Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife have hosted their first educational for UK based operators in November 2016. On this itinerary, a selected group of operators travelled to Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in South Africa with Etihad, our partner airline. This trip was organised and led by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife's Representative in the UK: Natalie de la Porte from AMG Representation.
The group stayed for one night at aha Gateway Hotel in Umhlanga, followed by six nights at three of the most popular Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife resort properties. The week-long included the opportunity to explore a range of the adventure activities EKW offers in KZN, including a safari in the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa, game viewing in Ithala Game Reserve, one of the area’s most unique and undiscovered gems, and a chance to dive in one of the world’s top dive locations; Sodwana Bay.
The educational started with one night at aha Gateway Hotel, Umhlanga before staying two nights at Hilltop Resort, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, 2 nights at Ntshondwe Resort, Ithlala Game Reserve and finally 2 nights at Sodwana Bay before returning to the UK on Etihad.
Participants were Alex Roberts from Worldwide, Rhona Finch from 2by2 Holidays, Tracey Hunter from Barrhead Travel and Grainne Sheffer from Travel Nation.
The educational group enjoying the beach at Sodwana Bay. FLTR: 2by2 Holidays - Mrs Rhona Finch , Barrhead Travel - Ms Tracey Hunter, Dive Worldwide - Mr Alex Roberts, Travel Nation - Mrs Grainne Sheffer
The group had some fantastic feedback about their visit to the Ezemvelo KZN properties. Alex Roberts said: "Hilltop Camp's accommodation was wonderful. Nice rooms with a small lounge area and good bathroom facilities which did not detract from being in the bush, but did make you feel as though you had a decent level of comfort. The easy walk to and from the main sites for food is also a bonus! The gardens were in great shape and the atmosphere was very comforting. I would definitely recommend our clients stay here as it offers breakfast and dinner (buffet style) and there is also the ability to buy lunch from a café or the shop for the other meals/snacks."
Travel Nation's Grainne Sheffer has the following advise about game viewing in South Africa: "If you want to see more rhino than zebra come here! [to Ithala Game Reserve]This is a unique park, we saw 4 out of the big 5. The best of all was the elephants playing next to the truck and playing up to us, a truly memorable moment! The guides were all friendly, informative and had a good sense of humour. I would highly recommend staying at Hilltop (for a few days) and doing several safari trips as there is always something new to see lots of different animals and birds!" Alex added: " Ithala – what a gorgeous location! This was probably the highlight of the KZN trip for me. I thought the chalet at Ntshondwe Resort, I was in was perfect. The beds were comfortable, the room stayed naturally cool, the gardens made it feel as though we were deep into the bush, the views were stunning, and the facilities of the chalet were excellent."
AMG / EKW Representative in the UK, Natalie de la Porte added: "Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is exceptionally good game viewing, especially for white rhino. We also had excellent elephant sightings, and all the game were quite relaxed around the vehicles. The roads are in a good condition after the extensive upgrades. The park in general is very green after the rain of the week before, with the rivers flowing."
Thank you for our hosts at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and aha Gateway Hotel, as well as Etihad, who sponsored the international flights.