Isimangeliso Wetland park Safari Tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 11th June 2014

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5, 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    After meeting my clients in Durban at the Quarters Hotel on Florida Road we began the Journey to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve covering the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Hluhluwe Umfolozi.

    We stopped along the way at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation centre where the clients were able to interact hands on with 4 endangered Wild Cats the Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat!

    We were lucky on this Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi as the Caracal and Servals were very interactive.

    African Wild Cat on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    African Wild Cat on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Caracal on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Caracal on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Cheetah on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Cheetah on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Serval on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Serval on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    After enjoying these cats and getting educated on the plight we continued to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve; Africa’s Oldest proclaimed national park established in 1895.

    The Flora and Fauna in Hluhluwe Umfolozi is remarkable and I knew the clients would enjoy it.

    Upon entering Hluhluwe Umfolozi for our Safari tour we got lucky with some Giraffes near the gate. As we went further up the road we spotted some Buffalo in the valley before spotting a Crowned eagle sitting on a Sycamore Fig Tree while the Trumpeter Hornbills cried there displeasure.

    Crowned eagle on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Crowned eagle on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Giraffe as we came in gate on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Giraffe as we came in gate on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    On the opposite side of the road was an old male Buffalo which just lay down in the grass looking very tired and old.

    We continued on towards Hilltop Camp for some lunch and to check in to the resort.

    After a great Lunch and 30 minutes of rest we headed back out onto the game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi on our Safari Tour and came across a herd of Buffalo crossing the road. We were actually looking for Elephants but they were to far away we could only hear them trumpet in the distance.

    Buffalo after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Buffalo after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Our Durban Safari Tour continued and we spotted some Rhino in the long grass, we were patient and we found them coming closer to the road which made for a great photo.

    White Rhino after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    White Rhino after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    We moved on to a view point where we spotted some Hippos standing in the shallow water feeding on the reeds at about 16:30 and a Big Crocodile on the bank. Our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour was really building up.

    Hippos after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Hippos after lunch on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Big crocodile on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Big crocodile on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    We continued and spotted more Rhinos and Loads of Giraffe all over the place it was frustrating at the light was fading and I needed to drop on of my clients off at the Memorial gate. After doing this we returned to Hilltop camp in the Hluhluwe Section of the reserve.

    So far on Day 1 of our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour we had seen 2 of the Big5, Rhino and Buffalo. This left me with a great challenge the next day!

    After some great steaks at Hilltop camps restaurant we headed to bed after a brief looking at the stars. We had an early morning the next day a 6am start.

     

    Day 2:  Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5, 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

     

    We woke early long before the sun was up and began our day from Hilltop camp driving down into the Umfolozi section of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve to try find Lions. We took with us packed breakfasts and our Durban Safari Tour began!

    We sped down south and saw a few giraffe before we struck gold and got a young male Lion crossing the road in front of us. It happened so fast by I did get a photo after he lay down in the thickets 30 meters off the road.

    Young skinny Lion on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Young skinny Lion on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    We were all so happy now that we had knocked the Lion on the head so to speak. After this we moved on and spotted a Wildebeest and Impalas near the road. I heard a sound and turned the engine off, It was a Hyena calling announcing his presence. Sadly he was to far away to be seen but it added to the experience of our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour.

    We made our way down to the Black Umfolozi river where we spotted hyena tracks and a Lioness in the distance down stream which was in a bad way. She could have been attacked by a big male and was looking worse for wear!

    Sick Lioness awaits her fate on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Sick Lioness awaits her fate on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    As we left that area we were so happy having found lions twice on our morning Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Hilltop camp.

    We could not have asked for a better start to the day. Then we reached Mpila camp in Umfolozi and spotted some vervet monkeys and Impala before continuing down towards Mphafa hide where we were luck enough to see Zebra, Nyala and Impala drinking. Durban Day Safaris to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve are amazing and we had 3 of them back to back!

    Vervet Monkey stares at me on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Vervet Monkey stares at me on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Mphafa hide Nyalas and Impala drink water on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Mphafa hide Nyalas and Impala drink water on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Zebras Drink at Mphafa hide on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Zebras Drink at Mphafa hide on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    After this we continued our Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and found Warthogs, loads of Impala even a Kudu and more Zebra and Wildebeest before we spotted a large Journey of Giraffe near the White Umfolozi river. Durban City had certainly become a distant memory for us at this point!

    Journey of Giraffe on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Journey of Giraffe on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Warthog rests on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Warthog rests on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Bush Zebra Crossing on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Bush Zebra Crossing on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    We came across a crash of Rhino resting in a open area before checking back on our injured Lioness which got up and hobbled along before sitting down again in the river on a sand bank. I think that tonight is the night that the call of the Hyenas will carry her name…!

    Giving our pathetic Lioness a final glance we had to push on and not let the inevitable consume our minds. We were quickly cheered up as I spotted some Elephants on the hills which was great as being patient for the whole day we were rewarded. After a few minutes we continued to lunch at Centenary centre, At this point I had been driving for 6 hours and was pretty shattered!

    Lunch at the home of Operation Rhino which brought back the Rhinos from extinction in the 1950’s and 1960’s was special. You always feel humbled to know that Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve saved Rhinos from a definite extinction 60 years ago. We should all be indebted to them for this miracle!

    On completion of lunch we shot off on our final stretch to Hilltop camp on what had already been a fantastic Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour in this amazing Big5 game reserve.

    We again spotted Elephants on a ridge still a little far for good photos but as we came closer to Hilltop camp we nailed these Ellies! We got a Large herd of about 25 individuals with lots of tiny babies crossing the road in front of us. They were on a mission to get to water down at the mansiya river. What a 3 Day Safari Tour this was turning out to be!

    Herd of Elephant walk towards the road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Herd of Elephant walk towards the road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Elephant mother and baby cross road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Elephant mother and baby cross road on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    After an 8 hour Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we arrived back at Hilltop camp, collected the tickets for the evening game drive and I showed my clients were we had been they were amazed at home far we had travelled.

     

    After a rest for the clients I collected them and took them to the Open vehicle for there Evening – Night Safari game drive. I’m sure they would enjoy this even though it would be a bit cold…

     

    It was time for dinner and bed…

     

    Day 3:  Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5, 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

     

    We had a sleep in till 6am and met just before 7am to pack the car and get some breakfast before a final 3 hour Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve.

    After this we would head to Isimangeliso wetland park for a 2 hour boat cruise on the Estuary of St Lucia.

    Days 3’s Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour was unbelievable! We could not have asked for a better finale to our 3 Day Durban Safari Tour.

    We departed after breakfast and made our way to try and relocate the herds of Elephant we had spotted the day before crossing to get a drink from the river. It was 5 minutes and we spotted the on there way back feeding in the thickets. As my clients loved Elephants we spend lots of time with the Elephant waiting on then. Eventually after 40 minutes we drop off and spotted another large herd of Elephant near the road and we waited for then to cross in front of us. We the spotted an old Big male who seems to have some sort of polio in his back left leg(old hop along we called him).

    Big bull ellie old hop along and 2 other males face off on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Big bull ellie old hop along and 2 other males face off on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    The sighting got crazier as 2 younger but still big males were challenged by old hop along and we had a great time reversing to give the 3 of them space!

    There was a 3rd herd of Elephant making its way to the road and we let them cross they has some really tiny babies and this made our day!

    What a final Day Safari Tour! We also stopped next to a large male who put his trunk up to smell us and my pour clients got such a fright but he was only smelling us nothing malicious.

    I could not believe what this day Safari Tour had brought us! After about over an hour and a half we decided to leave and see what else we could find. We also spotted giraffe, Buffalo and Baboon another favourite with my clients. We even found a Southern Egg Eater Snake in a pile of Elephant Dung!

    Southern Brown Egg eater in some Elephant Dung on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Southern Brown Egg eater in some Elephant Dung on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    We had to head on to the gate to make our way to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetand Park. All of a sudden the wind picked up and was blowing the vehicle around a bit. We arrived in St Lucia and were disappointed that all boat cruises had been cancelled due to the strong winds.

    We made the most of this and had some great seafood and pizza in St Lucia Town. Then we headed down to the board walk and did the walk to the Indian ocean and spotted 2 hippos grazing out of the water and a crocodile on a grassy patch in the middle of the Estuary.

    Hippos graze in the day with the Indian ocean behind them on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban
    Hippos graze in the day with the Indian ocean behind them on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban

    Along the walk I tried to cover things like the mangrove swamps and crabs which would have been covered on the boat had the weather played ball with us!

    After enjoying St Lucia – Isimangeliso wetland park we continued back to Durban City (actually Umhlanga) reminiscing on what the 3rd Day of our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve had brought us.

    An amazing time, just incredible Days of Safari Touring!

     

     

  • 30th May 2014

    Durban 5 Day Big 5 overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) and Durban City – 24 to 28th May 2014.

    Day 1: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    On this Durban Big 5 Overnight Safari Tour we began at the Airport (King Shaka International) outside of Durban.

     

    On Route to the Big 5 Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve I covered very little of the major history of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. We missed a little out as the pick up was outside Durban.

     

    There were 5 clients, 4 of them Students studying water in South Africa. Basically studying the issues around the resource running out in the near future.

     

    It was refreshing as we would stay at Muntulu camp in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and Safari out from there.

    Muntulu is a self catering bush camp where you can book the whole place out, you get a guide who will take you on a bush walk which we did on the second morning.

    The electricity is generated via solar panels and only turned on from 6-10pm.

    It really is a special place and brings you back to basics and remembering your routes and our vulnerabilities as humans.

    As we entered the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we had luck and found 2 of the Big 5 within the first 15 minutes of entering Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We got to look at Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra and even Warthog. What a treat in such a short space of time after telling my guest “don’t expect to see too much as its still hot weather”.

    Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    We got to the Hilltop camp to check in before rushing off to Muntulu camp and rushing back to Hilltop camp to get fire wood. We just go back before the 6pm Curfew and there was no reception…

    Apart from my wife not remembering that I told her I was at Muntulu and probably would not have reception we had a great evening. I got the fire going and we told stories of the Bush while Alisandro cooked us a pasta dinner.

    Day 2: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    We had a big day the next day and needed some sleep so we were in bed early and up well before the sun and departed to see what animals we could find in the Umfolozi section of the reserve.

    We were super lucky and got to see one Lioness walking close to the road but in the thick bush so non of us really got a picture. Our Big 5 Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve was heating up!

    We spotted lots of general game including a Male Kudu which was good to see but little did we know that our Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi had only really begun today!

    Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    After spending some time at a watering hole called Mpafa hide and enjoying Warthogs, wildesbeest, Nyala and Impala drinking and wallowing we heading back up for a luncheon stop at Centenary centre.

     Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We were approaching the Umfolozi river crossing and when we stopped on the bridge we spotted a Pride of Lion with some young cubs in the reeds and on the sand bank. This was super cool because the lioness we saw earlier moved off very quickly. This time we were able to see the male get up and walk to the Lionesses.

    Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours are amazing.

     White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Eventually it was lunch and we rested a little before looking around the curio shop buying a few things and heading back to Hilltop camp to get some supplies for Muntulu camp.

    We actually ended up staying a while at Hilltop camp charging batteries of all kind and then went back to Muntulu where I showed the clients how we burn Elephant dung to clear nasal congestion.

    We then Stank of smoke and got special permission from the Head Park sectional Ranger to go to Hilltop camp for dinner. We were escorted back like royalty and got the fire going so we could keep warm before bed.

    We could not expect more but there was more on a Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban.

    If you wish to experience some of what I have shown above contact me, we can try and make this happen for you with Tim Brown Tours – Highly rated on TripAdvisor

     

    Day 3: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

     

    We got up bright and early again and we went on a bush walk in nature for about 2.5 hours which is always a blessing. We were lucky to have a safe encounter with a Male White Rhino which after looking at us continued to walk on. We spotted many tracks of Lions, Hyenas, Rhino and Elephant.

     Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We headed back to Muntulu lodge camp before taking an hour to relax and pack before we headed to Hilltop camp to check out and we began our last day safari tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We saw Rhino in the distance, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra and monkeys.

    Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    So this was it basically the end of our 3 day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban. It was somewhat sad after the amazing things we had seen. We all will not forget the great show the animals of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve put on for us on day 2 and 3 of our Safari Tour.

    We all had a really good time and now it was time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park. After a few clients nodded off for the hours drive to St Lucia we had arrived and tried to arrange meeting for the clients. We then hopped onto the 15:00 – 17:00, 2 hour boat cruise on the estuary which was great and the clients loved it.

    So many Hippos and crocodile and the sun setting on the way back.

     Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    We needed to rush off and check in to our guest house before walking into the town avoiding Hippos which thankfully we didn’t meet along the way. We got to John Dorys and had some good seafood before walking back to the Guest house and getting some rest.

     

    Day 4: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

     

    The following day we had a sleep in and breakfast at 08:30 which the owner of the Guest house prepared very well.

    We then packed and headed down to the board walk before onto the beach and to look at Maphelane the Second Heighest Vegetated sand dune in the World.

     Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    After all this including dipping the feet in the Indian ocean we headed back to Durban and our Safari Experience was over.

    Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

    Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
    Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

     

    I think we all felt deflated to have to go to a city…

    I dropped the clients at there hotel and once they were settled I took them down to the beach front to look at curios and get some dinner.

    I headed home and would return to attend to the clients needs the next day.

     

    Day 5: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Isimangaliso wetland park and Durban City.

     

    We tried to get a meeting with SAB-Miller(the Brewery) but sadly the could not that day. So it was a later start for me only collecting my clients at 12 Midday and meeting them at the Botanical gardens before some lunch on Florida Road.

    We then had a 2pm meeting with Mr Mcloud the head of the Water department in Durban who has some amazing ideas which are being turned into reality with the help of Bill Gates.

     

    Our meeting was an hour and a half and frankly this guy knew so much and it was so interested I didn’t mind sitting there for another couple hours!

    We sadly had to leave and it was time for me to say good bye to the clients. I dropped them at there hotel and headed back home to get ready for the next days Drakensberg Hiking Tour.

    If you would like a Big 5 Safari experience like this contact Tim Brown Tours and we can make this a reality for you.

     

    Kumnandi Africa!

  • 23rd May 2014

    Durban Day Safari Tour to St lucia Estuary – Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    This Durban Day Safari to St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park  is a real hit with clients there is just so much to see and do that even the locals use St Lucia as a holiday destination. The Isimangeliso Wetland park (aka St Lucia) is South Africas first world heritage site decided upon by UNESCO on the 1st Decemeber 1999. It has amazing diversity and 5 ecosystems: Consisting of the Esturine System, Sand forests, open grasslands, Indian ocean/beach, mangrove swamps and even Savanna sections on the Western Shores of the Game reserve.

    After collecting my clients from Hillcrest West of Durban we were going on a 2 hour boat cruise on the estuary where there are plenty of Hippos and Crocodiles, We headed up to the St Lucia – iSimangeliso Wetland park where on route I chatted on  the Overall history of the area and South Africa.

    After a great boat Tour/Cruise where we saw about 80 Hippos and 6 crocodiles as well as a 4 Fish eagles and Goliah Heron on the Mangroves and  we headed to the Crocodile Center in St Lucia Town.

    St Lucia and its Weird Artwork on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    St Lucia and its Weird Artwork on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

     Hippo Skull on the Santa Lucia Boat on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Hippo Skull on the Santa Lucia Boat on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    There was so much to look at on this St lucia – Isimangeliso wetland park Safari Tour from Durban and I got some great photos!

    Juvinile Goliath Heron walks amongst the Black and White Mangroves on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Juvinile Goliath Heron walks amongst the Black and White Mangroves on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    This Heron was just the start as he walked in and among the White and Black mangroves the Two species we find here at St Lucia estuary – Isimangeliso wetland Park.

    This next picture was just being at the right place at the right time with the camera in hand.

    African Fish eagle in Flight on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014
    African Fish eagle in Flight on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    We saw so many Hippos but I could only choose this one picture as it was another Kodak moment!

    Big Hippo Yawn on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014
    Big Hippo Yawn on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    As we went further up stream we came across a sand bank where we usually find 1 crocodile basking but this time there was 6 of them! It was turning into a brilliant Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia – Isimageliso wetland park.

    Big Crocodile on our Boat cruise on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Big Crocodile on our Boat cruise on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    As we finished up with the Estuary cruise we stopped at the curio shop before heading to the Crocodile center and Museum.

    Isimangeliso Wetland park Crocodile center

    At the crocodile center I covered general interesting facts about Crocodile ie: 66-72 sets of teeth in there mouth at any one time which are constantly replaced if broken or old…

    Estuary end and Mapelane on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Estuary end and Mapelane on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    The picture above is amazing as it shows the estuary with the Hippos in it and the natural sand bank separating the estuary from the Indian ocean which closed naturally in 2007. What is important to note is the Massive Mapelane the second largest vegetated sand Due in the world at 180 odd meters above see level.

    One of the things I find so interesting is the warning signs warning about Hippos, Crocodiles and Sharks.

    Interesting beach signs on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014
    Interesting beach signs on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Mapelane Sand dune view from the St Lucia Estuary Beach board walk.

    Mapelane is the second highest vegetated Sand dune in the world behind Frasier Island off the Brisbane East coast of Australia.

    Mapelane is around about 180 odd meters above sea level and is protected by the national park.
    We are fortunate to see this great Sand dune from the Beach. On our walk down the board walk we see trails made by the Hippos coming out of the water at night to graze on the grass in the area and returning early hours of the morning. This in itself is exciting. Its even better when you see them from the board walk and beach in the estuary resting up for the day in the water.

    Another great sighting on the Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia – Isimangeliso wetland park was this picture of an African White Pelican in flight!

    African White Pelican in flight on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014
    African White Pelican in flight on our Durban Day Safari Tour to St Lucia estuary Isimangeliso Wetland Park 21 May 2014

    Tim Brown Tours is worth looking up if you are in the Durban area! We pride ourselves on our service and showing clients the most beautiful areas of the province of KwaZulu Natal.

  • 31st March 2014

    Durban 5 Day Big 5 overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe

    umfolozi Game reserve, Emdoneni Cat Reb centre and

    St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) – 24

    March – 28 March 2014.

    Day 1: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    On this Durban Big 5 Overnight Safari Tour we began in Durban city as usual but there would be nothing usual about this Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve!

     

    On Route to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve I covered most of the major history of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa before covering Hluhluwe Umfolozi History and Early Zulu History.

     

    We arrived at Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve at about 12:00 at the Memorial gate where we entered this majestic, scenic game reserve for our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour. Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve is 960 square kilometres in size, home to the Big 5 and the beginning of our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour.

     

    Our Safari sightings began immediately as we stumbled across a pair of White Rhinos resting in the mud wallow before finding a Journey of Giraffe on the main road! This was making our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour experience very interesting…

     

    One of our first sightings on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi was these Giraffe on the road.

    A Journey of Giraffe on the road on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    A Journey of Giraffe on the road on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    We made our way to Hilltop camp where we would be spending 4 nights and had some lunch before checking into the camp and heading back out for another Safari Tour game drive in Hluhluwe game reserve.

     

    We had a great sighting of some dung beetles rolling there balls on the road as well as a Flapped Necked Chameleon. I was happy about this as they are hard to spot on while driving in the day time.

    Flapped neck Camelion on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Flapped neck Camelion on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    Later this fine afternoon we found a big breeding herd of Buffalo and a few decided to mud wallow in front of us next to the road. This was a great experience for the clients on this Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban. Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve was really keeping us occupied! This was now the Second of the Big 5 for this Safari Tour.

    Cheeky Buffalo Cow in a mud wallow on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    Cheeky Buffalo Cow in a mud wallow on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    We continued on and came across a White Rhino and her calf grazing near to a big Male Rhino. She really posed for us and we added her to our collection of the Big 5 of this Safari Tour to Hluhluwe.

    Female White Rhino poses on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    Female White Rhino poses on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Time was ticking and we got ourselves stuck behind a stubborn Elephant Bull who happened to be in Musth which made him extra dangerous and frustrated with the noise of the engine. On Day 1 of 5 days to have already found 3 of the Big 5 on a Hluhluwe umfolozi safari tour was brilliant!

    Durban Safari Tours are really pumping at the moment and some brilliant sightings of the Big 5.

    A Bull Elephant in Musth Trys his luck with us on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    A Bull Elephant in Musth Trys his luck with us on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    We had to rush back to Hilltop camp before our Safari time was up. Dinner was a great event and the food at Hilltop camp was very enjoyable.

    We were all very tired after a busy Day of Safari Touring, it was time for bed.

     

    Day 2: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    We left Hilltop camp at 6am when the gates opened and headed around the loop of Seme/Maqanda. On our Morning Safari Tour in the Hluhluwe section we came across a lot of plains game animal. We actually had 4 different species at one watering hole, the Rhino, Wildebeest, Zebra and Impala.

    Always good to see one of the Big 5 and Zebra is also a bonus.

     A Dazzle of Zebra and a foul suckles from her mother on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    A Dazzle of Zebra and a foul suckles from her mother on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    After a while of looking at these great animals interacting the Rhinos got up off the ground and this is what we saw on our Safari Tour game drive.

     White Rhino Mother and calf on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    White Rhino Mother and calf on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    We also had a lovely herd of Wildebeest playing near the Zebra and Rhinos of Our Durban 5 day safari Tour.

     A crazy herd of Wildebeest on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    A crazy herd of Wildebeest on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    It was time to crack on and see what else this Morning Safari would bring and as we drove thru the forest we found the monkey’s playing in the Sycamore fig trees. This dominant male seemed to lose something… Silly monkey!

    Vervet monkey dominant male IT WAS IN MY HAND BUT NOW… on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    Vervet monkey dominant male IT WAS IN MY HAND BUT NOW… on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    It was time to get back to the lodge for some breakfast and a rest before the afternoon Safari Game drive in the Hluhluwe section. We would also have an open vehicle Safari Game drive Tour with the Lodge from 5pm -8pm.

     

    On our afternoon Safari Tour we did have some luck and got this great interaction of a Young elephant trying to chase a Rhino, Well it back fired and the Rhino chased the Elephant and sent him trumpeting away.

    Baby Elephant gets chased by a Bull White Rhino on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    Baby Elephant gets chased by a Bull White Rhino on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    It was time to get back to Hilltop camp for the open vehicle Safari ride from the lodge. After this I had a little rest.

    Dinner was great at Hilltop camp as usual.

     

    I really slept well this night but knew we had a lot of work ahead of us as we needed some cats!

     

    Day 3: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    We got up insanely early at 4am before departing to Muyaneni bush lodge where we would meet a National park Guide and head out for a Safari Bush walk. Once we began it was so beautiful just to smell the bush and really just to experience nature at its rawest. We found some Leopard tracks on the Safari Walk but no Leopard. We spotted an Owl, Rhino twice, Impala, Zebra and Giraffe. All in all this 5 Day safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe Umfolozi was turning out to be good.

     

    When we arrived back at Hilltop camp at 9am we had some breakfast and rushed back out as I had heard that Lions had been spotted in the Umfolozi section. Again our Safari was rushed down to get to them and we were in luck as the Lions crossed the road in front of our vehicle. This was the second time in a row this happened to me on the past to Durban overnight safari Tours.

    3 Lionesses crossing the road in front of our vehicle on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    3 Lionesses crossing the road in front of our vehicle on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    The were so beautiful these Lions and just when we thought it was to stop there we found 2 Larger Male Lions Under an Acacia Tree! This was the 4th of the Big 5 we had seen of our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi.

    Lion Scratches his face on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Lion Scratches his face on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    Just 30 -40 meters from these two sleeping male Lions was an Old Buffalo Bull in the mud but he didn’t care one big as he rested peacefully.

    Buffalo Bull mud wallowing 30 meters from 2 Male Lions on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve
    Buffalo Bull mud wallowing 30 meters from 2 Male Lions on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    Day 4: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

     

    We began our day a lot more relaxed than we would usually a Durban Safari Tour. Having said that we had some great sightings after breakfast. Giraffe, Zebra and a few other animals including a bushveld gerbil.

    This Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve was turning out to be a great one! One sighting I really enjoyed was these Zebras below: The male crossed the bridge and the females were not that comfortable at crossing after him so he kept looking back at them as if to say come along girls!

    Dazzle of Zebra Girls are you coming…on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Dazzle of Zebra Girls are you coming…on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

     

    Later at Hilltop camp I sat down with the clients to look as some of the pictures and videos they had got and some were really good from the first few days of our Durban 5 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi.

    After lunch we headed out for a Safari Game drive on route to Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation centre for the Cat Tour.

    We were so lucky to find these Chacma Baboons on the road and they were so funny it even looked like one was giving us the finger!

    Chacma Baboon Showing us what he thinks of us… on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Chacma Baboon Showing us what he thinks of us… on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

     

    At Emdoneni the clients really enjoyed the Tour through the rehab centre and Touching the Cheetah, Caracal, Serval and African Wild Cat.

    We had to rush back to get in by 6pm at the gate and then back to Hilltop camp for dinner.

     

    Dinner was lovely as usual it seemed we were all tired as dinner only lasted a bit less than an hour before we walked back to our rooms to get a good nights rest.

     

    Overall the Big 5 Safari Tour today has been great and relaxing especially with the cooler weather.

     

    Day 5: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

    After a bit of rain falling over night on our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we got ready for breakfast before checking out and beginning our final 3 hour Safari Game Drive in the park.

    It was sad to leave Hilltop camp Hluhluwe but we had another big day ahead of us as we were also visiting Isimangeliso wetland park AKA St Lucia Wetlands for a 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and crocodiles.

    We headed down into Umfolozi section of the reserve and were lucking as the puddles in the road game us a chance of taking this great picture of a Baboon is estrus drinking out of a puddle.

    Female Chacma Baboon drinks out of a puddle on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Female Chacma Baboon drinks out of a puddle on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    As we continued our Durban Safari Tour we were so lucky and found this beautiful male Lion just out marking his territory after the rains. This common practice but to see if was great for all of us.

     

    Big Male Lion marking his territory on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    Big Male Lion marking his territory on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

    We were running out of time and had to rush our Durban Safari Tour along and depart from Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and head to Isimangeliso wetland park (St Lucia wetlands).

    After a short hour drive from the South Eastern gate Nyalazi we arrived in St Lucia for the Boat tour. This was a great Tour as the weather cleared up a bit and was lovely and warm on the boat. At St Lucia wetlands we spotted about 50 odd Hippos and about 3 crocodiles with Fish eagles and Goliath Herons as well. Visiting St Lucia Wetlands with out doing a Safari Tour of the Estuary on a boat to view Hippos and Crocodiles is not a option!

    After the Cruise in St Lucia we headed to the small town to get lunch and then departed for Durban where we began our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi, Cat rehab center and Isimangeliso Wetland park (St Lucia) 5 days prior.

    It was overall a great Safari Tour from Durban with 4 of the Big 5 being seem more than once! Just the Leopard eluded us but this is common to not be seen.

    To experience a Durban Safari Tour with Tim Brown visit our website www.timbrowntours.com an look at our TripAdvisor Reviews from fellow Tourists. You wont be dissapointed!

     

     

  • 28th November 2013

    Tala Valley and St Lucia(Isimangeliso wetland park) Day Safari Tours 25 and 26 November 2013

     

     

    2 Day Safari Tours from Durban back to back with my clients.

    We began in Durban as usual where I met my clients and we departed for Tala game reserve. We were lucky with the weather and the game drive was great as we saw everything. Rhinos so close we could touch them, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest and even a mongoose.

    This Brown chested snake eagle was also a nice find.

    Later we went through the valley of 1000 hills to Phezulu for lunch to visit the crocodile park and later the Zulu Dancing. David was very keen on the Traditional Zulu beer which was great to see.

    After a nice day out we headed back to Durban before the following days tour to St Lucia estuary(Isimangeliso wetland park) – South Africas first world heritage site.

    Day 2: Durban Safari Day Tours

    We departed Durban and arrived in St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park at 09:30 for the 10am boat cruise. We had a great 2 hours viewing hippos and crocodiles before we decided to do the board walk onto the beach and look at Mapelane the second highest vegetated sand dune in the world.

    From here it was time for some relaxing lunch and a long drive back to Durban.

    David and Katrina I hope you enjoyed the Leechies.

     

    Tim Brown Tours

    Durban Day Safari Tour, St Lucia wetland Tours, Isimangeliso Wetland park Safari Tours, Durban Safari Tours, Tala game reserve Tours, Durban safaris.