Chasing the big 5 in Hluhluwe

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In less than 2 hours we’re able to make our way north to the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa.  The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game reserve consists of 96 000 ha of hilly topography and is the only state run park in Kwa Zulu Natal where all the big 5 game animal occur.  Getting to see the big 5 was top on our to do list.  Having a two year old though has it’s own set of challenges.  There’s always a feeling of apprehension when we take Saharah along to experience something for the first time.  We literally have no idea how she’s going to react or respond.  However, she absolutely loved her time on safari and was completely engrossed in the animals we saw along the way.  Unfortunately we did not get to see any leopard, but we did see quite a few other animals.  The highlight though was a herd of elephant coming down to a watering hole for some much needed respite from the sun.  Although our family safari was a great experience, we also encountered extremely hot conditions and the region is currently in a severe drought.  It really was quite alarming to see how dry the region was with very little to no water in the Umfolozi rivers.

We met up with Ray De Vries, CEO of  Water from Air where they harvest the humidity from the air to generate pure water.  Him and his son Beyrick were also chasing the Big 5 in Hluhluwe while spending some quality time together.  They had come up with a van full of water which they distributed to the locals in the area.  Ray is also doing some great work in parts of the Orange Free State where the drought is at epidemic proportions.  It really does put into perspective what efforts need to be maintained to conserve such a precious natural resource.

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