Ithala Game Reserve, South Africa - Oct. 2003
(click any picture to get enlargement)

For this trip we decided to travel a few hours southeast of Pretoria; to the Kwazulu Natal area.  

The Pretoria area is experiencing drought conditions and the local game reserves were reporting poor animal sighting.   We decided upon the Kwazulu Natal area since they had received some recent rain.

We read good reviews about a National Game Reserve called Ithala, so we decided to visit there.

Once in the park we were pointed towards this hill. 

As we got closer we could see some buildings.

The Ntshondwe Lodge, in the Ithala Game Reserve.  

Nic walking by the water hole next to the lodge. 

Restaurant deck overlooking the valley. 

Bar deck overlooking the water hole.

Our chalet, nice & simple. 

Monster on the ceiling? 

Nope, just a  big Gecko 

Dassie (harmless rodent) outside our chalet.

They would visit every morning and evening.

They are kind of cute, 
but related to elephants! 

One day we found that some snacks and sugar packets were missing .  It didn't take long for us to see the open window and to figure out what happened ...

"I say the monkey down there took the stuff" 


" Who me?  Never! "

"I think the monkey over there is your suspect" 

We found the monkeys hanging around in a tree.

They traveled through the lodge, visiting our chalet and the plant on the right.

A sure sign of excitement and adventure.

I should mention that Itala doesn't have any lions.  For this reason the animals are not as afraid as in other parks.  The biggest advantage is that that you leave your car and get close to the animals.  Hopefully the pictures will show this. 
A stylish outhouse in the middle of the "bush" 

Can you see any animals in this picture? 

At first we didn't; but then we saw some movement. 

The zebra herd shows itself; just a little curious.

They were more friendly than at other parks...

... even giving me multiple poses in each scene. 

Do you remeber stories of a "Pushme-Pullyou"? 

The stripes are unique, like fingerprints for us. 

These zebra have a few 
light brown stripes.

A youngster suckling 
from it's mother

His legs were sometimes not too stable ...

... but he already knew how to pose for pictures!

Again we see a shape forming in the distance ... 

... instantly recognizable as a majestic giraffe.

Their spots are also unique to each individual.

It was strange to see a giraffe laying down... 

... until we saw why it was lying on the ground.  

This is a skull of an animal with a long jaw; a zebra?  

The Mountain Reedbucks are cute & only 3 feet tall. 

They hang around rivers with steep, rocky sides. 

This young waterbuck stopped to peek at us. 

The impala are very well camouflaged.  

They have nice horns and are about 4 feet tall. 

Their fur seems very 
nicely groomed. 

These are Tsessebe; 
a new sight for us. 

The species was somewhat endangered... 

... but they are now at 
a satisfactory level. 

This Kudu takes "Best of Show" with his profile. 

Such an intense stare!

This male Kudu is trying to get at some nice green leaves, which is their 
main food source.

We were getting close to some bigger animals! 

Nicole was deciding if she was hungry for a snack. 

This turtle was NOT the source of the large dung. 

I think we found the source of the dung....

 ... but this guy didn't seem to be in a friendly mood. 

Luckily he left before making a scene.

These pictures are of the white Rhinoceros, which is somewhat common. 

There were a few of the 
more rare Black Rhino living on the reserve;   unfortunately we never caught sight of them.

The horn on this female was unbelievable.  

She had a baby with her, so I didn't get any closer. 

We found a warthog with impala in the background. 

A red warthog? Maybe it is young or just dirty.

A warthog hole at night; for porcupines during day. 

This Warthog must be related to Tina Turner! 

I got quite close to this "normally" colored guy. 

He allowed me a good shot of his moustache. 

The last animals we saw were the Wildebeest. 

I walked up close to this guy, who said "goodbye!" 

This lazy Dassie says "goodbye & come again!"

This concludes the animal sightings from the Ithala Reserve.  

Click here for the scenery around Ithala and through Swaziland.

Return to Jay's Main Page