Close to the Swaziland border, Ithala (sometimes spelled "Itala"), founded in 1972 and run by KZN Wildlife, is a rugged region that drops 3,290 feet in just 15 km (9 miles) through sandstone cliffs, multicolor rocks, granite hills, ironstone outcrops, and quartz formations. Because it's a small reserve (296 square km [114 square miles]), and has no lions, it's often bypassed, even by South Africans. The other four of the Big Five are here—it's excellent for black and
white rhinos—and you could spot cheetahs, hyenas, giraffes, and an array of antelopes among its 80 mammal species. It's also an excellent spot for birders. The stunning landscapes and the relaxed game-viewing make this area a breath of fresh air after the Big Five melee of Kruger.
Pongola, South Africa