south africa Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 17th June 2016

    The Drakensberg mountains are for me the most majestic mountains to tour and to share this place with my clients is truly a blessing!

  • 12th December 2015

    Durban safari tour 9-11th December 2015

     

     

     

    Our Durban safari tour began in Durban city where I collected my clients for their safari experience with Tim Brown Tours. We headed up to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on route stopping at a Cat rehabilitation center for interaction with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat hands on! 

    There is no point in coming to Africa and not experiencing an African safari! South Africa is as good a place to begin with a safari as we are home to the oldest game reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve established in 1895.

    On route to this majestic national park home to the Big 5, I always cover this history of South Africa as it ties so well into our Safari experience.

     

    After the Cat interaction we arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and began our South African safari. It was one of those days when you just try to see what you can find and you have such success in doing it!

    We had Zebra on the road, Warthog, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephants all within the first 1,5 hours.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Zebra

    Durban safari tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we enjoyed these Zebra we found some Rhino and then a massive herd of Elephant the size of which we do not see often so it was really exciting! Our Durban safari tour moved on as we positioned ourselves in the best place to watch these amazing creatures.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Elephant

    Durban safari tour; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After enjoying this safari with the Elephants we moved on and spotted Nyala as well as more Buffalo in the valleys and on the hills. We then stumbled across a lovely Rhino mother and her calf which got up and raced across the road and then posed for us. Wow our South African safari was really hotting up!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tour; Rhino

    Durban safari tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way up to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the 2 nights and had some lunch before getting some rest. At 16:45 it was time for the open vehicle game drive which my client would enjoy and then return at 8pm for some dinner.

     

    After dinner we went to sleep to rest the body and mind and our Durban safari tour would continue the next day at 7am.

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban safari tour 9-11th December 2015

     

     

    We began day 2 with a great breakfast at Hilltop camp and then headed out with two things on our minds, Giraffe and cats!

    It would be a tall order for our Hluhluwe game reserve safari but we made the best of the pressure and got really lucky at times.

     

    Our first major sighting knocked the Giraffe on the head!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On any African safari there is never a guarantee of the animals you want to see especially the cats as the Lions and Leopard are nocturnal.

    On two occasions we actually located blood markings and drag marks which looked clearly to be Leopard but we could not spot the animal in the thick bush so far off the road.

    Our Durban safari tour continued and we made our way further south finding more and more Elephants and Rhinos which was excellent.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky to find two bull Elephants on the road and later a big male Elephant sleeping next to the road. He was so relaxed he broke wind a few times and hardly moved when we drove away. South Africa is really an amazing country!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Elephant sleeping

    Durban safari tours; Elephant sleeping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had great luck with Rhinos and the one male we found in a mud wallow during our South African safari was in the cutest position looking like a puppy the way his feet were close to his face!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Cute Rhino

    Durban safari tours; Cute Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back up to the Centenary center for some lunch and then I got reports that the pride of Lions in the north were out in full view near the main road and close to the Memorial gate.

    At this stage we were about 1.25 hours drive way which I managed in 1 hour I think and we arrived to a brilliant sighting with no other vehicles except us! It was pure safari magic!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Lions

    Durban safari tours; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    To find Lions out in the middle of the day was amazing and even more so as they were with their heads up most of the time! Our Durban safari tour was really becoming a special one and these Lions really made our day.

    It is time now that these two young males and young female of the pride move on to prevent fights and in breeding so it is possible that today was an indication of this change. Always so exciting to see change on an African safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Lion

    Durban safari tours; Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was probably more relieved than my clients to have seen Lions! Every one thinks a guides job is so glamorous but at the end of the day there are pressures which we feel to deliver the best that a safari can offer. Its our job!

    We headed back to Hilltop camp and it was almost 16:00 so we had been out over 8 hours on safari in Africa.

    We then would have dinner later and some rest before day three would begin!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban safari tour 9-11th December 2015

     

     

     

     

     

    The third day of our 3 day Durban safari tour began later at 8am and we enjoyed some breakfast before putting the finishing touches on our Hluhluwe game reserve safari before heading to St Lucia for a 2 hour Hippos and crocodile tour.

    We had some lovely sightings before we left of Buffalo, Zebra and Rhino!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not 10:30 and time to head to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park for the boat cruise. We almost had the boat to ourselves at this world heritage site and enjoyed some great sightings of Hippos, Bull Sharks, 1 Crocodile and lots of Bird life.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Flamingos

    Durban safari tours; Flamingos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Flamingos are a real treat in St Lucia estuary now as we only see them if the water level is low and its very low so we saw two flocks!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Hippos

    Durban safari tours; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Hippos were very sleepy today and we only had one opportunity for a Hippo yawn and I missed it! Having said that it is always an amazing experience and a great tour being around 2.5 hours from Durban and a great additive on our Durban safari tours.

     

    It was then time to have some lunch in the town of St Lucia and then head back to Durban. We arrived as the sun was beginning to set and were pretty happy with the 3 days we had spent together on our African safari.

     

    If you would like to join a tour of this nature please click the link below:

     

    Durban safari tours

  • 29th August 2014

    Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 1:

     

    It was a beautiful winter day when I collected my clients from a Durban hotel. They would be spending 4 Days with me but the first 3 days would be a 3 day Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve situated near Durban. My clients were from Washington DC and out for a holiday after a business trip to our city of Durban.

     

    It is common to find travelers visiting Durban for conferences and business and then realising that there is so much to do here in Durban. Sadly Durban is not as well advertised as Cape Town, Joburg or Kruger National Park. Those are the usual places people have heard of an visit!

     

    After covering some of the history of our amazing country, South Africa and City of Durban it was time to look at the History around the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and the Cat rehabilitation centre we would first be visiting.

     

    Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation centre opened its doors in the early 1990’s to help endangered cats like Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat increase there numbers. At this stage no success with Cheetah but plenty with the other endangered cats.

     

    I am pleased to say that Tim Brown Tours supports this project by bringing our clients their as the entrance fee’s go to the aid of these amazing cats.

      

    Caracal on our Durban Big 5 Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Caracal on our Durban Big 5 Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we had spent some time with these majestic cats we headed on into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is only 20 minutes away from Emdoneni.

     

    Upon entering through Memorial gate into this World Famous and historical game reserve, being the oldest in Africa we had immediate success. We spotted: Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Nyala and Warthogs in a matter on 10 minutes.

     

    Most of these sightings were not brilliant but still were great. We moved on to Hilltop camp where we had some lunch and checked in before getting back onto the reserve to see what other animals we could find.

     

    After spending some time driving around and watching animals from far, we decided to stop at a view point to look over the Hluhluwe River. He we spotted this large crocodile.

     

    Crocodile seen in the Hluhluwe River on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

    Crocodile seen in the Hluhluwe River on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our Durban Big 5 Safari and an old Buffalo bull feeding near to the road. This was the best sighting we had to this point of a Buffalo.

     

    Buffalo bull seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari from Durban

    Buffalo bull seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After enjoying this Buffalo feed we continued a short distance before we spotted a mother Rhino and her calf. We spent some good time watching them and witnessed the baby eating its mothers dung and suckling. The eating of mother dung in White Rhino is common as the babies do not have the enzymes in there stomach to digest the grass naturally. They therefore have to eat mothers dung to get the enzymes into there intestine to digest the grass they are feeding on.

     

    Rhino with her calf seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour
    Rhino with her calf seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back to the main road and we lucky enough to have a sighting on Lions on a Rocky hill, sadly it was not the best sighting but a Lion is a Lion in my book! Our Durban Big 5 Safari had started to get really exciting with 3 of the Big 5 Spotted on the first day.

     

    Lions seen on Day 1 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Lions seen on Day 1 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way round to find some Giraffe which we did and then had to turn back to get to our lodge before curfew. Over all our Durban Safari Today had been great for a start and with a 6am start the next day we would hopefully find more exciting Big 5 species and general game.

     

    We then met for some star gazing and then dinner which was lovely as always before some sleep. It is fine if the mind goes on safari at night but the body must rest to keep fresh for the next day’s safari.

     

     

    Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 2:

     

    I met my clients on Day 2 at 6am and we departed for a full day safari, we would be heading down south into the reserve to see what we could find.

     

    Our Safari from Durban had already been very successful but we hadn’t yet seen Elephants and of course seeing an Elephant is a big thing on a Safari as it is one of the Big 5.

     

    We had a quiet start with lots of Zebra and Giraffe. Our first major sighting was a male Giraffe near to the road in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.

     

    Giraffe on Day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Giraffe on Day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had great luck as I spotted a Hyena crossing the road and walking through the bushes into the scrub. This was really exciting for us all.

     

    Spotted Hyena seen on our second day of our Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Spotted Hyena seen on our second day of our Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our Big 5 Durban Safari we came across a lovely sighting of a mother Rhino and her calf near the road. We had seen the same the day before but this was a much closer sighting and very enjoyable.

     

    White Rhino and calf seen on day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
    White Rhino and calf seen on day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our safari we came across more Giraffe and Rhino before we stopped at a “Hide” to see what animals came to drink. A “Hide” is a hut which overlooks a watering hole where people are supposed to sit in silence and see what animals come down to drink.

     

    Warthog drinking during our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Warthog drinking during our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky as we got to see Zebra, Nyala and Warthogs come and drink in half an hour.

    As we left the hide and continued our Safari we spotted some Wildebeest and we got them to cross the road in front of us. We were luck enough to also have a real Zebra crossing!

     

    Wildebeest crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

    Wildebeest crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Zebras are in great condition even though we have had a hard winter with fires and little good grass for grazing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Zebra Crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Zebra Crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we began the long journey back to the luncheon stop we found our first Elephant in the Umfolozi River feeding on the reeds. We enjoyed him for a while and a small Water Monitor lizard before continuing on.

     

    We stopped for lunch at midday and enjoyed some good food before continuing to look for Elephants we were in luck on this Safari from Durban!

     

    Near the gate we spotted one Bull Elephant and then another two Bull Elephants. Now two out of these three Elephants had 5 legs! I will let you think about it!

     

    These three Elephant Bulls came together and began to drink water near the gate. We got out to the safety of the main building to watch them and we also spotted Giraffe and Zebra in the same area.

     

    Can you spot the three different animals in this picture
    Can you spot the three different animals in this picture

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Elephants actually got into some great positions to use there flexible trunks to reach the water in this drain and I got a great photo.

     

    Elephant drinking near the gate during our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

    Elephant drinking near the gate during our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had now been 8 hours of Safari and it was time to make our way back to the camp for a rest before dinner.

     

    What a great second day on our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

      

    It was now time for bed as we needed some rest, the 3rd day of our Durban Safari would entail: Breakfast, checkout, 3 hour Hluhluwe imfolozi Safari and a 2 hour boat Cruise at St Lucia- Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

     

     

    Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

    Day 3:

     

    We began just before 7am and came through for some breakfast before checking out and starting our last 3 hour Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    The 3 hours were great and we basically recapped on animals seen already. Unfortunately we did not find any more cats so we had to be happy with the one sighting of these amazing creatures.

     

    One of our first sightings was this herd of Buffalos; I got a picture of the one young female.

     

    Buffalo cow stares at us on our 3rd day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Buffalo cow stares at us on our 3rd day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we found a couple of Elephants that crossed the road and disappeared into the thickets before we could get a decent photo. We headed down towards the Umfolozi river via Seme and MaQanda on route we found Rhino and some Nyalas with new born babies. The one male was already checking to see if the female was ready for mating.

     

    Nyala Bull tests a female to see if she is ready for mating during our Durban Safari to Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Nyala Bull tests a female to see if she is ready for mating during our Durban Safari to Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we got closer to the Umfolozi River we spotted lots of Giraffe and Zebra.

     

    Zebra and Giraffe pose on Day 3 of our Big 5 Safari Tour
    Zebra and Giraffe pose on Day 3 of our Big 5 Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to turn back to the Nyalazi gate and end the Big 5 Safari part of our Tour. We departed and headed to St Lucia Estuary – Isimageliso Wetland Park for our 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour.

     

    It was windy but we saw loads of Hippos and a few Crocodiles including Fish Eagles.

     

    Crocodile seen at St Lucia in the Estuary during a 3 day safari tour from Durban

    Crocodile seen at St Lucia in the Estuary during a 3 day safari tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued up the Estuary of St Lucia we soon spotted this Fish Eagle in a Tree scouting out for fish.

     

    Fish Eagle on our St Lucia Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

    Fish Eagle on our St Lucia Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was really only at the top of the Estuary that we got the best sightings of Hippos and we even got some Hippos out the water on the sand bank.

     

    Hippo seen at St Lucia on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

    Hippo seen at St Lucia on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we finished with the 2 hour boat Tour we headed into St Lucia town and had some lunch before departing for Durban City.

     

    Durban is almost 3 hours away from St Lucia and we were already tired so we stopped a couple times along the way to freshen up.

     

    Our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour had been really successful and we all enjoyed the amazing sights from the Stars at night to the animals in the day. Not to mention the Hyena calling at night near Hilltop camp.

     

    If you are interested in this or one of our other Durban Safaris or Durban Tours contact me through the online booking form of inquiry form and I will try to make you Safari/Tour just as exciting!