For my birthday, I spent time at Royal Thonga Safari Lodge in Northern KZN, it is 50km from the South Africa/Mozambique Border. Firstly, I am so surprised at myself for not having travelled this part of the province before, it’s not too far from where I am based. The lodge itself is located just outside the Tembe Elephant Park so you are able to see some inyalas and impalas when you drive in and out of the lodge (they are behind the fence of course). The bird life is also very extensive, I don’t care much for birds but I was amazed at the different types that we could see and hear. One doesn’t need an alarm clock because the bird chirping starts very early in the morning and will definitely wake you up.
The lodge currently only runs on generator power, so there are set times when the generator is on, this was between 17h00 and 21h30, outside those hours there was no power and no cellphone network (they have network boosters because the location is deep in the bush and the network doesn’t reach properly). Anyway, so there is plenty time to read, chat, nap etc. which for me is ideal for a holiday.
One of the mornings was for the game drive, we saw a number of animals. At one point, the game drive car wouldn’t start. Imagine being stuck in the middle of a game reserve! Luckily our guide is well versed in car mechanics, so he got us up and going.
We saw a herd of buffalo
Elephants having a drink and a bath at the same time. The province is currently in the middle of a drought and all the natural water pans are dry. This was one of the water pans that are fed water from a borehole so that the animals can still have some water. After the bathing and drinking session, one of the elephants decided to relieve itself (both ways) in front of us! LOL! I have never seen such huge amounts of excreta in my life!
We had such a lovely stay at Royal Thonga, I wouldn’t mind going back there. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating. We took a drive to the nearest town on one of the days and even the townsfolk were so friendly and courteous, we were so surprised – it’s just something that you don’t find a lot of anymore, especially in the city.