Durban Safari Tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours

African safari tours

African safari tours – 30th October 2015     African safari tours are always amazing but this African safari tour would be extra special as we would see so many amazing animals in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. I had met my client in Umhlanga near Durban for their Durban day safari and we began what turned out to be a very short 2.5 hours drive to Hluhluwe game reserve. It would be the boarder between the two sections that we would enter and first head briefly into the Hluhluwe game reserve section. It was in this section we located a massive male Warthog very early on in our African safari tour.           African safari tours; Warthog African safari tours; Warthog         This male Warthog had huge tusks and warts on his face which was quite a sight to behold and it was only the start of our safari from Durban. As time went on we got further into the wilderness on our safari and located a journey of Giraffe which were so beautiful to watch as the rested in the shade moving ever so often.           African safari tours; Giraffe African safari tours; Giraffe           On African safari tours there is no promise of great animal sighting as it is a natural environment meaning the animals decided if you see them, how you see them and where you see them! We were fortunate as near these Giraffe was a dazzle of Zebra and the one Zebra gave out a big yawn, showing her teeth. Another great sighting on our Durban day safari in the African wilderness.           African safari tours; Zebra showing his teeth African safari tours; Zebra showing his teeth           It was now time to turn around and head down south into the Umfolozi game reserve section to see what else we could find. As it is so dry it really helps with game viewing but does also mean the animals maybe some where else where there is food and water. We were lucky as we heading for the Umfolozi river we stopped at a view sight over the dry riverbed and found Rhino and Elephant in close proximity.           African safari tours; Elephant African safari tours; Elephant           African safari tours are never complete if you do not see the great African Elephant and we had now seen 3 together and a few more in the distance earlier in the safari. The Rhinos were in the riverbed and a territorial male Rhino had found spot of water to lay in to cool off and a mother Rhino and her calves approached him looking to rest in the same area! Wow, what a great sighting on our African safari tour.           African safari tours; Rhinos African safari tours; Rhinos           We then decided to take our safari over the Umfolozi river heading as far south as we could to try and find Lion. It would not be an easy task but as I always say life if all about timing and boy did we have some amazing timing. We arrived 45 minutes later at the most Southern part of the Umfolozi game reserve which overlooks a section of the river and a lovely rock face and to our surprise there was a huge male Lion hunting! He was in the middle of the river bed and approaching an Nyala male which was feeding on the river bank. The Lion went into hunt mode and go as close as he could before attempting a final dash to try and catch the Nyala. The Lions hunt came to and end and he was unsuccessful which happens 9 out of 10 times anyway!           African safari tours; Lion hunting African safari tours; Lion hunting           It was all about timing and being at the right place at the right time to see this once in a lifetime experience and close miss by the Lion hunting the Nyala Antelope. This is unusual behavior but when it is dry Lions can use the element of Surprise as Antelope do not expect to be hunted in the day time by a Lion as Lions are nocturnal mostly.           Video: Lion hunting – Lion hunting an Nyala on our African safari tours           I was so happy that I though to turn on the cameras video mode so I could share this awesome video of the Lion hunting with you. What a special experience on our Wilderness safari from Durban while my clients were in South Africa on Holidays. We watched the Lion lay down in the middle of the riverbed and we then spotted a couple of Lioness under some Acacia trees resting from the heat of the day. They probably though the Lion was stupid to expend energy on food during the heat of the day but the element of surprise can sometimes work!   It was time to make our way back for some lunch and on route we spotted Buffalo on a couple of occasions!           African safari tours; Buffalo African safari tours; Buffalo           We had been so lucky on this African safari tour that we really couldn’t expect anymore than we had already seen but yet the animals kept appearing. A male Rhino resting in the shade was next on our safari!           African safari tours; Rhino resting African safari tours; Rhino resting           Our wilderness safari now continued on toward the lunch stop and when we arrived we all tucked into some good food with some great conversation about the day and about the area where my clients were from. A spot of craft shopping was on the cards and then our African safari tour would continue slowly back to the gate so we could exit. It had been a late lunch and it was already 3pm when we spotted some Baboons on and next to the road near the gate!           African safari tours; Baboons African safari tours; Baboons         To be very honest with you I do not see how our African safari tour could have been any better in the amazing wilderness that we have in Africa! We departed and made our way back to Durban arriving at 6pm very happy with how well our Durban day safari had gone and with so many memories of this special African safari tour.   Join Tim Brown Tours on African safaris during your South Africa holidays and have the opportunity to experience Hluhluwe game reserve, Big 5 and malaria free safari as well as being only 2.5 hours from Durban. It is a must to add to you list of places to visit near Durban in South Africa!

Durban safari tour

Durban safari tour – 29 September to 1st October 2015       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!   I knew that Julie loved Elephants and I had to tell her we were battling for Elephants over the past three weeks. It is always good to cover yourself as you cannot control nature.   We were greeted at the gate with some very disturbing news that 9 Rhinos had been killed in the past two nights by poachers for their horns to be sold for medicine in China etc. I was gutted! We made our way into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and fortunately found two Rhinos and Buffalo in the distance before I had to make the shock discovery of one of the Rhino carcasses! I hardly knew what to say and it wouldn’t surprise me if I actually swore out loud which I apologized for. The unnatural death of a symbolic animal like the Rhino is very hard to stomach, with no head and a bloated body even the vultures had not yet arrived.           Durban safari tour; Poached Rhino Durban safari tour; Poached Rhino                                 I am sorry to have posted the above picture but I believe it is important for you all to see how horrible the human race can be! We are the apex predator and we have the ability to love and give but we so often just take away and its always from nature and each other! We will be judged eventually!   Anyway on a better note we moved on to try find Elephants and it was a great feeling of joy when we did find a few small breeding herds of Elephant and they fed next to the road. They then crossed the road and stood in the shade interacting with each other on the road too! It was a great start to our Durban safari tour.           Durban safari tour; Elephants in the shade Durban safari tour; Elephants in the shade                                   Video: Durban safari tour; Elephants rest in shade             We were so happy and spent so much time almost an hour with the Elephants that we almost forgot about lunch. We decided to leave the Elephants to themselves and we made our way slowly to the camp. We managed to find some Buffalo and even Rhino that were living as well! Yay.             Durban safari tour; Rhino Durban safari tour; Rhino                                 Come to think of it these Rhinos seemed sad themselves which I only just realized now! It is sad that by 2030 there will be no more Rhinos in the world, and all at the hands of humans the most intelligent animals around…     We arrived at Hilltop camp with a lovely view and a cool breeze where we could  enjoy some lunch and check in. Once we were done I got my clients to there room and then arranged to meet them later for the afternoon safari.   Our Durban overnight safari tour would just get better as we managed to find a huge herd of Buffalo on the road.             Durban safari tour; Buffalo Durban safari tour; Buffalo                                   After these Buffalo we spotted 2 young male Lions up on a hill a million miles away but Lions are Lions! As it was only 5pm we decided to return again later in the hope they would have come down from the hill it was not to be! They were all in the open but as flat as cats can be!               Durban safari tour; Lions Durban safari tour; Lions                                   When we returned and we actually had an amazing sighting! A Black Rhino mother and calf poking their heads above the thickets. We were hoping they would come into the open but then a staff vehicle came flying by and the Rhinos ran away. We still could see our Lions but they were sleeping even though the Buffalo were walking towards them.           Durban safari tour; Black Rhino Durban safari tour; Black Rhino                                 We now were losing light and had to make our way back to Hilltop camp for the night and of course dinner. We arrived back having big smiles as we had seen 4 of the big 5 in one day and Black Rhino! This helped with the sadness of the Rhinos that had been killed but we will never forget them. Also just before Hilltop camp we spotted a bull Elephant which was making his way to below the rooms to feed.   Dinner was a buffet of lovely foods and we tucked into the meal before we went off to bed. When I was walking to my room I could hear the Elephant we had spotted on our way back to camp feeding on the trees.   During the night I heard Hyena and Lions at 4am vocalizing wow it was amazing.           Day 2:  Durban overnight safari tour       We began at 6am after a great night of animal sounds which made me feel like we would really do well in the morning. Within 2 minutes we found some Kudu crossing the road.   5 minutes later we spotted a herd of about 10-15 Elephants they were moving fast so I asked it the clients would be happy to wait to see if they crossed the road and they did. It was really exciting to get this as they had such lovely babies with them.           Durban safari tour; Elephant herd Durban safari tour; Elephant herd                                   In our quest to find the Lions we managed to find Warthogs, Baboons and a range of other amazing creatures. The Giraffe was one of the highlights but it was great to have the variety. Sadly we missed the Lions as did everyone else and talking to others that went past we were lucky to have seen the Elephants!             Durban safari tour; Giraffe Durban safari tour; Giraffe                                   After enjoying the Giraffe we made our way round to check the Rhino carcasses to see if there was any predator or scavenger activity, before we could get there we spotted some Zebra next to the road and then a huge herd of Buffalo.               Durban safari tour; Zebra Durban safari tour; Zebra                                 Next was the big herd of Buffalo on the road which meant we were stuck in a real road block much better than the ones the people in the cities talk about! This big male just gave us a stare as we made our way past them.             Durban safari tour; Buffalo bull Durban safari tour; Buffalo bull                                   Finally on our Durban safari tour we got back to the Rhino carcasses and there was lots of vultures but no Lions or Hyenas. It was still an amazing sight and we didn’t stay to long as the reality was a little hard to swallow but it did again feel more natural then the previous day.             Durban safari tour; Vultures on dead Rhino Durban safari tour; Vultures on dead Rhino                                   After a great morning safari on Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we headed back to Hilltop camp for breakfast and then a rest before lunch.   After lunch we headed back out and temperatures got up to 39 degrees! It was very hot…   We made our way down to the Umfolozi river and found a pride of 13 Lions resting in the river bed. It was an incredible sight.             Video: Tim Brown Tours – Durban safari tours; Lions and Elephants in the river bed                     Durban safari tour; Lions resting Durban safari tour; Lions resting                                     Video: Durban safari tour; Lions rest in river bed     We spend a lot of time with them and got to watch Elephants walking out onto the riverbed as well with the Lions paying no heed!             Durban safari tour; Lions and Elephants Durban safari tour; Lions and Elephants                                     As we watched we found another Lioness coming out of the bushes and it was clear by looking at some of the faces of the other Lions that they had been feeding as well as looking at there bellies. Wow this really was a treat on our Durban 3 day safari tour.             Durban safari tour; Lioness Durban safari tour; Lioness                                   It was still 38 degrees so we made our way back to camp as we also had to catch the evening open vehicle safari for the clients from 5pm -8pm. After the 3 hours I met my clients and we had some dinner before a well deserved nights rest.           Day 3: Durban 3 day safari tour         We began at 6am with an early morning safari drive to make the most of the day. We were very lucky as near the camp we spotted a Rhino and then further on some more not to far away. We were again on the mission to try find these Lions but with out success. We did find Baboon which was good to see, Nyala, Elephant, Buffalo, Zebra, Warthog, Impala and a couple other species in our time out in the bush.             Durban safari tour; Baboon Durban safari tour; Baboon                                 Life is always about timing and so is a Durban safari tour. We had many vehicles ask us had we seen Elephants and no one else except us had found Elephants. We were lucky and found a bull Elephant walking in a dry river bed and sniffing where the females had been the day before. He then also stopped for a drink of water.             Durban safari tour; Elephant bull Durban safari tour; Elephant bull                                 We then made our way back to camp for some breakfast and coffee before we checked out and went on a final safari drive to see what we could find before heading out to St Lucia.   We were lucky again and found Giraffe right next to the road.             Durban safari tour; Giraffe Durban safari tour; Giraffe                               We then arrived at the gate and departed to St Lucia – Isimangaliso wetland park which is South Africa’s first world heritage site. It would be here that we would begin a 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and Crocodiles as well as Mangrove swamps and bird life.           Durban safari tour; Crocodile Durban safari tour; Crocodile                                   This Crocodile was feeding on a fish he had caught near the shoreline. There is a wide range of fish in the estuary and we even spotted a fin of a Bull Shark. As we continued we spotted lots of Hippos and this male was on his own with a few cuts from a recent fight probably with a dominant male.             Durban safari tour; Hippo Durban safari tour; Hippo                                 After a wonderful boat cruise we stopped in the town of St Lucia and had some lunch, nothing like fish and chips on a cold day to make you feel warm inside. It was then time to make our way back towards Durban and we chatted along the way about how lucky we had been and possibly another visit with more family of my repeat guests.   Thank you again to my guests Julie who was on her second Durban safari tour and Kris on her first. It was great to have see as much as we did and the quality as well was amazing! Look forward to welcoming you back and thanks for the Tim Tams!

Durban safari

Durban safari 18-19th September 2015       We began our Durban safari in the city of Durban where I collected my four clients for what was to be a very successful 2 days of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   On route we chatted about the interesting history of the area as well as the crops and population groups. Before you knew it we were at the Cat rehabilitation centre for the 10:30 tour for interaction with Cheetah. We would also see Caracal, Serval and African wild cat.   The Cheetah was great fun and the one male was stalking Wildebeest up the fence line. Sadly for the Cheetah the Wildebeest was safe on the other side of the fence.             Durban safari; Cheetah stalks wildebeest Durban safari; Cheetah stalks wildebeest           We continued from the Cheetah project and made our way into the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Safari side of the trip. It was am amazing start as I managed to spot a big bull Elephant in the distance on a road so we raced around to meeting him head on! He was in Musth which means his is at his sexual peak and had 6x the normal levels of testosterone running through his body! A scary problem which makes him potentially more aggressive. I therefore needed to sum up him mood quickly before getting closer. We had a blast with this Elephant!         Video: Durban safari tour; Elephant walks down road towards us           Durban safari; Elephant walks down road Durban safari; Elephant walks down road           If we thought that this was all we would get from this lovely Elephant we were wrong. With the amount of space and respect we gave him we pulled off the road and allowed us closer so we could enjoy him feeling off Marula tree bark. The display was one we will all never forget! Remember it is always safer and better to go with a Durban guide who is qualified in these areas. It is important to understand the animals behaviour and you need more than just a crash course in Guiding to know these things. To many people come on there own get lost of get there car shoved off the road by an Elephant! A guide will save you a lot a embarrassment and in some cases your life! Always make sure your Durban guide is experienced and qualified!          Video: Durban safaris; Elephant feeding on a Marula tree in Hluhluwe         This sighting as you can see from the Videos was truly amazing and to be honest it set the tone for the rest of the 2 day Durban safari tour. We were already more relaxed as we have been battling for good Elephant sighting this past couple weeks and now we could truly enjoy our time in Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve.   We began to make our way to Hilltop camp on route spotting Zebra and Rhino as well as two old Buffalo bulls in the distance. As we neared the camp we spotted some Samango monkeys and two Purple crested Turacos.             Durban safari; Purple crested Turaco Durban safari; Purple crested Turaco           We arrived at Hilltop camp and I bumped into some friends and so did my clients as there was a big conference in Durban which clearly meant that some people had come out a day or two earlier to indulge in a safari experience! I got word of Lions and told my clients we need to have lunch and we can go to the room later, they all agreed and after lunch we flew down south and we blessed with an amazing sighting of two Lions. One was feeding on a Buffalo calf they had killed and the other was laying in the open!             Durban safari; Lion Durban safari; Lion           This appeared to be two young Lions which probably had left there mother recently as the last time I saw them she was around. These two were about 18 months to two years old.             Durban safari; Lion feeding on Buffalo calf Durban safari; Lion feeding on Buffalo calf           In the above picture you can clearly see it is a Buffalo calf and you can see the claw gripping into the animal so that the Lion can feed more easily. Wow, what a great Durban safari tour! Watch the Video below.           Video: Mini safari Durban; Lion feeds on Buffalo             We decided that we now had to go after almost half an hour with these amazing creatures, we need to get back to camp to get settled before my clients would attempt the evening open vehicle game drive.   No sooner had we left I said to my clients “We haven’t yet seen Rhinos close” and a Rhino mother and calf appeared on the road, stayed for 2 minutes and then ran off into the bush! At this point I was actually feeling high, like “your wish is my command…” it was so funny!             Durban safari; Rhino Durban safari; Rhino           We arrived back at camp and got settled before meeting at 16:45 for the 17:00 open vehicle game drive. The excitement would not give in and there was an Elephant in front of the lodge so we all went out to look at him for 5 minutes.   Amazing how our 2 day Durban safari tour just kept producing animals. I was beginning to think this will not keep up into day two.   Later my clients returned from game drive cold and looking forward to the dinner.   After dinner it was time for bed and we would meet for 7am the following day for breakfast before going in search of the Giraffe we hadn’t get seen.       Day 2: Durban mini safari tour       After collecting luggage we enjoyed the lovely view from Hilltop camp and some great breakfast. We then checked out and went in search of the Giraffe.   It wasn’t 15 minuted and we had found a journey of 6 Giraffe near the road. We spend almost 45 minutes with them as they fed and go closer to the road and eventually crossed in front of us. Nothing like patience.             Durban safari; Giraffe Durban safari; Giraffe           We were now satisfied and took it easy stopping along the way to look at view point over the river but I remembered we hadn’t seem Buffalo close so I think I murmured those words to the clients and after a short while it came to be. We found a large herd of Buffalo right next to the road! This was an unbelievable mini safari from Durban!             Durban safari; Buffalo cow Durban safari; Buffalo cow             We stopped again at another view sight and now it seemed as if we were being followed by other vehicles so we didn’t stay long. We headed off and had a great sighting mostly to our selves of a Rhino bull which began in the distance and by waiting for him he crossed the road in front of us and scent marked. Wow what a great sighting we had of another of the big 5. We seem already 4 of the Big 5 in just two days having seen 4 of the big 5 on day one and 3 of the big 5 on day two again!             Durban safari; Rhino Durban safari; Rhino             Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino marks territory with urine         As we continued to the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve we realized what an amazing mini safari from Durban we had just experienced! It was unbelievable and we still had to go to Isimangaliso wetland park for the St Lucia boat cruise to view Hippos and crocodiles which would be amazing as well.   It was an hours drive to St Lucia and most of my clients to the opportunity to rest up and before you knew it we had arrived. We got ourselves down to the jetty and I still have no idea how the rain held off but it did and we had an amazing time with some of the best photos of Hippos I have ever taken.             Durban safari; Hippos play fighting Durban safari; Hippos play fighting             Video: Isimangaliso Wetland park, St Lucia; Hippos play fighting         The dull light and cooler weather seemed to work in our favour and some how we manage to spot Crocodile who usually dislike this weather. We had a number of Herons and King Fishers as well.             Durban safari; Crocodile Durban safari; Crocodile             To try and sum up this two day Durban safari is very difficult as words are not enough so I am glad I got some pictures and video clips to share the experience with you all. It was amazing in every aspect and a true reflection as to what we have in the amazing country of ours. I know my clients will never forget it and I am sure they will be back for more of the same in the future.    If you would like to be a part of one of these amazing experiences from Durban please click on the link below to find out more about the tour. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + basically all the major social media sites. Our videos can be found on Youtube!     Durban 2 day safari tour  

Hluhluwe Overnight safari

Hluhluwe Overnight safari   Our Hluhluwe overnight safari began in Durban where I met my clients. We then began the journey to the cat rehabilitation center to interact with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat.   It is always an amazing experience to interact hands on with these great endangered species and very memorable!   One of the Cheetah cubs was very playful and hugged one of my clients all very exciting when on Safari in Africa.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Cheetah cubs     Hluhluwe overnight safari; Cheetah cubs                                 In the above picture of the Cheetah cubs they look really chilled out but this was before they noticed the bags people had with them…   After an amazing time interacting with these creatures we made our way to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve only 20 minutes away. We arrived at the gate and found that even though it was the middle of the day and warm there were still animals out and about.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra                             The above picture was one of Zebra which aside of Warthogs and Impala was one of the first sightings we had on day 1. We continued and it was not long before we spotted a herd of Elephant. That herd of Elephant very quickly became 3 herds of Elephant making it a crazy start to our 3 day safari from Durban.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant herd Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant herd                             We then finally made it to Hilltop camp where we settled in for some lunch before I checked us in and got the clients settled in there rooms before we made our way back out onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see what else we could find.   It again wasn’t long before we spotted more animals one of the best being this old Buffalo bull.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Old Buffalo bull Hluhluwe overnight safari; Old Buffalo bull                               It is always a better option to do a Hluhluwe overnight safari than a Hluhluwe day safari as the late afternoon is always a good time to see animals and the morning.   Next on the cards was more Elephant and one young lad was interested in displaying to us and sniffing away.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephant                             We were actually trying hard to look for the African Wild dogs which have a den in the Hluhluwe section of the reserve but sadly we had no luck. They are the most endangered carnivore in Africa so its expected that you need a bit of luck to be at the right place at the right time on a Hluhluwe overnight safari.   We did however had the most amazing sighting of two huge female Rhinos which have been hanging out with each other for at least 4 years.       Video – Hluhluwe overnight safari – Rhino with twisted horn crosses road. What was so funny about the whole sighting was the fact that over lunch I had been telling my clients about this exact Rhino with the abnormal horn growth and that I hadn’t seen her in ages! So what you think about you can bring about!         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Rhino Hluhluwe overnight safari; Rhino                               After having these Rhino walk around and then cross the road in front of us our spirits were high. I made a second video to show you below as well. What a great Safari from Durban.       Video- Hluhluwe safari tour – Rhino with twisted horn and another female It had been an amazing first day safari from Durban and we made our way back to Hilltop camp for some dinner and rest before the second day of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   Dinner was amazing again!     Day 2: Hluhluwe overnight safari     We began after a great breakfast and made our way down south into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. This time of the year the lack of rain has hit us hard and the reserve is very dry and in particular the Umfolozi section. We were hoping that if we got to the river sections that we would be able to find animals there.   We didn’t stop to much for the animals on the hills that we saw but we were very luck when we visited a view site and spotted 3-4 Hyena and a huge number of Vultures feeding on a dead Buffalo! This was the real highlight of the days safari.     Video – Durban safari – Hyenas feed on Buffalo carcass in Hluhluwe Imfolozi We must have spent half and hour enjoying this sighting and chatting about what was going on. What a great start to the Hluhluwe overnight safari on day 2.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hyena charges at Vultures Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hyena charges at Vultures                                 Video – Learn more about Hyenas as they chase vultures off a Buffalo carcass in Hluhluwe, and I talk about cannibalism This obviously kept us in high spirits through the quiet times in the day but we did come across a great sighting of Zebra on the road not long after the Hyena sighting.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra Hluhluwe overnight safari; Zebra                             There is nothing like a real Zebra crossing it beats all the rubbish in the city! Our next sighting was a huge herd of Impala and an old male Buffalo at the Umfolozi river before we continued past Impila camp and down into the deep South West of the reserve. Down here I could not believe how quiet it was and I personally began to get a little frustrated.   We stopped for a toilet break and to enjoy a view over the river and then we found some Impala with Red Billed Ox Peckers on them.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Red billed ox peckers on Impala Hluhluwe overnight safari; Red billed ox peckers on Impala                             I checked the 2 places Lions had been seen in the morning but sadly we had no luck for the cats on our side! It wasn’t all bad as we did spot a Leopard Tortoise on the road.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Leopard tortoise Hluhluwe overnight safari; Leopard tortoise                                 Our safari from Durban in Hluhluwe continued and we made our way slowly back up for lunch, actually it was quite quickly as we were hungry. On route we did have a great sighting of a Giraffe picking up a bone and chewing it to get some calcium and some Baboons.           Hluhluwe overnight safari; Giraffe chewing a bone Hluhluwe overnight safari; Giraffe chewing a bone                               Video – Durban safari; Giraffe chewing a bone   We continued to the lunch stop and had some food which was very welcome as we had been driving a long time with little success! I managed to book 2 of my clients on the evening open vehicle game drive and we then began to make our way back up to camp.   On route we had another great sighting of a herd of Elephant. The best part being that a tiny baby lay down and began to play on the ground for us all to see. I had to share this in a video as well.       Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baby Elephant lays down Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baby Elephant lays down                               Video – Baby Elephant plays on the ground during our 3 day safari from Durban We eventually made it back to camp and aside of not seeing cats we had a great experience during the day of safari. It was time to get tickets for the evening game drive safari and book dinner.   We would all meet again the following morning for breakfast.     Day 3: Hluhluwe overnight safari     After a great breakfast we checked out and continued with our 3 day safari from Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   We found Zebra very early on just standing in the road. We were able to to so close I could take a picture of the one Zebras eye!         Hluhluwe overnight safari; the eye of a Zebra Hluhluwe overnight safari; the eye of a Zebra                               We continued trying everywhere for these Lions without luck! It was driving me mad. Eventually I think I resigned myself to the fact we may not see them today. We did then come across a troop of Baboons grooming one another which was nice to see as there was also babies around.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baboons Hluhluwe overnight safari; Baboons                               We noticed the Baboons all of a sudden looked over their left shoulder and I was hoping they may have seen a predator but no it was just a herd of Elephants which wondered into the dry river bed and crossed to the other side.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephants in a dry river bed Hluhluwe overnight safari; Elephants in a dry river bed                               Our time was running out and we needed to make our way to the gate to exit and get to St Lucia -Isimangaliso wetland park for lunch and our 2 hour boat cruise.   On route we did spot some Rhino, Zebra, Buffalo etc.     We departed and spent an hour getting to St Lucia, South Africas first world heritage site. It was here we had lunch before a great 2 hours on a boat in the St Lucia estuary.   Our first major sighting was of Crocodiles.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Crocodiles Hluhluwe overnight safari; Crocodiles                               As we continues up St Lucia estuary we spotted more bird life than usual as the estuary was so low. The specials we spotted were a Pink backed Pelican, Saddle billed stork and Yellow billed stork with chick.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Yellow billed stork and Pelican Hluhluwe overnight safari; Yellow billed stork and Pelican                                         We found lots of Hippos which is always a guarantee and we had a fantastic sighting of one pod of Hippos which did not move at all they just lay out on the shore calling away to each other.         Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hippos Hluhluwe overnight safari; Hippos                                 Video – Durban overnight tour; Hippos calling while lying on a bank         Overall we had had an amazing 3 days of safari from Durban only missing the cats but aside of that it was incredible. If you wish to join us on a 3 day safari tour from Durban click  the link below.     Hluhluwe overnight 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 day safari

Durban day safari – 19th June 2015     I met my clients at their hotel in Durban to begin their Durban day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest proclaimed national park in Africa and home to the Big 5. We were hoping we would see as many of the Big 5 as possible and anything else that would show up.   Hluhluwe Imfolozi being proclaimed a national park in 1895 is only 2.5 hours from Durban and is an ideal place to visit if you have a day off from conferences or work in the city.   If you would like to book this tour click on the link below:   Hluhluwe Imfolozi day safari tour    On route I chatted to my client about some of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.   It was great that my clients were interested and had some questions of there own, this always makes my job easier.   We eventually got to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Durban day safari and it began rather slowly with distant sighting of Zebra, Buffalo and Elephant.         Durban day safari; Elephants Durban day safari; Elephants                               After these long distance sighting I was really hoping we would see some animals closer and we did! It began with the Impala and Zebra and then we saw some Giraffe a bit closer up. We continued over the Umfolozi river and managed to find a few Rhino and later a big bull Rhino sleeping under a small tree. We were pretty happy about this chap as he was is such a lovely position for a photo.         Durban day safari; Rhino Durban day safari; Rhino                             I was beginning to feel a little pressure as we had been a couple minuted late to see a cheetah and had missed her totally so it was a little frustrating but I knew this was nature and that is how life goes. We did manage to spot a lovely bird the Lilac breasted Roller.         Durban day safari; Lilac Breasted Roller Durban day safari; Lilac Breasted Roller                                 I made a big call and headed straight for the Bhejane hide where I knew there was water and we would see something down here. Fortunately the gamble paid off and we spotted lots of Animals at the watering hole.         Durban day safari; Wildebeest, Nyala and Impala Durban day safari; Wildebeest, Nyala and Impala                               Our Durban day safari was coming together now with 3 antelope species together in one photo and we even got a great set of Photos with Zebra drinking. They were a bit skittish but that is normal for Zerba.         Durban day safari; Zebra drinking Durban day safari; Zebra drinking                               It was now time to try and see if we could some how locate this Cheetah again but it would not be easy. On route however we managed to find some beautiful Giraffe on 2 occasions near to the road.           Durban day safari; Giraffe Durban day safari; Giraffe                               We then hit the jackpot and finally had some really good luck and found this female Cheetah on a kill with here youg cub! Our Durban day safari was not kind of complete!         Video: Durban day safari; Cheetah on a kill           Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub on kill Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub on kill                               The mother Cheetah had killed a young female Nyala and stashed it near to a tree only 5 meters off the road in clear view of us. She was super relaxed with us but very concerned about the chance of predators stealing her kill and was looking around as well as getting up to make sure she and her cub were safe! Lions will kill Cheetah as they are competition for food!         Video: Durban day tour; concerned Cheetah on a kill with Cub           After what was a splendid sighting we let others have a look and moved on for what would be a very late lunch at 3pm! Wow, but we had had and amazing day and the Cheetah on a kill capped the day off. Lunch was lovely and we had very little time after lunch to find any more animals but before we could exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we did find more Elephants and Giraffe!     Wow what an amazing Durban day safari we had! We made our way back to Durban very happy with how our Safari from Durban had gone!

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

Durban day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 1 June 2015   I met my clients at 4 different hotels and 4 of my 5 clients had just ran and completed the Comrades Ultra Marathon the day before. This Marathon is no ordinary feat and I was surprised to not see them crawling on the ground and only limping a little!   We drove to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve from Durban to begin our Durban day safari in the hope of finding as many animals as we could. On route I covered a lot of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa to entertain my clients before we arrive at 09:30 a Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.   Our Durban day safari started great and in a few minutes we found a Leopard tortoise on the road, we made sure he got to the other side before continuing on with our safari.     Durban day safari; Leopard Tortoise Durban day safari; Leopard Tortoise                               It was not that many more minutes when we spotted some Baboons on the road during our safari from Durban. This really was a treat as Baboon are so similar to humans that the fascinate us a lot so it always makes for interesting viewing.         Durban day safari; Baboons on road Durban day safari; Baboons on road                               15 minutes later we spotted the most beautiful dazzle of Zebra and then got to watch two of them cross the road in front of us. We thought this was great but little did we know that just up the road was another dazzle of Zebra and some Wildebeest. On the opposite side of the road was more Zebra and some Rhino which were coming to drink water at a watering hole next to the road. Wow this was looking like being a great Durban day safari.       Durban day safari; Zebra Durban day safari; Zebra                               The Rhinos were amazing as they were very tentative to come and drink water and the Zebra got spooked and this made the Rhinos nervous and they ran too. A safari is a journey so we waited to see what would happen and eventually the Rhinos had a drink of water and a mere 15 meters from our vehicle.         Durban day safari; Rhino drinks with Zebra   Durban day safari; Rhino drinks with Zebra                         Once we let the Rhinos we continued with our day safari from Durban and got down the the Umfolozi river where we got lucky and found 2 bull Elephants feeding on the reeds. We enjoyed then for a while and at the same area on the other side of the river we spotted an old Buffalo bull resting in the water.     Video – Durban day safari – Rhinos drinking on our Big 5 safari from Durban      Durban day safari; Elephant bulls feeding Durban day safari; Elephant bulls feeding                               This old male Buffalo was one of the males which was no longer able to keep up with the speed that the breeding herd moves at hence he was on him own waiting to be taken by Lions.         Durban day safari; Buffalo Durban day safari; Buffalo                               As we continued with our Durban day safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we took a couple of rest stops to stretch the legs. The Comrades runners were definitely feeling very stiff from the day before. We had great luck further on when we found a crash of Rhinos in fact there was 3 crashes and they were not to far from each other. The best part was watching a mother with a new born baby.           Durban day safari; two generations of Rhino Durban day safari; two generations of Rhino                               We now needed to try and find some Giraffe and it was probably getting more on my nerves than my client but I knew they wanted to see them so we just kept going trying to find them. On route we found a lone Wildebeest male and also stopped to look over the Umfolozi river.         Durban day safari; Wildebeest   Durban day safari; Wildebeest                               Then in the distance we saw a huge herd of Elephant down in the river drinking. We still had not found our Giraffe and I now knew we would be having a late lunch which everyone seemed happy to do. We continued and found more Elephants and got them to cross the road in front of us before we continued with our Durban day safari.       Durban day safari; Elephants crossing the road Durban day safari; Elephants crossing the road                               The race was now really one as I knew my client would be hungry after such a big run the day before. Luckily I finally spotted some Giraffe near enough to the road and we could relax and enjoy them before making our way back for lunch.         Durban day safari; Giraffe Durban day safari; Giraffe                             I decided to check on our way back one of the picnic sites which overlooks the river for Lions which were seen there the day before. We were in luck and with a bit of guidance we all were able to see these amazing animals with there cubs laying down by the waters edge. Wow, what a cherry on the top for our day safari from Durban!         Durban day safari; Pride of Lions resting in the river Durban day safari; Pride of Lions resting in the river                             We were no so happy and could no believe our luck that we drove past Rhinos, Zebras and even Giraffe near the luncheon stop in order to get some well deserved food. Lunch was amazing and we all tucked in to what we ordered before a quick look around the curio shop. It was already 3pm and we had 4 drop offs to do so we began to make our way to the gate very satisfied with our day. After exiting we still had one more sighting and that was of a Bull Elephant on one side of the road and a herd of Elephant on the other side. It was special and we departed for Umhlanga and Durban.   It had been a great Durban day safari!