Get back to nature by visiting a number of wonderful game parks in close proximity to the Dolphin Coast all offering prolific wildlife and bird life.
About 260km from Ballito, this park offers all of the big 5. Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park is also one of the oldest wildlife reserves in Africa. It is most famous for saving the rhino species from extinction and is still one of the best places to experience up-close-and-personal encounters with both black and white rhino.
A 40km drive north of Ballito will find you at the 104ha Harold Johnson Nature Reserve. With its coastal bush, steep cliffs and deep gullies, the reserve is a wonderful place to come for a day’s visit. The reserve is home to indigenous wildlife such as blue, red and grey duiker, bushbuck, bushpig, impala, zebra and crocodile. It also offers a large selection of bird life and butterflies, which makes hiking and bird-spotting a pleasurable experience.
Further north one can enjoy the beauteous wonder of the St. Lucia Wetlands. Proclaimed a Natural World Heritage Site in 1999, it is of immense ecological importance. Sit back and watch the hippos play in the water and the crocodiles laze in the sun at the estuary mouth, or take a drive up to Cape Vidal and experience wildlife such as leopard, rhino and the marine sanctuary.
About 40km north of Ballito is one of the few places in Southern Africa where wildlife can be seen feeding on forest dunes overlooking the sea. The 3km wide and 20km long reserve lies at the meeting of the Amatikulu and Nyoni rivers. This reserve is ideal for day-trippers and also offers a 4×4 trail for the more adventurous.
Hidden in the hills about an hour outside Durban is Tala Private Game Reserve. With nearly 3000ha of diverse species of bush and grass, the reserve has over 300 bird species and a variety of big game, including buffalo, rhino, giraffe and kudu.
This 300ha game park situated just outside Umhlali offers a growing population of wildlife and birdlife. Guest can enjoy game drives or hiking trails along the river. Accommodation options include tree-top tents, thatched rondavels and a farmhouse complex.
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