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
Our Durban tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban where I met my clients and we made our way to the Cat rehabilitation to interact with Cheetah hands on.
Once we had experienced this amazing place we headed into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve only 20 minutes away.
It was a hot day and the mercury crept up to 35 degrees, this of course meant game viewing was a little quiet at the start until the afternoon.
We stopped at a view point however overlooking the Hluhluwe river and spotted three different species the Buffalo, Nyala and Baboons.
On this Durban tour we also spotted Rhino but they were still resting in the shade with the heat of the day. We then made our way to Hilltop camp where we would be staying and checked in while having some lunch. We continued our Durban tour 20 minutes after arriving at the room as I had got word of Lions very far away and we needed the time to try to get there and to return for the 5pm evening open vehicle game drive.
It turned out to be worth it even with the heat we spotted one male Lion who then go up and tried to stalk a Warthog! He was so close to catching it but for him sadly he missed.
After watching this exciting moment we saw the Lion looking around probably feeling a little embarrassed! As I mentioned to my client the Lions have a really pour success rate of 10%.
Wow so far we had already seen 3 of the Big 5 on our Durban tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest proclaimed protected area.
As we left the sighting we mentioned it would be nice to see Giraffe and them we spotted one! This was a lovely male and for me this really capped off a good start to our Durban tour of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We made our way back to Hilltop camp and I got my client onto their evening open vehicle safari which they enjoyed but didn’t really see much they said.
This was fine as we had done so well and it left me with some pressure to find then Elephant the next day. We went through for dinner and enjoyed the food before a good nights rest.
Our Durban tour would continue the following day at 7am when we would meet for breakfast.
We met for some breakfast which was lovely and we had a Buffalo bull drinking outside the restaurant from some run off water from the lodge. This made breakfast that much more exciting.
We then checked out and headed down south to try and find Elephants.
It was only minutes into our Durban tour and we found Zebra near the lodge.
After a great look at the Zebra we continued our Durban tour and found Black Rhino a real treat! They were resting on a hill in the distance and it was only with the Binoculars that I could confirm they were Black Rhino.
As there is around about 200 left this was like gold dust!
As we continued with our Durban tour we also found some White Rhino which was great to see and also to show the distinct differences between the two different species.
We made our way down to the Umfolozi river and it was here that we spotted 3 of the big 5 at one spot. We saw Buffalo, Rhino and finally an Elephant. The only trouble was the Elephant showed us his bum for 15 minutes. We decided to look at a view site to see if we could see him better. We could hear him moving so we raced back down so we could get a better view. We were lucky and got him side on for a minute of two. Still it wasn’t brilliant. We continued on and decided to return later.
When we returned we found another male Elephant much closer and almost side on.
Wow, not only was it 36 degrees but our Durban tour to Hluhluwe had heated up and now we had seen 4 of the big 5 well in the 2 days. It was also time to head to the gate but before we could get out to go to St Lucia we spotted Giraffe and more Rhino.
The Giraffe gave us a really good show and my clients loved them. We then departed and headed to St Lucia aka Isimangaliso Wetland park(Place of wonders/miracle).
It took us an hour so the client could have a rest while I drove and them as we got closer I explained about this amazing world heritage site.
It was now time to board a boat for a 2 hour cruise to view Hippos, Crocodiles, Mangroves and Bird life. Sharks are also found here, the Bull shark but we don’t usually see them but this time we saw 2 of them!
It was a great was to end our Durban tour and we had amazing Hippo sighting wish some even out of the water.
As we went further up the Estuary we spotted Buffalo bulls resting on the shore of the Estuary. This was great to see as we hadn’t really seen Buffalo this close on our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We also were lucky and saw a couple of Crocodiles on the shore line! This was great to add to our ever growing list of animals we had seen in the 2 days of touring from Durban.
The cruise ended and we stopped in St Lucia town which is a holiday town for some lunch. It was great sea food and we then made our way back to Durban to drop off the clients.
Over all it had been a great 2 days and very rewarding considering the short time we had on this tour.
If you would like to do a tour like this please click the link below:
We began our Durban day tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve in Durban city where I collected my clients. It would be a day to remember with great sightings.
We arrived before 10 am and had immediate luck as we spotted Zebra and Giraffe together!
We then continued with our Durban day tour and our safari lead us to some Rhino, 3 of them! It was great to see a mother, calf and big male. At this point we also spotted Baboons and Nyala in the distance but continued to the Hluhluwe river which is mostly dry at this time of the year.
It was here that we spotted some male Nyala doing what is referred to as philo – erection where the 2 male pounce around on another with the hair on the back of their necks and backs standing up as well as head down and tail up, This is basically to make themselves look bigger so that they can challenge another male for the rights to mate etc.
We then made our way around the river after spotting some Buffalo far off the road and after enjoying one of the lovely view points we tried another to see if we could find Elephants. We were in luck as we found a bull Elephant down at a section of water in the river and we must have spend 30 minutes with him at this view point. We watched him mud wallow, rest his trunk on his tusk, feed and shake a sycamore fig tree to try get some fruits to fall down. He then went to sleep. It was amazing!
This had been an amazing experience and is always better with a guide who is qualified and understand nature and the animals behaviour to ensure you have the best experience possible.
I know my clients were very happy with this amazing sighting!
We then moved on and tried to see if we could find Buffalo again but before we could I spotted a Rhino walking in the distance. It was the territorial male of the area so I let him walk on the path he usually uses and we gave him space to cross in front of us, It was amazing! Wow this had been an amazing Durban day tour so far!
It was now time to find those Buffalo before we stopped for lunch. It was great that this Durban day tour was working like clock work and my plans were working out for us all.
We found our Buffalo and they were right next to the road and resting in the shade. The one female had a Red billed Ox Pecker on her face and she stuck her tongue out at us. This was really funny!
I think I have forgotten to mention the Giraffe we spotted in the distance and then some closer to the road! We found some Giraffe and one male was chasing the girls(some things never change) and he was testing the females urine to see if they were ready for mating! At least human don’t have to do this.
He obviously did not find one that was ready as he moved off.
After this great sighting on our Durban day tour we were all super happy and made our way to Hilltop camp for some lunch. It was a great lunch and we spend longer than usual there but we had good reason we had done so well in the morning so we enjoyed a cup of coffee after lunch.
When we finished we left Hilltop and made our way to where I knew of a Giraffe that had been killed by Lions a few days before. The Lions had long since moved off due to the activity of vehicle and the moving of the carcass off the bridge where they killed it. So we only had vultures when we were there. It was still an amazing sighting and very smelly!
We left the scene of the crime and we began to make our way south towards another gate. On route we spotted some more Rhino near the road and Giraffe which just capped the day off for us all.
It was now time to depart Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve where we had spent a very successful Durban day tour. We were all happy and we began the long drive back to Durban.
We stopped along the way for a rest and to refuel and arrived back in Durban after 6pm.
It had been an a great Durban day tour and if you would like to do one of these tour please click on the link below:
I had two different pick ups for this 3 day Durban safari tour one in Durban and the other in Umhlanga. Once I collected my client and we got chatting I knew we would have a good safari!
Our first day was near floor-less as we achieved so much in the first day. We began covering some of the interesting history of the area of Durban and KwaZulu Natal before arriving at the cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe.
Our tour around the rehab was great!
We entered the enclosures with all 4 of the endangered species of Cat; Serval, Caracal, African Wild Cat and Cheetah.
The above picture of a Serval is lovely and these cats are very interactive so when we go into the enclosure it is always a great time watching them.
Our Durban safari continued and we entered with then Cheetah cubs which were also very interactive.
This Cheetah cub was so interested with watching her sister playing with a rope on the end of a stick that even her soccer ball was not distraction enough!
We finished up with the cats and moved on into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for the Durban safari side of our 3 day Safari tour. This Big 5 game reserve near Durban is malaria free and is probably the biggest hidden secret in the area.
Our first sighting was of Warthogs and as it was the first animal we saw we spent some time with them before continuing our safari and then spotting some Zebra not too far from the road.
We made our way to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the two nights and had some lunch before checking in and settling into the rooms for half an hour.
Then we headed back out to continue our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We spotted a huge herd of Buffalo on the road so we spent a good 15 minutes with them while they all crossed and then only continued on.
We were making our way toward the Hluhluwe river when we spotted both Rhino and Elephants. All we could do was wait to see what would happen and good job we did as the Elephants came to the road and we got them to cross in front of us.
The Rhinos at this point were near to the road as well so we managed to get a decent photo of them before moving onward to see what else we could find.
We heard that Lions had been seen at 3pm but it was already 5pm so I knew the chances of finding them was not very high. When on a Durban safari or any safari you always have hope and we tried our best at first without success but then as the sun set we spotted them making their way to the road following a herd of Buffalo.
The Lions then began to hunt the Buffalo which made things hard on me as I was caught up with the ethical battle of keeping the lights on the Lions so we could see them but also not wanting to give the Lions away to the Buffalo which would end there chances of a successful hunt.
What a great start to our Durban 3 day safari tour, the Lions attempted the hunt and in the darkness we heard the growling and Buffalo bellowing when we turned the lights one there was only dust and the Lions had not been able to hold on to their dinner. The lucky Buffalo kept walking away and we left the lions to try again.
We made our way back to the lodge and settled in for some dinner and a chat about how amazing our day was having seen 4 of the Big 5 on the first day of our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We even did a spot of star gazing before we were all very tired and we headed off to bed.
We began our day with high hopes of seeing lots of animals and hopefully more Lions but you just never know what will show up for you on these safaris from Durban.
After breakfast we headed South in the game reserve and it was like the luck from day one had never left as we kept up the tempo and saw lots of animals.
Our major concern was finding Giraffe which we managed to knock on the head after just 30 minutes of driving!
We also spotted lots of general game like Zebra, Impala, Warthog, Wildebeest and we must have spent about 45 minutes in one spot as all these amazing animals came to a watering hole to drink.
After watching these Rhinos drinking and getting spooked by the Zebra which came in for a drink we managed to see the female Rhino sharpening her horn so that she would have it ready for any poachers that tried to mess with her and remove her horn!
Our 3 day safari from Durban was really turning out to be a great time and we just kept getting great luck and being in the right places at the right times.
We waited longer at the watering hole as a herd of Wildebeest came down and had a drink during this time we also spotted some great bird life. The best was a Malachite King fisher!
We then continued on to the Umfolozi river and I could not believe our luck as all of a sudden we spotted Lions running in the river bed. The only issue was they were running away because there was a bush walk that had not seen them and were having there walk in the river bed. This made it exciting and after a very short time we lost visual of the Lions so we continued with our Safari in Umfolozi.
I did get a picture but I felt it wasn’t good enough to go up on the blog and if you read on your will see why.
We drop through at this time of the year what looked like a desert as the place was so dry but we did spot more Rhino, Giraffe and other animals before we got to another section of the river and you would not believe it but there was Lions here!
The picture was not the best but I still figured I would use it. We then continued to a “hide” which is a hut overlooking a watering hole. It was here we spotted a wide variety of animals and birds before moving on back up to get some lunch.
After spending time in the Hide we made our way back to where we had seen the second lot of Lions in the river bed and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking. The Lions just watched them from the safety of being up stream.
This was a great sighting on our Durban safari tour and we made our way back to the area where we had seen the previous pride of Lion that had been chased by the people on foot. It was here that we spotted them resting in the dry river bed. There was two big males and some Lionesses and cubs!
This had been an amazing day seeing the Lions 4 times and seeing 3 of the big 5 before lunch. We still had not seen Elephant the whole morning and now it was lunch time so we saved that one of the Big 5 for a big later.
Lunch was great at the Centenary center before we began the drive back up to hilltop camp. On route we got our Elephants in fact 3 or 4 different Elephant sightings! This meant we had 4 of the Big 5 today as well!
Our next stop would be back at camp where we would have an hours rest before heading out on the evening night safari from 5pm – 8pm.
Dinner was great as usual and we headed off for a good nights rest.
I met my client just before 7am to collect their luggage and get them down for some breakfast. It was a relaxed time as when you do they same tour regularly you get into such a routine of doing things that it just flows. Just after 07:30 we were already on the road and at this stage I asked one of the ladies “what would you like to see today” she said to me ” the African wild dog would be nice”.
I knew where to look but had no idea if we would be so luck to find the most endangered carnivore in Africa but we did! I could not believe our luck and nor could my clients!
We watched the dogs jumping up and down in the long grass and running all over the place for about half an hour before we lost visual and began to make our way out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It had been an amazing 3 days with some amazing sightings for a 3 day safari from Durban.
Our next stop would be St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park to take a 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.
Our first look from the Jetty we spotted a pod of Hippos and when we got going we made our way to them to enjoy nature. They all ran into the water but it was lovely to see them.
Further up stream of the world heritage site of Isimangaliso Wetland park we found Crocodiles, Fish eagles, Herons, Kingfishers and lots and lots of Hippos. Wow what a safari up St Lucia estuary.
We then had a very interesting sighting of a Hippos chewing at a Buoy on a barge boat. This or though exciting for the clients go me very concerned as this behaviour could be very dangerous in the future as the Hippo playing with the boat will show others that they can do the same and this could increase attacks on boats.
I did however made a video for you to see this interesting behaviour.
Our cruise ended and we made our way into St Lucia town for some lunch which was great. After lunch we took a drive to the estuary mouth and then began our trip back to Durban after a very successful 3 days safari from Durban.
My clients were happy and so was I.
Our 3 day safari from Durban began with two different pick ups on in Kloof, West of Durban city and the other in Warner beach, South of Durban.
After I had all my clients aboard we began the 3 hour journey (Safari) to the Cat rehabilitation centre where we would learn more about endangered African cats hands on!
I covered the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and how each population group came to be in the area during the 3 hours we had on the road.
We arrived 15 minutes early for the Cat tour and in this time rested before a very exciting time seeing these amazing endangered African cats.
We first began with the African Wild cat then the Caracal before visiting the Cheetah for some hands on experience and then the Servals.
We also got to interact with Rain one of the new Cheetah cubs. We actually got to have here run around us playing with a soccer ball before she got interested in the male Cheetahs in the next enclosure.
We then made our way to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and it was here we really began our safari from Durban.
We really had a good start with some Zebra and Warthog near the gate, as we continued we spotted some Buffalo in the distance and then a few Giraffe one of which with patients we were able to get to cross the road in front of us.
It was now time to make our way to Hilltop camp and it was time for a lovely lunch before I got word of Lions down south so I made the crazy call of rushing off down there to see if we could get lucky on our Durban safari and see them.
We rushed and spotted a lovely male Rhino which I had to stop for as he was about to mark his territory and this was amazing as I filmed it!
We continued on and then as we got to where the Lions were we heard they had just crossed the road and were heading up the hill on the other side. We rushed to get some look at them but all we really could see was bums and they were far away!
I did make a video just to show you that we saw them and took a picture at full zoom which was terrible but a Lion is a Lion and that’s that!
We were I think actually depressed at this point but we some how managed to find a huge herd of Elephant on our Durban safari and I saw they were moving fast to get to water so we waited for almost an hour in total for then to come out of the bushes into the open for us.
Finally they did and the sighting was amazing!
They even in the video crossed the road in front of us there was about 150 Elephants in total which was really special to see so many!
We also had another great experience with these Elephants and that was of them drinking which we had hoped we would see. It was really amazing as the one baby was also drinking from its mother at the same time as she was drinking water.
After an amazing experience we began the safari back to camp and we saw about 8 Rhinos on the way before we got back and I checked the clients into there rooms safely. Here they rested for a short while and then we met for dinner.
The other half of the group I was driving on this 3 day safari a colleague of mine was taking and we all met at dinner so it was very exciting for us all.
Dinner was amazing with the great selection at Hilltop camp and then I had to go to bed as after the Zulu dancing the staff did for us my eyes could stay open no longer.
Day 2 would be a new adventure in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We began day 2 of our 3 day safari from Durban with breakfast and then headed down south to try our best at finding these Lions.
As we got down South we spotted a lovely dazzle of Zebra which were right next to the road and posing for us so this was a real African safari moment!
We moved on from them and found more Rhino to add to our list as well as lots of Impala the McDonalds of the bush!
This was a dominant male which was spraying urine to mark his territory.
As we crossed over the Umfolozi river I was hoping to see some big animals but instead we saw some Storks and a Nile Crocodile.
He was just resting on the sand and we saw him again later that day when we drove back past him during our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
As we passed through Mpila camp we stopped for a break and after this we managed to find some Giraffe near the road. We spent some time watching them as they were feeding and moving around. We then left them and continued our Durban safari.
We then spotted a Leopard Tortoise crossing the road. We seemed to have great luck with animals crossing the road on this Safari from Durban. This little fella also had his tongue out of his mouth at us!
We got into the area where Lion had been seen but sadly they had moved off and we were left looking at Wildebeest, Impala, Kudu and Buffalo. We actually had a great sighting of Buffalo a huge herd near the road.
We stopped for lunch at the Centenary center where we also looked at some curios and then we spotted an animal I am very familiar with! It is one of those South African children with no children present! It was a new and interesting sighting as this Homo Sapien climbed up upon the back of the brace Black Rhino Statue at the Centenary centre and pretended to ride the Rhino like a bicycle!
I was very interested in this strange but new sighting for us. Lol
All jokes aside we them began to make our way back to Hilltop camp to have a little rest before the evening game drive safari. Before we could get there though we found a few bull Elephants and a herd of Elephant near the road.
We then arrived back at Hilltop camp and had about 1.5 hours before we would meet again for the evening open vehicle game drive. I was really hoping my clients would get to see these pesky Lions which had caused me so much stress during the 2 days to date.
A couple of my clients went through for an early dinner as did I, We then went to bed and the others came through later for some food.
We began our morning game drive safari at 6am in the hope that we would find these Lions again and a little bit closer. I was really happy to hear that my clients has seen the lions on the evening night drive.
This sort of relieved some of the pressure off my shoulders but only 4 of my 6 clients had take the game drive and seen the lions, this meant I had to find them.
After this amazing sun rise we continued and found a mother Rhino and calf with a Big male who was interested in her. She showed here displeasure and he shifted off but not before we got a photo of him crossing the road in front of us.
As we cruised around we stopped at one of the view points over the Hluhluwe river and I spotted something moving in the distance at another view point. I looked with my binoculars and it was lions. I literally told everyone to hold on as they were moving away from the river and we rushed around to where they were and luck for us we got to see them crossing and heading up a path. If we were 5 minutes later we would have seen nothing! I was really happy!
We then continued our 3 day Durban safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and tried to see what else we could find. We were luck as not much further along we spotted a Rhino drinking water and later a Buffalo bull full of Red billed Ox peckers on his back crossing the road in front of us.
Moving along we spotted Giraffe in the distance more Rhino, Buffalo and Impala. We had really been spoiled on this 3 day Durban safari tour that we were complaining we hadn’t seen a really good quality Elephant sighting since day one.
It wasn’t long and we spotted a Giraffe with a Little baby which was new for us and the a big Buffalo bull approached them it was interested to watch as the mother Giraffe just stared a him and he walked around them with not a bother in the world.
It was not time to head back to the lodge for some breakfast and then check out before a final dash down to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Weland Park to view Hippos and crocodiles from a boat. It was a lovely 2 hour boat cruise and at St Lucia we saw some really interesting things on this final stretch of our Durban safari tour.
First we spotted a Big Crocodile and caught an African Fish eagle in flight which was amazing!
We then had a couple of really interesting sighting. The first was of two Bull Buffaloes from the Eastern shores of Isimangeliso Wetland park which were walking in the estuary and the came across a crocodile which they approached and it just swam off before getting trampled on. I made a video of it below:
As we continued up stream we found lots of pods of Hippos and one was very interesting as his upper canines were growing out the side of the mouth instead of in the mouth! This was interesting and shows that even with some disability you can survive and be a big male.
After a great cruise on lake St Lucia we made our way into the town not before getting a group photo to remember the 3 days we had spent on safari together.
It was now time for some lunch and we enjoyed some seafood, steak and a few other bits and pieces. It was lovely and a great way to end the 3 days of our Durban safari tour.
It was now just a 2.5 hour drive back to Durban (Umhlanga) where I was dropping off my clients for a rest before a bit wedding. If you wish to be a part of one of these Durban safari tours contact Tim Brown – email@example.com
We began our 3 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve in Umhlanga and then met my other clients in the Canelands area outside of Durban. It was a humid day and only got hotter as we headed onward to the cat rehab center outside Hluhluwe. Durban safaris and tours are the best was to see KwaZulu Natal this amazing province that we live in and taking a tour with Tim Brown Tours is the best choice you can make if you have limited time.
We began our tour of the cat rehabilitation center and started with the African wild cats which look most similar to the domestic cats. Moving on we entered the Caracal enclosure where we got a very active cat to watch but not touch.
It was then time for some interaction and we headed into the Cheetah camp to interact with two hand reared brothers. It was here that my clients got to sit with the Cheetah and have their picture taken.
I got one in of two of my four clients and I hope they don’t mind me using their picture.
After this amazing experience we entered into and enclosure with a 6 month of Cheetah which will be used for breeding in the future with her sister which happens to be at the vet at the moment.
We all interacted with her before moving onto the Serval which are cats that are easily domesticated which means these hand reared cats and be more playful than some of the other bigger cats we saw.
Wow! What an amazing experience! How can you visit Durban and not come on a Durban safari or Durban tour when their are so many amazing things to see and do on a cultural, historical and natural level.
We had completed the tour of the cat rehab center and made our way to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our Big 5 safari tour. It is always special to visit the oldest game reserve in Africa which is also home to the Big 5 animals, Lions, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. These are the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot, not that hunting takes place here anymore as it is a national park and used for eco-tourism.
Upon entering we spotted some Buffalo, Zebra and Impala within a few minutes. We then had a great sighting of 2 Rhino which crossed the road in front of us!
As we continued our Durban safari we got a bachelor herd of Buffalo and they we close to the road but they were mud wallowing. They were not to keen to have us around and ran off down the road and onto the other side parallel to us. We drove next to then and realised they we running at almost 40 km per hour!
At this point I noticed they wanted to cross back over to a watering hole to drink so I stopped they came across into the watering hole to drink.
After watching this amazing show on our Durban safari tour we also managed to get a great photo of one of these Buffaloes licking his nose clean after the drink he had. This really was a special moment.
We now were all getting a little hungry so we headed off to Hilltop camp for some lunch and we also checked into our rooms so we could have 45 minuted of rest to recover from all the excitement.
Our Safari from Durban really had started well.
At 15:30 we headed back out and it was still hot and humid so we had the air-conditioner on. We stopped at a few view points and spotted some Baboon on the road at one point.
This Baboon seemed to have so issue with his foot and mouth in sure it wasn’t the disease though! It was a great picture as the light caught his eyes and the hand to mouth and foot to head just made it such a winner!
We continued and found Nyala and Rhino in the distance before spotting some Giraffe near to the road.
After checking for Elephants everywhere I felt a little deflated having not seen any on day one but I also knew we had 2 more days. So after a long day in lovely Africa we headed back to Hilltop camp for the night and so great Buffet dinner. One of the meats was Eland the largest Southern African antelope which is not hunted on Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I will have you know!
We wanted to do some Star gazing but the clouds came over so we could not. We would have a not so early start the next morning at 7am when we met for breakfast and then headed down south in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
Day 2 was a very important day for us to try and knock some of the big things on the head. It was a little stressful as I was sure we would find Elephant but was not so positive on the Lion front. They always say that hard work pays off and we worked very hard on day 2 to find the Big 5 and even the little Dung beetle.
After a quiet 30 minutes I was frustrated but then I spotted these Elephants! What a relief!
We had 3 or 4 Bull Elephants together and watched then in a dry river bed before they moved out into the open for a good picture! Wow it was great! It is such a relief, I don’t think anyone really realizes how stressful my job can be. It a constant effort to find these animals for my clients and sometimes no matter how hard I try it doesn’t come off. Most of the time it does though!
Next was a Leopard Tortoise which was on the main road so we waited for it to move off the road so it didn’t get squashed and enjoyed it walking around, Wow what a great sighting on our Safari from Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
It was now time for the Big 5 and not the little 5 so we continued down south and crossed the Black Umfolozi river it was here I made the best all of the day. I said, “lets check back on that little road” I did and bang we got a pack of Wild dogs for 2 minutes as a mud wallow all to ourselves!
This was really the cherry on the top but more amazing sightings would follow, we just had to keep working hard and we would find more amazing animals.
Just in case you didn’t know this is the most endangered carnivore in Africa and their are only 60 odd in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, we saw about 13 of them! It was amazing! What a safari from Durban.
Next was a male Wildebeest which we spotted in an open area we 4 Rhino one of which made his way to the mud Wallow and lay down for a while.
After all the worry of the morning the day was really turning out very well. Our Safari from Durban was about to take another great spin as we finally found Lions, 15 meters off the road laying in the thickets.
This was really amazing and such a relief, we ended up watching these Lions for 20 odd minutes and one of the Lionesses got up and wondered around which was great to see.
The above video was very interesting as you will see in the video the Lioness was branded with the number 13. For some people this is a lucky number and other it is not, for us it seemed to be lucky.
As we moved on we found some Zebra right next to the road and they were resting their heads on each others backs which was amazing for my client to see. There is an explanation for this but you will have to take as Durban safari tour with Tim Brown Tours to find out!
Right across the road from the Zebra was a Rhino in a mud wallow and this was a crazy sighting as he was only 2 meters from the road which made it hard to drive up and not disturb him. We managed it though by turning of the engine and rolling up top him.
This was a very special sighting and you really had to be there to feel what it was like. I made a short video which I hope can help you feel what the experience was like for us and mostly my clients on this Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour.
We really had now be incredibly lucky and seen so much that we could only smile and laugh at how nervous I had been in trying to find good sightings for my clients.
We didn’t have to go much further before we spotted a Giraffe male feeding off the trees.
We were all getting hungry again after all the concentration and made our way back up to the Centenary center home of operation Rhino which brought back the White Rhinos in South Africa from extinction and also restocked Kruger national park with the population they have today.
Lunch was great and a look around the museum and curio shop was on the cards before we began the hour long drive back to Hilltop camp.
On route we spotted another Elephant right next to the road feeding.
Our day could not have been any better and as we arrived back at Hilltop camp we only had 45 minutes before the open vehicle game drive which my clients chose to do for the experience.
We met again at 8pm upon there return to see if they stars would be visible so I could do some star gazing before dinner. Sadly it was very cloudy and we had no chance. Even after another half hour no luck for us!
We went off to bed still very satisfied with our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour and looking forward to the last day which would contain 3 hours of Safari and a 2 hour boat cruise on Lake St Lucia at Isimangeliso wetland park.
We began which packing the luggage into the car and a 7am start then breakfast. It was a great buffet again and then we got work the another pack of Wild Dogs were on a Nyala male kill not far from the camp. We rushed off and found what was left of the Nyala which was 1 leg and some horns! That was exciting enough but the smell of the Dogs was still in the area and we drove through a thicket which lead us to the dogs in an open area. They were up to there normal behavior after a kill of defecating and resting in the grass. A couple of the dogs including the Alfa male and a sub Adult male showed off a bit to us which was great to watch.
After this we found an African Harrier Hawk in a tree near to the road. My clients seemed to be interested in birds so this was great for us to see and watch as he flew from branch to branch. As Safaris from Durban go this was really one of the better one!
We didn’t have to go much further and at a bridge crossing we spotted a Crocodile resting in the water. These are amazing creatures to see also like the Rhino so prehistoric to look at yet their simple body is so effective.
We continued and did a loop which was not really that lucrative but after what we had already seen it didn’t seem to matter as we had some general chatter. We did spot some Rhino and Buffalo but all pretty far off except for one.
I again got word the Lions were in another area further south in the reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi so we made our way down their before exiting the reserve and came across some very sleepy lions. At this point the rain also came down but the Lions just lay in the open not to worried.
We now had just the cherry on the top and this way great as it was one of my clients birthdays and to now seen Lions and African Wild dogs twice in 3 days was amazing for us all. Durban safaris never seem to let you down even when things are quiet their is always something that shows up for us.
It was not time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park and it was here that we would do a 2 hour boat cruise on lake St Lucia to view Hippos and crocodiles. This area of St Lucia estuary is the largest estuary or lake system in Southern Africa.
We managed to capture these two Hippo having a little argument in the Estuary. It was great to see their mouths open and having a full on conversation over something which I couldn’t hear.
We also spotted lots of King Fishers and even this amazing African Fish eagle.
To catch these birds in flight is a real challenge but I got it! I was pretty happy with the picture I must say.
We headed into St Lucia town for some lunch and enjoyed the meal before we headed all the way back to Durban to return the client to their respective hotels.
I know we all had a good time and the sightings were so special so I have to thank nature for showing up for us and making our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour that much more special.
I met my clients at the Hilton hotel in Durban, KwaZulu Natal for their 3 day Durban Safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve situated in northern KwaZulu Natal.
Durban safaris are always exciting and you just never know what you are going to see no matter how many time you do this. I covered some of the basic history of the area and answered the questions my New Zealand clients had to ask on route to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest game reserve in Africa and home to the Big 5, Our Durban safaris in KwaZulu Natal are focussed on this particular game reserve as it is amazingly scenic and the sightings are great.
We began our Durban safari at a Cat rehabilitation centre where my clients got to interact with Cheetah cubs as well as Serval, Caracal, African wild cat and adult Cheetah. We were the only guests there so we had the place to ourselves!
The Cheetahs were the big one and they looked so cute resting in the shade that I had to put up this picture of then.
We departed the Cat rehabilitation centre after an amazing start to our Durban safari tour and were now ready for the big on the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
It was 25 minutes and we were there and through the gates.
I had told my clients at 36 degrees and being midday we wouldn’t see too much. We did however see Impala and Buffalo first up as well are Rhino on a distant hill resting in the shade.
We arrived at Hilltop camp at 13:00 for some lunch and the place was full of people as a group came in for lunch only. I was really glad to hear it was lunch only!
Just after 2 pm we were done with lunch and I check us in and showed my clients to their room before some rest. We decided to head back our on our Durban safari tour at 4pm – 7pm so we could make the most of the afternoon.
It was a good decision as we saw some amazing animals in those 3 hours before dinner. Our Durban safaris try to give our clients as much of a holistic experience of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve so on the second day we usually head into the Umfolozi section in the South.
One of our first sightings was of a big male Waterbuck which I chose no to show this picture but he was majestic and beautiful.
As we continued our Safari in KwaZulu Natal – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we cam across a Water Monitor lizard which was digging through Rhinos Dung to find grubs. This is common behaviour but uncommon to see! So we were lucky.
Our next sighting on our KwaZulu Natal Safari was a herd of Buffalo which crossed the road in front of us. One of the old males at the back had been in the mud and it had dried on his body making him look white.
We enjoyed a view sight in the Hluhluwe Section of the reserve on our Durban safari and we then found a lovely female Rhino and her calf. The light was perfect for a picture but the distance not!
As the day drew on we made our way to the main road and found a crash of 3 female Rhinos walking down the road. KwaZulu Natal Safari tours can be really exciting when you see such amazing things. The light was not great for a good photo but the experience on this Safari from Durban was incredible.
We made our way to the rest room and before we got there a lovely herd of Buffalo greeted us. The light was now perfect and the picture can out really good during this part of our Durban safari tour.
We stopped at the gate for a break and watched some warthogs playing around, we then decided to continue slowly back to the lodge enjoyed the setting sun on our KwaZulu Natal safari.
It was minutes and for some amazing reason my eyes spotted something light rolling around in the distance near a burned tree stump. It was Lions! I could not believe our luck, what made this even better was they had a dead wart hog with them and were playing with it. During this time an Nyala antilope ran past the Lions and they all got up one of them chasing the Nyala but missing it.
The light was fading so photos were not so good but video was on so I took a bit of both.
During the sighting the Sun was setting and I thought a picture of it would be lovely. A sunset with a story behind it!
We were now running late and I had to wrench myself and my clients away from these Lions which weren’t easy but a fine would not be a good thing. We moved off and raced back to the lodge full of adrenaline and hungry ourselves for dinner. Good job it wasn’t Warthog!
We arrived back to Hilltop camp with smile on our faces and our Durban safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve in KwaZulu Natal had started with a bang! We got 4 out of the Big 5 as we did see and Elephant in the distance as well on this game drive.
The staff had a sing and dance and then we headed to bed after a great day.
We met at 7am for breakfast and then travelled down into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve to see if we could find better Elephant and some Giraffe.
I again could not have predicted the morning we would have in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on Safari.
It all began rather quietly and we then found a big Bull Elephant which crossed the road in front of us, he kept walking so we left him and stopped at the Nyalazi gate. We had a surprise waiting for us down there; Durban Safaris usually are full of surprises.
At the gate were two Bull Elephants drinking from one of the drains and we watched from the safety of the main building. They then moved into the parking lot to feed on the Marula trees.
Some tourist decided they wanted a selfie with the elephant which was really a stupid idea but I have my camera ready just in case I got some good footage to share with you!
It was not to be and the Elephants kept feeding.
Moments later we had a great sighting of Black Rhino a mother and her calf this is rare but in KwaZulu Natal you have better chances to see them in protected areas.
Our Durban safaris just seem to be getting better and better!
We continued on and found a Journey of Giraffe 2 of which were under a tree near the road with a baby near by. The others were down in the valley feeding of leaves. Durban safaris are amazing!
Moving on from this amazing creature we spotted some Baboons and Zebra together and we spent some time with them as the babies we were trying to film kept moving in the thickets. I eventually gave up and took a picture of the big male Baboon as he was not too bothered!
We returned back to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe after a very successful Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and settled in for a little rest before we would head back out at 4pm. We did spot a huge herd of Elephant in the distance on route.
The sun was so hot that at Midday it was 36 degrees.
At 4pm we headed out again of the second half of the day till 7pm when we would return for dinner and a rest.
Just when you think you have seen it all a Safari from Durban will surprise you and you will be blown away!
We headed down to find the large herd of Elephant and we spotted them with out much trouble and they had tiny babies with this which made the sighting that much more special! Boy can KwaZulu Natal safaris from Durban be interesting!
We saw herd after herd of Elephant until we had Elephants coming out of our ears!
It was quite a mission getting passed all these Elephants and once we did we had some hard road to traverse before getting to a lovely river crossing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where a Lioness with 2 cubs of about 9 months old lay resting on the bank! It was amazing to see them and after finding Lions on both days we felt really lucky.
We continued around the loop and spend lots of time waiting on Elephant that were creating a road block. We got back to the Lions to see if they moved and the cubs had gone and there was only the Lioness.
We left her after a short while and continued our Durban safari tour; we came round another corner and found Rhinos in the road mating! I could not believe our luck!
What an amazing Durban safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We got stuck behind these Rhinos for half and hour and our plan to get back early was not a distant thought. We waited and waited and waited! I almost decided to go all the way back the other way but then finally the moved and we could get by safely.
We made our way back to the lodge shocked with all that we had seen and settled in for some great dinner before a good nights sleep.
We began our day with some breakfast before checking out and heading into the Hluhluwe section of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It began as a cool 24 degrees and I was hoping it would stay that way but I was wrong. By 10 am it was 34 degrees!
We had really seen more that usual and just tried to fill the gaps with better sightings of animals my clients like most; one being the Baboon; which we got mating and fighting all at the same time. Wow this was an amazing sighting to see on our KwaZulu Natal safari from Durban.
We moved on looking at herds of Buffalo, Zebra and Rhinos before finding a couple of old Buffalo bulls that had just had a mud wallow! They were covered in it.
The time moved on quickly and we left Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after what had been an amazing 3 days of a Durban safari and we honestly could not have had better sightings. We got Lions on 2 out of the 3 days and the quality of our sightings had been really good. This is a real tribute to conservation in KwaZulu Natal and Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We spent the next hour driving to St Lucia or Isimangeliso Wetland Park as it is now known and when we arrived we were very lucky to have only 4 other clients on the boat!
We had great sighting of Hippos, Fish eagles and Goliath herons etc.
We managed to find this breeding pair of Fish eagles sitting next to one another in a White Mangrove tree.
After a fulfilling boat cruise for 2 hours on the lake St Lucia with lots of Hippo sighting we made our way into the small town of St Lucia for lunch.
It was great and I past on all my photos and videos from this very special tour to my clients. John will at some point be making a video with all the footage he got and maybe some of mine with feature as well.
It had been an amazing Durban safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and St Lucia, oh and the cat rehabilitation centre. We all really enjoyed what nature provided for us to enjoy.
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.