Hide Life – Mkhuse Game Reserve
I was amped to visit Mkhuse for the second time, my first, a day visit and one marred by technical issues happening miles away in Cape Town by a fellow who couldn’t spell his own name, was still incredible if not slightly rushed. Everyone deserves a second chance and the Mkhuse Game Reserve delivered spectacularly.
Arriving on the Western side of the park (Emshophi Entrance) sans a reservation, we had to drive around 8 kilometers to reception to check in, with this achieved we headed back to the gate where the campsite is situated. Shaded by a large Weeping Boer Bean tree we settled down to see out the heat of the day before setting out into the park.
After a short drive the previous evening which had plenty of plains game and a few glimpses of Rhino and a herd of Elephants en-route back to the campsite, the next morning started with very little to see, except for the spectacular bush and a visit to Numso Pan and the excellent hides and picnic site situated on the banks of the pan in arms reach of the moaning Hippos and chattering Vervets.
On a side note, it looks like most of the infrastructure at the park is in the process of upgrades, Three of the hides have been revamped and offer fantastic views and the facilities have definitely improved since my last visit.
Heading back to camp, we decided to stop at the Kublubhe Hide and we were witness to only something Mother Nature could deliver, as the heat of the day grew, in what appeared to be a ballet like performance by the wildlife, the waterhole became a surreal scene of multiple species each taking a turn at the water’s edge.
Giraffe, Zebra, Warthogs, Impalas, Nyalas and Wildebeest all moved in synchronicity to replenish themselves, before a fitting finale of a Rhino and its calf ambled into the scene and stood within what seemed touching distance from the hide.
I have seen shed loads of game and had some incredible game viewing situations in the many and varied parks of South Africa, but this will always stick in my memory for sheer density, the grace and understanding between the species as they quenched their thirst and then as quickly as it escalated, the animals all melted back into the dense Acacia bush and we sat stunned in silence by what we had witnessed.
Mkhuse also renowned as a birders paradise, was in one word … prodigious, from its landscapes, the variance of its bush through the park and the wildlife delivered nothing short of a religious experience.
Often, i suspect, seen as the poorer cousin to the HluHluwe Park, it is a destination you need to include in your itinerary, you would be foolish not to.
See the photostory here.