Durban Big 5 Safari Tour Archives - Tim Brown Tours

Hluhluwe Big 5 game reserve

Our Hluhluwe “Big 5” game reserve safari from Durban began in the city where I collected my clients. It was to be a Hluhluwe game reserve safari to remember! Our day began at 06:30 and we made our way to the world famous Hluhluwe game reserve and the Umfolozi game reserve in the south. After covering the major history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa we arrived at Hluhluwe game reserve and it was only 09:30. As it was a cool day I was really hoping we would find cats but as nature has it, you have to be at the right place at the right time.

Durban Safari Tour

I was blessed with a repeat client who brought a friend out from Australia to experience a Durban 3 day safari tour. We departed from Umhlanga and we were able to cover the history and new things that I hadn’t said the last time. It wasn’t long before we stopped and got some coffee and the continued on to the Cat rehabilitation center which was a real experience. My clients loved it and after interacting with the Cheetah hands on the day was set up to be legendary!

Durban big 5 Safari

Durban big 5 Safari – 21st-23rd July 2015   We began our Durban big 5 safari from my home as I was taking my cousins on a 3 day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, St Lucia and Cat rehabilitation center. I was to be a great 3 day on safari from Durban! We began at 06:30 and by 09:30 we were in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and made our way down south in the hope of finding cats. It was a bonus to have a Giraffe at the gate as we entered and some Zebras on the hill.   We were very lucky as the first time I drove past this pan there was no Lions and I turned back just to check one more time all all of a sudden there was 2 Lions in a tree. This was my favorite pride of Lions the Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe! In the tree was an adult female and a sub adult cub under a year old.         Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Lioness in tree Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Lioness in tree                               We got some amazing footage and as the game reserve was doing road maintenance trucks where racing by and didn’t see these Lions so we mostly had them to ourselves for an hour.         Video: Tree climbing Lions on safari near Durban There was a young male cub which was resting in the branches on the tree and then he decided to come down. I also had to video this as Lions are not built for climbing down trees as they do not have locking wrists like Leopards.           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Lion cub in tree Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Lion cub in tree                                   Video – Lion comes down from tree in Hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve We continued our Big 5 safari from Durban and found some Zebra that was great as they were crossing the road but it was hard to feel as excited after seeing Lions in the tree and spending an hour watching them before they walked over the hill.           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Zebra Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Zebra                                   We made our way down to the bone dry Umfolozi river and patiently waited to see if we could spot anything. We watched an Impala drinking and then something caught my eye far up stream and it was a Hyena. It kept popping out onto the dry river bed and then hiding again. We were super lucky and the 3 more appeared and amazingly one ran across the riverbed with a big chunk of  what looked like skin in its mouth and the others followed.           Video: Hyena carries carcass in mouth This was now just amazing and I could not have wished for a better start having seen 2 predators before the end of the first day! We turned and made our way to the Centenary center and there was 2 bull Elephants drinking from a drain behind the center where we had our lunch! Another amazing sighting!   After enjoying lunch and a look around the shop we went back to the car park and the 2 bull Elephants were now among the cars so I had to be cautious in getting to the vehicle safely. Unbelievable stuff, we were so lucky to have now seen 4 of the Big 5 as we had seen Buffalo in the distance as well.           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Elephant Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Elephant                                 I also forgot to mention that after the Hyenas we spotted a lovely herd of Wildebeest in Umfolozi!             Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Wildebeest Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Wildebeest                                   We raced back to Hilltop camp for check in and to get settled in the rooms but we only had 30 minuted before we needed to leave again to go to the cat rehabilitation center outside of Hluhluwe.   Before we could get to Hilltop camp though we spotted a Crocodile resting near some water in the forest.           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Crocodile Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Crocodile                                 We were not done yet and a bit further up the road we managed to find Giraffe which was great as they were so close, then the one male walked down the road behind us. Man, what a great day, 4 of the Big 5 on this Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour!           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Giraffe Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Giraffe                                 We finally arrived and quickly left Hilltop camp for the Cat rehabilitation center.   On route we spotted some Rhino.           Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Rhino   Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Rhino                               We thought that this would be all our sighting for the day but we added another of the Big 5 animals to our list as we spotted Elephants again and this time with little babies as they walked across and then down a road. We had been super blessed!             Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Herd of Elephants Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Herd of Elephants                                   We finally got the the Cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe and were so excited because of the amazing day we had experienced so far that we knew this experience would also be an amazing one. At the Cat rehabilitation center we interact with Cheetah and Serval in the afternoon as it is the feeding tour so they others are being fed so we cannot obviously gone in with them.             Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Claire with Cheetah at Cat rehab Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari; Claire with Cheetah at Cat rehab                                 I managed to get a great photo of Claire my cousins wife with the Cheetah cub with my camera but all the other photos I took with there camera for them with the other species of cat.   I also got some great videos…           Video – Caracal jumps for its food! Video – Serval catches food in tree We had had an amazing day and really though we could not have done any better at this point! We made our way back to Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve to get back to camp for some dinner. It was not 17:30 and we had 30 minuted to get back to camp.   On route the unimaginable happened as we had a great sighting of an African wild dog running down the road towards us! I was absolutely amazed that we could of had such an amazing day of sightings and it would be hard to beat the next day but non of us cared at this point we were on a high from the excitement of the day and would probably battle to sleep the night!           Video: African wild dog in Hluhluwe runs down road   We arrived back at camp and had a 30 minute rest before dinner. It was nice for me as it was my family so I could share a bottle of wine with them and talk about the amazing day we had experienced. It was for sure one of the best days of game viewing I have ever experience and it always makes it so much better if you have people to share it with. We had seen Lions in a tree, Hyenas with a carcass in there mouth, Buffalo on the road, Rhino not far from the road, Elephant 2 meters from our car, Wild dog running towards our car, Zebras crossing the road, Giraffe walking on the road and a whole host of other things!     We went off to bed and after doing some work I fell right off to sleep with a smile on my face!             Day 2: Durban big 5 Safari – 22nd July 2015       We began day two at 6am and left Hilltop camp in the dark to maximize our time in Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve in the hope we would see lots of amazing animals and interactions.   We made our way north first into the Hluhluwe section and were hoping to find the African wild dogs. That fell by the way side and we spotted two huge herds of Buffalo one was on the road!           Big 5 safari from Durban, Buffalo Big 5 safari from Durban, Buffalo                                   We continued to a view point and enjoyed the views before checking the Hluhluwe river area for signs of animals. We had the most amazing sighting of Rhinos which I will put up there with one of my best! There was 4 sub adult males and 2 of them were fighting.         Video – White Rhinos fighting in the wild, video 1         Big 5 safari from Durban, Rhino fighting 1 Big 5 safari from Durban, Rhino fighting 1                                   Video: White Rhinos fighting in the wild, video 2       Every time we thought they would stop either of the two Rhinos would continue the fight. In some of the videos you can see that they younger ones eye almost gets taken out. In nature Rhino males do kill each other over the rights to territory and to mate with females. Having said this, this fight was more fun and game to prepare the males for when they become adults and have to challenge a big male for territory.             Big 5 safari from Durban, Rhino fighting 2 Big 5 safari from Durban, Rhino fighting 2                                         Video: White Rhinos fighting in the wild, video 3       This was an unbelievable sighting an one I will never forget! We had been so luck to have clear visual of all of our Big 5 sightings and every other animal we saw as well.   As we drove down south now we spotted some Zebras walking down the road and the one at the front was a new specie I call it the Tailless black bummed Zebra! No, it was just a Zebra that had been in some clay mud and it tails got stuck up on its ass….(excuse the pun!)             Big 5 safari from Durban, New specie of Zebra… Big 5 safari from Durban, New specie of Zebra…                                   The day now began to merge for me a bit as the weather changed and things became hard as the rain came down. We had some respite but at time it was plain pouring with rain so much so the roads were almost flooding. This was odd as it was our winter and we usually only have rain like this in summer.   We still saw animals. It was just that even the Elephants we saw were running away from the rain! Where they will running to was another story but they were not enjoying the heavy rain.   Amidst the rain we still spotted Giraffe, Impala and Elephants.           Big 5 safari from Durban, Giraffe Big 5 safari from Durban, Giraffe                                     Big 5 safari from Durban, Elephant Big 5 safari from Durban, Elephant                                 We stopped for some lunch at the centenary center once again and had to have something warm to make us feel content. It had been a long hard day but we still had seen animals and the Rhinos really were the highlight. After lunch and a look around the “Operation Rhino museum” we began to head back to Hilltop camp for a couple hours rest before my cousins would got for another 3 hours on the open vehicle and I would do some work and meet them for dinner at 8pm.   Before arriving back we had spotted two Leopard tortoises who come out more when its wet in winter. I had to move one off the road so nobody hit it with their car. I was careful to check for any animals as I was breaking the rules but felt if it was to protect nature and considering I have been in the industry for 10 years and done walking trails before it would be fine and it was.           Big 5 safari from Durban, Moving a male Leopard tortoise off the road Big 5 safari from Durban, Moving a male Leopard tortoise off the road                                   By the time we got back to Hilltop camp had done 9 hours of big 5 safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi and my cousins added the extra 3 hours to make it a 12 hour day of safari in Africa!     I was grateful to be able to attend to my emails and begin the blog posts I needed to do and it was great to meet my family later for dinner and wine.     We all had a great night sleep and would be ready for day 3!               Day 3: Durban big 5 Safari – 23rd July 2015         We got up a little later the next day and had breakfast at 7am before checking out and a final 3.5 hours of big 5 safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.     Our first sighting was of Elephants crossing the road in front of us. They were males which we trying to keep up with the breeding herd which had already gone over the next hill.         Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Elephant Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Elephant                                 We continued on and I had one thing in mind and that was to try and find the African wild dogs for my family in the day time! Before we could get there we had a great sighting of kudu silhouetted against the African sun!               Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Silouet of Kudu Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Silouet of Kudu                                 We went to the usual are we look now near to where they have a den sight and we spotted fresh scat on the road so we waiting around and drove up and down and used our ears.   All of a sudden I heard the squeaks and it was a mad rush as they were 20 meters down the road crossing. We got there and more came across right in front of us. It happened so fast that vehicle that arrived 1 minute later missed everything. We were so lucky again. We had now seen 4 of the Big 5 and African wild dogs twice the most endangered carnivore in Africa!           Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, African Wild Dog crosses road Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, African Wild Dog crosses road                                   This was becoming some kind of story which you would tell your kids when they were old enough about your experience in Africa. I just could not believe how lucky we had been during the 3 day of Safari from Durban.     Finally some calm and we drove for a little while with out seeing much except Impala and then we spotted a Juvenile Martial Eagle which I managed to capture in flight!             Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Juv Martial eagle takes off Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Juv Martial eagle takes off                                 We now  began to make our way out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and spotted some Warthogs and Baboons. The funniest part was this male Baboon was sitting on a flimsy dead branch surveying the area and it snapped under his weight! I managed to take a photo of this as he fell to the ground not so gracefully!               Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Baboon falls Hluhluwe Big 5 safari from Durban, Baboon falls                                 We exited Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after any incredible 3 days and made our way to St Lucia estuary for lunch and our 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos, Crocodiles as well as bird life.   After an hour drive we arrived and settled in for some lunch before what was another great cruise on St Lucia Estuary.             St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Hippos in estuary St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Hippos in estuary                                   We spotted Hippos galore and amazing bird life, these 2 Crocodiles where one of the amazing things we saw in the 2 hours of this relaxing St Lucia boat tour.             St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Crocodiles at St Lucia estuary St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Crocodiles at St Lucia estuary                                 I made a lovely short video of one of the massive pods of Hippos where the babies left the water that we saw at St Lucia and you will be able to see it below.           Video – Baby Hippos leave the water at St Lucia estuary                 We had been so lucky and began our cruise back to the jetty where we still spotted the Hippos and Crocodiles. We had a great sighting of an African fish eagle being mobbed by some Grey Headed Gulls.               St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Africa fish eagle gets mobbed St Lucia wetlands safari from Durban, Africa fish eagle gets mobbed                                 It was now time to drop my family off and make sure they got the car from the car rental place before leaving them at there lovely guesthouse in St Lucia. It is always hard to say goodbye and having spent 4 amazing days with my family starting in the Drakensberg mountains and the a 3 day safari from Durban really meant we would have memories that we share forever.   Thank you to Jean-Marc and Claire for the visit and my wife for arranging the stay at our home as well as the snak packs. It had been a very special time for us all.     If you wish to join one of this tours click the links below to the 2 tours we did.     Drakensberg, Sani pass day tour.   Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5, 3 day safari tour.

Durban 2 day safari

Durban 2 day safari   I met my clients down in Durban near the harbour and it was here where we began our Durban 2 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest national park in Africa and home to the Big 5,  Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant!   Seeing the Big 5 is not the only attraction in on a Hluhluwe safari as we also have beautiful scenery and other animals like Giraffe and Zebra to mention a few.   We started at the Cat Rehabilitation center to interact with 4 endangered species of Cat namely the Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat. Here my client really had a blast as they loved cats.         Durban 2 day safari; Guests with Cheetah Durban 2 day safari; Guests with Cheetah                               We also got to interact with the Cheetah cubs on our Durban safari tour before we made our way into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see how many of the Big 5 we could spot in the 2 days.   Our game drive began very well and we spotted some Impala, Buffalo and Zebra before reaching Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe.         Durban 2 day safari; Zebra Durban 2 day safari; Zebra                               The Buffalo were a little further away but we managed one or two decent pictures of them before making our way to Hilltop camp for some lunch.           Durban 2 day safari; Buffalo Durban 2 day safari; Buffalo                                 After lunch I check us in and got my clients to their room for 20 minuted before we headed back out onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see if we could find more of the Big 5.   It was not long before we spotted a crash of three Rhino next to the road! This was awesome as we waiting and watched and we actually had them get quite close to us before they moved around us and we decided to let them enjoy their dry grass.           Durban 2 day safari; Rhino Durban 2 day safari; Rhino                               Our Big 5 safari from Durban was hotting up and we headed to the Hluhluwe river to see if we could find more animals down there. We did, We actually got out at a view sight and watched Rhino, Buffalo and Baboons in the river bed feeding, drinking and grooming! It was a great sight and it had a lovely view of the area!           Durban 2 day safari; View over Hluhluwe river Durban 2 day safari; View over Hluhluwe river                               We continued on and found more Buffalo, Nyala and Rhino before we had to start to make our way back so that my clients could catch the evening open vehicle safari from Hilltop camp. As usual this would mean we would begin to see more animals to halt our progress, which I was not complaining about!   We had an awesome sighting of Elephant near to the road feeding and moving quickly over the area we were in. This was not the 3rd of the Big 5 that we had seen today!         Durban 2 day safari; Elephants Durban 2 day safari; Elephants                                 After this amazing Elephant sighting we had to rush off to Hilltop camp but before we could get there my clients threw down a challenge and I accepted their challenge! It was to try find Giraffe and would you believe it we did! It was amazing, we spent another 2 minutes watching them before we could eventually get going to Hilltop camp for the evening safari tour.         Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe                                 Finally we arrived and we still had time to have a washroom break before the night safari! I would arrange dinner and my clients would be back at 8am for it. In the mean time I could get this work done on the Blog post and some emails that needed attending too.   Day two would hopefully be as good as the first and we were hoping to find a cat or two.     Day 2: Durban 2 day safari     We met for a quick breakfast before a final 3 hour safari drive. It was one of those days when you just cannot believe your luck and when you seem to get almost everything you wanted. I actually wanted to find the African Wild Dogs and Lions and within 30 minute I had located the Wild Dogs walking back to their den sight. The best part of this was we were the only vehicle the whole time to see them. They had fat little bellies which meant they had fed and were going to give meet to the expectant mother.         Durban 2 day safari; African Wild Dogs Durban 2 day safari; African Wild Dogs                                 We also came across all the usual suspects like the Rhino, Buffalo, Warthog, Impala, Nyala and Zebra before in the quest to find lions we hit the jackpot. We came round a bend in the road and in the long grass I spotted 3 heads poking up it was Lions! After a few seconds we spotted another 3 Lions resting on full view on the bank near by.           Durban 2 day safari; Lions Durban 2 day safari; Lions                                   This was not the end of the action as a Big Buffalo bull walked straight into the resting Lions and I had the camera ready for the action! It was great as it was the day time the Lions knew it would be stupid to try take the Buffalo down when he can see them in case they get injured. An injury in the African bush can mean death! The Buffalo made the Lions move and even in the second video gave them a grunt and stomp!           Video: Durban overnight safari; Buffalo walks into Lions         Video: Durban overnight safari; Buffalo walks into Lions on they scatter           Just when you think things could not get any better we found on our trip out of Hluhluwe a mother and bay Rhino. The baby was running around as is he/she had drank some energy drink or something as eventually mom had to tell the baby off from playing hide and seen with here. It was and awesome sighting!             Durban 2 day safari; Rhino mother and calf Durban 2 day safari; Rhino mother and calf                                 Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino baby runs around its mother           This was a super safari experience in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we were so happy with the day to this point! We spent some time then with some Giraffe before make our way to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park for lunch and our 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.   We had some lunch in St Lucia a restful town and the hopped on the boat. Again you never know what you will get on these cruises and we had seen 4 of the Big 5 in Hluhluwe Imfolozi in 24 hours and now wanted see how our luck would be here. We began with Crocodile.         Durban 2 day safari; Nile Crocodile Durban 2 day safari; Nile Crocodile                                 I them decided to save my pictures for the one moment I knew would come and even though we saw lots of Hippos the light and reflection was not the best. We spotted a African Fish Eagle with a fish it had caught so I snapped that picture.           Durban 2 day safari; African Fish Eagle Durban 2 day safari; African Fish Eagle                             It was now time for me to capture the moment we all had been waiting for! A Hippos raised itself out of the water and marked his territory before giving us the best pose you could get the mouth wide open! Wow this was a great Durban overnight safari!           Durban 2 day safari; Hippo with mouth open Durban 2 day safari; Hippo with mouth open                               Between the African Wild dogs the most endangered carnivore in Africa, the Lions who should have been sleeping and now this Hippo raising himself out of the water to display to us, I felt like we were in the Jungle Book!   It had been an amazing two days on Safari from Durban and we all returned to Durban with big smiles on our faces! Mr Luck as we called Cahel one of my clients had maybe brought some extra luck to my usual luck… Thanks mate!    

Durban private safari

Durban private safari 20 June 2015     I met my client in Durban where we began what was to be a day where we would mix up two tours, the Hluhluwe day tour and a visit to the cat rehabilitation center.   We left just before 7am and but 09:30 we were at the cat rehabilitation center where we arranged a private tour around the center before the main group at 10:30. We interacted with the four species of Endangered cats and of course the Cheetah was the best as well as the cubs! It is always great on a Safari from Durban to interact with these amazing animals.   Durban private safari; Cheetah Durban private safari; Cheetah                               At this time we left and made our way into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Durban private safari side of the tour. We had immediate luck as we spotted Zebra and Warthog before a quiet period.         Durban private safari; Zebra Durban private safari; Zebra                             We made our way to the Hluhluwe river in the hope of finding Elephants but we only found Nyala and Buffalo which was also great to see so we had now seen the first of the Big 5.         Durban private safari; Herd of Buffalo Durban private safari; Herd of Buffalo                               We continued and found some more Nyala and then looked over the Hluhluwe river where we had a different sighting of 2 Egyptian geese fighting probably over a female!         Video: Durban private safari; Eqyptian geese fighting       After this we continued and managed to find a herd of Elephants they were slowly making their way towards the road and we managed to get two crossing the road. The others just took way too long so we moved on to see what else we could find on our Durban private safari.         Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road                             We managed to get this one bull Elephant dust bathing and playing with a tuft of grass which was great to watch.         Video: Durban private safari; Elephant playing on road           After this amazing sighting we were very lucky again as I spotted a Rhino and Buffalo together! The only trouble for us was it was so thick that we had to settle for picture of Rhino from a distance as we could not see this ones horns through the long grass.         Durban private safari; Rhino Durban private safari; Rhino                             We even then got lucky with a couple of Water buck males crossing the road in front of us before we made our way down South to the Nyalazi gate for a restroom break.         Durban private safari; Waterbuck Durban private safari; Water buck                               Before we could get down to the Nyalazi gate we found a Nile Crocodile resting in one of the river beds which was awesome and then we began to spot lots of Impala and Nyala. Eventually we spotted some Giraffe but they were very far away. Sadly all our sighting of Giraffe until we were heading out of the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi were from very far away. We would have to settle for this below picture.       Durban private safari; Giraffe Durban private safari; Giraffe                               We stopped at the Centenary center for some curio shopping and quickly grabbed some food before we headed off again.    Having seen 3 of the Big 5 during the day we were not unhappy at all but we really wanted to have a better sighting of Rhino! Sadly we did not and had to settle for what we saw. It was 4pm and we departed the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve the oldest game reserve in African back to Durban.   Having mixed up the day we had a great selection of animals and this had been a great day safari from Durban having seen a few interesting things!    

Durban safaris

Durban safaris – 3 day tour 12 -14th June 2015   I had two different pick ups for this 3 day Durban safari tour one in Durban and the other in Umhlanga. Once I collected my client and we got chatting I knew we would have a good safari! Our first day was near floor-less as we achieved so much in the first day. We began covering some of the interesting history of the area of Durban and KwaZulu Natal before arriving at the cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe. Our tour around the rehab was great! We entered the enclosures with all 4 of the endangered species of Cat; Serval, Caracal, African Wild Cat and Cheetah.         Durban safaris; Serval Durban safaris; Serval                             The above picture of a Serval is lovely and these cats are very interactive so when we go into the enclosure it is always a great time watching them. Our Durban safari continued and we entered with then Cheetah cubs which were also very interactive.         Durban safaris; Cheetah cub   Durban safaris; Cheetah cub                               This Cheetah cub was so interested with watching her sister playing with a rope on the end of a stick that even her soccer ball was not distraction enough!   We finished up with the cats and moved on into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for the Durban safari side of our 3 day Safari tour. This Big 5 game reserve near Durban is malaria free and is probably the biggest hidden secret in the area.   Our first sighting was of Warthogs and as it was the first animal we saw we spent some time with them before continuing our safari and then spotting some Zebra not too far from the road.         Durban safaris; Zebra Durban safaris; Zebra                               We made our way to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the two nights and had some lunch before checking in and settling into the rooms for half an hour. Then we headed back out to continue our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We spotted a huge herd of Buffalo on the road so we spent a good 15 minutes with them while they all crossed and then only continued on.           Durban safaris; Buffalo Durban safaris; Buffalo                                 Video – Durban safaris; Buffalo crossing the road in Hluhluwe   We were making our way toward the Hluhluwe river when we spotted both Rhino and Elephants. All we could do was wait to see what would happen and good job we did as the Elephants came to the road and we got them to cross in front of us.         Durban safaris; Elephant     Durban safaris; Elephant                               The Rhinos at this point were near to the road as well so we managed to get a decent photo of them before moving onward to see what else we could find.         Durban safaris; Rhino Durban safaris; Rhino                               We heard that Lions had been seen at 3pm but it was already 5pm so I knew the chances of finding them was not very high. When on a Durban safari or any safari you always have hope and we tried our best at first without success but then as the sun set we spotted them making their way to the road following a herd of Buffalo. The Lions then began to hunt the Buffalo which made things hard on me as I was caught up with the ethical battle of keeping the lights on the Lions so we could see them but also not wanting to give the Lions away to the Buffalo which would end there chances of a successful hunt.         Durban safaris; Lioness Durban safaris; Lioness                                   Video – Durban safaris; Lions cross road at night to hunt Buffalo   What a great start to our Durban 3 day safari tour, the Lions attempted the hunt and in the darkness we heard the growling and Buffalo bellowing when we turned the lights one there was only dust and the Lions had not been able to hold on to their dinner. The lucky Buffalo kept walking away and we left the lions to try again.     We made our way back to the lodge and settled in for some dinner and a chat about how amazing our day was having seen 4 of the Big 5 on the first day of our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   We even did a spot of star gazing before we were all very tired and we headed off to bed.     Day 2: Durban safaris; our 3 day safari tour       We began our day with high hopes of seeing lots of animals and hopefully more Lions but you just never know what will show up for you on these safaris from Durban. After breakfast we headed South in the game reserve and it was like the luck from day one had never left as we kept up the tempo and saw lots of animals.   Our major concern was finding Giraffe which we managed to knock on the head after just 30 minutes of driving!         Durban safaris; Giraffe Durban safaris; Giraffe                               Video: Safari in South Africa; Giraffe crossing road We also spotted lots of general game like Zebra, Impala, Warthog, Wildebeest and we must have spent about 45 minutes in one spot as all these amazing animals came to a watering hole to drink.         Durban safaris; Rhino reflection Durban safaris; Rhino reflection                                 Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino get spooked by Zebra at mud wallow After watching these Rhinos drinking and getting spooked by the Zebra which came in for a drink we managed to see the female Rhino sharpening her horn so that she would have it ready for any poachers that tried to mess with her and remove her horn!         Video: African safari; Rhino sharpens her horn waiting for poachers!   Our 3 day safari from Durban was really turning out to be a great time and we just kept getting great luck and being in the right places at the right times. We waited longer at the watering hole as a herd of Wildebeest came down and had a drink during this time we also spotted some great bird life. The best was a Malachite King fisher!         Durban safaris; Wildebeest drinking Durban safaris; Wildebeest drinking                                 Video: Safari from Durban; Wildebeest drinking in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve   We then continued on to the Umfolozi river and I could not believe our luck as all of a sudden we spotted Lions running in the river bed. The only issue was they were running away because there was a bush walk that had not seen them and were having there walk in the river bed. This made it exciting and after a very short time we lost visual of the Lions so we continued with our Safari in Umfolozi.   I did get a picture but I felt it wasn’t good enough to go up on the blog and if you read on your will see why.   We drop through at this time of the year what looked like a desert as the place was so dry but we did spot more Rhino, Giraffe and other animals before we got to another section of the river and you would not believe it but there was Lions here!           Durban safaris; Lions in walking in river bed Durban safaris; Lions in walking in river bed                             The picture was not the best but I still figured I would use it. We then continued to a “hide” which is a hut overlooking a watering hole. It was here we spotted a wide variety of animals and birds before moving on back up to get some lunch.         Durban safaris; Antelope drinking Durban safaris; Antelope drinking                               Video: African safari; Warthog rubs himself after a mud wallow       After spending time in the Hide we made our way back to where we had seen the second lot of Lions in the river bed and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking. The Lions just watched them from the safety of being up stream.         Durban safaris; Buffalo herd Durban safaris; Buffalo herd                               This was a great sighting on our Durban safari tour and we made our way back to the area where we had seen the previous pride of Lion that had been chased by the people on foot. It was here that we spotted them resting in the dry river bed. There was two big males and some Lionesses and cubs!         Durban safaris; Lions resting in river bed Durban safaris; Lions resting in river bed                               Video: Durban safari; Lions in the Umfolozi river       This had been an amazing day seeing the Lions 4 times and seeing 3 of the big 5 before lunch. We still had not seen Elephant the whole morning and now it was lunch time so we saved that one of the Big 5 for a big later.   Lunch was great at the Centenary center before we began the drive back up to hilltop camp. On route we got our Elephants in fact 3 or 4 different Elephant sightings! This meant we had 4 of the Big 5 today as well!         Durban safaris; Elephant bull Durban safaris; Elephant bull                               Our next stop would be back at camp where we would have an hours rest before heading out on the evening night safari from 5pm – 8pm.   Dinner was great as usual and we headed off for a good nights rest.       Day 3: Durban safaris; 3 day safari tour.     I met my client just before 7am to collect their luggage and get them down for some breakfast. It was a relaxed time as when you do they same tour regularly you get into such a routine of doing things that it just flows. Just after 07:30 we were already on the road and at this stage I asked one of the ladies “what would you like to see today” she said to me ” the African wild dog would be nice”. I knew where to look but had no idea if we would be so luck to find the most endangered carnivore in Africa but we did! I could not believe our luck and nor could my clients!         Durban safaris; African wild dog Durban safaris; African wild dog                               We watched the dogs jumping up and down in the long grass and running all over the place for about half an hour before we lost visual and began to make our way out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It had been an amazing 3 days with some amazing sightings for a 3 day safari from Durban.   Our next stop would be St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park to take a 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.     Our first look from the Jetty we spotted a pod of Hippos and when we got going we made our way to them to enjoy nature. They all ran into the water but it was lovely to see them.         Durban safaris; baby Hippo Durban safaris; baby Hippo                               Further up stream of the world heritage site of Isimangaliso Wetland park we found Crocodiles, Fish eagles, Herons, Kingfishers and lots and lots of Hippos. Wow what a safari up St Lucia estuary.         Durban safaris; Crocodile Durban safaris; Crocodile                               We then had a very interesting sighting of a Hippos chewing at a Buoy on a barge boat. This or though exciting for the clients go me very concerned as this behaviour could be very dangerous in the future as the Hippo playing with the boat will show others that they can do the same and this could increase attacks on boats.   I did however made a video for you to see this interesting behaviour.         Video: Hippo chewing buoy of boat in St Lucia!           Our cruise ended and we made our way into St Lucia town for some lunch which was great. After lunch we took a drive to the estuary mouth and then began our trip back to Durban after a very successful 3 days safari from Durban. My clients were happy and so was I.    

Durban safari tour

Durban safari tour – 5-7 June 2015     After collecting my clients from Durban for their Durban overnight safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, we headed up to the Cat rehabilitation center outside of Hluhluwe were we would begin our first day of Durban safari tour. It was here that we interacted with 4 endangered species of cat, Serval, Caracal, African Wild cat and Cheetah! The Cheetah was the big attraction and the Cheetah cubs and Serval were very playful. Our day had only just begun but we were expecting a good one. The weather was cool and there was a cold winter breeze blowing but the sun was still shining on our Durban safari tour.   We enjoyed the African Wild Cats and then entered into the enclosure with the Caracal, I managed to get a great shot of one of the Caracal in the tree!         Durban safari tour; Caracal in Tree Durban safari tour; Caracal in Tree                             We moved on to the Cheetah brothers and interacted with them before making our way into the enclosure with the Cheetah cubs. This was great and my clients really enjoyed this experience. Next was the Serval which are always so interactive that it makes the tour so worth it.   We then began the 20 minute drive to the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s Oldest proclaimed protected area and home the the Big 5! Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is a great place to do a safari and is only 2.5 hours from Durban!   Before we could even cross over the electric fence we found a sounder of Warthogs laying around and enjoying the sun on this cool winters day.       Durban safari tour; Warthogs Durban safari tour; Warthogs                               It was not long before we managed to find some Giraffe and this was a great sighting and a good start to our Durban safari tour. The Giraffe female that we first found was actually chewing a bone which is very normal but people do not always know why. It is to grind off some bone to get calcium into their diet.         Durban safari tour; Giraffe chews bone Durban safari tour; Giraffe chews bone                               Video : Durban safari tour – Giraffe chews on a bone       We then continued and made our way to Hilltop camp with very little else to be seen in the middle of the day which is very normal especially when it is so dry during our winter.   We got to Hilltop camp and had some lunch before checking in and getting settled in the rooms. At 15:30 we headed back out to continue our safari from Durban to see what animals we could find. We had a good start spotting some Giraffe and Zebra as well as Kudu and Nyala. It was not long after this we managed to find a lovely herd of Buffalo which after 15 minuted of waiting crossed the road in front of us!         Durban safari tour; Buffalo and calf Durban safari tour; Buffalo and calf                               The next item on the list was Rhino and we got an mother and a 3 year old calf before having a real luck sighting of a mother Rhino and a baby only a couple months old. He was so cute!         Durban safari tour; Rhino and calf Durban safari tour; Rhino and calf                                 I was heading into the area I knew we could have a chance of spotting the African Wild dog but I was not sure we would be so lucky on this safari from Durban. I was very wrong and thankfully I chose the right road! We found the Wild dogs on the road and it was clear they were keen on hunting so we stayed with them.       Durban safari tour; Wild dogs Durban safari tour; Wild dogs                                 All of a sudden they shot off into the bush and as we watched, 2 Wild dogs spotted a Red Duiker and bolted after it. It could not believe it as the whole park followed and caught up. The African wild dogs brought down the Duiker 5 meters from the road and we got to head all the noises as they quickly ripped apart the animal and fed just as fast. In a couple minuted they were chewing on the bones and the rest was gone!         Video: Durban safari tour – Wild Dogs kill Red Duiker It was so fast that we hardly had time to take in what had happened so close to us and the road!       Video: Durban safari tour – Wild dogs fight over Duiker leg       After all the excitement calm returned to the bush and the sun had set on what had been an amazing first day on our 3 day safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   We now only had the formalities of dinner before a well deserved rest.       Day 2: Durban safari tour   If we thought day 1 was amazing on our Durban safari tour we had another great day coming! We headed out after breakfast and spotted a few things but nothing much until out the corner of my eye laying 10 -15 meters from the road was two male Lions! They were so beautiful and just cuddling up to one another it was amazing to watch them.   We spend some thing with them and with the other vehicles arriving they got annoyed and moved further into the bush but we had see them so perfectly we were so excited at this point!         Durban safari tour; Lions Durban safari tour; Lions                                 Durban safari tour; Lion standing Durban safari tour; Lion standing                                 Video: Lions seen on our Durban safari tour       It wasn’t much longer and we got some Zebra crossing the road in front of us! By this point we had also seen Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant but they were not the best of sightings. This meant in under 2 hours we had seen 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari tour.           Durban safari tour; Zebra crossing Durban safari tour; Zebra crossing                                 Video: Zebra crossing on our Durban safari tour We continued our Durban safari tour and got to a big body of water which I was hoping to find some animals at. We didn’t see much but the Impala we saw were really interesting as the males were Rutting!   We got one male trying to smash the other and I even got a video of it!           Durban safari tour; Impala clashing heads Durban safari tour; Impala clashing heads                               Video: Impala rutting in Hluhluwe Imfolozi on our Durban safari tour We made our way down to a lovely hide in the South west of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It was here that we would find a good sighting of the Elephants as there is water. When we arrived we saw, 2 of the Big 5. Elephant and Buffalo at the hide as well as Warthogs, Nyala, Impala, Wildebeest and some bird life.           Durban safari tour; Elephants play fighting Durban safari tour; Elephants play fighting                               These Buffalo were also at the mud wallow but waiting for the Elephants to finish drinking water before they took there turn…         Durban safari tour; Herd of Buffalo Durban safari tour; Herd of Buffalo                                 Video – Durban safari tour – Animals at Bhejane hide in Umfolozi           The above video just gives some perspective as to what the watering hole looks like when it is so full of animals it is like an oasis in the middle of a very dry part of the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.   We also spotted three antelope species drinking next to one another which was also so amazing to see.           Durban safari tour; Wildebeest, Impala and Nyala drinking together Durban safari tour; Wildebeest, Impala and Nyala drinking together                               After we had seen all of these amazing animals we made our way back to the Centenary Center for lunch and then managed to relocate the one of the Lions we had found in the morning!   We then drove up to Hilltop camp where my clients had about an hours rest before heading on the open vehicle game drive and then had dinner.         Day 3: Durban safari tour       The next day we met just before 7am for luggage collection and breakfast before it was time for our final game safari drive before heading to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park for the 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.   Our last morning safari was brilliant and we managed to recap some of the amazing animals we had see in the previous two days.   First was the Rhinos crossing the road in front of us on our Durban safari tour.         Durban safari tour; Rhino cross the road Durban safari tour; Rhino cross the road                                 Video: Rhino cross the road on our Durban safari tour     We didn’t have to continue our African safari much further before we found a herd of Elephants next to the road breaking trees and feeding off them! It was amazing as one female was right next to us and broke the Buffalo thorn 3 times to get what she wanted which was just a little bark!           Video: Elephant breaks tree on our Durban safari tour         Durban safari tour; Elephant Durban safari tour; Elephant                               I could not resist this amazing sighting and had to make a second video!         Elephant breaks tree and feeds during our Durban safari tour       It was now time to move on and see what else we could find. We tried to relocate on the Lions from the day before with no luck as they seemed to have walked up another road and we didn’t have time to go to investigate further.   It was time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park and it was here we began a 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and Crocodiles before we had some lunch. We had some luck not only with the Hippos but with some Bird Life. We actually found the elusive African Finfoot which is the first time I had seen it on this stretch of the Estuary at St Lucia.           Durban safari tour; African Finfoot at St lucia estuary Durban safari tour; African Finfoot at St lucia estuary                             Further down stream we managed to find a lovely sizable Crocodile.           Durban safari tour; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary Durban safari tour; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary                                 We had some amazing sightings of Hippos in the water and out on the shore one of the better sightings you can see in the picture below and the video of am Hippos resting his head on another Hippo while a small Crocodile was a meter away from his back foot.         Durban safari tour; Hippos at St Lucia Durban safari tour; Hippos at St Lucia                               Video: Hippo and crocodile meters from each other during St Lucia tour           It had been an amazing 3 day safari from Durban in which we had seen 4 of the Big 5 and the most endangered carnivore in Africa kill a Duiker 5 meters from the road! It was just super special and it was down day 3 and time for lunch.   After a great lunch we made our way back to Durban where I returned my clients safely to their hotel.  

Durban day safari tour – 11th May 2015

Durban day safari tour – 11th May 2015   I met my clients in Hillcrest only about 5 minutes drive from my home which was great! They were from South Africa, Cape Town which for me is not common to have South Africans on a Durban safari tour but it was really great fun and the tour was amazing! On route to the most underrated Big 5 game reserve Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park, I covered lots of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and general things that we saw like the crops of the area etc.   We stopped to stretch the legs on the way up and refuel before continuing the last hour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our Durban day safari tour.   We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi park and began with our game drive to see what animals we could see. We actually didn’t even need to leave the parking lot for our first sighting as there was an Elephant bull drinking near the gate!         Durban day safari tour; Elephant Durban day safari tour; Elephant                               As we continued with our safari from Durban we came across a huge herd of Elephants with tiny babies on the hill near the Centenary center where we would be having lunch later that day. The Elephants seemed to be on some mission as they kept walking very quickly and were heading to the eastern fence line. I had seen three herds of Elephant do this 3 days before which always makes me think they are attending an Elephant funeral or there is a weather change!         Durban day safari tour; Herd of Elephant Durban day safari tour; Herd of Elephant                               We continued with our Durban day safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a female Impala with thin horns this is a genetic abnormality and could be cause by inbreeding!  This can happen is a male mates with his offspring instead of being ousted from the leadership of the Harem of female by another dominant male.   We also crossed over the Umfolozi river and spotted a Buffalo bull very far away and the photo was not good so I waited till we spotted these Rhino. They crossed the road in front of us and this was a special sighting for my clients and meant we had already seen 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo.       Durban day safari tour; Rhino crossing road Durban day safari tour; Rhino crossing road                               After spending a few minutes with the Rhino we continued with our safari from Durban and we had a quiet patch but I knew that we would see lots of animals. It was not long and we were blessed with a sighting of Cheetah. It was a mother and her 2 cubs around a year old and they were so much fun to watch we must have spent half an hour with them. At the same place was 3 crashes or Rhino which made it even more exciting!         Durban day safari tour; Cheetah mother and cubs Durban day safari tour; Cheetah mother and cubs                               Video – Cheetah mother and cubs on our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve     I might have gone over the to with pictures and Videos but it was Cheetah and there were two cubs which we active and running around in an open patch. This was such an exciting moment and we all enjoyed it. What a way to begin your first safari for my clients.         Durban day safari tour; Cheetah cubs Durban day safari tour; Cheetah cubs                                 Video – Learn about Cheetahs, seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi on our Durban day safari     One final picture of the Cheetah playing and I promise no more Cheetah photos or Videos for today! I just couldn’t help myself! They were beautiful!         Durban day safari tour; Cheetah playing Durban day safari tour; Cheetah playing                                         As we continued with our Durban day safari tour I honestly could not have really cared for myself if I didn’t see another animal but I knew I have to see what we could find for my clients as they were only here for a day safari tour. We kept getting lucky and we went round one of the many dirt road bends we stopped as we had some Zebras walking down the road towards us!           Durban day safari tour; Zebra walking down road Durban day safari tour; Zebra walking down road                               The Zebra were so beautiful and we enjoyed chatting about some of the interesting facts and features of this animal before moving on with our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and finding a couple of Wildebeest walking on the road!         Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest Durban day safari tour; Wildebeest                               I figured now it was time for a rest room break so I made our way to a picnic site. We arrived at the Sontuli picnic site and we so lucky again! We saw Lions laying down in the river bed. I just could not believe our luck we had now seen 4 of the Big 5 and Cheetah in just a few hours. The best part about these Lions was the structure, it was an Adult male and female with one cub around a year old or a bit less. It is not often you see these restful cats on a Durban day safari tour or see a big male usually its just the Lionesses and the sub adults.           Durban day safari tour; Lions, Male, female and cub Durban day safari tour; Lions, Male, female and cub                               Video – Lions doing what they do best! Sleeping… on our Durban day safari tour         We decided that all we hadn’t seen was the Giraffe and it became our new mission to try and find the Giraffe. I drove all the best areas that I could with the time we had and then had to head up to the Centenary center for lunch. Before we could get to the Centenary we stopped at a view point which you are allowed to get out of your vehicle at and it was here we saw a huge herd of Buffalo.         Durban day safari tour; Herd of Buffalo Durban day safari tour; Herd of Buffalo                             I thought this was the ideal spot to take a picture for my clients with the lovely view over the Umfolozi river with the Buffalo in the back ground.           Durban day safari tour; My happy clients Durban day safari tour; My happy clients                                   We continued on in the hope of finding some Giraffe before lunch and we returned to where the Cheetah had been. They had gone but there was some lovely Rhino in the area and they were really posing for us on our Durban day safari tour.         Durban day safari tour; Rhino resting Durban day safari tour; Rhino resting                               There was still one more thing would we have to photograph before we made it to the lunch stop and that was a Dazzle of Zebra and Impala on the road.           Durban day safari tour; Zebra and Impala on road Durban day safari tour; Zebra and Impala on road                             Finally we arrived at Centenary center and it was here that we had a lovely lunch and a look around the world famous museum for operation Rhino. The craft market was also available and then we made our way for the final 1 and a half to find these Giraffe.   We did it! It was 20 min in after lunch and I spotted a male Giraffe in the distance so we used the binoculars to see him better and then we continued further and found more Giraffes near enough to the road. One of these female Giraffe was either chewing a bone which they do to get calcium into their diet or she had a twig stuck in here throat. It wasn’t long and she liked her lips and continued feeding.         Video – African safari from Durban – Giraffe maybe with a bone or twig stuck in its mouth               We had a great look at this Giraffe and then on our way back right near the gate we spotted a Big male 5 meters from the road feeding on a Buffalo thorn. It was the perfect ending to a great Durban day safari tour and we all were very happy with our sightings.         Durban day safari tour; Giraffe   Durban day safari tour; Giraffe

Durban overnight safari tour for Travel agents

Durban overnight safari tour for Travel agents – 6-8th May 2015   This was a very exciting and interesting Durban overnight safari tour with clients which were visiting Durban for the Travel Indaba beginning after the 3 day safari. I collected my first client in Durban itself and then collect the group of 4 clients from King Shaka International airport aptly names after the great Zulu King for 1816 -1828 who revolutionized the the way the Zulu’s fought against any other nation or tribe. On route I covered the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and any questions my clients had. We made good time considering we had a late start and half of the luggage got lost between JHB and DBN. As we began this Durban overnight safari later thank usual we had to rush and speed the day along to get all activities into the day. We began at Nyalazi gate on the eastern side of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, and it wasn’t long before we were reeling in the sightings of animals. It was actually and amazing start! After a short drive seeing Zebra and Warthog we stopped for a quick lunch at the centenary center and then continued on to find more animals. Our first major sighting was of Lion cubs in a Marula tree and we found a young male hiding in the bushes near the road it was amazing.           Durban overnight safari tours; Lion cubs in Marula tree Durban overnight safari tours; Lion cubs in Marula tree                                 When Lions are you first major sighting on day 1 of a 3 day overnight safari tour you know you could be in for something special! An my goodness was this a special 3 days of sightings!     Video: Durban overnight safari tours – Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe               This was so exciting for us all and it was not long after that we found Elephants and lots of them as well. The only problem was they were a little tucked behind the bushes which was still fine as we made the most of it before moving on to get ourselves checked in to Hilltop camp.       Durban overnight safari tours; Elephant Durban overnight safari tours; Elephant                               We arrived at Hilltop camp and we were all smiles as we had just had a great start to our overnight safari from Durban. We checked in and enjoyed the view as well as getting the luggage we had to the rooms. 10 minutes later it was time to go to the Cat rehabilitation center and enjoy some interaction with endangered cats hands on.   On route to the gate we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo.       Durban overnight safari tours; Buffalo Durban overnight safari tours; Buffalo                                 Again luck was on our side as we spotted Rhinos fighting and we stopped again quickly to enjoy them. This was very exciting as we had now seen 4 of the Big 5 in such a short space of time and still had the Cats to see and interact with at the rehabilitation center.       Video: Rhinos nose to nose – Durban overnight safari tours           We got to the gate and had to deal with the Nguni cows and goats on the road before finally arriving 5 minutes before the cat tour began. Wow we did well with our timing! The tour at the Cat rehabilitation center began at 4pm and we enjoyed the feeding of the cats and the interaction with the adult Cheetah and Cheetah cubs as well as the Serval.         Durban overnight safari tours; Guests with the Cheetah at Cat rehab center Durban overnight safari tours; Guests with the Cheetah at Cat rehab center                                           After this it was a matter of trying to relax after what was an amazing day on Safari from Durban but also trying to locate the luggage that was lost at the airport and to be delivered to the gate. Now of course the gates close at 6pm so we first needed to get ourselves back and then worry about the luggage. We made a few calls and as we arrived at the gate at 17:50 the luggage was there waiting for us! I could not believe our luck on that either. We then re entered and made our way back to Hilltop camp for a lovely dinner and a good nights sleep.       Day 2: Durban overnight safari tour for Travel agents     Before I could leave my room outside was a great scene of an array of animals! Nyala mother and calf suckling, Crested Guinea fowl and Vervet monkeys!         Durban overnight safari tours; Animals outside my bedroom Durban overnight safari tours; Animals outside my bedroom                                 We began with breakfast at 7am and then headed out on what would be a long 8 hour safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve the most underrated game reserve in South Africa! It also just happens to be the oldest in Africa!   We began and our first sighting was of the animal we all wanted to see the Giraffe!       Durban overnight safari tours; Giraffe Durban overnight safari tours; Giraffe                                 We enjoyed the Giraffes for a while before moving further South in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to try and cover as much of the reserve as possible in the 8 hours.   What happened next was also amazing as we spotted some Elephants in the distance and we waited as they were making their way to the road. It was to be an amazing sighting and one we would remember for a long time. With patience we were able to have these Elephant cross right in front of us and I made a video we could even hear the dung and one went to the toilet hitting the ground!         Durban overnight safari tours; Elephants crossing Durban overnight safari tours; Elephants crossing                                   Video: Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour – Elephants cross the road in front of us             Things on our overnight safari from Durban then just got better and we spotted herds of Impala crossing the road and some Zebra before we stopped to look at some Rhino of a hill. As I picked up my binoculars I spotted a pride of Lions resting on the hills to the left of the Rhinos. Of course we didn’t care about the Rhino any more and focused on the Lions!       Durban overnight safari tours; Lions resting Durban overnight safari tours; Lions resting                                   Video: Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve – Lions seen with our Binoculars             We continued on crossing the Umfolozi river and once on the other side we were lucky enough to spot 2 Rhinos near to the road which we watched grazing away. It was a lovely sighting as they were just a couple of young males staying with each other for companionship.     Durban overnight safari tours; Rhinos Durban overnight safari tours; Rhinos                                   We left the Rhinos and stopped for a rest room break at Mpila camp and it was here that we began to take in what an amazing 1.5 days we had had so far! After the rest we continued our Durban 3 day safari tour and as we went further south we came across an old Giraffe kill from a week prior. It was here we spotted a couple species of Vultures and even a few Hyenas. Sadly we could not photograph the Hyenas as the bush was to thick and the moved to fast for us.       Durban overnight safari tours; White backed Vulture Durban overnight safari tours; White backed Vulture                                   We then did a big dirt road loop which actually was a little pointless as we didn’t see very much except Impala, Rhino and other animals far away. It was only at the end of the loop back past where we saw the Hyenas that we spotted some Zebras.       Durban overnight safari tours; Zebra Durban overnight safari tours; Zebra                                   As we headed back through Mpila camp and over the Umfolozi river again we spotted some Wildebeest and Rhinos! Wow our overnight Durban safari tour was really going well. We had not yet seen Wildebeest so this was another tick on the list.     Durban overnight safari tours; Wildebeest Durban overnight safari tours; Wildebeest                                   We left the Wildebeest to relax and then began to head to the Centenary center for some lunch. Out the corner of my eye I spotted a Male Water buck mating with a female up on a hill which was interesting behaviour and we stopped of a picture.         Durban overnight safari tours; Waterbuck mating Durban overnight safari tours; Water buck mating                                   The picture actually came out very clearly for the distance and time of day I took it and you really can see everything. It was also funny as the females first born was right their looking on.   We finally got to lunch and we were all super happy with how everything had gone and we tucked into a great meal before the curio shopping for Ostrich eggs and other items took place.   After a while we left the Centenary center and headed straight back to Hilltop camp to get the tickets sorted for the evening night drive and book dinner for 8pm when my clients would arrive back.   It was already after 15:30 so we had around an hour before the open vehicle safari would take place. I decided to stay behind to catch up on this blog post and other work. The vehicle was full anyway but I still regret not having gone as when my clients returned they had seen a Leopard! So that was the Big 5 completed in 2 days and we still had one day to go on our overnight safari tour from Durban. Wow is all I can say!   We had some dinner and headed off to bed before day 3 which would begin at 7 am with a luggage collection and then breakfast.       Day 3: Durban overnight safari tour for Travel agents     After luggage collection we had breakfast and then check out before heading out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park.   Before we left we spotted some amazing animals including Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant.       Durban overnight safari tours; Buffalo and Elephant Durban overnight safari tours; Buffalo and Elephant                                   It was minutes after the sighting above that we got a herd of Elephant crossing the road in front of us and behind us which was a fitting good bye for out visit to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It had been an incredible 3 days of Safari from Durban.       Durban overnight safari tours; Elephants cross main road as we exit Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve Durban overnight safari tours; Elephants cross main road as we exit Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve                                   We exited all feeling a little sad but really we still had a lot more to see and do at St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park. We arrived for our 10 am boat cruise and had some amazing sighting of Hippos in and out the water, Crocodiles and bird. St Lucia is South Africa’f first world heritage site and is the largest lake system in Southern Africa.       Durban overnight safari tours; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary Durban overnight safari tours; Crocodile at St Lucia estuary                                   Further up the estuary we came across some beautiful pods of Hippos and the best part was some were out of the water on the land which is not common for them during the day time. We really had a special overnight safari from Durban.       Durban overnight safari tours; Hippos out the water with Crocodile Durban overnight safari tours; Hippos out the water with Crocodile                                   Video: Hippos out the water and opening mouth at St Lucia on our Durban safari tour                   Next we had a great shot of a Goliath Heron it was actually the 3rd time we had seen on from the boat but this one flew and I managed to catch it in flight! It was a super cool photo so I had to post it.       Durban overnight safari tours; Goliath heron in flight at St Lucia Durban overnight safari tours; Goliath heron in flight at St Lucia                                   On our sail back to the jetty we spotted some Hippos making their way into the water, the best part was that there was a crocodile and Goliath Heron right near by so they ended up in the video too!       Video: Hippos, Crocodile and Goliath Heron together on our Durban safari tour               We had come to the end of the boat cruise and after arranging for the photographers to bring us a Calendar or two with the clients pictures in it we settled in for lunch at John Dorys. We all enjoyed our lunch and the general chatted about how wonderful the Safari from Durban had been and all the amazing animals we had seen in the wild.   After lunch we stopped to try and get a Zebra skin but the were very expensive so my clients settled on some smaller items the Ostrich eggs and other general carvings. We then headed to the Board walk so I could show my clients the estuary and Indian ocean as well as Maphelane the second highest vegetated Sand dune in the world. It was amazing and as we got off the board walk onto the beach which was very beautiful I showed everyone the Titanium in the sand which is mined further South of the World heritage site.   It was now time for the long drive back to the airport, Umhlanga and then Durban. It actually went really well and all final questions we asked and answered before the day ended with the sun having long set on the day and our amazing 3 day safari tour from Durban.