Zu­l­u­land Con­ser­va­tion Mir­a­cle

Join a self-drive tour with go! Drive and Camp Tours and Bhe­jane 4x4 Ad­ven­tures to Zu­l­u­land

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We meet at 2 pm in the camp­site at Ithala Game Re­serve, giv­ing us enough time to set­tle in and do a short 4X4 sun­downer route in the game re­serve. Ithala is an easy half day’s drive from Gauteng, and the re­serve is unique in that it has the feel­ing of the Natal Drak­ens­berg in its high-ly­ing ar­eas and the Zu­l­u­land bushveld in the val­leys.


Af­ter a nice big break­fast we do an­other 4X4 route in Ithala Game Re­serve. This gives us the op­por­tu­nity to really ex­plore the re­serve and be on the look­out for black and white rhino, among other wildlife. We re­turn back to camp in the late af­ter­noon.

DAYS 3 & 4

To­day we head to­wards the Hluh­luweUm­folozi Game Re­serve which was once the pri­vate hunt­ing ground of King Shaka. Due to a pi­lot project we are in­volved in with con­ser­va­tion au­thor­i­ties, we get to camp in a pri­vate camp­site on the banks of the river, in the heart of the re­serve. We are also al­lowed con­trolled ac­cess to a 4x4 route not avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic. The re­serve has the Big Five and the game view­ing is ex­cel­lent. This ex­pe­ri­ence gives us the op­por­tu­nity to feel like real game rangers as we trek into the heart of both black and white rhino con­ser­va­tion. The pro­ceeds of this unique off-road and camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence go di­rectly to rhino pro­tec­tion in the re­serve.


To­day it’s time to visit the tropical Zu­l­u­land coast­line. We en­ter the iSi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park (Greater St Lu­cia Wet­land Park) and do a sandy 4X4 track around Lake Sib­haya, South Africa’s largest freshwater lake, on the con­stant look­out for hip­pos and crocs. Our route takes us along the edge of the high­est veg­e­tated dunes in Africa and into nar­row tun­nels of coastal dune for­est. Our camp­site for the next two nights is on the beach at Mabibi.


To­day we have a well-de­served rest day to en­joy the Zu­l­u­land coast­line. The Mabibi camp site has a pristine beach and you can swim, snorkel, fish and just re­lax. Weather per­mit­ting, there is an op­por­tu­nity to take a rub­ber dinghy boat ride out to sea (this ac­tiv­ity is not in­cluded in the tour cost). Later we go back onto the Lake Sib­hayi shore­line for sun­down­ers.


We head fur­ther north up the coast to the Kosi Bay Mouth on the bor­der of Mozam­bique, where the tra­di­tional fish traps are still be­ing used. Our camp­site for the next two nights is in Ndumo Game Re­serve with its huge nat­u­ral pans and pro­lific birdlife.


To­day we visit Tembe Ele­phant Park, wind­ing our way on the sandy 4x4 tracks in the re­serve on the look­out for Africa’s big­gest tuskers. We en­joy our last af­ter­noon to­gether driv­ing along the nar­row tracks along the river­ine for­est and pans of Ndumo Game Re­serve.


Af­ter break­fast it’s time to say good­bye and head out on the tar road that crosses over the Jozini Dam wall and meet up with the N2 near the town of Mkuze.

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