African safari tours - Tim Brown Tours

African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

 

 

 

Our African safari tours can be done from Durban with Tim Brown Tours and it was here where I collected my clients for this 4 day safari.

We could begin by visiting the Fort Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe which features the Wheel chair of King Mpande a half brother to the famous King Shaka of the Zulu Nation. It also features John Dunns furniture, Zulu crafts and a Church showing off the missionary work of the Norwegians in the area!

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Fort Nongqayi museum in Eshowe

African safari tour; Fort Nongqayi museum in Eshowe
African safari tour; Fort Nongqayi museum in Eshowe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Chair of Mpande the former Zulu king is always amazing to see as a Missionary called Schroeder built this chair for Mpande due to his illnesses caused by his lifestyle and weight.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; King Mpandes Wheel chair

African safari tour; King Mpandes Wheel chair
African safari tour; King Mpandes Wheel chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After being guided through this area we had some lunch before continuing our African safari tour to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, the oldest in African and home to the Big 5!

 

We entered to the gate to some high security presence due to Rhino poaching concerns and we headed to Hilltop camp. I was thinking it would take us 40 minuted but it took much longer as we saw so many animals.

Our first major sighting was Rhino, Buffalo and shortly after Elephant but they were far enough away that the pictures were no good. We then spotted a Giraffe and her baby with some Impala.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Giraffe

African safari tour; Giraffe
African safari tour; Giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued along and come across a huge herd of Buffalo on the road as well a either side of us! This was a great beginning to our African safari tour.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Buffalo

African safari tour; Buffalo
African safari tour; Buffalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally arrived at Hilltop camp and quickly checked in and then after a short break of 10 minutes in the rooms we headed out to see what else we could find. I got word of Lions so we made our way around into the area they had been seen but before we could get there we found some Rhino!

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Rhino

African safari tour; Rhino
African safari tour; Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally arrived at the Lions and they were far down in the valley and had recently killed a Buffalo which they were feeding on. The issues was the distance and the fact the rain began to fall… Well what can you do! A Lion is a Lion! We could consider ourselves very lucky!

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Lions

African safari tour; Lions
African safari tour; Lions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We left the Lions and went to find Elephants and it was not long and we nailed it! We located a lovely breeding herd of Elephants and even though the rain was falling it was great to see them so near to us and crossing in front of us during our African safari tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Elephants

African safari tour; Elephants
African safari tour; Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephants suckling 


After enjoying a great time our on safari we headed back to Hilltop camp and we settled in for some dinner before an early nights sleep as we would be going back out at 5am the next day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

 

 

 

Our second day began were the first had finished off at Hilltop camp and we quickly got back into it with sightings of Giraffe, Zebra, Rhino and Elephants down at the Hluhluwe river.

 

 

We had to wait for the great quality sightings but they say good things come to those who wait!

Finally we got a great sighting of an Elephant bull coming down the road and we let him go past us, he was lovely and relaxed.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Elephant on road

African safari tour; Elephant on road
African safari tour; Elephant on road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was now time a good Zebra sighting as well and it happened for us! We go them right next to the road and you could say that now our African safari tour was hotting up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Zebra

African safari tour; Zebra
African safari tour; Zebra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was now time to relocate the Lions which should be easy as we knew a Buffalo was big enough to last a few days. We were successful and got the Lions at the same place they had only dragged the carcass under a tree. The best part of this sighting was they some Rhino chased a Lioness she then went to the toilet and began to play with something perhaps a tortoise of lizard!

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Lions

African safari tour; Lions
African safari tour; Lions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve: Lions feed on Buffalo


It was now time to head back for some coffee and breakfast before a rest. We would head out again after lunch to the Cheetah project for some interaction with the majestic cats!

 

Well out luck change as at 2pm the rain began to come down and we could not go to the Cat rehab center today so waiting for a gap in the weather, it was no good so we settled in and had some dinner before bed.

 

 

 

 

Day 3: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

 

 

 

 

Our third day of our African safari tour began with a bush walk mostly to look for birds in the forest and we did very well before heading down for some breakfast.

The safari after breakfast was amazing and we saw 3 of the Big 5 very close to the road an so much more. First it was the Giraffe.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Giraffe

African safari tour; Giraffe
African safari tour; Giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Giraffe we managed to spot Zebras and had the drink water out of a puddle on the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Zebra drinking

African safari tour; Zebra drinking
African safari tour; Zebra drinking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We now had a big day on the cards and we did 1.5 hours of Safari before heading to the Cat rehabilitation center which was very good. We then continued to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park where we had lunch and then took the 2pm Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Crocodile

African safari tour; Crocodile
African safari tour; Crocodile

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this great sighting of a Crocodile with his mouth open to regulate his body temperature we got lots of Hippos and finally one opened its mouth for us!

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Hippos

African safari tour; Hippos
African safari tour; Hippos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We finally completed what was an amazing St Lucia boat cruise and we were all very happy. The ladies got into the craft shop and after they were done we headed back to the gate of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and had more luck with the animals spotting Elephants close up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Elephants

African safari tour; Elephants
African safari tour; Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had one more surprise sighting as I took a dirt road loop we hadn’t covered yet and we spotted one of the best sightings of African Wild Dogs I have ever had! They were amazing, Playful and just beautiful. The most endangered carnivore in Africa shared its time with us and it was a real privilege to have spent just under an hour with them.

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; African Wild Dogs

African safari tour; African Wild Dogs
African safari tour; African Wild Dogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Wild Dog plays with stick and Wild dog drinks water

 


 

This was such a special day on our African safari tour that I don’t think we could really take it all in as we were all so tired and ended up getting back, having dinner and heading to bed. I must say I did stay up to write this part of the Blog post but its always hard to get these things to sink in even when you see them more often than most.

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4: African safari tour – 13-16th December 2015

 

 

 

 

We began at 5am with the safari and tried to see what animals we could fine before breakfast.

 

It was a day we would not forget! We only needed to find Lions closer than the two other sighting we had and this was all that was on my mind so I got us into the area where I hoped the Lions would move to.

It was a pure blissful sighting as we first spotted them on a hill far off and then this happened!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lion chases Zebra on our Durban overnight safari tour


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our African safari tour just got crazy from here as every possible way you could see a Lion took place meters away from us! We started with the hunt of Zebra and all the 7 Lions then walking onto the road and drinking water next to us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Lions on road and drinking

 

 

African safari tour; Lions on road and drinking
African safari tour; Lions on road and drinking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You would normally expect that it would end here and you would have to continue driving but it did not. The Lions scent marked, played with sticks and road work equipment before climbing into a Marula tree!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Lions on road and playing with road work markings

 

African safari tour; Lions on road and playing with road work markings
African safari tour; Lions on road and playing with road work markings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions walking down road, male smacks female 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African safari tour; Lion plays with stick and Lions in tree

 

 

African safari tour; Lion plays with stick and Lions in tree
African safari tour; Lion plays with stick and Lions in tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This has to be one if not the best Lion sighting I have ever had! It was amazing and one I will never be able to comprehend and take in properly. I hope my clients realize what a miracle this sighting was and I am sure they will never forget it.

 

We even had a Lioness call the other!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lioness calls the other Lions on our Durban safari tour 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions climb a tree on our Durban safari tour 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions drinking next to the road on our Durban safari tour 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This whole 1 and half hours that we spent with these Lions made the entire trip worth it and even though our adrenaline was pumping I personally felt exhausted afterwards. This could have been the emotion of what we witnessed but it was just amazing, really now words can describe it.

 

We returned to Hilltop camp for breakfast and check out before heading back out which really felt like a waste of time, how were we to top what we saw! Every animal from that point on got very little attention and we left Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after lunch.

 

We returned to the big city very happy with what had been an unbelievable 4 days on our African safari tour!

3 Comments

  • Karen Bennett
    Karen Bennett
    17th December 2015
    Reply

    It was a truly amazing few days and a trip I will never forget. I feel blessed to have seen these incredible creatures in their natural habitat, and in such an up close way. Thanks to Tim for being the best and most knowledgeable and flexible guide. You really made the trip unforgettable by ensuring we were informed about the animals, birds, flora & fauna. It was a real education and a most enjoyable and memorable one at that!

  • Vicky Thrower
    Vicky Thrower
    23rd December 2015
    Reply

    Absolute amazing experience to see the animals up close in their natural surroundings. Made some unforgettable memories thanks to Tim being able to spot everything and knowing exactly where to head. Got some incredible photos that I never thought I would ever get. Thanks Tim for being a fantastic guide!

  • Paige Harbaugh
    Paige Harbaugh
    31st December 2015
    Reply

    Our trip with Tim was beyond perfect. The gods of safari seemed to be with us but perhaps they were greatly helped by Tim’s extensive knowledge about the flora and, particularly, the fauna and his uncanny ability to always know where the best animals were going to be just hanging out waiting for us to show up so they could put on their show. The trip was perfectly planned but with plenty of openness to change with circumstances (like we really can’t go onto the next thing right now because there’s a pride of lions trying to chase down some zebra right in front of us or a pack of African wild dogs gamboling about just outside our window). Thanks Tim!

Leave a Comment