1. Imfolozi Game Reserve.
Hluhluwe/Imfolozi is the closest of the Big 5 National Parks to us in Richmond (about a 4 hour drive) and also is one of few to offer Wilderness Walking Trails. We've done the trail twice before (the last time was in 2010) and decided that we'd like to do it again. Afterwards we spent a couple of nights at Mpila hutted camp so that we could have a drive around the Reserve - sadly there are no campsites in Hluhulwe/Imfolozi.
From Mpila camp we drove to Mndindini Camp which is the start of the walking trail. We throughly enjoyed our walks and the time spent at the campsite.
We got on well with all our fellow trailists - Peter & Rachel with their kids Luke and Lauren from the UK and Sandra, a South African now living in Australia.
During the walks we always went in single file with Vusi and Ayanda at the front and back, they had rifles as we were walking through Big 5 countryside.
We had daypacks and walked to the base camp while several donkeys carried the rest of our stuff to the camp.
This was our base for 3 nights. The tents, bedding and catering are provided. We had a bucket shower available and a shovel and matches for a toilet!
We would stop from time to time and Vusi & Ayanda would tell us about the flora and fauna and some Zulu customs.
We stopped at a great look-out point for lunch and were lucky enough to spot a lioness with 2 cubs (very well camouflaged) in the valley below.
An unusual sighting in the daytime were a family of bush pigs (they are nocturnal).
We saw several rhino, this was the only one that was willing to pose for a photo!
A tiny snake in a tree trunk.
A vulture. Both guides were excellent art spotting birds and could replicate many of their calls.
A welcome rest. Although we only had day packs we were each carrying 4 litres of water.
Buffalo can be very dangerous as they are so unpredictable. These 3 moved off into the reeds and watched us from there. The following day we accidently got too close to a couple of bulls hiding in the bush and had to do a swift turn around and back up.
There had been no rain for months and both Rivers in the Park, the Black Imfolozi and the White Imfolozi) only had occasional pools of water. Elephants dig holes in the dry river to get to water which is then used by other animals.
During the evening we were served our meal around a bush fire. Ayanda told Luke and Lauren how to get the fire going with dried grass and twigs.
After the Wilderness Trail we spent a couple of nights at Mpila Camp. There's only an elephant fence around the camp so all the smaller aminals can wander around.
Our chalet at Mpila Camp. Very comfotable.
After all the years we've spent in Africa we should know better than leaving a door open while we got our luggage from the bakkie - this vervet monkey was straight inside and grabbed some bags of sugar and tea bags.
Warthog grazing outside the chalet.
During the evening we saw kudu, impala and jackal outside. The following morning this nyala female with her youngster was around for some time.
We went on an early morning drive. You do see more animals driving compared to walking but you don't get the same 'feel' for the bush.
We saw this large herd of buffalo in the Black Imfolozi Riverbed, it wasn't quite as dry as the White but there were still only pools here and there.
On our way out of the Park we saw a large herd of elephants coming down to the River. We were able to stop on the bridge and watch them.
Impala in the early morning light.
This zebra wasn't a bit bothered by our vehicle.
It's always amusing to watch warthog families. On the far side of the river several were enjoying a mud bath.
A youngster seemed to be teasing an adult who soon got fed up and chased the youngster away.
We were lucky enough to see several white rhino.
Last updated: November 2020