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Join this 3-day classic safari in Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Being a mere 2.5 hours from Durban city, Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is one of the most popular parks in South Africa. Here, you will experience the beauty of African wildlife and nature as you go on safari drives with a professional guide. This safari holiday is suitable for you who want a fantastic adventure with an affordable price.
You will be accommodated for 2 nights at Hilltop Camp that is located within Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park. The accommodation is in a rondavel which has a shared ablution block. Each rondavel has its own braai / barbecue area in case you would like to prepare your own meals instead of eating at the restaurant. The rondavels contain a fridge, cooking utensils, table and chair, cupboards, two single beds, tea and coffee station with kettle, and a wash basin.
On the first day, your guide will collect you from your Durban Hotel or guest house. Then, you will go on an educational 3-hour drive to Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, the oldest game reserve in Africa which was established in 1895. In addition, there is a special focus on the Zulu Nation, the major “black African tribe”, living in the area as well as the different plantation as you come across on route to Hluhluwe–ImfoloziPark.
Before you get to the game reserve, you will stop for an hour and 15 minutes at a Cat Rehabilitation Center outside Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Here, there are four species of cat the cheetah, serval, caracal and African wild cat. You will get to interact on some level with them. The cheetah, being the most special, is a large intimidating cat.
Afterward, you will take 20 minutes to reach Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park. Upon entering, the game viewing begins immediately and your guide will talk you through the different animal behavior you may encounter. Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park has the highest population of white rhino in the world for the area of 960 square kilometers. Next, you will stop at Hilltop Camp for lunch and to check in before deciding what time to go back out to look for more animals.
After lunch, your Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park safari continues and you will encounter any of the Big Five (rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion, and leopard). Other animals like giraffe, zebra and a wide range of antelope species can also be seen to keep you interested. Your guide will be able to inform different tracks and signs as you make your way through the African bush on this special safari experience.
The dinner will be at the Hilltop Camp restaurant, a traditional buffet will be laid out. This will add to your bush experience especially if the lodge is busy as the staff will get up, sing, and dance in a traditional Zulu way.
On the second day, after enjoying a buffet breakfast, you will head out for a game drive. Leaving the Hilltop Camp, you will have the opportunity to see any one of the Big Five and a variety of antelope, giraffe, and zebra. You will make your way towards the Imfolozi side of the park where sightings of lion, hyena, and black rhino are more common.
Next, another open vehicle game drive is an option that can be taken at 17:00 - 20:00 where the guide will use a spotlight to find animals after dusk. The dinner will be at the Hilltop Camp restaurant. You will be served a hot and cold buffet with a variety of traditional African and international dishes. There is also a lovely bar at the restaurant in which you can have a drink and have a chat about the days of the adventures.
On the last day, you will be served a final buffet breakfast, followed by a game drive with your safari guide. This is a final chance to find what you have not seen or to recap on what you have seen. You will then make your way out of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, for a 2-hour boat cruise along the estuary.
Here, you will have the opportunity to see a crocodile, hippo, fish eagles, kingfishers as well as monitor lizards. This is a perfect opportunity for photographers to capture the beauty of South Africa’s first world heritage site. After the boat cruise, it is time to head back to Durban with an amazing and memorable safari experience in your mind.
Tim Brown is the owner of Tim Brown Tours, a small safari and tour company which has been operating out of Durban in KwaZulu- Natal since 2010. He is a tour operator and tour guide based in Durban. He is registered with FGASA (Field guides association of Southern Africa), DEAT (Department of environmental affairs and tourism), and THETA (The Tourism, Hospitality, Sports Education and Training Authority).
Your safari holiday will take place at Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park, South Africa. Located in the KwaZulu-Natal region, Proclaimed as the oldest game reserve in Africa. It was established in 1895 after the South African government and a couple of influential conservationists realized that the continuous hunting of wildlife was causing them to run out of raw materials like Ivory (elephant tusk) for the trading between Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is an ideal game reserve to visit for a safari while in Durban as it is the Big five, malaria free game reserve near Durban. In addition, you will also be visiting iSimangaliso Wetland Park where you will have a 2-hour boat cruise along the estuary.
On this safari holiday, you will be served daily breakfast, dinner, and mineral water during the safari. The lodge of Hilltop Camp has a shop where you may purchase basic foods (meats and starches), sauces, tinned foods, etc. You may as well bring your own food items with you if you wish.
On the second day, there is an option of an evening open vehicle game drive from 17:00 - 20:00. This time, the game drive will focus on predominately nocturnal animals.