(Written 18 November)
Monday morning and Dad took me to pick up a hire-car. This one will be with us until we leave SA. I went back home for coffee and to pack up, and then we headed north up the coast. About half an hour out of Durban is Umhlanga (we will be returning here later in the week), and the largest mall in the region. We stopped to stock up on some provisions for a trip north to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, and we also got a few bits of clothing each – very good value.
We set off again around midday, and about 3 hours later arrived at Hluhluwe. The trip was pretty easy, the weather was great, a mostly blue sky and 30 degrees Centigrade, but a bit windy. Anyway, we arrived to the reserve, signed in, and entered the next part of our adventure – safari in Africa. The reserve is huge, and is home to many animal and bird species. Lena has never done a safari like this, so it was very exciting. Basically, we are driving around, looking for game, not knowing what we will find around the next corner.
Usually, you find (around the next corner) a blackened tree hiding 8 meters back in the bush that looks just like a buck. Or a stone that looks almost like a lion. It is possible to drive for a long time without finding anything, but we were very lucky today. Not 5 minutes after entering the reserve, we saw a large herd of buffalo, intermingled with zebra. this was a bit unusual, as zebra normally are found with wildebeest, or sometimes giraffe. WIthin half an hour, on our trip to the camp within the reserve, we also saw a white rhino, some warthogs, an iguana, a giraffe, impala and nyala.
We checked in to the camp where we will be staying for 2 nights, and have a lovely chalet room, with a little balcony and a fantastic view of the KwaZulu Natal hills. We threw our stuff into the chalet, and headed out again to find more animals. We had a nice drive, and had a wonderful sighting of a white rhino, who was about 20 meters form the road, but slowly made his way towards us, and ended up being just 3 or 4 meters away. We took loads of photos. We also saw more warthogs, nyala, zebra, and had a nice time watching a shy giraffe.
We are booked on a game-drive with a ranger tomorrow morning – we have to report in at 0450, so we are off to brush teeth and go to bed for an early night.