Year in the Wild Blog

Posts with tag Ezemvelo – July 2013 – uKhahlamba-Drakensberg

The first of my bimonthly columns for, South Africa's biggest news website. Check out the article and photos online here. I started off my Year in the Wild 2013-14 journey in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, and this column is about the best of the northern part of this World Heritage Site.

Days 9 & 10 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – Injisuthi and a hard night’s sleep at Poacher’s Stream

From the relative luxury of Didima Camp, we made our way to the remote camp of Injisuthi in the central Drakensberg. This little camp is a favourite of ‘Berg locals, and tends to draw a mountain connoisseur crowd.

I love it, because although the cabins are simple and a bit run down, the emphasis is on the surrounding mountains, rather than the accommodation and services. Also, there is no electricity, and no cell phone reception, which in this day and age is a miracle and wonder, don't you
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Day 8 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – Mike’s Pass and Didima Rock Art Centre

After all the hiking of the past few days, it was great to drive up Mike’s Pass, a 4x4 track that winds its way up from Didima Camp to the top of the sandstone ridges. For those of you who are allergic to hiking boots (we all are, sometimes!), then this drive of a few kilometres is a great way to see some of the best scenery in the northern Drakensberg.

Anyone with a 4x4 or vehicle with diff-lock can drive it, and you can get a permit from the Didima camp reception. At the top are panoramic
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Day 2 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – Thukela Gorge

The 14km walk up the Thukela Gorge is one of the most scenic in South Africa, that's for sure. (It used to be spelt Tugela, but that's the English corruption of the isiZulu spelling, which is Thukela).

Starting from Thendele Camp in  Royal Natal National Park, you can easily spend a whole day walking the gorge. In fact, you MUST not rush this's like rushing through a really good piece of chocolate cake. Don't do it, I tell you, don't do it! Rather slow down, savour the experience,
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Day 1 – Year in the Wild 2013-14 – The beginning!

I'm spending my first night of Year in the Wild 2013-14 in the Royal Natal National Park in uKhahlamba-Drakensberg World Heritage Site! I've got another 15 months of travel ahead of me, exploring about 50 of South Africa's most special protected areas, as well as the transfrontier parks on the borders of the country.

It's the middle of winter here, but it feels like summer! The Drakensberg mountains are often covered in snow at this time of year, but the sky is blue, the sun is out and the
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Sawubona Magazine – February 2013 – Tembe Elephant Park

My three page article in South African Airways' inflight magazine on Tembe Elephant Park - one of the wildest, and least known of South Africa's reserves, and one of my favourites. The elephants are some of the biggest tuskers in Africa, and the lion population is doing really well too. A highly recommended reserve for the wildlife connoisseur and novice alike.