It’s quite amazing to think that in just 2 hours drive, visitors to Durban can go from the hustle and chaos of a bustling city to the peace and quiet of a “Big-5” gamer reserve! I had two guests joining me on an overnight tour of  the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, Emdoneni and St.Lucia estuary.

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Collage

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Collage

After picking up my two guests early on Sunday morning, we headed out straight to the Hluhluwe/Imfolozi Game Reserve where we were staying overnight. The two days spent there were fantastic, the weather was hot, the sky was blue and the animals obliging (mostly!).

We got to the park at about 9:30am, and after entering at Nyalazi gate, made our way slowly northwards to Hilltop camp. The first 30 minutes or so we chatted in the vehicle about the history of the park and the area, as well as a little about what animals were in the park and what we could expect to see.

Along the main road just before the turn off to Seme Lookout we were rewarded for a patience with our first animal sighting of the day, a troop of 10 strong Chacma Baboons headed towards a waterhole. The waterhole was already occupied by a  few female Impala which weren’t all that thrilled by the Baboon visit, but soon settled down.

A little later we came across two female White Rhino with a baby rhino in tow. The two females pretty much ignored us but the baby was pretty curious and ventured really close to the front of the vehicle for a better look!

Just before lunch, we spotted some Elephant by the Nzimane river which we went after. Fortunately they seemed to have waited for us and we were rewarded with a small herd with some baby Elephant playing in the mud! After this we headed to Hilltop for lunch and then the rest of our trip which just got better!

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Collage

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Collage

On Monday morning we left the park after viewing a Spotted Hyena as well as numerous other animals, including some Helmeted Guineafowl harrasing a Slender Mongoose, and made our way to Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Center for some one on one time with Cheetah, African Wild Cat, Caracal and Serval. After a fantastic talk by the Emdoneni guides, we were able to have our pictures taken along side the Cheetah.

From Emdoneni we headed to the St.Lucia estuary where we boarded a barge for a 2 hour tour of the estuary. We spotted a lone Nile Crocodile, as well as a number of Hippo pods. A sligth breeze had started up which provided much needed relief under the bright South African sun!

All in all a successful trip!


Animals spotted…

  • African Elephant
  • Spotted Hyena
  • White Rhino
  • Warthog
  • Nile Crocodile
  • Leopard Tortoise
  • Plains Zebra
  • Chacma Baboon
  • Vervet Monkey
  • Buffalo
  • Slender Mongoose
  • Waterbuck
  • Kudu
  • Nyala
  • Blue Wildebeest
  • Impala
  • Giraffe
  • Hippo
  • Yellow Billed Kite
  • White Backed Vulture
  • Glossy Starling
  • Egret
  • Malachite Kingfisher
  • Pied Kingfisher
  • numerous other birds…

The image gallery of this trip can be found here.

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