6 Day Nkomazi – Mkuze – Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park Safari Tour
Johannesburg to Durban
Big Five South African Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1 : Nkomazi Game Reserve – Komati Tented Camp
A representative of Far and Wild Safaris will collect you from the O R Tambo International Airport or from your overnight accommodation in Johannesburg. You will ravel through the Highveld industrial, mining and agricultural areas. Our guide will make this section interesting, adding value with his interpretation of the local history and sights. We make our way to the Nkomazi Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and your afternoon / evening guided game drive. The Komati Tented Lodge is an 'Out of Africa' 5 star tented accommodation and amenities venue. Each tent has an extra large king size bed, cooling and heating with indoor shower and vanity en suite. Along with an outdoor Victorian bath on the private teak sun deck, which also has a plunge pool. Pathways lead to the main tented area, where meals can be enjoyed, whilst a treatment at the Relaxation Retreat Spa will rejuvenate and relax, (Own account). Between the game drive there is time to relax in comfort amongst the Nkomazi wildlife and varied biomes.
Day 2 : Nkomazi Game Reserve – Komati Tented Camp
Guests will be able to share in the many wonders of Nkomazi - its diversity of wildlife and habitat, its natural beauty and major geological features. Nkomazi is in an extremely interesting ecological area, with features such as the oldest and largest meteorite impact deposit on earth. We would like you to experience, learn and enjoy the very best that our African wildlife safaris can offer. In order to achieve this, we have included the excellent game viewing at Nkomazi. Your local Ranger will provide insightful and valuable information about the fauna and flora of the reserve. Waterfalls and rock pools are impressive, while rolling grasslands support large herds of free-roaming wildlife, making Nkomazi a game-viewing haven. The Reserve represents a range of Africa's biomes with the ability to support game on the high-lying grasslands and the low-lying bushveld areas, extending the species diversity which includes high profile Big Game. One of the true joys of Nkomazi Game Reserve is the freedom to do nothing at all! In between game drives, your time can be filled with reading, relaxation treatments, sun-bathing and swimming or indulging in the wholesome Lodge cuisine.
Game viewing is carried out during the early mornings and evenings by experienced Rangers. Traversing through the Reserve, the wildlife is interesting in its diversity. The game drives take between 3 - 4 hours, with a coffee stop in the morning and a sundowners stop at a scenic vantage point overlooking one of the many vistas at sunset.
The night drives are normally conducted en route back to the lodge after an afternoon game drive, the focus is then on nocturnal species, that are sought out from the game drive vehicle by use of a spotlight. Tailor made night drives can take place after dinner, in order to provide a better opportunity to find elusive nocturnal species. It is advisable to take a hat and warm clothing, even in summer. In winter, more layering, a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves are advisable.
Day 3 : Mkuze – Ghost Mountain Inn
This morning after our game drive and breakfast we depart the Komati Tented Lodge for the Ghost Mountain Inn in Mkuze where we overnight, arriving in the late afternoon. At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain lies the privately owned Ghost Mountain Inn, a perfect setting for taking time out to relax and experience the charms of Africa in comfort and style.
Day 4 : Mkuze Game Reserve – Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
This morning after breakfast we make our way to the nearby Mkuze Game Reserve.
A place of great beauty and high contrasts, Mkhuze is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers, with more than 420 bird species on record. The reserve has an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its western boundary, to broad areas of acacia savannah, large swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. Mkhuze Game Reserve constitutes the north-western spur of the Isimangaliso (formerly the Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, a declared World Heritage Site. Animals to be found in the reserve include black and white rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, leopard, buffalo, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring are cheetah, hyena and suni. Visitors may enjoy excellent animal and bird sightings from the hides in the reserve, especially during the dry months.
After our visit here we will travel directly to the Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park, a Big 5 game reserve, where we would spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. Hilltop Camp is located inside the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. The accommodation here is in brick under thatch chalets, each bedroom with its own private bathroom (bath with shower, wash-basin and toilet). Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge and tea station.
Our game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.
This first evening you will be taken on a guided night drive in an open game-viewing safari vehicle guided by a ranger from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this game reserve. This drive 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 nightjars and owls..
Day 5 : Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
This day will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon predators returning to their day-time lair.
The Hluhluwe and uMfolozi Game Reserves are the oldest proclaimed game reserves in Africa, this is where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation ruling, where today the "big five" have been reintroduced and now roam free. Established in 1895, game viewing is the principal attraction for visitors.
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, hyena, crocodile, monitor lizard 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/her vehicle.
Day 6 : Lake St. Lucia – Durban
This morning we depart the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park after breakfast and make our way to the village of St. Lucia where we board a boat for a two hour cruise on the lake estuary, in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are guaranteed to see hippo, and a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and a vast array of bird-life.
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.. 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.
After our two-hour cruise and lunch we make our way back to Durban, arriving late afternoon where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation, or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your departure flight.