The Zulu Kingdom is one of the most naturally diverse and beautiful places in South Africa. Why not make the most of your trip by visiting some of its attractions along the way? Read more about things to do and see en route to Rhino Ridge.
A SANCTUARY FOR SPECIES GREAT AND SMALL
Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is located right in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, South Africa’s first proclaimed conservation area. Unlike many other game reserves, Hluhluwe iMfolozi is known for its distinctively hilly terrain. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is perched on one of Hluhluwe’s many hills, with spectacular views onto the valley below.
THE HLUHLUWE IMFOLOZI PARK
The iconic Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park combines two reserves of unmistakably different character - Hluhluwe and iMfolozi. The park is South Africa’s oldest game reserve, declared in 1890 when authorities realised that white rhinos were on the brink of extinction due to hunting. In the 1950s, Hluhluwe iMfolozi’s Operation Rhino brought the white rhino back from almost certain extinction.
By 1960, every wild white rhino in the world lived in iMfolozi and Hluhluwe. Today, the reserve has close to 2,000 white rhinos, the densest population in the world.
What distinguishes Hluhluwe iMfolozi from other game reserves in South Africa is its hilly topography. Not only is it unusual to find an undulating game-rich landscape, but these same hills and mountains provide great vantage points from which to spot wildlife in the variety of bushveld, forests and open savannah below - Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is one of them.
The Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park covers an area of approximately 960 square kilometres, with altitudes ranging from 40-590 metres above sea level. The park falls within the savannah biome as the southern extremity of the Maputaland-Pondoland biodiversity ‘hotspot’, an exceptionally biodiverse area and the remarkable meeting point of six of South Africa’s eight major vegetation types. The region also boasts an unusually high number of unique ecosystems and species. Within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, there are an estimated 1200 plant species, including 300 tree species and 150 grass species.
The iMfolozi area is situated between the two Umfolozi Rivers. This side of the park is primarily made up of grasslands, which extend into acacia savannah and woodlands and into steep hilly country. The high ridges support coastal scarp forests in a well-watered region with valley bushveld at lower levels. The Hluhluwe region also has hilly topography, but is more rugged and mountainous than the iMfolozi area, with a mix of forests and grasslands.