Rorkes Drift to Blood River

It was finally time for Pat and I to leave the Rorkes Drift Hotel and head towards our final destination, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, but not before we made a detour to visit one of South Africa’s iconic historical sites; the site of the Battle of Blood River.

Collage of Tour

Images from Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve and Blood River

Battle of Blood River

On the 16th December 1838, some 470 “trek Boers” led by Andries Pretorius, successfuly defended a laagered camp against an estimated 10,000 Zulu warriors on the banks on the Ncome River. The attack by the Zulu’s led to the wounding of just 3 defending commando’s, of which Pretorius himself was one; and the deaths of around 3000 Zulu warriors!

Blood River Memorial

Blood River Memorial

A monument of a granite wagon was erected on the site of the battle in 1947. In 1971 a laager of 64 ox wagons cast in bronze was erected, and unveiled on 16 December 1998; and it’s this site we visited.

Again it’s one of those places that you stand at and looking around can’t help but ask the question “why?”! It just seems such a lonely desolate place to have a battle.

For more about his event, have a look here.

Hlhuluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Elephant Crossing

Elephant Crossing

We left Blood River for our final destination, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. On the way there we decided to stop off for a bit of lunch at the Zulu capital of Ulundi.

It’s here that the Battle of Ulundi was fought in July 1879. We didn’t have the time to explore the battle site, and headed directly for the game reserve.

We entered at the southern most gate and slowly made our way up through the middle of the park to Hilltop Camp. Over the next few days, we spent most of our time just touring through the park, exploring the Hluhluwe side as well as spending an entire day in the Imfolozi region.

We were lucky enough to tick off 4 of the big 5, with only the elusive Leopard missing (though I did find his tracks).

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Landscape

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Landscape

On the 2nd day at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve we decided to head into the southern part of the park, the Imfolozi section. We were hoping to find some Lion.

Just before lunchtime, we came across a fantastic hide over a waterhole. We crept in as quietly as possible as we could hear quite a bit of action going on at the waterhole.

Once settled, we spent a good few hours there, being entertained by Impala, Nyala, Warthog, Zebra, Wildebeest and a lonely Kudu… absolutely amazing to see!


After lunch we decided it was time to head back to Hilltop since the hide had now attracted more people than animals. I was feeling a little down since we hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Lion, and I was quite honestly a little frustrated. And then…


Lion on River Bank in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Lion on RIver Bank in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Yup, Lions spotted on the far side of the bank. I was so pleased I could hardly stop grinning from ear to ear fro the rest of the day!

The rest of the time spent at Hluhluwe Imoflozi Game Reserve was terrific, with no complaints at all. The list of animals seen just went on and on. The weather played it’s part perfectly, being neither too cool nor too hot with blue skies dominating the horizon!

A few more pics…

Giraffe resting

Giraffe Resting During the Mid-Day Sun

Impala Ram

Impala Ram

Blue Wildebeest

Blue Wildebeest

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Landscape

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Landscape

Cannot wait for the next one!


For many more pictures of this tour, check out our album.

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