Peace and tranquillity. Plentiful wildlife. Towering cliffs, rolling hills and rocky outcrops. Grasslands, marshes, bushveld, woodland and dense riverine forests. Rocky rivers and crystal streams. These are the reasons Ithala Game Reserve is one of our favourite destinations.
The Ithala Game Reserve is situated in the north of Kwazulu Natal province, near the village of Louwsburg. It was established in 1972 and is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. Ithala has a fascinating history; large herds of game now roam the spaces once occupied by the San, the Zulu and the Afrikaners and years of hunting, farming and mining practices have made way for conservation and tourism.
Accommodation options range from the rustic Doornkraal camping area (tents only, for the steep, winding road leading to the reserve cannot be negotiated with a caravan in tow) to the self-catering chalets in Ntshondwe Camp, the exclusive Thalu, Mbizo and Mhlangeni bush camps, and the luxurious Ntshondwe Lodge. Most of the roads are well maintained gravel loops, connecting the camps to neat picnic spots and spectacular lookout-points.
The spectrum of big game to be found at Ithala puts many more well-known game reserves to shame while the diverse habitats of Ithala harbour many special bird species – more than 300 species have been recorded here and the reserve is well known for the impressive variety of raptors to be found.
Ithala’s biggest draw card however is its impressive landscapes and awe-inspiring scenery – you’ll be hooked the moment you set foot here.