Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park: Our most recommended tours and activities

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

1. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

Experience the rolling hills of the Savannah grasslands and a magical African sunrise. Sit back and relax while your ranger takes you to the best areas within the park. With trained eyes and years of experience, your ranger will undoubtedly deliver some magnificent sightings. Learn more about this fascinating park and the incredible history of when King Shaka used the lower Umfolozi as his personal hunting grounds or how the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park single-handedly saved the rhinos from near extinction. The park is home not only to the African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) but also includes cheetahs, wild dogs, and many more. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at one of the numerous scenic picnic areas within the park. The tour concludes with a drop off at the Nyalazi Gate or alternatively, drop off back at your accommodation in St. Lucia.

Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

2. Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site (UNESCO), and is considered South Africa's third-largest park with 280 kilometers of near-pristine coastline and 328,000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest populations of hippopotami in SA, an estimated 1,000 crocodiles and a wealth of plant, bird and animal life. Animals in the park include lions, African elephants, leopards, black and southern white rhino, and buffalo. In the ocean, there are whales, dolphins, and marine turtles, including the leatherback and loggerhead turtle. After the boat tour, travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in a closed vehicle in search of the diverse wildlife and Africa's Big 5, which include the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The reserve is set in the heart of Zululand, where these amazing animals roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895, this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98,000 hectares in size. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and varied. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world-renowned for its white rhino conservation efforts and its Centenary Capture Center which is setting improved standards for game capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop at Hilltop Camp restaurant giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. Afterwards, you will continue with your safari before leaving the park for Durban.

Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

3. Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

Get up close with Africa's famous Big 5 on a safari tour of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Discover the different sides of the parks with one morning and one afternoon drive during which you will be provided with the high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multi-language guidebooks.  Start early at 5 am to catch the wildlife, especially predators, at their most active times which is dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve via Nyalazi Gate and explore the Imfolozi side of the reserve on a 3.5-hour morning game drive on our Hyundai H1 vehicle. The southern sector of the reserve is typified by its flat open plains and renowned for elephant and rhino sightings. Time for a spot of lunch at Hilltop Restaurant (at own cost). Enjoy your meal while taking in the panoramic views over the reserve and put those binoculars to test. After lunch, explore the northern sector of the reserve while keeping your eyes pealed for the highly endangered African Wild Dogs and Big Cats. Spend another 3.5-hours traversing the Hluhluwe side of the reserve. Around 4 pm we will start to make our way back to Durban. Your safari tour is in a Hyundai H1 Vehicle. This is not an open safari vehicle. It is a luxury van with large windows. The windows open wide enough for you to take pictures using amateur and professional cameras. All travelers will have access to our high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multilingual safari guide book, available in English, German & French. 

From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

4. From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

This full-day tour from Durban takes you on safari in the wonderful Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. The park is famous for its highly successful white rhino conservation program and is now home to the largest population of white rhino in the world. On your full-day safari tour you will have many opportunities to encounter the amazing wildlife in their natural environment. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is home to 84 species of games, including the ‘Big Five’, and 425 different types of birds. See how many you can spot on your safari! The hilly terrain affords some of the most incredible views over the reserve. Enjoy lunch at the Hilltop Camp (or similar) and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

5. From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

Go on the only tour from Durban that takes you into an authentic private game reserve where the number of vehicles at sightings is limited. Take 2 stunning game drives at 2 reserves and encounter Africa's magnificent wildlife up-close. Benefit from included hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as complimentary use of Zeiss binoculars and multilingual wildlife/nature guide books during the tour. Hit the road early with pickup from your hotel at around 5 AM as wildlife, especially predators, are most active around dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve at Nyalazi Gate and enjoy a 2.5-hour morning game drive in a Hyundai H1 vehicle. Please note, this is not an open safari 4x4, though you will get that experience later in the day. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is renowned for its White Rhino densities — after all, it saved the Southern White Rhino from extinction. Keep your Carl Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars on hand, as you never know what's around the corner. After your drive, stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp for a hearty meal with a stunning view. Lunch is at your own expense. Next, it's time to head into one of KwaZulu Natal’s premier private game reserves: Manyoni Private Game Reserve. This reserve only permits travelers staying at one of their luxury lodges to traverse the park, unless you’re with the local partner of course. Meet Manyoni’s most experienced ranger and jump into an authentic open safari 4x4. Then, embark on a 4-hour game drive through this pristine wilderness as you track down Africa’s iconic Big 5 and everything in between. Your ranger is passionate about the African bush and will help you understand the eco-system and the flora and fauna. As Manyoni is a private game reserve, rather than a national park, your expert ranger can go off-road and bring you more intimate sightings of big game. Depart the reserve at 4 PM for return to Durban.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

6. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

The tour departs from Durban heading up the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. You will arrive at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi gate 2.5 hours after departing from Durban. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in search of the diverse wildlife and Big 5. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is set in the heart of Zululand where Africa’s Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895 this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98 000 hectares. This tour is in a closed vehicle. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and diverse. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world renowned for its White Rhino conservation and its Centenary Capture Centre is setting exceptional standards for animal capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp (at own expense) giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. After lunch you will continue with your safari before leaving the park on route to Emdoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary. Emdoneni Cat Project offers a guided tour about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. The aim of the Emdoneni Cat Project is to care for cheetahs, serval cats, African wildcats and caracal (lynx), that have been orphaned or injured in the wild and need care and rehabilitation. During the guided tour to the cat project, visitors can see some of these South Africa’s endangered cat species. After the tour, start the two hours journey back to Durban for drop-off.

From Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Day Trip

7. From Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Day Trip

Begin your private excursion with a 3-hour drive to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, located in the heart of Zululand. During your visit, be on the lookout for Africa's Big 5 – lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros – roaming the flourishing savannah. Established in 1985, Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the oldest game park in South Africa. In addition to the drive in the game reserve, there are several optional extras available (at your own expense). Visit Emtoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary. Take a 2-hour boat cruise in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Drive to Dumazulu Cultural Park, where you relax and watch Zulu dancing, taste Zulu beer, and learn about Zulu culture.

Durban: Boat Safari & Zulu Cultural Village Day Trip

8. Durban: Boat Safari & Zulu Cultural Village Day Trip

See the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the ISimangaliso Wetlands Park, then witness traditional arts, crafts, and performances at the DumaZulu village. Depart from Durban and head north along the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The first stop is the small town of St Lucia inside the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. Board a riverboat for a 2-hour guided tour of the estuary. Encounter a unique ecosystem of pristine coastline and magnificent scenery. Keep an eye out for hippopotami, and maybe see one of the estimated 1,000 crocodiles. The Park also has wildlife like lions, zebra, elephants, leopards, giraffes, black and white rhinos, and fish eagles. Next, immerse yourself in the DumaZulu Cultural Village in the heart of Zululand. Experience a village depicting traditional Zulu culture, with beehive huts arranged in a circle around a cattle kraal. Enjoy a welcome from a local guide who will explain the traditions and customs of the Zulu people including basket-weaving, and spear and shield-making. Feel free to purchase some decorative beadwork from the locals. View the village Sangoma perform traditional bone throwing, dancing, and singing, before making the journey back to Durban.

3-Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve & St. Lucia Safari

9. 3-Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve & St. Lucia Safari

Be on the lookout for the Big 5 at the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve. Enjoy closed-vehicle guided game drives and a boat trip on Lake St. Lucia on this 3-day, 2-night African safari. Detailed Itinerary Day 1 You’ll be picked up at your Durban area accommodation at 07:00 and begin the 3-hour drive to Hluhluwe Umfolozi, where your guide will provide information on the history of the area. Enter the site and enjoy a slow game drive to the camp, as you learn about wildlife in the area. You’ll arrive at the camp at approximately 13:00, in time for lunch. Your guide will assist you with check-in and show you your room. You’ll have the choice of taking the optional night drive from 17:00-20:00 (additional fee). If not, you’ll head out with your guide for a 2-3 hour closed-vehicle game drive. Dinner will be served after the game drive. Day 2 Enjoy an early morning game drive, from around 06:00-09:00, in a closed vehicle with your guide, or an optional open-vehicle drive (additional fee). You’ll return to camp for a buffet breakfast at around 09:15, and then have the mid part of the day to yourself. There is a self-guided bush walk within the camp and a swimming pool for your use. Lunch will be served at 13:30. Again, there is an optional extra night drive, from 17:00-20:00 (additional fee). If you do not choose this option, you’ll head out with your guide for a 2-3 hour closed-vehicle game drive. Dinner will be served after the game drive. Day 3 After a 07:00 breakfast, you’ll check out and go on a 2-hour game drive. Afterwards, you’ll leave the camp and head to Lake St. Lucia for a boat cruise. Enjoy a 2-hour boat cruise on Lake St. Lucia, a World Heritage Site located in Isimangeliso Wetland Park. During the cruise you’ll be on the lookout for hippos and crocodiles. In the event of foul weather your guide will take you along the estuary boardwalk instead. Lunch is next on the itinerary, followed by the 3-hour return drive to Durban, arriving at approximately 18:00.

Other Sightseeing Options in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

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What people are saying about Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 33 reviews

Great we followed the lions for 20 minutes thanks to the 4*4 going everywhere. The lions walked 1 meter from us. It was amazing. Presence of rhinos. The leopard was hard to find. We ate in the restaurant in the park which has a panoramic view.

I was really lucky to see so many animals thanks to my guide. Several families of elephants arriving in the park. It was Elephant Day! Morning in the savannah and end of the day in the estuary with hippos and crocodiles. Great ! Thanks f.

Great guide, showed us a lot of animals and explained them well, great breakfast and barbecue.

Extra half-day safari. We also did the kriger park but we saw fewer animals than in Hululuwe!

Great experience. Many animals and a top guide with lots of interesting anecdotes!