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Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park – iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Durban to Durban
KwaZulu-Natal, South African
Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1: Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park
We will collect you after breakfast from your overnight accommodation in Durban (or from the King Shaka International Airport near Durban) and travel along the Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, to the “big 5” Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park where we would spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in a chalet, each with its own private bathroom/washbasin and toilet. These chalets are also equipped with a fridge.
Upon entering the gates into the park, our game viewing commences immediately.
This first evening we go on a sunset drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this reserve. This is to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the owls and nightjars.
Dinner is served after your return from the sunset drive.
Day 2: Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park.
Today will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon one of the predators returning to their day-time lair. Set in the heart of Zululand, this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation laws, where today the "big five" of African legend stalk the verdant savannah. Established in 1895, game viewing is the prime attraction.
As the home of Operation Rhino in the 1950s and 60s, the Park became world renowned for its white rhino conservation. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. Hluhluwe is characterised by hilly topography, and this northern section of the park is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Sightings of rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, and antelope such as impala, nyala and kudu are seen frequently and with the possibility of seeing lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, black rhino, hippo, crocodile, monitor lizard, hyena and antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently. These drives are conducted with your guide in his vehicle.
This second evening we again go on a sunset drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife.
Day 3: St. Lucia
This morning, more game viewing follows as we leave the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park to arrive in St. Lucia in time for lunch. We will check into our overnight accommodation and then visit the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia, heading to Cape Vidal, game viewing all the while. After a visit to the beach we would continue the circular route for a game drive before returning to our lodge. Animals that may be seen here include kudu, reedbuck, zebra, waterbuck and other antelope species, black and white rhino, elephant and on the odd occasion, leopard.
We will overnight at Lidiko Lodge (or similar).
Day 4: St. Lucia - Durban
This morning we will board a boat for a two-hour cruise on the lake in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are guaranteed to see hippos, with a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and a vast array of birdlife.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has both one of the largest estuary systems in Africa and the continent's southernmost coral reefs. In granting it World Heritage status in 1999, the World Heritage Committee noted the park's "exceptional biodiversity, including some 521 bird species". Situated on the central Zululand coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the park is made up of 13 adjoining protected areas with a total size of 234 566 hectares. Its remarkable biodiversity is a result of the park's location between subtropical and tropical Africa, as well as its coastal setting. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has its origins in the St Lucia Game Reserve, declared in 1895 and made up of the large lake and its islands. St Lucia Park was proclaimed in 1939, containing land around the estuary and a strip of about one kilometre around most of the lake shore.
After our two-hour cruise and lunch, we make our way back to Durban, arriving in the late afternoon, where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your flight.
|Hilltop Camp, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park|
|iSimangaliso Wetland Park, St. Lucia|
|Lidiko Lodge, St. Lucia|