iThala Game Reserve is not a reserve we travel to often which is a shame because it is one of the gems in KwaZulu-Natal. For most visitors it’s a bit far too travel too but we do stay there when we do extended battlefield tours to northern Zululand. Besides being a great destination for Durban safaris, iThala Game Reserve has a rich and fascinating history.
iThala today is about 290km2 in size with numerous animals grazing around the parks open thorn-veld. It wasn’t always this way though. The area the park is situated in was, during the late 1800’s given to a number of Boer families in recognition to their services to King Dinizulu. With the Boers establishing farms in the area the land quickly become over-grazed and many of the resident animals species became locally extinct due to heavy hunting.
The area that iThala is situated has some of the oldest rock formations in the world (over 300 million years old) and was at one stage home to Bushman people. The numerous cave in the cliff faces still carry evidence of Bushman occupation in the form of cave paintings. There’s also been many tools and implements discovered in the area dating back some 200,000 years!
Accommodation at iThala Game Reserve
Visitors today don’t have to stay in caves keeping fires burning all night long for warmth and to keep predators away, the camp has many different lodges and camps to stay in. The main camp, Ntshondwe Camp, has won the AA and Travel Award three years in a row. At this camp there is a restaurant for those not wanting to self-cater as well as bar, curio shop and small museum.
There are other camps to stay at including a luxury camp and a budget friendly trail camp, all of which are services every day.
Animals at iThala Game Reserve
The main attraction of course, is the wildlife. Although there are no lions at this park, there are leapard, hyena and jackals. The range of common animals is great, from impala to oribi , red hartebeest , eland , kudu , waterbuck , tsessebe , common and mountain reedbuck , steenbok and grey duiker and more. Giraffe populations are extremely healthy here, so healthy that they are now the game parks representative animal.
Both the black and white Rhino’s can be found in this park as well which considering the threat against rhino’s is fantastic to see.
Also found is this park are growing populations of vulture. This is great news because vultures are a threatened species in South Africa due to numerous reasons.
Vegetation at iThala Game Reserve
The vegetation found at iThala Game Reserve is also fascinating to learn about, bush typical bushveld scrub in the lowlands and amazing acacia species as well as fig trees and more. There is a great number of different aloe species found in the area.
Wildlife and Safari Tours to iThala Game Reserve
iThala is about 4 to 5 hours drive from Durban. Usually we stay at iThala when on an extended Anlgo-Zulu War battlefields tour. Staying at the reserve means we have access to the Battlefield of Kambula and Hlobane. We offer a number of options to this reserves;
- 5 Day iThala Safari Tour (with stops at Shakaland).
- 10 Day KwaZulu-Natal Tour
- 10 Day Battlefields Tour
Booking Durban Safaris to iThala Game Reserve
For more information about iThala or any of the other reserves or tour packages we offer, simply give us a call or send us an email or if it’s easier, use the contact form below.