Tala Game Reserve
Tala Private Game Reserve © Anya Klaassen
Tala Private Game Reserve, just a 45-minute drive inland of Durban, is a relaxed wildlife sanctuary where visitors can view zebra, hippo, rhino, giraffe, kudu, antelope and other wildlife. The park is home to more than 350 bird species and is a delight for bird-watchers. Surrounded on all sides by farmland, you won't find predators like lions or cheetahs in Tala, but the reserve is a great day trip for those who prefer not to head to the bigger parks like Umfolozi or Kruger. Game drives and bush walks are available with experienced guides and should be booked in advance. The restaurant is excellent, offering buffet-style meals with African flair, and the various luxury accommodations are perfect for romantic getaways. It's also a popular venue for weddings and conferences. Tala allows self-drive safaris, which don't have to be booked in advance, or you can opt to be taken on a two-hour trip with a knowledgeable guide, either by 4x4, on horseback or on foot. The open grassland and wetland of the park are ideal for game viewing and good for photography. Tala is a year-round travel destination, but winter is generally the best season for game viewing as the animals are easier to spot when the landscape is less lush.