Ndumo Game Reserve

A wetland of international importance

Ndumo Game Reserve is a small 118 km² game reserve located in the far northeast district known as Maputaland, in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. It is perhaps best known for its magnificent bird life as well as game species such as nyala, bushbuck, impala, red duiker, suni, black and white rhino, hippopotamus and crocodiles that roam the reserve’s wetlands and pans, thick bush, savannah and extensive forests.

Ndumo is a South African component of the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource area.

It is situated on the border with Mozambique where the Pongola River joins the Great Usutu River and is adjacent to the Tembe Elephant Park. Ndumo is relatively remote, being over 100 km from the closest town, and 400 km from the nearest city, Durban.

Transfrontier Conservation Area

Transfrontier Conservation Area

National Parks

National Parks

Country borders

Country borders

Ndumo Game Reserve

Ndumo Game Reserve


Our work

In partnership with local conservation agency, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, we were tasked by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development to undertake social facilitation and community consultation as part of the Ndumo Intervention Programme. This initiative aims to assist the Bhekabantu and Mbangweni communities living on the eastern border of Ndumo Game Reserve.

As a first step towards restoring the conservation integrity of Ndumo Game Reserve, consultations were held with community leaders who welcomed the collaboration between government and civil society organisations to find meaningful and long-term alternative income opportunities for the communities residing adjacent to the reserve.

A five-year project implementation plan that focuses food security, crop production, water supply/irrigation, water points for livestock, aquaculture and micro-enterprise development was drafted and approved by the relevant authorities.

Conservation Agriculture

The business plan for the introduction of commercial crop tunnels and the production of cash crops was completed in 2014, and crop fields were cleared and fenced for the planting of groundnuts.  Boreholes were sunk, water tanks erected and water points created for domestic cattle. Water to irrigate crops will be extracted from the Pongola River by way of a pump system.

Livestock Management

Dip tanks were installed and are regularly inspected by livestock management officers from the KZN Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs. These officers work closely with the local community and advise them on the use of the dip tanks and the detection of livestock diseases.


Fifteen trainees from the beneficiary community underwent an introductory 30-day agricultural cooperative training programme intended to equip them with the skills to establish and manage an agricultural cooperative. Following completion of the training, the trainees consulted with the community leadership structures and have initiated the process to register a formal agricultural cooperative with assistance from the Umhlabuyalingana Municipality. The agricultural cooperative will play an important role in all future project activities, particularly those of a commercial nature.


11 Jul 2013

College Develops Rhino Ambassador Training

The Southern African Wildlife College has, with the support of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, been instrumental...

24 Jun 2008

Mending fences

One of the issues being discussed at yesterday’s indaba between senior personnel from Ezemvelo KZN...

13 Aug 2007

Winning the battle against poverty and unemployment

Describing the area as poor with no hope of upliftment, except through conservation, Sithole said...

12 Aug 2007

Park gives power to the people

INITIATIVES often acquire more teeth when they are linked across national borders, and the same...


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