Umfolozi: Tribes & Wildlife - Part 3

In this documentary we enter the Umfolozi National Park where we meet the Zulu tribe and all the wildlife that lives in the park

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The Hluluwe- Umfolozi National Park is in the Zululand region, where the once powerful Zulu Nation takes refuge today. 
This race of ferocious warriors originally from Equatorial Africa emigrated South in the 16th and 17th centuries fighting with and conquering the tribes they met on their way before settling here.

Traditional polygamy is decreasing little by little due to the influence of so-called “civilisation”, but it still exists.
The Zulus were a warrior people whose valiant leaders were a threat to European colonisers for many years.

All this violent history of this part of Africa, with ever more powerful peoples invading each other to try to gain control of these rich hills with armies camped all over the place and hunting constantly to supply the troops with meat,  had a profound effect on the local fauna.
Little by little large mammals became steadily scarcer, and with them the predators that died of hunger. For some species this was the end: the cuaga zebra  for example became extinct.
Then a conservationist conscience began to appear and this has made South Africa one of the prime motors of sustainable development in Africa.

Reserves and Parks were created almost to suit the needs of specific species, where the last population groups could still be found.
The importance given to these star species favoured other species too as their territories were protected and little by little the situation improved.
In Zululand alone there are 80 protected areas for wildlife.
Thanks to this reaction by the South African government and often supported by private institutions, species such as the mountain zebra have been saved.
Nobody had noticed them until they were almost extinct. A lump in the throat, a white stomach and narrow stripes distinguish it from common zebras. Later it was found to be a different species.

Elephants are some of the few animals that are capable of seriously affecting their habitat. They consume between 150 and 300 kilos of plant matter every day, so their numbers must be controlled in a limited area such as this one.
All cases are important, but the most symbolic action has been taken in this case.  

 The white rhinoceros. The treatment meted out by European colonisers on this animal was so brutal that by the end of the 19th Century it was thought to be extinct.
Fortunately some herds were discovered soon afterwards in East Africa and Sudan, although this was a different subspecies known as the Northern white rhinoceros.
Today the Hluluwe Umfolozi National Park is home to 84 other species of mammals such as these Burchell’s zebras  or this other giant: the great kudu.
 This is an antelope of over three hundred kilos in weight whose spiral- shaped antlers are almost two metres long and brought it to the verge of extinction too.
The Umfolozi park covers 96,000 hectares of the Northern part of Zululand, and is the oldest Park in South Africa.  

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