valley of 1000 hills Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 11th February 2016

    Durban Tours

     

     

    It was a warm morning in Durban for our Durban tour to Tala game reserve and the Valley of 1000 Hills for a Zulu cultural village visit.

    My clients were aboard the Sun Princess and we began once they disembarked with a briefing on what was to be expected for the day.

    As we made our way west of Durban city I began with the tour from Durban covering some of the interesting history of the area around the City and then the suburbs of Durban.

    We took the scenic route into the Valley of 1000 hills and then arrived at Phezulu safari park for the Zulu cultural village tour where we would meet the Sangoma and enjoy some Traditional Zulu dancing.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Zulu Sangoma

    Durban tour; Zulu Sangoma

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried to stay clear of the ship groups as best we could so after the dancing I gathered my small group and entered into one of the Zulu huts and told my clients about this amazing group of people and how they traditionally lived.

    The actual Zulu dancing was great but with the ship having brought so many clients my position had a lot of glare and was not great for photos but here is one anyway.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Zulu dancing

    Durban tour; Zulu dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The views in the valley of 1000 Hills are amazing and it is this valley which the Zulus have a great history with King Shaka in chasing the Debe people into the hills!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Valley of 1000 hills

    Durban tour; Valley of 1000 hills

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for a spot of craft shopping before we headed to Tala game reserve. Once at Tala a 3000 hectare game reserve we spotted lots of animals.

    We spotted Zebra and Kudu first up as well as Blessbok.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Zebra

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These Zebras posed really nicely for us all in a row and the next dazzle of Zebra also posed by resting there heads on each others backs.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Zebra heads

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Zebra heads

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not long before we got Wildebeest and Ostrich as well and then the one we all wanted to see the Rhino! We had a great sighting of these amazing creatures which are now so highly protected due to poaching.

    Our Durban tour was really taking shape!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Rhino

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we left the Rhino we made our way to try find some Giraffe but before we could get there we spotted the Eland antelope which is the Bushmans Totem animal. You will have to take a Durban tour to be told more about this by me and my team!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Eland

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Eland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now an unexpected animals which we saw in fact 3 of them! We spotted 3 Blue Cranes which are South Africas national bird, then a Secretary bird and a female Impala with horns which is a genetic abnormality.

     

    We really hit the jackpot and then decided to head to the lodge for a rest and the craft shop.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Blue Cranes

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Blue Cranes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    With this stop planned we decided to change it as we saw a big bus of people about to do the same so we went and found the Giraffe and then visited the dam where we spotted the heads of the Hippos. It was a great Durban tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Giraffe

    Durban tour; Tala game reserve, Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped then at the shop before we headed back to the Sun Princess in Durban harbour. On our way back we chatted more about South Africa and how wonderful the country was as well of speaking of some of the challenges we are still facing a the rainbow nation.

    It had been a great Durban tour and my clients we all very happy.

     

  • 29th November 2015

    Tala game reserve and  Valley of 1000 hills tour

     

     

    We began our Durban safari tour by collecting my clients off the Oceana Insignia in Durban. Here we began our Tala game reserve and valley of 1000 hills tour.

     

    It was a pleasant drive up into the Valley of 1000 hills and before you knew it with all the chat about the history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal we had arrived at Phezulu early so we began with a tour around the Reptile park.

     

    The Valley of 1000 hills is a stunning area and home to the Zulu people who have lived here for a couple hundred years. The Zulus took over many other smaller tribe like the AmaDebe people by chasing them into these hills and starving them to death.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Valley of 1000 Hills

    Durban mini safaris; Valley of 1000 Hills

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After The reptile park we made our way over to the Zulu cultural village for the tour there. It was great as always and the Zulu dance was brilliant.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; PheZulu safari park

    Durban mini safaris; PheZulu safari park

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we finished enjoying the Zulu cultural village and the traditional huts we did a little craft shopping before a scenic drive through the valley of 1000 hills to Tala game reserve.

     

    At Tala game reserve we began our safari experience and spotted Rhino soon after arriving.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Rhino at Tala

    Durban mini safaris; Rhino at Tala

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You will notice that the Rhino has a radio transmitter collar on its foot and Tala also has armed guards who will shoot you if you try to attacked the Rhino in any way.

    Poaching is a big issue and South Africa is protecting its Rhino!

    Further on we spotted a male and female Ostrich near the road.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Ostrich

    Durban mini safaris; Ostrich

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also found lots of Blessbok and Zebra before we stopped at the main lodge for a restroom break and a look at the craft shop.

    Tala game reserve has a very good craft shop and a lovely lodge environment.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Blessbok

    Durban mini safaris; Blessbok

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued with our Durban safari and the search for the Giraffe which was becoming difficult. In the mean time we spotted some great Zebra.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Zebra

    Durban mini safaris; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Finally my well trained eyes spotted a Giraffe in the distance. Wow it was actually a relief! Giraffe love the Acacia tree leaves and I had searched every area where there food was but had been battling to find them. Eventually the hard work paid off.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Giraffe

    Durban mini safaris; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then headed down to the dam and found the Hippos actually posing very nicely for us which was great! It is always good to have a good sighting of these amazing creatures.

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safaris; Hippos

    Durban mini safaris; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to make our way back to Durban harbour and drop my client off at there cruise ship. It had been a great Durban day safari tour and we had done and seen so much in a short time of this mini safari.

    We arrived safely back in Durban after some really bad traffic and then said our goodbyes.

    An amazing Safari in KwaZulu Natal!

  • 22nd November 2015

    Durban safari

     

     

    I met my clients for their Durban safari off the Ocean Nautica ship that docked in Durban. We were to visit Tala game reserve and Phezulu safari park. At Phezulu we would be entertained by the Zulu dancers and singers at the Zulu Cultural village and then enter their huts to learn more about the Zulus culture! I also took my clients for a tour around the reptile park before the Zulu cultural village tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Zulu hut

    Durban safari; Zulu hut

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After enjoying the great Zulu dancers and the Zulu culture we made our way onward through the valley of 1000 hills to look at the spectacular views. The valley of 1000 hills is a beautiful area!

    Once we made our way through and back to the main road we headed off to Tala game reserve for our safari part of the tour.

    We entered at the gate and some of the client decided they wanted an open vehicle game drive so we tried to make a last minute plan with out success. 

    This turned out to be a good thing at the weather clouded over and it got very cold 15 degrees and later it rained.

     

    We were very luck as later we also spotted a Black backed Jackal which is a rare sighting at Tala game reserve!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Black backed Jackal

    Durban safari; Black backed Jackal

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued with our Durban safari tour and spotted a lot of animals including; Ostrich, Blessbok, Kudu, Warthogs and many more.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Ostrich

    Durban safari; Ostrich

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Durban safari tour continued and it was not long before we found the Rhino that we had been looking for! These days at Tala game reserve after incidents of poaching the Rhinos have guards which monitor them through the day and with radio transmitter collars.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Rhino

    Durban safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Durban safari continued on and we found some great looking Zebra which were close to the road and later even some that crossed the road in front of us. A real Zebra crossing! 

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Zebra

    Durban safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not long before we made our way down to the dam and found some Hippos resting in the water. The best part of this was that the big male was mating! You don’t see this every day on a Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Hippo mating

    Durban safari; Hippo mating

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Moving along with our Durban safari we eventually spotted some Giraffe and first it was a couple of males and then later a Journey of Giraffe with some youngsters.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Giraffe

    Durban safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    So this was now the end of another great African safari tour and we were caught in a torrential down pour of rain so we made our way out of the Tala game reserve carefully and in just under an hour were back at the ship to drop the clients off.

     

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

     

     

    Durban safari tours

  • 2nd November 2015

    Tala game reserve and Zulu culture tour

     

    I was collecting my clients of the Ocean Princess cruise ship which was docking in Durban for the Tala game reserve and Zulu culture tour.

    As we were expecting some bad weather the ships was more than 2 hours late which meant we would need to adjust the tour slightly to maximize the time for the clients in Tala game reserve and on the Zulu culture tour.

     

    We left Durban harbor at 11:30 and made our way straight to Tala game reserve, it was here we began our Safari part of the tour and tried in 2.5 hours to find as many of the animals as we could.

    Tala game reserve being very small has a very high density of animals which made things easier for me to find all the animals the clients wishes to see.

    We found Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Hippo, Wildebeest, Ostrich, Impala, Nyala, Warthog, Blessbok and much more…

     

    Below is a picture I managed to get of a Zebra with its mouth open showing off his teeth!

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala game reserve tour; Zebra showing off his teeth

    Tala game reserve tour; Zebra showing off his teeth

     

     

     

     

     

    It wasn’t to far away that we found our Rhino resting under the supervision of the staunch anti-poaching team which will shoot anyone who attempts to touch the Rhino!

    We are having huge issue as I told my clients with poaching of Rhino horn and Tala game reserve is no exception! Tala game reserve has had 3 of its Rhinos taken down by poachers with one surviving!

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala game reserve tour; Rhino

    Tala game reserve tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on and stopped to stretch our legs before going in search of Giraffe. It was not easy and we battled but being a small game reserve I knew that we could get them if we kept looking.

    In the process we stopped and spotted the Hippo in the dam which we enjoyed for a short while and then we continued looking for Giraffe.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala game reserve tour; Hippo

    Tala game reserve tour; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

    After a little longer we spotted a huge male Giraffe and enjoyed him for 5 minuted before we had to depart to get into the Valley of 1000 Hills for the Zulu culture side of the tour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala game reserve tour; Giraffe

    Tala game reserve tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived in the valley of 1000 hills on our Durban day tour and were welcomed with some mist which was rolling in. This did not stop us from enjoying the rest of the day tour as we looked around the craft shop before the Zulu dance and Zulu song.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zulu culture tour; Zulu dance

    Zulu culture tour; Zulu dance

     

     

     

     

     

    The rain began to fall but the Zulus kept dancing and singing for us and put on a great show. We all enjoyed the way the boys and girls had banter with one another and all enjoyed themselves in the Zulu dance.

    We got to learn more about the Zulu culture and met the Songomas which are the fortune tellers and the demonstrated how they would tell a young Zulu mans fortune before his wedding to a girl.

     

     

     

     

     

    Zulu culture tour; Zulu Sangoma

    Zulu culture tour; Zulu Sangoma

     

     

     

     

     

    After the amazing Zulu culture experience we entered into two of the Zulus huts for an interpretation of the two huts and to learn more about the Zulu culture.

     

    It was now time to decided what to do as it was drizzling and the mist was thick. We already had the tickets for the Crocodile/Reptile park so two of my six clients came with me while I showed them around the center. The other looked through the shop before we met again and departed for the ship in Durban.

     

    It had been a great day and we had managed to fit everything in with out cutting the tour short.

    Join us for a Tala game reserve tour and/or Zulu Culture tour, click the link below:

     

     

    Tala game reserve and Zulu culture tour

     

  • 28th August 2015

    Durban day safari tour

     

     

    I met my clients in Durban at their hotel for their Durban day safari tour to Tala game reserve and the valley of 1000 Hills.

     

    We would begin with some introductions and a briefing of the day tour from Durban and then I was able to settle in to chatting about Durban and KwaZulu Natal and the in depth history of the area that we were entering.

     

    It was not long before we were at our first destination, Tala game reserve for the first part of our Durban day safari tour.

    It was here that we were very lucky in seeing the quality sightings that we had. I am sure we spent 30 minuted in one spot as we had: Ostrich, Zebra, Blessbok and Rhino all in the same area.

     

    We were very lucky with our sightings on this Durban day safari tour and spotted 3 Rhinos within 5 minutes of our Safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino, I have suffered at the hands of poachers but my friend with protect me

    Durban day safari tour; Rhino, I have suffered at the hands of poachers but my friend with protect me

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Rhinos are hugely endangered as I explained to my clients and sadly the one with the short horn had been shot and had her horn hacked off by poacher for medicine! She was lucky to survive as two other Rhino died!

     

     

    In the same area we watched a dazzle of Zebra and we found that they were fighting with each other which I again explained to my clients about this interesting behaviour.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra fighting

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra fighting

     

     

     

     

     

    Shortly after this exciting sighting we spotted Zebras mating which was a real treat. You hardly ever get to see this and this was right next to us about 20 meters of the road. At times funny we enjoyed the reality of the situation.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra mating

    Durban day safari tour; Zebra mating

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Zebra mating

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on and before we could stop for a shot break to stretch the legs we spotted some Ostrich and a male at that which was great to show my clients.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Ostrich

    Durban day safari tour; Ostrich

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a short rest we got back on the reserve and finally spotted some Giraffe! The best part of this was the fact that we found 1 female and then a male and once we looked closer the female had a young baby with her. We spend a lot of time with them as the baby was still skittish and even had a part of her umbilical cord attached. We eventually got to watch the baby suckle!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Baby Giraffe suckling

    Durban day safari tour; Baby Giraffe suckling

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then continued our Durban day safari tour and got to see some Wildebeest near the road!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest

    Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time for some Hippo and we found then in the dam! We watched them for 10 or 15 minutes and my guests managed to get a shot of one of the Hippos with his mouth open. Sadly I was to slow and  missed the shot but still it was great to see them.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Hippos

    Durban day safari tour; Hippos

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time for us to depart from Tala game reserve and we made our way into the valley of 1000 hills for lunch and to enjoy the reptile park as well as the Zulu Cultural village tour.

     

    It was a great lunch or though more than we could eat!

    I quickly took my clients around the reptile park and explained about the Crocodiles.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Crocodile

    Durban day safari tour; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then entered the Zulu cultural village and watched some very energetic dancing and singing by the Zulu tribe before entering into two of the Zulu huts to learn more about the culture. I had already explained to my clients about some of the interesting differences so they were aware going into the village.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zulu dancing

    Durban day safari tour; Zulu dancing

     

     

     

     

     

    This was an amazing experience and we all enjoyed the tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari tour; Zulu Chief

    Durban day safari tour; Zulu Chief

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were all very lucky to have experienced so many interesting and new things though the course of this Durban day safari tour. I think my clients really enjoyed the tour.

     

    Another great Durban safari tour under the belt!

  • 30th June 2015

    Durban private tour to Tala game reserve and valley of 1000 Hills

     

     

    I met my client from Scotland at his hotel in Durban for his Durban private tour to Tala game reserve and the Valley of 1000 Hills.

     

    On route we chatted about some of the History of Durban and KwaZulu Natal but mostly chatted about general things that we are going through as a country as we would be spending 4 days together.

     

    We began at Tala game reserve one of the most highly populated smaller private game reserves I know of. It was animals galore as usual and our first sighting was of 3 Rhinos which were being watched very closely by the Anti-poaching team.

     

    Later we would return there and see the 3 of them resting.

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Rhino resting

    Durban private tour; Rhino resting

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    You may see the Red Billed Oxpecker near the eye of the Rhino removing ticks of the Rhinos body, this is a lovely symbiotic relationship where the animal get his health back and the bird gets a meal!

    We also waited patiently for some Zebras to cross the road and the did but in the same area was Wildebeest, Ostrich and a range of other animals.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Zebra

    Durban private tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our Durban private tour we managed to find some Impala and Nyala but the weirdest thing happened as we spotted this female Impala with horns. This is a genetic abnormality and is probably caused by inbreeding in these smaller game reserves.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Impala female with Horns

    Durban private tour; Impala female with Horns

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Above you will see 2 pictures the top one being the female with the thin horns and below the male with what the horns should normally look like. Nature is always amazing as this male Impala kept chasing the female away as if he felt it was another male.

     

     

    We stopped for a rest and then went on with our Durban private tour to find some Giraffe! We eventually did and they were very beautiful and right next to the road.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Giraffe up with the Aloes

    Durban private tour; Giraffe up with the Aloes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Giraffe we especially beautiful as they were walking among the Aloes and this picture just looked really amazing!

    There was one more major animal we need to go see and that was the Hippo. We really had it made today as we spotted them standing the the shallow dam and the one mother had her little baby with her.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Hippo mother and baby

    Durban private tour; Hippo mother and baby

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The mother Hippo gave a great big yawn and the baby was just behind her bum hiding away it made for a great picture on our Durban day tour.

     

    It was now time to depart Tala game reserve and head the scenic route to the Valley of 1000 Hills. We enjoyed the drive with the rolling hills and the townships all over this amazing place. We reached our destination in the valley of 1000 Hills, Phezulu safari park and it was here we had a great lunch with a view!

     

    We then went to the reptile park and learned more about these amazing Crocodiles and snakes before our meeting with the Zulu village at 2pm.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Crocodile at Phezulu

    Durban private tour; Crocodile at Phezulu

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Zulu Cultural village was amazing and we enjoyed the great dancing and singing of the Zulu people on this Durban private tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; Zulu dancing at Phezulu

    Durban private tour; Zulu dancing at Phezulu

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I figured you would not know what I was talking about unless I shared a video with you so you can watch it below!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day tour; Traditional Zulu dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Finally it was time for entering of the Zulu meeting hut and the cooking hut before making our way back to Durban. I also had to explain to James my client about the 3 different clicks in the Zulu Language and why they are in existence.

     

    It had been a beautiful Durban day tour and the clouds were now beginning to blow over the Valley of 1000 Hills. I will leave you with this great photo of my client with the Zulus.

     

     

     

     

    Durban private tour; James with the Zulus

     

    Durban private tour; James with the Zulus
  • 29th June 2015

    Tala and valley of 1000 Hills cultural day tour

     

    We began our day tour in Durban where I met me clients and we made our way up to Tala game reserve 45 minutes outside of Durban city.

    On route I covered the history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal, as well as answering any questions my clients had for me.

    We reached Tala game reserve and began with our Safari part of our tour from Durban and as Tala is so highly populated with animals it is really easy to find the animals if you know where to look.

    We had initial great sightings of Zebra, Blessbok, Wildebeest and Ostrich.

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Zebra

    Tala day tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Zebra were really posing for us and this meant we managed to get some great photos before looking at other animals like these Blessbok.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Blessbok

    Tala day tour; Blessbok

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with on  quest to find Rhino and Giraffe on this Durban day tour. We had already spotted the Hippos in the dam near the main gate so we would return later to get a better look at them.

     

    We did find some Giraffe all tucked away in the Acacia thickets which was not the best for getting my big vehicle through but it had to be done. A few scratches later we came out having seen 4 Giraffe one of them being a youngster.

     

    We continued our tour of Tala game reserve and spotted more Ostrich and Wildebeest even Warthogs and Impala which I did not photograph.

     

    It was time to stop for a rest room break and then continue to find the remaining animals. We managed to get the Rhinos in an open area which was great as we could see then nicely, this Male gave us the best look!

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Rhino

    Tala day tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Rhinos at Tala have been attacked by poachers and now all have bracelet tracking devices on there legs. This one has the tip of his horn removed and will have more removed soon. Another survived a vicious attack and survived after having her front horn hacked off.

    This is all very sad but it is he state of affairs when it comes to traditional medicines around the world.

     

     

    We continued of Durban day tour and found a territorial male Wildebeest laying in his pile of dung which is common to see as they like to roll around in it to get there scent all over the place.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Wildebeest

    Tala day tour; Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not time to go and have a look at the Hippos in the dam. It was great as when we got there, there was one which rolled over sadly I missed the picture as it would have been cracking!

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Hippo

    Tala day tour; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hippos at Tala game reserve

     

     

     

    We watched the Hippos for a bit while enjoying the peace as the Knob Billed Coots and Egyptian geese made some noise. Moving on we found some Giraffe in an open area and there was about 8 of them so we had an amazing sighting. The best part of this was that they were trying to pick up bones which is common as they need calcium in there diet. They grind the bone over the molars and eat the shavings.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Giraffe looking for bones

    Tala day tour; Giraffe looking for bones

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The above picture could be a candidate for the bums of Africa collections!

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Giraffe pose

    Tala day tour; Giraffe pose

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    During this sighting on our Durban day tour we managed to spot this gaze from a Giraffe which was amazing!

    It was now time to do one last check on the Rhinos which hadn’t moved much and we enjoyed watching them from a different view before heading out of Tala game reserve in the Valley of 1000 Hills to Phezulu for our Zulu Cultural experience.

     

    We took the scenic route which on a clear day like was had for this tour was amazing, I think my clients were very happy with the weather.

    We then arrived and decided to have lunch with a view at the Boma restaurant which over looks the Valley of 1000 hills. It is a great spot to enjoy a great meal and a view.

     

    It was almost 2 pm so we finished up with lunch and made our way to the Zulu Cultural village for the tour there. We got settled in our seats and waited for the Zulu Dancing which was amazing as usual.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Zulu Dancing

    Tala day tour; Zulu Dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of the special dance to me anyhow is the next on which is know to have been invented by the great King Shaka the greatest Zulu King to have ever lived. It is called the Small shield dance.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Shakas small shield dance

    Tala day tour; Shakas small shield dance

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing singing and dancing we had a look in a couple of the Zulu huts, the meeting hut and the cooking hut. In each hut we learned more on the culture and beliefs of the traditional Zulus.

     

     

    It was now time to get to the reptile park which has a lot of Crocodiles and different snake species.

    I decided to run the tour around myself and but the end we had picked up a few stragglers who must have thought I worked there….

     

    It was great fun and we had a great Durban day tour in the Valley of 1000 hills as well as Tala game reserve.

     

     

     

     

    Tala day tour; Crocodile

    Tala day tour; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We began the drive back into Durban city after a great day mixing up Nature with culture on our Durban day tour!

     

  • 2nd May 2015

    Durban day tour – Ocean Princess cruise – 1 May 2015

     

    I met my clients in Durban at the harbour where their Cruise ship the Ocean Princess docked for the day before heading to East London for their Durban day tour.

    I was lucky as my clients were ready to go and the first ones off the ship which really made us keep ahead of things during the day.

    We began with the 45 minute drive to Tala game reserve a small reserve outside of Durban with a very high density of animals. Tala is always a great place to visit if you have limited time and you want to maximize your game viewing on a Durban day tour.

    In the 45 minutes to the game reserve I covered as much of the clients questions as well as the History of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as I could just to paint the amazing picture that is Durban!

     

    Jeff I looked up more information on Jan Smuts as I promised I would and turns out he was the 2nd Prime Minister of South Africa and he was the only man to sign both peace treaties ending the 1st and 2nd World Wars!

    See link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Smuts

     

    Back to our Durban day tour; We arrived at Tala game reserve and spotted the Rhinos before we even got to the gate. The Rhinos had their security team watching over them like hawks but fortunately we were early enough that we did not have their vehicles surrounding the Rhinos so we got great photos.

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Rhino

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on we found a large dazzle of Zebra and one solitary male Wildebeest with them with a lot of Red Billed Ox Peckers on their backs as these birds remove the ticks off the bodies of the animals. What a lovely relationship where the bird gets a meal and the animal get cleaned! I also took a video of the Zebras and Wildebeest on this Durban day tour so others could see what we saw.

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Zebra

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of Zebra and Wildebeest on our Durban day tour

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting we spotted some Ostriches, Impala and had a great sighting of the large Kudu antelope. The one male was trying to mate with the females which is always interesting as the behavior of the animal changes so much.

    The male Kudu will first sniff the female which encourages he to urinate, he then tastes the urine and inhales the scent over the Jacobson organ on the upper pallet of the mouth. This will then translate to him whether the female is in season and ready for mating. Even if she is she isn’t always that cooperative!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Kudu

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Kudu

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had done really well to this point so we stopped at the lodge for a rest room break and to stretch the legs before we continued with our Durban day tour for the Ocean Princess ship.

    Our next commitment was to find the Giraffes and we did and a lot of them at that. In fact the had a huge Tower or journey of  Giraffe to enjoy and this made us all very happy!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Giraffe

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Watching Giraffe feed is always interesting and one female actually was looking down to the ground trying to find bones so she could chew on them to get extra calcium in her diet. This is common with Giraffe and great to see on a Durban day tour.

     

    Our next en-devour was to find the Hippos in the dam which actually proved to be harder than you think. We did spot just one which kept popping its head above the water and quickly darting under. We tried our best even with the assistance of the head ranger allowing me to take a road which only Tala vehicle could take which was very kind of him.

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Hippo

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to leave Tala game reserve and make our way into the Valley of 1000 Hills which is a beautiful area so I took the scenic route as we had so much time due to my clients being so speedy in getting off the ship.

    It was great to explain more on the Zulu people and the new developments of houses built post apartheid for the previously disadvantaged communities. We got to see how some of our people are living on a day to day basis.

     

    We arrived at our destination in the valley of 1000 hills for the remainder of our Durban day tour and we began it with lunch with a view at the Boma restaurant. Again I have to thank my guests for getting off the ship so fast as we were able to get in and have lunch before the ships big bus tours arrived and cluttered the place.

     

    We all enjoyed our lunch and we then did a very rushed 15 minutes around the reptile center lead by myself so that we could be early for the Zulu Cultural tour and get seated before the big bus tour crowd!

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Crocodiles

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Crocodiles

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we were seated we could catch our breath and then the show began with the traditional way a young Zulu man would propose marriage to a girl. We also got to watch the young man visiting with the Sangoma(fortune teller) before he would have to pay Ilobola which is the dowry paid by the man to marry his wife.

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Sangoma

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Sangoma

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next on our Durban day tour was some of the traditional Zulu dancing and it was nice to see the “small shield dance” this dance was introduced by King Shaka when he was king between 1816 and 1828. It was spectacular with the view behind the dancers.

     

     

     

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Small shield dance

    Durban day tour for Ocean Princess Cruise; Small shield dance

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No visit to a Zulu cultural village on a Durban day tour is complete with out a video of the dancing so I have put a clip below of the spectacle.

     

     

     

    Video of Zulu dancing on our Durban day tour. 

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing show we had to begin the 45 minute trip back to Durban after our tour. Everyone seemed happy with how our Durban day tour had gone and we arrived back at the ship on time completing what had been a great trip out of Durban!

     

     

  • 13th April 2015

    Durban half day tour; Valley of 1000 Hills and City tour 13th April 2015

     

    I met my clients in Durban at the docks where the Queen Mary 2 ship stopped for the day. Having left an hour before my collection time I was sure I would be nice and early but I was wrong. A big fender bender on the N3 just before Durban city cost me a lot of time and I ended up being late! Very embarrassing! At least I had the clients number so I could call ahead to let them know.

    Our Durban half day tour began and we headed up into the Valley of 1000 hills and to the township of KwaNyuswa. It was here that I did a little township tour and showed the clients how the majority of South Africans live. It was a great opportunity to explain to my clients about the great Zulu King Shaka and the structures of Zulu society.

    We also had a look at the views and everyone we went past waved back at us and seemed really happy which I always find incredible as its always the poorest of the poor which are happiest.

    After this we continued our Durban half day tour at Phezulu safari park and began with the Zulu cultural village tour and watched the singing and dancing of the Zulus.

     

    Durban half day tour; Valley of 1000 Hills

    Durban half day tour; Valley of 1000 Hills

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Zulu cultural village was packed and I had to make a plan to find a place for my clients to sit and enjoy the show. It was then time for the Zulu family to shine and show us more about their amazing culture.

     

     

    Durban half day tour; Sangoma shows the herb Imphepho

    Durban half day tour; Sangoma shows the herb Imphepho

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Above the Sangoma shows the guests the herb Imphepho which is burned like incense to ward off evil spirits and to call upon the ancestors. On a Durban half day tour the Zulu Cultural village is a must visit.

    We then got to enjoy both the Zulu ladies and Zulu men showing off their skills with their traditional Zulu dance.

     

     

    Durban half day tour; Zulu men dancing

    Durban half day tour; Zulu men dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The views over the valley of 1000 hills behind the dancers is an attraction on its own and I am sure the clients enjoyed it. The Zulu dancers never seem to tire or appear frustrated at having to do the same song and dance 4 times a day it is a real spectacle.

     

     

     

    Durban half day tour; Zulu dancing

    Durban half day tour; Zulu dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video of the Zulu dancing on our Durban half day tour

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing experience on our Durban half day tour we headed for the City of Durban for our City tour. I stopped in the Berea area to show my clients the more affluent communities as well as the Globe off the top end of Florida road the party street in Durban. It was here that we got out to look at the amazing view over the city and to see the Moses Mabida Stadium.

     

     

     

    Durban half day tour; Moses Mabida stadium and Moses Mabida statue

    Durban half day tour; Moses Mabida stadium and Moses Mabida statue

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    For those that don’t know Moses Mabida was one of the many ANC stalwarts which fought against the apartheid government. The new stadium was named after him.

    This is an amazing stadium and we took the sky car to the roof of the Stadium were we enjoyed the views over the city, another of the must sees if you only have a half day tour of Durban.

     

     

     

    Durban half day tour; Best view of Durban from the Stadium roof

    Durban half day tour; Best view of Durban from the Stadium roof

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The above picture is of one of the many view you can see on a half day Durban tour from the roof of the Moses Mabida stadium. It looks out to the point and the point at which the ships enter the harbour of Durban or as it was once know Rio de Natal.

    It was time now to cover the Golden Mile and see the new Promenade as well as the Rickshas and craft market scattered along the beautiful beach front.

    It was lovely and I am glad my clients went away with a new idea of what Durban is really like.

    What a great Durban half day tour.

     

  • 13th January 2015

    Durban day safari to Tala and Valley of 1000 Hills 11th January 2015

     

    I met my client in Durban off the Oceana Nautica cruise ship it was one of those days where the ship comes 2 hours late and for some Tour operators and tour guide this ruined the day as they would have booked something and ended up not being able to get their in time.

    I was really fortunate as I could be really flexible and we manage for the most part to avoid the huge bus tours as we went on our merry way. My clients were originally from Scotland and not live in Canada which was really interesting, a lovely group.

    We first began at Tala game reserve and having learning that my clients had been to Botswana for and the Sabi Sands for Safaris already on this trip all I could do was wow them with information they may not have heard. The animals sightings I have to say were very good but Tala is a small private game reserve and does not have the Big 5, except Rhino.

    Our first sighting as usual was Zebra as we go into Tala game reserve on our Durban day safari.

     

    Zebra on our Durban day safari

    Zebra on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we found more Zebra, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Warthogs, Nyala, Impala and the list goes on. We only ended up spending just over 2 hours at Tala as we saw everything they had just about and as the clients had seen it all before this meant we could get into the Valley of 1000 Hills sooner than expected after the ship delay.

     

    Ostriches on our Durban day safari

    Ostriches on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    These ostriches were great as they had a huge amount of little ones with them and this was something my clients had not seen! We continued on and found some Giraffe which were great as it was 2 females with 2 babies. We spent some time correcting some theories other guides had mentioned and this was really great for me to share the knowledge I have on these animals with my great clients.

     

    Giraffe on our Durban day safari

    Giraffe on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we move on we visited the dam where the Hippos were and go some small looks at them which were not great but still good. We then made our way into the open plains to find the Rhinos of which we did all 5 of them. This was looking like a good Durban day safari.

     

    Rhino on our Durban day safari

    Rhino on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We decided to leave the game reserve of Tala and move on into the valley of 1000 Hills 35 minutes away to enjoy the views and have some lunch. I was very surprised that the restaurant was able to make provision for us and we had a restaurant all to our selves even though they had it booked for the Ships big bus tours!

    My clients were great sports and had Phutu, Chakalaka and Boerewors which I had as well which is a really traditional dish! It was lovely.

    Once we finished up we avoided the crowds at the reptile park and I did my own tour for my clients. It was great and some of the crocodiles there are huge!

     

    Crocodile seen on our Durban day safari

    Crocodile seen on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The above crocodile was a female on a nest that we saw in the valley of 1000 hills at Phezulu safari park. Next would be the Zulu Cultural village overlooking the amazing valley of 1000 hills which is so we known in the area and a great place to visit if you are in the Durban area on a Durban day safari with Tim Brown Tours.

     

    We then moved on into the Zulu cultural village where we got to witness some amazing Zulu dancing and drumming. The team in the Valley of 1000 Hills, really put in such effort and perform for us!

     

    Zulu dancing seen on our Durban day safari

    Zulu dancing seen on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My clients enjoyed the Zulu dancing and after the show we had a look through the shop before making our way slowly back to the Oceana Cruise ship.

     

    Zulu drumming on our Durban day safari

    Zulu drumming on our Durban day safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived back in Durban late afternoon after what had been a great Durban day safari and after my clients had got to experience some amazing Zulu Culture, Nature and History of the KwaZulu Natal area.

     

    If you are interested in what is shown above contact me and we will area a Durban day safari or Durban overnight safari to suit your needs.

     

     

1 2