flood plains in the east makes for interesting viewing whilst driving through the reserves 71km road network.
Viewing our game is somewhat unique. It is typically not essential to rise before sunlight and head out on a long and cold drive down a bumpy road in a 4x4 to have good sightings. Many animal species are regularly seen in and around the lodges and it is not uncommon to have a herd of giraffe bed down for the night surrounding your lodge, an ostrich to stretch its long neck over the railing on your deck or for a herd of fifty-plus buffalo to amble slowly past. The surrounding lawns are well manicured by grazing hippo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog and the many antelope species on the reserve.
Of course, for those 4x4 enthusiasts, the road trip is a better choice, adding to the excitement and making for a more interesting overall experience. With the hilly terrain, there are some steep and challenging sections to traverse on the reserve.
We invite you to take time out of your busy schedule and unwind in the serenity of this majestic place.