Durban 2 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 10-11th March 2015
I met a couple of my clients in Durban city and the other in Durban north for their Durban 2 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve home of the Big 5 and many other species of animals.
It was a lovely hot day and we drove first to the cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe to interact with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat.
It was pretty good as this time we got to interact with the adult cheetah and the new cubs of 6 months old.
The Serval were the most playful and I was lucky to have one take a liking to my boot.
Durban 2 day safari; Serval took a liking to my boot
Another one of these amazing cats poses so beautifully for me so I snapped away. It is always interesting and amazing to see how these creatures have special adaptations to live and hunt in different areas.
Durban 2 day safari; Serval
After spending some time with these cats our Durban 2 day safari moved on to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve home to the Big 5 just not a well advertised as Kruger National park.
We began Giraffe and with a little patients we managed to get one to cross the road in front of us.
Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe
It was one of those hot days and they had just adjusted the gate times to 6am opening to 6pm closing which meant we needed to work really hard in the afternoon after lunch to find as many animals as possible.
We arrived at Hilltop camp after seeing Zebra, Giraffe, Buffalo and Rhino far away. It was time to enjoy some lunch and check in before a short rest and then at 15:30 head back out to see what we could find.
We had some amazing luck as their was Elephants every where! We saw them on hills, down at the river and even crossing the road right in front of us on 3 occasions! Of course we had to set this up and be patient but we were rewarded with great Elephant sightings.
Durban 2 day safari; huge herd of Elephant
With all of this amazing Elephant action in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I thought I better make a short video so you can experience a taste of what my clients got to see!
Video of Elephants crossing the road in front of us at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
You would think that after seeing all these Elephants on our Durban 2 day safari that we would not have seen much else but this afternoon as a real cracker and we did very well.
We got a Zebra crossing which is the real deal not those silly one painted in the cities!
Durban 2 day safari; Zebra crossing
We continued on to see what else we could find and to our surprise the amazing sightings kept coming! We were very close to seeing a Leopard as we spotted a Leopard Tortoise crossing the road. We watched him and waited till he crossed so we knew he was safe from the cars.
Durban 2 day safari; Leopard Tortoise
After this sighting we were heading out towards the gate so we could get better sightings of Rhino, We did but had a much better one later on which I will share the picture of. Near the gate we spotted Baboons grooming themselves near some Buffalo. It was really funny to watch them all.
Durban 2 day safari; Baboons grooming
Just in case you were wondering the red ugly bum of the baboon is because she is in season and ready to be mated with. It was very funny because after telling my clients about Baboon mating for fun one quickly hopped up and tried his luck with a female. It was a feeble attempted and she kept walking!
The Buffalo we saw were perfect in the sunlight and our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari was beginning to take some shape!
Durban 2 day safari; Buffalo
The Buffalo picture I chose was lovely as he was peeping at us and munching on some leaves, wow what a great Durban safari!
Next for us was to check for Lions which I had found a couple days before but notices the female was lactating meaning she must have cubs hidden. We have seen her there for 2 weeks now with here sub adult children. We had no luck but got a great sighting of Rhino.
I usually never use picture like this one but it was just so interesting and different with the dust and sun setting behind them that I thought I would use it this time. Hope you like it.
Durban 2 day safari; Rhinos in the sun
We began the journey or shall I say safari back to the lodge of Hilltop camp where we would have a 30 min rest and have some dinner. It turned out to be a lovely evening and the stars were bright, dinner wasn’t half bad either!
After we had eaten I quickly did some star gazing with the clients. We looked at the Southern cross, Milky way, Orion and Taurus.
It was not time for bed we were all very tired but very happy with how day one of our 2 day Durban safari had gone.
Day 2: Durban 2 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
We began day 2 with luggage collection and breakfast before checking out and making the most of our last 3 hour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve.
One of our first sighting was of a mother Giraffe and her calf.
Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe mother and calf
Once we had finished watching them we continued on to see if we could find Lions we still had no luck on the cat front. We spotted another huge herd of Buffalo on our Durban 2 day safari.
Durban 2 day safari; Cape Buffalo
Video of Buffalo crossing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
As we continued we spotted some Zebra and Rhino in the distance but really we only had one thing left on our minds and that was those Lions! We did not give up on them and after 1,5 hours of the 3 hours gone we made a bold move and drove very fast down south to see if we could get lucky.
Durban 2 day safari; Zebra
We actually found so many obstacles in our way like other vehicle and animals but we just had to keep our heads down to find these lions.
As we got into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve we came across an Elephant bull so we though 2 minuted with him would be fine before continuing on with our Safari.
Durban 2 day safari; Bull Elephant
Moving along we got stuck in traffic and I was trying my best to get around this car, as I over took it I looked over to the left probably to give the drive the beady eye and spotted 2 Black Rhinos not more than 30 meters from the road. I had no choice but to stop at this is a rare sighting the car behind must have been a bit upset with me until they too saw what we were looking at.
My clients later also looked onto the hills and spotted another 3 Black Rhinos, wow this was amazing stuff!
Durban 2 day safari; Black Rhino
Notice on the Black Rhinos side the blood this is actually very common with Black Rhino and is a Parasitic infection. In Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve their are only 200 Black Rhino and in 10 minuted we had seen 5 of them.
Just up the road was what we had all been waiting for a pride of at least 9 Lions, 8 of which were visible in a Marula tree. I could not believe our luck, it was my Hluhluwe Tree climbing Lions in Umfolozi!
Durban 2 day safari; Tree climbing Lions of Hluhluwe
Video of the Hluhluwe Tree climbing Lions in Umfolozi game reserve.
We spent 20 odd minutes with these amazing cats and then had to depart for St Lucia – Isimangeliso wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise.
It was an hours drive which felt like 20 minutes after seeing so many amazing animals in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We really had been so lucky we were all so happy about our 2 day Durban safari.
We boarded our boat the Santa Lucia and enjoyed an almost private tour of the St Lucia estuary and wetlands. He we saw loads of Hippos and and couple of Crocodiles before we returned at the end of a very enjoyable 2 hour cruise.
My favorite was Hippos feeding off the reeds and which I also made a video of.
Durban 2 day safari; Hippos
Video of Hippos feeding on the reeds at Lake St Lucia in the Estuary.
We made our way into St Lucia town for some lunch at the Ocean sizzler and then began the 2.5 hour drive back to Durban North and Durban respectively. We were all very happy with the way the 2 day Durban safari went and seemed to all have smiles for what nature put on show for us in the short time!