Ithala Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal

Reconnect with the rugged African bush

This underrated, malaria-free reserve is in KwaZulu-Natal. Around 5 hours’ drive from Joburg, the diverse scenery of the area is unmatched – expect lush savannah plains, densely treed valleys, and soaring cliff faces. The scenic picnic spots and viewing points dotted throughout the reserve are perfect for leg-stretching and photo-taking between game drives. Although there are no lion in the park, there are many herds of impala, eland, zebra, giraffe, and wildebeest. Plus the rest of the Big 5 are well represented.

Ithala Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal Photo Gallery

To make the most of the reserve, it’s best to go in a 4×4 with high clearance. ACCOMMODATION From camping to a luxe lodge, there’s something for everyone at Ithala, but we recommend booking the unfenced Mhlangeni Bush Camp. Set among imposing boulders on top of a koppie, the complex of wooden buildings overlooks the valley and plains below. The secluded camp chalets, making it ideal for a getaway with family or friends.

The self-catering space is rustic and there are no plug points, but solar-powered lamps and gas appliances mean you’ll have light and plenty of hot water. Simply set yourself up on the deck with a good book and a G&T, and wait for the game to come to you. Once you’re done relaxing, make sure you book a guided weather’s good you can even swim in some of the rock pools along the way. BOOK IT Book the whole camp twin-bed units). Includes daily cleaning services; see for more info.

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