Camping outside Hluhluwe-Umfolozi

Old Jun 15th, 2007, 04:24 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Camping outside Hluhluwe-Umfolozi

I'm struggling to find a camping spot somewhere close to the most western gate of Umfolozi (Cengeni Gate) or Ulundi. Can anyone help?

For the eastern side, or near Memorial Gate, I found Hluhluwe Backpackers (reeaally laid-back email responses, not sure what to make of them, but ideally situated 2km from the gate) and Isinkwe Backpackers (more organised, better first impressions but 30km from Memorial Gate).

Has anyone used either of these two places and would you recommend it?

I feel that we should stay 2 nights on the west side to explore Umfolozi, and then 3 nights on the east side to explore Hluhluwe - do you agree, or is it easy enough to explore the total park from the Memorial Gate?

Many thanks!!
WilmaW is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 04:34 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You can explore the entire park from Memorial Gate. While its a very nice park, where I easily saw four of the Big 5 (no leopard), and lots of rhinos, its not that large. If you are looking to camp, have you looked at any of the in-park campgrounds?

Michael
thit_cho is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 07:04 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
As far as I know there aren't any...? Only the trail base camps and maybe some safari tented camps?
WilmaW is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I thought Mpila allowed camping? I stayed at Hilltop, but I visited Mpila, and I'm pretty sure they permitted camping.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 07:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You are correct. I just checked kznwildlife, and no camping at Mpila or Hilltop. I must be mistakenly recalling the self-catering chalets, and I think some did prop tents outside their chalets since they wanted to sleep outside -- I have no idea if that's permitted.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Jun 15th, 2007, 09:17 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You may be thinking of the tented self-catering units at Hilltop. They are permanent structures.

They were all booked up the last time we were there, but I took a peek inside them, and they really look good. I hope we can get one on a future trip.
Celia is offline  
Old Aug 1st, 2007, 03:08 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 18
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your help... we ended up entering through Nyalazi gate (very laid-back, almost to the point of unprofessional) the first day to explore Umfolozi and used Memorial Gate (still laid-back but better) the rest of the time.

We camped the first 2 nights at Bonamanzi (near Hluhluwe town) which was a really awesome place to camp - large, super-clean bathrooms, and only limited camping pitches so enough privacy and tranquility. Saw red duiker!... and plenty nyalas. Impala did mating calls and display. Regret we didn't have more time to relax around Bonamanzi itself. Great place!

Then camped 3 nights at Hluhluwe Backpackers which was okay. Best part is it's only a stone's throw from the Memorial Gate. The camping area's bathrooms leaves some to be desired (only 1 loo worked and it had a broken plastic toilet seat... I hate plastic toilet seats). Despite their notice to conserve water, one shower was running for 6 hrs at least during the one night, as the tap couldn't be closed properly. Don't know what the problem was so I probably shouldn't criticize that issue too harshly. It was given attention as soon as I reported it to the groundsman.

The decoration and vibe at the Hluhluwe Backpackers is great and Futhi the reception/cleaning/cooking lady is a treat.

Kitchen facilities = great, braai area looked fine although we didn't use it.

There are 2 dogs and a cat on the property, Nelson the Alsation being the one you'll get to know best - always came to greet us... lovely dog!

Weather-wise we got bad wind (not bodily!) and our tent pegs got ripped right out the ground. The place is situated on a hill - which is nice also, good views and feels like one of the local Zulus.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining - the ground is soft : )

We found that on days we were exploring Umfolozi, as long as we got to the corridor area (near Nyalazi Gate) around 4pm or 4:30pm, we could make it to the Memorial Gate by 6pm, closing time. Was a bit stressful as we came across elephants blocking the way twice... so one should allow a bit more time if you don't like stressing if you're going to reach the gate in time to exit.

We found the park (both Umfolozi and Hluhluwe) unexpectedly green for winter. Don't know if it's always like that or if it is indeed unusual.

We had better (more quantity and slightly better quality) game viewing in the Umfolozi side... in Hluhluwe the vegetation is more dense, and the hills/mountains make it difficult to find game.

We saw plenty of white rhino, even a tiny baby! On the carnivore side we saw 3 lionesses and 6 hyena at a wildebeest kill... which entertained us for more than an hour, only 10 minutes after entering from the Nyalazi Gate on our first day : ) And saw a lone hyena again a few days later. We were very very lucky to also see 2 cheetah (apparently only about 45 in the park).

All in all we spent 4 days in the park(s).

Oh, and to confirm, the Mpila camp does indeed have permanent tents. They go for about R230 pp a night if I remember correctly.

The parks people say there is no camping because of the fact that they have the Big 5 and no fencing around the camps : / ... too dangerous. I did see a fence around Hilltop in Hluhluwe but probably won't keep ele's out.

Camping cost us R80 pp at Bonamanzi and R70pp at Hluhluwe Backpackers.

Re the Cengeni Gate... I'm not much the wiser. The guard at the gate said he thinks one can camp at the Holiday Inn at Ulundi??? I am still to follow up on that.

There didn't seem to be any accommodation options (camping or other) near the Nyalazi Gate either.

Will be back to H-I to go on a wilderness trail!
WilmaW is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 06:57 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,916
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Great sightings. I didn't even realize there were cheetah in the park. I was only there for two days, but saw a large male lion and several hyenda, but no cheetahs or dogs. But I went primarily to see rhinos, and saw dozens.
thit_cho is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 08:28 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the report! I too didn't know there were cheetahs in the park; lucky you! In fact, I don't think I've ever seen big cats there. But always plenty of rhinos, of course, and elephants and lovely lovely giraffes.

Celia
Celia is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2007, 01:36 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 9,222
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, I never saw your original post. I stayed in the permanent tents at Mpila in 2004. They have a large deck area with a second partially enclosed area containing the kitchen so we self-catered. Loved our time there.
Kavey is offline  
Old Feb 17th, 2008, 10:35 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To: WilmaW
Re. "We camped the first 2 nights at Bonamanzi (near Hluhluwe town) which was a really awesome place to camp - large, super-clean bathrooms, and only limited camping pitches so enough privacy and tranquility. Saw red duiker!... and plenty nyalas. Impala did mating calls and display. Regret we didn't have more time to relax around Bonamanzi itself. Great place!"

I am also looking for a campground in Hluhluwe. Could you please tell me how to find this place? Thanks a lot.
DrivetheSilkRoad is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
spirobulldog
United States
9
Jun 2nd, 2014 05:54 PM
janischa28
Africa & the Middle East
16
Jan 25th, 2006 12:31 PM
RedChicky
Africa & the Middle East
4
Sep 13th, 2005 05:22 PM
tesaniedi
United States
4
Jan 19th, 2004 08:23 AM
jlw3369
Mexico & Central America
4
Aug 13th, 2003 03:45 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:31 PM.