umfolozi big five reserve ngonyama trust, zulu kingdom

The Reserve

Joining the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, uMfolozi Big Five Reserve is a 6000ha private concession that has adjoined 100 000ha great park which is the oldest in Africa, and second oldest in the world.

This private concession is land that belongs to the Chief Biyela and Chief Mthembu. The current Chieftaincies of Biyela and Mthembu both trace their ancestry back proudly to Shaka’s time. The first two five-star lodges have been named after these chiefs, descendants from Shaka’s warrior chiefs, to honour their commitment to conservation and to economic development for their people through the KZN Big Five wilderness project.

The Ingonyama Trust is a corporate body established in law and is the registered owner of various pieces of land in KwaZulu – Natal which have always historically been part of the Zulu Kingdom dating back to various Zulu kings. His Majesty the King is the sole Trustee of the land.

While the Ingonyama Trust predates the Constitution, its existence finds expression and protection under the provisions of the constitution. Firstly, the land which the Trust is the nominal owner of is administered mainly in terms of Zulu customary law. The land is divided according to clans under the leadership of Traditional Leaders (AMAKHOSI) who in turn are responsible to the King in terms of customary law.

Hence the King is the only Trustee of Ingonyama Trust.