Mkhaya Game Reserve

sights / Parks & gardens

Lonely Planet review

This top-notch and stunning private reserve was established in 1979 to save the pure Nguni breed of cattle from extinction. It’s known, however, for its black and white rhino population (it boasts that you’re more likely to meet rhinos here than anywhere else in Africa and, judging from our experience, this is true). Its other animals include roan and sable antelopes, tsessebe and elephants. It’s near the hamlet of Phuzumoya, off the Manzini–Big Bend road. The reserve takes its name from the mkhaya (knobthorn) tree, which abounds here.

You can’t visit the reserve without booking in advance, and even then you can’t drive in alone; you’ll be met at Phuzumoya at a specified pick-up time – either 10am or 4pm. While day tours can be arranged, it’s ideal to stay for at least one night, and the drive in makes you feel as though you are in a wilderness paradise.