Filed under: cars, food, Hluhlu-iMfolozi Park, Kwazamohkuhle, South Africa, travel, Wildlife | Tags: ELCA, ELCSA, elephants, Food, rhinos, South Africa, travel, wildlife, zebra
The second week is underway for those who traveled from the Shetek conference of the ELCA to the Ondini Circuit of the ELCSA. Today we are playing tourist. We have made our way to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park. The park lies in the heart of Zulu country and was once the sole hunting area of Zulu kings. This is Africa’s oldest wilderness area. Our day begins with a 5:00 a.m. game drive.
We climb into 11 passenger open air vehicles long before sunrise and head off into the chill of early morning.
Fog fills the valleys as the sun rises.
There is nothing like the sunrise over the thorn veld of Africa.
The hoot of a baboon brings us to a stop underneath a Eucalyptus fig, where the baboons are having breakfast.
Baby animals are everywhere. This zebra was the first of the day.
Soon we see a rhino family cross the road with oxpeckers on his back. Hluhluwe is famous for its project to save the white rhino which started in the 1950′s.
A hyena slinks through the thorn along the road.
We take a stretch break for tea and biscuits and then continue our tour.
Female and young Nyala are eating beneath the trees.
We see many kinds of birds, and so many elephants that we start getting selective about the photos we take of them.
Our morning drive is over. It’s time for breakfast and some time on the internet. then off for a nap.
Levi, Ron and I have a two bedroom place set into the trees.
A window sticker warns you to keep doors and windows closed to keep monkeys and baboons out.
Window screens are there to keep out monkeys and baboons. They do nothing to keep out insects and small lizards.
This troop of monkeys was playing just outside our door and came within a few feet of us.
Baboons crossed between us and our lodge, and played on the roof of Mark’s place.
Our evening game drive lasted until past sunset.
We saw lots more elephant, perhaps over 100. Also in evidence were rhino, cape buffalo and warthog.
We caught a sight of a male nyala, impala and gazelle, as well as a nile croc, bush baby and eagle owl.
Our day at Hluhluwe had come to an end. We had a late dinner buffet with roasted eland, served with cranberry sauce, as the main meat, got ourselves back to our places and ready for bed. Tomorrow we go back to Kwazamohkule.
Filed under: cars, Hluhlu-iMfolozi Park, Kwazamohkuhle, South Africa, travel, Wildlife | Tags: Cape Buffalo, ELCA, ELCSA, elephants, giraffe, Indian Ocean, rhinos, South Africa, travel
The second week is underway for those who traveled from the Shetek conference of the ELCA to the Ondini Circuit of the ELCSA. Today we are playing tourist. We left Kwazamohkuhle after chapel and headed down the road toward Durban.
Barb, Paul, Marcia, Loretta, Levi and Ted took the back seats as I drove and Jessica navigated.
Being a farmer I was tuned into the crops being grown along the way. The corn and soybeans seemed to be growing well. Most seemed to be nearing maturity, but some had only recently been planted. With all of the rain some did not look too good. There were spots that were yellowing from too much water. We did notice that no one seems to believe in end rows around here.
As we made our way toward Durban we started seeing some sugar cane growing. The cities didn’t look much different than many other southern cities. The houses may have been a bit smaller and more gaudily painted, but everything looked prosperous.
This walking bridge across a deep cut was interesting. As we neared the Indian Ocean all eyes turned toward the coast.
After having lunch in Stanger we made our way to the beach to play in the ocean.
The sand was so hot it burned your feet until you got close to the water.
The waves were really coming in so taking a swim was out of the question. Some of the kids got wet when they were not planning on it.
We said good bye to the ocean and headed northwest along the coast.
All the fuel pumps we saw were full service. There would be someone there to direct you to a pump and pump your fuel. Usually someone washed your window also.
We saw many crews out mowing grass along the road, but rarely saw a tractor powered mower, or even evidence that someone was baling the hay. The grass was cut by a gas powered weed eater and raked up by someone with a small rake. There was usually someone there to sweep the grass off of the road also.
People were walking on the roads everywhere. Busy roads had fewer people on them, but it was not unusual to see someone crossing the busiest of roads. When traffic slowed down people were selling fruit on the edge of the road, or if you had to come to a stop, would approach you with bags of fruit.
Most of the larger roads were toll roads. We usually managed to have the exact change for a toll so we kept moving right along.
As we made our way further west the sugar cane made way for large plantations of fast growing trees. You could see the fields that had been recently harvested and some that were planted not that long ago. Plots of trees were in all stages of growth.
Our goal for the day was the Hluhluwe game park. We were going around to the northwestern side to go into the Memorial gate. The roads got smaller and livestock again became a presence on the road. Mark almost got kid on the grill when a young goat dashed across in front of him.
We checked in at the park gate and made our way up to Hilltop Camp. Last time when Mark was here they saw only one elephant. This time we were greeted by herds of them.
We had to wait while they crossed the road, and then stop and wait again.
We also saw rhinos, cape buffalo, wart hog and giraffe before we even reached the camp.
This giraffe was eating right at the side of the road.
We made our way to Hilltop Camp, got our room assignments had a wonderful prime rib buffet for diner and then headed off to bed. Tomorrow’s wake up call is 4:15. The morning game drive leaves at 5:00 a.m. It’s going to be a short night.