Kruger National Park vs Hluhluwe Game Reserve

hluhluwe african big 5 facts

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve


Brief Information

  • Size: 2 ooo ooo hectares
  • Big 5: Yes
  • Accommodation: Yes
  • Tarred & Gravel Roads: Yes
  • Hides: Yes
  • Distance from Johannesburg: 4-5 Hours
  • Malaria Free: No

Kruger National Park was established in 1898, and is the second oldest protected / National Park in South Africa.

Managing Authority, Sanparks

Brief Information

  • Size: 96000 hectares
  • Big 5: Yes
  • Accommodation: Yes
  • Tarred & Gravel Roads: Yes
  • Hides: Yes
  • Distance from Durban: 2.5 Hours
  • Malaria Free: Yes

Hluhluwe Game Reserve was established in 1895, and is the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa.

Managing Authority, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife


Did You Know:

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is also one of the very first-established wilderness areas in the whole of Africa.

hluhluwe umfolozi wilderness area

Full Article

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve


Brief History

The park known as the (sabie game reserve) was first claimed in 1898, by the then president of the Transvaal Republic, Paul Kruger.

James Stevenson-Hamilton was appointed as the first Warden of the park in 1 July 1902, it was still known as the Sabie Game Reserve. The Sabie Game Reserve was merged with the Shinwedzi Game Reserve in 1927 (after the proclamation of the National Parks Act) and became the Kruger National Park.

Brief History

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park formerly known as the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa. Due to conservation efforts in the 50's the park know has the largest population of White Rhino's in the world.

The area was originally a royal hunting ground for the Zulu Kingdom and was officially proclaimed as a park in 1895. The Umfolozi side is situated between the two Umfolozi Rivers the Black and White. The North of the park (Hluhluwe) is more mountainous with forest and grasslands.

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve


Why and What defines the African Big 5.

Hunters hunting wildlife on foot named these animals the most difficult and dangerous animals to hunt. Hippos would have been part of these animals however they could not be hunted by foot and therefore these animals are commonly referred to as the African Big Five.

From 1990 all South African banknotes feature one of the Big 5.

Kruger National Park vs Hluhluwe Game Reserve

The Big Five are: African Lion, African Leopard, Cape Buffalo, African Elephant and Rhino's.


Kruger National Park Wildlife

Other unique Species in Kruger include

Sable, Roan Antelope, Eland and Steenbok


sable antelope kruger park roan antelope kruger park eland antelope kruger park steenbok kruger national park

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park Wildlife

Other unique Species in Hluhluwe include

Red & Blue Duiker, Samango Monkey and Pink Throated Twinspot

Kruger National Park vs Hluhluwe Game Reserve  Kruger National Park vs Hluhluwe Game Reserve

blue duiker hluhluwe Kruger National Park vs Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park has the largest population of White Rhino in the World

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Access Gates



Malelane Entrance Gate

Crocodile Bridge Entrance Gate

Numbi Entrance Gate

Paul Kruger Entrance Gate

Phabeni Gate

Orpen Entrance Gate

Phalaborwa Entrance Gate

Punda Maria Entrance Gate

Accessing Hluhluwe Imfolozi


Memorial Gate

Nyalazi Gate

Cengeni Gate


Due to Kruger National Parks mere size one has numerous access points from where one can travel. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park has only 3 access gates making it easier to navigate the entire park within a day.

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve


Kruger National Park is situated in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, while the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is situated in the KwaZulu Natal province of South Africa. Kruger Park is situated 4/5 hours from Kruger Park depending on which gate it is that you will access. HluhluweImfolozi Park is situated 2.5 hours from Durban.

south africa provinces

Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Gate Times

Opening Gate Times:

Oct to Mar 05h30

Apr to Sep  06h00

Closing Gate Times:

Aug to Oct 18h00

Nov to Feb 18h30

Mar to Apr 18hoo

May to Jul 17h30


Entrance Gate Telephone No:

Crocodile Bridge Gate

   +27 (0)13 735 6012

Kruger Gate

                 +27 (0)13 735 5107

Malelane Gate

             +27 (0)13 735 6152

Numbi Gate

                  +27 (0)13 735 5133

Orpen Gate

                  +27 (0)13 735 0237/0238

Pafuri Gate

                   +27 (0)13 735 5574

Phabeni Gate

               +27 (0)13 735 5890

Phalaborwa Gate

         +27 (0)13 735 3547

Punda Maria Gate

        +27 (0)13 735 6870

Opening Gate Times:

Nov to May 05h00

Jun to Oct 06h00

Closing Gate Times:

Nov to May 18hoo

June to Oct17hoo



Kruger National Park -versus- Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Making Sense of it All

So how do we compare Kruger National Park to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park well its easy We Don't.

Each reserve or park is unique and has or offers something different. Kruger National Park is enormous the mere size can but only boggle the mind. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in comparison is well almost 9 times smaller. However do not be fooled these parks have varying carrying capacities of wildlife. The type of topography will greatly contribute to the amount and type of grazing available. Water, yet another factor that would contribute to wildlife stocks. Therefore it is not always the case that the larger the area the more wildlife one could expect per hectare.

Kruger offers some amazing and incredible day safari's and overnight safari packages. These outings or safari's would be area specific as this would make sense due to it's size.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park one might say is more manageable and productive when it comes to sightings due to it's size. One may enter the Nylazi Gate in the South and exit in the north at the Memorial gate

Day Safari's and Overnight Safari's are also available in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Which ever park that it is that you decide to travel too always ensure that you keep to the speed limits and please obey the parks rules.

Kruger National Park:

Pros                                         Cons

  • A splendid Park to visit         Can become very busy
  • Wildlife galore                      Sightings in other areas
  • Camping is allowed              Size can be daunting
  • Restaurants available           Travel time and distance



Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park:

Pros                                         Cons

  • A magnificent Park to visit     Can become busy
  • Splendid Wildlife                   Congested sightings
  • Impressive History                 No Camping
  • Restaurant available              Travel time and distance
  • Close proximity heritage site (iSimangaliso)



Any wildlife Sightings remain Incredible no matter where they are

hluhluwe facts


Poaching unfortunately remains a severe problem in South Africa. Both Kruger and Hluhluwe have anti poaching units, these dedicated men and woman are inspirational. However the ongoing battle pursues on a day basis. Kruger's size makes it incredibly difficult to manage just imagine having to patrol 2000 000 hectares daily. Poaching over last few years especially targeted poaching of Rhino's has had a detrimental effect on numbers of Rhino. It is sad that the manner in which these animals are slaughtered purely for their Horns.

Please Refrain from buying any wildlife Curios.

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-Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park Related Info-

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