The hidden gem of South Africa, Hlulhuwe Umfolozi Park
Looking for a safari-plus in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, South Africa?
South Africa has been my home for the rest of my life since I was born here. South Africa is vast and dynamic, some even call it a world in one country. Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park is the oldest and the first wildlife game reserve proclaimed in 1895. Initially it was Hluhluwe game reserve and later majored with the Imfolozi game reserve and it became a national park. One of the richest wildlife sanctuaries in Africa. This hidden gem of South Africa has been the most successful reserve on the war against rhino poaching and being in the middle of Swaziland and Isimangaliso Wetland Park (St Lucia) and three hours away from King Shaka International Airport, Durban it is easily accessible to nature lovers.
The park lost more than 20 rhinos between 2017/18, devastating since the park has been doing very well for the past decades. The number of rhinos killed is less compare to the Kruger National Park which is loosing hundreds of rhinos yearly because of poaching. The rhino poaching is an ongoing war, but there is a hope. If all South Africans can contribute on the rhino poaching programs, the problem will be under control and our next generation will see the endangered rhinos.
The villages close to the park are fascinating for international travelers, culture and life style is total different. The Nompondo village cultural walk with a local guide, Mdu worth a visit. The Zulu tribe is the main tribe even though there are other small tribes (Amathonga, for example) in the eastern part of the province. Mdu, the local guide led us into one of the homestead and explaining everything about the Zulu lifestyle. “There is no fence or gate but you cant just enter someones home without the permission”, Mdu said. “Sikhulekile ekhaya” Mdu shouted twice before someone appears and said “ngenani” meaning come in. We entered the house and got seated accordingly, man on the right side and women on the left side. The whole tour took us three hours but the experience was unforgettable and fascinating at the same time. Hluhluwe is one of the hidden gems of South Africa and I highly recommend to any traveler.