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Guided Holiday - Rhino Wilderness Trail - 5 Nights/6 Days

Guided Holiday - Rhino Wilderness Trail - 5 Nights/6 Days

Become a Rhino Ambassador

The very real threat to the survival of the wild rhino in Africa (and in many other parts of the world) has received significant attention through the media and in public opinion over the last few years. This iconic species is a survivor from the age of the dinosaur, and parallels can be drawn between the rhino's struggle for survival and our own human struggle for survival in a constantly changing world. If we cannot save the rhino, what hope do we have of saving ourselves? Yet there is always hope, and a belief that if we stand together and try to shift the consciousness of those that threaten the species (and other methods of protection) there is a chance. This is why the world needs Rhino Ambassadors.

This wilderness trail, although it has a focus on rhino conservation and awareness, the trail does not solely focus on these iconic animals. The trail takes guests on a personal discovery of wilderness. You will encounter no other humans on your trail and are surrounded entirely by wilderness. At each new turning on your trail, or behind each 'bush' so to speak, lies a natural world that will enthrall you, from buffalo, and lion, to hyena, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, jackals, ground hornbills, bee eaters, crocodiles…. and so much more – watch at leisure whilst the dung beetles packs and rolls it's dung ball away, or sit atop a rock where bats fly in and out of their cave… and enjoy the endless expanse of wilderness (so rare) stretch out before you. All trails take place in areas where no roads, man made artifacts or vehicle tracks can be seen, it is nature in its purest form.

The iMfolozi Game Reserve is renowned for its large carnivores and other big mammals, especially elephant, black and white rhino. These animals can be encountered daily and make the trail unique and exciting. The trail guides are exceptionally well trained and act as both facilitators and teachers on your trail.

The Wilderness Leadership School refers to the trail as follows: 
"The aim is to restore the balance between humans and Earth through a personal experience of wilderness."


The Rhino Wilderness Trail is specifically designed for trailists in the wilderness area of the iMfolozi section of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, in northern KwaZulu-Natal. However, trails may be operated throughout Southern Africa, within various reserves and wilderness areas – for instance, along South Africa's Wild Coast – an untamed coastal area of dynamic ocean views, shipwrecks and waterfalls, alternatively one could go on trail within the desert landscape of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. Trails are usually 4 to 5 nights in length, but can be tailored to suit the group (longer or shorter). Pricing on request.

A guided walk through wilderness areas with environmental facilitation provided by experienced wilderness guides. Trails are unique. A chance to exist for a period in the original, primitive atmosphere of wilderness. Trailists are exposed to an enlightenment of the connectivity of the natural environment and the animal and human species. The experience is uncontrived and no two trails are the same, each one determined by the dynamic of the weather, the group, the animal sightings and the natural habitat. Although many of the trails occur in big game areas, and magnificent sightings are recorded, the experience is not focused on interaction with the wild animals, but rather as a means of reconnecting to the natural world and order.

The Wilderness Foundation is a project driven conservation and leadership organization that encourages, plans and protects the wild lands and wilderness, uplifts the knowledge and lives of citizens and stimulates an environmental ethos among current and future leaders. The Foundation strives for a world that has sufficient intact natural ecosystems and wilderness areas that are valued and effectively protected for the benefit of all species. Founded over 50 years ago as the vision of Dr Ian Player and his friend and mentor (and exceptional conservationist) Magqubu Ntombela, the Wilderness Leadership School has taken out in excess of 60 000 trailists.


For many more images of the Rhino Wilderness Trail - that tell a picture story of trail experiences

Itinerary at a Glance

  • Meet & Greet on arrival in South Africa by a representative at your international airport 'point of entry' for hand over of your travel documentation.
  • Arrival transfer from Durban's King Shaka International Airport to Steinbank Nature Reserve, which is the head quarters of the Wilderness Leadership School.
  • 1 Night's accommodation within Steinbank Nature Reserve (greater Durban area).
  • 4 Night's on wilderness trail within the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.
  • Transportation in air-conditioned micro-bus from Stainbank Nature Reserve to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and return to base/airport.
  • Most breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included.

    Refer to the detailed package inclusions further below.

Essential Information

  • All trails operated by the Wilderness Leadership School are designed to have a low impact on the environment and therefore each trail is limited to eight participants and led by two experienced guides, who are focused on the group's safety.
  • Trailists backpack through an area where no human interference or permanent structures are permitted, and all of the trails practice minimum impact camping. Minimum impact camping is operated on a 'leave no trace' basis, and only ground sheets and sleeping bags are used (i.e. no tents). For inclement weather fly sheets are erected.
  • Participants take turns in night watch throughout the evening for safety. During this time, each individual is responsible for the group and it is for this reason that alcohol is not taken on trail. Night watch is certainly one of the most memorable duties on trail. All trailists stand watch during the night for an hour or so to ensure the safety of those sleeping and to check animal movement near camp. This is an incredible time to reflect on the trail, and your own personal life, whilst your senses are heightened. This added to the responsibility of the other trailists lives is a very powerful tool that promotes inner reflection, which the warm camp fire, velvet night and blaze of stars above, create treasured memories and experiences.
  • Personal attention – trails are limited to eight people and travel is at the pace of the slowest member.
  • All camping equipment including ground sheets, foam mattress, sleeping bags, rucksacks, cooking utensils, eating utensils, water containers etc. are provided. You are welcome to bring your own hiking equipment, subject to your Guide's approval for its suitability.
  • Food is cooked on open fire and all trailists help with cooking and preparation.
  • A detailed list of 'what to take on trail' will be provided to you prior to trail, so that you can pack appropriately.
  • Whilst on trail, no mobile phones, watches, Walkman's or any other electrical gadgets are allowed – guests are to experience the trail in its purest form – no distractions.
  • On the last day of trail lunch is usually taken at a Zulu homestead, however if your last day falls on a Saturday, lunch will take place in the bush, as the homestead has Church activities on a Saturday.
  • Guests who wish to be dropped off at King Shaka Airport on the return leg of their journey, need to ensure that flights are not booked earlier than 5pm for their onward travel arrangements. Guest luggage will be stored within the vehicle's trailor whilst on trail. The vehicle is parked within a remote area of the bush and therefore your luggage will be 'safe'.
  • Guests returning from trail can either overnight at Stainbank Nature Reserve, or alternatively, Intriguing Africa will make arrangements for transfer to any other accommodation options in Durban, with transfer out the following morning.

Tour Inclusions

  • Meet & Greet on arrival in South Africa by a representative at your international airport  'point of entry' for hand over of your travel documentation.
  • Arrival transfer from Durban's King Shaka International Airport to Stainbank Nature Reserve, which is the head quarters of the Wilderness Leadership School.
  • 1 Night's accommodation within Stainbank Nature Reserve (greater Durban area).
  • 4 Night's on wilderness trail within the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.
  • Transportation in air-conditioned micro-bus from Stainbank Nature Reserve to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and return to base.
  • All trail equipment per guest.
  • All meals whilst on trail.
  • The services of two armed professional Wilderness Leadership Guides for the duration of your trail.
  • Braai dinner on day 1 (barbecue).
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner from day 2-5.
  • Breakfast and lunch on day 6.
  • Lunch on day 6 is a special stop at a Zulu homestead (except Saturday's when lunch will be taken on trail in the bush).
  • Conservation levy/entrance fee into the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve for the duration of your trail.

Tour Exclusions

  • Items of a personal nature.
  • Meals and excursions, tours and transfers not included in the itinerary.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Visa fees if applicable for South Africa.
  • All entrance/fees not specified in the inclusions above.
  • All flights and airline taxes/levies unless otherwise stated.

Full Holiday Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Durban

You will be met at the international airport at your 'point of entry' into South Africa, for hand over of your travel documentation.

On arrival at Durban's King Shaka International Airport you will be warmly welcomed and transferred from the airport to Stainbank Nature Reserve, which is the head quarters of the Wilderness Leadership School, where you will check in – accommodation is basic yet comfortable – please be aware that ablution facilities here are communal.

Once you have checked in and had an opportunity to freshen-up, you will enjoy an introductory presentation on Operation Rhino, which was spearheaded by the Wilderness Leadership School's founder, Dr Ian Player and his conservation team, who were instrumental in saving the White Rhino from the brink of extinction in the early 1960's. The evening will centre on a campfire braai (barbecue) with talks and presentations which will lead on to a discussion group.

Overnight: Stainbank Nature Reserve

Day 2: Depart Durban / Arrive Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal

Today is an early departure after breakfast to the southern section of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, where the Wilderness Leadership School is able to conduct wilderness trails within a private concession area. This reserve is still home to the largest population of wild rhinos remaining in Africa! 

Prior to the start of your trail, you will visit the Centenary Centre and enjoy an informative guided walk-through of the rhino capture exhibition and rhino bomas. Your guide will then park the vehicle at the departure point for your trail, where you will proceed on foot. The departure site depends entirely on where the guides decide to trail. Once you 'cross the threshold' into wilderness, your guide will give you a safety briefing as well as the concept of entering the wilderness in a pure state, leaving the 'rest behind'.

Days 2-6: Wilderness Trail within the iMfolozi section of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve

The group carry all personal possessions, provisions and food for the next 5 days (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There is a sense of satisfaction at being able to live off your own energy during the trail and not having to rely on any other means of transport or facility. Camp sites are chosen for their beauty and practicality. Often one sits in the camp and watches animals going about their daily routine oblivious to the trailists sitting nearby. Most camp sites are near to water to ensure a ready supply. A number of camp sites are ear marked for the trailists, but the camp site chosen on the day, is decided by your lead Guide as he is in tune with the group and will choose a site with the group dynamics in mind.

Day 6: Depart Hluhluwe-iMfolozi for your return to Stainbank Nature Reserve/Durban

Each trail and trail mechanics differs, which is the beauty of this particular wilderness experience – the group dynamics and guides determine a large of part of your enjoyment of the trail as well. Needless to say that you will learn a great deal about yourself, and the natural world – this trail has been described by many as life changing.

The Wilderness Leadership School is committed to creating an environmental conscience in all people through experiental education in wilderness areas.

On the final day of your trail, you will enjoy lunch at a Zulu homestead (a typical local meal) before heading back to Durban. Guest do have the option of being dropped off at Durban's King Shaka International Airport (please note, flights to be booked no earlier than 5pm). Guests returning to Stainbank, will arrive back between 2pm and 4pm.

**The final night's accommodation at Stainbank has not been included – Intriguing Africa can easily add this if required. Alternatively we can book innumerable options within Durban for your final night's accommodation (with transfers).

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