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On the Elephant Coast in the northern section of KwaZulu-Natal Province lies Mkuze, a tiny village encircled by a unique ecosystem and where legends of ghostly beings, on nearby Ghost Mountain, are whispered. Mkuze borders a river of the same name with the nearby Lebombo Mountains stretching o... read more
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On the Elephant Coast in the northern section of KwaZulu-Natal Province lies Mkuze, a tiny village encircled by a unique ecosystem and where legends of ghostly beings, on nearby Ghost Mountain, are whispered. Mkuze borders a river of the same name with the nearby Lebombo Mountains stretching out into the distance. The area consists of flat treed sections, unusual sand and fig forests, and mountainous regions.
The Mkuze Game Reserve is linked to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the east and has thriving populations of both crocodile and hippo. The reserve also boasts a healthy elephant herd.
The airstrip at Mkuze allows for easy access into an area where game viewing is top of mind and attentive proprietors are geared to ensure visitors experience the best that the region has to offer. As an added bonus, Mkuze has a perfectly agreeable subtropical climate.
Top 6 reasons to visit Mkuze
1. Visit the 40000ha Mkuze Game Reserve, host to a vast array of wildlife, for a guided walk through the sycamore fig forest. An aerial boardwalk offers excellent game viewing from the tree canopy. Note that the popular hides are currently under construction. The onsite restaurant is called Rhin-o-Dino…
2. Travel to Lake Jozini for a boat cruise along this scenic expanse of water. Anglers will appreciate a battle with the fearsome tiger fish, prevalent in the lake.
3. Rid yourself of the tension caused by work-related stress at the Ghost Mountain Inn spa. The spa offers a wide range of body and skin treatments.
4. The spectacular Mkuze falls and surrounding wetland area is a magnet for birdlife, visit to spot the more than 400 bird species recorded here. There are 7 types of sunbird and 12 eagle types alone! Take along a picnic basket to enjoy the tranquillity.
5. Exciting events are always being organised at the Mkuze Country Club, from karaoke to dance parties while on weekends, the club hosts cricket games and the occasional market.
6. Arrange with your host to visit a local village to experience true Zulu hospitality along with an invite to a traditional meal and the accompanying singing and dancing rituals.
Mkuze has its own airport for chartered flights. The nearest national airport is in Richards Bay, 140km from the town. Fly into Richards Bay via one of the three international airports (Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg). Hire a car from any of the rental agencies at the Richards Bay airport or order a vehicle online. There are no formal taxis in the area. Baz Bus, the ‘backpacker’s bus service’ makes a stop in nearby Hluhluwe from where you can hire a car.
Did you know?
They say it’s the strange shadows cast by the sun that gave the name to Ghost Mountain and many locals view the area with suspicion. The Zulu name is iTshaneni, meaning ‘the place of the small stone’, its origins unknown.
The small pack of endangered wild dogs in the Mkuze Game Reserve are all fitted with anti-snare collars to prevent the dogs being caught in snares set by poachers. This ingenious device allows the dog to break free of a snare.
Visitors are asked to take precautions against malaria when travelling to Mkuze.