A trip to Zululand

The entrance to Snake Pharm in northern Zululand, South Africa
The entrance to Snake Pharm, a beautiful property in northern Zululand.

A group of us headed up to Zululand, KZN (an area of historical land a few hours north of Durban). We spent four nights at Snake Pharm, a beautiful sustainable property on the edge of Phinda Game Reserve. We travelled with new friends from Mossel Bay, Donald Schultz a film maker and writer (and owner of Snake Pharm) and Travis from Aliwal Shoal Adventures.

We received a warm welcome from all at Snake Pharm. So many nice features on the property
We received a warm welcome from all at Snake Pharm

It was freezing, I thought it was going to be warm and sunny but the weather was not kind to us. It rained and the wind forced us to cancel dive days, where we had planned to dive from St Lucia and Richards Bay. We instead spent time on the property riding bikes, walking, doing game drives and playing cards. The boys fixed the quad bike on the property and did some maintenance of vehicles. We ate well, enjoying locally sourced meat and veggies from and the sweetest pineapples I have ever eaten.

We drove through Phinda Game Reserve one morning just after sunrise, it was super cold, we all rugged up (I even cuddled a hot water bottle) but being in an open air safari vehicle, we froze. Michael was our driver and we gave him many requests and he nailed it, we had some incredible sightings. Just a few kilometres into the reserve there was a mother cheetah and her three cubs on the gravel road. It was so special.

As the main road is a community road, locals drive through on their way to work. In front of us was a truck full of local workers, imagine having to stop for cheetah on your way to work!

We then saw wildebeest, numerous buck species, a white rhino, zebra and a few giraffes.

Safari in Phinda Game Reserve, we saw cheetah and cubs
A dusty snap of a cheetah and her cub on the gravel road of Phinda Game Reserve
A cheetah calling her cubs in Phinda Game Reserve
A cheetah calling her cubs
We spotted this black rhino, first in the mud then we watched him move to graze
We spotted a white rhino
Travis our safari photographer got some epic photos. Check out this giraffe in the reserve.
Travis our safari photographer got some epic photos

Snake Pharm, like I mentioned earlier is a beautiful property up in northern Zululand. They have a research centre where antivenom is made as well as numerous snake enclosures. There are so many animals that call Snake Pharm home, including geese, a goat, dogs, cats, guinnea pigs and of course the snakes.They have different species of snakes, including mambas, cobras, file snakes and pythons.

The guys at Snake Pharm are wonderful people and since Covid run the property as a commune, get in contact with Kim and organise your stay, they have a Facebook and Instagram page which I have linked.

On our last day in Zululand the sun came out but it was time to pack our things and head south. We picked up the boat and dive gear in Richards Bay before heavy rain met us in Durban.

Home sweet home