Zulu Nyala Trip Report-Sept 25-Oct 2

Oct 19th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #1  
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Zulu Nyala Trip Report-Sept 25-Oct 2

My husband and I just returned from spending 6 amazing days at the Zulu Nyala Game Reserve. We had an awesome time!

We stayed at the Game Lodge which was not our first choice but it turned out was the best. The Heritage Lodge is a big hotel that caters to overnight bus tours. The tent camp is literally in the backyard of the Heritage Lodge NOT in the bush. The Nyati/Ndlovu Logde was nice too. We had dinner there one night with a couple from our group. The Nyati/Ndlovu does overlook the waterhole. The food was good-nothing spectaular but it is plentiful and you can try some of the "local favorites"-nyala, wildebeast, and impala were all served at some point. All the meals were served buffet-style with plenty of choices so I was always able to find something I liked. (I am not an adventurous eater.) Our room was nice-HUGE bed, clean and comfortable. We did have an unwelcome guest at our door one night when we returned from dinner. We were told by the man who came to take it away that it was an immature cobra. I think that was unusual and it did make for a good story when we got home. We saw monkeys, nyala and warthogs outside our room, in the courtyard on several mornings. The staff sang for us at dinner-traditional Zulu songs and the Zulu dancers from the village performed several times. (They expect tips from everyone. And be prepared to pay for pictures taken with them.)

We saw elephants at the waterhole with the hippos on our first drive the afternoon we arrived. The rhinos made us wait till the next morning. We saw plenty of zebras, giraffes, monkeys, warthogs, impalas, nyalas, and wildebeasts. The birds are amazing. Our guide Werner found out that I was a birder and made sure that he pointed out everyone he saw to me. (Turned out he was a birder too with a lifelist of over 500 birds.) I added almost 50 new birds, including some rare ones, to my list.

Our guide Werner was incredible. He loved to go off-roading and was able to get us to within feet of the animals. Including the elephants, rhinos and cape buffalo. He was extremely knowledgable about the habits and lore of the animals. He would sit as long as we wanted to get a good look and wonderful pictures of the animals. He loves them and is as awed by them as we are. He suggested daytrips for us and told us plainly which ones were worth it and which ones weren't. (The Zulu Cultural Village is "too Hollywood" and besides, they perform their show at dinner for you.) If you want to see the "real" Africa take the trip to the Zulu Homestead and School. It was a real eye-opener. I'll never complain about having to cook in my little kitchen again.

There are no cats or other predators at ZN so you have to take a daytrip if you want to see them. The Phinda Reserve, which is literally next door, has cats and sometimes there are daytrips available to Phinda. Unfortunately we were told that Phinda was booked solid through December so we couldn't go. We did go to Hluhluwe-Umfolozi and saw lions in the distance. Didn't see any other cats or predators. It was a nice trip anyway. Added quite a few birds to my list there. St. Lucia was a wonderful daytrip. Again lots of birds, hippos and crocodiles. Also saw baboons and a pair of Samango monkeys, which are endangered. Got to spend about 20 minutes at the Indian Ocean.

I live.
MarthaR is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 01:00 PM
  #2  
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Very sorry. I clicked the mouse in the wrong spot.

I was saying that the group we were with all week were very nice. Mostly from the Seattle area. Even saw one of our local newscasters while there. We exchanged email addresses and promised to share all our photos with each other. I can't include any photos with this report because I am basically computer illiterate and don't know how. I'll ask my husband to post them when he can.

All in all, we had a marvoulous trip! I wish we could have spent more time in South Africa but hubby couldn't get the time off. I would return in a heartbeat if I could.
MarthaR is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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cw
 
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Thanks for the report on Zulu Nyala. A lot of people come to the Board looking for information after they've bought the trip at auction.

Glad you had a good trip. Did it whet your appetite for a return safari someday?

CW
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Oct 19th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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That's great you had such a nice trip. Did you happen to run into an American named Kristen? She was there on almost the same dates you were.

Samango monkeys! Good work.

Thanks, those auction winners will be happy to read your positive comments.
atravelynn is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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Better an immature cobra than a mature one, I suppose!

Great that you had a guide who took his time rather than zooming from sighting to sighting.

MarthaR, you're the second Seattleite I know who has gone to Zulu Nyala. It sounds like a very enjoyable trip.
321go is offline  
Oct 20th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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321go,
The man who took the snake away said they are "born dangerous". The snake didn't seem like he felt threatened or anxious in any way, but then again, how can you tell? He didn't rear up or spread a hood or anything.

Our guide was amazing! Speaking of cobras, the guide, Werner, had a close encounter with a Mozambique Spitting Cobra on our next to last day there. He stopped the truck and jumped out, yelling "SNAKE!" He jumped in front of it and it did rear up, spread its hood and spit at him. It caught him in the face but luckily he was wearing glasses (Werner, not the snake). There was venom on the glasses and on his jacket. The incident was over so fast only one person in our group got any pictures of it. He was bragging about it to the other guides at dinner that night. We were so lucky to have him.

Two of the other couples in our group are from the Seattle area too. Anacortes and Sammamish. I met a woman from Issaquah too.

atravelynn-didn't meet anyone named Kristen. Sorry. The Samango monkeys were beautiful. We got some very nice shots of them.

cw-I'd go back tomorrow if I could.

Martha
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