Enter Hluhluwe Game Reserve at Memorial Gate and you’ll be plunged into a scenic space where roads twist up and down hills, giving spectacular views and offering up the Big Five at the same time. Established back in 1895, Hluhluwe is South Africa's oldest game reserve.
The oldest tourist resort in KZN, it’s been superbly updated to offer a restaurant and bar – everything the sophisticated traveler could want. For my taste, the reception/restaurant area is a little too sophisticated, but luckily the chalets and surrounds still retain the laid-back feel we diehards expect of a game reserve.
Alternatively, you could walk Hilltop’s short, shady Umbombhe forest trail, take a dip in the swimming pool, or wander around reading the information displays planted here and there to teach you about birds of prey, trees and interactions with insects, spitting bugs, dinosaur cycads, bats, the fact that a fig is not a fruit, and so forth. Identification labels on many of the trees will satisfy your curiosity and send you home wiser.
A scratching post polished to a smooth finish is proof that it’s certainly popular with rhino in summer. Next to the hide is a lovely area to have a picnic in the dappled shade of black monkey thorn and buffalo thorn trees.
From here you can continue south, under the R618 and into Imfolozi, but more about that in my next post.
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