There is no need for panic if one sees a fire raging inside the game reserve. Fires like these have been shaping ecosystems in savannahs for decades across Africa.

Fire and the herbivore animals have interacted with other factors such as soil fertility and rainfall to form the diversity of plane and animal life in the Hluhluwe game reserve as it is today. As one drives through the park you will see that the diversity of the vegetation (grass and trees) is tremendous, this in turn can support a large variety of herbivores. This vegetation depends a lot on fire and could change dramatically without it.


Every year about 30 000 hectares of the park burns naturally or by park management. This is about one third of the park. Burning done by the Hluhluwe game reserve management is not done without a lot of research going into it.

Each year certain areas will be selected for different reason of the burn. For example if there is too much sickle bush in an area then perfect conditions to get rid of this plane will be a 30km per hour wind, 30 degree temperature with 30 percent humidity. This does not happen all the time so when it does the plan of action must happen spontaneously. In these conditions a fire can easily get out of control and often does.


These fires move quickly and need to be lit in a horse shoe formation, burning towards a fire break or a road, the horse shoe shape will allow an escape route for the animals. Some years when there is a drought, there is no grass to burn, so very little burning will take place.


The advantage of burning for visitors to the park is when the new lush green grass pushes through there will be plenty of herbivores feeding on it and often the predators are not far behind.