Stillness in the african bush

Rust de Winter, South Africa

The one thing I love about going back home is having the luxury of staying at my Dad’s lodge in the middle of the Pride of Africa Nature Reserve. Is situated in the north-west of the Gauteng Province of South Africa roughly one hours drive from my hometown of Johannesburg.

What attracts me is the peacefulness, the sweet smell of the bushveld, the intensity of the rain when a typical highveld storm hits and of course the animals. Filled with a range of antelope, warthog, jackals and giraffe it now forms part of a government initiative to bring together a host of private game farms to form the Dikoneng Big Five Nature Reserve. So the next time I can be sure to add Rhino and Lion to the list!

This little peace of heaven has the ability to bring all my family together and this weekend was no exception. We spent every evening watching the beautiful sunsets and throwing bones onto the fire so that we could get the jackals to howl. During the day we drove around for hours looking for game and enjoying the fresh air only Africa can give you. Occasionally we spent some time at the pool where we could lie and gaze up at the sky and the big Soetdoering trees watching for butterflies or trying to avoid those nasty wasps.

I can only say that this is the true African lifestyle – beautiful surroundings and peacefulness!


Wildlife of Hluhluwe & iMfolozi

iMfolozi and Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa

I had not visited the Hluhluwe (pronounced ‘shoeshloee’) game reserve since I was a little child. All I could remember from memory was that it was very hilly and filled with Giraffe. It is amazing what your mind can retain and for the most part the game reserve is hilly and it does have lots of giraffe but how I did not remember the abundance of rhinos is beyond me.

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi game reserve lies in the heart of Zululand, South Africa. It is one of the oldest game reserves in the country and is well known for its conservation of the white Rhino. The reserve is set in two the Hluhluwe part which is the hilliest part of the reserve and the iMfolozi section which is flatter and makes it easier for wildlife spotting.

I travelled with my family from outside Durban just for the day. Yip it was a long drive but well worth it in photographs and admiring the beautiful wildlife in their own habitat. It took us about 2.5 hours driving to get there. For the most part we travelled along the main coastal road before turning towards the Mtubatuba village which is some 48kms from the central Nyalazi gate. It was a slow drive along these parts as you drive through remote villages and you need to keep an eye out for the goats wandering across the roads.

The Big Five are said to be around but we were only lucky enough to spot Elephants, Buffalo and Rhino but I guess 3 out of 5 is not too bad. I enjoyed the lazy drive around the game reserve and was very intrigued to follow a big Secretary bird while it strutted it stuff in the bush and looked for food in the form of snakes by stomping on the dry shrubs.

We took a break from driving half way through the day to have some lunch at the Mlipa camp site. Even while having a picnic lunch you can be entertained by families of warthog walking through the camp or by watching the hard working dung beetles roll their supplies down the hill.

Our day ended off by looking at the rolling hills from the Hilltop camp and wondering how that Rhino managed to make its way up the hill so fast…