Into the Wild; an Offbeat Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park

Into the Wild; an Offbeat Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park

The rare moment of seeing wild animals in their natural habitat is a sight too unique to be skipped. In the heart of #Johannesburg is #HluhluweImfolozi #NationalPark. One of our favourite #safaris and home to a lot of fond, #animalspotting memories.


Johannesburg, South Africa

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. 

Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello

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.

deep in the African wilderness, away from technology, ... we felt a strange sort of calm wash over us
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
Aye, it’s real

Day 1

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.

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.

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Hotel Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp

 Bushlands Road Turnoff N2, Hluhluwe, South Africa
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The 250 kilometre drive from Durban left us exhausted and we couldn’t wait to hit the sack.

Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
Savi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
The pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp

Day 2

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.

We packed ourselves into a sturdy 4*4 and off we went for our first ever Safari
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One Day at Hluhluwe Safari

Active
 Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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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.

As we munched on our sandwiches, we spotted a peeing rhinoceros, as you do
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
A peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
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.

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.

Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
Herd of deer
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
More Zebras
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
Cape Buffalos
Our first zebra sighting – it had us at hello© Bruised PassportsAye, it’s real© Bruised PassportsSavi and Sid at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsThe pool at Isinkwe Backpackers Bushcamp© Bruised PassportsA peeing rhinoceros – perfect breakfast companion© Bruised PassportsInto the Wild© Bruised PassportsHerd of deer© Bruised PassportsMore Zebras© Bruised PassportsCape Buffalos© Bruised PassportsUp Close© Bruised Passports
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.

We were off for another leg of animal spotting
Sid and Savi with Richard
Under the African Sun
Baboon – Not so happy on seeing visitors
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?

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