Big 5 Safari Durban Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 23rd October 2015

    Hluhluwe “Big 5” game reserve safari

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Young male Lion

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Young male Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe “Big 5” game reserve; Young male Lions on our safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

    Umfolozi game reserve; Buffalo

    Umfolozi game reserve; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Umfolozi game reserve; Baboon

    Umfolozi game reserve; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Umfolozi game reserve; Giraffe

    Umfolozi game reserve; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Umfolozi game reserve; Rhino calf sleeping in the road

    Umfolozi game reserve; Rhino calf sleeping in the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino calf rests on road in front of us

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

    Umfolozi game reserve; Elephant

    Umfolozi game reserve; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

  • 14th September 2015

    Hluhluwe safari

     

     

    I met my clients in Durban for our 3 day safari to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we began our safari. I covered some of the major history of South Africa, KwaZulu Natal and Durban before we stopped for coffee and to stretch our legs.

    Once we were done we made our way to the Cat rehabilitation center where we interacted with Cheetah and three other species of endangered or threatened cats.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Serval

    Durban Big 5 safari; Serval

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way into the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and managed to find some Rhino resting before we spotted some Rhino and Zebra together.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino and Zebra

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino and Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way to Hilltop camp where we had some lunch and checked in before heading back out onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve just in time for the first Spring rains! Well that was a bit frustrating as it made it very hard to see.

     

    We did find Rhino and four of them at that which crossed the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Crash of Rhino

    Durban Big 5 safari; Crash of Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

    It took us some time before we found anything else of great significance but when we did it was a herd of Buffalo all around us and one the road in front of us.

    This was the second of the Big 5 that we had found and it was a great sighting.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Buffalo

    Durban Big 5 safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We kept trying to see if we could locate these Lions I had seen the day before but the visibility was not so good. This would not stop us and even though we got a tip off we eventually spotted them but to far away for a good photo.

    This is Nature though and we can never expect this to go as we would want them. Nature shows up the way it want to.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Lion in the distance at dusk

    Durban Big 5 safari; Lion in the distance at dusk

     

     

     

     

     

    It was very dark now and time to get back to camp for some dinner. We all met at 7pm and enjoyed some good food as well as some singing and dancing from the kitchen staff.

    My clients really enjoyed the evening and it was then time for me to go and get some work done before bed.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Hluhluwe safari

     

     

     

     

    We began the day with news for Lions having killed a Giraffe on a bridge and we made our way their after we had some breakfast. The Giraffe was on the bridge and had been pregnant and had one foot of the baby sticking out of the rear as the Lions had opened her up. Sadly for us with the pressure of vehicles the Lions moved away so we did not see them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; pregnant Giraffe killed by Lions

    Durban Big 5 safari; pregnant Giraffe killed by Lions

     

     

     

     

     

    We drove around a section of a loop to see if we could find the Lions with no luck so we continued on. We then spotted a journey of Giraffe which were feeding away and concerned that one of there family had been killed.

    On our way back past the Giraffe on our Hluhluwe Safari we saw that a staff vehicle was going to move the Giraffe a little off the road. The guy decided to drive his car into the sand off the bridge and he got stuck. We now were trapped and the only way to get past was to move the head and neck of the Giraffe a little. As the Lions were far away it was safe to do so, so myself and the staff member moved the head as far back as we could and then I was able to get past.

     

     

    We headed south as planed but it was such a raining morning that we saw very little. Even a Vulture seemed to be big for us aside of the Impala we could not get away from.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; White backed Vulture

    Durban Big 5 safari; White backed Vulture

     

     

     

     

     

    As the day went by we made it a mission to find Elephants which I though would not be a problem but as luck would have it we would suffer the indignity of not seeing one the whole day!

    We did see lots of other things like Giraffe, Baboons, Nyala, Kudu, Warthog, Wildebeest, Buffalo and Rhino.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Baboons

    Durban Big 5 safari; Baboons

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Baboons were grooming each other and we then also watched some Impala pronking away as the rain had stopped. It was getting better and we found Rhino a few times close to the road.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

    We spotted a herd of Wildebeest in the distance during this part of our Hluhluwe Safari so I snapped a couple of shots before we moved on to see what else we could find.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Wildebeest

    Durban Big 5 safari; Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

    We then began to make our way back up for some lunch having stopped a few time to look at view point and seen nothing!

     

    On route we found another dazzle of Zebra and it was great as they were so close to the road.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Zebra

    Durban Big 5 safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had our lunch and looked around the curio shop, even I found something for my wife!

    We headed back up to camp and arrived around 15:30. I arranged the dinners and open vehicle for the one couple I had with me and then got time to rest. Well it was more like work and put together the blog post!

     

     

    I would be meeting the other clients for dinner which was a lovely meal and then the next morning we would leave at 6am and try find those Lions.

     

     

     

    Day 3: Hluhluwe safari

     

     

    Day 3 of our Durban Big 5 safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began before 6am and we visited the Giraffe carcass. It was hopeless the Lions had moved off and vultures were now landing in the trees. There had been to much activity and I am sure those Lions had moved off. Gone was the romance of the kill from the day before so we left to seek greener pastures!

     

    We headed further north and found some lovely Zebra and Rhino.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino mother and calf

    Durban Big 5 safari; Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting I could see some vehicles stopped in the distance so I made my way around there as the Lions had been in the area for a few days now. When we arrived we found the Lions all 7 of them! Wow what a sight I am glad we stuck around as the Lions eventually got up and walked over a hill where they spotted a herd of Buffalo walking towards they. They went into hunting mode!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Lion and Buffalo stand off

    Durban Big 5 safari; Lion and Buffalo stand off

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is always interesting and was only for the Lions to try and find a weak link in the herd. They tried to circle the Buffalo but the Buffalo stood their ground as well as there being some back and forth no weak links were found. Eventually the Lions gave up.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Lions chasing Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been an amazing sighting and you will see that the Buffalo were not to allow the Lions to be dominant this is all better done for the Lions at night when the Buffalos eyesight is not nearly as good as the Lions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Buffalo bull charges a pride of Lions

    Durban Big 5 safari; Buffalo bull charges a pride of Lions

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lions do not want to risk getting an injury as that can spell death for them through infection or broken bones. As mentioned this was all about trying to establish a weak link for a hunt which would be done in the night time while we were all asleep.

     

    Wow what a great scene on our 3 day Durban safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions vs Buffalo on our Durban safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued back to the lodge and had some breakfast before checking out and departing for St Lucia estuary and Isimangaliso Wetland park.

    Here we boarded a 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles which was fantastic with some great sightings of Hippos and Crocodiles.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Crocodile

    Durban Big 5 safari; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

    The Hippos at St Lucia are very relaxed as over the past 40 years or so we have had boat up and down this section of the estuary and they have got very used to the boats being near by.

    We were luck on this Durban safari tour to find Hippos playing near the boat.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Big 5 safari; Hippos playing at St Lucia

    Durban Big 5 safari; Hippos playing at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

    We decided to make our way back to Durban and stop along the ways for a bite to eat, it was great to have shared such an amazing experience with such a lovely group of guests which enjoyed every part of the experience.

     

    It was great to get home to my wife for the night and the following day.

     

    If you would like to join or book a Durban safari tour please click on this link below:

     

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour from Durban.

  • 11th September 2015

    Durban safari tour

     

    I met my polish clients in Durban who were here for the World forestry conference and we began our two day Durban safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    After covering the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and how all the population groups came to be here we stopped for some coffee. We then continued on to the Cat rehabilitation center where we would be interacting with Cheetah hands on as well as looking at Serval, Caracal and African wild cat, species that are listed as either endangered or threatened.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Caracal stare

    Durban safari tour; Caracal stare

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This Caracal was just staring at the guide while he was explaining about the cats history’s and how they came to be at the project.

    Once we had enjoyed this we made our way to the Big 5 and world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. Once we entered the gate it was game time for me and I had be make sure I was in top form to see what animals I could find for my clients.

     

    In the national parks like Hluhluwe Imfolozi there is no guarantee of seeing the Big 5 but we always try and find as many of them as we can. The cats are always the hardest and they give me the biggest headache.

     

    It was quiet at first but we did spot Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Nyala, Impala and Warthogs in our first hour before stopping for lunch.

    Our best sighting was these Zebra near the road.

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Zebra in a line

    Durban safari tour; Zebra in a line

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I am looking at this picture now and thinking “They are all in a straight line almost on the road, awesome!”

    So this was a good sighting and we then arrived at Hilltop camp for some lunch and to check in before heading back out to see what we could find from 15:30.

     

    It was usual but annoying that every animal we saw was hiding or sleeping until 5pm and then we began to spot better sightings of animals. Before this point we had spotted Monkeys and Baboons.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Vervet monkey

    Durban safari tour; Vervet monkey

     

     

     

     

     

    The sightings got really go and we spotted Buffalo and Rhino together and had great sightings of Rhino mothers with calves as well as big bulls and even young male and female Rhino together. It was starting to become a good Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Rhinos

    Durban safari tour; Rhinos

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The God were now looking down on us favorably and we hit the jackpot! I cant remember the last time I saw 3 of the Big 5 all in one area and this quality of a sighting.

     

    We had two Rhino cross the road in front of us after they had mud wallowed and then we spotted Lions resting! I could not believe our luck. Then as we were enjoying the Lions I spotted Elephants coming to drink.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Lions

    Durban safari tour; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

    We got a great picture of this one young Lion who reminded me of Hashim Amla or Moeen Ali cricket players with big beards.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Young Lion

    Durban safari tour; Young Lion

     

     

     

     

     

    This was amazing and the sun was going down so it was getting more difficult for photos but we moved back to look at the Elephants and they were amazing! we had about 3 tiny babies and over all about 13 Elephants.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Elephant pool

    Durban safari tour; Elephant pool

     

     

     

     

     

    This young female Elephant decided to drain her bowls on the road in front of us which is perfectly normal even the queen of England has to do the same thing!

     

    We enjoyed these Elephants and then had one more look at the Lions as the sun was almost gone and really thanked our lucky stars that so Tim Brown magic showed up at the right time! I was nervous for a while there!

     

    We started to hurry back to camp for the gate cut off time and on route spotted a Buffalo bull on the road! Sadly the pictures in the dark we not good so I did not put them up.

     

     

    We arrived back at Hilltop camp and had a short rest before dinner. Dinner was a lovely affair with the Staff coming and singing and dancing for us which I think my clients really enjoyed. It always adds a special touch.

     

    I also pointed out the Southern cross and showed my clients how to find South before I went off to bed. My clients would be doing the morning open vehicle game drive at 5am and kindly let me sleep in so I could catch up on this blog post and the one before this.

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban safari tour

     

     

    After waking early and getting some work done I met my clients for breakfast before packing luggage into the vehicle and checking out.

     

    We would still have time before our tour at St Lucia estuary to view Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    As we departed Hilltop camp for day 2 of your Durban safari tour we managed to find Giraffe a few times.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Giraffe

    Durban safari tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had another amazing thing happen before we could leave the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi and it was Lions again and they were the tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe. Unbelievable!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions in tree on our Durban safari tour


     

     

     

     

    I could not believe our luck, It was a stinking hot day already at 35 degrees and these Lions were moving around the branches of a Marula tree on our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Lions argue in tree

    Durban safari tour; Lions argue in tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lioness sits on her brother in a tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We watched this young male Lion get frustrated with the Lioness which kept standing and sitting on him and as it was so hot he was not in a good mood.

    We had a lovely picture of these Lions in the tree they looked very beautiful in the tree.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Lions in Marula tree

    Durban safari tour; Lions in Marula tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions rest in a Marula tree in South Africa, Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been another crazy morning in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on safari from Durban and we now had to leave to get to St Lucia for our 12 o clock boat cruise.

     

    I put on the air conditioner as it was so hot and most of my clients had a rest before we arrived at St Lucia. It was here we took a 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary which is South Africa’s first world heritage site.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Pod of Hippos

    Durban safari tour; Pod of Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

    We spotted many pods on Hippos and some Crocodiles as well as bird life.

    It was so hot that we were glad to be on the lower deck away from the blazing sunshine.

    We managed to find Hippos also play fighting.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Hippos argue

    Durban safari tour; Hippos argue

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great time and now it was time for a late lunch and then to head back to Durban. Lunch was great and we all enjoyed some good food. We arrived back in Durban with a drop of 13 degrees! But we were all very happy with how our 2 day Durban safari tour had gone.

     

    If you would like to do a Safari tour from Durban like this click on this link.

     

    Durban 2 day safari tour

     

     

  • 1st September 2015

    Durban day safari – 31/08/2015

     

     

    This Durban day safari was one of my best and not because I felt good about my performance but because nature also performed for us!

    We began in Durban as we usually do and I collected a Swedish couple who were very excited about the Durban day safari after reading reviews on TripAdvisor. This always makes me feel a little pensive as with nature it is out of our control. All I know is the best places to look for the animals and their behaviour.

     

    After covering the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal we arrived at Nyalazi gate in the Umfolozi section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve.

     

    We had such luck at the gate with Giraffe, Elephant and a Buffalo bull that I got a little concerned that we would not be able to match it through the day.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    This Durban day safari was different though!

    As we left the Giraffe and we spotted some lovely birds one being the Lilac breasted Roller. We also saw Impala.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lilac breasted Roller

    Durban day safari; Lilac breasted Roller

     

     

     

     

     

    It was only a few more minuted before we spotted Buffalo and then some Zebra near to the road. This was turning out to be a great Durban day safari.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Zebra

    Durban day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We drove on with our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and spotted a huge bull Elephant on the road. He was nice and relaxed and had huge tusks which were very impressive.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Elephant

    Durban day safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a great time with the Elephant we crossed over the Umfolozi river and spotted and old male Buffalo sleeping, we continued…

    Further on we found Nyala, Kudu and Impala which was amazing to see.

     

    The next thing that happened was super impressive as we spotted a Lioness in a tree! It was incredible! Lions are not built for climbing trees but this female who was young was taking her chances to see if she could spot food or her pride.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lioness in Tree

    Durban day safari; Lioness in Tree

     

     

     

     

     

    At first she looked like she would not come down but as other came and went we waited for her to see what see would do for us. Sometimes on a safari you have to be patient and wait for good things to come to you.

     

    She began to move very gingerly in the tree!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lioness in tree image 2

    Durban day safari; Lioness in tree image 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We spotted her stand up and and it was clear she was keen to come down but not being very comfortable with it so we waited even longer! Eventually she made a bold move and decided to go for it! It was so exciting we could hardly contain our excitement.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safari; Lioness climbs out of tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As you can see in the video it was a moment to saver and to never forget! I was so excited myself I had to watch the video again as after she crossed the road in front of us we never returned.

    Wow is the best way to describe the moment spend with her!

     

    At this point I honestly told the clients that I was so happy I didn’t really care what else we saw but obviously we would try our best.

     

    Within minutes we found a herd of Buffalo!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Buffalo

    Durban day safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way to the Umfolozi river where we spotted another herd of Buffalo and we enjoyed this amazing view before making our way back to lunch. Before we could get to lunch we found Rhinos which we had not yet seen! Another of the Big 5, which now meant we had spotted 4 of the Big 5 in just one day! This is a Lion more than normal!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Rhino

    Durban day safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then got close the the original Umfolozi river crossing and found Warthogs and the same old male Buffalo from in the morning. Wow what had we not seen?

    We Baboons! So then we just found some next to the road feeding and playing in a Knob Thorn Acacia.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Baboon

    Durban day safari; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to get some lunch so we stopped for a 2 pm lunch at the Centenary center which was home to operation Rhino in the 1950s that brought back the White Rhino from extinction. They also have a craft market and museum so my clients could enjoy that as well.

     

    It was already 3pm by the time we left and it was time to begin to head to the gate. I was hoping to find some more Elephants for the clients but we had a better surprise.

     

    I spotted two tree stumps which I have not seen there before so I decided to slow down and look again. When I looked again it was Cheetah! A mother and her cub! This was amazing as their is only 30 in the whole game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi. We had seen a mother with her sub adult cub.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub

    Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub

     

     

     

     

     

    We stayed with the Cheetah for a good while and then they began to move towards the drainage just as I mentioned that that is what I thought they would do.

    We watched them and the mother ran away after something and the cub got lost. This was so funny as the cub walked around and cried for its mom to find where she had gone.

     

     

     

     

    Video:  Durban day tour; Cheetah cub calls for its mother

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this the cub actually came close to the car on a slope about 5 meters from the window and walked away into the bushes. It was amazing and for my clients just really capped the day safari from Durban off. Just for the record we usually do not see Lion or Cheetah on a day safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Cheetah cub

    Durban day safari; Cheetah cub

     

     

     

     

     

    We exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve being greeted with armed military wanting to check out vehicle for Rhino horn. Their must have been 7 or 8 men with semi automatic firearms ready to shoot us if we did! It was exciting!

     

    We departed and just chatted about the amazing day the whole drive back to Durban. I don’t think I have had a much better Durban day safari before.

     

    We arrived back in Durban safe and sound and very happy with life.

     

    If you wish to experience something similar, join us on this safari by clicking the link below:

     

     

    Durban Big 5 day safari 

  • 23rd August 2015

    Durban overnight Big 5 safari

     

     

    We began our Durban overnight Big 5 safari on the Bluff in Durban where I collected my client and we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve. It would be a safari from Durban to remember!

     

    The usual story took place with me covering the general history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal on route to our first stop, the endangered cat project for Cheetah interaction.

     

    We had a great time as we got to interact hands on with 3 endangered Cat species.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

    Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we left the Cheetah project we made our way into Hluhluwe Big 5 game reserve a mere 20 minutes away. It was now time for our Durban overnight safari to begin!

    Our first sighting was of some Zebra, Buffalo and Warthog. Having told me guests not to expect too much early bells, I felt some added pressure build as I knew it would be hard to keep up the success.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

    Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Warthogs were just up the road so we spent some time being entertained by them before moving on with our Durban safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

    Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Sounder of Warthogs on our safari from Durban


    We then made our way through to Hilltop camp for some lunch and to check in. It had been a good start and it wouldn’t be long before we would be back out to see what we could find on our Durban overnight safari.

     

    Lunch was great and after 30 minutes of rest we headed back out.

    We were very lucky as we had a great sighting of a Crash of about 9 Rhino which was unbelievable, sadly for us the photos were not the best so I didn’t put them up.

     

    We checked over the Hluhluwe river and enjoyed the great views of Nyala feeding and it wasn’t long after this we spotted a big old male Giraffe. It was strange as he was so focused on what must have been female in the distance that his male part was erect for a moment before he crossed the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on and came across a huge male Elephant a few meters from the road and he was in Musth but was very relaxed so after watching him we moved closer to enjoy him more.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This great shot of the Elephant my client took for me when the Elephant opened up his ears to cool the blood down and help regulate his temperature. I decided to try and be a bit creative as the Elephant had some Rhino and a small breeding herd of Elephant behind him. Have a look at this picture below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was getting dark now and we needed to make our way back up to the camp. We had been very lucky and our Durban overnight safari has really begun very well with us having seen 3 of the Big 5 in the first day.

     

    We arrived back at camp right on time and then got ready for dinner. After a quick dinner it was time for bed it had been a long day and we had agreed to start at 6am the following day to see if we could find some cats.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban overnight safari

     

     

    Our second day of safari from Durban was like a dream in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. I could not believe the luck we had and nor could my clients.

     

    We started with Giraffe and Rhino before having the most special sighting of Lions you could ever wish to have on a safari.

    We had a pride of 7 Lions walk onto the road in front of us and basically play around for about 15 minutes. It was very special and we got amazing footage.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

    Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was pure bliss as these Lions rolled around and wondering in and out of the bushes near the road. I managed to get a couple of video clips so you can try and feel what we experienced.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban overnight safari, Lions playing on the road


     

     

    We were very luck as we almost had this sighting to our selves with just one car coming behind us after a while to share it with us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

    Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safaris with Tim Brown Tours, Lions on the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lions played and it was also clear that they were marking territory and one Lioness actually did what we call the Flemen grimace which is where she inhales the scent over a gland on the upper pallet of her mouth to check if it needs resenting. This is also done by males to check if a female is ready for mating or even to check if other Lions had made the scent.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

    Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been an amazing sighting and we very happily continued on down south to see what else we could find. Clearly our Durban overnight safari had heated up!

     

    It wasn’t long after this that we found a young Giraffe, we couldn’t spot her mother she must have been around, well we hope so!!!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our Durban overnight safari we finally had a great sighting of Buffalo where they crossed the road in front of us. We also had them near the road not long after this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

    Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Buffalo crossed the road in front of us and a bit further along we got a herd walking parallel to the road all in a line heading off to find more food.

     

    Once we left the Buffalo and crossed the Umfolozi river we spotted a bull Elephant and it was another 5 legged one! We watched him feeding and then he walked up to a Rhino midden and started to dust bath with Rhino dung!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephant dust bathing in Rhino dung

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been so far an amazing start to our 2nd day on safari from Durban in the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. More was to come as we got further south into more open areas and found some Rhino grazing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for a quiet period which was fine but before we could get the words out “Wow its finally quiet” my left eye worked some magic and somehow spotted a Big male Lions laying down looking right at us. I was impressed with my spot as well!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We could not believe that we had seen Lions twice in one day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we spent to time with this male.

    After a few minuted it became apparent that he was not alone and that he was mating with a Lioness who was hidden to us at first. This was amazing on two occasions we got them mating! Wow what a great Durban overnight big 5 safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

    Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had been seeing vehicles stopped about 200 meters away but we were so into what we were watching we decided to wait before checking what they were looking at.  During our time with the mating Lions we also had Rhinos 50 Meters away mud wallowing.

    We decided to leave the mating Lions and see what the fuss was about further up the road. It was another male Lions 20 meters off the road in clear view! Wow, we had been very lucky.

     

    This male was clearly the less dominant of the two males hence he was not mating with the female.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was clear to see that this male was less dominant he had less black in his mane which has been proven to be less attractive to females.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion licking his paw on our Durban overnight safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky on our Durban safari to see this male Lions so close but also grooming himself in the video above.

    It was time for us to see what else we could find and we found more Rhino, Buffalo and Zebra before stopping at a view sight and you wont believe it spotting another Pride of Lions! This was the third time in the day we had spotted Lions and these ones where far away! The game reserve has about 120 Lions and we had seen almost 20 of them.

     

    I did take a picture but honestly felt it wasn’t worth put up after all the close ups we had got.

     

     

    We stopped later for lunch and enjoyed the museum about Operation Rhino in the 1950’s and ’60 which brought back Rhinos from extinction.

    We then left and found more Elephants before arriving back at camp mid afternoon and had a rest before the evening game drive.

     

     

    We would all meet again the next day for a 6am safari.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban overnight safari

     

     

    We met at 6am for a 2.5 hour game drive to see what we could find. We found Lion tracks, Hyena tracks and even Leopard tracks but only saw 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. We actually also spotted some antelope as well as Zebra and Giraffe but as we had been so spoiled the day before it almost was a little anticlimax.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We returned to camp for breakfast before packing up and leaving the lodge for St Lucia.

     

    On route we covered some of the History of St Lucia and the area of Isimangaliso Wetland park before we had some lunch in St Lucia town a very quint little village really. We then ventured on a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary one of the only places in the world you will find Hippos, Crocodiles and Sharks living in the same area.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

    Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spotting these 3 crocodiles together we spotted pod after pod of Hippos which really is the highlight of the boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Hippos

    Durban overnight safari; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We departed St Lucia South Africa’d first world heritage site at 3pm and made way back to the Hilton hotel where I would be dropping my clients off. It was a relaxed drive back answering any final questions and just having some general chats.

     

    It had been on of the best Durban overnight safaris I have ever had the privilege of conducting!

     

    If you would like to book this tour, click on the link below:

     

    Durban overnight safari

  • 30th July 2015

    South African Safari 26-29 July 2015

     

     

    We began our South African safari near Durban where I collected my client who were out for a Baptist conference here in Durban, South Africa!

    As it was a slightly larger group than I usually take on Safaris from Durban I rented a 13 seat vehicle and trailer.

    Once we got all the luggage in we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi and Hilltop camp for our 3 nights there and to enjoy nature at its best.

    On route I covered as much history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as possible over the microphone and in no time it seemed we had arrived at the gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, my second home.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as a deep history which you can read about on the link over the words Hluhluwe….

    It is well known for having saved Rhino from extincting in the 1940’s and 50’s.

     

    On route to Hilltop camp we spotted one of these amazing Rhinos the White Rhino before having the most amazing Black Rhino sight I have had in a long time. This male Black Rhino walked down a slope and crossed the road in front of us and was super relaxed for a Black Rhino. I was amazed and we were all super happy.

     

     

     

    Video: Black Rhino crosses road in front of us during our Durban safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What a special moment! We then arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in getting clients and luggage to the rooms which did take a little but of time as it was dark.

     

    We then met for dinner before a good nights sleep.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    Day two began at 06:30 am and we made our way into the northern section of Hluhluwe game reserve. We had luck right off the bat as we found Elephants near to the road and all down in the valley and up on the hills near the camp.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had some amazing luck with Rhino as we got one posing very nicely for us all during our South African safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino standing

    South African safari; Rhino standing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were trying our best for the African wild dogs but hear they had made there way over the river after feeding on an Nyala and taken their puppies with them. So we continued and up the road found a huge herd of Buffalo in fact we must has seen about 6 herds of Buffalo….

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I love the above Buffalo picture even though it is not sharp it has character with the flies and the dust. We also managed to spot some Zebra on our South African safari which was great as the sunlight really hit them nicely.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Zebra

    South African safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The one Zebra looks like she is laughing at us… As we continues our 4 day safari tour in Hluhluwe we also found Giraffe but they were far away and I knew we would get them later. So we continued back to camp for breakfast before heading out to the Cat rehabilitation center.

     

     

    The Cat rehabilitation center was amazing and my clients loved it as they got to interact with Cheetah hands on and Serval.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next picture was of the Cheetah cub which is 3-4 months old and the clients got to play with him, he is very cute and playful. Wow what a South African safari this was turning out to be from Durban!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way back to the gate and just stopped for some food and fuel. We then got back to camp as some of the group we doing the evening open vehicle safari and other we coming with me.

     

    Those that came with me were treated to a few things, the first was a Southern Tree Agama.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also found some Vultures in a tree among the usual things like the Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra and even a Wildebeest.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had great fortune and found the Giraffe we had been looking for near to the road so it was great for photos excepting the light was beginning to fade. Either way it was fantastic and our success continued during our Safari from Durban in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried one more time for cats and dogs with no luck, but we had an amazing sighting for a rare specie the Bush Pig which you usually only see at night. It was now dusk and the video I made came out decently but not very well.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bush Pig out at dusk


     

    We still had one more shot of the day and it was of the sun going down and the planets Venus and Jupiter! The night sky had cleared from the previous night was was looking great with so many stars out.

    We had a great day on safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to wait for the others to get back and at 8pm we all had a great dinner. The food at Hilltop camp is always lovely. We were all very tired and headed off to bed as we would meet the next day fairly early at 7am for breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    We began the day in the hope of finding cats but sadly we battled for them through the day!

     

    This did not bother us much as we found many other species of animals from Elephant to Mongooses.

    We were wanting to see more Giraffe on this African Safari and we did.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My clients were very happy with the Giraffe and after a short while we spotted a bull Elephant which crossed the road in front of us and fed next to the road to I made a video of this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephants near the road on Hluhluwe safari


     

     

     

     

     

    We slowly made our way down to the Umfolozi river and before we got there we spotted a Rhino bull which decided to sit down and then have a rest by lying down.

    It was an amazing sighting as I managed to shoot the sequence of events.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 1

    South African safari; Rhino 1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 2

    South African safari; Rhino 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 3

    South African safari; Rhino 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Rhino went to sleep we made our way over the Umfolozi river which was in full force after the heavy rain we had had a couple days before! It was great to see this river flowing so well during our Durban safari in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and tried to get as far south as we could but time was also running out as I was unable to travel very fast in the 13 seat vehicle.

    Things were quiet and we decided to stop at Bhejane hide hide and see what animals would come to us but sadly it was only birds.

    We did however see Terrapins on the bank of the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Terrapins

    South African safari; Terapins

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once of the best sighting at the watering hole was this African Hoopoe which was searching for food and maybe had a nest in this dead tree next to the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We the made our way to the Centenary center for some lunch and then had a look around the curio shop. As we were a group of 12 it took longer than we thought and we needed to rush back to Hilltop camp to get back for the clients who were doing the evening open vehicle safari and to load up most of the luggage into the trailer, Thank you Jason for your help!

     

     

    We arrived back and sorted everything out before meeting for dinner. We had to wait for the 4 clients that went on the open vehicle game drive but it was a good wait.

     

    As we stood at the bar we noticed that Prince Harry was in the restaurant enjoying dinner we could not believe our luck to see such a character. We waited on the others and told them but did not want to bother the young prince as others were doing and we sat to enjoy our meal having had a great day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: South African safari from Durban

     

     

     

    We began our forth day with a very early start at 05:45 and left Hilltop camp by 6am for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    We arrived 10 minuted early and had a great 2 hour on the boat seeing lots of Hippos, Crocodiles, Mangroves and birds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had unbelievable sightings of Hippos both in the water and on land during our African safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia estuary is the largest esturine system in Southern Africa and home to 4 of the Big 5 the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos playing

    South African safari; Hippos playing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky to catch these two baby Hippos playing in the estuary while we were on the boat tour of St Lucia we also had amazing Bird sightings of Pink Backed Pelicans, African Fish Eagles to Black winged stilts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As the boat cruise drew to an end we had one more sighting and that was of a Bull Shark swimming in the St Lucia Estuary! They have been stuck here since 2007 when the estuary closed naturally to the ocean due to a lack of rainfall.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finished up our cruise and began our way back to Durban International or King Shaka International airport stopping along the way for some food and coffee.

    We arrived on time for the clients that would be catching there flights out of Durban and I took two of the clients after the safari to the Hilton Hotel in Durban. It had been an amazing tour having just missed out on the cats!

     

    We all enjoyed it and would have many memories to take back home with us.

     

  • 9th July 2015

    Hluhluwe Overnight safari

     

    Our Hluhluwe overnight safari began in Durban where I met my clients. We then began the journey to the cat rehabilitation center to interact with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat.

     

    It is always an amazing experience to interact hands on with these great endangered species and very memorable!

     

    One of the Cheetah cubs was very playful and hugged one of my clients all very exciting when on Safari in Africa.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Cheetah cubs

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Cheetah cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In the above picture of the Cheetah cubs they look really chilled out but this was before they noticed the bags people had with them…

     

    After an amazing time interacting with these creatures we made our way to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve only 20 minutes away.

    We arrived at the gate and found that even though it was the middle of the day and warm there were still animals out and about.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The above picture was one of Zebra which aside of Warthogs and Impala was one of the first sightings we had on day 1. We continued and it was not long before we spotted a herd of Elephant. That herd of Elephant very quickly became 3 herds of Elephant making it a crazy start to our 3 day safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant herd

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant herd

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then finally made it to Hilltop camp where we settled in for some lunch before I checked us in and got the clients settled in there rooms before we made our way back out onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see what else we could find.

     

    It again wasn’t long before we spotted more animals one of the best being this old Buffalo bull.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Old Buffalo bull

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Old Buffalo bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It is always a better option to do a Hluhluwe overnight safari than a Hluhluwe day safari as the late afternoon is always a good time to see animals and the morning.

     

    Next on the cards was more Elephant and one young lad was interested in displaying to us and sniffing away.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were actually trying hard to look for the African Wild dogs which have a den in the Hluhluwe section of the reserve but sadly we had no luck. They are the most endangered carnivore in Africa so its expected that you need a bit of luck to be at the right place at the right time on a Hluhluwe overnight safari.

     

    We did however had the most amazing sighting of two huge female Rhinos which have been hanging out with each other for at least 4 years.

     

     

     

    Video – Hluhluwe overnight safari – Rhino with twisted horn crosses road.


    What was so funny about the whole sighting was the fact that over lunch I had been telling my clients about this exact Rhino with the abnormal horn growth and that I hadn’t seen her in ages! So what you think about you can bring about!

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Rhino

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After having these Rhino walk around and then cross the road in front of us our spirits were high. I made a second video to show you below as well. What a great Safari from Durban.

     

     

     

    Video- Hluhluwe safari tour – Rhino with twisted horn and another female


    It had been an amazing first day safari from Durban and we made our way back to Hilltop camp for some dinner and rest before the second day of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Dinner was amazing again!

     

     

    Day 2: Hluhluwe overnight safari

     

     

    We began after a great breakfast and made our way down south into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. This time of the year the lack of rain has hit us hard and the reserve is very dry and in particular the Umfolozi section.

    We were hoping that if we got to the river sections that we would be able to find animals there.

     

    We didn’t stop to much for the animals on the hills that we saw but we were very luck when we visited a view site and spotted 3-4 Hyena and a huge number of Vultures feeding on a dead Buffalo! This was the real highlight of the days safari.

     

     

    Video – Durban safari – Hyenas feed on Buffalo carcass in Hluhluwe Imfolozi


    We must have spent half and hour enjoying this sighting and chatting about what was going on. What a great start to the Hluhluwe overnight safari on day 2.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hyena charges at Vultures

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hyena charges at Vultures

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Learn more about Hyenas as they chase vultures off a Buffalo carcass in Hluhluwe, and I talk about cannibalism


    This obviously kept us in high spirits through the quiet times in the day but we did come across a great sighting of Zebra on the road not long after the Hyena sighting.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There is nothing like a real Zebra crossing it beats all the rubbish in the city!

    Our next sighting was a huge herd of Impala and an old male Buffalo at the Umfolozi river before we continued past Impila camp and down into the deep South West of the reserve.

    Down here I could not believe how quiet it was and I personally began to get a little frustrated.

     

    We stopped for a toilet break and to enjoy a view over the river and then we found some Impala with Red Billed Ox Peckers on them.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Red billed ox peckers on Impala

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Red billed ox peckers on Impala

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I checked the 2 places Lions had been seen in the morning but sadly we had no luck for the cats on our side! It wasn’t all bad as we did spot a Leopard Tortoise on the road.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Leopard tortoise

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Leopard tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our safari from Durban in Hluhluwe continued and we made our way slowly back up for lunch, actually it was quite quickly as we were hungry. On route we did have a great sighting of a Giraffe picking up a bone and chewing it to get some calcium and some Baboons.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Giraffe chewing a bone

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Giraffe chewing a bone

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Durban safari; Giraffe chewing a bone


     

    We continued to the lunch stop and had some food which was very welcome as we had been driving a long time with little success!

    I managed to book 2 of my clients on the evening open vehicle game drive and we then began to make our way back up to camp.

     

    On route we had another great sighting of a herd of Elephant. The best part being that a tiny baby lay down and began to play on the ground for us all to see. I had to share this in a video as well.

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baby Elephant lays down

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baby Elephant lays down

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Baby Elephant plays on the ground during our 3 day safari from Durban


    We eventually made it back to camp and aside of not seeing cats we had a great experience during the day of safari. It was time to get tickets for the evening game drive safari and book dinner.

     

    We would all meet again the following morning for breakfast.

     

     

    Day 3: Hluhluwe overnight safari

     

     

    After a great breakfast we checked out and continued with our 3 day safari from Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    We found Zebra very early on just standing in the road. We were able to to so close I could take a picture of the one Zebras eye!

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; the eye of a Zebra

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; the eye of a Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued trying everywhere for these Lions without luck! It was driving me mad. Eventually I think I resigned myself to the fact we may not see them today.

    We did then come across a troop of Baboons grooming one another which was nice to see as there was also babies around.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baboons

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baboons

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We noticed the Baboons all of a sudden looked over their left shoulder and I was hoping they may have seen a predator but no it was just a herd of Elephants which wondered into the dry river bed and crossed to the other side.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephants in a dry river bed

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephants in a dry river bed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our time was running out and we needed to make our way to the gate to exit and get to St Lucia -Isimangaliso wetland park for lunch and our 2 hour boat cruise.

     

    On route we did spot some Rhino, Zebra, Buffalo etc.

     

     

    We departed and spent an hour getting to St Lucia, South Africas first world heritage site. It was here we had lunch before a great 2 hours on a boat in the St Lucia estuary.

     

    Our first major sighting was of Crocodiles.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Crocodiles

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Crocodiles

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continues up St Lucia estuary we spotted more bird life than usual as the estuary was so low.

    The specials we spotted were a Pink backed Pelican, Saddle billed stork and Yellow billed stork with chick.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Yellow billed stork and Pelican

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Yellow billed stork and Pelican

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We found lots of Hippos which is always a guarantee and we had a fantastic sighting of one pod of Hippos which did not move at all they just lay out on the shore calling away to each other.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hippos

    Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Durban overnight tour; Hippos calling while lying on a bank

     

     

     

     

    Overall we had had an amazing 3 days of safari from Durban only missing the cats but aside of that it was incredible. If you wish to join us on a 3 day safari tour from Durban click  the link below.

     

     

    Hluhluwe overnight safari tour.

  • 20th June 2015

    Durban private safari 20 June 2015

     

     

    I met my client in Durban where we began what was to be a day where we would mix up two tours, the Hluhluwe day tour and a visit to the cat rehabilitation center.

     

    We left just before 7am and but 09:30 we were at the cat rehabilitation center where we arranged a private tour around the center before the main group at 10:30. We interacted with the four species of Endangered cats and of course the Cheetah was the best as well as the cubs!

    It is always great on a Safari from Durban to interact with these amazing animals.

     

    Durban private safari; Cheetah

    Durban private safari; Cheetah

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this time we left and made our way into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Durban private safari side of the tour.

    We had immediate luck as we spotted Zebra and Warthog before a quiet period.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Zebra

    Durban private safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way to the Hluhluwe river in the hope of finding Elephants but we only found Nyala and Buffalo which was also great to see so we had now seen the first of the Big 5.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Herd of Buffalo

    Durban private safari; Herd of Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and found some more Nyala and then looked over the Hluhluwe river where we had a different sighting of 2 Egyptian geese fighting probably over a female!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban private safari; Eqyptian geese fighting


     

     

     

    After this we continued and managed to find a herd of Elephants they were slowly making their way towards the road and we managed to get two crossing the road. The others just took way too long so we moved on to see what else we could find on our Durban private safari.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road

    Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We managed to get this one bull Elephant dust bathing and playing with a tuft of grass which was great to watch.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road


     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing sighting we were very lucky again as I spotted a Rhino and Buffalo together! The only trouble for us was it was so thick that we had to settle for picture of Rhino from a distance as we could not see this ones horns through the long grass.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Rhino

    Durban private safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We even then got lucky with a couple of Water buck males crossing the road in front of us before we made our way down South to the Nyalazi gate for a restroom break.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Waterbuck

    Durban private safari; Water buck

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Before we could get down to the Nyalazi gate we found a Nile Crocodile resting in one of the river beds which was awesome and then we began to spot lots of Impala and Nyala. Eventually we spotted some Giraffe but they were very far away. Sadly all our sighting of Giraffe until we were heading out of the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi were from very far away.

    We would have to settle for this below picture.

     

     

     

    Durban private safari; Giraffe

    Durban private safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped at the Centenary center for some curio shopping and quickly grabbed some food before we headed off again. 

     

    Having seen 3 of the Big 5 during the day we were not unhappy at all but we really wanted to have a better sighting of Rhino! Sadly we did not and had to settle for what we saw. It was 4pm and we departed the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve the oldest game reserve in African back to Durban.

     

    Having mixed up the day we had a great selection of animals and this had been a great day safari from Durban having seen a few interesting things!

     

     

  • 11th April 2015

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve safaris; Hluhluwe Tree climbing Lions

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve – National Park History

     

    Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi was established in 1895 after the South African government and a couple of influential conservationists realised that the continuous hunting of wildlife was causing them to run out of raw materials like Ivory (Elephant tusk) for the trading between Europe, Africa and Asia. Its is am ideal game reserve to visit for a Safari while in Durban as it is a Big 5 game reserve, Malaria free and near Durban.

     

    Nagana and Malaria free!

    Why did they over hunt this area? Actually it was more the fact that there was an issue with Tsetse flies which was believed to be caused by the animals. The Tsetse fly caused Sleeping sickness or “Nagana” which affected the Blood of animals and Humans causing fever, loss in weight, weakness, Anemia and potentially death.

    This was so feared by the Settlers that they killed vast numbers of game(animals) literally 100 000′s in order to get rid of this disease.

    It was only in the 1940′s that DDT (an agricultural toxin) was used by being sprayed over the vast area of Hluhluwe Imfolozi’s 96 000 Hectare reserve. This not only killed off the Tsetse fly but also the Anopheles mosquito which carried Malaria(female only). This meant that today we are very lucky to take our clients on Safaris near Durban and not have any issues with Malaria!

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi tree climbing Lions 

     

    We are blessed in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to have a Pride of Lions which has a strange ability to climb trees. This is not usual in Lions as Lions do not have a locking mechanism in their wrists to come down from a tree in a graceful manner. They are also big animals and to see them taking to the trees is amazing. On our Safaris from Durban you may get lucky enough to see this spectacle.

     

    Video of the Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

    There is a couple reasons this pride of Lions would have turned to climbing trees and the most common reason would be that the area that they hold a territory in is too very thick and it makes it easier for them to see there prey item by being up high. Having said all of this the Big Lions do not take to the tree so this is something that the Lionesses and the young Lions are doing. As they get bigger the risk of falling when they come down the tree and breaking there necks is higher.

     

    Durban 5 Day Tour; Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Behaviour like this of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi tree climbing Lions has also been reported in east Africa but as mentioned is very uncommon due to the risks of coming down. These cats are like our domestic cats happy to go up but to come down is a slippy affair!

     

    Video of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserves tree climbing Lions


     

    Just to see these amazing creature even on the ground on one of our Durban safari tour is amazing but when they are seen up in the tree it is even more amazing and special for us.

     

    King Shaka’s Hunting Pits. 

    With in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there is some amazing scars which can be seen on either Wilderness Trails or from the air. The reason behind these great scars at the confluence of the Black and White Umfolozi rivers is due to the greatest Zulu King, Shaka!

    King Shaka reigned supreme of the vast area of Zululand between 1816 and 1828 defeating and taking over smaller Black African Tribes. He became known by the tribes as “the Hyena man” and the Cape Colonist called him the “Black Napoleon”.

    Shaka instructed his “Impis”(Worriers/Soldiers) to construct these great pits which were used to chase vast numbers on animals into once a year. The young Impis would then spear the animals killing them as a sign of there courage.  It appears that there could have been more to this non-selective killing of animals. Shaka being as great as he was would never want anyone to be a stronger King than he was or to defeat him.  It seems that he could have used his hunting pits to prevent there being much food for intruders who entered the area wishing to dethrone the great Shaka!

     

    Stone age settlements.

    Throughout Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there are signs of Stone age activities with Artifacts being found over they years. It was also an area where early metal work took place and on the Western side of Masinda lodge with in the game reserve we are told Iron Ore was found and formed into spears and Assagais by the Zulus.

     

    Flora and Fauna of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is home to the Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant. Apart from these amazing creatures, Hluhluwe Imfolozi has Hippos, Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, African Wild Dog and a vast number of Antelope Species.

    This is not all that you can expect to see in this amazing nature reserve. With around 380 species of birds, Mountainous areas, Open areas and views to die for you will never get bored if you are guided through this amazing reserve.

    Hluhluwe section: 

    The Hluhluwe Section of the game reserve is vastly different to the Umfolozi section. Hluhluwe is more scenic with more rolling hills and forests. It contains Savanna and some grasslands but more so mountainous with great views over the Valleys.

    Hluhluwe is an ideal spot to look for Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard as well as stunning bird life.

     

    Umfolozi section:

    The Umfolozi sections of the game reserve is a mixture of Acacia thorn veld and grasslands. We come across many Tamboti thickets and riverine forests which can also make this a good spot to look for Leopard, Lion, Cheetah and African Wild Dog.

     

    Overall between the two sections of reserve we have the chance of seeing the Big 5 and all the other animals mentioned during your Durban Safari Tour.

     

    Operation Rhino.

    During the early years of the game reserves establishment from 1895 there was still a vast amount of hunting that took place. With the years of punishment to Rhino populations and other species this was getting out of hand and a program was put into place in the 1850′s to bring back the Black and White Rhino populations from the brink of extinction.

    It was this program which also meant bringing in new genetics from other areas to prevent in breeding that really was a huge success. Today in the 21st  century the White Rhino population in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the highest density of any reserve in the world.

    This is a true feather in the cap for KwaZulu-Natal National parks(Ezimvelo KZN Wildlife).

    Lodging in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    There are two major camps/lodges within Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on one of which is fenced and has catering, this is Hilltop camp.

    All the other camps/lodges are self catering facilities and the Bush camps require a Guide to be with you during your stay, for your safety due to no fencing and human nature to explore.

     

    Hilltop camp is my lodge of choice, being a 3 star facility with Wifi, TV, Shop, Bar and restaurant all set in the forest on the highest point in the game reserve. This of course means great views day and night(of the Stars).

    Below are a few picture of Hilltop camp.

  • 10th April 2015

    3 day safari from Durban – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 7-9th April 2015

     

    Our 3 day safari from Durban began with two different pick ups on in Kloof, West of Durban city and the other in Warner beach, South of Durban.

     

    After I had all my clients aboard we began the 3 hour journey (Safari) to the Cat rehabilitation centre where we would learn more about endangered African cats hands on!

     

    I covered the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and how each population group came to be in the area during the 3 hours we had on the road.

     

    We arrived 15 minutes early for the Cat tour and in this time rested before a very exciting time seeing these amazing endangered African cats.

     

    We first began with the African Wild cat then the Caracal before visiting the Cheetah for some hands on experience and then the Servals.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Caracal

    3 day safari from Durban; Caracal

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also got to interact with Rain one of the new Cheetah cubs. We actually got to have here run around us playing with a soccer ball before she got interested in the male Cheetahs in the next enclosure.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Cheetah cub

    3 day safari from Durban; Cheetah cub

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and it was here we really began our safari from Durban.

     

    We really had a good start with some Zebra and Warthog near the gate, as we continued we spotted some Buffalo in the distance and then a few Giraffe one of which with patients we were able to get to cross the road in front of us.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe crossing road

    3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe crossing road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to make our way to Hilltop camp and it was time for a lovely lunch before I got word of Lions down south so I made the crazy call of rushing off down there to see if we could get lucky on our Durban safari and see them.

     

    We rushed and spotted a lovely male Rhino which I had to stop for as he was about to mark his territory and this was amazing as I filmed it!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Rhino

    3 day safari from Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Rhino marking his territory

     

     

     

    We continued on and then as we got to where the Lions were we heard they had just crossed the road and were heading up the hill on the other side. We rushed to get some look at them but all we really could see was bums and they were far away!

     

    I did make a video just to show you that we saw them and took a picture at full zoom which was terrible but a Lion is a Lion and that’s that!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Lions

    3 day safari from Durban; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Lions walking up hill

     

     

     

    We were I think actually depressed at this point but we some how managed to find a huge herd of Elephant on our Durban safari and I saw they were moving fast to get to water so we waited for almost an hour in total for then to come out of the bushes into the open for us.

     

    Finally they did and the sighting was amazing!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Elephants

    3 day safari from Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Elephants crossing road in front of us.

     

     

     

    They even in the video crossed the road in front of us there was about 150 Elephants in total which was really special to see so many!

     

    We also had another great experience with these Elephants and that was of them drinking which we had hoped we would see. It was really amazing as the one baby was also drinking from its mother at the same time as she was drinking water.

     

    Video of Elephants drinking water and baby suckling.

     

     

     

    After an amazing experience we began the safari back to camp and we saw about 8 Rhinos on the way before we got back and I checked the clients into there rooms safely. Here they rested for a short while and then we met for dinner.

     

    The other half of the group I was driving on this 3 day safari a colleague of mine was taking and we all met at dinner so it was very exciting for us all.

     

    Dinner was amazing with the great selection at Hilltop camp and then I had to go to bed as after the Zulu dancing the staff did for us my eyes could stay open no longer.

     

    Day 2 would be a new adventure in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

    Day 2: 3 day Safari from Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game

     

     

    We began day 2 of our 3 day safari from Durban with breakfast and then headed down south to try our best at finding these Lions.

     

    As we got down South we spotted a lovely dazzle of Zebra which were right next to the road and posing for us so this was a real African safari moment!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Zebra

    3 day safari from Durban; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Zebra crossing the road on our Durban 3 day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

    We moved on from them and found more Rhino to add to our list as well as lots of Impala the McDonalds of the bush!

     

    This was a dominant male which was spraying urine to mark his territory.

     

     3 day safari from Durban; Rhino male

    3 day safari from Durban; Rhino male

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we crossed over the Umfolozi river I was hoping to see some big animals but instead we saw some Storks and a Nile Crocodile.

    He was just resting on the sand and we saw him again later that day when we drove back past him during our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Nile Crocodile

    3 day safari from Durban; Nile Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we passed through Mpila camp we stopped for a break and after this we managed to find some Giraffe near the road. We spent some time watching them as they were feeding and moving around. We then left them and continued our Durban safari.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe

    3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted a Leopard Tortoise crossing the road. We seemed to have great luck with animals crossing the road on this Safari from Durban. This little fella also had his tongue out of his mouth at us!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Leopard Tortoise

    3 day safari from Durban; Leopard Tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We got into the area where Lion had been seen but sadly they had moved off and we were left looking at Wildebeest, Impala, Kudu and Buffalo. We actually had a great sighting of Buffalo a huge herd near the road.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Cape Buffalo

    3 day safari from Durban; Cape Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped for lunch at the Centenary center where we also looked at some curios and then we spotted an animal I am very familiar with! It is one of those South African children with no children present! It was a new and interesting sighting as this Homo Sapien climbed up upon the back of the brace Black Rhino Statue at the Centenary centre and pretended to ride the Rhino like a bicycle!

     

    I was very interested in this strange but new sighting for us. Lol

     

     3 day safari from Durban; Homo Sapien riding a Rhino

    3 day safari from Durban; Homo Sapien riding a Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    All jokes aside we them began to make our way back to Hilltop camp to have a little rest before the evening game drive safari. Before we could get there though we found a few bull Elephants and a herd of Elephant near the road.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Elephants

    3 day safari from Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then arrived back at Hilltop camp and had about 1.5 hours before we would meet again for the evening open vehicle game drive. I was really hoping my clients would get to see these pesky Lions which had caused me so much stress during the 2 days to date.

     

    A couple of my clients went through for an early dinner as did I, We then went to bed and the others came through later for some food.

     

     

    Day 3: 3 day Safari from Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game

     

     

    We began our morning game drive safari at 6am in the hope that we would find these Lions again and a little bit closer. I was really happy to hear that my clients has seen the lions on the evening night drive.

    This sort of relieved some of the pressure off my shoulders but only 4 of my 6 clients had take the game drive and seen the lions, this meant I had to find them.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Sunrise in Hluhluwe

    3 day safari from Durban; Sunrise in Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing sun rise we continued and found a mother Rhino and calf with a Big male who was interested in her. She showed here displeasure and he shifted off but not before we got a photo of him crossing the road in front of us.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Rhino crossing road

    3 day safari from Durban; Rhino crossing road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we cruised around we stopped at one of the view points over the Hluhluwe river and I spotted something moving in the distance at another view point. I looked with my binoculars and it was lions. I literally told everyone to hold on as they were moving away from the river and we rushed around to where they were and luck for us we got to see them crossing and heading up a path. If we were 5 minutes later we would have seen nothing! I was really happy!

     

     3 day safari from Durban; Lions in Hluhluwe

    3 day safari from Durban; Lions in Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Lions seen on our 3 day Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

    We then continued our 3 day Durban safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and tried to see what else we could find. We were luck as not much further along we spotted a Rhino drinking water and later a Buffalo bull full of Red billed Ox peckers on his back crossing the road in front of us.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo crosses road and Rhino Drinks

    3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo crosses road and Rhino Drinks

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Moving along we spotted Giraffe in the distance more Rhino, Buffalo and Impala. We had really been spoiled on this 3 day Durban safari tour that we were complaining we hadn’t seen a really good quality Elephant sighting since day one.

     

    It wasn’t long and we spotted a Giraffe with a Little baby which was new for us and the a big Buffalo bull approached them it was interested to watch as the mother Giraffe just stared a him and he walked around them with not a bother in the world.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo approaches a Giraffe mother and calf

    3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo approaches a Giraffe mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to head back to the lodge for some breakfast and then check out before a final dash down to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Weland Park to view Hippos and crocodiles from a boat. It was a lovely 2 hour boat cruise and at St Lucia we saw some really interesting things on this final stretch of our Durban safari tour.

     

    First we spotted a Big Crocodile and caught an African Fish eagle in flight which was amazing!

     

    3 day safari from Durban; St Lucia; Fish eagle in flight and a Crocodile

    3 day safari from Durban; St Lucia; Fish eagle in flight and a Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had a couple of really interesting sighting. The first was of two Bull Buffaloes from the Eastern shores of Isimangeliso Wetland park which were walking in the estuary and the came across a crocodile which they approached and it just swam off before getting trampled on. I made a video of it below:

     

    Video of Buffaloes Approaching a crocodile in St Lucia Estuary at Isimangeliso Wetalnd Park.

     

     

     

    As we continued up stream we found lots of pods of Hippos and one was very interesting as his upper canines were growing out the side of the mouth instead of in the mouth! This was interesting and shows that even with some disability you can survive and be a big male.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Hippos at St Lucia

    3 day safari from Durban; Hippos at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a great cruise on lake St Lucia we made our way into the town not before getting a group photo to remember the 3 days we had spent on safari together.

     

    3 day safari from Durban; Picture of the group

    3 day safari from Durban; Picture of the group

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for some lunch and we enjoyed some seafood, steak and a few other bits and pieces. It was lovely and a great way to end the 3 days of our Durban safari tour.

    It was now just a 2.5 hour drive back to Durban (Umhlanga) where I was dropping off my clients for a rest before a bit wedding. If you wish to be a part of one of these Durban safari tours contact Tim Brown – info@timbrowntours.com 

     

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