Babanango Game Reserve

Sawubona and welcome to Babanango Game Reserve

Babanango Game Reserve is a malaria-free game reserve which will soon be home to the Big 5. The Reserve – which is in the process of statutory declaration – is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s newest reserves, set on the White Umfolozi River and encompassing the beautiful Babanango Valley in Zululand. It’s a gorgeous region with a pristine coastline, rolling hills, waving grasslands, forests, rivers, mangrove swamps and cattle ranches. Zululand is also the traditional seat of the Zulu Kingdom and is just a three-hour drive or possible flight option, north of the port city of Durban, with Babanango Game Reserve being situated inland in this diverse region.

About the Game Reserve

babanango game reserve giraffe

Babanango Game Reserve is home to three lodges – Valley Lodge, Zulu Rock Lodge and Matatane Lodge. It also forms part of a proposed 22,000-hectare protected area (nature reserve), in partnership with the local community.

Encompassing mistbelt grasslands, thornveld and river frontage, Babanango Game Reserve is a bush lover’s paradise. It harbours abundant game species including buffalo, giraffe, hyena and zebra. Rhino and buffalo have recently been introduced to the reserve with the remainder of the big five being introduced over the next two years.

Animals and Activities

kudu at babanango game reserve

More than 283 bird species can be found in the region. These include endemic, vulnerable and endangered species. The Reserve is also home to an array of animals, such as buffalo, giraffe, hyena and zebra, and 32 species of butterfly.

The Reserve offers a range of outdoor activities such as game drives, birding, hiking and mountain biking. In addition, weddings, conferencing and a range of accommodation options are also available.

Babanango Attractions

Place of Heaven

As rich in culture and history as it is in natural beauty, Zululand is a world of fascinating contrasts. Zulu means ‘heaven’ in isiZulu, the local language. Time spent here bears witness to the wisdom in that name.

It’s a place steeped in symbolism and tradition. Zululand is home to many historical sites, such as landmarks, battlefields and the graves of the fallen from the Voortrekker-Zulu conflicts and Anglo-Zulu War of 1879.

Due to the sub-tropical climate, this is a fantastic year-round destination. Summers are hot and humid while winters are cold and dry. The landscape is fed by perennial rivers.

The Babanango area is a centre of agriculture and is well known for its wild places. The name Babanango translates as ‘Father, here it is’. This indicates the high hill which is a local landmark. Another famous landmark is the mighty White Umfolozi River which carves its way through the landscape.