Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park
Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park Travel Blog› entry 10 of 24 › view all entries
At 5.15 am, my alarmclock causes a rude awakening, I'm not done sleeping at all, but Africa's wildlife is waiting for us.
At six we have to be in the open safaritrucks that will take us to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park. The ride will take about an hour and it's drizzling again, therefore raincoats are handed out. We've almost reached the entrance of the park when we see a group of baboons sitting just off the road. Around seven, at the main building of the park, we make sure everybody has been to the toilet, before going in.
Especially in the beginning spotting animals goes fast, giraffes, zebras (of whom one has been attacked by a lion or so, looking at the scars on his behind) and last but not least, impalas.
At eight we stop for coffee with rusks.
Contrary to the Kruger Park, Hluhluwe's landscape consists of hills and vales and that results in some glorious views. We come across all sorts of game: wildebeast, rhino, buffalo, hammerheads (a bird with the head in the shape of a hammer), bathing warthogs and a beautiful giraffe.
The highlight of the day however are the three wild dogs we see lying on the bank of the gravel road. Because of the intense heat they do not care that we come so close at all. At a given point we are only a metre or so away and we can take some fantastic pictures.
On our way to the exit of the park a female kudu crosses the road with elegant leaps right in front of our car. Driving back to St. Lucia I try to photograph the local school-children, but that is virtually undo-able at 80 kph.
Apparently we've been very lucky with our condo, because many people are complaining about damp, smelly, hot (no air-conditioning) rooms with dirty sheets on the beds. All we've got are a couple of cockroaches, but we'd better not tell the girls.
Up next is a boatride to see hippoes and crocodiles up close.
When clouds start coming in, partially blocking the sunlight, it looks like some God switched on his favourite night light. When people talk about the beauty of nature, this is it.
At night we eat at The Ocean's Basket, which is a very good fish restaurant. It doesn't look like much, it has a McDonald's kind of feel to it, but the food is fantastic. We ordered a dish for four people, but six could have eaten abundantly from it. Princess prawns, calamari, clamps, kingklip, fries and rice (and a couple of things I can't remember the names of). Wow!!
A little past eleven everyone is asleep in our apartment.