Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:41 am

Tue Feb 21, 2012

Map of Hlane

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Hlane covers 30,000 hectares of bushveld. There is a network of self-drive game-viewing roads criss-cross the park.
The area north of the main camp is the self drive game viewing area with elephants, rhino, giraffe, zebra and antelope. The red area is only accessible with guided game drives in Hlane's open Land Rover's. There are lions. In the south-western area is a nice dam with a bird hide. Self drive is allowed there.

Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:43 am

Tue Feb 21, 2012

Hlane Royal National Park (held in trust for the nation by His Majesty, King Mswati III), with its adjacent dispersal areas, covers 30 000 hectares of Swazi bushveld, dominated by ancient hardwood vegetation.

Image ©welt.atlas.de

Hlane is a the Kingdom's largest protected area and together with its neighbouring parks makes up the vast bushveld expanse known as the Lubombo Conservancy. It is a modern day conservation success story that has seen this area survive competing land-use claims, sugar farming, mining and cattle-ranching.

Image ©vitualtourist.com

Image ©swaziland-direct.com

A network of self-drive game-viewing roads criss-cross the park's flat terrain, weaving between the 1000 year old hardwood vegetation and shallow pans, which attract great herds of animals during the dry winter months. Hlane, named by King Sobhuza II, extends for 30,000 hectares and is home to lion, elephant, white rhino, leopard, giraffe, hippo, crocodile and a wealth of smaller species. Birdlife is abundant and includes the highest density of nesting white backed vultures in Africa.

Image ©biodiversityexplorer.org

Image ©ramsaymedia.co.za

Guided walking safaris, mountain biking trails and 4x4 game-viewing are highlights, whilst almost all areas of the park are accessible by ordinary self-drive sedan during the dry season.

Image ©overlandingafrica.com

Ndlovu Camp is found immediately inside the main gate off the main tarred Simunye road through Hlane. The camp overlooks a waterhole, which, especially in winter, attracts a wide diversity of game including white rhino, elephant and giraffe. The camp is protected from big game by a three-strand electric cordon, which although not stopping smaller game movement, does keep the larger animals at bay. Ndlovu Camp has 5 self catering chalets within close proximity to reception, an open-air restaurant and the water hole. These fully equipped chalets cater for couples (2 chalets), a 4-sleeper (double and 4 singles in loft - ideal for kids) and 2 x 8-sleeper (2 doubles and 4 singles) ideal for groups. There are also 14 thatched family rondavels, and smaller cottages, all equipped for self-catering. There are also camp sites available here. This camp has no electricity.

Image ©swazi.travel

Image ©angolareservations.com

Bhubesi Camp is set on the elevated banks of the densely vegetated Umbuluzana River. Ideal for self-catering travellers, this camp is quiet and appeals to bird-watchers. There are 6 stone cottages, all designed and equipped for self catering. Accessible through the main gate at Ndlovu camp, it takes approximately 25 mins drive through the park to reach the camp.

Image ©beachandbush.co.za

Image ©world-in-pictures.org

Hlane is staffed by local Swazi people who will help to build fires and assist with cleaning up. About 15 minutes drive from either of the 2 camps, is the Simunye shopping centre. Although not as well stocked as the city supermarkets, the supermarket here can provide a lot of the essentials like fresh bread, milk, vegetables etc. There is also a filling station available here.

For reservation enquiries go to: http://www.biggameparks.org/

Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:44 am

Tue Feb 21, 2012

Ndlovu camp is rhino territory. Also the hippopotamus spend their day in the nearby dam and waterhole, at the restaurant or from the rondavels you can see rhino, elephant and antelope drinking during the day. This watering hole is within walking distance from the chalets and the campsite.

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At sunset the rhinos leave the waterhole to spend the night in the bush.

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On a guided walk they can come very close :shock:

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Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:49 am

Tue Feb 21, 2012

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Hlane is divided into three sections: The main game viewing area (rhino/elephant section) is relatively small and criss-crossed by lots of two spoored tracks, so spotting elephant or rhino is very easy there.

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There is another gate at the northern end and there a but further is a nesting site of Marabou storks

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The antelope section in the southwest covers a larger bushy area and there is a lovely dam (Mahlindza waterhole) with two hides and a picnic site, where zebra, impala, blue wildebeest, nyala, kudu and bushbuck can be seen.

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This is the entrance to the lion section and sometimes they come to the fence :lol:

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Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:53 am

Tue Feb 21, 2012

In the red marked lion/elephant section, access is only possible by a guided game drive. Seeing lions there is no guarantee, but the chances are high.

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The tracks there are very small and if you encounter a herd of elephants there walking on the “road”, they pass very close and sometimes even touch the vehicle.

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Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:54 am

Wed Feb 22, 2012

Toko wrote:they pass very close and sometimes even touch the vehicle.


Are the ellies a lot calmer than Kruger ellies? :shock:

Re: Hlane Royal National Park

Mon May 21, 2012 11:54 am

Wed Feb 22, 2012

I don't think so :shock: At least there is a story (told by a game drive guide), that a cow knocked over the game drive vehicle. Some of the roads in the elephant/rhino section are very bumpy and small as well :shock: and you can not reverse quickly - best thing is to stop and wait what will happen, I guess.