It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
Join Tim Brown Tours on a Durban safari tour to the Hluhluwe game reserve where nature comes alive and dreams are made! Try us for your African safari experience.
After collecting my clients from their hotel in Durban we headed off to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would begin our safari.
We are blessed with good weather in Durban and it only get warmer on route to Hluhluwe game reserve. It was here that we entered and began our safari looking for as many of the Big 5 as possible.
We did really well. As we entered the gate we found Wildebeest and Zebra close to the road and further along Buffalo and Rhino. It was a great start!
This Buffalo cow next to the road was looking very ominous but we enjoyed the pose she struck and the Red Billed Ox Peckers on her back made the picture that much better.
We did spot Lion but it was one of the worst sighting I have every had as it was one Lion under thick bush a flat as a pancake!
I didn’t even both with a picture.
We later spotted these Zebra relaxing next to the road and now it was time to find Giraffe in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve but before we got there we spotted a lovely old male Giraffe in Hluhluwe.
This lovely Giraffe walked across the road in front of us and we got a great photo of him. It was time to get some lunch but before we could we spotted more Rhino and this fella was posing!
What a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve it was turning out to be! We had now seen 3 of the Big 5 and only needed Elephant to make it 4 of the Big 5.
Lunch was fast and in 30 minutes we were back on the road. I bumped into my colleague who confirmed there were Elephants down by the river so we sped off not before seeing a very rare bird a Secretary bird.(I could probably use one of those in my office!)
We got down to the river and spotted some Elephants and the a funny thing happened a large herd of Elephant came down and the couple of Elephants the were there alone just followed the herd which looked really odd!
We then tried to spot some Elephant closer and had two more great sighting of Elephant close up better each time! what a great safari from Durban.
We watched these Elephants feed for a while as it was very interesting how they used their feet and trunk before some Rhinos decided to join the show! It was great as we could get a lovely photo with two of the Big 5 in one picture!
As all things do they come to an end and we needed to head back to Durban after what had turned out to be an excellent day safari. We only missed a good look at Lion which is never expected on a day tour anyway as these cats are nocturnal so we were all very happy.
We arrived back in Durban 3 hours later tired but happy. I said goodbye and headed home happy with the way they day went!
We began our Hluhluwe day safari bright and early as you would when going on an African safari tour! It was a lovely day as it had rained the night before so it was a little cooler today so we could enjoy the safari away from the extreme summer heat!
On route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I covered some of the interesting history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as well as the population groups and how they came to be here. It also ended up with some politics which you really should never discuss with your clients but if they are happy with hearing your opinion then it is fine.
Our arrival at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our safari was great for us all as I have personally been away from actual tours for 3 weeks and was fresh and really looking forward to finding animals. I also took our new 4×4 vehicle up to test the capabilities and it was very comfortable and ideal for a safari.
Our first sighting was actually Zebra just on the other side of the gate at a mud wallow. We then entered and found Warthogs as well waiting for us!
It was not long and we found Rhino up on a hill making their way down we watch for a while but I knew we would have a better sighting else ware so we moved on.
We went over the lovely rolling hills of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and found some Rhino close enough for a great photo.
After chatting about the plight of these amazing creatures we continued on and found some Nyala and more Zebra on the hills. It was not long before we spotted Giraffe in the distance. I told my clients not to worry we will get round to them and that was a stupid thing to say as the next road junction was closed due to road works so I had to take the long way round to get to the Giraffe.
We stopped at a view point of what is supposed to be the Hluhluwe river, well it was totally dry and had no animals. You know when you look at a documentary of a desert and you see bones, that is exactly what we saw!
Finally we got some Buffalo nice and close.
The baboons we saw on our Durban safari tour were not really playing ball but we did find one that looked like it was lighting a cigarette! LOL
We finally made it round to the Giraffe and thank God they were still in the same area as it had been an hour detour! Our Durban safari became very exciting very quickly at this point!
This one Giraffe was chewing a bone and had all these Red Bill Oxpeckers on her feeding on the ticks.
This is very common behavior to get calcium into their diet but is not always seems or understood. I love nature!
We then hit a stroke of good fortune as I watch a Giraffe staring into the bushes and I looked to see what she was looking at. It was an Elephant hidden and feeding in a thicket on the other side of the dry river bed. We waited and waited and eventually he came out into the open and this made our Durban safari very much worth it as we had now seen 3 of the Big 5 already!
We continued our safari and made our way up to Hilltop camp for some lunch but before we could get there my clients did well to spot a Zebra which was rubbing himself on a dead branch. We stopped to watch this interesting act.
Lunch was great and we continued on with not much time to go and as it was the afternoon we battled for any new animals. We did find Hippo before lunch which I forgot about but there after it was some Impala, Nyala and some of the other animals we had seen already.
It still had been a great Durban big 5 day safari tour and we were all pretty happy with the day as we departed arriving after 7pm at the Oysterbox hotel and then 07:40 in Kloof before I headed home.
An African safari is a must and if you are in Durban why go to Kruger park which is 10 hours away when you can have the same wonderful safari experience 2.5 hour outside of our lovely city!
Our South African safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban. After collecting my clients we headed into Zululand and our safari began with a visit to a Cat rehabilitation center.
After some amazing interaction with four endangered species of cat we departed for Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would try to find as many of the Big 5 animals as we could. We were very luck and the first animal we saw close was 2 Lions about 25 meters off the road.
My photos for them did not come out well but it was no problem as a couple kilometers away we found a Lioness resting!
We were shocked with our luck and on route to Hilltop camp where we would be staying we spotted Rhino, Buffalo and a few other species!
We then settled in at Hilltop camp for some lunch and then checked in before heading back out with already two Lion sightings under our belt. It wasn’t long and we had found four of the Big 5! Elephants were feeding off in the distance but we didn’t worry to much about this as I knew we would see them closer.
It wasn’t long and our South African safari turned good again and we found Rhino close to the road and one sleeping behind a Marula tree!
It was getting darker with all the cloud cover but we did spot Buffalo which didn’t come out in the camera very well but the best was yet to come as at dusk we spotted a Lioness and had her all to ourselves for 25 minutes!
She fetched a carcass of a baby Buffalo and walked across the road in front of us with it and then lay down 5 meters off the road with it and fed! This was an amazing end to the day and I have videos to show you how awesome this part of our Safari from Durban was!
This was an amazing part of our South African safari and we then filmed her feeding next to us which was just incredible!
At this point we were going to be late and we had accepted that we may have to pay a fine but it would be worth it due to the amazing sighting. We tried to get back to Hilltop camp as quick as we could but another Lioness further up the road almost on the road halted our progress!
She was so beautiful we had to take a photo of two. we arrived 15 minutes late and were let in with not reprimand but the risk is to high to break rules. It in this case was purely not our fault.
We arrived at Hilltop camp buzzing and settled in for dinner. I knew I would not sleep after all the excitement but at some point during uploading of these videos I feel off to sleep.
The second day would begin at 5am.
We had another amazing start we found some Elephants in the distance and then some Rhino. The photos were no good and as we continued we had an amazing sighting finding African Wild dogs which is the most endangered carnivore in Africa! I was so stoked! Wow! South African safaris in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve can be amazing.
As we continued we found a Leopard tortoise on the road so I had to move it as we always find people not driving properly and hitting them.
As we continued our South African safari we came across a journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. We also had then together on the road drinking from the small puddles of water from the rain in the night.
It was time to get to a rest room break so we headed for the Nyalazi gate. After a short stop we began to make our way back to Hilltop camp and found Rhino closer to the road.
Things we hotting up again on our South African safari and we found some Elephants next to the road which was amazing. The one male came onto the road for us.
I had been waiting for the perfect moment to take a good picture of Buffalo and it wasn’t long till we got that too!
The rain seemed to have softened the animals hearts and they were showing themselves except for that pesky Leopard which I wasn’t expecting anyway. We still had time so we would see what happened.
We returned to Hilltop camp and had some Brunch before a rest. We would meet again at 15:45 for another attempt at more amazing animals.
At 16:00 we departed and as usual the African bush was slightly quiet before the later afternoon and evening. We managed to spot Elephant in the distance and had close ups of Rhino and Buffalo.
The rain began to fall and we spotted Baboon all curled up in each others arms trying to stay away from the rain.
South African safari; Baboons in the rain
It wasn’t long before we had an awesome sighting on our South African safari of Rhino where their was 3 mothers and 3 calves which joined force to play and mud wallow, it was almost like a play group.
We were hoping that on our way back we would be able to find some Lions as we had done so well the day before but as nature had it, it can also take it and we did not find Lions!
We did however come across one of my favourite Rhinos which has an abnormal horn which bends the opposite direction to usual.
It was time to head back from our South African safari to Hilltop camp our based for the 3 days and have some dinner which well welcomed by us all.
After a great meal we would meet at 7am the following day for luggage collection, breakfast and check out.
Our African safari from Durban began at 7am and we enjoyed some breakfast and got the formalities out the way before heading out for 3 hours or so to see what else we could find before we departed Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park, South Africas first world heritage site.
It wasn’t long and we found Zebra and Giraffe near the road.
It was a quiet drive around considering we had basically seen everything most animals we saw we already had better photos so we just enjoyed the ambiance of the South African safari.
It was time to exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we made our way to St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park which was also established in 1895 and is home to 4 of the Big 5 but most importantly Hippos, Crocodiles and Bull Sharks.
Upon arrival we visited a craft shop and then boarded the boat up the St Lucia estuary to view Hippos and Crocodiles.
We also got a great photo of a big Nile Crocodile with a Grey Heron and an African spoon bill.
The St Lucia boat cruise on the estuary is amazing and we always see lots of Hippos and today we even got a Hippo out the water as it was a cooler day which we do not always get to enjoy.
It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari from Durban in Zululand and we were all very happy. Each day had its big sightings like the 4 Lion sightings on day one, the Wild Dogs and Rhino playing on day two and the third day was the Hippos!
We had some lunch in St Lucia before making our way back to Durban.
Another amazing South African safari under the belt!
Our African safari from Durban began near to the big city and we began our journey to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve , Africa’s Oldest protected area!
I covered the history of this famous national park and the history of the Durban and surrounding areas before we arrived at Hluhluwe game reserve.
We tried our best in the heat to find Lions but it was to no avail as they were resting in a riverbed.
We had great other sightings of 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephants.
First though we spotted some Zebra.
We continued on this hot day in Africa with our African safari tour from Durban and found some Baboons up the trees and on the ground. They were not alarm calling which was a sure sign that the Lions were well hidden.
We continued on and found some Elephants in the distance so we made our way around to them and located a lovely young bull near to the road. We waited with him until he decided to cross the road and we could enjoy this a close range.
We also found a herd of Elephants and as we looped around near the main gate we found a huge old bull Elephant with a lovely set of tusks. This really was turning out to be a great African safari from Durban.
We decided to loop around to the Hluhluwe river where we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking and resting in the mud, The best part was that a herd of Elephant we spotted earlier on our African safari came over the hill and went down to the river to drink water with them.
Our African safari from Durban continued on and we located some Nyala and Water buck before spotting some Buffalo close which were looking to relocate their herd.
We stopped at Hilltop camp for some lunch and it was a long wait for food as it was so busy. We eventually got fed and watered before we made our way out again and headed into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.
It was a wish that we could see Giraffe a bit closer so that was the aim and we eventually achieved it!
After a great sighting of a journey of Giraffe we continued with our African safari from Durban and found a lovely Rhino bull which was close to the road. To this point we had only seen Rhino further away so one 4 meters from the road was a real treat!
This Rhino you can see he is two toned as he had been in the mud somewhere wallowing to help remove ticks off his body.
It had been a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we needed to head back to Durban so we exited the reserve and ended our African safari from Durban.
We arrived back very happy after what had been a great day in the African bush!
Our African safari tours can be done from Durban with Tim Brown Tours and it was here where I collected my clients for this 4 day safari.
We could begin by visiting the Fort Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe which features the Wheel chair of King Mpande a half brother to the famous King Shaka of the Zulu Nation. It also features John Dunns furniture, Zulu crafts and a Church showing off the missionary work of the Norwegians in the area!
The Chair of Mpande the former Zulu king is always amazing to see as a Missionary called Schroeder built this chair for Mpande due to his illnesses caused by his lifestyle and weight.
After being guided through this area we had some lunch before continuing our African safari tour to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, the oldest in African and home to the Big 5!
We entered to the gate to some high security presence due to Rhino poaching concerns and we headed to Hilltop camp. I was thinking it would take us 40 minuted but it took much longer as we saw so many animals.
Our first major sighting was Rhino, Buffalo and shortly after Elephant but they were far enough away that the pictures were no good. We then spotted a Giraffe and her baby with some Impala.
We continued along and come across a huge herd of Buffalo on the road as well a either side of us! This was a great beginning to our African safari tour.
We finally arrived at Hilltop camp and quickly checked in and then after a short break of 10 minutes in the rooms we headed out to see what else we could find. I got word of Lions so we made our way around into the area they had been seen but before we could get there we found some Rhino!
We finally arrived at the Lions and they were far down in the valley and had recently killed a Buffalo which they were feeding on. The issues was the distance and the fact the rain began to fall… Well what can you do! A Lion is a Lion! We could consider ourselves very lucky!
We left the Lions and went to find Elephants and it was not long and we nailed it! We located a lovely breeding herd of Elephants and even though the rain was falling it was great to see them so near to us and crossing in front of us during our African safari tour.
After enjoying a great time our on safari we headed back to Hilltop camp and we settled in for some dinner before an early nights sleep as we would be going back out at 5am the next day.
Our second day began were the first had finished off at Hilltop camp and we quickly got back into it with sightings of Giraffe, Zebra, Rhino and Elephants down at the Hluhluwe river.
We had to wait for the great quality sightings but they say good things come to those who wait!
Finally we got a great sighting of an Elephant bull coming down the road and we let him go past us, he was lovely and relaxed.
It was now time a good Zebra sighting as well and it happened for us! We go them right next to the road and you could say that now our African safari tour was hotting up!
It was now time to relocate the Lions which should be easy as we knew a Buffalo was big enough to last a few days. We were successful and got the Lions at the same place they had only dragged the carcass under a tree. The best part of this sighting was they some Rhino chased a Lioness she then went to the toilet and began to play with something perhaps a tortoise of lizard!
It was now time to head back for some coffee and breakfast before a rest. We would head out again after lunch to the Cheetah project for some interaction with the majestic cats!
Well out luck change as at 2pm the rain began to come down and we could not go to the Cat rehab center today so waiting for a gap in the weather, it was no good so we settled in and had some dinner before bed.
Our third day of our African safari tour began with a bush walk mostly to look for birds in the forest and we did very well before heading down for some breakfast.
The safari after breakfast was amazing and we saw 3 of the Big 5 very close to the road an so much more. First it was the Giraffe.
After the Giraffe we managed to spot Zebras and had the drink water out of a puddle on the road.
We now had a big day on the cards and we did 1.5 hours of Safari before heading to the Cat rehabilitation center which was very good. We then continued to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park where we had lunch and then took the 2pm Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.
After this great sighting of a Crocodile with his mouth open to regulate his body temperature we got lots of Hippos and finally one opened its mouth for us!
We finally completed what was an amazing St Lucia boat cruise and we were all very happy. The ladies got into the craft shop and after they were done we headed back to the gate of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and had more luck with the animals spotting Elephants close up!
We had one more surprise sighting as I took a dirt road loop we hadn’t covered yet and we spotted one of the best sightings of African Wild Dogs I have ever had! They were amazing, Playful and just beautiful. The most endangered carnivore in Africa shared its time with us and it was a real privilege to have spent just under an hour with them.
This was such a special day on our African safari tour that I don’t think we could really take it all in as we were all so tired and ended up getting back, having dinner and heading to bed. I must say I did stay up to write this part of the Blog post but its always hard to get these things to sink in even when you see them more often than most.
We began at 5am with the safari and tried to see what animals we could fine before breakfast.
It was a day we would not forget! We only needed to find Lions closer than the two other sighting we had and this was all that was on my mind so I got us into the area where I hoped the Lions would move to.
It was a pure blissful sighting as we first spotted them on a hill far off and then this happened!
Our African safari tour just got crazy from here as every possible way you could see a Lion took place meters away from us! We started with the hunt of Zebra and all the 7 Lions then walking onto the road and drinking water next to us.
You would normally expect that it would end here and you would have to continue driving but it did not. The Lions scent marked, played with sticks and road work equipment before climbing into a Marula tree!
This has to be one if not the best Lion sighting I have ever had! It was amazing and one I will never be able to comprehend and take in properly. I hope my clients realize what a miracle this sighting was and I am sure they will never forget it.
We even had a Lioness call the other!
This whole 1 and half hours that we spent with these Lions made the entire trip worth it and even though our adrenaline was pumping I personally felt exhausted afterwards. This could have been the emotion of what we witnessed but it was just amazing, really now words can describe it.
We returned to Hilltop camp for breakfast and check out before heading back out which really felt like a waste of time, how were we to top what we saw! Every animal from that point on got very little attention and we left Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after lunch.
We returned to the big city very happy with what had been an unbelievable 4 days on our African safari tour!
Our Durban safari tour began in Durban city where I collected my clients for their safari experience with Tim Brown Tours. We headed up to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on route stopping at a Cat rehabilitation center for interaction with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat hands on!
There is no point in coming to Africa and not experiencing an African safari! South Africa is as good a place to begin with a safari as we are home to the oldest game reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve established in 1895.
On route to this majestic national park home to the Big 5, I always cover this history of South Africa as it ties so well into our Safari experience.
After the Cat interaction we arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and began our South African safari. It was one of those days when you just try to see what you can find and you have such success in doing it!
We had Zebra on the road, Warthog, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephants all within the first 1,5 hours.
After we enjoyed these Zebra we found some Rhino and then a massive herd of Elephant the size of which we do not see often so it was really exciting! Our Durban safari tour moved on as we positioned ourselves in the best place to watch these amazing creatures.
After enjoying this safari with the Elephants we moved on and spotted Nyala as well as more Buffalo in the valleys and on the hills. We then stumbled across a lovely Rhino mother and her calf which got up and raced across the road and then posed for us. Wow our South African safari was really hotting up!
We made our way up to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the 2 nights and had some lunch before getting some rest. At 16:45 it was time for the open vehicle game drive which my client would enjoy and then return at 8pm for some dinner.
After dinner we went to sleep to rest the body and mind and our Durban safari tour would continue the next day at 7am.
We began day 2 with a great breakfast at Hilltop camp and then headed out with two things on our minds, Giraffe and cats!
It would be a tall order for our Hluhluwe game reserve safari but we made the best of the pressure and got really lucky at times.
Our first major sighting knocked the Giraffe on the head!
On any African safari there is never a guarantee of the animals you want to see especially the cats as the Lions and Leopard are nocturnal.
On two occasions we actually located blood markings and drag marks which looked clearly to be Leopard but we could not spot the animal in the thick bush so far off the road.
Our Durban safari tour continued and we made our way further south finding more and more Elephants and Rhinos which was excellent.
We were lucky to find two bull Elephants on the road and later a big male Elephant sleeping next to the road. He was so relaxed he broke wind a few times and hardly moved when we drove away. South Africa is really an amazing country!
We had great luck with Rhinos and the one male we found in a mud wallow during our South African safari was in the cutest position looking like a puppy the way his feet were close to his face!
We made our way back up to the Centenary center for some lunch and then I got reports that the pride of Lions in the north were out in full view near the main road and close to the Memorial gate.
At this stage we were about 1.25 hours drive way which I managed in 1 hour I think and we arrived to a brilliant sighting with no other vehicles except us! It was pure safari magic!
To find Lions out in the middle of the day was amazing and even more so as they were with their heads up most of the time! Our Durban safari tour was really becoming a special one and these Lions really made our day.
It is time now that these two young males and young female of the pride move on to prevent fights and in breeding so it is possible that today was an indication of this change. Always so exciting to see change on an African safari.
I was probably more relieved than my clients to have seen Lions! Every one thinks a guides job is so glamorous but at the end of the day there are pressures which we feel to deliver the best that a safari can offer. Its our job!
We headed back to Hilltop camp and it was almost 16:00 so we had been out over 8 hours on safari in Africa.
We then would have dinner later and some rest before day three would begin!
The third day of our 3 day Durban safari tour began later at 8am and we enjoyed some breakfast before putting the finishing touches on our Hluhluwe game reserve safari before heading to St Lucia for a 2 hour Hippos and crocodile tour.
We had some lovely sightings before we left of Buffalo, Zebra and Rhino!
It was not 10:30 and time to head to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park for the boat cruise. We almost had the boat to ourselves at this world heritage site and enjoyed some great sightings of Hippos, Bull Sharks, 1 Crocodile and lots of Bird life.
The Flamingos are a real treat in St Lucia estuary now as we only see them if the water level is low and its very low so we saw two flocks!
The Hippos were very sleepy today and we only had one opportunity for a Hippo yawn and I missed it! Having said that it is always an amazing experience and a great tour being around 2.5 hours from Durban and a great additive on our Durban safari tours.
It was then time to have some lunch in the town of St Lucia and then head back to Durban. We arrived as the sun was beginning to set and were pretty happy with the 3 days we had spent together on our African safari.
If you would like to join a tour of this nature please click the link below:
I met my clients for their Durban safari off the Ocean Nautica ship that docked in Durban. We were to visit Tala game reserve and Phezulu safari park. At Phezulu we would be entertained by the Zulu dancers and singers at the Zulu Cultural village and then enter their huts to learn more about the Zulus culture! I also took my clients for a tour around the reptile park before the Zulu cultural village tour.
After enjoying the great Zulu dancers and the Zulu culture we made our way onward through the valley of 1000 hills to look at the spectacular views. The valley of 1000 hills is a beautiful area!
Once we made our way through and back to the main road we headed off to Tala game reserve for our safari part of the tour.
We entered at the gate and some of the client decided they wanted an open vehicle game drive so we tried to make a last minute plan with out success.
This turned out to be a good thing at the weather clouded over and it got very cold 15 degrees and later it rained.
We were very luck as later we also spotted a Black backed Jackal which is a rare sighting at Tala game reserve!
We continued with our Durban safari tour and spotted a lot of animals including; Ostrich, Blessbok, Kudu, Warthogs and many more.
Our Durban safari tour continued and it was not long before we found the Rhino that we had been looking for! These days at Tala game reserve after incidents of poaching the Rhinos have guards which monitor them through the day and with radio transmitter collars.
Our Durban safari continued on and we found some great looking Zebra which were close to the road and later even some that crossed the road in front of us. A real Zebra crossing!
It was not long before we made our way down to the dam and found some Hippos resting in the water. The best part of this was that the big male was mating! You don’t see this every day on a Durban safari tour.
Moving along with our Durban safari we eventually spotted some Giraffe and first it was a couple of males and then later a Journey of Giraffe with some youngsters.
So this was now the end of another great African safari tour and we were caught in a torrential down pour of rain so we made our way out of the Tala game reserve carefully and in just under an hour were back at the ship to drop the clients off.
If you would like to join one of these Durban safari tours click the link below:
It was to be quite an interesting African overnight safari tour! Right from the outset my clients which were arriving on a cruise ship were forced into being late due to bad weather off the coast and this could have been a big problem had we had other clients on the same tour. Fortunately it was just this couple and we could be very flexible enabling what turned out to be a great African overnight safari tour.
We departed Durban a little later and decided to skip visiting the Cat rehabilitation center to give us more time in the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
We had a great start and found Rhino which my clients had not seen before. Even after an East African safari it just goes to show that even Africa has so much diversity and some parts of Africa on safari you will find one animal easily and some other parts of Africa you will not.
This was great start an put a smile on our faces! We continued further south in the Umfolozi game reserve and stopped at a view point spotting an Elephant in the distance. We managed to get closer and and where we stopped we also saw another Rhino in the mud and a bachelor herd of Buffalo coming to join him!
It sometimes is crazy to think that just 2.5 hours from Durban you have the possibility to do a Durban safari tour in Africa deepest secret the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve!
Durban is surprisingly well locates to the worlds oldest game reserve and being home to the “Big 5” make a it a place to visit on your South Africa holidays!
After this amazing sighting of this bachelor herd of Buffalo coming around the corner in the dry river bed and this Rhino which was resting in a small mud wallow jumping up with fright we really knew our luck had turned for the better! Our African safari tour would get better from this point on and it was not long before we found an Elephant nice and close!
This great big bull Elephant was drinking from a hole he had made in the river bed and then proceeded to walk to the side of the Umfolozi river bed and wonder up the hill. This was very exciting and an Elephant is one of those animals which screams out “Safari”!
It was time for us to turn back and head north into the Hluhluwe game reserve to see if we could find more animals before checking into our lodge.
As we continued with our African safari tour we found Giraffe near the road which was amazing!
Wow! Our African safari tour was really hotting up and who doesn’t like to see Giraffe! We watched them feeding and moving around before we continued on with our safari in Africa.
It had been a bit surprising that we hadn’t seen Zebra but it was a cooler day and the rain was on its was so understandable why. We did however manage to find Kudu, Nyala, Impala and Water buck as well as Warthog!
With luck having turned in our favor we found some Zebra!
We were feeling pretty complete at this stage with 3 of the “Big 5” and all the rest we had seen. We made our way up to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe where we would be spending the night as the rain began to fall and the mist set in.
We arrived and checked in and at this stage we had no chance of getting out again on our African overnight safari tour due to heavy rain. This didn’t bother my clients as they relaxed around the bar with a good bottle of Red Wine in the lovely setting that is Hilltop camp.
Hilltop camp is the place I always take my clients and in 5 -6 years of taking them there have never had a complaint over the place. Hilltop camp is a lovely 3 star facility and the rooms are lovely, set in the forest and some with views over the rolling hills of Hluhluwe game reserve.
I would never again pay to stay at a 5 star lodge as you only really spend a couple hours a day at the lodge and then to sleep.
Hilltop camp is my choice so join me, Tim Brown on your South Africa holidays! I will collect you from Durban where we begin our safari tour to Africa’s Oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi!
Later I met my clients for some dinner and it was lovely with a great atmosphere, the staff even came out and did some Zulu dance and song for us!
The Zulu people are from the area and song and dance is in there blood no matter what the age or size of the person.
It was now time for bed for me so I bid farewell to my clients as we would start at 5am the next day with another crack at Hluhluwe game reserve and later Umfolozi game reserve.
We woke early and began at 5am from Hilltop camp where we would see if we could find cats. We had an amazing start as we found Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino in the first 20 minutes.
This morning brought new life as in the above picture you will see a new born baby Buffalo with its umbilical cord still intact! This was exciting for us to see as we got to enjoy them crossing the road with a very protective mother. This was a great way to start a morning on an African safari tour from Durban.
Next was the Rhino and then Elephant but we needed cats so we had to keep working. We located Lion tracks and then more tracks from another direction meeting but we could not locate the Lions. It seems that they lay down in the thicket and we could do nothing about it but we tried.
We needed to get back to camp for some breakfast so we arrived at 08:30 am. Breakfast at Hilltop camp was enjoyable and then we checked out making our way to the Umfolozi game reserve in the south to see if we could get lucky with cats.
It was one of those African safari tours where you just can’t seem to get it 100% right!
We did have some amazing sightings like these Water buck posing for us and they looked like one animal with 2 heads.
The sun all of a sudden came out and we had a great sighting of Giraffe and Zebra.
We continued our African safari tour and tried to get to where Lions had been seen but time just wasn’t on our side but funnily enough as we made our way back we did see a Lion but he was sitting far in the thickets south of the Umfolozi river and it photo was so bad that I would not post it here. Alex, I will email it to you!
We had a 12:30 appointment in St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park and a boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles! Wow, the things you can do and see on a Durban safari tour!
We arrived and began a great boat cruise and even spotted a fin of a Bull Shark! Our first close up sighting was of Crocodile and a Goliath heron almost to closer to one another.
It was minuted later and we spotted a huge pod of Hippos in the water this trend would continue for the rest of our boat safari! This pod of Hippos got a big fright from one of the other Hippos and made some splashes.
Our African safari continued and we enjoyed so much bird life even an African fish eagle catching a fish and feeding off it.
A bit further up stream we found some baby Hippos playing in the Estuary. At one point they put there heads in a row.
After an amazing time out on the St Lucia estuary we made our way into St Lucia town for some lunch it was a quick one and we then got back to the Ship in Richards bay by 5pm.
It was a wonderful African overnight safari tour and I am sure that my clients will be back in Africa for some more of the same.
If you would like to join on of these African safari tours please click on the link below:
Our Hluhluwe “Big 5” game reserve safari from Durban began in the city where I collected my clients. It was to be a Hluhluwe game reserve safari to remember!
Our day began at 06:30 and we made our way to the world famous Hluhluwe game reserve and the Umfolozi game reserve in the south. After covering the major history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa we arrived at Hluhluwe game reserve and it was only 09:30. As it was a cool day I was really hoping we would find cats but as nature has it, you have to be at the right place at the right time.
Our Hluhluwe game reserve safari began at Nyalazi gate and we got a tip off on Lions for the lady at the gate. That was very sweet of her, she could have just said nothing!
We drove only 1 kilometer and found a young male Lion literally 5 meters off the road. It was so exciting we could hardly contain ourselves but we managed and enjoyed him for 10 minutes before spotting his brother on the other side. We were very luck as the first one we found crossed the road to his brother then they both crossed over one in front of us before it started to rain.
They them moved for the riverbed and we moved off as well. Wow what a start to a Durban day safari in Hluhluwe game reserve.
We left the Hluhluwe game reserve and entered the Umfolozi game reserve in the south in the hope we would find Elephant and a few other species.
We were now spotting things far off but to be honest the Lions had really kept our hopes up for the day and it was the best way to start a safari from Durban.
After the Lions we spotted Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo in the distance making it already 4 of the Big 5 that we had seen in this single day!
We crossed over the Umfolozi river or shall we say dry riverbed after the lack of rainfall we have had in the past 8 years… We didn’t spend to much time watching this old male Buffalo before we spotted some Baboons walkinging down the road and near the road.
It was now time to get a far down south as we could to give our selves a chance. I spoke with a couple of guiding mates through the day in passing and the both said, “Its quiet”. They were not wrong but we had luck on our side and kept chipping away and finding animals. I must say I had a great group that really helped me spotting, it is always important to remember the guide can only look in one direction at a time…
We then found some Giraffe it was a mother and her baby which was laying down resting in the shade.
African safaris are so rewarding if you have the patients to take in your surroundings when in a game reserve like Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
We were not thinking Rhino! and boy did we get luck when we spotted a mother Rhino and her tiny calf of about 6 months or less.
This was one of the best sighting I have had of a baby Rhino in over 10 years! This little fella lay down on the road in front of us and waiting for his mom to cross over. They he got up and lay back down on the other side of the road! It was brilliant and I was so glad that I documented it on our African safari in Hluhluwe and Umfolozi game reserve.
After this amazing sighting on our African safari in Hluhluwe game reserve we thought we couldn’t possibly have any more luck. This was wrong on me to thing and a we came around a corner in the road we spotted a Leopard which is supposed to be nocturnal about 30 meters off the road. As Leopards do they do not stick around and as we stopped the vehicle he held his pose and the scuttled off into the thick but back to the river.
It was a very sweet sighting for me as it have been a 6 month drought since my last Leopard sighting but I have made a silly mistake which I actually will never regret but may actually use again in the future now.
I have said to my guests after the Lions sighting that if we were to see a Leopard I would buy everyone lunch as it is so rare to see them and in the day time, damn near impossible!
We had no chance for photos but our African safari in Hluhluwe game reserve had been completed and the Big 5 had been achieved for the second time in 5 years for me on a day safari from Durban.
We were all stoked and could not believed our luck but we still wanted the Elephant closer. As we headed back from lunch we spotted Giraffe, Wildebeest, Impala and even Nyala. Eventually as we crossed back over the Umfolozi river we spotted Elephant but it was a 60 second sighting and he was gone!
We stopped for lunch and I said to my clients that I was sure that Elephant will be waiting at the gate for us.
We decided after lunch to continued till 15:30 before making our way back to the gate and with all the road works I got a puncture! We that is life and with the help of one of my clients I changed it and we were up and going in 15-20 minutes.
What did this day not have?
We got to the gate to get cleaned up and depart and this is what was waiting for us!
Wow what a day in the African bush under the African sun, Rain, wind and with the big 5! We could not really have wished for a better day on our African safari from Durban!
We all were very tired and made our way back to Durban with big 5 smiles one our faces!
The Big 5 in one drive! Legendary safari with Tim Brown Tours!
Durban Safari Tours and KwaZulu-Natal Safari Tours have been areas that few have focused themselves on. It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.