Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The province of KwaZulu-Natal is considered to be one of the most beautiful in South Africa. With such natural diversity found in the region, it is the perfect place to plan your next safari holiday. Visitors can look forward to a number of Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal during their next visit.

KwaZulu-Natal is found on the eastern part of South Africa and is the original home of the Zulu people. The largest city in the province is Durban. KwaZulu-Natal is also home to the Drakensberg Mountains and the iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

The province has an abundance of history which visitors are also encouraged to explore.

South Africa is world-renowned for safari excursions, but when it comes to South African game reserves, the Kruger National Park is the first that springs to mind. However, KwaZulu-Natal offers numerous top alternatives.

The prospect of seeing the Big 5 is possible at a few of the game reserves. Visitors are eager to see elephants, lions, leopards, buffalos and rhinos during their visit. Each establishment has their own set of specialist guides who will impart their knowledge when it comes to their surroundings.

KwaZulu-Natal has a wide variety of natural flora and fauna. Thus, each individual area of the province is unique and offers something different. The locals are very proud of the immense diversity that is found and are more than happy to show visitors around.

Home Food and Travel magazine have selected a list of the Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu-Natal for you to go through and consider when planning your next safari holiday.

Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park – Big 5 Game Park

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

When it comes to game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal, there are none bigger than the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. Located within the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the park consists of an impressive 960 square kilometers. The park is home to the Big 5 and is thus a great alternative to the Kruger.

The Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the oldest proclaimed reserve in the whole of Africa. The park is located in the northern part of the province and the towns of Hluhluwe and St Lucia are found nearby.

Hluhluwe iMfolozi is a popular stop for many tourists visiting South Africa as they are seeking an authentic safari experience. Day trips are highly popular and thanks to a number of tour companies operating in the area, guided tours are easily arranged.

The conservation efforts of the park are widely appreciated and the largest population of white rhino in the world can be found here. With over 340 species of birds in the area, this park has something for everyone. The park has on-site accommodation for visitors to enjoy as well.

Call:  035 590 1555. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click here.  Find out more, click HERE.

Pakamisa Private Game Reserve – Five Star Lodge

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Pakamisa Private Game Reserve is a luxurious stay. Located just outside the town of Pongola, the lodge is the perfect combination of elegance and the outdoors. Previously a cattle ranch, it has been transformed over the years to become the five star lodge we see today.

Although this establishment doesn’t offer any of the Big 5, it does offer an exclusive stay. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the ‘Pakamisa experience’ thanks to their selection of outdoor activities, each thrilling in their own way.

Pakamisa has an on-site restaurant which serves top quality food with breathtaking views. Located at the very top of a hill, combined with excellent service and attention to detail, it is easy to see why this establishment sees a number of repeat visitors. Read more here…

Call:  083 229 1811. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click here.  Find out more, click HERE.

Nambiti Private Game Reserve – Big 5 Game Reserve

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Nambiti Private Game Reserve is located just outside the town of Ladysmith. This beautiful reserve consists of 23000 acres of land. This game reserve is home to the Big 5 and thus gives their visitors a luxury African experience.

Nambiti is home to a number of extravagant lodges and can boast five 5 star game lodges on the premises. The variety of establishments found here allows for visitors to be able to choose which best suits their needs. Weddings can also be hosted at the lodges, further proving the beauty that they contain.

The individual lodges must be contacted directly should you wish to visit them.

Nambiti is thus the ideal getaway for those wishing for either a romantic or family getaway. Besides being able to see the abundance of wildlife found within the reserve, Nambiti is also located nearby to the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields.

Call:  036 631 9026. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click here.  Find out more, click HERE.

Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve – Big 5 Game Reserve

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Thanda Safari Private Game Reserve deserves its place amongst the Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. Derived from the Zulu word for love, Thanda offers a stunning stay.  

Not only is Thanda a five star rated establishment, it is also home to the Big 5. Visitors can expect all the luxuries one would expect from a top stay, whilst being able to on a game drive and being able to see some of Africa’s most sought after wildlife.

Thanda is understandably a popular wedding venue. The beauty of the surroundings combined with their exceptional facilities makes for the perfect combination.

Call:  032 586 0149. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click HERE Find out more, click HERE.

Manyoni Private Game Reserve – Big 5 Game Reserve

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Manyoni Private Game Reserve lies in the heart of the Zululand area of the KZN. Visitors will be able to explore their 23000 hectare reserve whilst being able to spot the Big 5 that is found on the premises.

This establishment has a strong focus on endangered species conservation and this includes the reintroduction of cheetahs and wild dogs. Manyoni are proactive when it comes to protecting and fighting the battle that is faced when it comes to the rhino population.

This attitude and implementation when it comes to conserving wildlife saw the Manyoni Private Game Reserve being awarded the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award for Countryside and Biodiversity in 2018.

Manyoni is home to a number of game lodges, each offering luxurious stays for the discerning traveler. The lodges are individually styled but manage to maintain a true sense of African sophistication.

This all round excellence that is found at Manyoni means that they are deserving of their spot as one of the top game reserves in KwaZulu Natal.

Call:  035 595 8550. Make a reservation, HERE.  Find out more, click HERE.

Tala Game Reserve – Four Star Rated Lodge

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Tala Game Reserve is conveniently located within KwaZulu-Natal. The reserve is located less than an hour away from Durban, just outside Pietermaritzburg. This close proximity to one of South Africa’s premier cities makes this establishment easily accessible and a great place for families who wish to enjoy an outdoor adventure.

This four star rated establishment’s accommodation offerings are spaced throughout the reserve, thus allowing for a private getaway. Tala is part of the Dream Hotel Group and it is considered to be one of their premier destinations.

Tala is the perfect venue to host a wedding and the team is more than happy to make those dreams come true. With four different wedding venues and being able to accommodate up to 250 people, Tala certainly boast an impressive all round offering. Read more here…

Call:  031 781 8000. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click HERE Find out more, click HERE.

Bonamanzi Game Reserve – Big 4 Game Reserve

Top Game Reserves in KwaZulu Natal

The Bonamanzi Game Reserve is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s premier reserves. Located near Hluhluwe in the northern parts of the province, this reserve is home to four out of the Big 5. The only exception being the lion which they do not have on the premises.

This does not seem to perturb many visitors who are delighted to witness the majestic scenery and animals found within the reserve.

A number of lodges and camps are available for visitors to choose from during a visit. For those who want a real authentic stay, Bonamanzi has camping sites for visitors to enjoy. There are few things better than sitting around a campfire looking at the serene beauty found around you, not to mention looking at the stars at night time. Read more here…

Call:  083 634 0895. Make a reservation, HERE. To get there, click HERE Find out more, click HERE.


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About us

Actually, Home Food and Travel offers a lot more than just reviews of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.  We also visit great destinations, receive advice from interior designers and stop to smell the roses and taste the coffee.

Our team of journalists are seasoned travels and love visiting the myriad of exciting places around South Africa.  Whether it is off the beaten track or in the heart of the top attractions of the country, we’ll be there,

Home Food and Travel advice on finding the right accommodation

So what is the right accommodation?  Well more often than not, it’s your travel budget that dictates the type of accommodation that you choose. 

Expensive is not always better.  Our team at Home Food and Travel will tell you that they have camped in areas with limited ablutions and had a wonderful holiday.  They have also spent a night in a five star hotel only to be disappointed because their expectations exceeded the experience.

The reason for your travels will also affect your choice.  A business trip requires different amenities to a beach holiday. 

Our articles, reviews and experiences can certainly help you make your decision.

Restaurants with a good mix of service, food and ambiance

To my mind a great restaurant offers three things – excellent service, great food and a wonderful ambiance.  Of these, service is the most important. 

No matter that the food is delicious and the setting delightful, poor service can ruin the occasion.  However, great service combined with mediocre meal and a plane jane restaurant can still be a pleasant night out.

We’ve eaten in restaurants that are really dirty but with incredible food and couldn’t help but give a rave review.  We’ve also hardly noticed what we ate because the setting was just amazing.

However, the best restaurants come with the best of service, food and ambiance.

Spas are the ultimate relaxation aid

How do you know when you have had a great spa experience?  The answer, of course, is when you doze off on the treatment table. 

Well that’s our theory anyway.  It also doesn’t take a grand location with enormous facilities for a spa to be really good

A small, personal spa that is owner run can result in the best massage you have ever experienced.  However, the grand spas in five star hotels offer unsurpassed facilities in an environment that just makes the stress in your shoulders and neck melt away before you even finish checking in.


You don’t have to be an adrenaline junky to enjoy an exciting experience.  In fact, what are commonly termed adventure activities usually have incredibly high safety standards and unblemished safety records.

Ziplining, bungy jumping and shark cage diving are all very safe.  It’s just that our mind tells us we are craaazzzzyyyy to be doing this.

On the road to great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities

If you’re driving, be safe and make use of all the wonderful farm stalls that populate South Africa’s open roads.

If you overhear somebody asking a lot of questions or see someone taking photos of empty bedrooms chances are it’s one of our Home Food and Travel team members.

We’re out looking or those great places of accommodation, restaurants, spas and adventure activities.

See you on the road!


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