Ubizane is a privately owned reserve in the low-risk malaria area in the heart of Zululand and spans over an expanse of more than 1200 hectares of land, with the flowing Mzinene River snaking its way through the reserve and the abundant wildlife frolicking in the landscapes.
The reserve holds a rich and plentiful history in the Zulu kingdom, with its very name deriving from the Zulu language and meaning, ‘The place of calling’, which depicts the prominent hills of the reserve. These hills served as the Zulu’s first meeting quarter, when the chiefs gathered to share their judgements and make the ever important decisions that men of power so often make together.
To summon the people of the village to the hills, in order for the chiefs to shout out their decisions, they would beat drums and blow kudu horns to draw the people in to a ‘meeting’ of sorts. To this day, as the sun sets over the plains below, you can almost hear the echoes of those horns and the beating of the drums, as if they are penetrating out from the hill. The Ubizane hill was also a signalling ground for summoning people from across the valley from numerous other tribes.
The reserve is overflowing with magnificent creatures, big and small, and boasts some of Africa’s most renowned animals such as the white rhino, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra and the majority of the antelope species. Take away the animals and the landscape alone would be enough to draw you in, with its breathtaking views and majestic qualities, such as the fever trees and the powerful Mzinene River.
Ubizane is centrally located, with a mere 4 kilometers separating it from the well-known Hluhluwe Town and easy road access to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi National Park, which we share a close relationship with. The reserve is an invaluable location for any tourist to visit and experience wildlife like you’ve never seen it before. The location makes it a perfect stop-over for the travelers in the area that are visiting the greater St. Lucia World Heritage Site. It is also close enough to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, with a two and half hour drive to the reserve, making it ideal for overseas visitors to experience a real piece of Africa in such a close vicinity.
Ubizane’s history stretches back more than 50 years and is one of the oldest reserves in the area and one of the richest in terms of heritage and culture. The reserve was originally acquired from the local Zulu chief to be used as a cattle farm, but was later converted to a hunting farm and then into an Eco-tourism property in the late 1960’s. It is this rich history that has made Ubizane the beautiful reserve it is today. Our endeavor is to start a brand new era with renovations and restorations taking place in an attempt to try and restore some of the former glory that has stood for over 50-years. With modern technology and the vast amount of resources that we have available to us in this day and age, this fete should prove to be more than possible. We are excited about the future that Ubizane holds, by bringing in more of her history and the foundations that set Ubizane Nature Reserve up for where it is today.