iMfolozi Wilderness Walking Trails

iMfolozi Wilderness Walking Trails

Walking in the Steps of Dr Ian Player

iMfolozi Game Reserve, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

There is something incredibly special feeling the African earth under your feet as you put one foot in front of the other on a walking trail in a pristine Big 5 wilderness where you are completely vulnerable and completely aware of your surroundings -what’s happening in that very moment… you breathe it, feel it, smell it, taste it, touch it and experience it. Time stands still as you immerse yourself completely in the moment, as you embrace and become one with the wilderness. Sometimes you really need to dig deep… it can be a very emotional experience for some as they are faced with the realization that they are so completely vulnerable, that they have to ‘finish’ the trail despite the challenges of the elements and terrain and their own personal battles that they are facing. For others it’s just the sheer joy of being out in the bush with no civilization, no technology, no demands – completely liberating. For the rest, it’s about teamwork and lightening each other’s load – learning how to spend 24/7 in each other’s company, to work together, communicate and support one another. There is a trail for everyone. We encourage you to take time out… take time to discover, appreciate and experience freedom on trail.

Imfolozi game reserve is located 270 km north of Durban, north of Empangeni and Richards Bay and inland of Mtubatuba, the nearest town. The most suitable route from the south is the N2. All trailists are expected to get themselves to and from Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park by means of their own transport.  

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park lies in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, where ancient trails lead through the thornveld and along the mighty rivers of Africa’s oldest established wilderness area. Once the exclusive royal hunting ground of King Shaka, (where the first conservation laws were put in place), this rich tapestry of natural and cultural history still beats with the rhythms of Africa. Hluhluwe and iMfolozi Game Reserves were formally established as game reserves in 1895 and today, along with the Corridor Reserve proclaimed in 1989, Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora.

Immerse yourself completely in the wilderness experience

The Hluhluwe section in the north is characterised by towering grassland hills and diverse terrain and vegetation and is exceptional for its rich variety of bird and animal life.

The iMfolozi section in the south is characterised by wide open spaces and is a natural treasure store of fascinating fauna and flora. Species include the “Big Five”- lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino (black and white), as well as blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, impala, waterbuck, reedbuck, nyala, kudu, bushbuck, steenbuck, duiker, warthog, cheetah, wild dog, hyena and many others. Over 300 bird species have been recorded here.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is famed for its iMfolozi Wilderness Walking Trails which originated in iMfolozi in the 1950s and today continue to attract tourists from all over the world. In this area the first true wilderness trails in the country were initiated.

“Operation Rhino” in the 1950s won the Park world recognition for its white rhino conservation and its specialist Game Capture unit. The Centenary Game Capture Centre pays tribute to the world breaking initiatives in Game Capture that ultimately saved the white rhino from extinction, through the medium of film shows, an excellent museum and a magnificent curio centre.

Walking in the Wilderness


  • A minimum of four participants (excluding a four night five day Primitive trail which needs six minimum) are required to be booked on a iMfolozi Wilderness Walking Trails in order for the trail to go out as scheduled. The maximum number of participants is 8 and we encourage you to book 8 people you know otherwise you will in all likelihood join an existing group to make up 8 trailists and be required to share accommodation if on Base Camp or Short Trail Camp. 
  • Catered unless stated otherwise:  Meals are simple but nutritious, and quantities provided should satisfy most appetites. The menus have been developed with input from previous trailists and satisfy the palate of the average person. If you are a vegetarian or have special dietary requirements, please notify us when making a booking we will inform the trails officer who will try to make arrangements, where possible. Alternatively, please provide suitable substitutes, particularly for dinner times when stews, mince etc. are served for dinner. 
  • No children under 16 years old permitted
  • Prices exclude Conservation Fee
  • Prices Valid 1 November 2020 to 31 October 2021
  • Please contact us for scheduled departure dates
iMfolozi Wilderness Walking Trails: Price per person
Base Camp Trail – 3 nights
Sleep in beds in dome tents on wooden decks at base camp; running hot & cold water; flush toilet; kitchen; boma
Short Trail – 2 nights
Sleep on matresses in dome tents in the wilderness; carry your own kit or arrive the day before for the donkeys to transport your kit in the morning; chef in attendance; hot bucket showers
Extended Short Trail – 3 nights
sleep on matresses in tents in the wilderness; carry your own kit or arrive the day before for the donkeys to transport your kit in the morning; chef in attendance; hot bucket showers
Primitive Trail – 3 nights
Sleep under the stars; carry your own kit and supplies
Primitive Trail – 4 nights
Sleep under the stars; carry your own kit and supplies
Explorer Trail – 4 nights
4 nights – 1st and 4th nights in base camp; 2nd and 3rd nights on primitive trail
*Voluntary Africa Memories Travel contribution to Trails supplies & maintenance of trails and camps for the ultimate contribution to the preservation of the Wilderness area R100

Subject to Availability – please contact us for scheduled dates.  Terms & Conditions Apply.  E&OE.