safari Tour game drive in hluhluwe umfolozi Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 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!

     

     

  • 29th March 2014

    Durban 2 Day overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe

    umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Wetlands

    ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) – 22 March – 23 March

    2014.

    On this Durban Overnight Safari Tour we began in Durban city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal 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 09:30 at the Nyalazi gate where we entered this majestic, scenic game reserve for our Durban 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 slowly as rain had fallen all over the reserve the day before but today the sun was out in force and the temperatures rose to 35 Degree Celsius during the Day.

    One of our first sightings on our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi was the Warthog which is not one of the Big 5 but just as interesting.

    Muddy Warthog Rubbing on a log on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    Muddy Warthog Rubbing on a log on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    We continued further South finding Impala, Wildebeest, Zebra and White Rhinos. These White Rhinos Spotted on our Durban overnight Safari Tour had been in the mud and were right next to the road which mad for a great photo opportunity. White Rhino are one of the Big 5 so we now had one of the Big 5 knocked off the list.

    Muddy White Rhino on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    Muddy White Rhino on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    As we continued on our Safari Tour in the Umfolozi section of the reserve we were stunned at almost 1pm to find a Lioness hunting Warthog! Sadly she missed them as they got wind of here and bolted for the bushes. This Safari Tour from Durban was becoming quite something! Just around the bend we spotted the rest of the Pride 5 more Lions. 4 Being Females and one a Young Lion. They all crossed the dirt road in front of our vehicle. This was truly a blessing mostly because it was the heat of the day and we don’t usually see Lions so active at that time, So Now we had 2 of the Big 5 found and only 3 to go.

    Lioness Stalking Warthog in Umfolozi on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    Lioness Stalking Warthog in Umfolozi on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park
    Young Male Lion in Umfolozi on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park
    Young Male Lion in Umfolozi on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

     

    We continued our Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve before heading back to Centenary centre for some lunch and back to Hilltop for the afternoon open vehicle game drive Safari Tour.
    Hilltop camp is a beautiful lodge hidden away in the forest of the Hluhluwe game reserve, they are fully catered and a guide is always recommended.

    Lunch was great and on route to Hilltop camp we actually found our 3rd one of the Big 5 on our Safari Tour from Durban, Buffalo. This Buffalo bull was thrusting his horns around the grass – we call it adornment. The grass or twigs that gets stuck in the horns is supposed to make the male more attractive to the female Buffalo…

    Buffalo Bull on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park
    Buffalo Bull on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    After this we were almost at Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve when we spotted Elephants a small breeding herd of about 9 Elephants. This was now number 4 of the Big 5 and we had done really well in just one day on our Durban Safari Tour.

    Elephant Herd on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    Elephant Herd on our Durban 2 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    We were now in a rush to get checked into Hilltop camp Hluhluwe before the open vehicle game drive Safari Tour but it was worth it!
    We arrived at Hilltop camp I rushed in and got the check in out the way before rushing through the forest to the rooms to drop off the luggage and get the clients back down for the Open vehicle Safari Tour experience.

    After the Open Vehicle experience my clients returned having seen much of the same animals but no cats so I was really glad we had found then in the Umfolozi section. It was time for dinner and I could feel my eyes wanting to shut as we began dinner after 8pm at Hilltop camp, We were the last to leave the lodge for bed!

    Day 2: Durban 2 Day overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park)

    We had a 7am breakfast at Hilltop camp Hluhluwe before checking out and doing our last 2.5 Hours Safari Tour Game Drive in Hluhluwe Umfolozi. We found some Giraffe, Rhino, Buffalo and a few other species but not the same at the first day of our Durban Safari Tour…

    It was not time to depart Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park, South Africas first World heritage site. It was beautiful and the weather was perfect for our 2 hour St Lucia Boat cruise on the Estuary.

    We saw Loads of Hippos and a few crocodiles as well as a Fish Eagle. We had been very lucky all Safari Tour long and Isimangeliso Park was no different!

    Once we were back at the Jetty it was time for some lunch in St Lucia Town we all enjoyed our food before the final drive back to Durban City.
    The final 2.5 hours back were taken up by the last few questions and I think we all felt that we had achieved a lot in a short space of time of our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and Isimangeliso Wetland park/St Lucia.

    To experience a similar Durban Safari Tour join me; Tim Brown as I guide you through the beauty of what South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Durban have to offer you our valued Guests to our Country.

    You can Choose from a range of Durban Safari Tour, Big 5 Safari Tours, Zulu Cultural Tour, Historical Tours and City Tours.
    Contact Us – Tim Brown Tours – Bush, Berg and Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, we will bring our country alive for you!