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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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!