Overview – Mkhuze GR

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and is the author many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guide to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Mkhuze is one of South Africa’s little gems. It is seldom visited by overseas tourists, but popular with local birders and photographers. Several photographic shelters give close-up viewing opportunities of a wide variety of animals coming to drink in the dry winter months. Although not a typical Big Five reserve, all of these sought-after animals are present.

Best Time to Go May to September (Dry season)
High Season None (Busy during South African school holidays)
Size 400km² / 154mi²
Altitude 26-350m / 85-1,148ft

Pros and Cons

  • Good wildlife viewing with all of the Big Five present
  • Three excellent wildlife shelters
  • Renowned birding destination
  • Good facilities and roads catering to self-drive visitors
  • Reasonably priced rest camp in the park
  • The wildlife shelters get very busy during school holidays

Mkhuze Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Mkhuze offers great wildlife viewing and is home to the Big Five. Both rhino species are present, and white rhino sightings are very common. There is a constant stream of animals drinking at the waterholes in front of the wildlife shelters. These include large numbers of zebra, blue wildebeest, warthog and nyala.

Scenery

Mkhuze is part of the wetland system that makes up iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The Mkhuze River meanders along the reserve's borders with big fig trees covering the banks. A rare type of sand forest occurs in the reserve and is home to many special birds. Nhlonhlela and Nsumo are two scenic pans surrounded by yellow fever trees.

Weather & Climate

Summer in Mkhuze (October to April) is strikingly hot and humid, and thunderstorms blow in most afternoons. The hottest period involves the months around the start of the year, when it usually doesn’t drop much below 20°C/68°F in the early morning. Winter (May to September) is much milder, and the rain is practically non-existent.

Best Time to Visit

Crowds aren’t a problem at Mkhuze – the reserve gets so few visitors that it doesn’t even have a high season. But the heat and stormy weather of the Wet season (October to April) are problematic, often making game drives uncomfortable. Animals also tend to disperse in the thriving vegetation and can be hard to spot. For these reasons, it’s better to visit in the drier months, when clear skies and processions of wildlife at waterholes can be expected.

Want to Visit Mkhuze GR?

Mkhuze Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Mellow Mkhuze
3/5

If you’re into birding then you’ll love Mkhuze Game Reserve – its home to some 400-odd different species which have flourished in the park’s swamps and woodlands. For bigger mammal lovers like myself, the park has four of the Big...

Latest User Review
5/5

This game reserve is about an hour's drive north of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve and is a very good park for birding. The large water pans, when full, contain an abundance of water birds. The park also contains the big five and has...