Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa is a vast expanse of true African wildlife and scenery. Giving Kruger National Park a run for its money, this park offers its own elephant, giraffe and hippo population with the added bonus of black and white rhino alongside lion and cheetah. As the oldest game reserve in South Africa, declared one by the Zulus in 1895, there is an air of history about Hluhluwee-iMfolozi, making it a simply wonderful place to be. Nearby is the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, providing stunning beaches to relax on, as well as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park where your favourite aquatic animals, such as flamingos, hippos, crocodiles and pelicans, reside in the iconic Lake St. Lucia.
Best Time To Go
Average Safari Cost
$150-$700 pp/day. Park fee: $20 for adults; $10 for children under 12
Preservation of the white rhino in South Africa, a huge variety of landscapes, Big Five, some of the most beautiful beaches in all of South Africa
Why Visit Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park?
Spanning a simply huge 960 square kilometres, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in South Africa originally began as two separate parks before merging together, forming a gorgeous natural area of South Africa which has played a crucial role in the conservation of the white rhino. Environmentalists and rhino-lovers will at once feel at home here, seeing as the park launched ‘Operation Rhino’ in the 1950s and ‘60s, playing the most major role in the saving of the white rhino from the brink of extinction.
This park is a genuinely brilliant place to spend your time in South Africa, and by paying your entry free, you’re contributing to long-term conservation which has proven effects – something that can’t be said for every place on the African continent. The rolling hills, sweeping valleys and extensive dry plains make the park versatile and tough competition for other parks in South Africa.
Pros And Cons
- Very reasonably priced
- Brilliant location
- Fantastic wildlife viewing
- Birding is brilliant in the Wet Season
- Close association with the white rhinos, unlike many other parks
- Very busy in the high season
- Accommodation inside of the park is not fantastic
- Some of the Big Five are hard to spot at times
Best Time To Go
We recommend visiting the park in the months of May through to September. This time is best for wildlife viewing as the vegetation is thinning, meaning animals can be spotted easier through the grass, especially predators. Animals also congregate at water holes, so you can head to a specific location and know someone will be there to greet you. As well as this, the park is generally very quiet at this time, except from in the school holidays, and is a great time for a romantic getaway in particular. While it’s warm during the day, mornings are chilly, so pack something warm.
It is possible to have a great time in the months of October through to March, though. This time of year is best for birding in particular, and so you can spend a lot of your time doing that during these months. You could also go hiking as iMfolozi has many great trails to follow, allowing you to make the most of South Africa’s scenery and wildlife too.
Start your African Adventure
Tailor-Made South African Safari
We constantly strive to improve our award winning safari packages each year. I believe this is the best safari package we have ever offered, providing great quality at an affordable price. We start this safari at our safari base, the exclusive Rukiya Safari Lodge located on the banks of the Blyde River in the Wild Rivers private Nature Reserve. Rukiya is not only our safari base but is also a key location for our leopard research program. Following four days at Rukiya with our team, you will visit three other game reserves to ensure you can enjoy a variety of different lodge styles and reserves to give you a comprehensive safari experience. This safari provides a perfect balance between big five game viewing and a chance to gain a better understanding or be involved with wildlife conservation. As well as opportunities to explore in the company of wildlife conservationists. Of-course there is also time for some R&R to sit back, relax and enjoy the African bush. We recommend our safari itinerary shown below, as we’ve developed and honed it over many years in keeping with our company ethos and moreover feedback from safari guests. It covers all the elements that we feel should be included in an African safari, and has received many five star guest reviews”.
South Africa Self Drive Honeymoon
Your self-drive honeymoon starts in the stunning city of Cape Town, South Africa, where you’ll spend three nights before making your way to the spectacular rolling vineyards, towering mountains and world-renowned wine estates of the Cape Winelands. From here you will drive in your own hired care along the famous Garden Route and then onward to the incredible Amakhala Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth.
Botswana Zimbabwe, South Africa ( Kruger Sabi Sands)
Three Countries Safari; Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa; Arrive in Maun Botswana and depart from JHB, Or Tambo Charter flight to Okavango Delta for 2 nights, all activities and meals, Second charter flight to Kasane for 2 nights;' Full- Day game drive in Chobe N. Park and Sun set boat cruise on Chobe River. We drive to Victoria Falls for 2 nights, Tour of the Fall, a day free to try any of the adventure activity, Flight to JHB, Mpumalanga Panorama route, 3 nts in Kruger Sabi Sands, Flight Kruger to JHB.
Wildlife And Birds
- Black Rhino
- White Rhino
- Black rhino
- Wild dog
Frequently Seen Animals
- White rhino
Birding is best in the Wet Season when the migratory birds are present alongside the other 340 species recorded at the park. Although there are not as many species at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, the facilities for birding here are impressive. Atop the Hilltop Camp is a fantastic viewpoint for spying on the majestic birds of prey, and there are several other birding shelters too.
- Pacific golden plover
- Ruppell’s vulture
- Wilson’s phalarope
- Western marsh-hamier
- Green sandpiper
- Black-bellied bustard
- Burchell’s coucal
- Crested guineafowl
- Saddle-billed stork
- Spotted eagle owl
Getting There And Safety
Please note that malaria risk is high around the year in all areas below 1,800m. To protect yourself you should avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeve tops and long trousers especially in the evenings, using insect repellents and, when required, sleeping under a mosquito net.
For more details about vaccinations, see South African Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
According to AfricaCheck, "South Africa is relatively poorly endowed with water resources and is considered a “water-stressed” country.
"However, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa’s drinking water supplies are of international standard and in compliance with World Health Organisation requirements".
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in South Africa. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.
You should pack clothes suitable for both hot and cold weather as days can be very hot followed by very cold nights. Your clothes should be in neutral tones, not bright colours. Other items to pack include: insect repellent, camera, torch, binoculars, sunglasses and sun block.
For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.