Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Game Drive in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve

The area where we enter the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Reserve is so gorgeous I almost don’t care if we don’t see any wildlife. It would be a pleasure just to drive around and see the scenery.
But we do see wildlife, beginning with a big herd of Cape buffalo.
A small herd of Burchell’s zebras crosses the road in front of us, including one with an oddly striped coat. (I wonder if his zebra buddies tease him?) 
I guess the grass really is greener on the other side! (Much of this area has recently grown back after a burn earlier in the season, which has drawn more wildlife than would usually be found here.)

The zebras have been hanging out with a group of warthogs, but there are warthogs everywhere. 
Actually, there are all sorts of animals mixed together, including white rhinos 
(And more warthogs.)

We don't have to go very far before we find lots of giraffe mixed into the wildlife potpourri. 
We find a female mother and child rhino and stop to watch them. The youngster has a lot of energy and runs circles (literally) around its mother as she continues doggedly toward her destination, which takes them across and down the road before they disappear into the brush along a marshy area.
A short drive brings us good views of a few more rhinos. . . . 
and then more and still more! 
Even though this park is known for its work to preserve rhinos, I still wasn’t expecting to see more than a couple. Actually, I was just hoping just to see a rhino on this trip and here there seem to be rhinos everywhere we look, some so close to the vehicle I could reach out and touch them. It’s pretty amazing.
We have not, however, seen any cats. While we have been scouring the landscape in search of the cheetahs that our guide assures us are here, they remain stubbornly out of sight.

Instead of searching the plains further in hopes of finding cats, we head up toward the park’s high point, finding quite a few kudu and other antelope along the way. 
At the top we take a break to stretch soak in the scenery before heading back down to meet our tour bus as we come to the end of our time here. 

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