Big 5 Durban Day Safari Tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 30th May 2014

    Durban 5 Day Big 5 overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) and Durban City – 24 to 28th May 2014.

    Day 1: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    On this Durban Big 5 Overnight Safari Tour we began at the Airport (King Shaka International) outside of Durban.

     

    On Route to the Big 5 Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve I covered very little of the major history of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. We missed a little out as the pick up was outside Durban.

     

    There were 5 clients, 4 of them Students studying water in South Africa. Basically studying the issues around the resource running out in the near future.

     

    It was refreshing as we would stay at Muntulu camp in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and Safari out from there.

    Muntulu is a self catering bush camp where you can book the whole place out, you get a guide who will take you on a bush walk which we did on the second morning.

    The electricity is generated via solar panels and only turned on from 6-10pm.

    It really is a special place and brings you back to basics and remembering your routes and our vulnerabilities as humans.

    As we entered the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we had luck and found 2 of the Big 5 within the first 15 minutes of entering Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We got to look at Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra and even Warthog. What a treat in such a short space of time after telling my guest “don’t expect to see too much as its still hot weather”.

    Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    We got to the Hilltop camp to check in before rushing off to Muntulu camp and rushing back to Hilltop camp to get fire wood. We just go back before the 6pm Curfew and there was no reception…

    Apart from my wife not remembering that I told her I was at Muntulu and probably would not have reception we had a great evening. I got the fire going and we told stories of the Bush while Alisandro cooked us a pasta dinner.

    Day 2: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    We had a big day the next day and needed some sleep so we were in bed early and up well before the sun and departed to see what animals we could find in the Umfolozi section of the reserve.

    We were super lucky and got to see one Lioness walking close to the road but in the thick bush so non of us really got a picture. Our Big 5 Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve was heating up!

    We spotted lots of general game including a Male Kudu which was good to see but little did we know that our Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi had only really begun today!

    Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    After spending some time at a watering hole called Mpafa hide and enjoying Warthogs, wildesbeest, Nyala and Impala drinking and wallowing we heading back up for a luncheon stop at Centenary centre.

     Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We were approaching the Umfolozi river crossing and when we stopped on the bridge we spotted a Pride of Lion with some young cubs in the reeds and on the sand bank. This was super cool because the lioness we saw earlier moved off very quickly. This time we were able to see the male get up and walk to the Lionesses.

    Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours are amazing.

     White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Eventually it was lunch and we rested a little before looking around the curio shop buying a few things and heading back to Hilltop camp to get some supplies for Muntulu camp.

    We actually ended up staying a while at Hilltop camp charging batteries of all kind and then went back to Muntulu where I showed the clients how we burn Elephant dung to clear nasal congestion.

    We then Stank of smoke and got special permission from the Head Park sectional Ranger to go to Hilltop camp for dinner. We were escorted back like royalty and got the fire going so we could keep warm before bed.

    We could not expect more but there was more on a Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban.

    If you wish to experience some of what I have shown above contact me, we can try and make this happen for you with Tim Brown Tours – Highly rated on TripAdvisor

     

    Day 3: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

     

    We got up bright and early again and we went on a bush walk in nature for about 2.5 hours which is always a blessing. We were lucky to have a safe encounter with a Male White Rhino which after looking at us continued to walk on. We spotted many tracks of Lions, Hyenas, Rhino and Elephant.

     Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We headed back to Muntulu lodge camp before taking an hour to relax and pack before we headed to Hilltop camp to check out and we began our last day safari tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We saw Rhino in the distance, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra and monkeys.

    Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    So this was it basically the end of our 3 day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban. It was somewhat sad after the amazing things we had seen. We all will not forget the great show the animals of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve put on for us on day 2 and 3 of our Safari Tour.

    We all had a really good time and now it was time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park. After a few clients nodded off for the hours drive to St Lucia we had arrived and tried to arrange meeting for the clients. We then hopped onto the 15:00 – 17:00, 2 hour boat cruise on the estuary which was great and the clients loved it.

    So many Hippos and crocodile and the sun setting on the way back.

     Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We needed to rush off and check in to our guest house before walking into the town avoiding Hippos which thankfully we didn’t meet along the way. We got to John Dorys and had some good seafood before walking back to the Guest house and getting some rest.

     

    Day 4: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

     

    The following day we had a sleep in and breakfast at 08:30 which the owner of the Guest house prepared very well.

    We then packed and headed down to the board walk before onto the beach and to look at Maphelane the Second Heighest Vegetated sand dune in the World.

     Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    After all this including dipping the feet in the Indian ocean we headed back to Durban and our Safari Experience was over.

    Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    I think we all felt deflated to have to go to a city…

    I dropped the clients at there hotel and once they were settled I took them down to the beach front to look at curios and get some dinner.

    I headed home and would return to attend to the clients needs the next day.

     

    Day 5: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Isimangaliso wetland park and Durban City.

     

    We tried to get a meeting with SAB-Miller(the Brewery) but sadly the could not that day. So it was a later start for me only collecting my clients at 12 Midday and meeting them at the Botanical gardens before some lunch on Florida Road.

    We then had a 2pm meeting with Mr Mcloud the head of the Water department in Durban who has some amazing ideas which are being turned into reality with the help of Bill Gates.

     

    Our meeting was an hour and a half and frankly this guy knew so much and it was so interested I didn’t mind sitting there for another couple hours!

    We sadly had to leave and it was time for me to say good bye to the clients. I dropped them at there hotel and headed back home to get ready for the next days Drakensberg Hiking Tour.

    If you would like a Big 5 Safari experience like this contact Tim Brown Tours and we can make this a reality for you.

     

    Kumnandi Africa!

  • 7th April 2014

    Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve 5th April 2014

    We began our Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour in Durban city Ethekwini as its known the Zulu word for (By the bay/sea). After meeting my client at the Beverly Hills Hotel we traveled up to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for our Durban day Big 5 safari tour.

    The Drive up I covered the History of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Durban as well as the different population groups and how they came to be here in the are of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Hluhluwe Umfolozi. One of the other major things I cover is the Flora and agricultural crops like Sugar Cane and Eucalyptus Siligna  trees we come across on route to the Big 5 game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi.

    Today was to be a good day for us all! Even though we didn’t come right with any cats. We had some amazing sightings on our Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve.

    We were lucky with our sightings and managed 3 of the Big 5 and Elephants on three or 4 different occasions.

    Upon arrival at the Nyalazi gate we had a patch of quietness where we only saw a herd of Buffalo in the distance and a few impala but then things began to pick up and we found Wildebeest, White Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Warthogs as well as Elephant in the distance.

    As our Durban Big 5 Day safari Tour progressed we spotted more and more animals and eventually got a great big male elephant next to the road.

    Our first major sighting was these Zebras next to the road on our Safari Tour.

    Dazzle of Zebra pose on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

    As we continued our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour we spotted this beautiful crash of Rhinos 5 in total which was on of the Big 5. The really were so striking all lined up a breast.

    Crash of 5 White Rhinos on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

    So with one close up of the Rhino one of the Big 5 we continued where we spotted some lovely giraffe. Our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour was really picking up.

    Young Male Giraffe on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve
    An other crazy thing happened on our Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban when this young male giraffe mounted the back of a bigger male giraffe.

    One this which is important to note is that in Nature there is no such thing as “Gay” animals. Male animals will mount the backs of other males as a sign of dominance and nothing else!

    A male Giraffe tries his luck in a dominance Mating display with another bigger male giraffe on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve
    After all of this action in the bush on our Safari Tour from Durban we came across this lovely small breeding herd of Buffalo before we stopped for lunch, they were very skittish but stuck around to pose for a photo.
    A small breeding herd of African Buffalo on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

    It was now time for lunch and instead of stopping at Hilltop camp hluhluwe we stopped at the centenary center as we had been so far south in the Umfolozi section of the reserve. Centenary center is home to operation Rhino which brought back the White Rhino population from about 60 individuals in the 1950’s and 1960’s to approximately 2300 in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and stocked Kruger national park with there White Rhinos now sitting at 4000 individuals approximately.

    After lunch we headed back out into the bush to Tour the Northern section, Hluhluwe. We were very lucky as we came across this bull Elephant drinking.

    Big Bull Elephant drinks water on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve
    In a matter of minutes he had had his fill of about 50 litres of water and showed us another amazing side to an Elephant you will have to see below image. The male part is said to weight about 25 kg’s.
    Big Bull Elephant shows us his 5th leg while he defecates on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

    After this rather interesting Bush experience we had to start looking for things quickly as our time was running out on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban.

    We came across more Elephant and captured this great images of a Golden Orb Spider in the foreground with a Bull Elephant in the back ground. Our Durban day Safari Tour has really heated up and really turned out to be a great Safari Tour in the African bush. 

    Golden Orb Spider takes the focus away from an Elephant behind her on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve

    If you wish to experience a part of Durban which few know about contact me and we can arrange a Durban Day or overnight Safari Tour to the Bush-Hluhluwe Umfolozi, Berg-Drakensberg Mountains or the Battlefields- KwaZulu-Natal.