Thursday, July 24, 2008

hotards in south africa: hluhluwe imfolozi

Soon we left for Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park in hopes of seeing some serious animals in their natural habitat. We weren’t disappointed and ended up seeing zebras staring us down, a pack of wild dogs (sightings of them are VERY rare), a rhino peeing REALLY close to the car, giraffes, plenty of impala and warthogs.

We splurged and took a night drive in one of the camp’s big safari vehicles. We didn’t see much for the first hour but soon we saw one elephant, then a couple and then we realized we were surrounded by a herd of them – most of them with new little additions that were adorable. We had big spot lights and were shining them on this one in particular. He turned around really quickly and we got quite a scare but he just stood there staring at us. Eventually our driver left (to Katie and Teresa’s relief) and as we left the elephant let out this HUGE trumpet call and we screamed – it was such a majestic, terrifying but amazing sound! As we were heading down the road our guide stopped the vehicle, hopped out and ran over to the brush on the side of the road. He came back with a beautiful chameleon – it had been white on the brush but it quickly turned green. He has good eyes to spot that little guy in the dark!

Our chalets were on a hill and we had a great view and even saw buffalo and a troop of baboons right outside our rooms one day. The camp was really nice and we played around a bit, enjoyed the buffet dinners a little too much and had relaxing evenings. Katie even attempted a little zulu dancing which was hysterical!

We ended our stay at the part on the 4th of July and spent most of the day driving through the park seeking out more animals. No big stories but of course it was fun and scenic. We then headed to Durban where we spent the evening with some of my PCV friends and had dinner at Taco Zulu – the best (and possibly only) Mexican food restaurant in South Africa. Their first week was packed with lots of driving but lots of fun memorable experiences!

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