The main resort at Mpila is off the Eskom grid so there’s a rustic, laid-back feel, especially since all chalets have a view out over the surrounding hills and bush. There’s also a picnic site that makes a shady place for day visitors to outspan.
Much of the tar road at iMfolozi is perforated with potholes so it’s a pleasure to get onto the gravel loops to the north and west of Mpila. Bhejane hide in the northwest is a fabulous place to stretch your legs and watch warthogs, nyala, zebra and other animals come to drink.
West of Mpila, Mpapha hide gives you an elevated view of another waterhole below a rocky outcrop. Just don’t do what three clueless foreigners were doing when we visited and sit on the rocks in front of the hide; remember that leopards are faster than you.
Don’t miss the chance to visit the Centenary Centre south of Nyalazi gate. Yes, there’s a craft market with a wide range of well-made goods, and you can buy light snacks from the takeaway restaurant. But most fascinating for me was the exhibition hall with its informative displays on how game capture techniques have changed over the years, and how drugs have advanced to minimise losses. Photos and models bring the different capture techniques to life, from net capture to plastic bomas, chemical capture to passive capture, and there’s potted info about some of the people involved as well.
Game drives, guided walks and two- to four-night wilderness trails are other activities you might want to try at iMfolozi. Wilderness trails were pioneered here in the 1950s – yes, long before Kruger National Park even thought of the concept! They offer an unforgettable bush experience under the guidance and protection of an experienced field ranger.
On foot, you may be lucky enough to encounter wild dog, leopard, cheetah or lion. You’ll also learn about plants that are used for food or medicine, insects, birds, reptiles and other creatures and how they interact.
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