The last significant numbers of white (square lipped) rhino were to be found in this lovely wilderness at the time the area was proclaimed a game reserve in 1897. Today, thanks to zealous protection by the rangers, the rhinos have multiplied and are exported annually to other reserves to prevent them exceeding the carrying capacity of the area.
Umfolozi is a tropical wilderness of undulating, bush-covered hills between two branches of the great Mfolozi River. Apart from rhinos, the reserve also carries various antelopes, giraffe, baboons, leopards, cheetahs and a remarkable group of lions.
In 1958, motivated by some unknown factor, a male lion crossed 300km of uninhabited land from Mozambique to Umfolozi Game Reserve. Although he was hunted by trigger-happy poachers, he reached Umfolozi safely.
The arrival of this lone lion was by itself remarkable, but what was even more amazing was that after several years of a solitary existence, he was joined by a group of females. The result was (and still is) a healthy and happy lion population in Umfolozi.