Saturday, June 2

On Safari in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Part 2 - from hilltop to beach

White-backed Vulture

4. Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, Part 2

for Part 1 of this safari please click on this link:- On safari in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Part 1

After 2 days of extreme heat, the expected frontal system arrived and we had a gloomy, damp day for our game drive in the iMfolozi section of this reserve.

The riverside loop, which usually has the best wildlife, was unfortunately closed due to flood damage, so we were restricted to the hills.

Not much wildlife showed up but we did have a great view of this vulture and wildebeest!

Blue Wildebeest

It was a welcome break from being in the car to spend the afternoon enjoying the wildlife around our chalet.

The next morning we left the hills of the Zululand interior and headed for the coast......

iMfolozi Game Reserve
5. Eastern Shores & Cape Vidal (iSimangaliso Wetland Park)

No trip to Kwa-Zulu Natal is complete without spending time on our magnificent Indian Ocean coast. Cape Vidal, our destination, is part of South Africa's first World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso. I can't describe it better than this quote from the iSimangaliso website:-

Cape Vidal
"The 332,000 hectare Park contains three major lake systems, eight interlinking ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes – among the highest in the world. The name iSimangaliso means miracle and wonder, which aptly describes this unique place.
Come and experience the diverse experiences in the 10 Jewels that make up the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Enjoy the endless beaches that stretch 220 kilometers from Maphelane in the south to Kosi Bay on the Mozambique border, view game on self-guided or guided trails and routes on the foothills of the Lubombo mountains in uMkhuze or in the coastal forests and rolling grasslands of Lake St Lucia’s Eastern Shores. See the spectacular coral reefs and colourful underwater life whilst diving or snorkelling or embark on adventures ranging from kayak trips to horse rides."

We spent 3 nights at Cape Vidal and made the most of the beach, snorkelling in the small lagoon, game viewing in the Lake St. Lucia Eastern Shores and doing an estuarine boat cruise.

This destination really has almost everything one would want to experience on a South African holiday, and our chalet was just behind the sand dune from the beach.
Vervet Monkeys on my car

In camp......

Kudu bulls

Kudu females

Game viewing......

African buffalo

Sunrise over the Indian Ocean
Early launching for the sports fishermen

On the beach.....
Relaxing after a snorkel...

Hippo in the mangroves

and on the boat cruise......

Nile crocodile
The last day of our safari arrived, and probably just in time as my cousin, obviously bitten by a tick at Ithala, was now suffering from relatively mild (luckily) tick-bite fever.

So it was time to head south to Durban, a doctor, and a weekend spent with family, and the end of our amazing Kwa-Zulu Natal trip.

On the way, we diverted inland to the Dlinza Forest, hidden in the town of Eshowe.

Here, there is an aerial boardwalk which gives impressive views of the canopy forest.

6. Durban

After breakfast, a morning walk on one of Durban's beaches.........
View from our table at the entrance to Durban harbour
Blue-bottle or Portuguese Man-o-War
 Kwa-Zulu Natal is often overlooked by first time visitors to South Africa, who tend to naturally focus on Cape Town and Kruger National Park.

But once you have fallen in love with this amazing country, and can manage to visit again, then this province should definitely be in your plans.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sue, thanks for the report and pictures! I could not agree more about the beauty of KZN. Hopefully we will make it there on our next visit (and before it becomes a masx destination due to your advertising 😎). All the best. Dirk

Coral Wild said...

Thanks Dirk!! - Hope I get to see you too.