Pongola Nature Reserve

Pongola Nature Reserve was first proclaimed in 1894 and is the second oldest reserve in the world and the oldest in South Africa

KwaZulu Natal Game and Nature ReservesThe Pongola Nature Reserve

The Pongola Nature Reserve was first proclaimed in 1894 and is the second oldest reserve in the world and the oldest in South Africa.

Pongola Nature Reserve is a sanctuary to a large variety of wildlife, including elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, hyena, buffalo, rhino and leopard. Exactly 100 years ago after the last sighting of elephant in the Pongola area, two breeding herds were reintroduced.

Pongola Nature Reserve is a co-operative conservation project between private landowners, tribal communities and government conservation services, and forms the heart of a large ecological and socio-economically viable "Big Five" reserve. Allied to this quest, the "Space for Elephant" Foundation has been formed to realise the goal of a biosphere large enough to viably sustain an elephant population of a thousand elephants and allow the re-establishment of the ancient elephant migration routes.

In 1817, the white rhino had been hunted so excessively that only 30 rhino remained. But, through committed conservation projects, the white rhinoceros is back from the brink. Since the 1960's, the population has increased significantly and to date over 3000 rhino have been successfully translocated to numerous game reserves in South Africa.

The Pongola Nature Reserve's 'Golela' section, under control of Kwazulu Natal Wildlife has over 40 white rhino. The Rhino Walk takes place here, in the Golela bushveld (Zulu for 'gathering place of animals').

The Pongola Nature Reserve has hippo, crocodile, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala and hyena, amongst others. There are also more than 350 bird species. Of particular interest among plant species are the abundant cycads in the mountains. There are at least 25 indigenous fish species, 60 species of mammals and close to 100 species of reptiles and amphibia.

Rare or endangered animals include the honey badger and wild dog.

Recommended Accommodation in and near Pongola Nature Reserve

Shayamoya Fishing & Game Lodge


Absorb the stunning view, as you sit on the wide wooden deck at Shayamoya’s central lodge. Panoramic images embrace the purple hued Lebombo Mountains, the curves of the Pongola River as it enters the Lake Jozini and the bushveld of the Pongolo Game Reserve...

More info and contact details: Shayamoya Tiger Fishing & Game Lodge

Pakamisa Private Game Reserve


Eight spacious, tastefully-decorated suites offer the highest standards for comfort and complete relaxation. Each suite, comprising a double bedroom, lounge, deluxe-bathroom (bath, shower, two basins and separate toilet), wardrobe and own veranda, is fully...

More info and contact details: Pakamisa Private Game Reserve

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Did you know?

Amatikulu Nature Reserve is open daily from 07h00 to 17h00 and an entrance fee is payable at the gates.

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