Rhino Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 6th August 2015

    Big 5 safari from Durban for 2 days

     

    I met my clients in Durban for their Big 5 safari just outside Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is world famous for its Rhino breeding success through the 1950’s.

    We are truly blessed to have such an amazing Big 5 game reserve near Durban which in my opinion is just as good if not better than Kruger national park.

     

    Kruger National park may be bigger but it is not as scenic as Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve one of the main features all my clients point out!

     

    As usual I covered the History of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa on route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park as well as anything we saw through Zululand.

     

    As we got further into Zululand we stopped at a Cat rehabilitation center to enjoy some interaction with 4 species of endangered cats, the most exciting being Cheetah!

    My client of course loved it being big cat fans.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Servals are very relaxed and also great to interact with so the above picture if of one of the Serval we interacted with. All this cats are here for either breeding or interaction due to some issue which prevents them from being released into the wild. The idea is to try and get as many of them back to the wild where they belong if not they are used as an educational tool to highlight there situation.

     

     

    We then left and arrived in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve not 3 hours from Durban and began our 2 day safari tour.

    Our first sighting was of Nyala and Warthogs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was a little concerned as it had been a bit quiet in the national park in the past few days but that would not stop us having good sightings!

    We spotted Giraffe and Zebra in the distance so I made our way closer and we had the most amazing sighting where we had a troop of Baboons, Zebra, Giraffe and Rhino cross the road in front of us! It was amazing so at this point we had see the first of the Big 5 animals the Rhino but it seemed like we had seem so much more which we had!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino crossing road on our African safari


     

     

     

    I made a good video of the Rhino crossing and then later got a great photo of a male Giraffe near to the road.

    It had been a great start and it was time to head to Hilltop camp for some lunch, check in and head back out for more animals.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed the Giraffe for a while and moved on to Hilltop camp for some lunch.

    We were as quick as we could be as my clients also wanted to do the open vehicle safari at 5pm-8pm with the lodge which meant for me I needed to find as many animals as possible in the afternoon.

     

    Our first sighting in the afternoon as some Nyala and then some Baboons all over the road grooming themselves.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried to check all the view points over the Hluhluwe river to see if we could add to our Big 5 list with Elephant but we had no luck. We did find a few Red Duiker and one new born which was very cute, sadly I missed the photo so got the adult instead.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to begin our way back to Hilltop camp but before we could get there we managed to add lots more Rhino and a herd of Buffalo to our Big 5 safari list.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had now seen 2 of the Big 5 on our safari from Durban and the clients got on to the evening game drive before we met again at 8pm for dinner. I was surprised as when they returned they had not been too luck so had not added any more of the Big 5 to the list which meant I had huge stress to find Cats and Elephants the other 2 major ones of the Big 5 were were missing. The Leopard which would be the 5th of the Big 5 we try and think of it as a bonus as we see it so rarely.

     

    After a great dinner it was time for bed and we were all exhausted after a long day.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Big 5 safari from Durban

     

     

    We met before 7am and got all luggage in the vehicle before having a quick breakfast and making our way as far down south in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as the 3.5-4 hours we had would allow us.

     

    This would be a pure crazy day as we just had such luck!

    As we had our way down south we ignored Rhino, Buffalo in the distance and most other things it the quest to find Elephant and Cats.

    We did have to stop for this sighting of Giraffe and Zebra though!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We didn’t have to continue much further before we spotted our Elephants but they were far away and it did not make for the best picture. Minutes after we spotted another 2 Elephant and then another 2! Again pretty far away but we now had 3 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on we headed over the Umfolozi river and saw nothing but on the other side I bumped into a friend of mine Marumo who is involved in research. She said that 10 minutes before there was Lions in the river bed. I though we may as well turn back and check from a view point and there they all were all 14 of these amazing Lions! We were all so excited.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions in Imfolozi game reserve


     

     

     

    We now had 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari and were very happy with that. I had to put up another picture with a couple of big males in it to share with you all.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We must have spent 15-20 minuted watching them and knew we still needed to try find Elephants closer but I think in our hearts we were all content having seen 4 of the Big 5 during our Safari from Durban.

     

     

    We battled and only found everything else except the Elephants close. We got one good sighting of Zebra though!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way to the gate to head to St Lucia estuary for our 2 hour boat cruise to see Hippos and Crocodiles as well as some Bird Life. It was an hour drive and we said farewell to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve and hello to Isimangaliso Wetland park.

     

    We stopped for some lunch in St Lucia town which was lovely before the boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary.

     

    Our cruise went very well we saw Hippos galore, Crocodiles, Birds and even a baby Hippo new born and its mother out the water.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was really fortunate to have filmed this and it was amazing watching the young Hippo head into the water with its mother and have her display by opening her mouth.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hippo mother and baby on the shore run to the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great look at couple of Crocodiles which was great and after seeing 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari to see Hippos and Crocodiles is always a treat!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of my favorite pictures from the St Lucia boat cruise was the this one below where I managed to have the good fortune of lining up 2 or 4 Hippos heads in a row.

     

    We had a great 2 hours at St Lucia on the boat and it was not time to head back to Durban and say goodbye after sharing some great memories.

     

    If you wish to do the same tour as described above please click on this link below:

     

     

    Durban 2 day Big 5 safari tour

     

     

  • 14th December 2014

    Wild dogs mating and then get chased by Rhinos during one of our safari tours

     

     

     

    These moments I get to share with my clients and with nature are very special to me. This particular day we had clients arriving late so we just began our safari tour later.

    We got out into the African bush and were truly blessed to have such an amazing sighting just a couple kilometers from the lodge.

    The Wild Dogs where just playing around an were also about to go hunting when the Alpha Male and Female began to mate. As you can see in the video these Rhinos did not take kindly to these predators in the feeding grounds and chased them! Very exciting to witness.

    Wild Dogs are a breed of their own they are not related to wolves and are only found in Africa. What makes them even more special is the fact that they are the most endangered carnivore in Africa with less than 5000 individuals left in Africa.

    Major issues which have kept their number down are : Habitat loss and mostly getting into contact with domestic dogs outside the National parks which have Rabies or Canine distemper. This has been the major contributing factor to their decline in numbers.

    Rhinos themselves are in a battle to survive with some experts suggesting that by 2020 their will be no Rhinos left in Africa. This is probably slightly incorrect but they are being killed at an alarming rate with numbers killed in 2012 being around 868 and in 2013 around 1004. This year of 2014 is no different with close on 1000 killed that we know about by mid December.

    The reason for the poaching are simple. Their are two major markets, China and Arabia. The Chinese believe that the crushed Rhino horn can cure cancer as well as general cold and flu. Some Arabian countries like Oman believe that when there son reaches the age of 12 he becomes a man and the father give the gift of a Rhino horn handle on the Dagger which is the gift. This is of course reserved for those fathers that can afford to use this material.

    Rhino horn is made of 3 major compounds: 

    Keratin – a compacted hair formation which is what forms horns on antelope and our own finger nails.

    Calcium – a bone structure adding strength the the horn and;

    Melanin – which is what we have in our skin to protect us from the UV rays of the sunshine, some people have more than others.

     

    Sadly traditional beliefs in this situation are to the detriment of the Rhino and not their to protect them as in most cultural beliefs.

     

    Why don’t you join us, Tim Brown Tours on a Durban Safari or Durban Tour to any of the 3 major destinations in KwaZulu-Natal that we offer. The Big 5 game reserves, Drakensberg mountain tours or Battlefield tours.

    Within these category’s we cover: History, Culture and Nature.

    We look forward to meeting you and showing off our beautiful country to you and your family or friends.

     

  • 6th January 2014

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi Durban Day Safari Tour ex Richards Bay 3 Jan 2014

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi Durban Day Safari Tour ex Richards Bay 3 Jan 2014

     

    After collecting my clients off the Cruise ship in Richards bay we heading up to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for a very rushed but still successful Durban Day Safari Tour.

    We were able to find Rhino, Buffalo (far away), Elephant, Giraffe, warthogs, Impala coming out of our ears! and one of the coolest sightings was this Spotted eagle owl just chilling next to some Rhinos as the grazed the grass in the late afternoon.

    We also got some Wildebeest, baboon and Vervet monkeys but other than the mentioned we did not come right with the cats.

    Having said that it was a very hot day mid 30 degrees Celsius.

    Having covered the History of the area aswell the job was complete and the clients seemed to have enjoyed the rushed tour around the African bush.

     

    Tim Brown Tours

    Durban Day Safari Tours, Big 5 Safaris Durban, Bush Safaris, Durban Bush Tours, Durban Safaris, Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Tours

  • 23rd December 2013

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve 3 Day Durban Safari Tour 19 -21 December 2013

    After collecting my clients from Durban having just flown in the night before from New York they were surprisingly not tired! So we began our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour!

    I chatted about the History of the area and there questions were welcome and helped make the 3 hour drive to the game reserve go quickly.

    We entered at Nyalazi gate and went in search of cats. Surprisingly we nailed it and got a Lion and Lioness at one of the pans. We also saw Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, giraffe, Zebra, Warthogs and loads of other animal on the first drive.

    We stopped for a late lunch at the Centenary center and then continued to see what we could find on a rush to get out at memorial gate to get to emdoneni for there 16:30 Tour of the Cat rehab center. I think we just saw too much and that made us 10 minutes late.

    Straight onto the tour and I did the check in. We met after the Safari Tour and the clients had enjoyed it but preferred the natural reserve (I dont blame them).

    It was a short rest before a great Steak for dinner and bed.

     

    Day 2:

    we got up very early and left the lodge at 04:40 to get to the gate to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve by 5am. We spent the whole day in the reserve arriving back at camp at 18:30. We covered so much this day and we were all so tired but it had been worth getting up early.

    Dinner was welcome and so was the bed.

    Day 3:

    another early start with a packed breakfast and we were in the reserve at 5am. We drove and had our 3rd sighting of Lions in the 3 days aswell as getting more Elephant sightings this was welcome.

    We then departed for St Lucia(Isimangeliso Wetland Park) and had a great 2 hours on the boat with loads of Hippo Sighting before an ok lunch at a local restaurant. Bunny chow was the order of the day and apart from the bone was not bad,

    Durban was now our next destination and we stopped at the airport to pick up a rental car for the clients. We said our good bys and it was home.

    A great Durban Safari tour with a great couple, Thank you Kyle and Sonya for being such sports especially with the elephant dung and fever tea!

     Tim Brown Tours

    Big 5 Safaris Durban,Bush SafarisDurban Bush ToursDurban Day Safari ToursDurban SafarisHluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve,Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari ToursHluhluwe Umfolozi ToursRhino

  • 5th July 2011

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