Situated in the heart of historic Zululand in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve is one of only two Private Game Reserves in the region where you can view the `Big 5` - lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino, elephant and for bird lovers, nearly 430 species of birds are resident. Experience the unique richness that this peaceful part of Africa has to offer. It is a place of pure tastes and simple delights, celebrating the thrill of nature. This is the place with the sound and beauty of water falling seeps into your soul.
The Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve is host to an impressive variety of wildlife. Take a journey with us and discover the richness and diversity of this unique part of the world we call Paradise, where ‘rush-hour’ is unheard of…The unique ecosystems of riverine, wetland, lowveld bushveld and montane grassland provide the diversity and large quantity of bird and animal species. The reserve is home to the Big Five, cheetah, hippo and a vast number of plains game. For ornithologists and bird-lovers, Mkuze Falls and its wetlands are an absolute must. There are more than 400 species of birds in the area. More specifically the reserve is home to the Fish Eagle, Giant Kingfisher, Narina Trogon and the spectacular Purple-crested Lourie to mention a few.
For ornithologists and bird-lovers, Mkuze Falls and its wetlands are a haven for sightings of some of the most beautiful and spectacular birds in Africa. Below is a checklist of the species in the area.
Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve accommodation:
The Falls Lodge
The Mkuze Falls Lodge is located along the northern bank of the Mkuze River, in the heart of KwaZulu Natal. Overlooking the Mkuze Waterfall, the lodge features nine luxuriously appointed Thatched Chalets and one Safari Suite, accommodating eighteen guests in utmost comfort and style. All these rooms have a breathtaking view of the river, bush and mountains. Private plunge-pools and an outside shower provide a wild but intimate touch alongside the gratifying luxury of the air-conditioned bedroom.
The peace, scenery and style of the lodge allows for a calm atmosphere amidst the elegant decor. Relax in the spacious lounge, view animals from the wooden deck, sip cocktails in the swimming pool or recount your sightings of the day in the bar! Taste South African food with a sophisticated flair under a star strewn sky or in the boma to the sounds of tribal dance and song.
The Safari Suite
A romantic and beautifully decorated suite for anyone who would like to experience African luxury in the purest sense. Magnificent views from the private veranda, the Safari Suite is ideal for special occasions and honeymooners or those who want to experience something a little extra.
The Mkuze Falls Safari Suite consists of a spacious living and sleeping area, both with views up and downstream the Mkuze River and the waterfall. This suite has a small but comfortable and well-equipped kitchen and, of course, all the features of the other chalets like fans, air-conditioning and en-suite facilities. The adjoining private outside shower and splash pool area is spacious and secluded. The Safari Suite also has its own outside terrace with a unique view over the river. A better place to enjoy your intimate dinner will be hard to find.
Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve location:
Mkuze Falls is strategically positioned on the Kruger Park-Swaziland-Durban (N2/R66) and Johannesburg-Richards Bay-Durban (N2/R66) routes. After leaving the R66 between Pongola and Nongoma (the Lodge is signposted from both directions), you travel a further 2 kilometres along dirt road when the sugarcane fields fade away and you arrive at the main entrance of the Reserve. From there, it takes about 10 minutes to reach the Lodge.
Mkuze Falls Game Drives and walks:
Guests are invited to join the open-vehicle safaris with experienced field guides and rangers who also conduct bird, bush and game walks on request. Enjoy two game drives daily in this Private Big Five Reserve, one in the early morning where our visitors will meet for coffee and tea before going out on an adventure, returning for a scrumptious breakfast. In the afternoon high tea is served in the lounge area, which boasts an array of delightful and delectable treats, after which you are invited to join the afternoon drive. This is an exciting time as the sun slowly slips away and you may be lucky to see some of the night creatures as they start to make an appearance.
Your guide will find an ideal spot to enjoy a sun-downer which is traditionally an African safari experience to listen to the sounds as night approaches and watch a beautiful sun down as the day ends.The game vehicles are comfortable and are at a height which presents good game viewing and ample opportunities for photography.
Game and bird walks are conducted professionally and safely bringing the bush alive in a close encounter with the knowledge of the guide. The unique ecosystems of riverine, wetland, lowveld bushveld and montane grassland provide the diversity and large quantity of bird and animal species, big and small.
A complimentary Wildlife & Birdlife Checklist booklet is handed out to guests to record their viewing on the game drives and walks, this has proven to be popular as a memento of their visit with us!
The Mkuze Falls Spa:
The Spa centre is run by a fully qualified massage therapist and beautician and offers the various treatments to be pampered in private at both lodges. Nothing could be more luxurious and indulgent than to be in the Mkuze Falls paradise and have the stress expertly massaged out of your muscles.
Whether you are a business man, a bride to be or a groom or just in need of that little bit extra on your safari, there is plenty of time to be spoilt in your `busy` schedule between lazing at the lodge pool with a cocktail, going on a safari drive, reading that book you always meant to. As we say at Mkuze Falls, this is part of our `rush-hour`.
Massage reverses the effects of negative stress by bringing about the relaxation response, which includes reducing blood pressure, heart rate, respiration rate, and the level of stress hormones in the body.
Mkuze Falls Weddings:
Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve is in a wonderful location and provides a spectacular venue for private functions, whether it be a wedding, special anniversary or birthday. The venue adds an African flavour, giving your function exceptional uniqueness.
Your guests will be catered for at the Falls Lodge or Tented Lodge in comfort and style taking memories with them that would be unforgettable. Your wedding or function can be photographed in some of the most beautiful settings by a professional photographer who will capture the essence of the moment for you to treasure. A Five Star function!
Mkuze Falls Rangers:
Mkuze Falls Private Game Reserve Rangers are professional and knowledgeable about the animals and the birdlife, questions from our guests are welcome and they enjoy interpreting the ways of the wild, providing a learning experience which encompasses all aspects of wildlife and nature, from the trees, the varied birdlife, the different insects and reptiles, the plains game and of course the predators. Safety and the enjoyment of our guests are a priority.
The rangers work together with a tracker who sits on the front `tracker-seat` of the game viewing vehicle to best follow the tracks and signs of the wildlife. He can tell which way the elephant is moving or where the lion lay down in the grass and even how `fresh` the track is - it is a skill which in some cases gets handed down from one generation to another.
Above all, enjoy your game drive or walk in this wonderful reserve which is fragile and miraculous. Enjoy the majesty of the Big 5 and the beauty of all the hundreds of other species which make up this beautiful ecosystem.
- 0 to 7 days before arrival, liable for full costs.
- 0 to 15 days before arrival, liable for full costs.
- 16 to 30 days before arrival, liable for 50% of costs.
- 31 days and more before arrival, forfeit deposit.
- Variations at the sole discretion of management.
The reserve is accessed by road from Durban (3 1/2 hours drive) and Johannesburg (4 1/2 hours drive) via Pongola.
Travelling on the N2 from Durban or Johannesburg, turn onto the R66 at town of Pongola.
Follow the R66 to Nongoma and you'll find the turn off to Mkuze Falls after the turn-off to Ithala Game Reserve and Vryheid (R69).
The Lodge is signposted from both directions and is a further 2 kilometres along dirt road.
Direct flights by Federal Air to the town of Mkuze and transfer by minibus to the lodge.