St Lucia Estuary Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 11th January 2016

    South African safari to Hluhluwe game reserve.

     

     

    Our South African safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban. After collecting my clients we headed into Zululand and our safari began with a visit to a Cat rehabilitation center.

     

    After some amazing interaction with four endangered species of cat we departed for Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would try to find as many of the Big 5 animals as we could. We were very luck and the first animal we saw close was 2 Lions about 25 meters off the road.

    My photos for them did not come out well but it was no problem as a couple kilometers away we found a Lioness resting!

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Lioness

    South African safari; Lioness

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were shocked with our luck and on route to Hilltop camp where we would be staying we spotted Rhino, Buffalo and a few other species!

    We then settled in at Hilltop camp for some lunch and then checked in before heading back out with already two Lion sightings under our belt. It wasn’t long and we had found four of the Big 5! Elephants were feeding off in the distance but we didn’t worry to much about this as I knew we would see them closer.

    It wasn’t long and our South African safari turned good again and we found Rhino close to the road and one sleeping behind a Marula tree!

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino sleeping

    South African safari; Rhino sleeping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was getting darker with all the cloud cover but we did spot Buffalo which didn’t come out in the camera very well but the best was yet to come as at dusk we spotted a Lioness and had her all to ourselves for 25 minutes!

    She fetched a carcass of a baby Buffalo and walked across the road in front of us with it and then lay down 5 meters off the road with it and fed! This was an amazing end to the day and I have videos to show you how awesome this part of our Safari from Durban was!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lioness carries Buffalo calf across road in front of us 


    This was an amazing part of our South African safari and we then filmed her feeding next to us which was just incredible!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tours; Lioness eats a Buffalo calf 


     

    At this point we were going to be late and we had accepted that we may have to pay a fine but it would be worth it due to the amazing sighting. We tried to get back to Hilltop camp as quick as we could but another Lioness further up the road almost on the road halted our progress!

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Lioness at night

    South African safari; Lioness at night

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    She was so beautiful we had to take a photo of two. we arrived 15 minutes late and were let in with not reprimand but the risk is to high to break rules. It in this case was purely not our fault.

    We arrived at Hilltop camp buzzing and settled in for dinner. I knew I would not sleep after all the excitement but at some point during uploading of these videos I feel off to sleep.

     

    The second day would begin at 5am.

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari

     

     

     

    We had another amazing start we found some Elephants in the distance and then some Rhino. The photos were no good and as we continued we had an amazing sighting finding African Wild dogs which is the most endangered carnivore in Africa! I was so stoked! Wow! South African safaris in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve can be amazing.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African wild dogs

    South African safari; African wild dogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: South Africa safari; African Wild dogs on the hunt


     

    As we continued we found a Leopard tortoise on the road so I had to move it as we always find people not driving properly and hitting them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Leopard Tortoise

    South African safari; Leopard Tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our South African safari we came across a journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. We also had then together on the road drinking from the small puddles of water from the rain in the night.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe and Zebra

    South African safari; Giraffe and Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban Safaris; Zebra kicks gravel to get nutrients from soil 


     

     

    It was time to get to a rest room break so we headed for the Nyalazi gate. After a short stop we began to make our way back to Hilltop camp and found Rhino closer to the road.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino

    South African safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Things we hotting up again on our South African safari and we found some Elephants next to the road which was amazing. The one male came onto the road for us.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I had been waiting for the perfect moment to take a good picture of Buffalo and it wasn’t long till we got that too!

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The rain seemed to have softened the animals hearts and they were showing themselves except for that pesky Leopard which I wasn’t expecting anyway. We still had time so we would see what happened.

    We returned to Hilltop camp and had some Brunch before a rest. We would meet again at 15:45 for another attempt at more amazing animals.

     

     

    At 16:00 we departed and as usual the African bush was slightly quiet before the later afternoon and evening. We managed to spot Elephant in the distance and had close ups of Rhino and Buffalo.

    The rain began to fall and we spotted Baboon all curled up in each others arms trying to stay away from the rain.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Baboons in the rain

     

    South African safari; Baboons in the rain

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It wasn’t long before we had an awesome sighting on our South African safari of Rhino where their was 3 mothers and 3 calves which joined force to play and mud wallow, it was almost like a play group.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhinos in Africa play with one another


     

     

     

     

    We were hoping that on our way back we would be able to find some Lions as we had done so well the day before but as nature had it, it can also take it and we did not find Lions!

    We did however come across one of my favourite Rhinos which has an abnormal horn which bends the opposite direction to usual.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino with wonky horn

    South African safari; Rhino with wonky horn

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to head back from our South African safari to Hilltop camp our based for the 3 days and have some dinner which well welcomed by us all.

    After a great meal we would meet at 7am the following day for luggage collection, breakfast and check out.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: African safari from Durban

     

     

    Our African safari from Durban began at 7am and we enjoyed some breakfast and got the formalities out the way before heading out for 3 hours or so to see what else we could find before we departed Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park, South Africas first world heritage site.

    It wasn’t long and we found Zebra and Giraffe near the road.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was a quiet drive around considering we had basically seen everything most animals we saw we already had better photos so we just enjoyed the ambiance of the South African safari.

     

    It was time to exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we made our way to St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park which was also established in 1895 and is home to 4 of the Big 5 but most importantly Hippos, Crocodiles and Bull Sharks.

     

    Upon arrival we visited a craft shop and then boarded the boat up the St Lucia estuary to view Hippos and Crocodiles.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippo

    South African safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also got a great photo of a big Nile Crocodile with a Grey Heron and an African spoon bill.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile

    South African safari; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The St Lucia boat cruise on the estuary is amazing and we always see lots of Hippos and today we even got a Hippo out the water as it was a cooler day which we do not always get to enjoy.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippo out the water

    South African safari; Hippo out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari from Durban in Zululand and we were all very happy. Each day had its big sightings like the 4 Lion sightings on day one, the Wild Dogs and Rhino playing on day two and the third day was the Hippos!

    We had some lunch in St Lucia before making our way back to Durban.

    Another amazing South African safari under the belt!

  • 6th January 2016

    South Africa safari

     

     

    Our South Africa safari began in Durban where I collected my clients and we began the drive to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is malaria free and home to the big 5.

    It would be a South Africa safari that we would not forget!

    We began with Cheetah interaction in Hluhluwe and then made our way into the Hluhluwe game reserve. It was not long and our African safari tour began to unfold before us.

     

    Our first sighting was of Zebra inside 2 minutes and these two one a male and the other a female were resting their head on each others backs.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Zebra

    South Africa safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Seriously if you are looking for the best African safari tour with value for money this is the one you need to choose! If you read on with this post you will see why I say that. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve being the oldest game reserve in Africa had amazing sighting of animals but it is always safer and better to go with a South African safari guide who is registered and qualified to take you on safari.

     

    Next we saw Buffalo which were far away as well as some Elephant so already we had seen 3 of the Big 5! There was nothing really worth photographing I felt so we continued on to the Hilltop camp for some lunch. We enjoyed so good service from the manager of the restaurant before checking in and resting before we would continue at 4pm.

     

     

    At 4pm we headed back out on our South Africa safari and managed to find Rhinos. We waiting 20 minutes for them to make their way to the road and then got them crossing near us.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Rhino

    South Africa safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next on the agenda was Elephants close and we got them on the road! Wow what a start to our South Africa safari tour. The Elephants we coming from the river and were chilled out so we could enjoy them before moving on to check the Hluhluwe river ourselves.

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Elephant

    South Africa safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also managed to get a great video of an Elephant trying to strip a branch!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safaris; Elephant works on its meal


    We moved along with our South African safari and located some Giraffe crossing the road, we positioned ourselves and enjoyed the moving along through the thicket feeding on the Acacia trees.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Giraffe

    South Africa safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our South Africa safari just got better as we went along and it was about to get a whole lot more amazing as we located the Lions that has been resting in the shade. This sighting was the best African safari tour sighting you could ever wish for and we were spoiled!

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion grimace

    South Africa safari; Lion grimace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of the Sub Adult males got up and walked over to his sister and did a Grimace! This is typical to what you would want to see on an African safari tour! We waiting for over an hour and this is what the documentaries never show you but eventually 3 of the 5 Lions crossed the road. We now had seen clearly 4 of the Big 5!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion on road

    South Africa safari; Lion on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    They Lioness that had already crossed the road spotted some Impala and sadly for her they spotted her and the male Impala came running out towards the Lions, another thing documentaries don’t show you!

    A prey item always wants to see where the predators are. The Lions lay down and waited and then the Best African safari experience we could have ever wishes for took place.

    Let this picture be a taste before the video!

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion and Rhino stand off

    South Africa safari; Lion and Rhino stand off

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The video of what happened you will not believe so I am glad you can watch it! The Rhino with few month old calf walked past a young male Lion and didn’t see or smell him. He then got up and walked after the Rhino before charging and grabbing the baby Rhino which he quickly let go once mother Rhino turned around with her big horn!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion attacks baby Rhino; Lion vs Rhino 


     

    Please excuse my language in the video it is not a natural sighting to see and we all get a little excited! We could not believe our luck at this point I was feeling like this was the best African safari tour ever!

     

    We had to depart now and head back to Hilltop camp for dinner and share our story!

     

    Dinner was great and we were all so tired we went to bed early but we would have a 5 am start the next day.

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South Africa safari

     

     

     

    We began the second day of our South Africa safari at 5am and we made our way down south to try and find the only one of and the most difficult of the big 5, the Leopard.

     

    We started really well with a Porcupine which is nocturnal near the road which was super special for me as I have not seen one in this game reserve.

    It scuttled off to quick to get a picture but is was not long until we spotted Rhinos on the road sleeping.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Rhino

    South Africa safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I realized that I had used up so much battery with the Lions and stupidly had forgotten my charger at home so I have to conserve my battery.

    We did see Giraffe around the next bend and Nyala but we had already great shots of them. Our African safari tour continued and we found a lovely herd of Buffalo near the road,

    This one female look at me as is I owed her money!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Buffalo

    South Africa safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued in the malaria free Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and made our way down to the Umfolozi river it was near here that we found Wildebeest with new born babies and Rhino. We also spotted Kudu which was new for us on this trip.

    We eventually turned back after not finding the Leopard and made our way back to Hilltop camp after what was a very successful African safari tour.

     

    After breakfast we took some time out during the heat of the day and met again later for another South African safari.

     

    We headed to an area we had not yet visited and its was so hot all we saw was warthogs.

    Once it finally cooled down we spotted some Rhino and then the Cherry on the top, the Black Rhino!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Black Rhino mother and calf

     

    South Africa safari; Black Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting we spotted a huge bull Elephant and some Buffalo which were resting near the road. This really was turning out to be an amazing African safari and one of the Best African safaris I have done.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Bull Elephant

    South Africa safari; Bull Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted the African Lions resting in the distance and watched them get chased by Elephants into the drainage after 15 minutes of waiting they emerged on the other side closer to us and we got a great look as 3 of the 4 Lions that were there.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lions

    South Africa safari; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This young Lioness who is the sister to the young male then presented herself to her brother and he attempted to mate with her. Thankfully he missed the spot and only made himself look silly.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion attempts to mate with his sister!

     

     

     

     

     

    We had been one an amazing ride and our South Africa safari really had taken great shape and we were all very happy. We returned to Hilltop camp for some dinner and then went off to bed before another 5 am start.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South Africa safari

     

     

     

    Our third day began were we left off with the second day as we relocated the Lions and watched then get chased by Elephants before they reappeared. The best part was that today the Big male had joined the Lions so we had most of the pride together again.

    This really was on of the best African safari tours with us having seen Lions on all three days of this safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion

    South Africa safari; Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing sighting and after 2 days of brilliant game viewing on our South African safari we really didn’t have any need for more pictures even though we say Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and a lot more on this morning.

    We headed back for breakfast and checked out before heading to Isimangaliso Wetland park or the St Lucia estuary where we would be taking a 2 hour boat cruise to watch Hippos, Crocodile, Bull sharks and some wonderful bird life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Hippo

    South Africa safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our first sighting of Hippo happened before we could even leave the Jetty! They were resting and playing all at the same time in the St Lucia estuary.

     

    It wasn’t long and I spotted a bull shark hunting fish in the St Lucia estuary. This is always amazing and never an animal you are likely to see.

     

    Of course it happened so fast I did not have time for a picture that was any good. Next was more Hippos and them more! We spotted two feeding on the reeds which is rare in the middle of the day at 38 degrees!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Hippo feeding

    South Africa safari; Hippo feeding

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After an amazing time out on the St Lucia estuary we went into St Lucia town for some lunch and then headed back to Durban.

     

    This truly had been one of the best African safari tours I have conducted with the highlight being the sighting of the Lion attacking the Rhino calf on the first evening!

     

  • 4th December 2015

    St Lucia Wetlands tour

     

     

    We began our St Lucia Wetlands tour later than normal at 10:30 am in Durban and made our way up to St Lucia aka Isimangaliso Wetland park. I had been collecting my clients off the cruise ship the Oceana Nautica in Durban and we began our trek to St Lucia stopping for lunch on the road.

     

    We arrived in St Lucia 45 minuted before our boat cruise at 14:30 so had time to do the St Lucia board walk which takes you down to the St Lucia estuary mouth. There are danger signs all over as it is one of the only places in the world that Sharks, Hippos and Crocodiles are found in the same waters.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Boardwalk warning sign

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Boardwalk warning sign

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    While were were on the board walk we spotted a Sharks fins on two occasions as well as the Hippos and later a Crocodile and this was just by the opening into the Indian Ocean.

    From the St Lucia estuary beach you can also see the amazing vegetated sand dune called Maphelane which is actually the worlds second highest at over 180 meters above sea level!

    No wonder St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park is South Africa’s first world heritage site.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Maphelane from St Lucia beach

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Maphelane from St Lucia beach

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We rushed back to the boat and as the wind was coming up from the South it was blowing the water back up stream which is always concerning when you already have water levels so low! We got on the boat and had a great tour of the St Lucia Estuary spotting more than our fair share of Hippos.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Big pod of Hippos

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Big pod of Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had great luck as the expose sand banks meant that we would see more Crocodiles even though the temperature was cool. It was still at one point 35 degrees but dropped 10 degrees as the day progressed.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Crocodile on St Lucia estuary

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Crocodile on St Lucia estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This Crocodile at St Lucia had his mouth open meaning he was regulating his body temperature and notice he has no tongue! This is normal as they have a Gular flap which prevents the water from rushing into their lungs when in water but no tongue which is probably a good thing with some of the rotting meat they eat!

    Next was a beautiful Giant Kingfisher. We also spotted Water buck, Buffalo, Goliath Heron, Pied Kingfishers and much more! St Lucia estuary is teeming with wildlife!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Giant Kingfisher

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Giant Kingfisher

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Hippos are of course the major highlight as it is a Hippo and Crocodile tour at St Lucia. So I had to add one more amazing picture a close up of the face of one of the Hippos with the hairs on her snout. Hippos are most closely related to Whales and Dolphins and communicate with each other under the water as well as with sounds that we as humans can hear.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Hippos close up

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Hippos close up

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to end the boat cruise and have a look at a few craft shops. Once we were done we headed back to Durban getting back after dark and safely to the Oceana Nautica in Durban.

     

    If you would like to join on of these tours click the link below:

     

    St Lucia Wetlands Tour

  • 1st December 2015

    St Lucia wetlands tour

     

     

    We began our St Lucia wetlands tour in Durban where I collected my clients and we ventured in KwaZulu Natal my favourite province to tour!

    I covered the history of the area and tried to ensure my clients felt that they understood South Africa and its people from many perspectives. 

     

    We arrived in St Lucia wetlands or as its known now as Isimangaliso wetland park and began a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary which is a World heritage site and home to 4 of the big 5 as well as Hippos, Crocodiles and Sharks to name but a few.

     

    I am truly blessed to live in such an amazing country and honoured to show off what we have to clients from all over the world.

    As we got on the boat in St Lucia and enjoyed our first Hippos and Crocodiles and huge flock of what I counted as 69 Greater Famingoes flew over our heads. This was amazing as I have never seen so many at St Lucia. We are seeing more and more as the water levels drop.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Flamingos and Hippos

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Flamingos and Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then continued north up the St Lucia estuary and found a nice Crocodile resting on the shore.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Crocodile

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for the Hippo show and we spotted about 70 -100 Hippos on this cruise which was amazing! The Hippos were mostly resting as it was so hot at 32 degrees but we got some good shots as the Hippos stirred!

     

    Our Durban tour continued and we made our way further to look at the mangrove swamps and spotted the Flamingoes feeding and even watched an African Fish eagle catch a fish.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Hippos at St Lucia

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; Hippos at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then finished our cruise and made our way into St Lucia town for some seafood which was lovely and we then visited the Estuary mouth to do the St Lucia estuary board walk to the Indian ocean. The warning signs are clear and are very funny.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; St Lucia danger signs

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; St Lucia danger signs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We got onto the Estuary beach and and walked down to the ocean while looking at the worlds second largest vegetated sand dune in the world, Maphelane another attracting to the area!

     

    The day was clear and the wind was sweeping the sand onto us but it was lovely.

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; St Lucia Estuary beach

    St Lucia Wetlands tour; St Lucia Estuary beach

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finished up on the beach and made our way to the Crocodile center where I took my clients on a tour around the place. After this tour it was time to head back to Durban after a very successful day and some happy clients.

     

    Arriving back in Durban after the sun had gone down we said our goodbyes after a great Durban tour.

  • 28th November 2015

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

    We began our 4 day Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve safari in Durban on the 23rd November 2015 and made our way to a Cat rehabilitation center to interact with Cheetah hands on.

    This project releases and breeds endangered wild cats in order to increase the numbers in the wild in game reserves like Hluhluwe Imfolozi.

    I covered the usual history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal before we arrived in Hluhluwe and our tour began.

     

    After the Cat tour my client and myself headed off into the Hluhluwe game reserve for the big part of our tour the 3 nights and 4 days of Safari!

    It is always a pleasure showing off my country to clients from all over the world and this tour would be no exception.

    As we entered the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we got lucky and spotted lots of great animals from Rhino to the Warthogs.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino on the road

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino on the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we enjoyed this amazing sighting we also had some Rhino in the mud wallowing which was amazing! We watched them as well as the Wildebeest we spotted for some time before moving on with our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino rolling on his back

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino rolling on his back

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been an amazing start to our safari in Hluhluwe game reserve and it would only get better. As we continued we found a herd of Elephant and more Rhino.

    We would see them later in the afternoon so I will only put one picture.

     

    It was time to make our way to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe game reserve for some lunch and to check in.

    After a great lunch we headed back out and went to the Hluhluwe river which for the first time in 6 months had water in it. It was a great sight after the heavy rains 2 days before.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hluhluwe river

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hluhluwe river

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back to where the Elephants were and got word of Lions hunting in one of the valleys so we changed plan and made our way there. It was well worth it as we located them again although far away it was still amazing to watch them hunting the Buffalo. We got one also drinking from a pool of water.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Lion drinking

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Lion drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Hluhluwe game reserve safari began again and we went back to the Elephants and also found a Giraffe! This was great as we could enjoy both while the sun went down.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to get back to Hilltop camp and get some dinner before some well deserved sleep and a very early 5 am start.

    Dinner was amazing and Julius and his team looked after us as usual, even making us breakfast packs at very short notice!

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    Our second day of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began quietly as we tried to check on the Lions but with no luck. It was one of those days when no one found Lions but we just had to do our best and find what we could.

    The temperature picked up to 32 degrees during the day and we had many great sightings but our first special one was a new born Impala with its mother. This was the first birth of the season for me to see so I was pretty happy.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued our safari out of the Hluhluwe game reserve and into the Umfolozi game reserve and got onto some tracks of Elephants. We tracked them for about 20 minuted and eventually found a small breeding herd which then took a mud bath right near the road. It was amazing as they got into some great positions.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants mud wallowing

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants mud wallowing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: African safari tours; Elephants in the mud in Hluhluwe game reserve 


     

    After this amazing sighting we eventually got a Giraffe in the some good light and not far away from us! He was a lovely young male Giraffe and this really was great to see on our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued with our safari in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a lot of other animals from Kudu, Nyala, Warthog, Buffalo and eventually got the Zebra closer to us.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was getting very hot and although we were finding Elephants and other animals we really did want to see a cat and we were in luck. Quite far off the road was a Cheetah mother and cub which was resting up in the shade of the trees and we were able to enjoy here for a while before moving on with our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Cheetah mom and cub

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Cheetah mom and cub

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to head back to get some lunch via the Umfolozi river loop. We didn’t see much as it was almost midday and the animals were resting. We eventually got back to the Centenary center with was so busy it was like a shopping center! We ordered some lunch and then my clients enjoyed the craft market. I had to interrupt them as there was two bull Elephants in one of the parking lots and this was very exciting. My camera was in the car so I just enjoyed them.

     

    We then left and continued our safari back into the Hluhluwe game reserve before arriving back at camp at 3 pm a full 10 hours of safari and we were all exhausted and had to have a rest before dinner at 7pm.

     

    After a good dinner at Hilltop camp it was bed time.

     

     

    Day 3: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    We headed out early at 5am and had some immediate luck as we found a crash of Rhino on the road. It took us some time to get past them but when we did we were able to line up an amazing photo. This was a great start to our Hluhluwe game reserve safari on day 3.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Crash of Rhino

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Crash of Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this excitement things continued going well as we came across a herd of Buffalo crossing the road this took about 6 minuted for them to do this and I filmed it! Wow it was amazing!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Buffalo crossing the road


     

     

    We didn’t need to continue much further for the next exciting sighting of an endangered bird the Southern Ground Hornbill. It is one of my favorite birds and I haven’t seen one in months so a breeding pair was a real treat. Our safari from Durban was really living up to expectations.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Southern Ground Hornbill

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Southern Ground Hornbill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to spot some Giraffe a mother with a baby and shortly after we found a herd of Elephants on the road which were not to happy so we kept our distance until they calmed down and then we enjoyed them.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to get onto some dirt road loops and check the hills again for the Lions. We stopped at a view site with no luck but did have a great sighting of Zebras running down the road.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Zebra it was time for the new born Impalas and we found two mothers with two new born babies away from the herd. Our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve really had some good timing with the arrival of new life and the rain.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to head back for a late breakfast and a rest in the middle of the day before we headed back out after lunch to see what else we could find. I managed to get some work done and fell asleep doing it before our afternoon safari began.

     

    An African safari tour is really something that you can only experience, it is not something you can tell people about as they will have no idea what you are talking about. Africa has something which draws you and never lets you go!

     

    We headed out on our African safari tour and found many animals resting as it was still hot. We found Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest and Giraffe.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Giraffe were amazing and before you knew it we had to head back to Hilltop camp as my client were doing the evening game drive. We still found some amazing Buffalo on the road and we got ourselves surrounded on purpose to experience the sighting.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Buffalo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We left the Buffalo to cross the road and continued with our African safari tour. We then had more luck as we spotted two Leopard tortoises one crossing the road.

    This was great and as close to a Leopard as we would probably come!

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Leopard tortoise

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Leopard tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We got back to camp and changed over for the open vehicle game drive as a storm brewed. We had a little rain and the it stopped. My clients got back at 8pm for dinner which was great and then it was time for bed.

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    We began day four again at 04:30 am and right at the lodge entrance was a large herd of Buffalo which were resting with the sunrise behind them. This made for a great siloet of them.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Siloet

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Siloet

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and it was rather a quiet morning, we did have a great sighting of two male Nyala doing what we call Philo Erection. This is where the hair stands up on the back the tail is lifted and it is all about making yourself look bigger than the other male for dominance.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Nyala Philo Erection

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Nyala Philo Erection

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our Hluhluwe game reserve safari tour and found Rhino and Giraffe before we spotted a lovely bull Elephant near the road. We were lucky as he came onto the road for a better photo.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephant bull

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephant bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way back to Hilltop camp so we could have some breakfast and pack before heading out of the Hluhluwe game reserve onward to St Lucia -Isimangaliso Wetland park.

     

    It took us just over an hour to get to St Lucia and we were a little early so we did some of the board walk to the St Lucia estuary mouth. We spotted here Crocodile, Hippo and a Bull shark it was amazing!

     

    We them got onto a boat and did a tour of the St Lucia estuary to see these Hippos, Crocodile and birds closer. We had great luck as we even spotted about 4 different Bull Sharks.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Bull Shark

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Bull Shark

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia Estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

    The Mangrove swamps are also a big attraction to this world heritage site in South Africa but the Hippos seem to always over shadow the Mangroves during a South African safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hippo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We must have seem about 100 Hippos from the boat and the bird life was amazing too. We found the illusive African Finfoot and some Greater Famingos which are rare in St Lucia.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Greater Flamingo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Greater Flamingo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to end our St Lucia estuary cruise and make our way into St Lucia town for some lunch. We stopped at John Dorys for some seafood and after a great lunch began the drive back to Durban.

    It had been a great 4 days of Safari from Durban in South Africa and we all enjoyed it!

    If you would like to join one of these South African safari tours click the link below:

     

     

    South Africa Safari tour

  • 26th September 2015

    Durban tour – 24-25th September 2015

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Buffalo, Nyala and Baboons

    Durban tour; 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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Lion stalking Warthog

    Durban tour; Lion stalking Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Lion hunts Warthog and misses by meters 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Lion

    Durban tour; Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Giraffe

    Durban tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban tour

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Zebra

    Durban tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Black Rhino mother and calf

    Durban tour; Black Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; White Rhino

    Durban tour; White Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Elephant

    Durban tour; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Giraffe

    Durban tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Bull Shark at St Lucia

    Durban tour; Bull Shark at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was a great was to end our Durban tour and we had amazing Hippo sighting wish some even out of the water.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Hippos at St Lucia

    Durban tour; Hippos at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Buffalo at St Lucia

    Durban tour; Buffalo at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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:

     

     

    Durban big 5 safari

  • 23rd August 2015

    Durban overnight Big 5 safari

     

     

    We began our Durban overnight Big 5 safari on the Bluff in Durban where I collected my client and we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve. It would be a safari from Durban to remember!

     

    The usual story took place with me covering the general history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal on route to our first stop, the endangered cat project for Cheetah interaction.

     

    We had a great time as we got to interact hands on with 3 endangered Cat species.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

    Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we left the Cheetah project we made our way into Hluhluwe Big 5 game reserve a mere 20 minutes away. It was now time for our Durban overnight safari to begin!

    Our first sighting was of some Zebra, Buffalo and Warthog. Having told me guests not to expect too much early bells, I felt some added pressure build as I knew it would be hard to keep up the success.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

    Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Warthogs were just up the road so we spent some time being entertained by them before moving on with our Durban safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

    Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Sounder of Warthogs on our safari from Durban


    We then made our way through to Hilltop camp for some lunch and to check in. It had been a good start and it wouldn’t be long before we would be back out to see what we could find on our Durban overnight safari.

     

    Lunch was great and after 30 minutes of rest we headed back out.

    We were very lucky as we had a great sighting of a Crash of about 9 Rhino which was unbelievable, sadly for us the photos were not the best so I didn’t put them up.

     

    We checked over the Hluhluwe river and enjoyed the great views of Nyala feeding and it wasn’t long after this we spotted a big old male Giraffe. It was strange as he was so focused on what must have been female in the distance that his male part was erect for a moment before he crossed the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on and came across a huge male Elephant a few meters from the road and he was in Musth but was very relaxed so after watching him we moved closer to enjoy him more.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This great shot of the Elephant my client took for me when the Elephant opened up his ears to cool the blood down and help regulate his temperature. I decided to try and be a bit creative as the Elephant had some Rhino and a small breeding herd of Elephant behind him. Have a look at this picture below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was getting dark now and we needed to make our way back up to the camp. We had been very lucky and our Durban overnight safari has really begun very well with us having seen 3 of the Big 5 in the first day.

     

    We arrived back at camp right on time and then got ready for dinner. After a quick dinner it was time for bed it had been a long day and we had agreed to start at 6am the following day to see if we could find some cats.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban overnight safari

     

     

    Our second day of safari from Durban was like a dream in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. I could not believe the luck we had and nor could my clients.

     

    We started with Giraffe and Rhino before having the most special sighting of Lions you could ever wish to have on a safari.

    We had a pride of 7 Lions walk onto the road in front of us and basically play around for about 15 minutes. It was very special and we got amazing footage.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

    Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was pure bliss as these Lions rolled around and wondering in and out of the bushes near the road. I managed to get a couple of video clips so you can try and feel what we experienced.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban overnight safari, Lions playing on the road


     

     

    We were very luck as we almost had this sighting to our selves with just one car coming behind us after a while to share it with us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

    Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safaris with Tim Brown Tours, Lions on the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lions played and it was also clear that they were marking territory and one Lioness actually did what we call the Flemen grimace which is where she inhales the scent over a gland on the upper pallet of her mouth to check if it needs resenting. This is also done by males to check if a female is ready for mating or even to check if other Lions had made the scent.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

    Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been an amazing sighting and we very happily continued on down south to see what else we could find. Clearly our Durban overnight safari had heated up!

     

    It wasn’t long after this that we found a young Giraffe, we couldn’t spot her mother she must have been around, well we hope so!!!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

    Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our Durban overnight safari we finally had a great sighting of Buffalo where they crossed the road in front of us. We also had them near the road not long after this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

    Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Buffalo crossed the road in front of us and a bit further along we got a herd walking parallel to the road all in a line heading off to find more food.

     

    Once we left the Buffalo and crossed the Umfolozi river we spotted a bull Elephant and it was another 5 legged one! We watched him feeding and then he walked up to a Rhino midden and started to dust bath with Rhino dung!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

    Durban overnight safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephant dust bathing in Rhino dung

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been so far an amazing start to our 2nd day on safari from Durban in the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. More was to come as we got further south into more open areas and found some Rhino grazing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for a quiet period which was fine but before we could get the words out “Wow its finally quiet” my left eye worked some magic and somehow spotted a Big male Lions laying down looking right at us. I was impressed with my spot as well!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We could not believe that we had seen Lions twice in one day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we spent to time with this male.

    After a few minuted it became apparent that he was not alone and that he was mating with a Lioness who was hidden to us at first. This was amazing on two occasions we got them mating! Wow what a great Durban overnight big 5 safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

    Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had been seeing vehicles stopped about 200 meters away but we were so into what we were watching we decided to wait before checking what they were looking at.  During our time with the mating Lions we also had Rhinos 50 Meters away mud wallowing.

    We decided to leave the mating Lions and see what the fuss was about further up the road. It was another male Lions 20 meters off the road in clear view! Wow, we had been very lucky.

     

    This male was clearly the less dominant of the two males hence he was not mating with the female.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

    Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was clear to see that this male was less dominant he had less black in his mane which has been proven to be less attractive to females.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion licking his paw on our Durban overnight safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky on our Durban safari to see this male Lions so close but also grooming himself in the video above.

    It was time for us to see what else we could find and we found more Rhino, Buffalo and Zebra before stopping at a view sight and you wont believe it spotting another Pride of Lions! This was the third time in the day we had spotted Lions and these ones where far away! The game reserve has about 120 Lions and we had seen almost 20 of them.

     

    I did take a picture but honestly felt it wasn’t worth put up after all the close ups we had got.

     

     

    We stopped later for lunch and enjoyed the museum about Operation Rhino in the 1950’s and ’60 which brought back Rhinos from extinction.

    We then left and found more Elephants before arriving back at camp mid afternoon and had a rest before the evening game drive.

     

     

    We would all meet again the next day for a 6am safari.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban overnight safari

     

     

    We met at 6am for a 2.5 hour game drive to see what we could find. We found Lion tracks, Hyena tracks and even Leopard tracks but only saw 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. We actually also spotted some antelope as well as Zebra and Giraffe but as we had been so spoiled the day before it almost was a little anticlimax.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

    Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We returned to camp for breakfast before packing up and leaving the lodge for St Lucia.

     

    On route we covered some of the History of St Lucia and the area of Isimangaliso Wetland park before we had some lunch in St Lucia town a very quint little village really. We then ventured on a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary one of the only places in the world you will find Hippos, Crocodiles and Sharks living in the same area.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

    Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spotting these 3 crocodiles together we spotted pod after pod of Hippos which really is the highlight of the boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban overnight safari; Hippos

    Durban overnight safari; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We departed St Lucia South Africa’d first world heritage site at 3pm and made way back to the Hilton hotel where I would be dropping my clients off. It was a relaxed drive back answering any final questions and just having some general chats.

     

    It had been on of the best Durban overnight safaris I have ever had the privilege of conducting!

     

    If you would like to book this tour, click on the link below:

     

    Durban overnight safari

  • 6th August 2015

    Big 5 safari from Durban for 2 days

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

    My client of course loved it being big cat fans.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

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

    Our first sighting was of Nyala and Warthogs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino crossing road on our African safari


     

     

     

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Big 5 safari from Durban

     

     

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

     

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

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions in Imfolozi game reserve


     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

    Durban 2 day Big 5 safari tour

     

     

  • 2nd August 2015

    Safari near Durban – 29th July to 1st August 2015

     

     

    I met my clients in Durban, a family for their 3 day Durban safari tour. We got all the luggage aboard and began making our way to the cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe.

    It would be here that our safari near Durban would begin and we would interact with Cheetah, Serval and African wild cat hands on.

    As usual I covered the general History side of Durban and answered any questions they had.

     

    It is always amazing to see these cats and to learn about them and why they are so endangered.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Cheetah at Rehabilitation center

    Safari near Durban; Cheetah at Rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we left the cat rehabilitation center we made our way to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our 2 nights at Hilltop camp where Prince Harry was staying. I think my guests were amazed when they saw him at dinner the first night. If Hilltop camp is good enough for Prince Harry it is should be good enough for my clients and of course it always is.

     

     

    Before we got to the camp we did see some great animals.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Male Nyala demonstrates philo-erection

    Safari near Durban; Male Nyala demonstrates philo-erection

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Philo- Erection is when the hair on the male antelope in this case a Male Nyala stands up which make him look bigger and that the other males. The idea is to be the biggest so you can take over a harem of females for yourself.

    Next we spotted some Buffalo and Zebra together down in a dip on our Safari near Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Buffalo and Zebra

    Safari near Durban; Buffalo and Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then arrived at Hilltop camp and had some lunch before checking in and settling into the rooms for 45 minutes. It was then time for us to get out and see what other animals we could find. I was a little concerned as it was still only 15:15 and pretty warm still so I said to my client not to expect many animals for the first hour.

     

    Well when ever you say something like that on a safari you can expect something good to happen and boy did something great happen.

     

    I spotted something that I knew was a big cat but as she was running in the valley I could not make out if she was a Lion or Leopard I was hoping for the latter but didn’t really care as a cat is a cat!

     

    It turned out to be a Lioness and she was looking to hunt some Nyala in broad daylight! It was amazing. We raced down to meet here and she was beautiful, she posed for us on a rock and then crossed the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Lioness on rock

    Safari near Durban; Lioness on rock

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion on rock in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve


    We then got her staring at the Nyala and she made her way off the rock and crossed the road in front of us! It was amazing and such a great spot of luck and good fortune. The best part of this sighting was we had her to our selves.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Lioness sits on rock

    Safari near Durban; Lioness sits on rock

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion crosses road in middle of day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve


     

    We were very lucky and had now just experience something that would normally only be seen a night in broad daylight.

    We decided to leave here as we lost visual and made our way to the Hluhluwe River to see if we could find Elephants. We had no luck but did find Rhino which was amazing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Rhino

    Safari near Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In fact our Rhino sightings were very good this day I will not give a number but we saw a good amount of them. We then tried for Giraffe and Buffalo and got the Buffalo all around the vehicle on one of the road but the sun was setting so the light was not good for a photo. We did however enjoy watching them!

    We needed to get back to camp so we hurried along and got to near Hilltop camp and spotted a Elephant in the dark which was very hard to photograph but we did anyway.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Elephant

    Safari near Durban; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We got back to camp and settled in for some dinner at 7pm it wasn’t long after this that Prince Harry arrived with his Body Guards and walked past us to go and eat in a secluded area as people had been trying to get photos of the poor guy…

    It was still amazing to see a prince at the lodge I always bring my clients too.

     

    After dinner we headed to bed and it was a Blue moon it looked amazing.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Safari near Durban

     

     

    We began day two of our Safari from Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve with breakfast and then headed down south in the game reserve.

    We did very well and spotted lots of Giraffe and even Lion tracks from the night before.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Giraffe

    Safari near Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was one of those mornings when everything seemed to be working well for us and we even had the most amazing Rhino sighting, one which I have been waiting for, for years!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Rhino

    Safari near Durban; Rhinos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino marks his territory and does flehmen grimace


     

     

     

    After this unbelievable sighting we made our way further south and found some Zebra and Impala together before spotting some Kudu and Warthogs.

    The Zebra and Impala crossed the road in front of us which was great.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Zebra crossing

    Safari near Durban; Zebra crossing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Funnily enough the clouds then began to gather as we entered the Umfolozi section and it began to rain a little. This was very odd at the forecast did not predict this. We still had great sightings and as we continued our safari near Durban we found more Giraffe in the rain.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Journey of Giraffe

    Safari near Durban; Journey of Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then went through a very lean patch or so it seemed it might of been because we were so focused on looking for Elephant the be drove past Rhino, Baboons, Wildebeest, Nyala, Kudu, Zebra and more Giraffe…

    We almost got the Elephant and I got a puncture which I then needed to stop for to change the wheel and continue on. It took some time as these new vehicles are so much more complicated than the old cars we used to have.

     

    The temperature was dropping and we made our way back to the Centenary center for some lunch which we really needed but before we could get there we had an amazing sighting of a Rhino mother and calf.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Rhino mother and calf

    Safari near Durban; Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino mother and calf cross the road


     

     

     

     

    We still had one more good sighting of something new before we got to the Centenary center for lunch and that was of some Vultures and a Crow feeding off an old Buffalo carcass.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; White Backed Vultures on old Buffalo carcass

    Safari near Durban; White Backed Vultures on old Buffalo carcass

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We eventually sat down for some lunch and discussed the evening game drive and the clients decided they would brave the cold weather to see what they could see on the open vehicle.

    When I got back to camp I had to fix the puncture and change the wheels back around before getting to some computer work.

    I had an earlier dinner and would be meeting my clients the following morning for breakfast and luggage collection.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Safari near Durban

     

     

    We began day 3 just before 7am with a luggage collection and breakfast at Hilltop camp before checking out and completing our final 3 hours of safari near Durban.

     

    During the safari we had some great luck and we had been looking for more Elephants and we got them down at the Hluhluwe river from a view point.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Elephants drinking

    Safari near Durban; Elephants drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We watched the Elephant for about 10-15 minutes as they finished drinking they walked along the rivers edge and we enjoyed the calling from the Matriarch getting the herd to follow her.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Elephants walking in the Hluhluwe river bed

    Safari near Durban; Elephants walking in the Hluhluwe river bed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is always a good time to make a video so I got the camera running so I could share this moment with the followers of Tim Brown Tours or just Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephants walking in riverbed Hluhluwe game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our safari near Durban and found Rhino and had an excellent sighting of Buffalo on the road. It was perfect as we had seen them on the road before but it was to dark to get pictures.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Buffalo bull

    Safari near Durban; Buffalo bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to see what else we could find before leaving Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia estuary for our 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.

    We tried for Giraffe and more Elephant with out much luck but did see more Zebra, Nyala, Waterbuck, Warthog and Buffalo before we departed.

     

    It was a 1 hour drive to St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park as it is now known and we arrived, had some lunch and got to the boat for the wonderful 2 hour boat cruise.

    It is a guarantee to see Hippos and we usually see Crocodiles. This day we saw about 6-8 Crocodiles and 100 Hippos a least.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Crocodiles at St Lucia estuary

    Safari near Durban; Crocodiles at St Lucia estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Hippos were mostly near the shore and some on the land as well so apart from the light being a bit bright it was great for us to photograph them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari near Durban; Hippo at St Lucia estuary

    Safari near Durban; Hippo at St Lucia estuary

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We ended out boat cruise at St Lucia and began our journey back to Durban, it had been a great 3 day safari from Durban and the highlight was the Lioness and the Elephant for sure!

    If you would like to join a Tim Brown Tour or Safari like this 3 day Safari click the link below:

     

     

     

    Durban 3 day safari tour package

     

     

  • 30th July 2015

    South African Safari 26-29 July 2015

     

     

    We began our South African safari near Durban where I collected my client who were out for a Baptist conference here in Durban, South Africa!

    As it was a slightly larger group than I usually take on Safaris from Durban I rented a 13 seat vehicle and trailer.

    Once we got all the luggage in we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi and Hilltop camp for our 3 nights there and to enjoy nature at its best.

    On route I covered as much history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as possible over the microphone and in no time it seemed we had arrived at the gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, my second home.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as a deep history which you can read about on the link over the words Hluhluwe….

    It is well known for having saved Rhino from extincting in the 1940’s and 50’s.

     

    On route to Hilltop camp we spotted one of these amazing Rhinos the White Rhino before having the most amazing Black Rhino sight I have had in a long time. This male Black Rhino walked down a slope and crossed the road in front of us and was super relaxed for a Black Rhino. I was amazed and we were all super happy.

     

     

     

    Video: Black Rhino crosses road in front of us during our Durban safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What a special moment! We then arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in getting clients and luggage to the rooms which did take a little but of time as it was dark.

     

    We then met for dinner before a good nights sleep.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    Day two began at 06:30 am and we made our way into the northern section of Hluhluwe game reserve. We had luck right off the bat as we found Elephants near to the road and all down in the valley and up on the hills near the camp.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had some amazing luck with Rhino as we got one posing very nicely for us all during our South African safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino standing

    South African safari; Rhino standing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were trying our best for the African wild dogs but hear they had made there way over the river after feeding on an Nyala and taken their puppies with them. So we continued and up the road found a huge herd of Buffalo in fact we must has seen about 6 herds of Buffalo….

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I love the above Buffalo picture even though it is not sharp it has character with the flies and the dust. We also managed to spot some Zebra on our South African safari which was great as the sunlight really hit them nicely.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Zebra

    South African safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The one Zebra looks like she is laughing at us… As we continues our 4 day safari tour in Hluhluwe we also found Giraffe but they were far away and I knew we would get them later. So we continued back to camp for breakfast before heading out to the Cat rehabilitation center.

     

     

    The Cat rehabilitation center was amazing and my clients loved it as they got to interact with Cheetah hands on and Serval.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next picture was of the Cheetah cub which is 3-4 months old and the clients got to play with him, he is very cute and playful. Wow what a South African safari this was turning out to be from Durban!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way back to the gate and just stopped for some food and fuel. We then got back to camp as some of the group we doing the evening open vehicle safari and other we coming with me.

     

    Those that came with me were treated to a few things, the first was a Southern Tree Agama.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also found some Vultures in a tree among the usual things like the Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra and even a Wildebeest.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had great fortune and found the Giraffe we had been looking for near to the road so it was great for photos excepting the light was beginning to fade. Either way it was fantastic and our success continued during our Safari from Durban in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried one more time for cats and dogs with no luck, but we had an amazing sighting for a rare specie the Bush Pig which you usually only see at night. It was now dusk and the video I made came out decently but not very well.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bush Pig out at dusk


     

    We still had one more shot of the day and it was of the sun going down and the planets Venus and Jupiter! The night sky had cleared from the previous night was was looking great with so many stars out.

    We had a great day on safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to wait for the others to get back and at 8pm we all had a great dinner. The food at Hilltop camp is always lovely. We were all very tired and headed off to bed as we would meet the next day fairly early at 7am for breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    We began the day in the hope of finding cats but sadly we battled for them through the day!

     

    This did not bother us much as we found many other species of animals from Elephant to Mongooses.

    We were wanting to see more Giraffe on this African Safari and we did.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My clients were very happy with the Giraffe and after a short while we spotted a bull Elephant which crossed the road in front of us and fed next to the road to I made a video of this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephants near the road on Hluhluwe safari


     

     

     

     

     

    We slowly made our way down to the Umfolozi river and before we got there we spotted a Rhino bull which decided to sit down and then have a rest by lying down.

    It was an amazing sighting as I managed to shoot the sequence of events.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 1

    South African safari; Rhino 1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 2

    South African safari; Rhino 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 3

    South African safari; Rhino 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Rhino went to sleep we made our way over the Umfolozi river which was in full force after the heavy rain we had had a couple days before! It was great to see this river flowing so well during our Durban safari in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and tried to get as far south as we could but time was also running out as I was unable to travel very fast in the 13 seat vehicle.

    Things were quiet and we decided to stop at Bhejane hide hide and see what animals would come to us but sadly it was only birds.

    We did however see Terrapins on the bank of the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Terrapins

    South African safari; Terapins

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once of the best sighting at the watering hole was this African Hoopoe which was searching for food and maybe had a nest in this dead tree next to the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We the made our way to the Centenary center for some lunch and then had a look around the curio shop. As we were a group of 12 it took longer than we thought and we needed to rush back to Hilltop camp to get back for the clients who were doing the evening open vehicle safari and to load up most of the luggage into the trailer, Thank you Jason for your help!

     

     

    We arrived back and sorted everything out before meeting for dinner. We had to wait for the 4 clients that went on the open vehicle game drive but it was a good wait.

     

    As we stood at the bar we noticed that Prince Harry was in the restaurant enjoying dinner we could not believe our luck to see such a character. We waited on the others and told them but did not want to bother the young prince as others were doing and we sat to enjoy our meal having had a great day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: South African safari from Durban

     

     

     

    We began our forth day with a very early start at 05:45 and left Hilltop camp by 6am for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    We arrived 10 minuted early and had a great 2 hour on the boat seeing lots of Hippos, Crocodiles, Mangroves and birds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had unbelievable sightings of Hippos both in the water and on land during our African safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia estuary is the largest esturine system in Southern Africa and home to 4 of the Big 5 the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos playing

    South African safari; Hippos playing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky to catch these two baby Hippos playing in the estuary while we were on the boat tour of St Lucia we also had amazing Bird sightings of Pink Backed Pelicans, African Fish Eagles to Black winged stilts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As the boat cruise drew to an end we had one more sighting and that was of a Bull Shark swimming in the St Lucia Estuary! They have been stuck here since 2007 when the estuary closed naturally to the ocean due to a lack of rainfall.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finished up our cruise and began our way back to Durban International or King Shaka International airport stopping along the way for some food and coffee.

    We arrived on time for the clients that would be catching there flights out of Durban and I took two of the clients after the safari to the Hilton Hotel in Durban. It had been an amazing tour having just missed out on the cats!

     

    We all enjoyed it and would have many memories to take back home with us.

     

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