Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve and Durban, South Africa
Today we travel to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve to embark on an open 4X4 vehicle game drive. This Park is the only one run by the state in the entire KwaZulu-Natal province, where all of the Big 5 can be found. Thanks to conservation efforts, this Park now boasts the biggest white rhino population in the world. We climb aboard a boat in the afternoon to embark on a delightful sunset cruise along the lagoon for some bird and hippo spotting.
The following day we arrive in Durban – South Africa’s biggest marine port and a renowned surfing destination. Our night can be spent delighting in authentic Indian food as Durban is also home to the biggest number of Indian descendants outside of India itself.
Set up in 1895, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve remains the oldest game park in all of Africa. The Park spreads over approximately 96,000 hectares and boasts a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation. It is specifically well-known for its conservation of masses of endangered black and white rhino. The remainder of the Big Five can also be spotted here: buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard, as well as plenty of other species including Blue Wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, nyala, kudu, bushbuck, warthog, cheetah, hyena, jackal and countless impala. Over 300 bird species have been identified in this region, making it one of the best bird-watching destinations in all of South Africa.
Durban is the metropolitan region that consists of Durban, Pinetown, Inanda and Umlazi, with a population of almost 2 million. A large majority of the first European settlers were shipwreck survivors. One of these survivers, Rodrigo Tristaa, endured a wreck in 1552 of the Portuguese galleon Saint John, and was the first to make Durban his home. Vasco Da Gama suggested the name ‘Natal’ (‘nativity’) to this expansion of coast. The bay entrance was known as Rio de Natal (‘river of the nativity’). The Zulu nation’s formation provided wealth for a trade market in this region. Merchants established a harbour where the base of trade with Zulus could be created. Durban was therefore formed by a population of a mere 26 traders and ivory hunters. On the 23rd of June, 1835, the area was officially named Durban, after Sir Benjamin D’urban – the governor of the Cape.
Accommodation Two Per Room: Shonalanga (Day 6) & Garden Court South Beach Hotel (Day 7)
Facilities: En-suites Per Room Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: St. Lucia to Durban ±240 km
Activity Package: Game Drive in Hluhluwe/Umfolozi National Park, St. Lucia Boat Cruise
Optional Activity Dinner Out Durban