3 Day Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park – Luxury Phinda Safari:
Durban to Durban
Day 1 – Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park
We will collect you after your breakfast from your overnight accommodation in Durban or from the King Shaka International Airport and travel along the scenic Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, directly to the “big 5” Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park where we would spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in a brick under thatch chalet, each bedroom with its own private bathroom/wash-basin and toilet. Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge.
Our game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates into the park.
This first evening we go on a night drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this reserve. This 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 the owls and nightjars. You also get to see some of the diurnal animals, with their eyes lighting up like a little town in the reflection of the spotlights when you chance on a herd of Impala.
Day 2 – Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park - Phinda
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon one of the predators returning to their day-time lair. Set in the heart of Zululand, this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation laws, where today the "big five" of African legend stalk the verdant savannah. Established in 1895, game viewing is the prime attraction.
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, crocodile, monitor lizard, hyena and antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently.
We depart this park for the nearby Phinda Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for lunch. Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of activities. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, Phinda enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems - a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivercourses, marshes and pans. This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino. With only a handful of lodges sharing an area of 23 000 hectares (56 800 acres) and careful trained rangers and trackers in search of prime wildlife sightings, guests are assured an exclusive game viewing experience.
Over a late afternoon tea, our ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the afternoon game drive. This game begins in the late afternoon and lasts until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to lions roar in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals. Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon. If you prefer, you may be able to go on a boat cruise or canoe down the Mzinene River, watching the wildlife come down to drink.
A mouthwatering dinner is waiting for you at your lodge's boma or in a surprising bush location.
Day 3 – Phinda - Durban
As dawn breaks over the African bush, a gentle tap on your door will wake you to the delights of a new day. Your ranger will discuss what you hope to see that day over fragrant tea or coffee and morning biscuits or rusks. Phinda is renowned for its exceptional sightings of the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino. There is also a number of resident lion prides and rangers will do their best to provide guests with a glimpse of all of these animals.
Return to your lodge for a delicious breakfast, with platters of fruit and cheese followed by a selection of hot breakfast dishes. Choose from eggs, oats, waffles or a number of other options.
After breakfast we check out and make our way back to Durban, arriving in the afternoon, where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your flight.