Hluhluwe Umfolozi vs Kruger

Feb 12th, 2011, 05:39 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Hluhluwe Umfolozi vs Kruger

Attending a meeting in Durban the first week of August 2011, and then I think we will then visit a game park. Hluhluwe is closest, and Kruger is the biggest. There seems to be so many choices. How do I evaluate? How do I choose? Would Kruger be worth the extra travel?

We want to be more rustic and "out" than luxury and fenced. We are open to tents, hiking, and self catering. But I think we do want some guides and such. I would love to hike out into the wilderness more than a day, if possible. Is Kruger the only place to do that? I have more interest in working with a few animals than sightseeing many.

Advice? Places to check into?
JerryC999 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2011, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
We are going to both in June. Kruger is great, but we are going to Hluhluwe for their history of saving the rhino.

Kruger has some three day wilderness hikes, but the ones that get raves are the ones in the Imfuluzi part of hluhluwe-Imfolozi.. The website is awful, but kznwildlife.com (or .co.za) has the info. Hilltop camp also offers game drives in Hluhluwe. There are self catering options there.

How long do you have? If it's a week or more I'd do both for three days each, plus a travel day. If just a few days, I'd do Hilltop for a day, do a game drive or two and drive yourself around to check it out, and then a multi day hike in Imfolozi. If I camped, I'd definitely do it. It's a bit rustic for me. Mkuze is nearby, too. It's an option if you want a more laid back wilderness and birding experience instead of heading up to Kruger. The St Lucia UNESCO World Heritage Site has hippos, crocs, birds, ocean. They have multi day horseback safaris there, as well as boat sightseeing rides. Great diving/snorkeling, too.

Another option if you are interested is Tembe Elephant Park. It was a KZN park, but is now run by the Tembe tribe. Check out their webcam! It's about three hours north of Hluhluwe. It's a tented camp, but mid range luxury, not over the top. It's all inclusive - game drives and meals. Others might suggest Phinda, but it is high luxury and doesn't sound like what you want.

"I have more interest in working with a few animals than sightseeing many."
I'm not quite sure what that means?
christabir is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Imfolozi-Hluhluwe has two camps, Hilltop, with hotel-like rooms, and Mpila with permanent tents and cabins. The permanent tents at Mpila camp are wonderful -- comfortable, spacious, and equipped with everything you need. The cabins are fairly basic, but again, spacious and well-equipped. We've stayed in both, but think the tents are best. There is no restaurant at Mpila, so if you stay there, you get to (or have to, depending on your point of view) cook for yourself. It's very easy to do that.

The park has an area and exhibit devoted to the history of live animal capture. They pretty much invented it there. It's a good thing to go see during the middle of the day.

Kruger is vast, and has more ecosystems than Imfolozi-Hluhluwe, so you might see more variety of game in Kruger, especially bigger herds of antelope and zebra and buffalo. The accommodations cover a wider range too, from pitch-your-own-tent to luxury houses, and everything in between.

I love both Kruger and Umfolozi-Hluhluwe, and I agree that if you can do both, do it.

Have a wonderful time!
Celia is offline  
Feb 13th, 2011, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 813
I can't really comment on the lodges, as we stayed outside the Hluhluwe borders (at "Dumazulu Kraal", to be exact).

But I can tell you that there's quite a bit of difference between both parks when it comes to wildlife.

- Hluhluwe seemed rather small. I remember seeing housing quit a few times, while in the park. It has quite a lot of rhino, you will certainly see those. Ellies and zebrea too. But what we did not find (at all!) were big cats. No lions, no leopard.

- Kruger is huge. I think you'll have a better chance at finding cats. But lots more difficulty finding rhino.


pixelpower is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 05:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 7
Thanks for the responses. We don't have much time (about 5 days), and are coming out of Durban, which is why I am thinking about concentrating our visit, location wise, so we do not spend so much time in transportation.

What I meant by "work with a few rather than view many" was that I think I would enjoy getting a deeper and closer experience with a few animals, than just "touring" many, and checking them off a list. That I why I say that I would rather be "out there" rather then fenced and encased in steel.

I'll check this out:

"Kruger has some three day wilderness hikes, but the ones that get raves are the ones in the Imfuluzi part of hluhluwe-Imfolozi.. The website is awful, but kznwildlife.com (or .co.za) has the info."
JerryC999 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2011, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,285
Trails: Combinable if you want to go for 4-5 nights.


Prices: They don't go out with fewer than 4, but you can pay the 4 person minimum to guarantee the trail.


Just an awful website.

If you are from S Africa, get a Rhino Gold Card for discounts. If not, full price it is, plus the daily conservation fee. The prices, that just went up a lot, are pretty reasonable for fully catered trails. The 3 night trail is R3950 - about $550 US. The other ones are even less.

They sound great. If you do it, please let us know all about it. You probably won't see as many animals as you would in a car in Kruger, but being on foot around rhinos would be the most thrilling thing I can think of. I would love to try it, but the idea of a "spade toilet" is just too much for me. I can rough it as long as there's an en suite bathroom.
christabir is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 76
stay at mpila tented Camp in Mfolozi if you want the great out doors. It is unfenced and so at night you will often have hyena visiting the camp site for the scraps left over on the braais.
kimssouthafrica is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:18 AM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,735
I've been to both and it seems to me that HU would suit your needs better. We saw many different kinds of animals in both parks, but in greater numbers in Kruger. HU is closer to Durban and would not necessitate a flight to get there. The safari experience was very good in both parks. The guide we had in HU was actually better than our Kruger guide, but that was probably just a matter of luck.
shelleyk is offline  

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