Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a 4 500-hectare wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the conservation, protection and survival of endangered species. Picture: supplied.
Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a 4 500-hectare wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the conservation, protection and survival of endangered species. Picture: supplied.

3 places to add to your uMhlathuze, KZN bucket list

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Aug 13, 2021

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The City of uMhlathuze, on the KwaZulu-Natal northeast coastline, is home to many popular holiday destinations within easy reach of World Heritage Sites and Big Five game drives.

The city also boasts luxurious urban residential settlements and includes many central business districts such as eMpangeni, Heatonville and Richards Bay.

Visitors travelling to this land of exquisite beauty and magnificent diversity have plenty to see and do.

Mdu Ncalane, the communications and marketing manager at the City of uMhlathuze, shares three things travellers can do when they visit:

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve is a 4 500-hectare wildlife sanctuary dedicated to the conservation, protection and survival of endangered species.

The Zululand game reserve is home to matriarch Nana and the herd of elephants made famous in the best-selling book, The Elephant Whisperer.

Thula Thula has the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre for the rescue and care of orphaned and wounded animals. People can volunteer their services to care for the animals and help maintain the park.

Christiaan Du Buson, the conservation manager at Thula Thula Game Reserve, said: “The Zulu name Thula Thula literally means peace and tranquillity. We are famous for our elephant herd – seven elephants arrived in 1999 from Kruger National Park and grew to a herd of 28 elephants.

“Thula Thula is the oldest family-owned private KZN game reserve operating to the highest ethical standards, in keeping with modern conservation methods for the protection and enhancement of its indigenous and endangered species.

“Guests can enjoy a wide variety of indigenous wildlife as well as four of the Big Five, rhinos, leopards, buffalos and elephants in a unique diversity of landscapes including riverine bush, savannah and forest," he said.

Enseleni Nature Reserve

Enseleni Nature Reserve, a small reserve, is hailed as a birdwatcher and nature-lover paradise. Located close to Richards Bay, the attraction makes the perfect day outing.

Enseleni Nature Reserve manager Phumla Zulu said the Nseleni River, from which the reserve took its name, created a beautiful haven for wildlife.

“The forest that dominates the reserve is home to thriving birdlife. There are also giraffes, wildebeest, zebra, impala, waterbuck, bushpig, duikers and even hippos and crocodiles, that occupy the reserve.

“Guests can enjoy two hiking trails within Enseleni, and there are some lovely picnic spots available to relax and unwind."

eGugwini Resort

eGugwini Resort is 15km from Richards Bay. It offers an art centre, cultural museum, restaurant, art gallery, cultural village, beauty spa and a conferencing and wedding venue.

Senamile Masondo, the owner, said visitors would enjoy vibrant cultural experiences such as Zulu dances and the making of traditional beer, beaded jewellery, skirts and hats.

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