Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is a scenic reserve and offers good wildlife viewing. All of the Big Five are present, but only white rhino and buffalo are regularly seen. Big cats are hit-and-miss, and elephant migrate around the park. Black rhino tends to keep to the thickets, but might be spotted at a waterhole or crossing the road. Giraffe and Burchell’s zebra are some of the more common species found throughout the park.


Weighing up to 6000 kg (6.6 tons) and measuring up to 3.3 m (10 ft.) at the shoulder, the African elephant is the world’s largest land mammal. It is characterized by its highly dexterous trunk, long curved tusks, and massive ears.

They are very common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Giraffes are the tallest mammals on Earth. Their legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet. They can run as fast as 35 miles an hour over short distances, or cruise at 10 mph over longer distances. A giraffe’s neck is too short to reach the ground.

They are very common in the Hluhlwe Game Reserve.


  • The name Hippopotamus comes from the Ancient Greek ‘river horse’.
  • Hippos bask on the shoreline and secrete an oily red substance, which gave rise to the myth that they sweat blood. …
  • An adult Hippo needs to resurface every 3 – 5mins to breathe. …
  • They are only territorial while in the water.

They are very common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


The African buffalo or Cape buffalo is a large African bovine.

The African buffalo is one of the most successful grazers in Africa. It lives in swamps and floodplains, as well as mopane grasslands and forests of the major mountains of Africa.

The African buffalo has a broad chest, large limbs and a large head.

The adult buffalo’s horns are its characteristic feature; they have fused bases, forming a continuous bone shield referred to as a “boss”.

The sparse covering of hair over the body typically ranges from brownish to black in color.

Average lifespan of the African buffalo is about 20 years in the wild.

They are very common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve


  • Zebra are part of the equidae family along with horse and donkeys.
  • Every zebra has a unique pattern of black and white stripes.
  • There are a number of different theories which attempt to explain zebra’s unique stripes with most relating to camouflage.
  • Wild zebras live in Africa.
  • Common plain zebras have tails around half a metre in length (18 inches).
  • Zebra crossings (pedestrian crossings) are named after the black and white stripes of zebras.
  • Zebras run from side to side to being chased by a predator.
  • Zebras have excellent eyesight and hearing.
  • Zebras stand up while sleeping.
  • Zebras eat mostly grass.
  • The ears of a zebra show its moodT
  • They are very  common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Wildebeest live in large herds, composed of animals of both sex and their offspring. Life in herd provides protection against predators. Main predators of wildebeest are lions, hyenas, cheetahs and African wild dogs. During mating season, breeding groups composed of around 150 animals will be created.

They are very common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

White Rhino


  1. These massive animals can measure up to 4 metres long and weigh up to 2.3 tonnes, making them one of the largest land mammals in the world, only behind the three species of elephants.
  2. Despite their name, white rhinos aren’t actually white, but grey.  They get their name from the Afrikaans word for wide, which describes their mouth which is designed to graze on grass.
  3. They have two horns, with the front horn the longest, growing up to 1.5 metres long.  The males are very aggressive and territorial, and use their horns to warn other males away.  The males also mark their territories with large piles of dung called middens.
  4. These guys are the most social of all rhino species.  A group of rhinos is called a crash and they can live in groups of up to 14, mostly made up of females and their young.
  5. White rhinoceroses are the most common species of rhino in the world, but this wasn’t always the case.  They were almost hunted to extinction and in 1895 there were only about 50 left.  Thankfully, they have recovered and there are now about 17,500 in the wild today.  They are mostly found in South Africa, but have also been reintroduced to Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe and have been introduced to Zambia, Uganda and Kenya.  Sadly, like other rhinos, they are still poached for their horns, which means that they are still under threat.

They are very common in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

Black Rhino

The black rhino is the rarer and smaller of Africa’s two rhino species. We distinguish it from the larger white rhino by its shape, diet and temperament. It is no more ‘black’, however, than its relative is white. Both species acquire their colour from the mud in which they wallow, so vary from brown to grey.

5 Fascinating Facts About the Black Rhino

  1. We also know this species as the ‘hook-lipped rhino’ from the prehensile upper lip with which it grips the woody plant stems on which it feeds. The white rhino, by contrast, has a square mouth, which it uses for grazing.
  2. Scientists have identified eight distinct regional subspecies of black rhino. Three are now extinct and only three – the eastern, south-central and south-western – still have viable populations.
  3. Africa’s black rhino population plummeted from hundreds of thousands in 1900 to fewer than 2,500 by 2000. Uncontrolled hunting was to blame – at first for trophies, and then to supply the lucrative market for its horn. This occurred mostly in China and the Middle East. Today, some 4,300 remain and the species is classed as Critically Endangered.
  4. The black rhino has the highest known combat death rate for any mammal. Some 50% of males meet their end fighting.
  5. Black rhinos may look cumbersome, but they can run at up to 56kph, turn on the spot, and wield their horn with such dexterity that they can strike a tennis ball thrown towards them.

They are rarely seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


1. Lions usually live in groups of 10 or 15 animals called prides.

2. An adult male’s roar can be heard up to 8km away.

3. A female lion needs 5kg of meat a day. A male needs 7kg or more a day.

4. The name for a baby lion is a cub, whelp or lionet.

5. Lions go on the hunt for food mostly from dusk till dawn. Female lions do 85-90% of the prides hunting, whilst the male lions patrol the territory and protect the pride.

6. In the wild, lions live for an average of 12 years and up to 16 years. They live up to 25 years in captivity.

7. Often known as the ‘king of the jungle’, most lions actually live in the savannah or grasslands. Just one population of wild forest-dwelling lions remains, in Gir Forest National Park, India.

8. Female lions reach two-thirds of their adult size by the time they are two years old.

9. Lions run at a speed of up to 81kmph.

10. Lions hunt large animals such as zebra and wildebeest.

They are occasionally seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


  • Leopards are astoundingly strong. They are pound for pound the strongest of the big cats. They are able to climb trees, even when carrying heavy prey, and often choose to rest on tree branches during the day. One reason why leopards sometimes take their prey up in the trees is to ensure lions or hyenas can’t steal them.
  • Leopards are renowned for their agility. They run up to 58km/h and can leap 6m horizontally and 3m vertically. They are also very strong swimmers
  • The leopard is the most elusive and secretive of the large felids. They are extremely difficult to trace and locate in the wild.
  • Leopards are predominantly solitary animals that have large territories. While male territories are larger than females and tend to overlap, individuals usually only tolerate intrusion into ranges for mating. They mark their ranges with urine and leave claw marks on trees to warn others to stay away.
  • Like cats kept as companions, leopards will growl when angry and purr when content. They have various vocalisations such as a rasping cough which they perform to announce their presence to other leopards.
  •  Leopards tend to have two or three cubs per gestation. Mothers refrain from wandering their territories after giving birth until their young are capable to come with them. Cubs suckle for around 3 months and are kept hidden for about the first 8 weeks to protect them from predators.
  • Leopards tend to have distinctive dark spots called rosettes, which create beautiful patterns against their otherwise light fur. Black leopards however have dark fur which makes it difficult to see the spots. They appear almost solid black and are often called black panthers.
  • During the National Geographic programme ‘Eye of the Leopard’, a wild leopard killed a baboon in order to feed herself. However upon noticing an infant baboon clinging to the dead baboon, the leopard amazingly carried the infant up to the safety of the tree to guard her from hyenas. She groomed and cuddled the baby throughout the night, caring for him/her as she would her own cub.
  • Leopards have the widest range of habitats of all the big cats. This adaptability has allowed them to survive in various different geographic areas. Perhaps the most extreme example is the amazing snow leopard which lives in the Himalayas.
  • Throughout history, leopards have been depicted in artwork, mythology and folklore in numerous countries. They are also now commonly used as an emblem in sports in much of Africa

They are rarely seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. They can run 70 mph (or 110 kph), which is as fast as cars drive on the highway. The cheetah can reach its top speed in just 3 seconds!

They are occasionally seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Hyenas are large, dog-like, carnivores.

Hyenas are not members of the dog or cat families. Instead, they are so unique that they have a family all their own, Hyaenidae.

They live in savannas, grasslands, sub-deserts, forests and mountains of Africa and Asia.

Hyenas have an average lifespan of 12 years, but they can live up to 25 years.

There are four members of the Hyaenidae family: the striped hyena, the “giggly” spotted hyena, the brown hyena, and the aardwolf (it’s a hyena, not a wolf).

Hyenas vary in size.

They are occasionally seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

Wild dog

African wild dogs hunt co-operatively, usually early in the morning and late in the night. They hunt antelopes, warthogs, wildebeest, rats and birds.African wild dogs are among the most successful hunters in Africa. African wild dog can run 35 miles per hour and travel great distances during the day.

They are rarely seen in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.


Source: Africanbookings.com