What is wilderness? Well the answer is surprisingly simple. Wilderness is characterized by the absence of roads, walking trails, that are man made, and any human habitation. That is the true definition of wilderness. Further, it is afforded the highest level of protection and has the least human interference.
However, to my mind wilderness is not that simple. It is not a black and white definition. It is a feeling; an experience. It is an intangible, holistic experience which incorporates all the senses. Therefore when one is placed in a natural environment that is, by and large, devoid of human presence, vast and sprawling in its sense of space and authentic, in the habitat it boasts, it is for the most part wilderness. Now, this emphasis on wilderness is not mere ramblings, it is something that for many years has changed people. It has been the arena of self-discovery, profound realizations of one’s place, context and future and lessons in humanity. It is for these reasons that wilderness, or something much like it, can be so valuable and can embellish a stay at a lodge and leave a lasting impression.
False Bay has become somewhat of a best kept secret with only a handful of operators using it on a regular basis. Forming part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park it is part of a much greater system, and greater context and a much sought after World Heritage Site.
More importantly though, it has all of the above mentioned hallmarks of wilderness and offers an experience on foot that is seldom found these days. Essentially it is a direct contrast to the vehicle guiding industry and focuses on the finer details of a spectacular area. It breaks guests out of the fact based mind set and rather poses questions. It makes guests think, discover, touch, smell and see all that surrounds them. In accordance with the meaning of Safari, which is a Swahili word meaning to go on a journey of discovery, we facilitate discovery and allow guests to make an experience of their own. Therefore we feel the big five is not essential to a safari experience.
To truly be in wilderness is to feel the ground beneath you, to hear what others have missed, to see each part of the ecosystem as valuable and worthy of respect and consideration.
In addition to the essentially wilderness experience that we offer at Hluhluwe River Lodge, we punctuate the guided walk, which is guided by Matt King, with a luxurious stop for drinks and snacks on the lake shore. This is before heading back to the lodge for a beautifully prepared dinner.
We hope that you will consider the False Bay Walk during your stay at the lodge as it is now the activity included in the Fully Inclusive package.