The village of Hluhluwe (roughly pronounced shloo-shloo-wee) lies within the heart of Zululand on South Africa’s east coast. Surrounded by bright sugarcane fields and pineapple plantations, the village is located near the banks of the Hluhluwe River. This town is the gateway to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park – home to the largest population of white rhino on the globe.
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is renowned for its conservation efforts and covers 96,000 hectares of forested, mountainous, and rippling savannah landscape. Apart from rhino, possible sightings include wildebeest, cheetah, hyena, giraffe and the Big 5. Game aside, the park is rich in vegetation and birdlife, with over 350 different bird species calling the park home. The Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Project feeds and cares for threatened African cats, creating the ‘purr-fect’ opportunity for visitors to interact with cheetah, serval, caracal and African wildcat.
Deeper inland, the lakes are home to carefree crocodile, hefty hippo and an array of fish. The unspoilt beaches of St Lucia, Cape Vidal and Sodwana Bay are all easily accessed from Hluhluwe. The surf is popular for diving, snorkelling, canoeing, surfing, body boarding and fishing. Dolphins are frequent visitors to the bays and can be seen frolicking in the waves while the humpback whales make their slow, annual migration to the warm Mozambique waters.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Hluhluwe
When looking at a map, it may seem out of the way to get to this part of South Africa. Many travellers pinpoint Cape Town and Kruger as their key destinations to visit, and very few think of alternative locations to look for a different experience.
Access to Hluhluwe can be via Durban (King Shaka International Airport) or Richards Bay Airport. These are the best points of entry into the area if you are travelling by air.
If you want to travel by car, you have a whole range of options. KwaZulu-Natal is one of the best parts of South Africa to self-drive. Again, most travellers only ever think about the Garden Route for a self-drive holiday. Therefore, visitors often overlook this part of the country. We are letting you in on the secret because we want you to have the best time in South Africa.
Depending on where you choose to begin your journey, you can still tick off the key destinations like Cape Town and Kruger. From there, you could plan a road trip towards KwaZulu-Natal or add another stop-over, such as Eswatini. Or, we can arrange an overland transfer (if you prefer car travel but prefer not to drive). You can even plan to go in the opposite direction to visit attractions like the Drakensberg Mountains or historic Battlefields before heading up to the crescendo of Hluhluwe and its surrounding points of interest.
As you can see, the options are endless for you to get to Hluhluwe. Chat to one of our Rhino Africa Travel Experts to explore the options best suited for you!
Hluhluwe is easily accessible if you plan your itinerary correctly. Luckily for you, our Travel Experts can help you with the planning – but it is up to you to decide what kind of experience you want. This is your holiday after all!
Hluhluwe, as mentioned before, is in the centre of a few points of interest, including iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park, Lake St. Lucia, and even Durban, which is the gateway to the Drakensberg and Battlefields and of course the scenic midlands. Just including these few places is a recipe for an excellent itinerary.
What else, you ask? With the easy flight routes connecting different parts of South Africa, you can easily combine the West Coast with the East Coast of the country.
A great itinerary option is to begin in Cape Town for some time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (we didn’t say it, we were ranked this honour). Then, you can head up to Mpumalanga for a world-class safari in the Kruger National Park before heading to Hluhluwe for some downtime closer to the coast, combining more time in the bush with the beach.
South Africa is known for being a diverse country, not only for its people and cultures but also for its diversity between the different regions throughout the year. The seasons remain constant, but some regions experience cold, wet winters while others have dry, warmer winters. In contrast, where some experience hot, sunny summers, others have summer thunderstorms – a sight to see!
If you’re visiting South Africa for a diverse holiday combining some time in Cape Town along with your safari, or perhaps opting for a safari and beach combination, knowing the best times of the year to travel is important.
Typically, the South African winter falls between June and August, and the summer takes centre stage between December and February. Sub-tropical KwaZulu-Natal, home to Hluhluwe, also covers a diverse range of temperatures. Wildlife thrives in the winter when the bush is dry. For your best chances of seeing wildlife at Hluhluwe, aim to travel between July and September, touching on the cusp of the end of autumn, a dry winter, and the beginning of spring.
You could visit at any time of the year and still get a good experience; the animals are not going anywhere! You may just need to look a bit harder.
KwaZulu-Natal is virtually malaria-free. However, we cannot say that it's entirely malaria-free as there are still some spots where there is a low risk of contracting it (mainly during the wetter, rainy months). Cases are usually more north, closer to the Mozambique border, where there is a higher risk of malaria.
If you come prepared, you can easily avoid infection. We recommend you speak to your doctor about malaria prevention before travelling to a malaria area, as the following information should never replace that issued by your doctor.
The area you will be travelling to might be a low-risk malaria area, though we still recommend you take precautions. Malaria medications are not what they used to be, and there are many new advancements as far as prophylactics go. Malanil and Malarone are great options, but again discuss your options with your doctor. These are generally freely available in most areas.
You only need to take one tablet per day, and you start taking them the day before you enter the infected area, daily while you are there, and then for seven days afterwards. It's as easy as popping a daily vitamin pill. There are zero side effects for most people, and it will not prevent you from enjoying your trip. It's always best to consult your doctor, as you may have underlying conditions which would affect which medications you will need for this trip.