Nsumo sunset - uMkhuze Game Reserve, Zululand, South Africa
Gate Opening and Closing Times:
Summer (1 November to 28 February ) 05:00 to 19:00
Winter (1 March to 31 October ) 06:00 to 18:00
Camp Telephone Number: +27 35 5739004 / 573 9001
The office is open from 08:00 to 16:30
Central Reservations: 033 -845 1000
Proclaimed on 15 February 1912, This 40,000ha Big Five reserve is a place of great beauty and high contrasts. The uMkhuze Section of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (also referred to as uMkhuze Game Reserve) is renowned for it’s astonishing diversity of natural habitats.
From the eastern slopes of the Ubombo mountains along it’s eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps, a variety of woodlands and riverine forests as well as a rare type of sand forest.
The uMkhuze River, with a beautiful stretch of fig forest along its banks, curves along the Reserve's northern and eastern borders.
This diversity of habitats means a wide variety of animal species including black and white rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, hippo, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring in the reserve are cheetah, hyena, suni, lion and leopard.
uMkuze is definitely among the top ten birding spots in Southern Africa. It boasts a list of over 450 species, a wide range of habitats, and relatively easy access to most areas.
A Birders paradise...
Birding “specials” include Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Pel's Fishing-Owl, Broad-billed Roller, African Broadbill, Flappet Lark, Eastern Nicator, Olive-tree Warbler, Rudd's Apalis, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergaard's Sunbird, Pink-throated Twinspot, African Pygmy-Goose and Dwarf Bittern.
The sand forest around Kubube and Kumasinga hides supports Crested Guinea fowl, African Broadbill, Eastern Nicator, Rudd's Apalis, Gorgeous Bush-Shrike, Neergaard's Sunbird and Pink-throated Twinspot.
Nsumo Pan has a number of hides and a pleasant picnic site where you can watch hippos. Birds include Pink-backed Pelican, Yellow-billed Stork, Goliath Heron, African Pygmy-Goose, Lesser Jacana, Whiskered Tern and occasionally, Pel's Fishing-Owl and the south side of Nsumo Pan for large colonies of Yellow-billed Stork and Pink-backed Pelican in the breeding season.
The Fig Forest walk (escorted) is best in the early morning, and birds include Southern Banded Snake-Eagle, Green Malkoha, Broad-billed Roller (summer), White-eared Barbet, Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Blue-mantled Crested-Flycatcher and Green Twinspot. Look out for Senegal Lapwing and Olive-tree Warbler at the Airfield in summer. Night drives yield a variety of owls, nightjars, plovers, coursers and nocturnal animals.
Facilities include a good network of roads, game viewing hides, guided trails, picnic sites, night drives, private bush camp, tented Safari Camp, camp site(temporarily closed), swimming pool and hunting in the Control Hunting Area (CHA). The shop sells curios and a limited range of supplies.