The Umfolozi Route is situated totally within the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park (HUP).This park is one of Africa’s oldest, and is famous for the protection of White Rhino, which neared extinction only a few decades ago. Hluhluwe is covered under the Hluhluwe Route.
The two reserves, which are joined by the Corridor Reserve, cover an area of nearly 100 000ha, making it one of the larger reserves in South Africa. Its large size, range of habitats and the presence of large mammals have ensured a large number of bird species. 400 species have been recorded, making it one of the best birding spots in South Africa.
The Umfolozi section is situated at higher altitude, and is more open than the lower Hluhluwe section. Most of the reserve is characterised by rolling hills scattered with thorn trees, with riverine forest covering the drainage lines. The Hluhluwe section contains forest patches and more tropical plant species.
Raptors are one of the premier attractions, with 47 species recorded. Specials include large numbers of African White-backed Vultures, and Africa’s largest eagle the Martial, in addition to Tawny, African Crowned, African Fish, Steppe, Lesser-Spotted, and African Hawk Eagles as well as the striking Bateleur.
Woodland and thornveld specials include Purple-crested Turaco, Striped Kingfisher, Lilac-breasted Roller, Yellow-billed and Ground Hornbill, Bearded Woodpecker, Flappet Lark, Red-breasted Swallow, Grey Penduline Tit, Burnt-necked Eremomela, Bushveld Pipit, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Green-winged Pytilia and Long-tailed Paradise-Whydah.
Wetland specials include African Finfoot, Dwarf Bittern, Black Coucal, Saddle-billed, Woolly-necked and Black Stork, Pygmy Goose, Comb Duck.