Safari company & publisher
Africa Geographic
Wildlife . People . Travel
Klaserie River Sands

Just up the road from St Lucia is the oldest proclaimed natural park in Africa, the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. I was privileged to spend three days exploring this wildlife haven.

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After the the short drive up from St Lucia, I headed straight for the park thinking i could do a quick scout and check out the lay of the land. My Wild card got me in for free and after avoiding the warthogs cruising through the parking lot I had finally arrived.

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It didn’t take me long to spot my first rhino, albeit a distance away but it boded well. It also didn’t take me long to spot my first tour group – a more than common sight over the next couple of days. I also started to get an idea of the scale of the park and my quick scout turned into an all day drive that was epic and crazy hot.

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There are a couple of places to stay near the park, the Hluhluwe Backpackers which is about five minutes from the gate and the Isinkwe Bush Camp & Backpackers. I ended up staying at the latter, mainly because they had a pool and sitting in my cab in the heat all day necessitated a place to submerge myself in water with a cold beer. It’s a very nice little spot, its rates are a tad up on the usual backpacker rates, but then again, it isn’t the usual backpacker.

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I headed back to the park for one more morning drive and can honestly say it’s an incredible place, literally teeming with game.

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Over the three days I had an incredible encounter with two white rhino having a mud bath in the mid-day heat, watched a giraffe and its junior hanging out by a waterhole, was surrounded by a herd of elephants, encountered herds of zebra, buck and more. If anything, I was kind bummed I didn’t encounter any predators, but you can’t have everything.

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Hluhluwe gave me the impression of being a bit more touristy than the iMfolozi section, which seemed a little wilder as well. In fact if I was to have a gripe, it was the amount of tour groups running in and out of the park. There is nothing like a truck full of folks in the back of an open van to ruin a wildlife encounter.

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Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park was another place I had been itching to visit and as with all the places I have visited it exceeded everything I had imagined and I can’t help but feel that as South African’s we are probably the most privileged nation in the world when it comes to beauty and natural wonder.

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Isn’t it time you went and saw it?

Kafunta Safaris
Stu Cooper

Hi! I am Stu, a long time early adopter of the interwebs and digital technology with the goal of avoiding working 9 to 5 for some management type corporate person. I build websites for moolah, take photo’s for inspiration and generally believe there is more to life than working for a living. I like beer, shooting the breeze and my couch. Which is not coming with me unfortunately. Currently embroiled in a giant road trip around South Africa you can follow me on Twitter - @going_homeless or on facebook.com/thegoinghomelessproject, visit my blog goinghomeless.co.za or better yet, see you on the road.