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4 out of 5

On the road again

View Sala Kahle on arianemeena's travel map.

Sarah (an American who is volunteering at Makaphutu) and I had an early start on Monday to drive up to iSamangaliso wetlands park. We stopped off at the excellent Crocodile Centre where they breed and rehabilitate crocs. Here's a pile of babies trying to get close to the heat lamp.

We had a guided walk on the outskirts of the park which gave us a chance to see some of the things you just can't appreciate from a car- stag beetles, ant nests, exotic fruits and tiny birds.

The planned boat trip was cancelled due to the high winds but we drove through the park instead, seeing all sorts of wildlife before stumbling upon Cape Vidal and the Indian Ocean.

In the evening we walked out to the estuary to see (and hear!) hippos. Next morning we hopped aboard a huge 4x4 for a game drive at Hluhluwe (pronounced with several invisible S's) Game Reserve, the oldest in South Africa. After more giraffes, rhinos and zebras we hit the jackpot when two lionesses and their cubs walked out in front of us. They seemed pretty peeved with us and we even got roared at.

After a picnic lunch and on the way out of the park we finally spotted elephants- three bulls happily munching their way through the bush. Near the gate were two more in the dry river bed. Sadly we didn't spot any leopards, but four of the 'Big 5' (lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo) isn't too shabby.

After returning to Durban, Chris and Dario came to collect Sarah and we all went for Indian food- Durban has the highest proportion of Indians outside India and so the curries are pretty authentic, even if they do stuff them in to loaves of breads to make local specialty 'bunny chow'.

And so I was on my own again. I had a day left in city so I headed to the beach, as had everyone else as it was yet another public holiday. This one was because of the elections, the first in which people born since the end of apartheid could vote.

On Thursday I headed for the airport for my flight to the Mother City, Cape Town.

Posted by arianemeena 12:49 Archived in South Africa

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