The Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is in KwaZulu-Natal. Proclaimed in 1895, it is the oldest park in Africa. Initially two separate reserves, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi, they were joined to create a single 96 000 hectare "Big Five" reserve which is home to one-fifth of the world's black and white rhino population. Apart from the other members of the "Big 5" (lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo), its rich plant-life, grasslands and forests support a wide variety of other game animals.
The north of the park is known as the Hluhluwe area. It is more rugged and mountainous with forests and grasslands, whilst in the Umfolozi area, found to the south near the Black and White Umfolozi rivers, there are some deep valleys, but also vast stretches of open savanna.
It was here that the internationally acclaimed Operation Rhino started in the 1960's, successfully capturing and relocating white rhino to reserves within South Africa and abroad. The Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park was the first reserve to introduce walking safaris and its Wilderness Trails are internationally renowned.
The park offers a variety of accommodation and activities such as self guided walks, auto-trails and guided game drives. Being a national park, visitors are allowed to drive through the park in their own vehicle (a 4x4 is not required), but may only disembark at the official picnic sites. The viewing hides overlook pans and waterholes are particularly popular, as the enable visitors to see animals at close range and in an absolutely peaceful setting. (ITT)