Our Story

of mFulaWozi Private Game Reserve

Our Purpose & Values

Our purpose is to identify and protect some of the world’s most sacred assets – its wilderness.

In order to protect these bastions of wildlife and wilderness, we are empowering the local communities to understand the wilderness’s economic and ecological value and potential. We believe these same communities will invest their commitment in upholding the sustainability and restoration of this wilderness.

We are working to create and distil sustainable social systems that will allow the wilderness and its inhabitants to be engaged, supported and appreciated responsibly, not just for today but for generations to come.

We wish to respect, honour and protect this sacred place for future generations, so they can also appreciate, revere and ultimately support this wilderness of ours and not see its vibrancy and diversity lost forever. . .

Conservation

Community upliftment

Sustainability

Protecting the wilderness

Respect the legacy of the land

The Partnership

In 2010, while Barry Theunissen was at a site meeting for a housing project for the Mthembu community, he stood, overlooking the tribal land, and asked iNkosi Mthebu what he was doing with all this land. Barry suggested that he establish a game reserve, to which the iNkosi replied, “Yes, Mpunzi”. Mpunzi is Barry’s Zulu name.

There are 10 amakosi surrounding the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. iNkosi Mthembu was the elected chairperson of the lodge that was built in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park for the benefit of the 10 amakosi and their people. With a shared history, one of iNkosi Mthebu’s Indunas (captains) had worked for Barry’s father in the area.

iNkosi Mthembu contacted iNkosi Biyela, whose father had wanted to establish a game reserve, followed by iNkosi Mthetwa, Zulu, and Malaba. iNkosi Mthetwa was 86-years-old at the time. He is iNkosi Mthembu’s neighbour and lived behind the Theunissen and Rattray farm near Kwambonambi. Barry fondly recalls how he had a wealth of tales to tell about his father and grandfather. iNkosi Mthetwa’s son is around the same age as Barry.

Barry and his wife, Sonya, own a development company and have built around 24 000 houses, mostly in rural communities. Working with the National Department of Human Settlement, they created a policy for rural development, having completed three projects before the policy was drafted.

It was their wish to develop an environmental node; that they would endeavour to protect and preserve it in order to create a sustainable income for their people. It was then that the dream came to fruition. A dream that was bigger than any could have imagined.

Our History

The idea of creating this breakaway from traditional thinking will go down in the annals of history. It will be remembered as a time when multiple Zulu chiefs, all descendants of the Shaka dynasty, agreed to unlock 16 000 hectares of untouched African bushveld. To date 6 000 hectares have been incorporated into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP), increasing it to over 100 000 hectares, with plans to incorporate even more wilderness in the future. As a result of the dividing game fences coming down, wildlife now traverse freely across all the parks.

The mFulaWozi initiative will help grow the conservation footprint in Africa by increasing the size and capacity of HiP, the oldest game reserve on the continent. It will be a major boost for the tourism industry as it connects with one of the most important biospheres on our planet.

mFulaWozi is not only committed to the protection of the wilderness and wildlife, but also to the socioeconomic upliftment of the surrounding disadvantaged communities.

mFulaWozi Wilderness is the place that fostered the Zulu nation’s rise, and it is a place of immense national pride.

It is a dream coming to fruition. A dream of a wilderness that is steeped in Zulu culture, tradition, and history.

A dream that has unearthed the exceptional.

Hectares

Years of Zulu history

Chiefs

Your visit is responsible for the employment & welfare of 5 employees

Your visit will help protect 5 rhino

Your visit will help support the education of 10 children for 1 year

Conservation

Shaka Zulu conserved this land for eight months of the year to protect the endemic game. This was his hunting ground, his conservation area. Historians, academics, and conservationists have dreamed and motivated for years to establish a sustainable ecotourism node of this vast scale and importance.

This ambitious project unlocks the tourist appeal of the rich culture, history, and biodiversity of the land and its people, now and in the future. Local communities have seen the benefits of this amazing initiative, and have benefitted from their inclusion in its infrastructure, training and employment, ultimately resulting in the conservation of the wildlife and wilderness.

There is a massive groundswell of support for this ongoing project. This is one of the final bastions of our wilderness and wildlife preservation. mFulaWozi is a place of history, a place of culture, a place of wilderness and wildlife – on a scale that few have imagined seeing on this continent.

Our lodges are nestled on the banks of the White iMfolozi River, in the heart of Zululand, offering you a quiet and naturally elegant definition of space.

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