7 Day Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park - Swaziland - Kruger National Park Safari
Durban to Johannesburg
Day 1- Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
We will collect you from your hotel in Durban and travel along the scenic Dolphin Coast to the town of St. Lucia for a two-hour boat tour of Lake St. Lucia, here to see hippos (guaranteed sightings!), crocodiles and numerous water birds in this recently proclaimed World heritage Site. From here we will proceed to the “big 5” Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park where we would spend the night 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 tasked with running this reserve. This is to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard (always difficult to find), 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, such as are those that are found in the day.
Day 2 – Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
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. This is the game reserve famous for "Operation Rhino" which brought the white rhino back from the brink of extinction. Now you should see just how successful KZN Wildlife has been in this endeavour.
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. These drives are conducted with your guide in his/her vehicle.
Overnight Hilltop Camp
Day 3 – Swaziland
After breakfast we travel through rural Swaziland to the Kruger National Park, where we overnight at Reilly’s Rock (or similar). Situated in the Mliliwane Game Reserve, Reilly’s Rock’s unique lodge has been tastefully decorated in keeping with its colonial roots by Swaziland's leading conservation team, Ted and Liz Reilly. Notwithstanding the necessary subtle additions and renovations, the house still stands as it was built almost a century ago. Mliliwane Game Reserve is Swaziland's pioneer conservation area and is situated in a beautiful, secluded sanctuary in Swaziland's Valley of Heaven, the Ezulwini Valley, an area between Mbabane and Manzini.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a country located in Southern Africa and is relatively small in area, similar in size to Kuwait. Swaziland is a landlocked country, bordered by South Africa on three sides except to the east, where it borders Mozambique. The country, inhabited primarily by the Swazi people, is named after the 19th century King Mswati II, from whom the people also take their name.
Day 4, 5, 6 – Kruger National Park
After breakfast we visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory in Swaziland before departing for the Kruger Park. Kruger Park is an excellent venue with good sightings of lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, baboon, monkey, hippo and impala regularly seen. The more elusive animals like leopard are an exciting find. We will go on a night drive in an open safari vehicle on one of the evenings, this to enhance the possibility of seeing the nocturnal species such as leopard (always difficult to find), lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the smaller cats, owls and nightjars. You also get to see most 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. These drives are conducted by SANParks, the organisation tasked with running this Park.
We will spend our nights in Kruger in bungalow accommodation inside the Kruger Park - subject to availability. Although not graded, these bungalows are of a two or three star standard. Here the rooms have twin beds, each with a private shower, toilet and hand basin en-suite. The brick under thatch rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, some also with ceiling fans and a fridge. There is insect proof screening on the doors and windows. You will be provided with bath and hand towels as well as soap. In the game reserve we will have breakfast and dinners in the restaurants. Breakfast and dinners are generally buffet style. We enjoy a full game-viewing programme for the balance of the days. Depending on which camps we will be staying at so the mid-day siesta period could be spent at the swimming pool - Kruger Park is pretty hot and humid in summer - or to visit one of the camp interpretation centres, which are always interesting. Your guide in his vehicle conducts the remainder of the game drives.
We encourage an early start to make the most of the best time of day to view the animals. So first one out at dawn - this to see if we are able to sight some of the nocturnal predators returning to their daytime resting place and then to have breakfast possibly at a different locality. We recommend staying at different camps to make the most on what the Kruger Park has to offer and to get the best game viewing.
Day 7 – Johannesburg
After our morning game viewing we leave Kruger Park and drive through to reach Johannesburg late afternoon or the airport in time for your flight.