The now-husband and I took a little last minute trip to Umfolozi and stayed at Mpila camp (same camp we got engaged) this weekend. I love that we have that freedom of being able to go somewhere last minute, just to unwind a bit. This place is beautiful, and only three hours away from Durban.
Our goal was just to relax. We weren’t too fussed about chasing animals and trying to get to all the spots to see them. Instead, we just took a chilled drive through the park, stopped where we wanted, for how long we wanted, and just relaxed. This felt so much better than rushing to the next spot to see if we had any luck in sightings. Having said that, we actually had some lovely sightings, from ground hornbills, to a stand off between two rhinos at a waterhole, to a cheeky juvenile elephant getting very upset with a woolly-necked stork and putting up a proper display to chase this bird away from the waterhole. We also had the ‘resident’ hyenas pay us a visit at night, around the braai. You never get used to this feeling, and the now-husband and I were still as nervous as ever when we left the save haven of our deck to braai that little steak. The new rule was also that I had to hang around the braai area with now-husband with the torch, whereas usually I would just perch myself on the deck, keeping a fine eye on our surroundings.
The park was incredibly dry and hot and with all the rain we’ve been getting, I was very sad to see the park still so dry. There had definitely been some rain however, as we saw a lot of tiny water holes pop up but quickly noticed that these didn’t last long under the blistering sun. But as they say, drought is part of nature’s way of doing a good clean up.
We only stayed for one night (could’ve definitely done with another night) but left there feeling a little more relaxed and ready to carry on with the year, or at least until our next little trip away.