More than 420 species of birds can be found in this bird-lovers’ paradise

Grand old dame of SA parks
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uMkhuze boasts an astonishing diversity of natural habitats
One of South Africa’s oldest game parks (est. 1912), the 40,000ha uMkhuze is a spectacular section of iSimangaliso for birding and game-viewing. It is home to at least 420 avian species, as well as the Big 5 and rare species such as cheetah and wild dog – all at home in an amazing landscape of acacia savannah, rivers, pans, and riverine forest.
Ancient, enchanting forest
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A journey into the past… the fig forest guided walking trail
The only unspoilt, indigenous fig forest of its kind in Africa, Sycamore Fig Forest is situated along the banks of the uMkhuze River, which curves along the reserve’s northern and eastern borders. The forest enchants with its rich bird life and massive trees – some of which have a circumference of 12m and are upwards of 400 years old. They bear fruit all year round, providing an ever-ready banquet hall for bird and animal species.
For the birds … and the beasts
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Many famous wildlife pictures have been taken at the Kumasinga Hide
The game-viewing hides at kuMasinga and kuMahlala pans provide an all-day game show spectacle as herds of animals gather to drink at these waterholes. The beautiful iNsumo Pan is host to hippo, Nile crocodiles and a many bird species. iNsumo supports one of only two significant pink-backed pelican breeding colonies in southern Africa. Visitors can relax in on of the two bird-viewing hides next to the iNsumo Pan.
Lion Kings and Painted Dogs
Top of the food chain
Top of the food chain
The reintroduction of lion back into the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso was a scientifically designed project, with sensitivity to the environment and lion-pride dynamics all taken into account. The lions were released in stages; the first group comprised a lioness and her three sub-adult males, relocated in December 2013 from the Tembe Elephant Park. In April 2014, two young males were brought in, followed by three lionesses some weeks later. Several litters of cubs have swelled the numbers and in September 2016, three male lions were introduced from Tswalu Kalahari Reserve to add new genes and strengthen bloodlines. Key members of the prides have been fitted with satellite-tracking collars for ongoing monitoring.
Operators in the Area
Useful Information
Getting There

eMshophi Gate (Eastern entrance)

N2 from the south: Turn right at the uMkhuze sign, 35km after Hluhluwe onto the D464. Continue along this gravel road, cross over the railway line and then turn left. Continue for 8km, then turn right to arrive at the eMshophi Gate after 9km.

N2 from the north: Drive through the town of Mkuze and turn right at the T-junction. Continue along a gravel road for 6km. Turn left at the sign indicating the uMkhuze section of iSimangaliso. Continue for 9km until you reach the gate.

Ophansi Gate (Western entrance)

R22 from the north: From Mbazwana head south on the R22 for 28km then turn right onto the D820. Continue along this road for a further 14km and then turn left at the sign to uMkhuze.

R22 from the south: From Hluhluwe drive north along the R22 for 50km then turn left onto the D820. Continue along this road for a further 14km and then turn left at the sign to uMkhuze.

Gate Opening & Closing Times

Gate opening and closing times:
April to October – 06h00 to 18h00
November to March – 05h00 to 19h00
Reception hours:
07h00 to 19h00 (Mon – Sat)
07h00 to 15h00 (Sun)

Contact Details
+27 35 573 9001/4
Entry Fees

Adults: R45
Children (under the age of 12): R35
Vehicle entry charge:
• 1-5 people: R55
• 6-12 people: R80
• 13-20 people: R110
• 21+ people: R190

Community and conservation levy: R5 per person

Public Facilities

Ice, books, cold drinks and some basic supplies are available at the reception office.