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ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES ON THE SPECIES SURVIVAL PROJECT

SOUTH AFRICA

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ADDITIONAL FUN ACTIVITIES THAT WERE INCLUDED IN THE ENDANGERED SPECIES PROJECT

We have included some fun activities into this project that are designed to add to your experience of conservation and of the region. They may also give you the opportunity to view some animals that you might not see on your project. Descriptions of the different activities are given below.
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  • A one-day game drive in the famous Hluhluwe-Imfoloi Game Reserve
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  • A boat trip on the St Lucia river estuary;
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  • A night survey in a Game Reserve to see nocturnal animals such as leopard and porcupine, etc., an activity the public does not get to enjoy!

 

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GAME DRIVE IN HLUHLUWE-IMFOLOZI GAME RESERVE

The two reserves of Umfolozi and Hluhluwe (pronounced Jislui) were originally Zulu Royal hunting grounds and were separate but have now been consolidated and cover some 96,000ha of prime Zululand countryside typified by rolling hills with grassland summits, separated by steep valleys with riverine forest.

The Umfolozi ("zigzag") River divides into two - the Black and the White Umfolozi. Between the two is some of the best savanna country in Southern Africa and despite much of the game being eliminated from the surrounding countryside during the last century, it remained a haven for black and white rhinos.

Hluhluwe is set in the heart of Zululand, the oldest game reserve in Africa where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation laws, where today the "big five" of African legend stalk the verdant savannah.

There are approx. 800 rhinos in the Reserve as well as many other species, particularly elephant. Lions were not introduced intentionally to the reserve. A single male appeared mysteriously in 1958, to be joined after a few years by some females, equally mysteriously. The pride now help to control the number of buck in the park. Read about the Lions in the Reserve.

Umfolozi Game Reserve (now known as Imfolozi) was one of the first game reserves to be established in Africa and is internationally recognized not only for its prolific wildlife but also saving the White Rhino. At one time there were only 60 White Rhino left in the world. Hard work by the Umfolozi Game Reserve managed to rescue them, but now the Black Rhino is down to 2,000.

The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park (one of the largest Game Parks in SA) is renowned for its wide variety of bird and animal life. Besides the 'big five'- elephant, lion, leopard. buffalo and rhino - elusive cheetah, wild dog and nyala, along with many other well-known bushveld species, inhabit the park.

The park covers 96 000 hectares, and comprises three reserves: Hluhluwe, Umfolozi - two of Africa's oldest game reserves, both founded in 1895 - and the linking Corridor Reserve, proclaimed in 1989.


Rhinos and buffaloes wallowing together in a waterhole in Hluhluwe Game Reserve
BOAT TRIP ON LAKE ST LUCIA
This relaxing yet exciting boat trip takes place on Lake St. Lucia in the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park at Charters Creek and at St. Lucia Estuary.

You take a two-hour trip on the fully equipped 'Santa Lucia' up the 'Narrows' to see the huge numbers of hippos and crocodiles, that look like logs floating in the river and on the shores - and a wonderful variety of birdlife. With about 1,500 specimens, the crocodile population in the St. Lucia lake is the biggest of all the animal parks in South Africa.

Although the major attraction is the crocodiles and hippos, a sight that always amuses is seeing the flying fish jump out of the water. The birdlife is also spectacular.

Mangrove swamps line the shores, emphasising the natural Africa feel to the trip

The boat trip is an excellent opportunity to flash your camera around - there are plenty of photo opportunities that are not to be missed

The Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park comprises a river-mouth about 60 km long, which forms a lagoon parallel to the coast. The lagoon is separated from the sea by a ridge of dunes. Where seawater and fresh water mix, there is an abundance of nutrition for countless species of fish and an equally impressive variety of birds.

NIGHT SURVEY IN A GAME RESERVE
Included as part of your project, you'll do a night-time survey from a 4x4 in a game reserve.
This is a few hours of unforgettable experience!
Here you have the opportunity to see nocturnal animals, such as leopard and porcupine, the types of animals that you can't see during the day and that the public never has the opportunity to enjoy.
The game parks have elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard, hippos, bush babies and wide variety of antelopes, which you may be lucky enough to see during the day, but the night surveys offer opportunities for rare sightings of different types of animals.
These surveys make you feel even closer to nature, so much so that you become a part of it. You'll experience a strong feeling of being enclosed in a cocoon with wildlife that you can hear but have difficulty in seeing (until your eyes become more trained to identifying tell-tale movements) - it's very special.

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