One of the ‘must see’ conservation areas in South Africa, uMkhuze Game ReserveĀ is one of the oldest in the world. Established in 1912, the park covers 38,000 ha of varied habitat, ranging from the forested banks of the uMkhuzi River, to the dry sand forest, wooded open grassland, as well as reed-beds and pans.

uMhkuze Game ReserveExploring uMkhuze Game Reserve you will find flat and undulating grasslands, with the Nsumo Pan being a large and prominent fresh-water feature.

Forests and woodlands are dominated by the distinctive flat-topped acacia tree that typifies the Southern African bush, and with the bright green and yellow barked fever trees making a striking feature.

The giant and majestic sycamore fig thrives in this area and can reach heights of up to 20m or more, forming an impressive canopy offering refuge from the African heat.

The reed fringed lake Nsumo with its colorful water lilies covering large areas provides the perfect habitat for a large array of bird-life, making uMhkuze Game Reserve one of the top 10 birding destinations, with a list of over 450 species recorded. There are a number of guided trails offering good birding, including the Nhlonhlela and Nsumo pan. Both trails will take you through various habitats. The Fig Forest walk is a popular choice and booking is required.

Lake Nsumo is home to hippo and the nile crocodile, and both hook-lipped black rhino and square-lipped white rhino occur here, along with elephant, plains zebra and more. The nyala is amongst the most frequently sighted of the antelope, and is possibly one of the best locations to observe them. The best viewing is from the number of observation hides at the various waterholes, most notably at Nsumo pan. Ideal viewing is from June to October, when the climate is at its most ideal.

Recommended activities included guided walks, guided night drives, and of course guided bird routes.

For more information visit KZN Wildlife uMhuzi Game Reserve resort.

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