After a leisurely breakfast everyone heads out for an extended 4x4 game drive to fully explore the treasure of this reserve.
Ithala Game Reserve has presented the setting for a number of ancient events, from Shaka’s rule together with a number of successive Zulu kings to a variety of gold mining enterprises in the early years of the 20th Century. There is an outstanding vehicle trail to aid game watching, and a notated guide booklet is also available in the shop at Ntshondwe, Ithala’s superbly designed, multi-award winning camp. The swimming pool at Ntshondwe is built around a massive boulder that plummeted off the Ngotshe Mountain hundreds of years ago and this is a great place to cool off while listening to the barking call of the dassie and the cry of Black Eagles nesting in the nearby cliffs and rock faces.
In addition to the events of historic significance, Ithala was occupied by man thousands of years ago, and there are many sites reminiscent of these times with stone age spears and axe heads dating back 20 000 years.
The Reserve’s big game species include white and black rhino, elephant, buffalo and many (many) giraffe. The absence of lion makes for a relaxed air among these animals and other game such as zebra, blue wildebeest and a wide variety of antelope – impala, oribi, red hartebeest, eland, kudu, waterbuck, tsessebe etc. Predators which are not often seen include leopard, spotted hyaena and brown hyaena.
Ithala is a place of rugged and breath-taking scenery, of undulating plains interspersed with rivers and waterfalls, pools and gorges. We return late afternoon, wash off the Ithala dust and look forward to an evening around the campfire.