Between the Hluhluwe / Umfolozi gate and Hilltop Camp, the bushveld reminded us of life where man has not throttled nature. As the dusty road ascended to Hilltop I felt a Carpenters song coming on. “I’m on top of the world, looking down on creation…” tra la la.
While we were mere visitors, the permanent residents, Nyala, Samango Monkeys and Crested Guinea Fowl were most gracious in accommodating our intrusion into their world.
At night a genet watched us from the bush just meters from our braai. Later bush babies paid a fleeting visit. 8 Year old Fjord described them as “Silent grey shapes, moving through the trees”.
Visiting the bush is so much more than mammals and the big 5. The scents, the warmth, the abundance of life, these resound in a spiritual abundance.
The accommodation costs at Hilltop Camp include a hearty buffet breakfast. Mum paid for supper one night. I was alarmed when seeing the price of R190 pp for the dinner buffet. I did wish that we had brought along a pre-cooked frozen meal to heat to save her the hefty bill on our second night.
A short game viewing drive to a nearby picnic site was the perfect setting to enjoy a lunch. Only the dry river bed lowered our spirits.
Visiting Hluhluwe / Umfolozi game reserve is a rich and wonderful experience. It was even richer having finished reading the book Zululand Gold by Ian Tennant just days before our departure. If you’re new to Zululand I recommend reading Zululand Snow and Zululand Gold. Hmmm they should stock copies in the shop.