A new one for safari enthusiasts – well, new in the sense that the lodge has been completely renovated and is under new management – is mFulaWozi Wilderness Private Game Reserve within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, just two and a half hours from Durban. And what makes this Big Five reserve extra special is the incredible story behind the land and its people.
The mFulaWozi initiative came about after a discussion back in 2010 between housing project developer Barry Theunissen and iNkosi Mthembu of the Mthembu community. Theunissen suggested that they establish a game reserve on the tribal land. The various Zulu chiefs of mFulaWozi, under the leadership of iNkosi Mthembu, agreed to unlock 16,000 hectares of bushveld, of which a total of 6,000 hectares have already been incorporated into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. This increased the total size of this park to over 100,000 hectares.
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the oldest proclaimed game reserve on the continent, and the mFulaWozi initiative offers huge opportunities for socio-economic upliftment of the surrounding disadvantaged communities. It’s also a major boost for the tourism industry as it connects with one of the most important biospheres on our planet. As the fences have come down, the wildlife has been given the freedom to roam between the parks.