Situated in the Valley of a 1000 Hills, PheZulu Safari Park has been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember.
My friend and I decided to visit this gem on a warm Saturday morning. We were looking forward to dancing with the locals and meeting some slithery friends.
Just a 35-minute journey from Durban, the park is famed for its views.
The park, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, was once a Zulu village before it was transformed into an ideal weekend getaway spot. Travellers have many options to keep everyone occupied, from the crocodile and snake park, Zulu dancing and cultural experience, segway tours and game drives. Tours run every hour.
When we arrived, Sandy led us to the Zulu Village where the hour-long cultural show took place. Patrick Ngcobo, our guide, shed light on Zulu customs and the daily lifestyles of the villagers, which they re-enact in the form of dance and drama.
If you are lucky, the locals will teach you some of their energetic dance moves. Patrick then escorted us to a nearby hut. Inside was Busi Gasa who shared her daily duties and the significance of each hut with us. She passed around traditional beer, which the international tourists absolutely love. Some even go for seconds.
We spent the next hour on a game drive in search of a giraffe calf born a few weeks prior. Despite the park not being home to any of the big 5 or big cats, PheZulu offers fantastic viewings. Sadly, the giraffe calf was in hiding. However, we did spot a zebra foal with its mother, and two other zebras in an embrace.
Famished after the game drive, my friend and I headed to the Nguni Cafe, which serves an array of dishes, including burgers, wraps and baskets. For the adventurous, there were crocodile burgers, samosas and other snacks to sink your teeth into.
With our bellies full, we took a short walk to the crocodile and snake park. The crocodiles were not as active as I hoped they would be.
Cleo, a 25-year-old Burmese Python that weighs over 50kg and is 5m long is a must-see. The curio shop is home to collectable African art, souvenirs and other intriguing items. As General Manager Tristan Dickerson said: “You cannot leave empty-handed. You get to take your memories with you.” And, oh, what a memorable day it was.