Gateways to the Park are the towns of Hluhluwe (pronounced Shloo Shloowee) and Mtubatuba, all of them easily accessible from the N2, which runs all along the east coast of South Africa. It connects the park with nearby Durban, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Swaziland.
Follow the N2 north from Durban and turn west at Mtubatuba. About 30 km west you will come to the entry gate to the Park.
The next larger airport is in Durban.
The next larger railway station is in Durban.
Public buses run from Durban along the N2 but services are limited so the best option is your own transport. Alternatively take the Baz Bus which runs from Durban to Swaziland via Hluhluwe and St. Lucia.
For flexibility, the best option is your own car which can be rented at St Lucia or Durban or Ballito. Avis have fantastic online deals- some from R300 per day. Alternatively, www.nationalcar.co.za; First Car rental rents out cars on a countrywide basis.
Umhlanga Explorer (tour-operating company that has countrywide representation and based in Umhlanga Rocks, ph: +27 (0)31 5613846 ) rents out cars on behalf of National Alamo/First Car Rental which has coverage throughout the country and offers great deals. Another option offered is that of a driver/guide and vehicle. It is a more expensive one but gives you the convenience of being driven there by someone who knows the region and is a pretty safe and recommended. Companies like Umhlanga Explorer will pick you up at your place of lodging (Durban and surrounding areas) and drop you off on return.
The park was formed by combining the two parks of Hluhluwe and Umfolozi in 1989 into one park of nearly 100,000 hectares. The national park has a great diversity of animals and is optimal for game-viewing. It's much less crowded than the Kruger National Park and has the biggest population and highest density of rhinos of all South African parks.
Game viewing is the thing to come for. It's worth considering a guided tour at least for one day as the rangers know where to go. There is also a trail system where several-day-hikes are available with a ranger (book ahead as they are popular)
Eat & drink
Hilltop Campsite offers some food and drinks within the park. The town of St. Lucia is a popular tourist destination and offers the broadest range of food and some pubs in the area.
- There are several camps in the park but you should book ahead at KZN Wildlife. Alternatives are the nearby towns (esp. Hluhluwe and St. Lucia) which offer various types of accommodation (from luxury lodges to budget bed & breakfasts).
- Emdoneni Lodge & Game Farm, Hluhluwe, ☎ +27 35 562-7000. Offers guests intimate and comfortable 3-star accommodation in the form of chalets and rondavels, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis, allowing guests to sample the delights of true South African hospitality and cuisine. They will arrange day trips into the Huluhluwe-Umfolozi Park for you.
- Mpila Camp. Self-catering chalets and cottages, and tented camps.
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a world heritage site and really worth a visit. Around 60 km south.
- Durban in the south
- Swaziland in the north