Safari in Imfolozi Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 8th June 2015

    Durban safari tour – 5-7 June 2015

     

     

    After collecting my clients from Durban for their Durban overnight safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, we headed up to the Cat rehabilitation center outside of Hluhluwe were we would begin our first day of Durban safari tour.

    It was here that we interacted with 4 endangered species of cat, Serval, Caracal, African Wild cat and Cheetah! The Cheetah was the big attraction and the Cheetah cubs and Serval were very playful.

    Our day had only just begun but we were expecting a good one. The weather was cool and there was a cold winter breeze blowing but the sun was still shining on our Durban safari tour.

     

    We enjoyed the African Wild Cats and then entered into the enclosure with the Caracal, I managed to get a great shot of one of the Caracal in the tree!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Caracal in Tree

    Durban safari tour; Caracal in Tree

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We moved on to the Cheetah brothers and interacted with them before making our way into the enclosure with the Cheetah cubs. This was great and my clients really enjoyed this experience.

    Next was the Serval which are always so interactive that it makes the tour so worth it.

     

    We then began the 20 minute drive to the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s Oldest proclaimed protected area and home the the Big 5! Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is a great place to do a safari and is only 2.5 hours from Durban!

     

    Before we could even cross over the electric fence we found a sounder of Warthogs laying around and enjoying the sun on this cool winters day.

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Warthogs

    Durban safari tour; Warthogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not long before we managed to find some Giraffe and this was a great sighting and a good start to our Durban safari tour.

    The Giraffe female that we first found was actually chewing a bone which is very normal but people do not always know why. It is to grind off some bone to get calcium into their diet.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Giraffe chews bone

    Durban safari tour; Giraffe chews bone

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video : Durban safari tour – Giraffe chews on a bone

     

     

     

    We then continued and made our way to Hilltop camp with very little else to be seen in the middle of the day which is very normal especially when it is so dry during our winter.

     

    We got to Hilltop camp and had some lunch before checking in and getting settled in the rooms. At 15:30 we headed back out to continue our safari from Durban to see what animals we could find.

    We had a good start spotting some Giraffe and Zebra as well as Kudu and Nyala. It was not long after this we managed to find a lovely herd of Buffalo which after 15 minuted of waiting crossed the road in front of us!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Buffalo and calf

    Durban safari tour; Buffalo and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next item on the list was Rhino and we got an mother and a 3 year old calf before having a real luck sighting of a mother Rhino and a baby only a couple months old. He was so cute!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Rhino and calf

    Durban safari tour; Rhino and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was heading into the area I knew we could have a chance of spotting the African Wild dog but I was not sure we would be so lucky on this safari from Durban. I was very wrong and thankfully I chose the right road! We found the Wild dogs on the road and it was clear they were keen on hunting so we stayed with them.

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Wild dogs

    Durban safari tour; Wild dogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    All of a sudden they shot off into the bush and as we watched, 2 Wild dogs spotted a Red Duiker and bolted after it. It could not believe it as the whole park followed and caught up. The African wild dogs brought down the Duiker 5 meters from the road and we got to head all the noises as they quickly ripped apart the animal and fed just as fast. In a couple minuted they were chewing on the bones and the rest was gone!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour – Wild Dogs kill Red Duiker


    It was so fast that we hardly had time to take in what had happened so close to us and the road!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour – Wild dogs fight over Duiker leg

     

     

     

    After all the excitement calm returned to the bush and the sun had set on what had been an amazing first day on our 3 day safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    We now only had the formalities of dinner before a well deserved rest.

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban safari tour

     

    If we thought day 1 was amazing on our Durban safari tour we had another great day coming! We headed out after breakfast and spotted a few things but nothing much until out the corner of my eye laying 10 -15 meters from the road was two male Lions! They were so beautiful and just cuddling up to one another it was amazing to watch them.

     

    We spend some thing with them and with the other vehicles arriving they got annoyed and moved further into the bush but we had see them so perfectly we were so excited at this point!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Lions

    Durban safari tour; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Lion standing

    Durban safari tour; Lion standing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions seen on our Durban safari tour

     

     

     

    It wasn’t much longer and we got some Zebra crossing the road in front of us! By this point we had also seen Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant but they were not the best of sightings. This meant in under 2 hours we had seen 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Zebra crossing

    Durban safari tour; Zebra crossing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Zebra crossing on our Durban safari tour


    We continued our Durban safari tour and got to a big body of water which I was hoping to find some animals at. We didn’t see much but the Impala we saw were really interesting as the males were Rutting!

     

    We got one male trying to smash the other and I even got a video of it!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Impala clashing heads

    Durban safari tour; Impala clashing heads

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Impala rutting in Hluhluwe Imfolozi on our Durban safari tour


    We made our way down to a lovely hide in the South west of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It was here that we would find a good sighting of the Elephants as there is water.

    When we arrived we saw, 2 of the Big 5. Elephant and Buffalo at the hide as well as Warthogs, Nyala, Impala, Wildebeest and some bird life.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Elephants play fighting

    Durban safari tour; Elephants play fighting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Buffalo were also at the mud wallow but waiting for the Elephants to finish drinking water before they took there turn…

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Herd of Buffalo

    Durban safari tour; Herd of Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Durban safari tour – Animals at Bhejane hide in Umfolozi

     

     

     

     

     

    The above video just gives some perspective as to what the watering hole looks like when it is so full of animals it is like an oasis in the middle of a very dry part of the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.

     

    We also spotted three antelope species drinking next to one another which was also so amazing to see.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Wildebeest, Impala and Nyala drinking together

    Durban safari tour; Wildebeest, Impala and Nyala drinking together

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we had seen all of these amazing animals we made our way back to the Centenary Center for lunch and then managed to relocate the one of the Lions we had found in the morning!

     

    We then drove up to Hilltop camp where my clients had about an hours rest before heading on the open vehicle game drive and then had dinner.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban safari tour

     

     

     

    The next day we met just before 7am for luggage collection and breakfast before it was time for our final game safari drive before heading to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park for the 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.

     

    Our last morning safari was brilliant and we managed to recap some of the amazing animals we had see in the previous two days.

     

    First was the Rhinos crossing the road in front of us on our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Rhino cross the road

    Durban safari tour; Rhino cross the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino cross the road on our Durban safari tour


     

     

    We didn’t have to continue our African safari much further before we found a herd of Elephants next to the road breaking trees and feeding off them! It was amazing as one female was right next to us and broke the Buffalo thorn 3 times to get what she wanted which was just a little bark!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephant breaks tree on our Durban safari tour


     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Elephant

    Durban safari tour; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I could not resist this amazing sighting and had to make a second video!

     

     

     

     

    Elephant breaks tree and feeds during our Durban safari tour


     

     

     

    It was now time to move on and see what else we could find. We tried to relocate on the Lions from the day before with no luck as they seemed to have walked up another road and we didn’t have time to go to investigate further.

     

    It was time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park and it was here we began a 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and Crocodiles before we had some lunch. We had some luck not only with the Hippos but with some Bird Life. We actually found the elusive African Finfoot which is the first time I had seen it on this stretch of the Estuary at St Lucia.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; African Finfoot at St lucia estuary

    Durban safari tour; African Finfoot at St lucia estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Further down stream we managed to find a lovely sizable Crocodile.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary

    Durban safari tour; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had some amazing sightings of Hippos in the water and out on the shore one of the better sightings you can see in the picture below and the video of am Hippos resting his head on another Hippo while a small Crocodile was a meter away from his back foot.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Hippos at St Lucia

    Durban safari tour; Hippos at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hippo and crocodile meters from each other during St Lucia tour

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been an amazing 3 day safari from Durban in which we had seen 4 of the Big 5 and the most endangered carnivore in Africa kill a Duiker 5 meters from the road! It was just super special and it was down day 3 and time for lunch.

     

    After a great lunch we made our way back to Durban where I returned my clients safely to their hotel.

     

  • 12th May 2015

    Durban day safari tour – 11th May 2015

     

    I met my clients in Hillcrest only about 5 minutes drive from my home which was great! They were from South Africa, Cape Town which for me is not common to have South Africans on a Durban safari tour but it was really great fun and the tour was amazing!

    On route to the most underrated Big 5 game reserve Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park, I covered lots of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and general things that we saw like the crops of the area etc.

     

    We stopped to stretch the legs on the way up and refuel before continuing the last hour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our Durban day safari tour.

     

    We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi park and began with our game drive to see what animals we could see. We actually didn’t even need to leave the parking lot for our first sighting as there was an Elephant bull drinking near the gate!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Elephant

    Durban day safari tour; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our safari from Durban we came across a huge herd of Elephants with tiny babies on the hill near the Centenary center where we would be having lunch later that day. The Elephants seemed to be on some mission as they kept walking very quickly and were heading to the eastern fence line. I had seen three herds of Elephant do this 3 days before which always makes me think they are attending an Elephant funeral or there is a weather change!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Herd of Elephant

    Durban day safari tour; Herd of Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued with our Durban day safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a female Impala with thin horns this is a genetic abnormality and could be cause by inbreeding!  This can happen is a male mates with his offspring instead of being ousted from the leadership of the Harem of female by another dominant male.

     

    We also crossed over the Umfolozi river and spotted a Buffalo bull very far away and the photo was not good so I waited till we spotted these Rhino. They crossed the road in front of us and this was a special sighting for my clients and meant we had already seen 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino crossing road

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino crossing road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending a few minutes with the Rhino we continued with our safari from Durban and we had a quiet patch but I knew that we would see lots of animals. It was not long and we were blessed with a sighting of Cheetah. It was a mother and her 2 cubs around a year old and they were so much fun to watch we must have spent half an hour with them. At the same place was 3 crashes or Rhino which made it even more exciting!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah mother and cubs

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah mother and cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Cheetah mother and cubs on our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve


     

     

    I might have gone over the to with pictures and Videos but it was Cheetah and there were two cubs which we active and running around in an open patch. This was such an exciting moment and we all enjoyed it. What a way to begin your first safari for my clients.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah cubs

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Learn about Cheetahs, seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi on our Durban day safari


     

     

    One final picture of the Cheetah playing and I promise no more Cheetah photos or Videos for today! I just couldn’t help myself! They were beautiful!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah playing

    Durban day safari tour; Cheetah playing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our Durban day safari tour I honestly could not have really cared for myself if I didn’t see another animal but I knew I have to see what we could find for my clients as they were only here for a day safari tour. We kept getting lucky and we went round one of the many dirt road bends we stopped as we had some Zebras walking down the road towards us!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra walking down road

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra walking down road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Zebra were so beautiful and we enjoyed chatting about some of the interesting facts and features of this animal before moving on with our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and finding a couple of Wildebeest walking on the road!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest

    Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I figured now it was time for a rest room break so I made our way to a picnic site. We arrived at the Sontuli picnic site and we so lucky again! We saw Lions laying down in the river bed. I just could not believe our luck we had now seen 4 of the Big 5 and Cheetah in just a few hours. The best part about these Lions was the structure, it was an Adult male and female with one cub around a year old or a bit less.

    It is not often you see these restful cats on a Durban day safari tour or see a big male usually its just the Lionesses and the sub adults.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Lions, Male, female and cub

    Durban day safari tour; Lions, Male, female and cub

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Lions doing what they do best! Sleeping… on our Durban day safari tour

     

     

     

     

    We decided that all we hadn’t seen was the Giraffe and it became our new mission to try and find the Giraffe. I drove all the best areas that I could with the time we had and then had to head up to the Centenary center for lunch.

    Before we could get to the Centenary we stopped at a view point which you are allowed to get out of your vehicle at and it was here we saw a huge herd of Buffalo.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Herd of Buffalo

    Durban day safari tour; Herd of Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I thought this was the ideal spot to take a picture for my clients with the lovely view over the Umfolozi river with the Buffalo in the back ground.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; My happy clients

    Durban day safari tour; My happy clients

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on in the hope of finding some Giraffe before lunch and we returned to where the Cheetah had been. They had gone but there was some lovely Rhino in the area and they were really posing for us on our Durban day safari tour.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino resting

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino resting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There was still one more thing would we have to photograph before we made it to the lunch stop and that was a Dazzle of Zebra and Impala on the road.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra and Impala on road

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra and Impala on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Finally we arrived at Centenary center and it was here that we had a lovely lunch and a look around the world famous museum for operation Rhino. The craft market was also available and then we made our way for the final 1 and a half to find these Giraffe.

     

    We did it! It was 20 min in after lunch and I spotted a male Giraffe in the distance so we used the binoculars to see him better and then we continued further and found more Giraffes near enough to the road.

    One of these female Giraffe was either chewing a bone which they do to get calcium into their diet or she had a twig stuck in here throat. It wasn’t long and she liked her lips and continued feeding.

     

     

     

     

    Video – African safari from Durban – Giraffe maybe with a bone or twig stuck in its mouth

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great look at this Giraffe and then on our way back right near the gate we spotted a Big male 5 meters from the road feeding on a Buffalo thorn. It was the perfect ending to a great Durban day safari tour and we all were very happy with our sightings.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Giraffe

     

    Durban day safari tour; Giraffe