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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi safari

Our first stop in South Africa was Richards Bay. It was a great place to catch our breath and get used to this new country. Here we were lucky to finally meet up with our friends Ian and Kathy from Ariel. They had been close throughout the Indian Ocean but we missed at each anchorage by just days. We made many walking grocery trips with the “Ariels” and explored a bit of the area together. We decided that this was the time to rent a car and go see some animals. Richards Bay is close to a very popular game park, school summer vacation had not yet begun and our boats were safely tied to docks.

Marcy at Richards Bay SA

We rented a car - a big 4 wheel drive one so we'd be safe on unfamiliar roads and off road too.

safari vehicle

We weren't sure what to expect and as we entered the park we stopped to look at every impala and warthog

warthog

and even the smallest flowers

Safari flower

It's spring here so there were lots of babies about.

warthog family

Apparently no self respecting South African stops specifically to look at warthogs or impala because as we soon found out they are so abundant it's difficult not to see them almost at every turn.

A few miles into the park we were seeing zebra and other herbivores such as springbok nyala, kudu and steenbok .

zebra

springboks

When we weren't seeing animals the scenery was enough to hold our attention.

Black Imfolozi river

As we got deeper into the park and closer to the river the animals were so concentrated it seemed almost as if we were in a zoo. We saw a baboon just as the pavement ended

baboon

and lions across the river resting in the sun. The lion find was very lucky as we had already passed the turnoff for the overlook. Peter's expert tracking instincts took over and he made a quick turn off the road to see what was at the river.

lions

lions across river

As the afternoon heated up we came upon a wildebeest carcass with vultures

wildebeast carcas

and a group of giraffes.

giraffes

We saw a stopped car ahead and pulled up behind them. Our first elephant sighting was quite exciting. We were directly in it's path and it let us know with ears out and a stamp toward the car that it was coming our way.

elephant emerging

Peter quickly pulled forward of the trail and we watched as it passed just behind the car then down the road and off the other side.

close elephant encounter

elephant

Before leaving on our trip we had heard stories of aggressive elephants sitting on cars and generally being unhappy with the tourists so we were anxious to avoid any elephant/car encounters.

There were rhinos everywhere

rhino

and with all those big animals the dung beetles had their work cut out for them.

dung beetles

At the hottest part of the day we stopped to check out a blind

Kathy and Ian in the blind

and just before sunset we raced to the other end of the park to our hotel.

rondavels

We enjoyed a nice dinner

Hilltop deck with Ian and Kathy

and the view from the breakfast table was perfect the next morning.

Hilltop breakfast view

On the way out of the park we saw lots of buffalo

buffalo

and were sent off in style by Zulu dancers at the gate.

gate dancers

krall

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Marcy crew!

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2 Comments:

At 4:41 PM, Blogger S/V Cape St. James said...

Cape St. James was tied up in exactly the same spot- we have the same photo. Loved the game park photos, did you spend the night in the park? We saw completely different animals at night.
Miss you guys.
Hugs,
CSJ
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

 
At 2:51 AM, Blogger Heritage Tours and Safaris said...

Trust you had an incredible time in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve,http://www.hluhluwegamereserve.com

 

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