In December 2012, I managed to get back to one of the nicest parks in South Africa, the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. It was a quick four day visit and I set myself the main task of updating my Rhino photos as well as my other favourite, the irritable African Buffalo. I knew that visiting at that time of year would mean that the bush was green, lush and dense thus making photography more difficult. On a more positive note, it meant that I had to spend more time with each sighting that I came across as I never really knew when I would see something else on each drive, for unless it moved out in the open or crossed the road in front of you, spotting anything was pure luck.
The bird life during the rainy season proved to be fantastic and I have written another blogpost on the Birds of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi with many more photos for all the Twitchers out there. The dry season is definitely the better time to visit to see the larger animals, like the big cats or wild dogs. Having already been to Hluhluwe in the dry winter a few times before, going in the rainy season proved to be just as productive.
I stayed at the Reserve’s two camps, Hilltop and Mpila, which are the two main tourist camps if you are self-driving. There are many more bush camps around the reserve that cater for those who love a spot of camping. Hilltop was in a good condition and has spectacular views, Mpila is a little more rustic and I had problems with intermittent electricity supply as the generator kept failing, which is always a concern in the digital era.
Making an appearance on this trip was the mighty Canon 1Dx. More on this fantastic camera in later blogs. And I mean fantastic..
*Sadly, at the time of writing this blogpost the official number of Rhino killed for 2012 was set at 668. In a post I predicted the poaching numbers could reach a high as 550, I clearly underestimated the greed and ignorance of man*
Here are some Rhino Organisations and charities that can use your help: