Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve

Weekend 10/31-11/01

Day 2 St. Lucia and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve

The next day I was up early again and we took off to go to the St.Lucia Park; we drove through it but did not see many of the animals perhaps the growls of my upset stomach were keeping them away. Though I did have lovely wake up call. As we were entering the park I decided to take a nice shot of the sunrise, but the fence was in my way, so I got closer and closer and then “Zzzzzzzzaaaaaaaappppppp” I was electricuted by the freaking fence! I jumped as if a wasp stung me and jumped up and down like mad Miriam! He he he, what a lovely wake up call. My dear friends, if a double espresso does not do it for you early morning hours, get zapped by the electric as I can assure you that truly works! As for the rest of the day despite my upset stomach I was quite alert and zapping everyone and everything around me…!

We got to the place by the Indian Ocean called “the Rock” and what an amazing place. The sand dunes were huge, according to the captain of the boat ride from yesterday the sand dunes are over 150 meters tall and they grow 7 centimeters per year. These are the 2nd tallest sand dunes in the world after some in Australia. Amazing beach vegetation was growing on them, and we wondered upon a beach were on one side we had tall sand dunes, in the middle 2 million year old fossilized oyster beds and at the end crashing waves of the Indian Ocean! What a site! What a place! Since it was quite early in the morning, the beach was deserted so we wondered aimlessly around, picking up rocks and shells and playing like a kids in the pools created by million years of erosion and pounding waves of the ocean! The moments were magical and what a spot for prefect mediation! Once we walked out of the magical land the day was bright, happy and sunny!

We went back to the guest house, packed our stuff and took off for Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve which was on our way home. We entered the park to find out that foreigners have to pay 3x the entrance fee as the locals.... hmm what kind of discrimination should I call this one? Despite the hefty fee, the park is truly a jewel in the Zulu land. Surrounded by rolling hills, bushy and vibrant vegetation, tons of amazing wildlife for viewing, winding river in the valley, and lovely Zulu huts on the way. Loved every bit of this park. We saw many amazing animals, lots of giraffes, gazelles, water bucks, spring bucks, other kind of bucks, wild bores, colorful bird spices, of course the rhinos and even a water bull in the distance. I think the most amazing one was to come across a family of 4 HUGE rhinos with a little baby rhino roaming around us. They were ready to cross the road when we showed up. I do not think they can see very well, but they saw us and would not move, so they stood there kept looking at us, us looking at them and each of us holding breath on what is going to happened next. I guess the rhinos got tired of standing still, so they just lied down and it was funny to see how they put down and pick up their massive bodies. I do not know how to tell the difference between white and black rhinos, though all I know that these were incredibly massive and their horns were SOOOO huge and just absolutely PERFECT! What a magnificent display of Mother Nature at its best! It took us several hours to pass though this park, as every curve, every turn and every bush was hiding more and more surprises for us and each time we saw something new we went “uhhhh”, “ahhh”, “look…look”. We completely lost the point of time and distance and just soaked the nature in and tremendously enjoyed every moment of this was and beautifully rugged place.

Well after that it took us forever to get back to Joburg, as the road was winding around gorgeous valleys and mountains, rivers and scenic Zulu villages with the most stunning sunset ever! What a beautiful site! When we got back to Joburg it was late and I could barely stand still on my feet. I was exhausted with the incredible moments of the day and more then anything with the exhausting drive back. As I was failing asleep pictures of animals were running through my head and I could not help but to smile and thank Lord for all this beauty that has been brought to my life.

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