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In The Area: Mkuze

A place of great beauty and high contrasts, Mkhuze is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers, with more than 420 bird species on record. The reserve has an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest.

A rare type of sand forest also occurs in the reserve. Two beautiful pans, Nhlonhlela and Nsumo, lie in the north and east respectively, home to communities of hippo, crocodile, pink backed and white pelicans, as well as a diversity of ducks and geese which gather in spring.

Situated in northern Zululand, this 40 000 hectare reserve was proclaimed a protected area in 1912. Mkhuze Game Reserve constitutes the north western spur of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park a recently declared World Heritage Site. The Mkhuze River curves along the reserve’s northern and eastern borders with a fine stretch of fig forest along its banks. Fish eagles swoop over the pans, snatching prey spotted from their perches in the fever trees. Other animals to be found in the reserve include Black and White Rhinoceros, Elephant, Giraffe, African Wild Dog, Leopard, Buffalo, Nyala, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala, Kudu and other smaller Antelope. Rare species occurring are Cheetah, Hyaena and Suni.

Visitors enjoy excellent animal and bird sightings from the three hides in the reserve. A Zulu cultural village in the reserve offers a glimpse of the traditional lifestyle and crafts of the KwaJobe community. Birding, game viewing and sitting quietly in the three game viewing hides are the most popular activities in Mkhuze.

Guided game walks can be booked at the camp office and these take place twice daily starting at 06h00 in summer, and 15h00 in winter. Birding in Mkhuze offers some of the best birding opportunities in South Africa and with a bird list of 420 species is excellent all year round. Guided birding walks may be booked at the camp office, and these take place twice daily starting at 06h00 in summer, and 15h00 in winter. A guided Fig Forest walk is also available and is an excellent birding opportunity. Checklists are available from the curio shop.

Guided Walks R110 p/adult R55 p/child
Guided Fig Forest Walk R130 p/adult R65/child
Game Drive R200 p/adult R100/child
Gate Times: Summer 05h00 to 19h00
Winter: 06h00 to 18h00
Telephone Number:  (035) 5739004  or 5739001 or cell  082 799 1491 

Website: www.kznwildlife.com

From Shayamoya travel on the N2 South for approx. 90km. Turn left towards the town of Mkuze. Travel straight through the town until you reach a T-junction. Turn right. The road becomes a dirt road. Continue for about 15km following the signs to the Reserve.