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Games are afoot on our African sojourn.

Byline: Far aboots travel in style with bruce cairns

FOR the final leg of our African sojourn we took a game drive in the huge Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game reserve - the oldest game reserve in Africa . The park opens at 7am and was very busy with lots of safaris getting under way at the same time but the park is so large you rarely saw other vehicles.

This was great for seeing lots of animals such as lion, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and even warthogs.

As well as seeing so many animals the park is just so scenic, with beautiful hills and river valleys.

We also stopped at Hilltop which has a restaurant and shop and to take in some of the fantastic views. A great experience.

Then we were off again on our travels to Amangwane camp which is at Kosi Bay near the Mozambique border.

Amangwane camp is quite rustic with the accommodation in tent-like huts and no air-conditioning.

But the area is quite simply one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited.

The following morning we set off for the fish traps that have been used by local fishermen for well over a thousand years.

These intricate traps direct the fish to a holding pen where they can eventually be speared.

After the fish traps we continued down to perhaps the most beautiful beach in the world at the mouth of the Kosi.

Huge sandbanks on either side of the river mouth make this place jaw-droppingly beautiful.

In part of the river is a coral reef where you can snorkel and see the amazing coloured fish that live there.

The current of the tide takes you over this reef so all you have to do is float over this to see these amazing creatures.

The water is very warm both in the bay and also where the Indian Ocean crashes against the reef further down the beach.

The following morning we had yet another early start to begin our long journey back to Durban.

A stop for brunch was held at the beautiful Princes Trust golf resort complex, where we also saw their amazing bedrooms and wedding facilities. There is a huge market in people now getting married in South Africa, and this is a hugely popular venue.

Then it was on to Durban where we visited the Moses Mabhida football stadium which has a skycar ride, giving fantastic views of the entire city.

Another attraction here is the Big Swing - which is like a bungee but swings through the stadium instead - definitely not for the fainthearted.

A trip to Victoria Street Market followed which was super, full of bartering shopkeepers selling souvenirs and crafts. We also had the opportunity to visit the revamped Durban beachfront area which was vibrant with lots to do and see.

Finally we ended a long day in the sanctuary of the five star Oyster Box Hotel at Umhlanga Rocks (just 20 minutes away from Durban city and a real resort town). This hotel just oozes class and almost every need has been anticipated for you. It was great to drift off to sleep with the Indian Ocean pounding on the rocks just below your balcony.

Our last day before our flight home that afternoon and we visited the Gateway Shopping Mall, which is the largest shopping mall in the southern hemisphere. With the strong exchange rate there were some real bargains to be had here and it is also conveniently situated in Umhlanga Rocks.

Overall I would recommend South Africa as a super destination for anyone who would like to experience something different.

Bruce is a self-employed independent Personal Travel Counsellor with over 30 years industry experience including 11 years withThomas Cook - eventually as Branch Manager - followed by 11 years with Co-op Travelcare as Regional Manager.

During that time he travelled extensively to locations in USA, Caribbean, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Australia and the Far East.

Bruce now uses his wealth of experience and contacts to help people find their perfect getaway.


What an experience Bruce got to hold a snake during his time in Africa
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Title Annotation:Features; Opinion Column
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 3, 2014
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