Ithala Game Reserve is a magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley, carved over the eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world`s oldest rock formations, is a game viewers paradise.
Situated in the rugged, mountainous thornveld of northern KwaZulu-Natal, Ithala Game Reserve`s multitude of habitats host a spectacular array of wildlife species.
Its scenic beauty aside, Ithala`s most characteristic feature is perhaps its astonishing geological diversity. Some of the oldest rock formations in the world are found here, dating back 3 000 million years.
With a topographic profile varying from 400m above sea level in the north to 1 450m near Louwsberg in the south, Ithala`s terrain extends over lowveld and densely vegetated riverine valleys to high-lying grassland plateaus, ridges and cliff faces.
The area has been occupied by man for thousands of years and there are many sites littered with stone age spear and axe heads dating back some 20,000 years.
Accommodation at Ithala Game Reserve
Accommodation managed by Kwazulu Wildlife and provided within the Park itself:
- Ntshondwe Camp
- Mbizo Bush Camp
- Ntshondwe Lodge
Wildlife at Ithala Game Reserve
Ithala Game Reserve’s big game species include white- and black rhino, elephant, buffalo and, notably giraffe.
The absence of lion makes for a relaxed air among these animals and other game such as zebra , blue wildebeest and a wide variety of antelope. These include impala, oribi, red hartebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck, tsessebe, common and mountain reedbuck, steenbok and grey duiker.
Predators which are not often seen are leopard, spotted hyaena and brown hyaena.
With its many perennial streams and rivers, and the frequent occurrence of cliffs and rock faces, Ithala is also the ideal haven for a large variety of birds.
Sightings of large birds at Ithala may include black eagles, lappet faced and white backed vultures, ostriches and secretary birds stalking across the veld.
Ithala Game Reserve Gate Opening and Closing Times:
Summer (November to February) 05h00 to 19h00
Winter (March to October) 06h00 to 18h00
GATE TIMES ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED
WHAT TO DO IN THE RESERVE:
- Observe all the animals and plants, both large and small.
- Some of your greatest enjoyment will come from observing the smaller fauna and flora.
- Listen to and absorb the sounds and atmosphere of the bush.
- Game reserves are havens of peace and quiet where it is still possible to listen to the birds and animals without being disturbed.
- You may get out of your car, but please stay close to it as there are dangerous animals in the reserve!
- It is advised that you would not move further than 2m away from your vehicle.
- Picnic sites have been provided for your enjoyment.
- Please do not swim in the Pongola River - due to presence of crocodiles.
Ithala Game Reserve is a malaria free area
All bookings are confirmed once payment or partial payment is received.Cancellations greater than 45 days prior to arrival = 10% of amount (min R100)Cancellation within 45 to 30 days of arrival = 25% of the amount.Cancellation within 29 to 15 days of arrival = 50% of the amount.Cancellation within 14 days & arrival date = 100% of the amount.Amending booked dates is as good as cancelling a booking if it falls within the cancellation period. Same policy applies to amending a booking.
FROM DURBAN: It is best reached via Eshowe and Melmoth to Vryheid. Then take the tarred road to Louwsburg approx. 4 1/5 hrs
FROM GAUTENG: The best approach is via Standerton, Volksrust and Utrecht to Vryheid approx. 5 hrs
FROM THE NORTH COAST: Take the main road to Pongola. Turn left to Ulundi/Nongoma (R66) and then right onto the (R69) Louwsburg/Vryheid road approx. 3 1/5 hrs
FROM PIETERMARITZBURG: Travel via Colenso, Ladysmith, Dundee and Vryheid approx. 4 hrs