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South Africa Safari

Ndumo Wilderness Camp

Ndumo Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

UPDATE: Ndumo Wilderness Camp is closed until further notice.

Malachite Kingfisher
Return to Map of KwaZulu-Natal Reserves

View images of Ndumo Wilderness Camp: Ndumo Images

Proclaimed in the 1920s, Ndumo Game Reserve, (formerly known as Ndumu), is one of South Africa's oldest and most scenic parks. It is situated in northern Natal and just south of the Moçambique border. The Nyamithi and Banzi Pans, which are surrounded by beautiful yellow Fever Trees, are the focal points in the reserve. These pans are on the Pongola and Usutu floodplains and attract wildlife in large numbers. The Ndumo Reserve is not well known, even to many South Africans, as accommodation has previously been limited. Now, Ndumo Wilderness Camp has been built on the edge of Banzi Pan. The view from the camp's deck over the Banzi Pan is one of the most extraordinarily scenic of any camp in Southern Africa.

Many guests travel to Ndumo after visiting the Kruger Park and Lowveld area to experience the wonderful contrast in scenery. Ndumo complements the Kruger/Sabi Sand area superbly.

Ndumo was rated as one of the top destinations of the 'Ultimate Safari' in the March 1999 issue of Conde Nast Traveler. Ndumo Wilderness Camp is owned and operated by Wilderness Safaris.

UPDATE: Ndumo Wilderness Camp is closed until further notice.

Accommodation            For images of Ndumo Wildeness Camp, click Ndumo Images
Ndumo Wilderness Camp is in the "Wilderness Zone" of the reserve, in an area not accessible to the general public. The camp is set in the most beautiful location, and offers eight superbly appointed tented rooms with en-suite bathrooms. There is a separate pub/dining area. The entire camp is raised up on a wooden deck and linked with a walkway several metres above the ground which meanders under a canopy of giant Fig Trees.

The tents are all superbly appointed, each with a bathroom and shower en-suite. Warthog and Nyala are often encountered around the camp, feeding on the fallen figs beneath the boardwalk. Guests have the opportunity to relax around the secluded plunge pool.

Activities at Ndumo center around game drives, boating excursions, game walks and birding. Ndumo is considered by many to be South Africa's finest birding destination, and the species abound! Green Coucal, Gorgeous Bush Shrike, African Broadbill and Pinkthroated Twinspot are commonly sighted.

Black and White Rhino can be tracked on foot, as well as Cape Buffalo, Red Duiker, Nyala and Giraffe. The elusive Suni antelope is also sometimes seen. Lions are known to move in and out of the area and Spotted Hyenas are resident.

The hides provide relaxing opportunites to watch the passing parade of bird and animal life, and night drives are also quite rewarding.

Fly fishing for Tigerfish and Bream from the camp's boat is also a popular activity at Ndumo. All fishing is on a catch-and-release basis only.

UPDATE: Ndumo Wilderness Camp is closed until further notice.

Often compared to Botswana's Okavango Delta, Ndumo Game Reserve ecompasses the confluence of two river systems, the Usutu and the Pongola. Varied habitats, including expansive floodplains and rivers, dense forests, seasonal and permanent pans, and rolling grasslands, all combine to create a park with an incredible diversity of animal and plant species.

The reserve receives  plentiful water from the two rivers and attracts many water-loving birds including Fish Eagles and Pel's Fishing Owl. Some sixty percent of South Africa's bird species have been recorded in the area. Large numbers of Black and White Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Crocodile, Hippo, Nyala, Zebra, Wildebeest and other antelope species occur around the pans.

Guests may also encounter both species of Bush Babies, Porcupine, both Genet species and Civet.

Members of the Mathenjwa communityNdumo is South Africa's first successful community / parks / private sector partnership in an old (pre-1930s) game reserve. This partnership has integrated the Mathenjwa community (who live around the park's western boundary), the park's authorities and the private sector (Wilderness Safaris) into a solid and functioning operation. There is much optimism for the new South Africa if this remains successful, as all parties were historically at each other's throats.

The parks and the community jointly own the lodge (with assistance from a bank). A separate operating company then leases the lodge from the community and the parks. The community owns their shares in both the lodge and the operating companies through a formally constituted trust. This park / community / private sector model is now being evaluated for other projects in South Africa.


Return to
Map of KwaZulu-Natal Reserves          Return to Map of KwaZulu-Natal Province

For tourist information and activities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, click More KwaZulu-Natal
For further information about South Africa, click More South Africa

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