The Mkhaya Game Reserve was established in 1979 by the Reilly family, the foremost nature conservationists in the area. The park was created initially as a refuge for Nguni cattle, which were close to extinction at the time. After the Nguni project was declared a success the reserve was enlarged slightly to allow more endangered species to live there.
Mkhaya is now a haven for many animals, including both black and white rhinos and rare breeds of antelope and elephants. The park covers an area of 24 square miles, which is relatively small for a nature reserve. Nevertheless, it continues to provide a safe home for many animals that may have otherwise become extinct by now.