Amid the vast emerald-coloured mountains of Zululand, in the heart of northern KwaZulu-Natal, is the little town of Hluhluwe. Although small, this town is the centre of tourism for Zululand and an ideal spot from which to explore the game reserves, cultural villages, and natural hotspots of the region.
The town itself is situated between the world-renowned iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, making it the perfect base for those wanting the African safari of a lifetime. In addition, this part of the Elephant Coast of KZN is scenic and offers a world of things to do and see. The Elephant Coast is wild and rugged, scenic and irresistible to adventurers and families alike. It is characterised by coral reefs, sand dunes mangrove swamps, massive wetlands, and dense coastal forests that attract a variety of animals, including many birds. The Elephant Coast is a wonderland for snorkelling, SCUBA diving, whale watching and dolphin tours.
The town of Hluhluwe is the heart of activity and a popular spot for those that want to see some of South Africa’s most exciting game parks and species. Visitors relish seeing the Big Five up close on a game drive. The Big Five are the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and buffalo. However, the parks and reserves are also home to many other predator, prey and bird species, which make for excellent opportunities for wildlife photographers and those who love nature and the outdoors.
Hluhluwe is situated close to a number of cultural villages and centres, inviting tourists to visit them and to experience the traditional lives of the Zulu folk. Visiting one of these villages means meeting the people, tasting the food, seeing their traditional huts and enjoying song and dance performances. The DumaZulu Traditional Village is in Hluhluwe and offers just such an adventure.
The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is fantastic for outdoorsy visitors. It is home to the Big Five, as well as cheetah, wild dog and nyala. These magnificent animals gather around the watering holes and roam the plains in search of their next meal, giving visitors in the safari vehicles a prime opportunity to see them in their natural habitats.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park offers visitors beaches, prime bird watching, boat cruises on the estuary, deep-sea fishing, game drives, walking safaris, whale watching tours, turtle tours, and SCUBA diving. This is one of the largest protected areas in the country, making it an absolute delight to explore. It includes Lake St Lucia, Sodwana Bay National Park, Kosi Bay and the St Lucia Marine Reserve.
Other nearby attractions include:
- The white rhinoceros conservation project at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi
- Horse riding along the beaches of iSimangaliso Wetland Park
- The Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre
- The Zulu Croc Reptile Park
- The Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk