Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve - 25-27 August 2014 - Tim Brown Tours

Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

Day 1:

 

It was a beautiful winter day when I collected my clients from a Durban hotel. They would be spending 4 Days with me but the first 3 days would be a 3 day Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve situated near Durban. My clients were from Washington DC and out for a holiday after a business trip to our city of Durban.

 

It is common to find travelers visiting Durban for conferences and business and then realising that there is so much to do here in Durban. Sadly Durban is not as well advertised as Cape Town, Joburg or Kruger National Park. Those are the usual places people have heard of an visit!

 

After covering some of the history of our amazing country, South Africa and City of Durban it was time to look at the History around the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and the Cat rehabilitation centre we would first be visiting.

 

Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation centre opened its doors in the early 1990’s to help endangered cats like Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat increase there numbers. At this stage no success with Cheetah but plenty with the other endangered cats.

 

I am pleased to say that Tim Brown Tours supports this project by bringing our clients their as the entrance fee’s go to the aid of these amazing cats.

  

Caracal on our Durban Big 5 Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Caracal on our Durban Big 5 Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Caracal on our Durban Big 5 Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we had spent some time with these majestic cats we headed on into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is only 20 minutes away from Emdoneni.

 

Upon entering through Memorial gate into this World Famous and historical game reserve, being the oldest in Africa we had immediate success. We spotted: Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Nyala and Warthogs in a matter on 10 minutes.

 

Most of these sightings were not brilliant but still were great. We moved on to Hilltop camp where we had some lunch and checked in before getting back onto the reserve to see what other animals we could find.

 

After spending some time driving around and watching animals from far, we decided to stop at a view point to look over the Hluhluwe River. He we spotted this large crocodile.

 

Crocodile seen in the Hluhluwe River on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

Crocodile seen in the Hluhluwe River on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour
Crocodile seen in the Hluhluwe River on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued on with our Durban Big 5 Safari and an old Buffalo bull feeding near to the road. This was the best sighting we had to this point of a Buffalo.

 

Buffalo bull seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari from Durban

Buffalo bull seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari from Durban
Buffalo bull seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari from Durban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After enjoying this Buffalo feed we continued a short distance before we spotted a mother Rhino and her calf. We spent some good time watching them and witnessed the baby eating its mothers dung and suckling. The eating of mother dung in White Rhino is common as the babies do not have the enzymes in there stomach to digest the grass naturally. They therefore have to eat mothers dung to get the enzymes into there intestine to digest the grass they are feeding on.

 

Rhino with her calf seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour
Rhino with her calf seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour
Rhino with her calf seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Big 5 Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made our way back to the main road and we lucky enough to have a sighting on Lions on a Rocky hill, sadly it was not the best sighting but a Lion is a Lion in my book! Our Durban Big 5 Safari had started to get really exciting with 3 of the Big 5 Spotted on the first day.

 

Lions seen on Day 1 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Lions seen on Day 1 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Lions seen on Day 1 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made our way round to find some Giraffe which we did and then had to turn back to get to our lodge before curfew. Over all our Durban Safari Today had been great for a start and with a 6am start the next day we would hopefully find more exciting Big 5 species and general game.

 

We then met for some star gazing and then dinner which was lovely as always before some sleep. It is fine if the mind goes on safari at night but the body must rest to keep fresh for the next day’s safari.

 

 

Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

Day 2:

 

I met my clients on Day 2 at 6am and we departed for a full day safari, we would be heading down south into the reserve to see what we could find.

 

Our Safari from Durban had already been very successful but we hadn’t yet seen Elephants and of course seeing an Elephant is a big thing on a Safari as it is one of the Big 5.

 

We had a quiet start with lots of Zebra and Giraffe. Our first major sighting was a male Giraffe near to the road in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.

 

Giraffe on Day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Giraffe on Day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Giraffe on Day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also had great luck as I spotted a Hyena crossing the road and walking through the bushes into the scrub. This was really exciting for us all.

 

Spotted Hyena seen on our second day of our Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Spotted Hyena seen on our second day of our Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Spotted Hyena seen on our second day of our Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continued our Big 5 Durban Safari we came across a lovely sighting of a mother Rhino and her calf near the road. We had seen the same the day before but this was a much closer sighting and very enjoyable.

 

White Rhino and calf seen on day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
White Rhino and calf seen on day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
White Rhino and calf seen on day 2 of our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continued with our safari we came across more Giraffe and Rhino before we stopped at a “Hide” to see what animals came to drink. A “Hide” is a hut which overlooks a watering hole where people are supposed to sit in silence and see what animals come down to drink.

 

Warthog drinking during our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Warthog drinking during our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Warthog drinking during our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were lucky as we got to see Zebra, Nyala and Warthogs come and drink in half an hour.

As we left the hide and continued our Safari we spotted some Wildebeest and we got them to cross the road in front of us. We were luck enough to also have a real Zebra crossing!

 

Wildebeest crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

Wildebeest crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour
Wildebeest crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Zebras are in great condition even though we have had a hard winter with fires and little good grass for grazing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

 

Zebra Crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Zebra Crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Zebra Crossing the road on our Big 5 Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we began the long journey back to the luncheon stop we found our first Elephant in the Umfolozi River feeding on the reeds. We enjoyed him for a while and a small Water Monitor lizard before continuing on.

 

We stopped for lunch at midday and enjoyed some good food before continuing to look for Elephants we were in luck on this Safari from Durban!

 

Near the gate we spotted one Bull Elephant and then another two Bull Elephants. Now two out of these three Elephants had 5 legs! I will let you think about it!

 

These three Elephant Bulls came together and began to drink water near the gate. We got out to the safety of the main building to watch them and we also spotted Giraffe and Zebra in the same area.

 

Can you spot the three different animals in this picture
Can you spot the three different animals in this picture
Can you spot the three different animals in this picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Elephants actually got into some great positions to use there flexible trunks to reach the water in this drain and I got a great photo.

 

Elephant drinking near the gate during our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

Elephant drinking near the gate during our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour
Elephant drinking near the gate during our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It had now been 8 hours of Safari and it was time to make our way back to the camp for a rest before dinner.

 

What a great second day on our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

 

  

It was now time for bed as we needed some rest, the 3rd day of our Durban Safari would entail: Breakfast, checkout, 3 hour Hluhluwe imfolozi Safari and a 2 hour boat Cruise at St Lucia- Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

 

 

Durban 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve –

Day 3:

 

We began just before 7am and came through for some breakfast before checking out and starting our last 3 hour Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

 

The 3 hours were great and we basically recapped on animals seen already. Unfortunately we did not find any more cats so we had to be happy with the one sighting of these amazing creatures.

 

One of our first sightings was this herd of Buffalos; I got a picture of the one young female.

 

Buffalo cow stares at us on our 3rd day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Buffalo cow stares at us on our 3rd day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Buffalo cow stares at us on our 3rd day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continued we found a couple of Elephants that crossed the road and disappeared into the thickets before we could get a decent photo. We headed down towards the Umfolozi river via Seme and MaQanda on route we found Rhino and some Nyalas with new born babies. The one male was already checking to see if the female was ready for mating.

 

Nyala Bull tests a female to see if she is ready for mating during our Durban Safari to Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

Nyala Bull tests a female to see if she is ready for mating during our Durban Safari to Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
Nyala Bull tests a female to see if she is ready for mating during our Durban Safari to Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we got closer to the Umfolozi River we spotted lots of Giraffe and Zebra.

 

Zebra and Giraffe pose on Day 3 of our Big 5 Safari Tour
Zebra and Giraffe pose on Day 3 of our Big 5 Safari Tour
Zebra and Giraffe pose on Day 3 of our Big 5 Safari Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was now time to turn back to the Nyalazi gate and end the Big 5 Safari part of our Tour. We departed and headed to St Lucia Estuary – Isimageliso Wetland Park for our 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour.

 

It was windy but we saw loads of Hippos and a few Crocodiles including Fish Eagles.

 

Crocodile seen at St Lucia in the Estuary during a 3 day safari tour from Durban

Crocodile seen at St Lucia in the Estuary during a 3 day safari tour from Durban
Crocodile seen at St Lucia in the Estuary during a 3 day safari tour from Durban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continued up the Estuary of St Lucia we soon spotted this Fish Eagle in a Tree scouting out for fish.

 

Fish Eagle on our St Lucia Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

Fish Eagle on our St Lucia Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park
Fish Eagle on our St Lucia Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was really only at the top of the Estuary that we got the best sightings of Hippos and we even got some Hippos out the water on the sand bank.

 

Hippo seen at St Lucia on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

Hippo seen at St Lucia on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban
Hippo seen at St Lucia on our 3 Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we finished with the 2 hour boat Tour we headed into St Lucia town and had some lunch before departing for Durban City.

 

Durban is almost 3 hours away from St Lucia and we were already tired so we stopped a couple times along the way to freshen up.

 

Our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour had been really successful and we all enjoyed the amazing sights from the Stars at night to the animals in the day. Not to mention the Hyena calling at night near Hilltop camp.

 

If you are interested in this or one of our other Durban Safaris or Durban Tours contact me through the online booking form of inquiry form and I will try to make you Safari/Tour just as exciting!

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