No trip to Africa would be complete without a
safari, so we booked to spend two nights at the Hilltop Camp inside
the Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park, which is a couple of hours drive north of
Richards Bay. The World ARC arranged a day trip to this park, and we saw a
lot of animals on this including three of the "big five" (buffalo, rhino,
elephant) but we wanted to spend some more time there, seeing the animals
during the morning and evening and hunting for the elusive lions and
The Hluhluwe park is a beautiful spot, with good
views from the rolling hills, but the climate is quite lush in this area and it
is sometimes hard to spot the game through the thick brush. We were
resigned to not finding any lions when, on our final evenings drive, the guide
got a radio call about a lion sighting and we set off at 60 kph down dirt
tracks, breaking all the park speed limits, to find the lions. Twenty hair
raising minutes later we found them snoozing right by the track, in
a perfect photo spot.
One of the high points of our trip was seeing
one of the rarest animals in Africa, the wild dog. They don't have
such a high profile as other endangered species like the black rhino, but
there are only a few thousand of these four-toed painted dogs alive today, of
which 100 live in the Hluhluwe park.
Here is a selection of the animals we managed to
find in the park.