Durban Big 5 Safaris Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 24th September 2015

    Durban day safari 23 September 2015

     

     

    Our Durban day safari began in Durban city where I met my clients and we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    It was going to be a hot day and not only with the weather but with the game viewing as well. It was a bit of a Ferrari safari as I had some racing to do to get around Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to maximize our safari time.

     

    On route I covered some of the history of the area and the country of South Africa before we arrived at the gate just before 10 am.

     

    Our Durban day safari began and off we went having some good luck. It wasn’t long before we spotted Zebra and Giraffe as we made our way south in the national park.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Zebra

    Durban day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This Zebra was a real poser and stood still for a while before calling out to the rest of his harem which had got to far away from him. As we continued our Durban day safari we enjoyed some Giraffe feeding on some leaves.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We spotted some Elephant some distance away so I’ve put a picture from later in the day when we managed to get them a little closer to the road. Our Durban day safari was beginning to take shape as we also spotted Buffalo in the distance meaning we had now seen 3 of the big 5 in we include the Rhinos on the hills too.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Elephant

    Durban day safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our safari in the hope we would find Lions at a carcass of Giraffe which was now 4 days old. Sadly it was only Vultures and some big ones at that, the Lappet faced Vultures!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lappet faced vulture with Giraffe tail

    Durban day safari; Lappet faced vulture with Giraffe tail

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safaris; Vultures feed on Giraffe carcass

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way round the loop and found an amazing sighting of Rhino together with Warthog. Our Durban day safari was really heating up even the temperature was 32 degrees.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Rhino and Warthog

    Durban day safari; Rhino and Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted our Elephant in the distance again before we stopped for lunch. Our lunch was great and we made our way up north as quick as we could as I heard that there was some Buffalo near to the road as well as a slim chance of Lions.

    It wasn’t long and we spotted the Buffalo but not the heard I was aiming for! One old male came up a big hill and we watched him settle in with a big her before we moved off and continued our Durban day safari.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Buffalo bull

    Durban day safari; Buffalo bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been a great day it was about to become greater as we found our Lions! The best part was they had just killed an Nyala and then decided to vocalise as well as chase a herd of Buffalo away from the river! It was amazing and my client loved it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lions

    Durban day safari; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safaris; Lions in Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After enjoying an amazing time with these Lions we went to see the Buffalo which had just been chased by the Lions and we got them to cross the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Buffalo herd

    Durban day safari; Buffalo herd

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great Durban day safari we began to make our way towards the gate. We were lucky to see a Rhino with little baby but we did not get a clear photo. It was time to start the 3 hour drive back to Durban. We stopped for some coffee and then arrived in Durban after 7pm. It had been a great Durban day safari!

  • 16th September 2014

    Durban Day Safaris to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 14th September 2014

     

    I collected my client from 4 different addresses as they were all single travelers. I was very grateful we could make a plan for all of them to get the African Safari experience from Durban. Durban is fortunate to have the continents Oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi which is only 2.5 – 3 hours outside of Durban City. This amazing game reserve is also home to the Big 5 and if our main destination on our Safaris from Durban. In my opinion for Safaris near Durban, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the best!

    Once we got going everybody settled in well and got to know each other between my conversation on the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. There is a vast amount in Durban and South Africa’s History which has taken place and in such a short space of time. One of the most interesting part to South Africa and Durban History is the arrival of the Zulu in the early 1800’s.  Most people believe that the Zulus or the Black Africans are the real South Africans, this is false. If you take a Safari or Tour with Tim Brown Tours you will learn more of the many interesting secrets that this beautiful country, province and City has to offer.

    By the time we got to the game reserve it was 09:30 and we entered and within minutes we had spotted Zebra in the distance! We waited during our Safari for the moment when the Zebra stopped under this Marula tree which made a great photo!

     

    Zebra poses under a tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Zebra poses under a tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we slowly continued on it was not to long before we found more animals, the one was a Vulture which was on its nest with its chick. This was beautiful to see and I got a great picture of it to share with the group that was with me on our Durban Safari Tour.

     

    Vulture on a nest with her chick on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

    Vulture on a nest with her chick on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Safari near Durban continued and we spotted Nyala and Kudu which are antelope in the same family. The curly horned family or Tragelifus… I got a decent picture of one of the Kudu cows(female) on our Durban Safari Tour.

     

    Kudu Cow walks past us on our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Kudu Cow walks past us on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending some time with the Kudus we continued our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a beautiful bird the Cape Glossy Starling. Within Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there is a vast amount of flora and fauna. There are about 380 different bird species!

     

    Cape Glossy Starling poses on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

    Cape Glossy Starling poses on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed this bird for a minute before heading further down south in the game reserve. Today actually was a hot day and sat around 37 degrees Celsius or 98 Fahrenheit. We got down to the black Umfolozi river on our Safari from Durban and were luck to find a Bull Elephant drinking and spraying water on himself to cool down.

     

    Bull Elephant drinking water in the Umfolozi river during our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Bull Elephant drinking water in the Umfolozi river during our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was a very exciting sight and we spend some time here enjoying this special moment. So for those that are reading this blog post, their are Safaris near Durban which offer the Big 5 animals and are good quality.

    After enjoying our time with this Elephant we continued and found some Rhino in a dry river bed. Before this we did spot a giraffe but he was not interested in posing for a photo.

     

    Rhinos seen spotted in a dry river bed during our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Rhinos seen spotted in a dry river bed during our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was exciting to watch these Rhinos as they were originally sleeping and then got up as slowly walked a bit closer in the river bed. After spending time with them we had to continue to make the most of our time on our Durban Safari Tour.

    We had a quiet patch with just Impala, warthogs and some birds until we got past a view point in the river where we were able to stretch our legs and enjoy the view. We then continued to a hide(an area, hut overlooking a watering hole) here we used the wash rooms and waited patiently for animals to come to drink. We were lucky that some Warthogs came and rolled around in the mud. Our Durban Safari was definitely looking good so far.

     

    Warthog mud wallowing on our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Warthog mud wallowing on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We again had a long gap with very few animals during the hottest part of the day but then we came across some giraffe close to the road with one male posing in the shade further back under a tree. Wow this was a relief and kept our momentum up on our Durban Safari.

     

    Giraffe poses in the shade under an acacia tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Giraffe poses in the shade under an acacia tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been great to see these other Giraffe feeding so close to us. We left them to enjoy there day and we headed back up for what would be a late lunch. As we crossed back over the Umfolozi river there was no Elephant, he had moved off. I did bump into a friend of mine who mentioned that when the came in there was a herd of Elephants at the gate. So I posed the question to the clients, How late would you like lunch – Can you survive. Of course they all agreed if we could see more Elephants lunch could be done later.

    So we drove off and spotted more Giraffe on our Durban Day Safari before we got to the Elephants.

     

    Spot the Giraffe under the tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

    Spot the Giraffe under the tree on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was a hard spot but we got him sleeping under a tree. Giraffe can lye down but will always do it with there necks up right. We hurried on to the Elephant and we were in luck they were still there in the Forrest, drinking water.

     

    Elephant herd drink in the shade of the forest during our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Elephant herd drink in the shade of the forest during our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Elephants were beautiful just how they posed was amazing for us all. The female on the right which was clearly the Matriarch was huge with big tusks for a female. Watching the drinking was great and worth having a very late lunch for.

     

    Elephant smells us from a distance during our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Elephant smells us from a distance during our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were so lucky on this Durban Day Safari that we even got this Elephant sniffing us from a distance. She was beautiful and this sighting probably made the day for my clients and myself. We had seen 3 of the Big 5 now and only missing the Cats which was normal for a quick day safari from Durban.

    It was time for some lunch and we drove 2 km back to get the the lunch stop, we arrived at just after 3pm so this was a late lunch. After enjoying some food and the clients purchasing some Curios/Gifts from the craft shop we began to head back to the gate to head back to Durban.

    Before we could totally exit the reserve we found some more Zebra right next the the road this was the cherry on the top for our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Zebra next to the road as we exited Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

    Zebra next to the road as we exited Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we all had smiles on our faces and had had a great Durban Day Safari Tour. We stopped along the way to get coffee and arrived in Durban after 7pm. What a great Safari near Durban enjoyed by us all.

  • 8th September 2014

    Durban Honeymoon 3 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 1:

     

    It was a beautiful spring day when I collected my clients from a Durban hotel. They would be spending 3 Days with me on a 3 day Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve situated near Durban. My clients were from England and on their honeymoon which made the Safari Tour even more special!

     

    I was really fortunate to have previous clients which had recommended my services to the honeymoon couple. This made the safari more special for me too as a referral is like gold dust.

     

    After covering some of the history of our amazing country, South Africa and City of Durban it was time to look at the History around the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and the Cat rehabilitation center we would first be visiting. My age seems to be catching up with me at a young age as I very often get distracted and lose my place on the stories about South Africa’s interesting History.

     

    Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center was our first stop on our Durban Safari Tour and the help endangered cats like Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat increase there numbers. At this stage no success with Cheetah but plenty with the other endangered cats.

     

    I am pleased to say that Tim Brown Tours supports this project by bringing our clients their as the entrance fee’s go to the aid of these amazing cats.

    We were fortunate that the Cheetah were happy enough to stay in the same position for pictures.

    Cheetah at Emdoneni on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

    Cheetah at Emdoneni on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The African Wild Cat which we also go to look at is have very little DNA difference between it and the domestic cats, research tells us that Wild Cats were domesticated as far back as 10 000 years ago. It is more to do with Natural selection and human intervention with cat breeding which has caused there to be visual and behavioral differences.

     

    African Wild cat at emdoneni on our 3 Day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    African Wild cat at emdoneni on our 3 Day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This lovely Serval sat up in the tree on our Durban Safari and snarled at us every time we walked under the tree she was sitting in.

     

    Serval in a Tree at Emdoneni on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Serval in a Tree at Emdoneni on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we had spent some time with these majestic cats we headed on into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is only 20 minutes away from Emdoneni to begin our Durban 3 Day Safari.

     

    Upon entering through Memorial gate into this World Famous and historical game reserve, being the oldest in Africa we had immediate success. We spotted a few different species of animals in a short time before lunch.

     

    Most of the Big 5 sightings were not brilliant but still were great. We moved on to Hilltop camp where we had some lunch and checked in before getting back onto the reserve to see what other animals we could find.

     

    After spending some time driving around and getting animals closer and closer we eventually had accumulated some fantastic sightings and it was only day one of our 3 Day Safari.

     

    One of the first major sightings was a Buffalo bull but I chose this picture of a female Buffalo that was covered in Red Billed Oxpeckers that we saw later on in the day.

     

    Buffalo with red billed oxpeckers all over it on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Buffalo with red billed oxpeckers all over it on our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our Durban Big 5 Honeymoon Safari and we eventually got a picture of a Rhino closer to the road.

     

    Rhino seen on Day 1 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Rhino seen on Day 1 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back to the main road and back to Hilltop camp for some dinner after a pretty good time out in the African Bush. Our Durban Big 5 Honeymoon Safari had started to get really exciting with 2 of the Big 5 Spotted on the first day.

     

    On our drive back it was getting dark and we spotted some Bush Pigs which are nocturnal and a Grey Duiker.

     

    Over all our Durban Safari today had been great for a start and with a 7am start the next day we would hopefully find more exciting Big 5 species and general game.

     

    We then met for some star gazing and then dinner which was lovely as always before some sleep. What a great day on Safari near Durban.

     

    Durban Honeymoon 3 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 2:

     

    I met my clients on Day 2 at 7am for breakfast and then we would do a full day safari down into the South of the reserve the Umfolozi section to try and find Cats and Elephants.

     

    Our Safari from Durban had already been very successful but we hadn’t yet seen Elephants and of course seeing an Elephant is a big thing on a Safari as it is one of the Big 5.

     

    We had a great start with lots of Zebra, Giraffe, Nyala, Impala, Kudu, Rhino, Buffalo and load of other great animals.

     

    Male Giraffe spotted on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Male Giraffe spotted on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we got into the umfolozi section we came across a Dazzle of Zebra crossing the road which was really great to see during our Big 5 Safari.

     

    Zebra crossing the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Zebra crossing the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our Big 5 Honeymoon Durban Safari we came across a Pride of Lions resting 50 meters from the road on a ridge. We were very lucky as we got to see that there were 7 of them in total with 2 males.

     

    Of course as always you get those people who feel they are entitled to do as they please and put there children’s lives at risk and today was no different. True to form 2 South African men got out of there vehicles one with a young child because they couldn’t see the Lions from there vehicle… After asking the one man if he was aware he was contravening the regulations I was told “No”. Man common sense is really not so common. I was also blessed with his wife’s verbal abuse. At least I was concerned about the Childs safety…

     

    Lions resting on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Lions resting on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we spotted a Bull Elephant very far away so we didn’t get a great photo of that. I knew we would be lucky later and see Elephants somewhere.

     

    We continued our Durban Big 5 Safari and spotted some Rhinos resting near to the road. This made for a great picture.

     

    Rhinos resting on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Rhinos resting on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our safari near Durban and we came across more Giraffe, Rhino and something new a Wildebeest close as well as a Warthog resting.

     

    Giraffe posing on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Giraffe posing on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Wildebeest was a good sighting as we had only seen then at dusk on Day 1 of our Durban Safari so this made up for the bad light.

     

    Wildebeest crossing the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Wildebeest crossing the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At a view sight over the White Umfolozi river we spotted a Warthog resting he was not the least bit concerned with us. Great day to this point already with what we had seen on our Durban Safari.

     

    Warthog resting near the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Warthog resting near the road on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our next sighting was very interesting and also very frustrating. It was an Impala in a tree. Now Impalas don’t climb tree so this one could only have got there by one animal, a Leopard. But could we find this Leopard, no chance!

     

    Leopards can hoist 2 x there body weight into a tree and this helps to keep it away from Hyenas and Lions.

     

    Impala in a tree on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Impala in a tree on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we began the long journey back to the luncheon stop we found our first good sighting of Elephant in the Umfolozi River feeding on the reeds, mud wallowing and drinking. There were actually 5 Bull Elephant and a couple Buffalo Bulls that we saw on that stretch of river.

     

    Elephant Bull in the Umfolozi river with some Buffalo Bulls on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Elephant Bull in the Umfolozi river with some Buffalo Bulls on Day 2 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped for lunch at around 1pm and enjoyed some good food before continuing to look for anything else we could find, we were very lucky on this Safari from Durban!

     

    It had now been 7.5 hours of Safari and it was time to get back to camp for some rest before my client headed out on the evening game drive with the lodge.

     

    Overall it had been an amazing second day on our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    I went through for dinner an my client would have a private dinner after there game drive and we would meet again in the morning for day 3 of our Durban Safari.

    It was now time for bed as we needed some rest, the 3rd day of our Durban Safari would entail: Breakfast, checkout, 3 hour Hluhluwe imfolozi Safari and a 2 hour boat Cruise at St Lucia- Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

     

     

    Durban Honeymoon 3 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 3:

     

     

    We began at 8am and came through for some breakfast before checking out and starting our last few hours of Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    The few hours were great and we basically recapped on animals seen already on our Durban Safari. Unfortunately we did not find any more cats so we had to be happy with the one sighting of these amazing creatures.  Fortunately on the evening game drive the clients saw Hyena which was a new animal.

     

    One of our first sightings on our morning safari was this a herd of Buffaloes crossing the road.

     

    Herd of Buffalo crossing the road on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Herd of Buffalo crossing the road on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we also came across a crash of Rhino next to the road, the one female had a huge horn.

     

    Crash of Rhino near the road on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Crash of Rhino near the road on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to head to the Nyalazi gate and end the Big 5 Safari part of our Tour. We departed and headed to St Lucia Estuary – Isimageliso Wetland Park for our 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour.

     

    After if covered the History of the St Lucia area we arrived and began our cruise of the St Lucia Estuary. We saw lots of crocodiles and Hippos on this Boat Tour near Durban but even the Bird life was amazing.

     

    Brown Hooded Kingfisher at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Brown Hooded Kingfisher at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued up the Estuary of St Lucia we soon spotted Hippos and a fair few crocodiles. Our Safari near Durban had really been going very well and the best way to cap it off is to end with a relaxing 2 hour Estuary cruise at St Lucia.

     

    Crocodile get badgered by a Wattled Lapwing at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Crocodile get badgered by a Wattled Lapwing at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a really great sighting of a Hippo baby out the water feeding on the grass of the river bank. This is always interested as Hippos are vegetarian and eat grass only.

     

    Baby Hippo feeds on the Estuary bank at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

    Baby Hippo feeds on the Estuary bank at St Lucia Estuary on Day 3 of our 3 day honeymoon Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we finished with the 2 hour boat Tour we headed into St Lucia town and had some lunch before departing for Durban City.

     

    Durban is almost 3 hours away from St Lucia and we were already tired so we stopped along the way to freshen up and fill up the car.

     

    Our 3 Day Honeymoon Big 5 Durban Safari Tour had been really successful and we all enjoyed the amazing sights from the Stars at night to the animals in the day. You will be surprised but there are Safaris near Durban and Tim Brown Tours conducts Durban Safaris and Durban Tours any day of the week and year.

     

    If you are interested in this or one of our other Durban Safaris or Durban Tours contact me through the online booking form or inquiry form and I will try to make your Safari/Tour just as exciting!

  • 23rd August 2014

    Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    Our Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari began in Durban(Umhlanga) where I met my clients. Neil had been with me a year ago and had returned with his wife and son to share his experiences with them.

    I am always happy when clients return for a second taste of the South African National parks.

     

    I began by covering some of the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the history behind the national parks we would be visiting on day one.

     

    Day one began at St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park where we would embark on a 2 hour Estuary cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles. Isimangeliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s first world heritage site. It was decided by UNESCO in 1999.

    Upon arrival we had a look at a craft market and began this exciting cruise where we also spotted lots of birdlife.

     

    One of the first things we spotted was this African Fish Eagle which was perched on a tree in the Estuary of St Lucia.

     

    African fish eagle on Day 1 of our 5 Day Safari tour seen at St Lucia

    African fish eagle on Day 1 of our 5 Day Safari tour seen at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on and enjoyed the breeze we came across a few large pods of Hippos. This picture below was one of many we saw this day.

     

    Hippos seen on Day 1 of our Durban Safari Tour at St Lucia

    Hippos seen on Day 1 of our Durban Safari Tour at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    During this St Lucia boat safari we spotted some crocodiles as well but I chose this picture of the Estuary mouth with the Crocodiles resting on a sand bank. The Indian Ocean is in the back ground.

     

    St Lucia Estuary mouth with 2 Big crocodiles on a sand bank during our Durban Safari Tour

    St Lucia Estuary mouth with 2 Big crocodiles on a sand bank during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we finished up here we went into the town and got some lunch before making our way to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest protected area.

    We entered at Memorial gate and spotted some Rhinos, Zebra, Buffalo and Wildebeest before arriving at Hilltop camp and checking in for 2 nights.

     

    Zebra foul seen on Day 1 of our 5 Day Durban safari tour seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
    Zebra foul seen on Day 1 of our 5 Day Durban safari tour seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The view from Hilltop camp is spectacular and after a short rest it was time for the evening game drive Safari Tour in the open vehicle. The clients got to see Elephant and Genet which we had not seen on the drive into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Huhluwe Imfolozi game has amazing Flora and Fauna and is a very diverse game reserve. The seasons have a huge effect on this protected National Park and this time of the year is really dry and baron with almost no water except in the river systems.

     

    The National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is home to the Big 5: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Being only 3 hours from Durban it is a must visit with a Guide if you are in the area!

     

    Upon our return to Hilltop camp we had dinner and went to bed ready for the new day.

     

    Day 2: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We met at 7am for breakfast before heading into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. We spotted many things including Giraffe, Zebra and Impala.

     

    I selected this picture of the White backed Vulture on a nest as the first one as Greg loved Birds.

     

    Day 2 of our Durban Safari tour we spotted this white backed vulture on her nest

    Day 2 of our Durban Safari tour we spotted this white backed vulture on her nest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A bit further on we found a bull Elephant but he was in the thick bush so his picture didn’t get selected. However the next sighting was a Buffalo bull and he gave us a great stare which I captured and you can see below.

     

    Buffalo bull gives us the stare on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Buffalo bull gives us the stare on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on our Big 5 Safari we had a great sighting of a Rhino chasing warthogs as he tried to cross to the road. It was a burned section so it looked great.

     

    Rhino chases warthogs as he tries to cross the road on our 2nd Day of our Durban Safari tour
    Rhino chases warthogs as he tries to cross the road on our 2nd Day of our Durban Safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We went to a view point to see if we could see anything and there were no cats but we spotted this great shot of a White fronted Bee eater.

     

    White fronted bee eater seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour

    White fronted bee eater seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Near to the same spot were a Journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. The Giraffe got his picture taken.

     

    Giraffe seen on our second Day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Safari Tour

    Giraffe seen on our second Day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point I figured we better try a watering hole as we were not finding the cats, So we headed to Bhejane hide and got a great picture of 3 different species at the watering hole. This was a great sight during our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour.

     

    Day 2 at Bhejane hide we saw 3 species of animals at the watering hole on our Durban safari Tour

    Day 2 at Bhejane hide we saw 3 species of animals at the watering hole on our Durban safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a while we decided to head back to the home of Operation Rhino – Centenary centre to have some lunch and a rest. My clients also bought a few things at the curio shop before we departed to Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre for the 4pm Cat Tour.

    We were lucky as at the gate we spotted an old bull Elephant and he was feeding on some fresh shoots from an Acacia tree.

     

    Elephant bull feeds off the fresh shoot of an Acacia during our Durban 5 day Safari Tour

    Elephant bull feeds off the fresh shoot of an Acacia during our Durban 5 day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made it just in time to begin the feeding session Tour of the endangered Cat rehabilitation center.  Basically there are two tours a day and the second in the afternoon is when they feed the cats cuts of meat mostly chicken or wild meats. We got to interact with 3 of the 4 different species of endangered wild cat namely: African Wild cat, Serval and the Cheetah.

     

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Safari Tour

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending a good hour and a half with these amazing cats we returned to Memorial gate and got back to camp for dinner at 7pm.

     

    Dinner was great and after the food and conversation it was now time for some rest and we went to bed.

     

     

    Day 3: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We began at 7am when I met my clients to collect there luggage and get down for some breakfast. Today was our final day of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    After checking out we began a very long journey as we had one last chance to find Lions before driving cross country to Didima in the Central Drakensberg (Cathedral peak).

     

    On route we saw loads of animals and on this Day we Spotted 4 of the Big 5! We finally found our lions resting in the Black Umfolozi river.

    We also spotted Black Rhino to add to our collection of White Rhino.

     

    Giraffe on day 3 of our 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Giraffe on day 3 of our 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lions were a real great stroke of good fortune and they were all resting in the river on a sand bank. The heat of 38 degrees the day before must have taken its toll on them.

     

    Lions on Day 3 of our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Lions on Day 3 of our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I bumped into an old friend who I did my training with years ago and he mentioned a sighting of a sleeping Black Rhino. We were heading to that spot and we managed to relocate the Rhino sleeping in the shade of a bush.

     

    Black Rhino seen on our Big 5 Stretch of our Durban Safari Tour
    Black Rhino seen on our Big 5 Stretch of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After exiting Cengeni gate we heading to Ulundi, Vryheid, Dundee and Ladysmith before getting to the Drakensberg and Didima Lodge. This Journey took us 5 and a half hours to complete but we passed through rural South Africa and the Zulu Capital Ulundi. The battle of Ulundi saw the capture of the great Zulu King Cetswayo and his exile to Cape Town. Chelmsfords men defeated the Zulus and took over Ulundi.

     

    After lunch in Vryheid we made it to Didima at 16:30 where we checked in and recovered before dinner and a nice fire place in our rooms.

     

    Day 4: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We began day 4 with a great breakfast at Didima. After this we headed down to the Bushman Interpretive centre and Museum in the rain, thank goodness when we came out the rain held off somewhat and we headed to the hikers parking lot to begin our hike.

     

    We hiked up to Doreen falls and up to a view point in the mountains before we headed back to the vehicle. During the hike up we spotted an Eland on the hill.

     

    Female Eland on the Drakensberg mountain on our hike during our Durban Safari Tour

    Female Eland on the Drakensberg mountain on our hike during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our Drakensberg Hike we enjoyed the views and sights and sounds. We spotted Baboons, heard a Jackal and found dung of Porcupines, Eland, Baboon and Jackal.

     

    Stuck between and rock and a hard place are a Cabbage tree and a Yellow wood tree during our Drakensberg leg of our Durban Safari Tour

    Stuck between and rock and a hard place are a Cabbage tree and a Yellow wood tree during our Drakensberg leg of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Doreen falls had a fair amount of water and we spent some time there enjoying the scenery.

     

    My clients in a cave with Doreen falls in front of then on our Drakensberg Durban Safari Tour

    My clients in a cave with Doreen falls in front of then on our Drakensberg Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we left the falls we hiked to a spot where we could enjoy the view and get a good picture.

     

    The view of Cathedral Peak on our rainy day of hiking in Central Drakensberg during our Durban Safari Tour
    The view of Cathedral Peak on our rainy day of hiking in Central Drakensberg during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When we returned to the vehicle we got back to Didima lodge and I had some lunch before exhaustion set in and I rested my eyes for a couple hours before dinner and a bit of work.

     

    After dinner I had some work to do before Bed.

     

     

    Day 5: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    After meeting my clients at 7am and collecting there luggage we went though for some breakfast before checking out.

     

    It was then time to drive to my favourite part of the Drakensberg, the Northern Drakensberg. I have been visiting this area to hike since I was knee high to a Grasshopper.

     

    We would first start with the Bushman paintings which are 800 years old on a guided hike in the Northern Drakensberg which has to now be guided due to people defacing the San-Bushmen artwork.

     

    Bushman paintings seen on our second hike in the Drakensberg on Day 5 of our Durban Safari Tour

    Bushman paintings seen on our second hike in the Drakensberg on Day 5 of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On this hike we also spotted Eland and this was the second day in a row and it brings you good luck.

     

    Eland seen on our Drakensberg hike up to the Bushman paintings on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Eland seen on our Drakensberg hike up to the Bushman paintings on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we had enjoyed this short hike we went on to do a 3 hour hike via Tiger Falls, Look out Rock and Gudu Falls before making our way back down to the Mahai camp.

    The views are spectacular!

     

    Northern Drakenberg Royal Natal national parks view up the mountain during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Northern Drakenberg Royal Natal national parks view up the mountain during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was very enjoyable and we then visited Hlalanathi Berg Resort where we had some lunch before enjoying the great views.

     

    It was then time to head back to Durban and drop my client off after 5 great days of Safari and Drakensberg Touring! What an amazing experience it had been!

  • 18th August 2014

    Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 17th August 2014

     

    We began our Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour in Durban(Umhlanga) where I met my clients who were here working for IBM and doing some worth in South Africa with there meetings in Durban.

    As per usual I covered in my introduction to the clients what my job was: Which was to chat to them about the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as well as cover the different population groups and how they all came to be here in South Africa. During my Guided Durban Safaris and Tours I also chat about the crops we see on route to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve and any question the clients may have regarding Politics, education etc.

    I was glad that my clients asked me many questions as this helped cover what they really wanted to hear from me. It took us 2 and a half hours to get to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve where we entered in at the Nyalazi gate and began our Durban Day Safari.

    Durban Day Safaris can be at times riveting and can capture the imagination of even the most skeptical of Nature lovers. We had a cracker of a Durban Safari tour!

    As we moved through the umfolozi game reserve on our Durban Day Safari we spotted many animals and the day was at no point boring.

    My clients asked me to write a list of what we saw so here it is: Impala, Nyala, Warthog, Zebra, Giraffe, Wildebeest, Lion, Buffalo, Rhino, Elephant and to cap it all off one of the best sightings of a Cheetah I have had in a long time. We spotted 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban day Safari and Cheetah as a bonus!

    Lets start with the Rhino of which we had a few great sightings:

     

    One of many Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserves White Rhinos

    One of many Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserves White Rhinos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This young Male White Rhino was with a young female but to young for mating so purely for companionship. We enjoyed watching them feeding near to the road before we continued on our Durban Day Safari.

    As we got deeper into the South of the reserve after seeing Zebra, Impala and Nyala we spotted some Zebras close to the road.

     

    Big 5 Day Safari from Durban, Zebra poses for us

    Big 5 Day Safari from Durban, Zebra poses for us

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was the beginning of what was to be an amazing Durban Day Safari as we the got to a view point over the White Umfolozi river and there was a Lioness walking on the rocks towards the reeds. I had time to snap one picture while explaining to the clients where the Lioness was situated. Just to the right of the Lioness was a Cheetah male which was nervous of her presence and moved up the hill so we got back in the vehicle to relocate the Cheetah and we got a great photo. In fact he walked over towards us rolled on a sandy patch, scent marked a tree and then walked past us down to the other side of the river. Wow what a great sighting on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour.

     

    Durban Day Big 5 Safari, picture of a Lioness we found in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Cheetah was a special sighting for us all.

     

    Male Cheetah seen on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Male Cheetah seen on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing sighting in Umfolozi on our Durban day Safari tour we continued to look for Elephants at first unsuccessfully we did however spot Warthogs at a Watering hole. Some of my clients claimed to have seen an Elephant with a baby but I did not see it…

     

    Durban Big 5 Day Safari, picture of Warthogs at the waterhole

    Durban Big 5 Day Safari, picture of Warthogs at the waterhole

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We started to journey back to get to our late luncheon spot at the Centenary center. On route we spotted Giraffe on a few occasions and got some great photos! What an amazing Durban Day Safari for my clients!

     

    Male Giraffe in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Day Safari Tour

    Male Giraffe in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We still we not done with the great sightings! We crossed back over the Black Umfolozi river and spotted a huge herd of Buffalo in the river. The best part was we also saw a crocodile and a Goliath heron.

     

    A goliath Heron the world tallest Heron with a herd of Buffalo behind him on our Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    A goliath Heron the world tallest Heron with a herd of Buffalo behind him on our Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally got to the luncheon stop and my clients and I enjoyed a great meal before they looked around the curio/gift shop and purchased a few items from the local ladies. It was great that they could all find some gifts to remember this great Durban Day Safari.

    After Lunch we spotted an Elephant bull on our way out of the game reserve which was the cherry on top for us all.

     

    Bull Elephant seen on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Bull Elephant seen on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been a great Durban Day Safari and most of the clients enjoyed some rest on the drive home with some fond memories of this  great day to think about. It had truly been a great Durban Big 5 Safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 4th August 2014

    Durban 3 Day Safari Tour to the Big 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 1 August – 3 August 2014

     

    Our Durban 3 Day Safari to the Big 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban city where I met my clients at the Blue Waters Hotel.

     

    Huhluwe Imfolozi game has amazing Flora and Fauna and is a very diverse game reserve. The seasons have an huge effect on this protected National Park and this time of the year is really dry and baron with almost no water except in the river systems. The National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is home to the Big 5: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Being only 3 hours from Durban it is a must visit with a Guide if you are in the area!

    As we drove up from Durban I educated the clients from Hong Kong on the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the history behind the national park.

     

    It took us around 3 hours to get to the Nyalazi gate into the Umfolozi section of this Big 5 game reserve and we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.

     

    The fires were a problem and we no doubt effecting game viewing but we still did very well and managed to find 3 of the Big 5 before lunch. Our first sighting was of this male Elephant near the gate.

     

    Elephant Bull at near Nyalazi gate in Umfolozi on our Safari from Durban

    Elephant Bull at near Nyalazi gate in Umfolozi on our Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We did try to find the cats but it was just too hot in as the southern section of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We saw: Giraffe, Nyala, Buffalo, Rhino, Warthogs, Impala amongst other things like a slender mongoose.

     

    Giraffe gazes at us on the first day of our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari

    Giraffe gazes at us on the first day of our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Picture of Wildebeest resting under an Acacia tree during Day 1 of our Trip from Durban

    Picture of Wildebeest resting under an Acacia tree during Day 1 of our Trip from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a while we decided to head back to the home of Operation Rhino – Centenary centre to have some lunch and a rest. My clients also bought a few things at the curio shop before we departed to Memorial gate to get to Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre before 4pm.
    We made it just in time to check in and then begin the feeding session. Basically there are two tours a day and the second in the afternoon is when they feed the cats cuts of meat mostly chicken or wild meats. We got to interact with 3 of the 4 different species of endangered wild cat namely: African Wild cat, Serval and the Cheetah.

     

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre on our Tour

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre on our Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending a good hour and a half with these amazing cats we returned to our rooms before dinner at 7pm.

     

    Dinner was a lovely affair as there was a fire burning outside the restaurant and music playing inside making the atmosphere very pleasant.

     

    I had chatted with my clients and we had made the decision to get breakfast packs and get up early to be at the Gate of Hluhluwe when it opened at 6am.

     

    It was now time for some rest and we went to bed with alarms set very early!

     

    Day 2: Durban 3 Day Safari Tour to the Big 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    At 05:30 we departed Emdoneni lodge for the Memorial gate which is the Northern gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We had immediate success and I knew today would be a good day!

     

    We first spotted Zebra and Rhino within 20 minutes and then a large herd of Buffalo before 5 Rhinos greeted us on the main road before moving into the bush.

     

    Buffalo staring at me on Safari in Africa from Durban

    Buffalo staring at me on Safari in Africa from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    5 Rhinos on the road in the misty early morning Safari in Hluhluwe game reserve

    5 Rhinos on the road in the misty early morning Safari in Hluhluwe game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continues past all the burned sections from the run away Veld fire a couple days before we enjoyed the mist in the valleys and took a few photos. We also had some brilliant luck, as I was driving a herd a branch crack and stopped as I knew it sounded like Elephant. I was right and out of the misty thickets came a small herd of Elephant and crossed the road right in front of us!

     

    Elephant in the mist cross the road in front of our vehicle on our Durban Safari

    Elephant in the mist cross the road in front of our vehicle on our Durban Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on to find another 2 herds of Elephant and a bachelor herd, Giraffe and Zebra amongst other species. It was turning out to be a great day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    As we made our way closer to the White Umfolozi river we spotted a large male White Rhino sleeping and after watching him for 2 minutes he jumped to alert and posed for a great photo.

     

    White Rhino Bull jumps to attention as he hears something that unsettles him during a Safari Tour from Durban

    White Rhino Bull jumps to attention as he hears something that unsettles him during a Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this the weirdest thing happened, I spotted an old giraffe male and every time he blinked tears would come out of his eye! I know Giraffe cannot cry so this must have been a result of the smoke or and eye infection.

    Amazing stuff! I tried to take a picture but the tears fell so fast so I could only show the wet eye and a tear drop on the eyelash.

     

    Giraffe Cries with tears streaming down his face on our Durban Big 5 Safari

    Giraffe Cries with tears streaming down his face on our Durban Big 5 Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made it down to Bhejane hide a hut which you can sit inside which overlooks a waterhole. This is an ideal spot as there is no other water in the immediate area. We had great luck as when we arrived 7 different species were at the Watering hole including: Elephant, Buffalo (2 of the Big 5), Zebra, Warthog, Nyala, Impala and Wildebeest. By the time I had taken a photo with my camera I could only get 3 species which is still amazing!

     

    Bhejane hide 3 species together on our Big 5 Safari Trip from Durban

    Bhejane hide 3 species together on our Big 5 Safari Trip from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we were done there we made our way around to find the Lions and lucky for us we were in luck and we spotted 3 Lioness on a ridge. What made this even better was that they got up and walked close to our vehicle to begin stalking Wildebeest. Of course a convoy of cars formed and kindly blocked the Lionesses path across the road so we left them to sort themselves out. It was a brilliant sighting though!

     

    Lioness on our Durban Big 5 Safari

    Lioness on our Durban Big 5 Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we left the Lions we headed up to the centenary center for lunch. On route we spotted Giraffe, Buffalo, Baboons, Elephant and Rhino.

     

    We settled in to have some lunch and then looked around the museum before we departed for Emdoneni lodge where we would also be staying the second night.

     

    We all were very tired after a 9 hour Safari stint in the African Bush.

     

    After a rest it was time for dinner and bed.

     

    Day 3: Durban 3 Day Safari Tour to the Big 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    We began the final Durban day Safari with breakfast before we entered at memorial gate to find a pleasant surprise! Lions and Hyenas.

    The whole reason was not so apparent as the Lions had made a kill of a Giraffe and the grass was so long that we could not see them or the kill until later on. What made it apparent was that a Journey of Giraffe approached and got very close to the Lionesses to see who they had killed! Very exciting!

     

    Young Hyena looking on at Lions that killed a Giraffe on our Durban Safaris Tour

    Young Hyena looking on at Lions that killed a Giraffe on our Durban Safaris Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next thing when the Giraffe got close to the Lioness was very interesting as the Lioness moved away from the carcass and from the giraffes which were eyeing her up. Life over limb hey! Even a Lion has to be careful of the big feet of a Giraffe, a kick to the jaw could case the Lions death!

     

    Can you spot the Lioness that the Giraffe are looking at….

    Can you spot the Lioness that the Giraffe are looking at….

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and with that it was the end of the the Bush Safari Experience, now it would be time for a Boat Safari Experience at St Lucia-Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

    The boat cruise was 2 hours long and very enjoyable with great sightings of Hippos and Crocodile.

     

    Crocodile on our Durban Safaris Tour at St Lucia Estuary

    Crocodile on our Durban Safaris Tour at St Lucia Estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Large pod of Hippos at St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland park in KwaZulu Natal

     

    Large pod of Hippos at St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland park in KwaZulu Natal

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After St Lucia Estuarys Tour we heading into the Town for some lunch at The Ocean Sizzler and we all had some fish as its fresh being a coastal Town.

    Then it was time to say good bye to the Safari from Durban and head back to the big city. We arrived back just after 6pm very happy after the 3 Days of Safari Touring in KwaZulu-Natal.

  • 4th August 2014

    Durban overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 30 July – 31 July 2014

     

    Our Durban overnight Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Umhlanga near Durban city where I met my clients.

     

    On route to Huhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I covered the usual things like the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the national park. The Flora and Fauna of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is incredible and very interesting.The National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is home to the Big 5, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Being only 3 hours from Durban it is a must visit with a Guide if you are in the area!

     

    After a quick two and a half hours drive to Nyalazi gate we entered the Big 5 game reserve and we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.

     

    I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was already hot at 28 degrees Celsius and this was winter. We headed south to try and find the big cats as the southern section of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is flatter and dryer. This turned out to be a good idea as we spotted Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo and Lions out of the Big 5. This wasn’t all as we saw Zebra, Giraffe, Nyala, Warthogs, Impala and a whole array of birdlife.

    Elephant Bull in the Black Umfolozi river resting his trunk of his tusk on our Durban Overnight Safari

    Elephant Bull in the Black Umfolozi river resting his trunk of his tusk on our Durban Overnight Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    White Rhino rests on our Durban Safari from Durban

    White Rhino rests on our Durban Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lion sighting was the most special as we worked so hard to find them and eventually we spotted them. The best part was we had the sighting to ourselves as the Male Lion wondered around looking at us and then a Lioness got up too and walked around before disappearing behind the grass.

     

    Lion found today on our Durban Safari Tour at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Lion found today on our Durban Safari Tour at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After all of this excitement we headed back up north to the Centenary centre for some lunch, it was already 2pm but we had done so well we didn’t worry about that.

     

    Our Safari from Durban had just begun as we headed up to Hilltop camp and realised that half the game reserve was burning down… Luckily the team at Hilltop camp had got control of the situation had the fire was being attended too.

     

    Zebra in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve during our Safari Tour
    Zebra in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve during our Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On route to Hilltop camp we spotted more Rhinos, Giraffe and Zebra. Even the Baboons we out playing today! Our trip from Durban was well worth it!

     

    We arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in to the lodge before an hour rest. At 16:30 we continued our Durban Safari and as we left we spotted a Black Rhino right outside the gate to Hilltop camp.

    I couldn’t believe it!

     

    Photo of our Black Rhino on this Durban overnight Safari

    Photo of our Black Rhino on this Durban overnight Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We the moved on to do a Safari down by the river and it was here we spotted a mother and calf White Rhino near the road.

     

    As the sun began to set the Night Jars came out and we spotted one on the road. It also stayed long enough for its photo to be taken.

     

    Firery necked Night Jar found in Hluhluwe game reserve on our Durban Safaris Tour

    Firery necked Night Jar found in Hluhluwe game reserve on our Durban Safaris Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was amazing driving back to camp at dark as the fires we still smouldering and the glow looked incredible. We turned off the engine and listened to the sounds of the night. We even herd Elephants nearby breaking trees. It had been such an exciting Days Safari from Durban.

     

    Sunset in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Sunset in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Safaris are not complete if you do not visit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is Africa’s Oldest and home to Operation Rhino in the 1950’s.

     

    It was time to get back to the lodge for some dinner and rest after what was a great day in the African bush on our Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Dinner was great and we retired for the night. The following day we would look for more Elephants.

     

    Day 2: Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    After waking up and getting a buffet breakfast we checked out and began our final 3 hour game drive Safari in the reserve.

    Our Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve was really going well at this point and now it was the matter of putting the finishing touches on before we headed to Isimangeliso Wetland Park for our St Lucia boat cruise.

     

    Buffalo cow stares us down in Hluhluwe on our Safari Trip from Durban

    Buffalo cow stares us down in Hluhluwe on our Safari Trip from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spotting a few other species we had to call it a day and leave for St Lucia. Before we could leave though there was a surprise waiting at the gate! 2 Bull Elephants had crossed the road in front of us and made there way to the gate were there was some fresh water from the run off of the drains.

     

    Finally we got going to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

     

    Our Safari Tour from Durban was not yet complete as we had a 2 hour boat cruise on the World heritage site’s Estuary of St Lucia.

     

    The boat cruise was amazing as usual and it was even better as we had a small group on board the boat. We had fantastic sightings of Hippos out of the water and Crocodiles. I also got a great photo of an African Fish Eagle.

     

    African Fish Eagle perched at St Lucia Estuary on our Durban Safari Tour

    African Fish Eagle perched at St Lucia Estuary on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Crocodile at St Lucia Estuary Isimangeliso Wetland park during our Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

    Crocodile at St Lucia Estuary Isimangeliso Wetland park during our Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Pod of Hippos resting on the St Lucia Estuarys bank on our Tour from Durban

    Pod of Hippos resting on the St Lucia Estuarys bank on our Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lunch was calling after the boat cruise and we went to my favourite restaurant in St Lucia – Ocean Sizzler where we all had fresh fish!

     

    After lunch we had to leave and continue our Safari Tour, Sadly for us all it was back to Durban city!

     

    We had all had such a great time in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Safari from Durban and had so many memories to take back with us!

  • 2nd June 2014

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    I collected my clients from Durban for there Durban Day Safari Tour and we headed up to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve Africas oldest. On route I chatted about some of the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as general political issues we face in our wonderful country of South Africa.

    It was a warm day for winter in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and I was still expecting to see more Rhinos but Sadly we only has one decent sighting the whole day.

    We arrived at Memorial gate where we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi day Safari Tour. As we passed the usual road works we came across a nice male young male Elephant crossing the road while his mates were on the other side moving further away from him.

    Young Bull Elephant crosses road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    Young Bull Elephant crosses road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    We continued on and an tried to find some Lion cubs that were seen in the early morning game drive but alas it was to late, to thick and to hot for them to be next to the road at 10:30. We did however have a lovely herd of Elephant on the road right where the Lions would have been and they clearly were not happy about the smell of Lions!

    Breeding herd of Elephant block the road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    Breeding herd of Elephant block the road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    We had to wait for the mother with her calf to move away before they males shifted themselves and we continued on to find 3 White backed Vultures still waiting on the thermals to fly and look for dead meat. Our Durban Day Safari Tour was heating up. Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game reserve is an amazing place.

    3 White backed Vultures roosting on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014
    3 White backed Vultures roosting on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    We continued along the dirt road and spotted a bachelor herd of Nyala crossing and them waiting in the thickets close to one another so we could get a great shot of them on our Durban Day Tour.

    Bachelor herd of Nyala on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014
    Bachelor herd of Nyala on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    We moved on and enjoyed the fresh Durban and African air and as I got a question about the existence of Crocodiles in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we I spotted one. He was resting on the banks of the Hluhluwe River with his mouth ajar to regulate his body temperature.  Durban Day Safari tours can be rewarding but you have to be patient.

    Nile Crocodile on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    Nile Crocodile on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    It was nearing time to head to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe for lunch but before we did this we checked the River at a different section and found a large herd of Buffalo resting on the rivers edge probably after a scary African night in the bush with Lions at there feet. We are lucky to have a Big 5 Safari reserve so close to Durban.

    Buffalo herd rest on the banks of the Hluhluwe River on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    Buffalo herd rest on the banks of the Hluhluwe River on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    We had now seen two of the Big 5 on our Durban Day Tour and continued to see what else we could find. As we checked for Rhinos we found this Baboon with his family next to the road and in the road feeding of fruits.

    Young Baboon reaches for a fruit on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014
    Young Baboon reaches for a fruit on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    It was now really time for some lunch with no success on the Rhino front and my clients really wanting to see them we stopped earlier so we could get the middle of the day out the way on our Day Safari Tour.

    Hilltops lunch was great as always and we hurried it along to get back out. We headed down south and found a crash of 3 or 4 Rhinos next the the road but in the thickets which meant we didnt get a great photo. The big male got up and walked into a little opening but I didnt feel the picture was worth putting up as it was so bad. This was not 3 of the Big 5 and the clients could smile again! To get 3 of the Big 5 is hard enough in such a short Durban Day Safari.

    We were on a roll again and spotted some giraffe near enough to the road but just the sun messing up the picture.

    Giraffe female feeds on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014
    Giraffe female feeds on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    After looking at the giraffe for a while we continued on and got to the Umfolozi River where there was another crocodile and a Male buffalo on the rivers bank. We had to turn back and on route to the gate we finally found out Zebra, yay! Now our Durban Day Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve was complete.

    Zebra looks at us on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014
    Zebra looks at us on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour from Durban 31 May 2014

    After the Zebra male struck a pose it was time to move on and we were lucky to see a big male warthog at the Nyalazi gate as we exited and made our way back to Durban after a fairly successful Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban.

     

  • 29th August 2013

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi 3 Day Safari Tour 25 – 27 August 2013

     

    After collecting my clients from Durban on the morning of the 25th we headed out to Emdoneni for the Night and the afternoon Cat Feeding Tour.

     

    After this we had a great Boma dinner under the stars and went to bed.

     

    The following day it was up for breakfast check out and head to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve where we would spend the night.

     

    When we entered we had about 4 hours of game drive time and had some great sightings for 3 of the Big 5 as you will see in the pictures above.

     

    Lunch was calling at Hilltop so we stop there and then checked in before another 3 hours of game drive where we also had some very good sightings.

     

    After a great Safari we returned for dinner and some star gazing before bed.

     

    Day 3 was great, the clients wanted to do the open vehicle game drive so I got up early and had a run around camp before finding out where the Lions were.

    Upon there return I mentioned I knew where we could hopefully find the lions so we quickly atebreakfast and checked out before speeding off to find the Lions.

    When we got there we had to wait 30 min before we got a look at the male Lion and then he mated with a Lioness we never saw as the grass was so long. This was a great experience and just the sound and seeing him made the Tour all worth it.

     

    Onward to St Lucia next with some happy clients in the car including me! The boat cruise was very relaxing and we saw loads of Hippos even out the water and a few big crocodiles.

     

    Then some lunch and curio shopping before returning to Durban.

     

    All in all a great Tour.

     

    Tim Brown Tours

    Big 5 Safaris DurbanBig 5 Safaris Kwa-Zulu NatalBig 5 Tours Kwa-Zulu NatalBlack RhinoBush experience,Bush Safarisbush tours,Bushman paintings,Drakensberg Hiking Tours,drakensberg toursDurban Big 5 SafariDurban Big 5 SafarisDurban Bush SafarisDurban Bush Tours,Durban City ToursDurban Cultural ToursDurban experiencesDurban Safaris,Durban Shark Cage Diving,Durban ToursDurban Township TourGuiding EthicsHluhluwe Umfolozi ToursImfolozi Game reserveIndividual Tours DurbanKruger Park Safari TourKwa-Zulu Natal Battlefield ToursKwa-Zulu Natal Bush ToursKwa-Zulu Natal Cultural ToursKwa-Zulu Natal SafarisMountain ToursPersonalised Tours DurbanPrivate Tours DurbanPrivate Tours Kwa-Zulu NatalPrivate Tours South AfricaShakalandSt LuciaSt Lucia ToursTala game reserve Toursthings to do DurbanTours Durban,Tours South AfricaWhite Rhino

  • 29th August 2013

     

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi 3 Day Safari Tour 22 – 24 August 2013

     

    After collecting my Danish client from Durban on the morning of the 22nd we headed out to hluhluwe umfolozi where I had word of 3 Lion sightings, 2 of them buffalo kills.

    I thought to myself this is a guaranteed sighting. Lol.

    Well we entered at the Nyalazi gate and drove to the first Buffalo Carcass it was completely finished and the Lions were gone over the hill.

    We decided to check the next area where they had been spotted but it was like chasing Ghosts…

    By the time we returned to the carcass we did see with Binoculars a single Lion on the hill so far away it was pointless really to photograph but with 30 x optical zoom I tried.

    It was time to look for other things and we saw Elephants, Buffalo, Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra and Warthog. Bush was pumping!

    Lunch was calling at Hilltop.

    Then we checked in and settled for an hour before heading back out to see if we could find the other Lions on the other Buffalo kill.

    We found the Kill and a Hyena feeding but the Lions had been scared off by a clan of 5 hyenas. So we still had an awesome sighting and loads of vultures in the trees.

     

    It was time to rush back for the open vehicle game drive at pm which turned out to be a huge success bringing the lions back to the carcass and a stand off with the 5 hyenas! Amazing stuff.

    Dinner and bed.

     

    Day 2: We headed out looking again for animals. We again saw loads but no more lions. We returned for breakfast and a rest.

    Later that day we headed out looking for Elephant and saw a herd on mansiya loop but the disappeared into the bush before we could get down to photograph them, such is nature.

    We kept trying with no luck.

    Dinner was great a Braai and then it was bed.

     

    Day 3; Game drive was good and we saw lots  including one Elephant on the hills and heard a herd in the bushes but they didn’t come out.

    After 3 hours of looking we left the game reserve for St Lucia boat cruise at Isimangeliso wetland park.

    This was great and we got the Hippos out the water.

     

    Then it was time for curios, Lunch and more curios before leaving for Durban.

    The end to a good tour or so I thought.

    On my way home I got a nice puncture and had to change the tyre, only problem was the following day was a Sunday and I had a tour! So back up car needed to be used as no tyre places open for me to get a new tyre.

     

    All in all a great Tour.

     

    Tim Brown Tours

     

    Big 5 Safaris DurbanBig 5 Safaris Kwa-Zulu NatalBig 5 Tours Kwa-Zulu NatalBlack RhinoBush experience,Bush Safarisbush tours,Bushman paintings,Drakensberg Hiking Tours,drakensberg toursDurban Big 5 SafariDurban Big 5 SafarisDurban Bush SafarisDurban Bush Tours,Durban City ToursDurban Cultural ToursDurban experiencesDurban Safaris,Durban Shark Cage Diving,Durban ToursDurban Township TourGuiding EthicsHluhluwe Umfolozi ToursImfolozi Game reserveIndividual Tours DurbanKruger Park Safari TourKwa-Zulu Natal Battlefield ToursKwa-Zulu Natal Bush ToursKwa-Zulu Natal Cultural ToursKwa-Zulu Natal SafarisMountain ToursPersonalised Tours DurbanPrivate Tours DurbanPrivate Tours Kwa-Zulu NatalPrivate Tours South AfricaShakalandSt LuciaSt Lucia ToursTala game reserve Toursthings to do DurbanTours Durban,Tours South AfricaWhite Rhino

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