Mpila Camp at Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve
The Ultimate KwaZulu Natal African Bush Camp experience.
If there’s one holiday we just can’t get enough of, it’s a true bush escape. The still mornings and steamy flasks of coffee, the lazy afternoon reads and the warm fire-lit evenings under the stars. We found this and more at Mpila Camp in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve.
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve
Being a short 3 hour drive from Durban, Hluhluwe is the most accessible park in the KwaZulu Natal Province. This reserve is not only one of the oldest in South Africa, this 96 000 ha park is ranked one of the Oldest Reserves in Africa.
If you are looking for a true “safari” experience that is NOT touristy, then not only does this park have the ‘Big Five’, they also have incredible landscape views of a real African bushveld which homes over 300 species of birds – a lot of which ride shotgun on some of the more popular sightings.
Once the infamous Zulu Kingdom, Mpila Camp has managed to remain humble by staying completely unfenced and uncluttered. There’s no swimming pool, lookout deck or restaurant, allowing for a real bush experience – free from the hustle of tourism infrastructure and day buses.
The beauty of an unfenced camp – is the chance of a possible 80 different species of mammals joining you on your afternoon stroll. We were joined by Impala, Warthog, Nyala, Bush Buck and a few vervet monkeys throughout our weekend.
Mpila Camp Accommodation
Mpila Camp offers the following 20 self-catering units:
2 Bed Cottage
Although slightly close together, each cottage has it’s own balcony and accompanying braai area. The cottage has an en-suite bathroom with a double/2 single beds, lounge and self-catering kitchen unit. *Number 7 is the most secluded
4 bed Cottage
These thatched cottages offer a first bedroom with 3 single beds and a second bedroom with 2 single beds (which you can push together to form a double). *Ideal for a family or two couples.
Although the cottage is beautiful, we highly recommend spending the evenings outside on the stoep/ porch. Get cosy on the outdoor furniture and watch for shooting stars and snooping hyenas.
6 Bed Cottage
These 2 houses are situated at the end of the camp offering slightly more privacy.
The safari tents each have an attached bathroom and kitchen area. The bush is slightly more dense here compared to the chalet area, so probably less chance of having frequent Impala neighbours. *Number 34 is the most secluded, located at the bottom of the camp.
Mpila Camp Activities & Services
Mpila offers very few bonus facilities. They do have a day visitor’s picnic area and a very small Curio Shop which sells various souvenirs, fire wood and snacks (no fresh produce).
The Camp offers Guided Game Walks and both sunrise and night Game Drives. The professional field guides also offer Wilderness Trails ranging from 4 night trails to short day walks.
If you’re Instragrammers like us or just average humans of today, you’ll be pleased to know there is cellphone reception. However the electricity goes out every night at 10pm so pack some torches, lanterns and make sure you charge your cameras during the day.
Join their Whatsapp Group on 071 673 0915 to find out where the best sighting are as soon as they’re spotted. We were lucky enough to spot some lion cubs from friendly reports on the group.
Get a Wildcard and pay less
In short, the Wildcard is a once off yearly fee that allows you FREE access into hundreds of beautiful game reserves, national parks and wilderness areas. For example, we bought the Couple Wildcard for R845 for the year. So if we stay at Mpila for just 4 nights we already get our money back for our entire year subscription. Then any time we enter a reserve or garden etc in the future for a random hike, picnic or camping trip, it will be for free.
Mpila Camp daily Conservation Levy:
Wildcard holder: None | SA passport holder: R105 | Foreigner: R210
Now go pack a warm flask of coffee and a handful of rusks, and get yourself to the bush.