From Durban we travelled North along the coast to spend a couple of nights in the bush! Our first stop was a Raphia Palm forest in Mtunzini. Other than the raised walkway, the forest is left to it's natural course and attracts deer and vultures that eat the palm nuts. It is a lovely peaceful place and we were the only ones there. We met one of my friends for coffee and then headed on to iMfolozi Hluhluwe Game Reserve, stopping briefly at an amazing roadside market selling curios, crafts and fruit.
Just on our drive into the game reserve to check in to our chalet we saw a hippo out of the water, rhino, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, kuala, impala, kudu, a herd of buffalo (the first time I've ever seen buffalo!!!) and an elephant. It was very dry which makes it easier to spot animals, but it was so incredible to see so much before we'd even had a game drive. It was such a treat to be back in the bush with it's huge open spaces and enormous night sky. We had an amazing African sunset that night on the way to our cabin. We had a simple dinner and sat outside on our verandah drinking wine surrounded by the sound of animals and insects. Our electricity was switched off at about 9pm so we got ready for bed by candlelight and had an early night.
We woke up at 4:45am for an early morning game drive and breakfast in the bush. We drove around for a few hours... saw loads of buffalo, rhino, elephants, impala and nyala. By the time our drive ended it was absolutely sweltering. We left and drove to our guest house in St Lucia. We checked in, freshened up and headed out for a boat trip on the estuary. We saw loads of pods of hippos really close up while they swam and played... I've never seen hippos that close, it was actually quite scary. We also saw crocodiles, birds and a lone buffalo by the water and towards the end of the trip we had another spectacular sunset over the water. We went out for a seafood dinner and fell asleep totally exhausted after a very long day.