Win a weekend for two at Umkhumbi Lodge! Your prize includes dinner, bed and breakfast, a half day game drive in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and a 2.5 hour guided kayak on the St Lucia Estuary. See below for more information!
Our Environmental Awareness Course with Mid Kent College is now featured in an educational catalogue!
A round up of all the fantastic pictures that have made it onto the facebook page of our lodge in South Africa.
Every day we put a new photo on our Facebook page, we’ve put a selection of them here!
So, before I get onto the poor tent building and our terrible dancing, it’s the next morning and sitting in front of the watering hole is a picture of perfection… Back to yesterday, after a long drive, which, in pretty much any other country, would have been boring and tedious was yet another journey of excitement, beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife kept us all entertained. We arrived at our destination buoyant from the drive, only to realise that we had to put tents up. What started out as a mess of poles ended up as a mess of a tent, but at least sleep-able, well for someone else, my tent was as sturdy as a brick house (thanks to Camping King Stuart). Tents up, Anton decided nose-breaking American football in the dark was a good idea, with Lottie letting the Lions know exactly where we were (screaming from a football flying at her face) poor light eventually called time on the play, perfect timing for dinner. Dinner was a good old old English Shepards pie with an African twist, yum…
With dinner demolished and beer in hand, we were treated (that word would seem to be overused, but seriously every turn is a surprise and the next thing is the new best experience of my life) with Swazi dancers, with lots of noise and lots of flare the dancers showed the rest of us how to do it and in return we showed them how not to, and on that bombshell, bedtime listening to the lion calls!
After fueling ourselves with hot-dogs and chips, we thought that we were ready for Tommy’s bush walk. What to expect? – Nobody knew (Well, beside Charlotte and Anneka). It started with a talk. The do or die. The hand gestures of the guide and the only way to survive in ‘The Bush’. Then and only then, we were ready. It started with the introduction of the different type of trees. First, the confused Cactus tree that we have been warned to steer clear of, despite its weird attraction. Then it was onto the tree that is used to get your own back on fisherman, noisy neighbours and Tommy’s favourite – the mother-in-law. Lets just say, all of these scenarios end with a funeral. The beginning of the walk showed us some more vegetation along with several birds, such as the Hoopoe and the Guinea Fowl. My favourite however was the Fire Finch – South Africa’s answer to a robin. After this, it only got better. As somebody who didn’t even know I was coming to Africa until 2 months ago, everything was a bonus, truly. The first animal we stumbled upon were the 2 zebras in the distance. I couldn’t believe how close we got. The cameras started clicking and we were all pretty taken aback, which only intensified by the sight of another zebra with its baby. It was an incredible sight. After some more animals, including wildebeasts and some prancing deer-like animals that I’ve only seen in the stage show of Lion King, we stopped for a break. Morbid maybe but we learnt so much about rhino hunting. Tommy boy taught us loads about how corrupt the poaching is here and what it is doing to our future generations – we CAN save the big 5 (The 5 animals that are the most dangerous when injured (queue extra brownie points for memory)). As we began our journey back to camp we witnessed the most spectacular sight I could have never even imagined. GIRAFFES. Supposedly in the south, these creatures indeed blessed us with their presence and we saw the most nosey creatures known to man. The best for Beth was yet to come… The sun was setting behind the journey and we couldn’t have asked for anything more. But I was wrong. So seriously mistaken. We had earlier been told that the stretch was all male after a tragedy a few weeks earlier but the suprise was in how quickly they had adapted to keeping company with one another. I think I should just say, the affectionate one was having plenty of fun with the little one. I was stunned. The frisky mount was just too much for my little eyes to bare. And on that note, I had one last glance and we head back to base. I can honestly say – as it is the best policy – that today has been a phenomenal experience. Nature has treated us so finely and I am one lucky beggar for being part of it.
Today we set out for our first adventure which involved lots of blood, guts and more gore! Yeah thats right, we DISSECTED A WARTHOG!! At first, everyone seemed a little squeamish at the thought of exploring the insides of a beast; Lottie and Beth were the brave souls that took on the task of cutting the animal and preparing it to be hung. The juicy stuff began after the skinning of the animal where we encountered gallons of blood gushing down engulfing the black sheet where Jess, Beth and a couple of other troopers took apart the remaining skin, which hung loosely off the meat and bare carcass. We were stunned, truly amazed at what we`d just seen – Tony had told us about it but seeing it in the flesh really made it real. Tommy cut the animal open and all its guts spilled out filling the whole mat.
Each person wanted to explore a different organ of the warthog and off we went to our different sections. I had the job of blowing the lungs of the warthog – something everyone else seemed happy to let me do and although it tasted like a fleshy straw, its an experience I will NEVER forget.
Overall the whole experience was super intense!! We loved every minute of it especially poking the eyeballs – this was a biology lesson we would never forget.
Ellie (written by Ruphina Ochanda)
Feeling good being back in SA. It’s pitch black and on the way to Anton’s place,Canterbury Gold is looking forward to an amazing three weeks with hopefully a lot of sunshine along the way.
It is that time of year again!
The students are arriving and it’s time to get rolling. We start off in the battlefields, where the students are entertained by the wonderful way Reggie tells the story of the battles of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift.
The history really came alive as we wandered the battlefields dotted with the white stone grave markers of the fallen men and climbed to the cave of the last Englishman standing before walking the route of Lieutenant Melvill and Lieutenant Coghill as they took the Queen’s colours to safety, ultimately ending in their demise at the river.
We are sad to leave our lovely hosts at Geckos View today, who have provided us with comfy beds, fantastic food (including Blue Wildebeest potjie!) and great company.
But leave we must as we head to hear of the fallen at Rorkes Drift before heading to Albizia Camp at Umkhumbi Lodge.
It seems that these little primates are becoming big fans of the night vision camera!
I was standing right in the window with a normal video camera for this one! They’re getting brave!
Whilst the bushbabies love to hang out in our sandforest here in Hluhluwe, they tend to run off at the sight of humans.
But now winter is coming and they have suddenly got very confident…
Be prepared for regular updates from these cheeky little monkeys!!
For those of you who haven’t found this post via the main website of our Hluhluwe accommodation, this is what you have to look forward to when you book at Umkhumbi Lodge.
A walk along a winding path (lit by fairy nights at light) leads to your home from home. And don’t worry about carrying your bags – we can do that for you!
With their high ceilings and spacious size you’ll wish you lived here permanently!
Don’t want to mingle with the other guests of an evening?
When you’re sitting on your veranda be sure to keep an eye out for our hand-reared impala. She is all grown up now, but still likes to stay close to the houses when she is not playing with the nyala babies.
Of course there are other things to do; such as luxuriate in your ensuite bathroom.
When you do decide to venture to the lapa you wont be disappointed by the sunsets…
Not interested in the breathtaking sunsets?
If you prefer, we can get the fire started before dinner so you can while away the hours there.
Dinner is a 3 course meal with a choice of main dishes and includes table salad.
You can eat on your own or if you prefer, on one table with the other guests, or even your host.
After dinner retire to your room and dream of the over twenty different South African holiday activities within an hours drive of Umkhumbi Lodge, Hluhluwe.
See you soon!
Indaba is the place to be to learn about the tourist market, and it’s been a great couple of days so far! Great to catch up with friends old and new and get some serious business done.
Why does this matter to you?
All the new businesses popping up over South Africa allow us to make your holiday even better with the unique experiences that will stay with you forever!
We are here to promote not just the KwaZulu Natal but our new educational family holidays!
But don’t worry, the kids won’t realise they are learning! Let your budding botanist bloom and nuture your nature lover as we show you our Africa.
Join us for an experience, not just an African Safari.