Spanning 23,000 hectares, the private Manyoni Reserve is one of the largest game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal and offers probably the best value big five safari experience in Africa currently. There are 8 different camps and lodges on the Reserve catering for different price points. Rhino River offers superb value and excellent guiding with down to earth accommodation, whilst Leopard Hills offers a fantastic owner operated small camp experience.
There are over 70 mammal species that call the reserve home, including the all of the Big 5. The word ‘manyoni’ means ‘place of birds’ in the Zulu language; the reserve is so-called because it has a particularly large and diverse bird population, with over 450 species having been recorded. Just like the black rhino, a number of animal species have been reintroduced to the reserve, including the African wild dog in 2014, the lion in 2011 and the cheetah in 2009.
Manyoni offers a comparable safari experience as neighbouring Thanda and Phinda Game Reserves at a much lower price point, the trade off is primarily the less luxurious standards of accommodation (3* & 4* lodges compared to the 5* offerings in Thanda and Phinda). If luxurious lodging is not your priority, then we thoroughly recommend Manyoni. Due to the high concentrations of wildlife in the reserve, wildlife viewing is excellent year round, and is best in the dryer winter months from May to September when the bush thins out.