Ezemvelo Hilltop Hotel Hluhluwe/ Umfolozi & Khula Village Community Experience
Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, formerly Hluhluwe–Umfolozi Game Reserve, is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. It consists of 960 km² (96,000 ha) of hilly topography 280 kilometres (170 mi) north of Durban in central KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and is known for its rich wildlife and conservation efforts. The park is the only state-run park in KwaZulu-Natal where each of the big five game animals can be found. Due to conservation efforts, the park in 2008 had the largest population of white rhino in the world. The first visitor camp was built at Hilltop in 1934. The reserve has a 300-kilometre (190 mi) road network.
Accommodation in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, KwaZulu-Natal’s largest Big 5 Game Reserve, is available at two large camps (Hilltop and Mpila Camps) and at a number of smaller venues. Hilltop Camp is the only one in the Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park that has a restaurant, the camp is located in the northern Hluhluwe sector of the park. All the other camps are strictly self-catering. Hilltop Camp has both self-catering and non self-catering Chalets. All accommodation booked at Hilltop Camp is now on a Bed and Breakfast or Dinner, Bed & Breakfast basis, with the option to take a package that includes dinner and or a guided game drive in Hilltop’s open game drive vehicles. Alternatively one drives oneself on the public road network.
Hilltop Camp was indeed built on a Hilltop with panoramic views over the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve, the distant rolling hills of Zululand, all the way to Lake St Lucia and the Indian Ocean in the far distance. The camp is cooler than the low lying bushveld due to its altitude, air-conditioning has been installed in all chalets. With the lofty thatch ceilings the rooms are cool in summer and warm in winter.
Our community experience…
In the heart of Zululand, WOWZULU has joined with the community of Khula Village in offering visitors a peep into rural life.
This contemporary village of 600 people lies between rich wildlife areas and Kwa-Zulu Natal’s scenic coastline near the town of St Lucia. The area is one of South Africa’s prime ecotourism destinations with iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, covering over 220km of coastline.
This area is situated between the two Umfolozi Rivers where they divide into the Mfolozi emnyama (‘Black Umfolozi’) to the north and the Mfolozi emhlophe (‘White Umfolozi’) to the south. This area is to the south of the park and is generally hot in summer, and mild to cool in winter, although cold spells do occur.
The topography in the Umfolozi section ranges from the lowlands of the Umfolozi River beds to steep hilly country, which includes some wide and deep valleys. Habitats in this area are primarily grasslands, which extend into acacia savannah and woodlands.
The Hluhluwe region has hilly topography where altitudes range from 80 to 540 metres (260 to 1,770 ft) above sea level. The high ridges support coastal scarp forests in a well-watered region with valley bushveld at lower levels. The north of the park is more rugged and mountainous with forests and grasslands and is known as the Hluhluwe area, while the Umfolozi area is found to the south near the Black and White Umfolozi rivers where there is open savannah.