Hluhluwe (Zulu pronunciation: [ɬuɬuw’e]) is a small town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is situated between iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park on the banks of the Hluhluwe River. Hluhluwe is situated on the elephant coast, an area known for its national parks, natural diversity and cultural heritage. Although relatively undeveloped the area is of growing interest to international tourists and travelers. The area hosted several local and international movie productions including I dreamed of Africa and Ghost Son as well as several documentaries that were filmed in the surrounding national parks.

Timber, sugar and pineapples are intensively grown in the area, which produces over 90% of South Africa’s queen pineapples. Other agricultural crops are sugar-cane, sisal, cotton, tomatoes and chillies. Due to traditional settlement patterns and customs, activity is still low in some areas.

Hluhluwe is considered the hub of tourism in KwaZulu-Natal. The Hluhluwe area has an abundance of accommodation facilities, from budget accommodation to five-star game lodges. Hluhluwe town is a service centre to the surrounding area. The town is named after the thorny rope climber Dalbergia armata (umHluhluwe in Zulu), which is found among the forest vegetation types in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park. Up to 95% of South African pineapples are produced in this area.


The main attractions of Hluhluwe are the big 5 (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game reserve, iSimangaliso wetlands park (formerly known as St Lucia Wetlands Park), its natural diversity, Indian Ocean beaches (accessed through St Lucia or Sodwana bay) and the cultural heritage of the Zulu people.

A wide variety of activities is available in and around Hluhluwe. Big 5 safaris, diving, horse riding trails, walking trails, crocodile and snake park, canoeing, boat cruises, mountain bike trails, cultural interactions, cultural villages, curio shops.

Game drives (safaris) are either guided or possible in most nature reserves with own vehicle. Entrance fees apply when entering most of the nature reserves with own vehicle. It falls under the eMdletsheni tribal authority.


Hluhluwe annually hosts the RIS Hluhluwe Rhino Charge mountain bike race, part of the Big 5 mountain bike challenge, a returning event where hundreds of riders gather during race weekend to challenge one of the most diverse and in some parts technical terrain in the big 5 mountain bike series.

In 2013, after a few years of absence, Hluhluwe was the stage of the Bell 400, the national off-road motorcycle and quad bike race, it is currently unknown if the Bell 400 will return to Hluhluwe.

source: wikipedia

Hluhluwe Area

Hluhluwe is a small town, perhaps better described as a charming village that is tucked away in the heart of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Still, it is accessible and conveniently placed, being close to the N2 national motorway.

Despite its being small, Hluhluwe remains one of the province’s most important tourist hotspots. This is due largely to its being idyllically placed along the Elephant Coast. This stretch of the South African coastline is a veritable retreat, a wonderland of wetlands and reserves, home to an enormous variety of fauna and flora. Two of the most significant reserves found in this area include the iSimangaliso Wetland Park (home to the largest estuarine system on the continent) and the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park (established in 1895, this is the oldest game reserve in South Africa).


Areas like this showcase the splendour of Africa, and its plant and animal species. The town of Hluhluwe is well serviced, with all of the necessary facilities and amenities necessary for visitors and locals alike. There are a number of restaurants and retail outlets, as well as a tourist information centre that will provide visitors with information and suggestions on what to do and see.


Because of its convenient location, Hluhluwe is a great base from which to explore the local countryside and attractions. This region boasts the Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinos), as well as a number of hiking and walking trails, horse riding trails, cultural villages, curio shops and game drive opportunities. Being situated on the banks of the Hluhluwe River, this town boasts spectacular views and scenic vistas that are nothing short of breath-taking. The beaches of St Lucia and Sodwana Bay are also nearby.


These are popular amongst locals as well as visitors from around the world that want to take advantage of the warm waters and pretty shores. This region was once inhabited by ancient Zulu tribes, who lived off the land and fought hard for their territory. The heritage and culture of these folk continue to transcend modern development and the busy pace of life, giving Hluhluwe and its surrounds a very special character. Visitors will, no doubt, delight in being a small part of this history and the identity that it has moulded over time, learning about the people and the place.


Hluhluwe is only two hours’ drive from Durban, the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal, and six hours from Johannesburg, the epicenter of South Africa’s commercial, retail and entertainment industries.