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is located in the Natal Northeast
region of KwaZulu Natal
in South Africa
The modest town of Pongola is just south of the border with Swaziland
, in an area which contains a number of modestly interesting and generally very well priced wildlife reserves. These lodges most commonly feature in self-drive trips passing from Kruger
in the north, through Swaziland
and on to the Elephant Coast
and stops further south.
Pongola Game Reserve ... is situated at the main road entrance to southern Swaziland and is centred on a very large dam. The area has some good wildlife populations including elephants and rhinos, but no large predators. There is a good range of safari and water activities on offer, certainly enough to keep non-fishermen interested for a couple or more days ...White Elephant Lodge
... is definitely the best option in the area, a relatively upmarket option on the western side of the lake.
Amakhosi Reserve ... is an excellent private wildlife area, rather more off the beaten track in the mountains to the south of Pongola, with the full range of wildlife and some very attractive accommodation options ...AmaKhosi Safari Lodge
... is the main facility on the reserve, a high-end place with several very nice suite rooms.AmaKhosi Isisgodlo Villa
... is a really very pleasant private safari house close by to the main lodge.
Ithala Game Reserve is a substantial conservation area which extends to around 400 square kilometres of mixed terrain, varying from open grasslands of the east to narrower river valleys of the west and crossed by ranges of dramatic granite hills, all leading northwards down to the Pongola River. Although elephants, rhinos and cheetahs are present, on the whole the wildlife is relatively elusive. This is more the kind of place that you can spend time out on foot, tracking and birding, stopping off for picnics and swimming in rock pools.
All of the accommodation here is operated by the parks authority.