3 day safari from Durban – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 7-9th April 2015
Our 3 day safari from Durban began with two different pick ups on in Kloof, West of Durban city and the other in Warner beach, South of Durban.
After I had all my clients aboard we began the 3 hour journey (Safari) to the Cat rehabilitation centre where we would learn more about endangered African cats hands on!
I covered the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and how each population group came to be in the area during the 3 hours we had on the road.
We arrived 15 minutes early for the Cat tour and in this time rested before a very exciting time seeing these amazing endangered African cats.
We first began with the African Wild cat then the Caracal before visiting the Cheetah for some hands on experience and then the Servals.
3 day safari from Durban; Caracal
We also got to interact with Rain one of the new Cheetah cubs. We actually got to have here run around us playing with a soccer ball before she got interested in the male Cheetahs in the next enclosure.
3 day safari from Durban; Cheetah cub
We then made our way to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and it was here we really began our safari from Durban.
We really had a good start with some Zebra and Warthog near the gate, as we continued we spotted some Buffalo in the distance and then a few Giraffe one of which with patients we were able to get to cross the road in front of us.
3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe crossing road
It was now time to make our way to Hilltop camp and it was time for a lovely lunch before I got word of Lions down south so I made the crazy call of rushing off down there to see if we could get lucky on our Durban safari and see them.
We rushed and spotted a lovely male Rhino which I had to stop for as he was about to mark his territory and this was amazing as I filmed it!
3 day safari from Durban; Rhino
Video of Rhino marking his territory
We continued on and then as we got to where the Lions were we heard they had just crossed the road and were heading up the hill on the other side. We rushed to get some look at them but all we really could see was bums and they were far away!
I did make a video just to show you that we saw them and took a picture at full zoom which was terrible but a Lion is a Lion and that’s that!
3 day safari from Durban; Lions
Video of Lions walking up hill
We were I think actually depressed at this point but we some how managed to find a huge herd of Elephant on our Durban safari and I saw they were moving fast to get to water so we waited for almost an hour in total for then to come out of the bushes into the open for us.
Finally they did and the sighting was amazing!
3 day safari from Durban; Elephants
Video of Elephants crossing road in front of us.
They even in the video crossed the road in front of us there was about 150 Elephants in total which was really special to see so many!
We also had another great experience with these Elephants and that was of them drinking which we had hoped we would see. It was really amazing as the one baby was also drinking from its mother at the same time as she was drinking water.
Video of Elephants drinking water and baby suckling.
After an amazing experience we began the safari back to camp and we saw about 8 Rhinos on the way before we got back and I checked the clients into there rooms safely. Here they rested for a short while and then we met for dinner.
The other half of the group I was driving on this 3 day safari a colleague of mine was taking and we all met at dinner so it was very exciting for us all.
Dinner was amazing with the great selection at Hilltop camp and then I had to go to bed as after the Zulu dancing the staff did for us my eyes could stay open no longer.
Day 2 would be a new adventure in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
Day 2: 3 day Safari from Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game
We began day 2 of our 3 day safari from Durban with breakfast and then headed down south to try our best at finding these Lions.
As we got down South we spotted a lovely dazzle of Zebra which were right next to the road and posing for us so this was a real African safari moment!
3 day safari from Durban; Zebra
Video of Zebra crossing the road on our Durban 3 day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We moved on from them and found more Rhino to add to our list as well as lots of Impala the McDonalds of the bush!
This was a dominant male which was spraying urine to mark his territory.
3 day safari from Durban; Rhino male
As we crossed over the Umfolozi river I was hoping to see some big animals but instead we saw some Storks and a Nile Crocodile.
He was just resting on the sand and we saw him again later that day when we drove back past him during our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
3 day safari from Durban; Nile Crocodile
As we passed through Mpila camp we stopped for a break and after this we managed to find some Giraffe near the road. We spent some time watching them as they were feeding and moving around. We then left them and continued our Durban safari.
3 day safari from Durban; Giraffe
We then spotted a Leopard Tortoise crossing the road. We seemed to have great luck with animals crossing the road on this Safari from Durban. This little fella also had his tongue out of his mouth at us!
3 day safari from Durban; Leopard Tortoise
We got into the area where Lion had been seen but sadly they had moved off and we were left looking at Wildebeest, Impala, Kudu and Buffalo. We actually had a great sighting of Buffalo a huge herd near the road.
3 day safari from Durban; Cape Buffalo
We stopped for lunch at the Centenary center where we also looked at some curios and then we spotted an animal I am very familiar with! It is one of those South African children with no children present! It was a new and interesting sighting as this Homo Sapien climbed up upon the back of the brace Black Rhino Statue at the Centenary centre and pretended to ride the Rhino like a bicycle!
I was very interested in this strange but new sighting for us. Lol
3 day safari from Durban; Homo Sapien riding a Rhino
All jokes aside we them began to make our way back to Hilltop camp to have a little rest before the evening game drive safari. Before we could get there though we found a few bull Elephants and a herd of Elephant near the road.
3 day safari from Durban; Elephants
We then arrived back at Hilltop camp and had about 1.5 hours before we would meet again for the evening open vehicle game drive. I was really hoping my clients would get to see these pesky Lions which had caused me so much stress during the 2 days to date.
A couple of my clients went through for an early dinner as did I, We then went to bed and the others came through later for some food.
Day 3: 3 day Safari from Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game
We began our morning game drive safari at 6am in the hope that we would find these Lions again and a little bit closer. I was really happy to hear that my clients has seen the lions on the evening night drive.
This sort of relieved some of the pressure off my shoulders but only 4 of my 6 clients had take the game drive and seen the lions, this meant I had to find them.
3 day safari from Durban; Sunrise in Hluhluwe
After this amazing sun rise we continued and found a mother Rhino and calf with a Big male who was interested in her. She showed here displeasure and he shifted off but not before we got a photo of him crossing the road in front of us.
3 day safari from Durban; Rhino crossing road
As we cruised around we stopped at one of the view points over the Hluhluwe river and I spotted something moving in the distance at another view point. I looked with my binoculars and it was lions. I literally told everyone to hold on as they were moving away from the river and we rushed around to where they were and luck for us we got to see them crossing and heading up a path. If we were 5 minutes later we would have seen nothing! I was really happy!
3 day safari from Durban; Lions in Hluhluwe
Video of Lions seen on our 3 day Durban safari tour.
We then continued our 3 day Durban safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and tried to see what else we could find. We were luck as not much further along we spotted a Rhino drinking water and later a Buffalo bull full of Red billed Ox peckers on his back crossing the road in front of us.
3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo crosses road and Rhino Drinks
Moving along we spotted Giraffe in the distance more Rhino, Buffalo and Impala. We had really been spoiled on this 3 day Durban safari tour that we were complaining we hadn’t seen a really good quality Elephant sighting since day one.
It wasn’t long and we spotted a Giraffe with a Little baby which was new for us and the a big Buffalo bull approached them it was interested to watch as the mother Giraffe just stared a him and he walked around them with not a bother in the world.
3 day safari from Durban; Buffalo approaches a Giraffe mother and calf
It was not time to head back to the lodge for some breakfast and then check out before a final dash down to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Weland Park to view Hippos and crocodiles from a boat. It was a lovely 2 hour boat cruise and at St Lucia we saw some really interesting things on this final stretch of our Durban safari tour.
First we spotted a Big Crocodile and caught an African Fish eagle in flight which was amazing!
3 day safari from Durban; St Lucia; Fish eagle in flight and a Crocodile
We then had a couple of really interesting sighting. The first was of two Bull Buffaloes from the Eastern shores of Isimangeliso Wetland park which were walking in the estuary and the came across a crocodile which they approached and it just swam off before getting trampled on. I made a video of it below:
Video of Buffaloes Approaching a crocodile in St Lucia Estuary at Isimangeliso Wetalnd Park.
As we continued up stream we found lots of pods of Hippos and one was very interesting as his upper canines were growing out the side of the mouth instead of in the mouth! This was interesting and shows that even with some disability you can survive and be a big male.
3 day safari from Durban; Hippos at St Lucia
After a great cruise on lake St Lucia we made our way into the town not before getting a group photo to remember the 3 days we had spent on safari together.
3 day safari from Durban; Picture of the group
It was now time for some lunch and we enjoyed some seafood, steak and a few other bits and pieces. It was lovely and a great way to end the 3 days of our Durban safari tour.
It was now just a 2.5 hour drive back to Durban (Umhlanga) where I was dropping off my clients for a rest before a bit wedding. If you wish to be a part of one of these Durban safari tours contact Tim Brown – [email protected]