Looking for inspiration for a spontaneous break after a housebound Christmas or seeking to escape the madding crowds for a day or three? While the attraction of the pristine coastline and balmy Indian Ocean at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is undeniable during the summer holiday season, the smart traveller also knows to head inland to the lush pans, soaring mountains, wide open savannah and Big Five species of iSimangaliso’s uMkhuze section.
Even as a day trip, uMkhuze is ideal as an alternative route from the N2 highway to the coastline, easily transited from eMshophi Gate in the west to Ophansi Gate in the East, past the renowned birding destination of Muzi Pans and on to the Park’s Sodwana Bay only an hour’s drive away.
Summer in uMkhuze holds its own beauty – with the sizzling days heralded by cicadas and heady nights occasionally punctuated by thunderstorms. Baby animals of every species are incredible entertainment for young and old visitors. And during the heat of the day, the central swimming pool brings offers welcome relief.
According to Marketing Manager Lindy Duffield, “The regular social media postings speak for themselves of the amazing experiences our visitors are having. Photos of lions – especially the three new brothers, cheetah, wild dogs, elephants and a Pel’s fishing owl, not forgetting the world class aerial boardwalk forming part of the guided Fig Forest Walk… uMkhuze is in its prime.
There are still a few places available in tented or chalet accommodation, plus a great fenced campsite. Grab them now and enjoy uMkhuze in the green season!”
Here is what some of the Park visitors have had to say:
Yvonne Pelster posted on Facebook: “Just returned from an awesome visit to [uMkhuze]. Road works seem to be completed (what a pleasure to drive in the park) and they are in the process of building a new entrance to the park to look like the rest of [iSimangaliso]. The walkway at kuMasinga hide has been redone and the hide is now open. Lots of water puddles in the park resulting in less activity at the hides. Lion activity in the area of KuMahlala Hide. [iNsumo] pan full of water. Saw 2 cheetah brothers (both collared) albeit a bit far getting ready for a hunt towards the loop area.”
Dave Ellinger wrote: “Last time we stayed in the safari tents a number of elephants passed through during the night browsing as they walked. And so close that we could hear their stomachs rumbling…. “
For last minute bookings contact the uMkhuze Hospitality desk on 035 5739001/4, or advance reservations on 033 845 1000.
Visit www.isimangaliso.com for free downloadable maps and general Park information.
Header image caption: iSimangaliso Elephant in uMkhuze. Image by Barry Coleman.