It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
I met my clients in Durban at their hotel for their Durban day safari tour to Tala game reserve and the valley of 1000 Hills.
We would begin with some introductions and a briefing of the day tour from Durban and then I was able to settle in to chatting about Durban and KwaZulu Natal and the in depth history of the area that we were entering.
It was not long before we were at our first destination, Tala game reserve for the first part of our Durban day safari tour.
It was here that we were very lucky in seeing the quality sightings that we had. I am sure we spent 30 minuted in one spot as we had: Ostrich, Zebra, Blessbok and Rhino all in the same area.
We were very lucky with our sightings on this Durban day safari tour and spotted 3 Rhinos within 5 minutes of our Safari tour.
Rhinos are hugely endangered as I explained to my clients and sadly the one with the short horn had been shot and had her horn hacked off by poacher for medicine! She was lucky to survive as two other Rhino died!
In the same area we watched a dazzle of Zebra and we found that they were fighting with each other which I again explained to my clients about this interesting behaviour.
Shortly after this exciting sighting we spotted Zebras mating which was a real treat. You hardly ever get to see this and this was right next to us about 20 meters of the road. At times funny we enjoyed the reality of the situation.
We continued on and before we could stop for a shot break to stretch the legs we spotted some Ostrich and a male at that which was great to show my clients.
After a short rest we got back on the reserve and finally spotted some Giraffe! The best part of this was the fact that we found 1 female and then a male and once we looked closer the female had a young baby with her. We spend a lot of time with them as the baby was still skittish and even had a part of her umbilical cord attached. We eventually got to watch the baby suckle!
We then continued our Durban day safari tour and got to see some Wildebeest near the road!
It was time for some Hippo and we found then in the dam! We watched them for 10 or 15 minutes and my guests managed to get a shot of one of the Hippos with his mouth open. Sadly I was to slow and missed the shot but still it was great to see them.
It was time for us to depart from Tala game reserve and we made our way into the valley of 1000 hills for lunch and to enjoy the reptile park as well as the Zulu Cultural village tour.
It was a great lunch or though more than we could eat!
I quickly took my clients around the reptile park and explained about the Crocodiles.
We then entered the Zulu cultural village and watched some very energetic dancing and singing by the Zulu tribe before entering into two of the Zulu huts to learn more about the culture. I had already explained to my clients about some of the interesting differences so they were aware going into the village.
This was an amazing experience and we all enjoyed the tour.
We were all very lucky to have experienced so many interesting and new things though the course of this Durban day safari tour. I think my clients really enjoyed the tour.
Another great Durban safari tour under the belt!
I met my clients in Hillcrest only about 5 minutes drive from my home which was great! They were from South Africa, Cape Town which for me is not common to have South Africans on a Durban safari tour but it was really great fun and the tour was amazing!
On route to the most underrated Big 5 game reserve Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park, I covered lots of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and general things that we saw like the crops of the area etc.
We stopped to stretch the legs on the way up and refuel before continuing the last hour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our Durban day safari tour.
We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi park and began with our game drive to see what animals we could see. We actually didn’t even need to leave the parking lot for our first sighting as there was an Elephant bull drinking near the gate!
As we continued with our safari from Durban we came across a huge herd of Elephants with tiny babies on the hill near the Centenary center where we would be having lunch later that day. The Elephants seemed to be on some mission as they kept walking very quickly and were heading to the eastern fence line. I had seen three herds of Elephant do this 3 days before which always makes me think they are attending an Elephant funeral or there is a weather change!
We continued with our Durban day safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a female Impala with thin horns this is a genetic abnormality and could be cause by inbreeding! This can happen is a male mates with his offspring instead of being ousted from the leadership of the Harem of female by another dominant male.
We also crossed over the Umfolozi river and spotted a Buffalo bull very far away and the photo was not good so I waited till we spotted these Rhino. They crossed the road in front of us and this was a special sighting for my clients and meant we had already seen 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.
After spending a few minutes with the Rhino we continued with our safari from Durban and we had a quiet patch but I knew that we would see lots of animals. It was not long and we were blessed with a sighting of Cheetah. It was a mother and her 2 cubs around a year old and they were so much fun to watch we must have spent half an hour with them. At the same place was 3 crashes or Rhino which made it even more exciting!
I might have gone over the to with pictures and Videos but it was Cheetah and there were two cubs which we active and running around in an open patch. This was such an exciting moment and we all enjoyed it. What a way to begin your first safari for my clients.
One final picture of the Cheetah playing and I promise no more Cheetah photos or Videos for today! I just couldn’t help myself! They were beautiful!
As we continued with our Durban day safari tour I honestly could not have really cared for myself if I didn’t see another animal but I knew I have to see what we could find for my clients as they were only here for a day safari tour. We kept getting lucky and we went round one of the many dirt road bends we stopped as we had some Zebras walking down the road towards us!
The Zebra were so beautiful and we enjoyed chatting about some of the interesting facts and features of this animal before moving on with our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and finding a couple of Wildebeest walking on the road!
I figured now it was time for a rest room break so I made our way to a picnic site. We arrived at the Sontuli picnic site and we so lucky again! We saw Lions laying down in the river bed. I just could not believe our luck we had now seen 4 of the Big 5 and Cheetah in just a few hours. The best part about these Lions was the structure, it was an Adult male and female with one cub around a year old or a bit less.
It is not often you see these restful cats on a Durban day safari tour or see a big male usually its just the Lionesses and the sub adults.
We decided that all we hadn’t seen was the Giraffe and it became our new mission to try and find the Giraffe. I drove all the best areas that I could with the time we had and then had to head up to the Centenary center for lunch.
Before we could get to the Centenary we stopped at a view point which you are allowed to get out of your vehicle at and it was here we saw a huge herd of Buffalo.
I thought this was the ideal spot to take a picture for my clients with the lovely view over the Umfolozi river with the Buffalo in the back ground.
We continued on in the hope of finding some Giraffe before lunch and we returned to where the Cheetah had been. They had gone but there was some lovely Rhino in the area and they were really posing for us on our Durban day safari tour.
There was still one more thing would we have to photograph before we made it to the lunch stop and that was a Dazzle of Zebra and Impala on the road.
Finally we arrived at Centenary center and it was here that we had a lovely lunch and a look around the world famous museum for operation Rhino. The craft market was also available and then we made our way for the final 1 and a half to find these Giraffe.
We did it! It was 20 min in after lunch and I spotted a male Giraffe in the distance so we used the binoculars to see him better and then we continued further and found more Giraffes near enough to the road.
One of these female Giraffe was either chewing a bone which they do to get calcium into their diet or she had a twig stuck in here throat. It wasn’t long and she liked her lips and continued feeding.
We had a great look at this Giraffe and then on our way back right near the gate we spotted a Big male 5 meters from the road feeding on a Buffalo thorn. It was the perfect ending to a great Durban day safari tour and we all were very happy with our sightings.
We began our Durban day safari tour in Durban city where I had two pick ups and then moved to Umhlanga for another two pick ups. This was the most number of pick ups I think I have done before and it went very smoothly.
It was nice to have a mix of clients from Irish and British to Belgium/Dutch.
We began the long journey but as always with me chatting about the history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal, I always find it goes quickly and I am sure the clients that are interested in it feel the same way.
The word “safari” come from east Africa and is Swahili for “Journey” so basically all my Durban Tours are Durban safari tours!
Our Durban day safari tour continued as we headed up the North Eastern coastline and we stopped once to stretch the legs and grab a coffee before the final hour and 15 minutes to Memorial gate in the North eastern corner of the world famous and Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
I chose to enter in the North as the Umfolozi section can be very quiet at times and if their are no cats around it can be difficult at time to make a good day of it. Having already been in touch with some other guides from the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, I decided to go North.
It was a good choice for us as we nailed 4 out of the Big 5 again and got to see a Lioness! I was so happy to be able to share this with my clients, it is always a privilege.
We had many sightings very close to the gate when we entered from African Buffalo, Impala, Rhino and Zebra.
Durban day safari tour; Rhino
These Rhinos were worth a photo as the two standing were sub adults and just wondered up to the fella that was resting to say hello. It is always amazing on our Durban day safari tours to watch the behavior of these wild animals as you can learn so much about how they think. It was seconds later that we spotted some Zebra so I managed to take a decent photo of them too.
Zebra are also such amazing creature being the only animal the kicks and bites at both each other and at predators. Their are so many Zebra in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which have gashes and scars from being attacked by Lions and surviving! Can you believe it!
Our Durban day safari tour continued and we made our way towards a dried up mud wallow to search for some Giraffe but before we got there we found a herd of Elephant. Trouble was they were not to close to the road but patients pays off, and we finally go a good photo.
After watching these Elephants feeding and resting in the shade in the Hluhluwe section of the game reserve we moved on to find these Giraffe. It wasn’t long and we had them in our sight and we spend some time enjoying the as they fed and resting in the shade on the trees on what was already a hot day at 36 degrees.
Our Durban day safari tour then led us to the river as every where was so dry that we needed to try the rivers to find more animals, not that we hadn’t done well already with 3 of the Big 5!
We made our way to the Hluhluwe river and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of African Buffalo in the mud and 2 Elephants feeding on the reeds.
Mud wallowing is important to cool down but also to remove external parasites from the body, must say I only tried it a couple time when I was knee high to a grass hopper and when I was doing my training 10 years ago!
At this point we were feeling the heat but having chatted to a buddy of mine we got wind of Lions in the area so we raced off to go and see if we would be lucky enough to get to see them. It is not common to see Lions in the day time and if you are lucky to see them they tend to be in thick areas which mean a bad sighting. So I was a little optimistic about it.
We arrived in a haze of dust and as the dust settled we saw a Lioness on her back with here feet in the air. It was awesome to see her on a Durban day safari tour.
We spent some time watching her as we want her to show herself a bit more so after a few minutes she rolled over and gave us a lovely stare showing here scars from fights over the years. Now we had seen 4 of the Big 5 inside 2 hours on our Durban day safari tour and things couldn’t have been better!
We now made our way to the river again to another section to see if we could find anything new. On route we came across the Anti Poaching team and we requested to take their photo. They do such an amazing job in protecting our Rhinos from poachers and risk their lives for nature in South Africa.
We got to the river and stopped for a toilet break and I thought of all the amazing animals we had seen so far on this Durban day safari tour, we had been truly blessed with good luck and correct information and my gut feeling of going north had paid off for my clients. I was very happy.
After we left the river we followed its twists an turns and spotted a herd of Elephant and Buffalo down at the river but the picture was not clear so I left it out. We also spotted Nyala and more Rhino, Giraffe and a great sighting of Zebra very near to the road.
At this point lunch at Hilltop camp was calling our names and we made our way their for some food. The views there are amazing and having a rest was pleasant for all of us. My clients enjoyed some Beer and wine and eventually some food before we had a quick look at the curio shop and then departed Hilltop camp to see what other animals we could find on what had turned out to be a great Durban day safari tour.
Things after lunch in the heat of the day were a little quiet but we spotted some Nyala near the road so I got their picture to add to the already large collection.
We continued our Durban day safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across an amazing crash or 6 Rhinos just next to the road in the open looking at us like we were stupid. They were amazing and we got to enjoy them as the rested in the shade and rubbed there horns on a tree stump. The best picture I got was this one with 4 of their heads in a row! It was incredible! Rhinos being on the brink of becoming extinct this sighting of 6 together was very special for us all.
What an amazing Durban day safari tour, I don’t think we could have wished for more even though I agreed if we spotted a leopard I would buy everyone lunch. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so I didn’t get the pleasure of buying lunch for everyone!
We headed now toward the gate as it was getting closer to 15:30. We then spotted some Baboons down in the Umfolozi section up in a tree and as we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we got them all over the road which was amazing. It was almost 4pm by the time we left and the Baboons just added that cherry on the top to the Durban day safari tour as I know some of my clients really wanted to see monkeys.
An amazing Durban day safari tour with my group had come to an end and we cracked on to Durban to drop off the clients for their night out ( I am Sure) of celebrating the Tour they had just been on.
We arrived around 7pm and we all had smiles as we had seen so much, 4 of the Big 5 and so many other amazing animals, even the Anti poachers were great to see.
Thank you to all my clients for joining me on this Durban day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest proclaimed national park and home to the Big 5 animals, The Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino!
We began our Durban day safari at the Hilton hotel in Durban city where I collected 3 of my clients and then we went to Umhlanga to collect another.
After collection I began with the briefing of how the day would run and I decided to try the Umfolozi section of the game reserve as the bush had got thick recently with the rain we had.
I covered as much of the history of Durban KwaZulu Natal and South Africa before the politics of our country took over the major chatting points of the day. This was not surprising after the recent state of the nation address we had.
We have an amazing country and the scenery changes constantly over short distances which always makes it interesting to look at as we make our way to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve the oldest in Africa.
We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve at 09:30 for the beginning of our Durban day safari tour.
After covering the basic history of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we entered on the national road and before we could make our way to the actual gate we spotted an Elephant bull. This was a good sign for how the day would pan out for us on our Durban day safari tour.
After getting to the gate we got our entrance pass and went on in the umfolozi section of the game reserve and found some Zebras which we waited for to cross the road in front of us this meant that we got a real Zebra crossing. Always a good laugh!
We continued down towards the Umfolozi river as I had heard there was Lions in the area at 6am so we though we could try to find them. Before we got there we spotted some Impalas, Buffalo in the distance and then another Elephant bull close to the road. We watched him for a short while before getting to the river and it was clear Lions were there as there was a couple of vehicle looking onto the banks of the river.
We battled to spot them lying under some bushes in the shade as it was already 36 degrees, but we did see them as we maneuvered the vehicle into the best position we could.
As we looked closely we found a Lioness with 2 little cubs but the twigs were all in the way but hey we were not complaining! Seeing a Lion on Durban day safari tour in the middle of the day is very hard!
We looked down the river as we had just been staring at these Lions for so long and we spotted some Buffalo in fact a large herd of Buffalo. They were resting in the river and enjoying the water on such a hot day. During the day it got up to 42 degrees before dropping to 25 degrees on the drive home!
We left the Lions and Buffalo to see if we could find more amazing animals and after a quick rest room break we did find more Impala and the we got lucky with a Mother White Rhino and calf resting in the shade. Wow this was a beautiful sighting on our Durban day safari tour.
We moved on feeling really good after seeing 3 of the 4 of the Big 5 already!
As we continued our Durban day safari tour we came across lots more animal but the best of all was the journey of Giraffe and Zebra all together near the road we also saw some Kudu here.
This male Giraffe on the left actually tested the female on the right for mating readiness before enjoying some food and resting in the shade. It was starting to get really hot and we had to turn on the air-conditioner before moving on. We then began a drive down to the White Umfolozi river where before we got there we spotted a Wildebeest.
At the Umfolozi river we stopped at a view point where you can get out of your vehicle and enjoy the view. Its a beautiful spot and we spotted a lot of Vultures, Wholly necked stork, European White Storks, Buffalo and Elephants.
It was a great place for a photo and we all enjoyed our time down there.
We began a long loop before heading back up to the Centenary center of lunch. The loop was very quiet as it was so hot and dry. We just kept going and chatted about other things until we found more animals.
On route to lunch we stopped at the Black Umfolozi river and could not see our Lions anymore but we did find more Elephant feeding on the reeds in the river.
Moving on we saw more Zebra and then down the road to the lunch stop I could not believe our luck as we spotted something orange in a big tree! It was Lions and a different pride. One of my clients was in Chobe where he was told that, Chobe is the only place in the world you find tree climbing Lions.
It was amazing but also hard to make them all out, we did see 4 Lions there. What a great Durban day safari tour this had been!
We enjoyed a great lunch and the curio shop before we headed back out feeling really good after seeing 4 of the Big 5 and Lions twice! What a day!
It was now time to see what else we could find before heading back to Durban. We managed to find Elephants again and the best was this large tusked Elephant right near the road which was really relaxed and we left him cross in front of us! this was lovely!
We were getting closer to the gate and we heard and alarm call from a male Baboon but after closer inspection e was just calling the Troop together as there was another Troop of Baboons near by.
They were up and down the fig trees feeding as the temperature was cooling down.
Durban day safari tour; Baboon
It was now time to end the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve safari tour after what had been an amazing day!
We all enjoyed our Durban day safari tour and now began the long 3 hours back to Durban.
We stopped once along the way and then the rain came down to cool us all down before we got stuck into some good chats about politics and other interesting things.
We arrived before 7pm back in Umhlanga and then Durban city with smiles on our faces. What a great Durban day safari tour!
I met my clients off the Oceana Nautica cruise ship in Richards bay which is a 2 hour drive from Durban city.
My clients were bang on time for their Durban day safari tour to St Lucia and at 8am we headed on a slow educational drive to St Lucia where we would be visiting a Crocodile park and Museum, doing a 2 hour boat cruise on the estuary and the board walk down to the estuary mouth.
All in all it was not a very long tour but it was a very enjoyable Durban day safari tour as my client really showed a lot of interest in the History, culture and general politics of our beautiful country South Africa.
When we got to St Lucia and Isimangeliso wetland park we first headed to the Crocodile center and museum. Here I educated my guests on what was happening in St Lucia and its value as a World heritage site.
We also looked at some amazing skulls and the crocodiles of course.
At this point we finished up and moved on to the 2 hour estuary cruise in St Lucia to view Hippos and crocodile as well as bird life. It was a great cruise and we all enjoyed it as it was a lovely hot day.
St Lucia estuary is the largest Esturine system in Southern Africa and is home to about 1000 Hippos and 1200 Crocodiles. It was an amazing bio-diverse area and very peaceful.
Further on we spotted a Goliath Heron in Flight.
As we continued upstream we came across a dead Buffalo bull which had tried to cross the Estuary to get to greener pastures on the Western Shores, this was clearly a problem as he did not make it. So a he lay their dead we continued with our Durban day safari tour.
As we continued further up stream we found more Hippos some of which were resting and this little on which was munching on some sort of reed she had found in the estuary.
Once we completed the St Lucia boat cruise we headed down to the Estuary board walk and had a good time making our way down it. We spotted some Crocodiles and herd some Hippos.
Once we got to the end of the 300 meter board walk we got onto the beach and could see that the estuary was even further back from the ocean, having chatted with some of the local lads I learned that possibly in February they will open it up to the ocean as the ocean level is higher than the estuary meaning water will flow in.
We saw Mapelane the second highest sand dune in the world in the distance down the beach.
Once we made our way back up the board walk it was time to make our way back after a great day of Safari and touring in the St Lucia area. We began the hour and a quarter drive back to where the ship was docked in Richards bay harbour.
It was a great Durban day safari tour!
I met my client in Durban off the Oceana Nautica cruise ship it was one of those days where the ship comes 2 hours late and for some Tour operators and tour guide this ruined the day as they would have booked something and ended up not being able to get their in time.
I was really fortunate as I could be really flexible and we manage for the most part to avoid the huge bus tours as we went on our merry way. My clients were originally from Scotland and not live in Canada which was really interesting, a lovely group.
We first began at Tala game reserve and having learning that my clients had been to Botswana for and the Sabi Sands for Safaris already on this trip all I could do was wow them with information they may not have heard. The animals sightings I have to say were very good but Tala is a small private game reserve and does not have the Big 5, except Rhino.
Our first sighting as usual was Zebra as we go into Tala game reserve on our Durban day safari.
As we continued we found more Zebra, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Warthogs, Nyala, Impala and the list goes on. We only ended up spending just over 2 hours at Tala as we saw everything they had just about and as the clients had seen it all before this meant we could get into the Valley of 1000 Hills sooner than expected after the ship delay.
These ostriches were great as they had a huge amount of little ones with them and this was something my clients had not seen! We continued on and found some Giraffe which were great as it was 2 females with 2 babies. We spent some time correcting some theories other guides had mentioned and this was really great for me to share the knowledge I have on these animals with my great clients.
As we move on we visited the dam where the Hippos were and go some small looks at them which were not great but still good. We then made our way into the open plains to find the Rhinos of which we did all 5 of them. This was looking like a good Durban day safari.
We decided to leave the game reserve of Tala and move on into the valley of 1000 Hills 35 minutes away to enjoy the views and have some lunch. I was very surprised that the restaurant was able to make provision for us and we had a restaurant all to our selves even though they had it booked for the Ships big bus tours!
My clients were great sports and had Phutu, Chakalaka and Boerewors which I had as well which is a really traditional dish! It was lovely.
Once we finished up we avoided the crowds at the reptile park and I did my own tour for my clients. It was great and some of the crocodiles there are huge!
The above crocodile was a female on a nest that we saw in the valley of 1000 hills at Phezulu safari park. Next would be the Zulu Cultural village overlooking the amazing valley of 1000 hills which is so we known in the area and a great place to visit if you are in the Durban area on a Durban day safari with Tim Brown Tours.
We then moved on into the Zulu cultural village where we got to witness some amazing Zulu dancing and drumming. The team in the Valley of 1000 Hills, really put in such effort and perform for us!
My clients enjoyed the Zulu dancing and after the show we had a look through the shop before making our way slowly back to the Oceana Cruise ship.
We arrived back in Durban late afternoon after what had been a great Durban day safari and after my clients had got to experience some amazing Zulu Culture, Nature and History of the KwaZulu Natal area.
If you are interested in what is shown above contact me and we will area a Durban day safari or Durban overnight safari to suit your needs.
Our Durban day safari tour began in Durban city where we would be visiting the famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve with my two lovely South African clients from the Big Apple of South Africa – JoBurg!
It is not that common that I have the pleasure of showing of my beautiful country and province of KwaZulu Natal’s diverse History to South Africans but today was one of those days.
It is almost and even prouder day when I can share the amazing country with fellow South Africans that really appreciate being in their own country and seeing what it has to offer. Very often myself included we travel overseas but don’t see much of our own beautiful country.
We enjoyed some lovely conversation on the country and its deep history before we reached the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
It was here that the main part of our tour would begin as Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We entered at Nyalazi gate and we went down south to see if we could get any luck with the animals. It was a scorching hot day that reached 39 degrees Celsius. Animals were hiding but we made the most of this and still had amazing sightings.
Our first major sighting was really interesting and it was a Giraffe with a twig stuck in its mouth so it was trying to maneuver it around to get the leaves off and the twig out!
As we continued with our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi we got down to the Umfolozi river where we spotted a Bull Elephant having a rest and drink at the waters edge.
We moved off and continued past Mpila camp into the southern part of the game reserve where we came across some Rhinos on a few occasions. Some were in mud wallows and other just grazing away.
The best was yet to come on this Durban day safari as we spotted some Buffalo mud wallowing which was now the 3rd of the Big 5 we had seen in a couple of hours. The best part was that their was a Secretary bird which is rare and it was walking towards to Buffalo and as the one Buffalo got up the bird got a fright and flew up. All of this I managed to catch on camera.
We continued on an found more Elephants and another rare bird the Southern Ground horn bills which are endangered and mostly restricted to National parks like Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. This Durban day safari was really becoming a cracker!
We were then really blessed with some good fortune as it was so hot out their that their was haze coming up off the ground which was blurring my photos it was that hot!
Lion! Can you believe the luck, a Lioness stepped out of the shadows to drink from a mud wallow as we drove past! Within 2 minuted she was gone but we had seen her! We were very happy!
We left this beautiful Lioness which actually looked like she was lactating to rest in the shade and we moved off to the White Umfolozi river where we spotted vultures resting and sun bathing on the sand. It was here I took a photograph of my lovely clients.
We had a great time to this point have seen more Elephants and Rhino as well as these Zebras walking down the road towards us! The Durban day safari was turning out to be a real cracker!
We began with the long drive back up from the south and as we had seen so much we had spent a lot of our safari time already, this meant that we would be having a very late lunch at about 14:30 and then have very little time to see what else we could find before heading back to Durban to arrive back at 18:30.
We stopped at the Umfolozi river on the way back and found 2 Elephant bulls feeding on the reeds and some baboons. We did not stick around to long as our snack packs were finished and we needed some lunch.
By the time we had had our lunch and looked at the curios in the shop their was little time to see what else we could find to after another 30 minutes or so we departed the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi and made our way back to the Big city of Durban, a far cry from the mountainous lands of Hluhluwe and Umfolozi in Zululand!
We arrived back in Durban at 18:30 happy with how the Durban day safari had gone and with smiles on our faces.
On this Durban day tour I had 2 groups of clients. I met the first group in Durban who were visiting Durban and South Africa, this family had the origins in Ruwanda and now live in America.
The second couple I met off the ship Oceana Nautica in Durban and by 8am we were on the road to Tala game reserve near Pietermaritzburg.
We began our Durban day tour/safari covering some of the amazing History of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa before we reached Tala game reserve.
Tala game reserve has a really high density of animals but today we really out did ourselves as we spotted everything they had! Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Ostrich, Kudu, Nyala, Impala, Hippo, monkeys, Eland and the list goes on…
We got some amazing photos of some of these animals as they really posed for us on our Durban day tour.
Close to this line of four Zebras was a male Wildebeest which is very common as the theory goes that the Zebras being bulk feeders eat the tops of the grass and the Wildebeest being ruminants enjoy the shorter more succulent shoots of grass. Not entirely true if you ask me but some truth to it.
The animals being so dense on this type of Durban day safari tour means that it is all out action and you just can’t drive anywhere with out seeing some animals. This always makes my job really easy but it is nice for a change to the big national parks. As we drove over the hill we spotted some Rhinos near a watering hole. Their has been issues of poaching of Rhinos even in this small game reserve that I noticed some kind of tracking device on the one Rhinos foot!
As we continued on we came across Ostriches, Nyala, more Zebra and Warthogs even Eland in the distance but I decided to return later to see if they got nearer the road. We visited the lodge for a rest room break and a look at the shop before heading out to find some Giraffe. We saw loads of Giraffe on this Durban day safari tour.
We continued on and spotted lots of Blessbok and at Hippo Hide a wooden cabin which looks over a dam we saw some Hippos resting in the water. At this point we made our way around back to the Eland but before we could get there we spotted some Blessbok with babies.
We continued with our Durban day safari tour and found the Eland very close to the road which was great. Eland have been for many years the San Bushmens totem animals containing super natural potency as their body is so fatty!
We now had completed our 3 hour safari at Tala game reserve and made our way out to the valley of 1000 Hills to the Zulu Cultural village and reptile park. They also have an amazing restaurant with a view over the rolling hills created many years ago. Previously home to the Debe people who became cannibals during King Shakas time!
It was in these hills we stopped for a great lunch and then began a tour of the reptile park viewing Crocodiles and snakes.
After enjoying this part of our Durban day safari tour we moved on to the Zulu Cultural village where we got to witness the proposal of marriage of a Zulu man and girl. It was here that we watched some heated traditional Zulu dancing learning more of this great culture!
We also got to see how the Sangoma -fortune teller dresses and sees into the future of the young man who wanted to find out if he was making a wise choice in marrying this young lady! Durban safari tour be it a Day tour or overnight tour are always very interesting and a must if you are visiting Durban for business or pleasure!
We then moved on into some of the Zulu traditional beehive huts where we got to see how maize is ground up and beer is made, among other things which you will experience if you come on one of these Durban day tours with Tim Brown Tours.
We then had some time to look around the shop as the clouds rolled in and the rain began to fall on our way back to the city as it so often does! Zulu cultural is amazing and really special to learn more about.
We arrived back in Durban and then the Docks to meet the ship before I rushed home to prepare for the following days 2 day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We began in Richards Bay were I my clients off the Ocean Nautica cruise ship and we headed up to Shakaland for a Day tour.
It was to be a great day tour and we enjoyed the whole experience of Zulu culture, dancing, singing and tribal dress.
After entering this Zulu cultural village where the movie Shaka Zulu was filmed in the 1980’s we had a quick look around the curio craft shops before the tour began at 11am.
We started by entering the village and came back to the briefing and video clip which is usually show first but due to the ships being in this meant we had to beat the crowds so to speak!
We began with learning how how King Shaka changed the face of the Zulu nation tactically and practically. We were shown by a Zulu Impi(soldier) how the spears were thrown and the structure of attack.
As we continued we got to watch the display of this Zulu warrior showing us how the Zulus killed the British at the battle of Isandlwana fought on the 22nd of January 1879.
We then moved on to the cooking hut which is only for the ladies as the men do not cook in Zulu culture. We watched outside the hut as a Zulu lady strained the Zulu beer in a grass strainer before throwing the remains to the chicken to feed off. The beer itself we would sample later with the chief at a gathering.
At this point we were invited into the Inyanga and Sangomas hut this is the Medicine man and the fortune teller. We entered in learned more about what they do for their people. A common misinterpretation is that a Sangoma is a witch doctor which is false as they are fortune tellers.
We always greet them by saying “Makhosi”
At this point we headed out to meet with the chief for the tasting of Zulu beer which is only about 2 percent alcohol and brewed in 2-3 days. The beer is always a special touch to be able to taste it and be able to have western people learn more about this amazing Zulu Culture. It was amazing to see all those people there all to learn about the Zulu Culture at Shakaland.
It was at this point we made our way down to do a spot of shopping before visiting the hut where we watch a 15min video clip from the moving Shaka Zulu which gives a basic run down as to how Shaka grew to be the King of the Zulu nation.
We them moved on to the Umuzi structural model so that we could view from the top the structure of the traditional Zulu village. This is always amazing and very interesting as Zulus can have any number of wived they want!
This was great to see and then we moved on to enjoy some Zulu dancing with was hard to photograph as they move so fast!
We then sat down to a lovely lunch of traditional Zulu foods and some western food for those who were not so keen on the traditional stuff. It was very tasty and after this we enjoyed some of the views over the dam before slowly making our way back to Richard Bay to catch the ship before it headed to Durban.
It had been a lovely Durban day safari and tour of Shakaland.
We began our Durban day safari tour in the city of Durban where I collected my 3 clients, one of which was in South Africa for his wedding but lives in the UK and the other two who were from Saudi Arabia. It was a great mix of friends and I got to practice my Arabic which I seemed to remember from my 5 months living in the UAE all those years ago when I worked for one of the Sheikhs in his palace breading birds, vaccinating animals and building enclosures…
A Durban day safari is always special as it is a rushed tour of the game reserve but you just never know what you will see in those 6 hours of being in the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi. Each Durban day safari tour is different from the next not only on animals seen or quality of sightings but also the clients make the day safari special.
We spent the first few hours chatting about the history of KwaZulu Natal, Durban and South Africa. This is always fun but this time was more so because Fahad had to translate to Achmed from my English to Arabic. This was honestly great fun and what was so amazing was that Fahad could remember all that I had said in English! I was very impressed!
The next part to our Durban day safari tour was to enter at the Nyalazi gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our actual “Safari”. The word “safari” is one which is very often overlooked but it is actually a Swahili word meaning “a journey”. MaShalah! Amazing!
As we entered the gate I was actually a little surprised to see no animals near the gate or for the first couple of kilometers. We have had some heavy rains a week ago which has filled the mud wallows, rivers and streams. This is not always a good thing for a Durban day safari tour as animals then have more freedom in their movements and can travel further from the permanent water sources for food!
We however have to take what we are dealt and get on with it. So as I say our Durban day safari started very slowly and then we saw some Warthogs near to the road. The first was a big male but I did not get a great picture but later we spotted two mothers with 3 piglets.
As we continued our Durban day safari in the famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we spotted a female Wildebeest. Now females are not usually on their own unless they are giving birth or are spending that first week getting to know their baby before returning to the herd.
We heard her calling to her baby but we could not spot the young one, this could be that is was nervous and laying flat in the thickets or that it had been killed by predators… Who knows…
We continued our Durban day Safari tour and found Impalas more Warthogs as well as Rhinos and Zebra in the distance. I was beginning to think we would see a Rhino close!
I was obviously wrong and we got a great sighting of an Elephant close to the road feeding and relaxed. I noticed he wanted to cross so I moved back and allowed him to cross the road in front of us. This was a great sighting for my guests as it was close up Africa!
KwaZulu Natal our province is really a place which is not so well advertised meaning that we do not have to share this beauty with that many people which when you are on a Durban day safari tour, means its that much more special!
Our next major sighting was of large herd of Impalas and their lambs, being the birthing season it is always nice to see the new babies!
We continued further down south and after crossing the Umfolozi river and seeing it flowing so strong I was really happy for the animals, they have waited so long for the rains!
We kept going deeper and deeper into the African bush and found more Elephants and lots of their dung on the road. We made our way around to another section on a dirt road which overlooks the Umfolozi river and we spotted some Buffalo resting in the river.
These old Buffalo bulls had found a safe spot to rest where the Lions would battle to get to them in a rush and where they could see any predators coming from all angles! Our Durban day safari tour was starting to get better and betters.
We enjoyed this view point before looping around another stretch of road where we found our first Giraffe. This was actually a bit of a relief as ever body else we spoke to said it had been very quiet. This first male Giraffe led us to another and we watched him feed for a few minutes before moving on.
Moving along now as time was flying we spotted more animals and it was a Dazzle of Zebra right next to the road! What luck we had found! This was turning out to be a better Durban day safari than I was first thinking it would be after the start we had!
We also spotted a few Vultures one of which has a palatial tag which is something which scientists are using to work out distances these amazing birds travel. Some Vultures have been know to travel 200 km in a day just to get to an area where this is food for them. It is important that when we see these tags we report the sighting of the bird.
We were not behind scheduled but its never a problem, we too a rest room break as some real toilets in the game reserve and moved on back to the river where we spotted another Bull Elephant and finally 3 Rhinos close to the road. This was not really making our Durban day safari tour!
At this point we began our journey or shall I say Safari back up to the Centenary center for some lunch. On route we kept finding animals which meant our lunch was a lot later than usual but we did have snack packs which helps keep everyone going!
We spotted some Kudu with Impalas near to the road which looked lovely.
We found a monkey running along the road with a few others in the bushes playing around which was very cool to see and we still had not got to lunch yet… Not a problem we all agreed and continued on our merry way.
Our last sighting that we stopped for before a late lunch was one of an old Buffalo bull which was very slow in moving toward a mud wallow. He looked a big worse for ware but that life I am afraid! Their was a Rhino near by also in the mud, but this was the closest African Buffalo we had seen all day on our Durban day safari tour.
We finally made it to the luncheon stop after what had been a very long stint in the African bush but it was also very successful as we had seen 3 of the Big 5, and a whole lot of other animals.
I had my usual a Burger before we got stuck in the curio shop which was my fault as Achmed could not make his mind up over what he was to buy for his friends and family…
By the time we got away it was already after 15:30 and we made our way to the gate where we were greeted by a Bull Elephant which had broken the drain and was drinking the runoff water. It was brilliant! We got out by the safety of the building and I got a great group photo of the lads to take home with them.
What a great Durban day safari tour, we had been blessed with great sighting and I with great guests. We now had to begin the long 3 hour drive back to Durban city where I would return my clients.
Durban Safari Tours and KwaZulu-Natal Safari Tours have been areas that few have focused themselves on. It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.