magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe
Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley, carved over the
eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world's oldest rock
formations, is a game viewers paradise. Situated in the rugged,
mountainous thornveld of northern KwaZulu-Natal, the reserve's
multitude of habitats host a spectacular array of wildlife species.
Its scenic beauty aside, Ithala's most characteristic feature is
perhaps its astonishing geological diversity. Some of the oldest rock
formations in the world are found here, dating back 3 000 million
years. With a topographic profile varying from 400m above sea level
in the north to 1 450m near Louwsberg in the south, Ithala's terrain
extends over lowveld and densely vegetated riverine valleys to
high-lying grassland plateaus, ridges and cliff faces. The area now
proclaimed as Ithala has been occupied by man for thousands of years
and there are many sites littered with stone age spear and axe heads
dating back some 20,000 years. There has even been a middle Stone Age
tool discovered by archaeologists which pushes the date back to
anything up to 200,000 years. More recently, in the last few hundred
years, with the advent of the Nguni people, iron smelting took place
in Ithala and there are a number of smelting sites adjacent to
deposits of banded ironstone which was crushed to provide the iron
ore. Ithala has provided the setting for many historic events, from
Shaka's reign and those of successive Zulu kings, to a number of gold
mining enterprises in the early years of the 20th Century. Ithala has
an excellent auto trail to facilitate visitor's game viewing, and a
notated guide booklet is available in the shop at Ntshondwe, Ithala's
superbly designed, multi-award winning camp.
visitor Entry fee R40.00 per adult R20.00 per child PLUS R30.00 per
Opening and Closing Times:
(1 November to 28/29 February) 05h00 to 19h00
(1 March to 31 October) 06h00 to 18h00
Telephone Number: (034) 9832540
Restaurant, bar, coffee shop, information centre, petrol and diesel,
conferences, day and night game drives, walking trails.
A fully equipped shop selling curios and a range of supplies.
From Shayamoya travel North on the N2 Highway to Pongola. As you
are entering the town, turn left to Magudu. Continue for about 20km
when you will turn right on the road signposted to Vryheid/Lowsburg.
About 30km later, you will see the town of Louwsburg. Follow the
signs through the town to the reserve.