Photo Safari through Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (Part 3)

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is famous as the place where the White Rhinoceros was saved from extinction in the middle of the previous century. These animals, and their more cantankerous cousins the Black Rhinoceros, still occur in healthy populations at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, but how sad that they again face a terrible onslaught from greedy humans for their horns, even here in their ancestral home.

The Park is also home to the other members of the “Big 5“, although the leopards didn’t show themselves to us during this visit. We had several sightings of different lion prides lazing on sandbanks in the Black Umfolozi River, and we encountered elephants and buffaloes throughout the reserve on a daily basis. Spotted Hyenas were a regular sight around Mpila, and we were thrilled by an encounter with a small pack of African Wild Dogs hunting impalas near Bhekapanzi Pan. That same morning we also had a fleeting sighting of a cheetah on Sontuli Loop. Furthermore, baboons, vervet and samango monkeys, duikerbushbuck, nyala, kudu, waterbuck, wildebeesthippo, zebra, giraffe and warthog all put in appearances as we explored Hluhluwe-Imfolozi this winter.

As we wrap up this report from our winter holidays in the bush, we really hoped you enjoyed travelling through Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park with us, and perhaps feel inspired to visit for yourself!

Being one of our favourite destinations, we’ve featured Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park many times on our blog – have a look through all our posts about this special wilderness if you’d like to learn more about it.

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33 thoughts on “Photo Safari through Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park (Part 3)

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      And at an alarming rate, John. It is sad to see our natural heritage decimated before our eyes by unscrupulous and greedy people, supplying an ignorant and superstitious market on a continent far away…

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      1. John

        I’ve seen programs where they saw the horns to protect the rhinos, but what I understood is that no good idea? They have also drilled holes in the horns and placed transmitters there, but those who shoot the animals do not know it. Admittedly, they looking for the buyer, but it is after all a rhinoceros less.

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          1. de Wets Wild Post author

            Luckily that happens very seldomly, John, and is mostly due to environmental stressors such as dwindling water resources in a drought. Mostly rhinos and elephants live together in relative peace and I’m sure more rhinos die of other natural causes, like getting stuck in mud, than from altercations with elephants.

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            1. John

              That’s true, But do you knoe more about why they started to saw the horn, and did not continue anymore? Have been nice if you could do a post how to protect rhinos, and other animals. 🙂

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              1. de Wets Wild Post author

                Today is also World Ranger Day, and we really must salute those brave men and women putting their lives on the line daily to ensure our wildlife heritage is protected for future generations!

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Removing the horns is a viable option in smaller reserves or reserves with only a few rhinos, John. Unfortunately it is a very expensive exercise (tranquilising drugs, helicopter fuel, personnel, etc) and as the horns regrow it has to be regularly repeated, which is why it isn’t really financially feasible to do in big reserves or big populations like that of the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. I don’t think much research has yet been done on the impact of doing this on the rhino’s social organisation though. And as you say, tracking and tracing the rhino horn and linking it to a particular poaching scene through a transmitter or microchip may help in the prosecution of the crimes, but by that time the rhino is already dead… The market for the horn has to be undone, that’s the only way in the long term that this war will be won.

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  1. Tina Schell

    Fantastic shots deWets – especially love the mama and baby in your opening. The light is beautiful. I agree it is heartbreaking that these (and other) beautiful animals are killed for their ivory or their skins. Having seen them in their native habitats I want to cry every time I read about yet another massacre. When will we learn to share the world with other species??

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    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Thanks for weighing in, Tina. We hope that the people buying these products relinquish their ignorant attitudes, through all the efforts being made in terms of educating and communicating, so that the market disappears and there’s no more incentive for the killing…

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