Miraculously, that night, the rains arrived and we watched from our mountain-top camp as the spectacular purple and black thunderstorms rolled in from the south. This area, between the Black Imfolozi and White Imfolozi rivers, was the traditional hunting ground of the Zulu kings, where the King's sons hunted Lion to prove their manhood. Both those rivers flowed briefly that night, and then more strongly some days later when further substantial rains arrived.
The Hluhluwe / Imfolozi reserves are the oldest nature reserves in South Africa, the site of the White Rhinoceros research, capture and breeding program that effectively saved that species on the continent. Kwa Zulu Natal province operates all it's reserves and parks through the KZN Wildlife organisation, which in our experience is a very professional and well managed operation.
We stayed at Hilltop Camp, a laid back and very comfortable resort in the middle of the park, with spectacular mountain views. Hilltop is a government run enterprise, with skilled rangers employed to provide guides and tour experiences. However the level of staff motivation and "ownership" is exceptional, and we were thrilled to be part of the experience there. Certainly Hilltop Camp is a special place, and the KZN Wildlife organisation is a world class operation. We'd go back to Hilltop Camp in a heartbeat.
Need more encouragement ? Click the link below for more Christmas animal magic....