Favorite thing: Petrol is available in the main camps in Hluhluwe as well as in Umfolozi. However it is recommended to fill up before going into the reserve, as the petrol stations sometimes dry up. If in doubt check at the gate - you don't want to run out of petrol inside the reserve!
Favorite thing: This AREA MAP shows the locations of all three Game Reserves that we visited. HLUHLUWE GAME RESERVE is situated in northern Zululand, 280 km north of Durban. The MKUZI GAME RESERVE is also situated in northern Zululand approximately 335 km from Durban along the main North Coast Road.
The placid White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) almost became extinct in the early 1930's, but with careful conservation the numbers have increased considerably. The bad-tempered Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) was also depleted in numbers through poaching.
Both male and female carry the characteristic horn, with the frontal one being larger than the hind. Average length of horns is from 60 to 90 cm but the record length for White Rhinoceros horns stands at 158 cm front and 56 cm rear.
The White Rhinoceros can weigh as much as 1700 kg and is the largest land mammal after the African Elephant.
There are some 29 different ANTELOPE in Southern Africa, from the 700 kg Eland to the 5 kg Suni.
Some common species of Antelope are"
KUDU (Tragelaphus strepsiceros). Magnificent spiralled horns of the adult male. The female carries no horns.
WATERBUCK (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) Large antelope with shaggy grey coats.
ELAND (Taurotragus oryx) Has the characteristic hump at the shoulder.
NYALA (Tragelaphus angasi) Males have horns -- females have a series of stripes.
The Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) and the Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) inhabit similar areas of Southern Africa. These PRIMATES are the watchdogs of the veld with both animals having good eyesight and exceptional senses of smell and hearing, Both can be cunning, resourceful and dangerous. Primates are gregarious by nature, and are usually seen in groups numbering some thirty animals.
The Vervet Monkey was spotted at our Bonamanzi Game Park, Hluhluwe and Mkuzi Game Reserves. Actually they were just as common as our squirrels and nasty little critters.
Favorite thing: Named after the grotesque growths on its flattened face, the WARTHOG (Phacochoerus aethiopicus) is perhaps the ugliest of all creatures. Created in such a way as to make use of his many features, the upper and lower tusks rub against each other so that the lower ones are kept razor sharp. Tusks enable Warthogs to dig for bulbs, roots, etc. while kneeling on their fore-legs. These pig-like animals put up a fierce fight and have been known to kill dogs and leopards when cornered.
Favorite thing: The AFRICAN BUFFALO (Syncerus caffer) though outwardly calm is an extremely dangerous animal when wounded and when enraged nothing will stop him whilst charging an adversary. Male and female have large horns, but the male carries the larger horns and has the broader forehead base. They graze on coarse grass, prefer to be near water and move mostly at night. Its greatest enemy is the Lion, which it has been known to kill.
Elegant animals, with the males carrying the lyre-shaped horns, IMPALA (Aepyceros melampus) are very gregarious and can be seen in herds of 300 or more.
The accompanying photo is of two Impala bucks.
Favorite thing: Strangest of all the animals in shape and size. the GIRAFFE is also the most docile of creatures and apart from the ability to gallop up to 5 km/hour for some seven kilometres at a time, they have no means of defence -- though a kick from their long back legs has been known to maim a Lion. They are at their most vulnerable when drinking at a water-hole in open country where their camouflage does not blend in with the open surroundings.
Calves when born, after a gestation period of 15 months are already 2 metres tall. Giraffe are gregarious and are often seen in the company of Zebra and Antelope.
Giraffe can be seen in the wild in most game reserves. We had just about given up seeing Giraffe and were delighted when almost at the end of the day, we spotted this family of Giraffe who just meandered on the road ahead of us. They let us get unbelievable close so we were able to get some awesome pictures.
Favorite thing: Long legs and a very long neck, make the GIRAFFE one of Southern Africa's most unusual mammals ( mammals are animals that nurse their young). But these oddities do enable the Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) to feed on leaves and seed-pods at a height where grass-eating animals cannot reach. Although the Giraffe has a height of 5.5 metres, it has the same number of vertebrae in its neck as a tiny sparrow. Giraffes have two bones that stick up from the tops of their heads. These are covered with tufts of hair and look like horns.
Rhinos have no fixed breeding time. The young, called calves are born 17 to 18 months after the parents mate. They are nursed for two years before they start taking care of themselves.
Rhinos are strictly vegetarian and eat leaves, grasses and twigs.Although they usually move at a leisurely pace from food to water and from mud to their grazing area, they often go as fast as 30 miles an hour in a charge. SO watch out!!!
Favorite thing: Although termed in two categories as "white" and "black", there is actually no difference in colour between the two types. The White Rhinoceros has a square lip, is a grazer, is larger and carries his heavier head downwards. The Black Rhinoceros is smaller, has a pointed lip and is a browser. Being very short-sighted has made him very aggressive and he will charge vehicles, so please do stay in your vehicle and don't get too close to these magnificent animals and like we did, prepare to leave in a hurry if you feel threatened.
Nature has camouflaged the zebra, whose stripes make it almost invisible when it moves through the deep brush of Africa.
Zebras may mate at any time of the year and after a gestation period of about a year, a single foal is born. Mares usually produce foals when about 3 1/2 years of age and will suckle them for about 12 months.
Burchell's Zebra (Equus burchelli) is a highly sociable animal that prefers to live in family groups comprising large herds. They are also very gregarious and are often seen in the companyof wildebeest, waterbuck, impala and sometimes kudu. Found in most game reserves, they are timid grass-eating animals and prefer the open savannah-type plains and grasslands.
Burchell's Zebra differs from the smaller Mountain Zebra in that its stripe markings extend right around the body