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
Join Tim Brown Tours on a Durban safari tour to the Hluhluwe game reserve where nature comes alive and dreams are made! Try us for your African safari experience.
After collecting my clients from their hotel in Durban we headed off to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would begin our safari.
We are blessed with good weather in Durban and it only get warmer on route to Hluhluwe game reserve. It was here that we entered and began our safari looking for as many of the Big 5 as possible.
We did really well. As we entered the gate we found Wildebeest and Zebra close to the road and further along Buffalo and Rhino. It was a great start!
This Buffalo cow next to the road was looking very ominous but we enjoyed the pose she struck and the Red Billed Ox Peckers on her back made the picture that much better.
We did spot Lion but it was one of the worst sighting I have every had as it was one Lion under thick bush a flat as a pancake!
I didn’t even both with a picture.
We later spotted these Zebra relaxing next to the road and now it was time to find Giraffe in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve but before we got there we spotted a lovely old male Giraffe in Hluhluwe.
This lovely Giraffe walked across the road in front of us and we got a great photo of him. It was time to get some lunch but before we could we spotted more Rhino and this fella was posing!
What a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve it was turning out to be! We had now seen 3 of the Big 5 and only needed Elephant to make it 4 of the Big 5.
Lunch was fast and in 30 minutes we were back on the road. I bumped into my colleague who confirmed there were Elephants down by the river so we sped off not before seeing a very rare bird a Secretary bird.(I could probably use one of those in my office!)
We got down to the river and spotted some Elephants and the a funny thing happened a large herd of Elephant came down and the couple of Elephants the were there alone just followed the herd which looked really odd!
We then tried to spot some Elephant closer and had two more great sighting of Elephant close up better each time! what a great safari from Durban.
We watched these Elephants feed for a while as it was very interesting how they used their feet and trunk before some Rhinos decided to join the show! It was great as we could get a lovely photo with two of the Big 5 in one picture!
As all things do they come to an end and we needed to head back to Durban after what had turned out to be an excellent day safari. We only missed a good look at Lion which is never expected on a day tour anyway as these cats are nocturnal so we were all very happy.
We arrived back in Durban 3 hours later tired but happy. I said goodbye and headed home happy with the way they day went!
We began our Hluhluwe day safari bright and early as you would when going on an African safari tour! It was a lovely day as it had rained the night before so it was a little cooler today so we could enjoy the safari away from the extreme summer heat!
On route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I covered some of the interesting history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as well as the population groups and how they came to be here. It also ended up with some politics which you really should never discuss with your clients but if they are happy with hearing your opinion then it is fine.
Our arrival at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our safari was great for us all as I have personally been away from actual tours for 3 weeks and was fresh and really looking forward to finding animals. I also took our new 4×4 vehicle up to test the capabilities and it was very comfortable and ideal for a safari.
Our first sighting was actually Zebra just on the other side of the gate at a mud wallow. We then entered and found Warthogs as well waiting for us!
It was not long and we found Rhino up on a hill making their way down we watch for a while but I knew we would have a better sighting else ware so we moved on.
We went over the lovely rolling hills of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and found some Rhino close enough for a great photo.
After chatting about the plight of these amazing creatures we continued on and found some Nyala and more Zebra on the hills. It was not long before we spotted Giraffe in the distance. I told my clients not to worry we will get round to them and that was a stupid thing to say as the next road junction was closed due to road works so I had to take the long way round to get to the Giraffe.
We stopped at a view point of what is supposed to be the Hluhluwe river, well it was totally dry and had no animals. You know when you look at a documentary of a desert and you see bones, that is exactly what we saw!
Finally we got some Buffalo nice and close.
The baboons we saw on our Durban safari tour were not really playing ball but we did find one that looked like it was lighting a cigarette! LOL
We finally made it round to the Giraffe and thank God they were still in the same area as it had been an hour detour! Our Durban safari became very exciting very quickly at this point!
This one Giraffe was chewing a bone and had all these Red Bill Oxpeckers on her feeding on the ticks.
This is very common behavior to get calcium into their diet but is not always seems or understood. I love nature!
We then hit a stroke of good fortune as I watch a Giraffe staring into the bushes and I looked to see what she was looking at. It was an Elephant hidden and feeding in a thicket on the other side of the dry river bed. We waited and waited and eventually he came out into the open and this made our Durban safari very much worth it as we had now seen 3 of the Big 5 already!
We continued our safari and made our way up to Hilltop camp for some lunch but before we could get there my clients did well to spot a Zebra which was rubbing himself on a dead branch. We stopped to watch this interesting act.
Lunch was great and we continued on with not much time to go and as it was the afternoon we battled for any new animals. We did find Hippo before lunch which I forgot about but there after it was some Impala, Nyala and some of the other animals we had seen already.
It still had been a great Durban big 5 day safari tour and we were all pretty happy with the day as we departed arriving after 7pm at the Oysterbox hotel and then 07:40 in Kloof before I headed home.
An African safari is a must and if you are in Durban why go to Kruger park which is 10 hours away when you can have the same wonderful safari experience 2.5 hour outside of our lovely city!
Our Big 5 Durban safari tour began in Durban and we headed to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve stopping at a Cheetah sanctuary to interact with some Endangered big cats.
Once we finished up we entered into Hluhluwe game reserve and made our way slowly to Hilltop camp, on route spotting some Zebra fighting.
It was not long into our Durban safari tour that we spotted some Giraffe and behind the Giraffe was a Rhino. It was a great start to our tour and we continued on to Hilltop camp for a late lunch.
After lunch we got settled in our rooms and then went back out in the hope of finding Lions in the evening on our Durban safari tour. It was not to be but we did find some Elephants shortly after lunch.
This was great as it was close to top of the list to see and with being patient we got then to cross the road in front of us.
As we winding our way on some dirt road to the Hluhluwe river we managed to spot some Rhino next to the road sleeping. They looked so cute! Our Safari from Durban was really hotting up.
We were lucky enough to find more Rhino on the road and Buffalo at dusk before we needed to get to Hilltop camp for some Dinner and of course a rest.
Dinner was lovely and so was a good nights rest, we would be up early and departed at 5am the next day to continue our Durban safari tour.
With a 5 am start we were already tired but it was a day full of expectation and after one and a half hours of no cats I was feeling the heat!
We had still great sightings at first of Elephant on the road, Rhino, Buffalo and much more.
Our first major sighting was actually a Black Rhino which is hugely endangered and this was awesome to see!
Further into our Durban safari tour in Hluhluwe game reserve we spotted a lovely herd of Buffalo on the road.
The one male gave us the stare of the tax man!
We made our way into the Umfolozi section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and after a toilet stop we continued our Durban safari tour. We checked the best areas for Lions without much luck but still kept seeing other great animals like these Rhinos on the edge of the cliff.
I was not beginning to feel the heat and even though I know nature is uncontrollable I like to think that if I work hard I will be able to find cats for my clients.
Thankfully less than a kilometer away we found our Lions resting 100 meters from the road but after a couple minutes they got up and moved into the thickets. I was just so grateful we had seen them!
We headed back up to Hilltop camp feeling pretty happy with what we had seen in the 3.5 hours of Safari in Hluhluwe and Imfolozi game reserves.
Coffee and food was calling so when we got back to camp it was great to have the food and Coffee all prepared and a ready for us!
After brunch we took a rest until after lunch when we went back out again to see what we could find.
Sadly two of the family we unable to make the afternoon game drive so the 3 of us headed out and spotted some Zebra on the road.
As we continued our Durban safari tour we could not believe our luck as we spotted another Black Rhino in the distance on a hill this was some sort of record! Two different sightings of Black Rhino in one day!
We continued with our safari in Hluhluwe game reserve and headed to the Hluhluwe river, it was here we located a mother Buffalo with a new born baby in the mud. The baby did stand up and sat back down so we hoped she would get up with the new mother and move away at some point.
We needed to get back to camp as my client were taking the open vehicle game drive and we also needed to check on the other two. Sadly they were still not feeling to great so they skipped the drive but the lads headed out.
I got some time to write this post and then headed through to meet the ladies for dinner and later the men would join us.
It had been another amazing day in Africa on safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
Our day began at 5am and we headed out with 4 of the big 5 already under our belt and just the elusive Leopard to find which I always assume we will not as it is a glimpse every 5 months or so…
We decided to go back to when I knew the Lions had last been seen to check again and then we would head to the Hluhluwe river to see if they finally moved around to there.
It turned out to be a great idea! When we arrived at the Hluhluwe river we found both Black and White Rhino together 50 meters apart in the riverbed! This was a rare sight so I had to post the picture. It was a few seconds and the Black Rhino ran away into the thickets.
For the record our Buffalo new born and mother had moved off and got out of the mud!
We checked the next view point and finally located our Lions and it was the whole pride. As they were down in the riverbed and all 7 Lions were there and we were at a view sight on to of a hill we were able to get out for a better view.
It was great as no other vehicles had yet driven by so we had then to ourselves and enjoyed a young male Lion playing with what looked like a Terrapin or Tortoise.
Our Durban safari tour had really become a great trip and we now had our second sighting of Lions and finally a big Male which everyone wants to see!
We left our Lions and made our way for a toilet stop before finding what the kids had wanted to see, a Mongoose. We managed to see 3 Slender Mongooses on this day and the best was our second sighting.
Durban safari tours; Slender Mongoose
It was now time to take our Durban safari tour elsewhere to the Isimangaliso wetland park or commonly known as St Lucia estuary for a 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile viewing boat tour.
We stopped at Hilltop camp to get breakfast, pack and check out before going.
It was an hours drive from the Nyalazi gate and we were back to the boring cows and goats of the area!
Once our tour got to St Lucia estuary we boarded the Santa Lucia and we enjoyed a great cruise!
Further us stream we finally got to some big pods of Hippos and had great sightings even on in the reeds feeding. Most of the Hippos as they do in the day time were spending the day in the estuary keeping cool in the water.
After this great part of our Durban safari tour we headed into St Lucia town and made our way for some lunch. After this we made our way back to King Shaka international airport as my clients had a flight to catch to Port Elizabeth.
It had been a great 3 days with some amazing sightings, highlights being: Elephants close, Black Rhino 3 times, Lions twice and really everything that makes a safari a safari!
Our South African safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban. After collecting my clients we headed into Zululand and our safari began with a visit to a Cat rehabilitation center.
After some amazing interaction with four endangered species of cat we departed for Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would try to find as many of the Big 5 animals as we could. We were very luck and the first animal we saw close was 2 Lions about 25 meters off the road.
My photos for them did not come out well but it was no problem as a couple kilometers away we found a Lioness resting!
We were shocked with our luck and on route to Hilltop camp where we would be staying we spotted Rhino, Buffalo and a few other species!
We then settled in at Hilltop camp for some lunch and then checked in before heading back out with already two Lion sightings under our belt. It wasn’t long and we had found four of the Big 5! Elephants were feeding off in the distance but we didn’t worry to much about this as I knew we would see them closer.
It wasn’t long and our South African safari turned good again and we found Rhino close to the road and one sleeping behind a Marula tree!
It was getting darker with all the cloud cover but we did spot Buffalo which didn’t come out in the camera very well but the best was yet to come as at dusk we spotted a Lioness and had her all to ourselves for 25 minutes!
She fetched a carcass of a baby Buffalo and walked across the road in front of us with it and then lay down 5 meters off the road with it and fed! This was an amazing end to the day and I have videos to show you how awesome this part of our Safari from Durban was!
This was an amazing part of our South African safari and we then filmed her feeding next to us which was just incredible!
At this point we were going to be late and we had accepted that we may have to pay a fine but it would be worth it due to the amazing sighting. We tried to get back to Hilltop camp as quick as we could but another Lioness further up the road almost on the road halted our progress!
She was so beautiful we had to take a photo of two. we arrived 15 minutes late and were let in with not reprimand but the risk is to high to break rules. It in this case was purely not our fault.
We arrived at Hilltop camp buzzing and settled in for dinner. I knew I would not sleep after all the excitement but at some point during uploading of these videos I feel off to sleep.
The second day would begin at 5am.
We had another amazing start we found some Elephants in the distance and then some Rhino. The photos were no good and as we continued we had an amazing sighting finding African Wild dogs which is the most endangered carnivore in Africa! I was so stoked! Wow! South African safaris in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve can be amazing.
As we continued we found a Leopard tortoise on the road so I had to move it as we always find people not driving properly and hitting them.
As we continued our South African safari we came across a journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. We also had then together on the road drinking from the small puddles of water from the rain in the night.
It was time to get to a rest room break so we headed for the Nyalazi gate. After a short stop we began to make our way back to Hilltop camp and found Rhino closer to the road.
Things we hotting up again on our South African safari and we found some Elephants next to the road which was amazing. The one male came onto the road for us.
I had been waiting for the perfect moment to take a good picture of Buffalo and it wasn’t long till we got that too!
The rain seemed to have softened the animals hearts and they were showing themselves except for that pesky Leopard which I wasn’t expecting anyway. We still had time so we would see what happened.
We returned to Hilltop camp and had some Brunch before a rest. We would meet again at 15:45 for another attempt at more amazing animals.
At 16:00 we departed and as usual the African bush was slightly quiet before the later afternoon and evening. We managed to spot Elephant in the distance and had close ups of Rhino and Buffalo.
The rain began to fall and we spotted Baboon all curled up in each others arms trying to stay away from the rain.
South African safari; Baboons in the rain
It wasn’t long before we had an awesome sighting on our South African safari of Rhino where their was 3 mothers and 3 calves which joined force to play and mud wallow, it was almost like a play group.
We were hoping that on our way back we would be able to find some Lions as we had done so well the day before but as nature had it, it can also take it and we did not find Lions!
We did however come across one of my favourite Rhinos which has an abnormal horn which bends the opposite direction to usual.
It was time to head back from our South African safari to Hilltop camp our based for the 3 days and have some dinner which well welcomed by us all.
After a great meal we would meet at 7am the following day for luggage collection, breakfast and check out.
Our African safari from Durban began at 7am and we enjoyed some breakfast and got the formalities out the way before heading out for 3 hours or so to see what else we could find before we departed Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park, South Africas first world heritage site.
It wasn’t long and we found Zebra and Giraffe near the road.
It was a quiet drive around considering we had basically seen everything most animals we saw we already had better photos so we just enjoyed the ambiance of the South African safari.
It was time to exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we made our way to St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park which was also established in 1895 and is home to 4 of the Big 5 but most importantly Hippos, Crocodiles and Bull Sharks.
Upon arrival we visited a craft shop and then boarded the boat up the St Lucia estuary to view Hippos and Crocodiles.
We also got a great photo of a big Nile Crocodile with a Grey Heron and an African spoon bill.
The St Lucia boat cruise on the estuary is amazing and we always see lots of Hippos and today we even got a Hippo out the water as it was a cooler day which we do not always get to enjoy.
It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari from Durban in Zululand and we were all very happy. Each day had its big sightings like the 4 Lion sightings on day one, the Wild Dogs and Rhino playing on day two and the third day was the Hippos!
We had some lunch in St Lucia before making our way back to Durban.
Another amazing South African safari under the belt!
Our South Africa safari began in Durban where I collected my clients and we began the drive to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is malaria free and home to the big 5.
It would be a South Africa safari that we would not forget!
We began with Cheetah interaction in Hluhluwe and then made our way into the Hluhluwe game reserve. It was not long and our African safari tour began to unfold before us.
Our first sighting was of Zebra inside 2 minutes and these two one a male and the other a female were resting their head on each others backs.
Seriously if you are looking for the best African safari tour with value for money this is the one you need to choose! If you read on with this post you will see why I say that. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve being the oldest game reserve in Africa had amazing sighting of animals but it is always safer and better to go with a South African safari guide who is registered and qualified to take you on safari.
Next we saw Buffalo which were far away as well as some Elephant so already we had seen 3 of the Big 5! There was nothing really worth photographing I felt so we continued on to the Hilltop camp for some lunch. We enjoyed so good service from the manager of the restaurant before checking in and resting before we would continue at 4pm.
At 4pm we headed back out on our South Africa safari and managed to find Rhinos. We waiting 20 minutes for them to make their way to the road and then got them crossing near us.
Next on the agenda was Elephants close and we got them on the road! Wow what a start to our South Africa safari tour. The Elephants we coming from the river and were chilled out so we could enjoy them before moving on to check the Hluhluwe river ourselves.
We also managed to get a great video of an Elephant trying to strip a branch!
We moved along with our South African safari and located some Giraffe crossing the road, we positioned ourselves and enjoyed the moving along through the thicket feeding on the Acacia trees.
Our South Africa safari just got better as we went along and it was about to get a whole lot more amazing as we located the Lions that has been resting in the shade. This sighting was the best African safari tour sighting you could ever wish for and we were spoiled!
One of the Sub Adult males got up and walked over to his sister and did a Grimace! This is typical to what you would want to see on an African safari tour! We waiting for over an hour and this is what the documentaries never show you but eventually 3 of the 5 Lions crossed the road. We now had seen clearly 4 of the Big 5!
They Lioness that had already crossed the road spotted some Impala and sadly for her they spotted her and the male Impala came running out towards the Lions, another thing documentaries don’t show you!
A prey item always wants to see where the predators are. The Lions lay down and waited and then the Best African safari experience we could have ever wishes for took place.
Let this picture be a taste before the video!
The video of what happened you will not believe so I am glad you can watch it! The Rhino with few month old calf walked past a young male Lion and didn’t see or smell him. He then got up and walked after the Rhino before charging and grabbing the baby Rhino which he quickly let go once mother Rhino turned around with her big horn!
Please excuse my language in the video it is not a natural sighting to see and we all get a little excited! We could not believe our luck at this point I was feeling like this was the best African safari tour ever!
We had to depart now and head back to Hilltop camp for dinner and share our story!
Dinner was great and we were all so tired we went to bed early but we would have a 5 am start the next day.
We began the second day of our South Africa safari at 5am and we made our way down south to try and find the only one of and the most difficult of the big 5, the Leopard.
We started really well with a Porcupine which is nocturnal near the road which was super special for me as I have not seen one in this game reserve.
It scuttled off to quick to get a picture but is was not long until we spotted Rhinos on the road sleeping.
I realized that I had used up so much battery with the Lions and stupidly had forgotten my charger at home so I have to conserve my battery.
We did see Giraffe around the next bend and Nyala but we had already great shots of them. Our African safari tour continued and we found a lovely herd of Buffalo near the road,
This one female look at me as is I owed her money!
We continued in the malaria free Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and made our way down to the Umfolozi river it was near here that we found Wildebeest with new born babies and Rhino. We also spotted Kudu which was new for us on this trip.
We eventually turned back after not finding the Leopard and made our way back to Hilltop camp after what was a very successful African safari tour.
After breakfast we took some time out during the heat of the day and met again later for another South African safari.
We headed to an area we had not yet visited and its was so hot all we saw was warthogs.
Once it finally cooled down we spotted some Rhino and then the Cherry on the top, the Black Rhino!
After this great sighting we spotted a huge bull Elephant and some Buffalo which were resting near the road. This really was turning out to be an amazing African safari and one of the Best African safaris I have done.
We then spotted the African Lions resting in the distance and watched them get chased by Elephants into the drainage after 15 minutes of waiting they emerged on the other side closer to us and we got a great look as 3 of the 4 Lions that were there.
This young Lioness who is the sister to the young male then presented herself to her brother and he attempted to mate with her. Thankfully he missed the spot and only made himself look silly.
We had been one an amazing ride and our South Africa safari really had taken great shape and we were all very happy. We returned to Hilltop camp for some dinner and then went off to bed before another 5 am start.
Our third day began were we left off with the second day as we relocated the Lions and watched then get chased by Elephants before they reappeared. The best part was that today the Big male had joined the Lions so we had most of the pride together again.
This really was on of the best African safari tours with us having seen Lions on all three days of this safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
After this amazing sighting and after 2 days of brilliant game viewing on our South African safari we really didn’t have any need for more pictures even though we say Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and a lot more on this morning.
We headed back for breakfast and checked out before heading to Isimangaliso Wetland park or the St Lucia estuary where we would be taking a 2 hour boat cruise to watch Hippos, Crocodile, Bull sharks and some wonderful bird life.
Our first sighting of Hippo happened before we could even leave the Jetty! They were resting and playing all at the same time in the St Lucia estuary.
It wasn’t long and I spotted a bull shark hunting fish in the St Lucia estuary. This is always amazing and never an animal you are likely to see.
Of course it happened so fast I did not have time for a picture that was any good. Next was more Hippos and them more! We spotted two feeding on the reeds which is rare in the middle of the day at 38 degrees!
After an amazing time out on the St Lucia estuary we went into St Lucia town for some lunch and then headed back to Durban.
This truly had been one of the best African safari tours I have conducted with the highlight being the sighting of the Lion attacking the Rhino calf on the first evening!
Our African safari from Durban began near to the big city and we began our journey to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve , Africa’s Oldest protected area!
I covered the history of this famous national park and the history of the Durban and surrounding areas before we arrived at Hluhluwe game reserve.
We tried our best in the heat to find Lions but it was to no avail as they were resting in a riverbed.
We had great other sightings of 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephants.
First though we spotted some Zebra.
We continued on this hot day in Africa with our African safari tour from Durban and found some Baboons up the trees and on the ground. They were not alarm calling which was a sure sign that the Lions were well hidden.
We continued on and found some Elephants in the distance so we made our way around to them and located a lovely young bull near to the road. We waited with him until he decided to cross the road and we could enjoy this a close range.
We also found a herd of Elephants and as we looped around near the main gate we found a huge old bull Elephant with a lovely set of tusks. This really was turning out to be a great African safari from Durban.
We decided to loop around to the Hluhluwe river where we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking and resting in the mud, The best part was that a herd of Elephant we spotted earlier on our African safari came over the hill and went down to the river to drink water with them.
Our African safari from Durban continued on and we located some Nyala and Water buck before spotting some Buffalo close which were looking to relocate their herd.
We stopped at Hilltop camp for some lunch and it was a long wait for food as it was so busy. We eventually got fed and watered before we made our way out again and headed into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.
It was a wish that we could see Giraffe a bit closer so that was the aim and we eventually achieved it!
After a great sighting of a journey of Giraffe we continued with our African safari from Durban and found a lovely Rhino bull which was close to the road. To this point we had only seen Rhino further away so one 4 meters from the road was a real treat!
This Rhino you can see he is two toned as he had been in the mud somewhere wallowing to help remove ticks off his body.
It had been a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we needed to head back to Durban so we exited the reserve and ended our African safari from Durban.
We arrived back very happy after what had been a great day in the African bush!
After collecting my clients who were returning to Africa from Monaco to visit family for the festive season we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for their Durban 3 day safari tour.
We chatted about the history of Durban and South African before arriving at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and beginning our safari to see what animals we could find.
The first day of our Durban safari tour turned out to be good as we began with lots on Impala and some Buffalo.
As we continued our Durban safari tour we came across some Wildebeest as well and one mother has a new born with here which still had some of the umbilical cord attached.
At the same point there was some Zebra which were a little skittish and after a while we got them crossing the road in front of us like a real Zebra crossing! Our Durban safari tour was beginning to hot up!
We then headed down to the Umfolozi river but before we got there we spotted a Elephant bull which had just finished a mud bath and then began to rub up against a tree. Within 10 minutes a Giraffe walked around the back of him and another bull Elephant came for a mud wallow.
It was a great sighting for the first day of our Durban safari tour.
We went down to the Umfolozi river and found only a couple old Buffalo bulls so we headed back to Hilltop camp for some lunch.
On route to Hilltop camp we spotted some Nyala and the male was testing the female to see if she was ready to be mated! She was not…
We arrived at Hilltop camp and as it was Sunday buffet and fully booked we had to wait for our lunch but it was fine as we had some Buffalo outside the dining room.
We checked in and had a short rest before heading back out!
Only two of my five clients came out on the afternoon game drive with me which usually means we end up seeing something amazing and the other miss out…and we did!
We began with a great sighting of a Rhino crossing the road in front of us.
As our Durban safari tour continued we spotted another Elephant and this bull was making his way to the road as well so we let him cross in front of us and got a great shot with lovely lighting.
We continued and as the sun began to go down on what had been a great Durban safari already we spotted some Lions stalking a Giraffe in the river bed.
It was a great sighting a little hard to see but it was still great. We managed to see another male Lion just resting and watching the Giraffe from another angle.
While we were engrossed in the Lions we noticed a Rhino mother with a young calf also come down to drink, it was a lovely ending to what had been a great Durban day safari tour.
Our Durban safari tour had started so well and after arriving back at Hilltop camp we went through for some dinner to tell our stories from the day. We also got to watch some Zulu dancing from the staff before we retired to bed.
I met my clients just before 5am and we headed out to check on the area where the Lions had been stalking the Giraffe the evening before.
As per usual when you are trying to get somewhere you always on these Durban safari tours find lots of animals so on route we spotted some Rhinos resting at a view site!
As we continued we thought we would be able to get to the area quickly but then we had Elephants on the road and they climbed up a bank. It was a great sighting as the one Elephant slipped on the bank and let out a great big trumpet with embarrassment.
We left our Elephants to rest and finally got to our area where the Lions were and discovered a dead Giraffe which meant the Lion were successful and took the Giraffe down during the night. We had a decent view on the safari tour so we managed to get some decent photos.
We also got the one Lioness with muddy paws walking around a bit and at the same spot Elephant, Buffalo and Zebra came to drink with the Lions looking on.
We headed back to camp spotting a few animals along the way including a living Giraffe mother and baby.
We settled into some breakfast and then headed to the Cat rehabilitation center where we got to interact with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat hands on. The are 4 endangered species of wild cat.
It was then time to return back to Hilltop camp for lunch. On route we spotted a huge herd of Elephants, Giraffe, Zebra and Buffalo.
The next picture was amazing as we got this journey of Giraffe crossing the road in front of us and the one female began to groom herself and the stuck her tongue out at us as she was cleaning her nose!
A Giraffe has a 45 centimeter long tongue for twisting around twigs to remove the leaves. This was a great sighting! It was now time for our Durban safari tour to head back to Hilltop camp for some lunch and we settled back into camp until 5 pm when we headed back out on safari to see what we could find.
At 5 pm we ventured out and we located a young Buffalo carcass but it was a couple days old and had been left which in Hluhluwe Imfolozi is usually a sign of a Leopards kill. As it was also close to the main road that was the verdict and sadly we didn’t see it.
We headed back to the Lions for another look which turned out to be a great look as they moved around a bit but also were now closer and in the open.
Durban safari tour; Lions in river bed
We then raced back to Hilltop camp for some dinner and some rest before another early start the following day at 5am.
On our third day of our Durban safari tour we left at the crack of dawn and although we were 3rd in line to head out onto the reserve we took a quicker route to be the second vehicle back with the Lions giving us the ideal spot to enjoy these amazing animals.
We managed to watch the adult Lioness feeding on the Giraffe which was great.
As we enjoyed this great sighting which is the sighting everyone want to see on a safari we managed to photograph a young male Lions yawning. This was amazing to see his teeth!
It was time to continue with our Durban safari tour and we made our way into another area we had yet to visit and it was here we found Black Rhino which for me is almost as good as finding a Leopard!
We had a great time waiting on this Black Rhino and her calf before we decided to move on to find more Giraffe and Zebra as well as some Elephants!
It was not time to head back to Hilltop camp and have some breakfast before we would depart for St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park. We arrived at the St Lucia estuary and had a great time with the two hour boat cruise watching Hippos in the Estuary.
We also had an amazing cloud formation which I had to take a picture of as it was just so beautiful.
We then made our way to the town of St Lucia and settled into some lunch before beginning our drive back to Durban. It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari tour and my client as well as myself were very happy with how it went.
We got 4 of the Big 5 and this was just great!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
After the Giraffe we managed to spot Zebras and had the drink water out of a puddle on the road.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.