Eshowe Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 17th December 2015

    African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

     

     

     

    Our African safari tours can be done from Durban with Tim Brown Tours and it was here where I collected my clients for this 4 day safari.

    We could begin by visiting the Fort Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe which features the Wheel chair of King Mpande a half brother to the famous King Shaka of the Zulu Nation. It also features John Dunns furniture, Zulu crafts and a Church showing off the missionary work of the Norwegians in the area!

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Fort Nongqayi museum in Eshowe

    African safari tour; Fort Nongqayi museum in Eshowe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Chair of Mpande the former Zulu king is always amazing to see as a Missionary called Schroeder built this chair for Mpande due to his illnesses caused by his lifestyle and weight.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; King Mpandes Wheel chair

    African safari tour; King Mpandes Wheel chair

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After being guided through this area we had some lunch before continuing our African safari tour to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, the oldest in African and home to the Big 5!

     

    We entered to the gate to some high security presence due to Rhino poaching concerns and we headed to Hilltop camp. I was thinking it would take us 40 minuted but it took much longer as we saw so many animals.

    Our first major sighting was Rhino, Buffalo and shortly after Elephant but they were far enough away that the pictures were no good. We then spotted a Giraffe and her baby with some Impala.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Giraffe

    African safari tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued along and come across a huge herd of Buffalo on the road as well a either side of us! This was a great beginning to our African safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Buffalo

    African safari tour; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally arrived at Hilltop camp and quickly checked in and then after a short break of 10 minutes in the rooms we headed out to see what else we could find. I got word of Lions so we made our way around into the area they had been seen but before we could get there we found some Rhino!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Rhino

    African safari tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally arrived at the Lions and they were far down in the valley and had recently killed a Buffalo which they were feeding on. The issues was the distance and the fact the rain began to fall… Well what can you do! A Lion is a Lion! We could consider ourselves very lucky!

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Lions

    African safari tour; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We left the Lions and went to find Elephants and it was not long and we nailed it! We located a lovely breeding herd of Elephants and even though the rain was falling it was great to see them so near to us and crossing in front of us during our African safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Elephants

    African safari tour; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephants suckling 


    After enjoying a great time our on safari we headed back to Hilltop camp and we settled in for some dinner before an early nights sleep as we would be going back out at 5am the next day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

     

     

     

    Our second day began were the first had finished off at Hilltop camp and we quickly got back into it with sightings of Giraffe, Zebra, Rhino and Elephants down at the Hluhluwe river.

     

     

    We had to wait for the great quality sightings but they say good things come to those who wait!

    Finally we got a great sighting of an Elephant bull coming down the road and we let him go past us, he was lovely and relaxed.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Elephant on road

    African safari tour; Elephant on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time a good Zebra sighting as well and it happened for us! We go them right next to the road and you could say that now our African safari tour was hotting up!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Zebra

    African safari tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to relocate the Lions which should be easy as we knew a Buffalo was big enough to last a few days. We were successful and got the Lions at the same place they had only dragged the carcass under a tree. The best part of this sighting was they some Rhino chased a Lioness she then went to the toilet and began to play with something perhaps a tortoise of lizard!

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Lions

    African safari tour; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve: Lions feed on Buffalo


    It was now time to head back for some coffee and breakfast before a rest. We would head out again after lunch to the Cheetah project for some interaction with the majestic cats!

     

    Well out luck change as at 2pm the rain began to come down and we could not go to the Cat rehab center today so waiting for a gap in the weather, it was no good so we settled in and had some dinner before bed.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

     

     

     

     

    Our third day of our African safari tour began with a bush walk mostly to look for birds in the forest and we did very well before heading down for some breakfast.

    The safari after breakfast was amazing and we saw 3 of the Big 5 very close to the road an so much more. First it was the Giraffe.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Giraffe

    African safari tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Giraffe we managed to spot Zebras and had the drink water out of a puddle on the road.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Zebra drinking

    African safari tour; Zebra drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We now had a big day on the cards and we did 1.5 hours of Safari before heading to the Cat rehabilitation center which was very good. We then continued to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park where we had lunch and then took the 2pm Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Crocodile

    African safari tour; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting of a Crocodile with his mouth open to regulate his body temperature we got lots of Hippos and finally one opened its mouth for us!

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Hippos

    African safari tour; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally completed what was an amazing St Lucia boat cruise and we were all very happy. The ladies got into the craft shop and after they were done we headed back to the gate of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and had more luck with the animals spotting Elephants close up!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Elephants

    African safari tour; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had one more surprise sighting as I took a dirt road loop we hadn’t covered yet and we spotted one of the best sightings of African Wild Dogs I have ever had! They were amazing, Playful and just beautiful. The most endangered carnivore in Africa shared its time with us and it was a real privilege to have spent just under an hour with them.

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; African Wild Dogs

    African safari tour; African Wild Dogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Wild Dog plays with stick and Wild dog drinks water

     


     

    This was such a special day on our African safari tour that I don’t think we could really take it all in as we were all so tired and ended up getting back, having dinner and heading to bed. I must say I did stay up to write this part of the Blog post but its always hard to get these things to sink in even when you see them more often than most.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

     

     

     

     

    We began at 5am with the safari and tried to see what animals we could fine before breakfast.

     

    It was a day we would not forget! We only needed to find Lions closer than the two other sighting we had and this was all that was on my mind so I got us into the area where I hoped the Lions would move to.

    It was a pure blissful sighting as we first spotted them on a hill far off and then this happened!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lion chases Zebra on our Durban overnight safari tour


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our African safari tour just got crazy from here as every possible way you could see a Lion took place meters away from us! We started with the hunt of Zebra and all the 7 Lions then walking onto the road and drinking water next to us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Lions on road and drinking

     

     

    African safari tour; Lions on road and drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You would normally expect that it would end here and you would have to continue driving but it did not. The Lions scent marked, played with sticks and road work equipment before climbing into a Marula tree!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Lions on road and playing with road work markings

     

    African safari tour; Lions on road and playing with road work markings

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions walking down road, male smacks female 


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    African safari tour; Lion plays with stick and Lions in tree

     

     

    African safari tour; Lion plays with stick and Lions in tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This has to be one if not the best Lion sighting I have ever had! It was amazing and one I will never be able to comprehend and take in properly. I hope my clients realize what a miracle this sighting was and I am sure they will never forget it.

     

    We even had a Lioness call the other!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lioness calls the other Lions on our Durban safari tour 


     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions climb a tree on our Durban safari tour 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions drinking next to the road on our Durban safari tour 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This whole 1 and half hours that we spent with these Lions made the entire trip worth it and even though our adrenaline was pumping I personally felt exhausted afterwards. This could have been the emotion of what we witnessed but it was just amazing, really now words can describe it.

     

    We returned to Hilltop camp for breakfast and check out before heading back out which really felt like a waste of time, how were we to top what we saw! Every animal from that point on got very little attention and we left Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after lunch.

     

    We returned to the big city very happy with what had been an unbelievable 4 days on our African safari tour!

  • 2nd February 2015

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal 28th January – 1st February 2015

     

    I met my clients for their 5 day Durban safari tour of KwaZulu Natal at the Beverly Hills hotel in Umhlanga. We made our way to Eshowe a former capital of Zululand where we visited Fort Nongqayi museum and the Church built which shows the work of the Norwegian missionaries in the area.

     

    We began in the church where we looked at the history behind the Norwegian missionaries in Eshowe and their assistance to King Mpande KaSenzangakhona.

     

    Below is a picture of the size of Mpande and his wheel chair that the Missions built for him due to his ailing heath. KwaZulu Natal really has some amazing history.

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Mpandes wheel chair

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Mpandes wheel chair

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then moved on to the amazing Fort Nongqayi where we enjoyed this museum and the history of Mpande, John Dunn and the rest!

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Fort Nongqayi

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Fort Nongqayi

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    John Dunn became the only “white” western man to become a chief of a section of the Zulu nation, Eshowe. John Dunn had 48 Zulu Wives and one coloured wife. With all those wives he ended up with 117 children and when he died in 1895 the government had to put land aside for his large family.

     

    One of the sons of John Dunn, Ned tamed Zebras to pull his wagons.

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Zebras pulling a cart

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Zebras pulling a cart

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point we moved across to the other side of the Fort and I came across a great diagram of the 13 states or Chiefdoms Zululand was divided up into in 1879.

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; The thirteen chiefdoms of Zululand

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; The thirteen chiefdoms of Zululand

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped for some coffee at the coffee shop and after this chinwag we moved on to Shakaland for the Zulu Cultural experience of our Durban safari tour of KwaZulu Natal.

     

    We arrived just before 1pm and Eskom had decided to cut the power to the area as they have been doing for the past week. Thank goodness the lodge cooks its food on gas!

     

    After enjoying some lunch and the having some rest we began our cultural tour of Shakaland at 4pm.

     

    We began with the video at Shakaland of the movie Shaka Zulu filmed in the 1980’s and then looked at the structure of the Umuzi or homestead. After tasting some Zulu beer and buying some gifts we waiting for the Marimba playing at 6pm and at 06:30 we went up to the main hut for the Zulu dancing.

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Xhoza dancing at Shakaland

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Xhoza dancing at Shakaland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    During the show we also were shown the Xhosa dancing which would have come from the Eastern Cape region the same area where Nelson Mandela had his origins.

     

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Shakaland dancer

    Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal; Shakaland dancer

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been an amazing show and we made our way to the dinner area for some more wonderful food. Dinner was lovely and we had great company and conversation before a well deserved rest.

     

     

    Day 2:  Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal 28th January – 1st February 2015

     

    We began day 2 of our Durban safari tour of KwaZulu Natal at 8am when we met for breakfast, nothing like a sleep in!

     

    After a great breakfast we began our remainder of the cultural tour at Shakaland in Eshowe. We watch a depiction of the Zulu men, (Shela) proposing marriage to a young maiden.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu men

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu men

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this we moved back into the Zulu Cultural village to watch spear throwing amd stick fighting both of which I always love to get involved with. Im sure my wife thinks Im Zulu, Maybe at heart!

     

    The stick fighting was always a way king Shaka could get his men to practice their skills with out killing each other. It is really fun and a great challenge. My guests were great sports the whole trip and both got involved in either the dancing or the stick fighting respectively!

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu stick fighting

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu stick fighting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zulu are well known for destroying the British at the battle of Isandlwana on the 22nd January 1879. It was after the invention of the short stabbing spear that the use of the long throwing spear that king Senzangakhona, Shaka’s father invented became redundant to a degree. Throwing you weapon away was always a stupid idea and more so if it was not so accurate. I have to say it’s even less accurate when I throw it so no surprising I’m saying this. I need to practice at home more!

     

     KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu spear throwing

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Zulu spear throwing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After visiting the Sangoma(fortune teller) and the Inyanga(traditional healer) we packed up, checked out and headed for Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Video of Zulu Man showing us the Use of the Zulu weapons:


     

     

    We got into the game reserve and had some lovely sightings at Africa’s oldest game reserve, established in 1895 (the same year John Dunn passed away).

     

    Our first major sighting was of an Elephant Bull which was close to the road this was really exciting for my client and always the same for me. This set the tone for the day.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Bull Elephant at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Bull Elephant at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A short while later about 5 minutes actually we spotted another bull Elephant and he was moving with purpose to the road. Having realised he wanted to cross I reversed back and he obliged and wondered across in front of us, Of course this was a sight to behold for my clients!

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Elephant crossing at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Elephant crossing at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Moving on we spotted a journey of Giraffe and they were also near the road, I saw again one wanted to cross so I reversed to always him free range and he also moved across in front of us. This was stunning and you can see why Durban safaris are getting more popular in this lovely province of KwaZulu Natal.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Giraffe on road at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Giraffe on road at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted Warthogs and Nyala before getting ourselves to Hilltop camp for lunch and checked in.

     

    We had little time and after lunch we headed to the gate to go to the cat rehabilitation centre in Hluhluwe for the 16:30 Cat tour.

     

    On the drive out though, we had to stop as we spotted some lovely animals, including Buffalo.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Buffalo bull at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Buffalo bull at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Time was running out so we kicked on to the gate but as the general rule of thumb goes if you are in a rush something will slow you down. I must say I can never complain about this!

    We spotted a beautiful female Rhino; she came near to the road to drink from a mud wallow.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Rhino drinking at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Rhino drinking at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We all felt like the day had already been more than just a day as we had done and seen so much!

    Durban safaris can be tailored to cover as much as possible or to relax a bit more depending on your idea of an African holiday. A Durban safari tour is the best way to see what South Africa has to offer and you will not be disappointed.

     

    We eventually arrived a few minutes before the Cat tour started and we had time to stretch our legs before heading on the Cat tour. This Cat tour at the rehabilitation centre outside Hluhluwe is really good and Zee who took us around was really good. We began with the African wild cats which are where our domestic cats have their origins.

    After Zee’s chat about the cats we watched then get fed before moving on to the Caracal. The Caracal are also highly endangered and traditionally jump up in tall grass to catch their food usually Guinea fowl size birds or smaller.

     

    It was now time to interact with the two male cheetahs and this is always good.

    The Cheetah brothers have been at the centre since they were a few days old and have been hand reared so they are habituated enough for interaction.

     

    When my client eventually got their chance they enjoyed the experience and I was able to get a picture for them.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Cheetah on cat rehabilitation centre

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Cheetah on cat rehabilitation centre

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next was the Servals and we first watched them being fed before we interacted with the 2 year old cats. They are such lovely cats and unfortunately have been used for fur coats over the years.

     

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Serval at cat rehabilitation centre

    KwaZulu Natal safari tour from Durban; Serval at cat rehabilitation 

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    Our Durban safari tour this day had been a very long one and we were all feeling the effects. I must say my clients were very good sports about the long day and never moaned.

     

    We returned to Hilltop camp and had some dinner before a well deserved rest. I always sleep like a log.

     

    We had an early start the next day on the open vehicle game drive at 04:45 leaving from the rooms.

     

    Day 3:  Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal 28th January – 1st February 2015

     

     

    We got up really early and met at 04:45 I was very surprised at my clients being so bright eyed and bushy tailed so early in the morning or shall I say late in the night!

     

    I got them down for the morning game drive and made sure they got on the vehicle safely. The only thing was the drizzle and mist, but no complaints!

     

    I waited back to catch up on my computer work and emails before meeting my clients again for breakfast.

     

    Breakfast was welcome after such a long morning and we chatted about the Hyenas which my client saw walking down the road on their Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    After breakfast we went our separate ways for a rest and later we had some lunch before the evening game drive. This also gave me time to write this blog post about our amazing Durban safari tour.

     

    During this time I decided to head out myself otherwise I would just be to bored knocking around camp.

     

    I got a couple nice pictures of some animals.

     

    The first thing I photographed was a male Nyala near the camp itself.

     

    Durban safaris; Nyala

    Durban safaris; Nyala

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As I continued down into the reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi on my safari I found some Elephant and Rhino.

     

    Durban safaris; Rhinos in Hluhluwe game reserve

    Durban safaris; Rhinos in Hluhluwe game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was getting late and after checking on one of the hides to see if it had water or animals I made my way back to the camp. On route to the camp I spotted some Zebra, never are Durban safaris boring.

     

    Durban safaris; Zebra in Hluhluwe game reserve

    Durban safaris; Zebra in Hluhluwe game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was beginning to get dark now and I managed to come across a Male Buffalo on his own, near to the road. He was a bit skittish so I took a quick photo and moved on back to Hilltop camp where I waited for my clients to get back from their Safari in Hluhluwe.

     

    Durban safaris; Buffalo in Hluhluwe game reserve

    Durban safaris; Buffalo in Hluhluwe game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We met for dinner and chatted about how the drive went. They were lucky to have seen some White Tailed Mongooses.

     

    Dinner was a traditional South African braai and we enjoyed our time before heading to bed.

     

     

    Day 4:  Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal 28th January – 1st February 2015

     

    We met for a 7am breakfast before heading as far down South in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as possible. It was a hot day for a change and temperatures rose to 33 degrees with an element of humidity.

     

    As we began we had some luck with Baboons, Zebra and Buffalo within a short time. I bit later we found a lovely herd of Buffalo on the road.

     

    Durban safari tours; Buffalos

    Durban safari tours; Buffalos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we got further south on our Durban safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we came across some Rhinos mud wallowing and resting in the shade of a tree.

     

    Durban safari tours; Rhinos in Mud

    Durban safari tours; Rhinos in Mud

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There were times of great quietness and we just kept going. Having had so much rain lately the animals don’t have to stay near permanent water sources as there are puddles everywhere for them to drink from. This always makes it harder to spot the animals.

     

    Our next sighting on our safari was this big bull Elephant in Umfolozi.

     

    Durban safari tours; Elephant Bull

    Durban safari tours; Elephant Bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on we found some Giraffe, Zebra and Wildebeest together as well as hundreds of Impala.

     

    Durban safari tours; Elephant Bull

    Durban safari tours; Elephant Bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We began our march back up to the centenary centre for lunch and on route we spotted some Baboons in a tree and some at the Umfolozi river.

     

    Durban safari tours; Baboon in the tree

    Durban safari tours; Baboon in the tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had a nice sighting of some Elephants under the trees next to the road and we watched then make their way to cross the road. We moved back to give them the space and eventually the crossed in front of us.

     

    Durban safari tours; Herd of Elephant crossing road

    Durban safari tours; Herd of Elephant crossing road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made it to lunch and had some burgers before a quick browse of the curio shop.

    The weather was changing again and we could hear the storm brewing in the distance. As we headed back the temperature dropped to 27 degrees and the clouds built up.

     

    We crossed a river crossing and spotted a crocodile in the water. It had been a great Safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Durban safari tours; Crocodile

    Durban safari tours; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived back at Hilltop camp and booked our dinner before resting, meeting again for dinner at 7pm.

     

    Dinner was great as usual and after spending some time filling our tanks we headed to bed for the end of another incredible day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi on safari.

     

     

    Day 5:  Durban safari tour in KwaZulu Natal 28th January – 1st February 2015

     

    We began our Day with our bags packed and headed through for some breakfast before checking out. Once the paper work was done we headed out for a short safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and then headed out to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park. Before we got out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we spotted Baboons.

     

    Durban safaris; Baboon

    Durban safaris; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It would be at St Lucia estuary where we would take the 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles before heading back to the big city.

    Isimangeliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s first world heritage site and was declared as such in 1999.

    Upon arrival we hoped onto the smaller boat we were taking and straight away had luck with Hippos playing near the shore and a crocodile.

     

    Durban safaris; Crocodile

    Durban safaris; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up stream and found some more Hippos some of which were yawning away. This is always great to see and makes the tour that much more exciting.

    The time it takes to get the good shots of a Hippo yawning can be long but when you get that photo it makes the wait worth it!

     

    Durban safaris; Hippo yawning

    Durban safaris; Hippo yawning

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up the St Lucia estuary on our Durban safari tour and came across some baby Night herons, Pied and Giant Kingfishers. The time on the boat went very quickly and before you knew it we were needing to turn back to the Jetty.

     

    Durban safaris; Giant King Fisher

    Durban safaris; Giant Kingfisher

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back and were all very satisfied with what we had seen. It had also been an amazing 5 days of Safari from Durban having visited some of the most historical, Cultural and natural areas in Africa!

    We spend 3 hours getting back to Durban or Umhlanga where I dropped my clients off as they were heading out on a cruise from Durban to Mozambique and then Jetting off back home.

    It had been a great KwaZulu Natal safari tour!

  • 19th November 2014

    Durban 5 Day Safari Tour – Historical, Cultural and Natural Tour of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with Tim Brown Tours; 12th -16th November 2015.

     

    We began the first day of our 5 Day Tour experience of KwaZulu-Natal in Eshowe at Fort Nonqgayi and the surrounding Museums.

     

    Fort Nonqgayi was first built in 1883 by the British and was used as a stable and offices as the area of Eshowe became the capital of Zululand in those days.

     

    Fort Nonqgayi was never attacked probably because it was deep in Malaria and Sleeping sickness country as well as being on a Hill surrounded by thick vegetation.

     

    Nonqgayi was the name given to the Zulu “Soldiers” manning the Fort and assisting the British in their take over of Zululand which really began on the 11th of December 1878 with the Ultimatum which was handed to the Zulus.

     

    Fort Nonqgayi in Eshowe on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Fort Nonqgayi in Eshowe on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    With in Fort Nonqgayi today there is a lot of Historical things to look at. The Fort contains furniture and pictures of the famous John Dunn the only western man to ever become a Chief in the Zulu Nation.

    There is also Bead work, the structure of a traditional Zulu hut as well as the original wheel Chair that the Norwegian missionaries constructed for the immobile King Mpande! Mpande Suffered with his health and obesity and was the only one of his fathers sons to die of “Natural Causes”.

     

    Model of King Mpande and his original wheel chair built by the Norweegion Missionarys seen on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Model of King Mpande and his original wheel chair built by the Norwegian Missionary’s seen on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Where the stables used to be there is again a wide range of artefacts but the most interesting to me is this image below which is a copy of the cup which was presented to King Cetswayo the son of Mpande KaSenzangakhona by queen Victoria of England in 1882.

     

    A carbon copy of the Cup presented to King Cetywayo by Queen Victoria if England see in Eshowe on our Durban Tour

    A carbon copy of the Cup presented to King Cetywayo by Queen Victoria if England see in Eshowe on our Durban Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There is also a recent addition to the museum grounds a church build to commemorate the work a Norwegian missionary did in Eshowe – Bishop or Reverend Schreuder.

     

    Honestly I have never been to a better museum if you are in any way interested in Zulu Culture. It is amazing!

     

    We departed and had some time to kill so I took my clients to the Dlinza forest board walk it was incredible. Apart from the views and the call of nature we spotted a Narina Trogan Male which is such a rare forest bird that it felt like I had just seen a Leopard! I could not believe our luck and I got a great photo. This was only the second time in my life to see this bird!

     

    Narina Trogon found in the Dlinza forest in Eshowe on our Durban Safari Tour

    Narina Trogon found in the Dlinza forest in Eshowe on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We exited Dlinza forest and I have to admit I took a wrong turn and I ended up taking my clients on a lovely scenic route through rural Zululand. All the kids were happy lots of people were fetching water and when we got back to the main road we continued to Shakaland.

     

    We Checked in at Shakaland and had some lovely lunch before we began the first part of our Tour at Shakaland.

     

    We began with a short clip of the moved “Shaka Zulu” to wet the taste buds before heading to a depiction of and Umuzi or a Traditional Zulu Village so we could learn the structure of it. We then visited an Isivivane (pile of stones used as a burial stop during battle. You are meant to pick up a stone, spit on it and throw it on the pile of rocks if it stays up you will have good luck if it rolls off you will have bad luck… It’s a bit more complicated than that.

     

     

    We moved into the real Zulu Cultural village and began with watching how the Zulu make grass sleeping mats, then Zulu Beer (Umqomboti).

     

     Zulu lady demostrates how to make umqomboti or Traditional Zulu beer on our Durban Tour

    Zulu lady demostrates how to make umqomboti or Traditional Zulu beer on our Durban Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this we saw the ladies demonstrate how to carry the different Zulu Clay pots.

     

    Zulu girls demostrate how to carry the Zulu pots during our Tour from Durban

    Zulu girls demostrate how to carry the Zulu pots during our Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we moved up into the heart of the Umuzi we met with the Chief who showed us the change in strategy of attack between King Senzangakhona and King Shaka his son.

     

    Demonstration by a Zulu Impi on how to fight seen at Shakaland in Eshowe on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Demonstration by a Zulu Impi on how to fight seen at Shakaland in Eshowe on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next stop was the tasting of the Zulu Beer it was lovely as I didn’t need to drive the rest of the day I felt a sip of 2 % beer would be fine. What and experience for my clients I was thrilled!

     

    The Tasting of Zulu Beer on our 5 Day Tour from Durban

    The Tasting of Zulu Beer on our 5 Day Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then moved out of the village for a rest before meeting at 6pm for some lovely Marimba playing and then headed back through the village to the main hut for the Zulu Dancing and singing! It was out of this world, what a performance!

     

    Zulu dancing seen at Shakaland during our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Zulu dancing seen at Shakaland during our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time go get some dinner and some sleep as we had another big day coming up.

     

    Day 2: Durban 5 Day Safari Tour – Historical, Cultural and Natural Tour of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with Tim Brown Tours.

     

    We began with breakfast at 8am and at 9am we went through to meet Joe for the second part of the Cultural tour. We starting with watching “Ushela” or the wedding proposal.

     

     The proposal to a Zulu girl seen at Shakaland on our Durban 5 Day Safari and Tour

    The proposal to a Zulu girl seen at Shakaland on our Durban 5 Day Safari and Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the proposal we walked up into the village to watch the young men throwing the spears or Isiphaphas at a target. This is always great as you know you are up next and I naturally volunteered to have a go. I must say I think I did ok.

     

    Zulu spear throwing demonstrated for us on our 5 Day Safari tour from Durban

    Zulu spear throwing demonstrated for us on our 5 Day Safari tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was at this point we got to see how the spears were made and then we entered the Sangoma and Nyangas hut.

     

    Inyanga the traditional healer seen on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Inyanga the traditional healer seen on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    That was now the end of our cultural tour and we checked out and headed to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for the next part of our tour a 4 day Safari.

     

    We got to Nyalazi gate around midday and at the gate we were greeted with 5 Bachelor Elephant drinking and mud wallowing, some Buffalo Bulls doing the same and a Dazzle of Zebra.

    What a start to our Durban Safari.

     

    Bull Elephant chases a Buffalo Bull away from a mud wallow during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Bull Elephant chases a Buffalo Bull away from a mud wallow during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we made our way up into the Hluhluwe Section one of my clients spotted a Rhino Laying down next to the road. We stopped and had a great look at a big territorial male Rhino.

     

    Rhino Bull seen close up on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Rhino Bull seen close up on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally got to Hilltop camp for lunch and check in. After a quick lunch we headed back out onto the game reserve and spotted some Zebra near the lodge.

     

    Zebra seen on our 5 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Zebra seen on our 5 Day Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had to keep our foot on the gas as we had a 16:30 appointment at the cat rehabilitation centre. Once we got to Emdoneni Cat rehab centre, we began our Tour with the feeding of the African wild cats and then the Caracal.

     

     

    Caracal leaps for it food at a Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Tour from Durban

    Caracal leaps for it food at a Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Caracal can jump over 3 meters and the highest recorded jump is 6 meters.

    The next enclosure was the Cheetah were my client got to interact with the Cheetah hands on and experience these amazing creatures.

     

     

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehab center on our Durban Safari Tour

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehab center on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next was the Serval which where so beautiful and interactive. We first however fed the adults and only interacted with the younger cats that had been fed earlier.

     

     

    Serval waiting in a tree for her food at the Cat rehab center during our Durban Safari Tour

    Serval waiting in a tree for her food at the Cat rehab center during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we had finished up with this amazing Tour we returned to the game reserve where we found some Buffalo close to the road. Our Safari continued…

     

    Buffalo bull in Hluhluwe on our way back to Hilltop camp Day 2 of our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Buffalo bull in Hluhluwe on our way back to Hilltop camp Day 2 of our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next was a Bull Elephant which was in Musth and was not interested in moving off the road, we waited and followed him along until he decided he would let us past.

     

    Elephant bull in Musth taking up the road on day 2 of your Durban Safari Tour

    Elephant bull in Musth taking up the road on day 2 of your Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived at the camp and I got everyone settled before dinner which was great as usual. At this point it was time for bed after a bit of a sing and dance from the staff for us.

     

     

    Day 3: Durban 5 Day Safari Tour – Historical, Cultural and Natural Tour of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with Tim Brown Tours.

     

    We began our day very early as the clients were booked onto the evening open vehicle game drive (Safari) at 04:50 am.

    Once they were all aboard I got some admin work done and at 8am met with them again to see how it went and for breakfast. During the game drive I could not believe my luck as in the camp I spotted a pair of Narina Trogons which was just crazy to see two days in a row!

     

    Narina Trogon at Hilltop camp Hluhluwe on our Durban safari tour

    Narina Trogon at Hilltop camp Hluhluwe on our Durban safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We all decided on a rest and after lunch we headed back out to see what we could find. I had heard that the Lions were around and being a cool cloudy day we may have a chance of them not seeking dense cover.

     

    We spotted some Rhinos and Elephants in the distance but our main goal was to get to the Lions. We arrived and they were lying on there backs as if they had eaten a big meal.

     

     Lions with young cub seen on our Safari from Durban

    Lions with young cub seen on our Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this we continued on feeling very lucky indeed. We found a lovely relaxed bull Elephant which made his way towards the road and crossed in front of us for the perfect photo.

     

    The next major sighting as some Giraffe and one Elephant chased the Giraffes a little.

     

     

    Giraffe with an Elephant behind it on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Giraffe with an Elephant behind it on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then decided we would return to the Lions and while we were there a Bull Elephant in Musth walked passed the Lions clearly frustrated and heading for a herd of Elephant on the hill in the distance. We gave him some room but had 3 vehicles behind us so couldn’t really go anywhere as the vehicles in front had moved forward but blocked our way out. This left me trying to push an inexperienced rental car to reverse back to give the Elephant and ourselves more space.

     

    This did not work to well and in the end I had to go with our safety first and I rev’d this Bull to get him to change his line he was walking in. This did the trick and we were able to get by with a few clients and others feeling very stressed. I would not normally do this but when our safety is in jeopardy I will do what I have too.

    This is also a lesson to never go to a game reserve without a guide. “Durban” Guides have the experience and knowledge to deal with situations through there experience and studies of animal behaviour. This is the same as me operating on a person but not being a qualified doctor/surgeon!

     

     

    Bull Elephant in Musth walk past Lions towards the road on our Durban Safari Tour

    Bull Elephant in Musth walk past Lions towards the road on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back to the lodge and got everyone ready for the evening open vehicle safari Tour which began at 5pm.

     

    I met the group again at 8pm for dinner and then a well deserved rest; we had achieved a huge amount in this day and seen so many wonderful animals.

     

    My clients got on really well and they also agreed to walk to the next morning which meant I could have a little sleep in instead of getting up at 04:30 am.

     

     

    Day 4: Durban 5 Day Safari Tour – Historical, Cultural and Natural Tour of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with Tim Brown Tours.

     

     

    The next morning I met my clients at 8am and we had some breakfast before relaxing.

     

    After lunch our Durban Safari continued and we headed out after a huge storm had stuck and still were able to do well on the game viewing front.

     

    One of the best sightings we had was a herd of Elephant crossing the road right in front of us, they were very relaxed and just moved on to feed.

     

     

    Herd of Elephant in Hluhluwe game reserve during our 5 day Durban Safari Tour

    Herd of Elephant in Hluhluwe game reserve during our 5 day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we past a Land Rover that was about to be towed by his friend, every one seemed pretty happy about the whole thing.

     

    We came across a nice Rhino sighting with the Red Billed ox peckers on its back removing ticks.

     

     

    Rhino with Red Billed ox pecker on its body during our 4th Day of our Durban Safari Tour

    Rhino with Red Billed ox pecker on its body during our 4th Day of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Later we spotted some Buffalo bulls near the road they always look like judges to me with there horns looking like a judges hair do!

     

     

    Buffalo Bull during our Safari from Durban

    Buffalo Bull during our Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We returned to the camp to cancel the evening game drive as it was raining. We stopped to have a cup of coffee before heading back out in my vehicle to see what else we could find. We did well again with a troop of Baboons. One of which was a real poser!

     

     

    Baboon posing after the rain on our 5 Day Safari from Durban

    Baboon posing after the rain on our 5 Day Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also spotted a lovely Dazzle of Zebra before we went to try find some cats. We had no luck this time but were all pretty content.

     

    Zebra on the 4th Day of our Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Zebra on the 4th Day of our Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great Safari experience we headed back to camp as the sun was coming down and we settled back in for some dinner.

     

    Every night we had been away we had the staff performing Zulu Dancing and singing, we were very lucky.

     

    Dinner was great as always and it was time for bed and get ready for the final day of our Durban Safari Tour.

     

     

    Day 5: Durban 5 Day Safari Tour – Historical, Cultural and Natural Tour of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa with Tim Brown Tours.

     

     

    We began later this morning at 6am, well I did not sure about the clients but we did meet for a lovely breakfast at 7am before we checked out and hit the road for our final Safari through Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    During this final Safari we found 3 of the Big 5 but didn’t really have too much time to stop as we needed to get to St Lucia for the 10am Estuary cruise.

     

     

    Rhino seen on Day 5 of our Safari Tour from Durban

    Rhino seen on Day 5 of our Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also managed to spot some Zebra, Buffalo and Impala as we rushed off to the gate to St Lucia.- Isimangeliso wetland Park.

      

    As we neared St Lucia I briefed my clients on the area which is 3 x the size of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

    The boat cruise began at 10am and we had a great time. There was Hippos Galore and we had some very good sightings.

     

     

    Hippos at St Lucia estuary on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Hippos at St Lucia estuary on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of the other major features at St Lucia is the Mangroves and they litter the Estuary with there beauty.

     

     

    Mangrove Swamps at St Lucia estuary on our Safari Tour from Durban

    Mangrove Swamps at St Lucia estuary on our Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had a special sighting of a Giant King Fisher which stayed focused on fishing just long enough for us to take a picture.

     

    Giant Kingfisher see at St Lucia Estuary on the boat cruise During our Durban Safari Tour

    Giant Kingfisher see at St Lucia Estuary on the boat cruise During our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been a great cruise and it was now time to depart and end our 5 Day Natural, Historical and Cultural Tour of KwaZulu Natal from Durban.

     

    We stop on the way back to get some lunch and then later arrived back in the hustle and bustle of the city. This was sad to be back in the city but we had all experienced an amazing 5 days.

     

    If you wish to experience much the same as we did on this tour you can contact Tim Brown Tours to arrange this. We run not only 5 Day Safaris but also Day Tours and Day Safaris from Durban.