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Written by Savi, 20 Comments


Our 4×4 stopped in the tracks as a zebra swayed into the picture. We stared, mesmerised by its picture-perfect black and white stripes. It stretched its legs without a care in the world, stood there observing its surroundings, and eventually galloped away gracefully. As our eyes followed the disappearing zebra, we saw five giraffes grazing on our right.


We had been there only for a few minutes but it seemed like an eternity. In that moment, deep in the African wilderness, away from technology, the internet, and modern conveniences, we felt a strange sort of calm wash over us


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari 6
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello 🙂


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park Giraffes
Aye, it’s real



Our South African roadtrip took us to a lot of fascinating places, but the Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park occupies a special place in our mind.

We checked into the Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp, just 15 kilometres away from the Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park, late one night. The 250 kilometre drive from Durban left us exhausted and we couldn’t wait to hit the sack.


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari 7
Savi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari
The pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp


The next day, we were up nice and early (we’re talking 4 a.m. people!) and met our ranger, Richard, just before sunrise. We packed ourselves into a sturdy 4*4 and off we went for our first ever Safari.


A chance encounter with a zebra later, we stopped for breakfast. As we munched on our sandwiches, we spotted a peeing rhinoceros, as you do 😉


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari 5
A peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Isinkwe
Into the Wild


It turned out to be the beginning of a long day. We spent hours searching for animals. Richard, our ranger, had the eyes of a hawk and the ears of a bat. He seemed to be privy to the slightest movement around us and made sure we saw as many animals as we possibly could, within the space of a day.


Hluhluwe Imfolozi is one of the oldest and largest national parks in South Africa. It boasts of hilly stretches and deep valleys as well as expansive grasslands. As a result, there are loads of animals to be seen.


We saw wild boars lolling in the mud, cape buffaloes up close, lazy rhinoceroses, wildebeests, herds of deer with sparkly eyes, and zebras by the dozen.


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap Offbeat
Herd of deer


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Zebras
More Zebras 🙂


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Wildernees
Cape Buffalos


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National safari
Up Close


By the afternoon, the sun was beating down on us. The icy-cold water in our bottles had turned tepid, but our enthusiasm hadn’t waned one bit. After a quick lunch that involved flipping hamburgers on an African braai (BBQ), we were off for another leg of animal spotting.


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari 3
Sid and Savi with Richard


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Cheap offbeat safari 2
Under the African Sun


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park
Baboon – Not so happy on seeing visitors 😉


Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park. Zebra
Awww – Mumma Zebra nuzzling Baby Zebra 🙂


By the end of the day, we were dead tired. We slipped into our beds thinking of all the stories we had from just a day in the wild.

Have you ever been on a safari? Was a peeing rhinoceros the highlight of your safari too? 😉


Fact File

  • Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park  is 250 kilometres away from Durban
  • A Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park is perfect if you are visiting Durban. Its proximity to the city makes it a good alternative to the Kruger National Park
  • The best time to visit is between May and October
  • The Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp offers great accommodation for those on a budget. Rooms are clean, food is fresh and plentiful, and the ambience is typically African. Prices start at £20/person.
  • We opted for the Backpackers’ Safari at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp. The guided safari (including meals, vehicle and ranger) costs £75 – £100/person.


Want more tales from South Africa? Read about the time we got uncomfortably close to a lion at The Lion Park, Johannesburg 



20 thoughts on “Into The Wild – An Offbeat Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park

      1. Anantvijay,

        Good catch ! 🙂 You are absolutely right, thanks for pointing that out. Have corrected the typos now – I must start having a double shot of espresso before writing the posts 😉

        Cheers !

    1. Hope you have an amazing time to Hluhluwe. Do keep us updated- would love to know how it went for you 🙂

    1. Jessica we have so much to say about South Africa – it is one of our favourite countries. Keep your eyes peeled for a blogpost on a couple of other cheap, offbeat safaris that we ticked off our list 🙂

  1. Loved the post and pictures! So looking forward to a safari at some point in the hear future…loved the Rhino peeing shot…hehe, quite entertaining 🙂

    1. Gotta love the peeing Rhino 😉 There are few things as exciting as a safari. For me it ranks right up there with adventure sports.

  2. Don’t remember the last time I saw any creature as preened and poised as the zebra in the first picture. The baboon and the buffaloes look simply adorable. I mentally hugged them, they are so cute! I’m sure you guys had the time of your life.
    I must add, amazing photography.

    1. Thanks – these are some of my favourite photos too. Zebras are definitely the most poised and graceful animals I’ve ever seen, irrespective of whether they’re swaying across the road or galloping into the wild 🙂

  3. What a wonderful post! We went on our honeymoon to Kenya and went on a safari. Absolutely incredible, I think it is the single most amazing experience of my life. Your pictures brought back those memories! For me it was being up close to the elephants!

    1. Erica I’m so glad to hear from someone who feels the same way about Safaris – Both Vid and I flippin’ love them. We have a whole post dedicated to a elephant Safaris coming up soon – I’ll definitely send the link to you 🙂

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