Durban 5 Day Big 5 overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) and Durban City – 24 to 28th May 2014. - Tim Brown Tours

Durban 5 Day Big 5 overnight Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Wetlands ( Isimangeliso Wetland Park) and Durban City – 24 to 28th May 2014.

Day 1: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

 

On this Durban Big 5 Overnight Safari Tour we began at the Airport (King Shaka International) outside of Durban.

 

On Route to the Big 5 Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve I covered very little of the major history of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. We missed a little out as the pick up was outside Durban.

 

There were 5 clients, 4 of them Students studying water in South Africa. Basically studying the issues around the resource running out in the near future.

 

It was refreshing as we would stay at Muntulu camp in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve and Safari out from there.

Muntulu is a self catering bush camp where you can book the whole place out, you get a guide who will take you on a bush walk which we did on the second morning.

The electricity is generated via solar panels and only turned on from 6-10pm.

It really is a special place and brings you back to basics and remembering your routes and our vulnerabilities as humans.

As we entered the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we had luck and found 2 of the Big 5 within the first 15 minutes of entering Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We got to look at Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra and even Warthog. What a treat in such a short space of time after telling my guest “don’t expect to see too much as its still hot weather”.

Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Buffalo bull next to the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Giraffe walk near the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
White Rhino walking across the road on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Zebra crossing on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Two Young Elephant Bulls head past the watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

 

We got to the Hilltop camp to check in before rushing off to Muntulu camp and rushing back to Hilltop camp to get fire wood. We just go back before the 6pm Curfew and there was no reception…

Apart from my wife not remembering that I told her I was at Muntulu and probably would not have reception we had a great evening. I got the fire going and we told stories of the Bush while Alisandro cooked us a pasta dinner.

Day 2: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve

 

We had a big day the next day and needed some sleep so we were in bed early and up well before the sun and departed to see what animals we could find in the Umfolozi section of the reserve.

We were super lucky and got to see one Lioness walking close to the road but in the thick bush so non of us really got a picture. Our Big 5 Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve was heating up!

We spotted lots of general game including a Male Kudu which was good to see but little did we know that our Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi had only really begun today!

Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Large male Kudu on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

 

After spending some time at a watering hole called Mpafa hide and enjoying Warthogs, wildesbeest, Nyala and Impala drinking and wallowing we heading back up for a luncheon stop at Centenary centre.

 Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Herd of Impala and Nyala at a watering hole on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Mother and Calf white Rhino on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Warthog rubs herself after a mud wallow on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

We were approaching the Umfolozi river crossing and when we stopped on the bridge we spotted a Pride of Lion with some young cubs in the reeds and on the sand bank. This was super cool because the lioness we saw earlier moved off very quickly. This time we were able to see the male get up and walk to the Lionesses.

Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Pride of Lions with young cubs resting in the Umfolozi river on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours are amazing.

 White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
White Backed Vulture on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Eventually it was lunch and we rested a little before looking around the curio shop buying a few things and heading back to Hilltop camp to get some supplies for Muntulu camp.

We actually ended up staying a while at Hilltop camp charging batteries of all kind and then went back to Muntulu where I showed the clients how we burn Elephant dung to clear nasal congestion.

We then Stank of smoke and got special permission from the Head Park sectional Ranger to go to Hilltop camp for dinner. We were escorted back like royalty and got the fire going so we could keep warm before bed.

We could not expect more but there was more on a Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban.

If you wish to experience some of what I have shown above contact me, we can try and make this happen for you with Tim Brown Tours – Highly rated on TripAdvisor

 

Day 3: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

 

We got up bright and early again and we went on a bush walk in nature for about 2.5 hours which is always a blessing. We were lucky to have a safe encounter with a Male White Rhino which after looking at us continued to walk on. We spotted many tracks of Lions, Hyenas, Rhino and Elephant.

 Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Lion Tracks I circled walking straight through Mphafa hides parking lot on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

We headed back to Muntulu lodge camp before taking an hour to relax and pack before we headed to Hilltop camp to check out and we began our last day safari tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. We saw Rhino in the distance, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra and monkeys.

Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Rhinos Resting on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

So this was it basically the end of our 3 day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban. It was somewhat sad after the amazing things we had seen. We all will not forget the great show the animals of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve put on for us on day 2 and 3 of our Safari Tour.

We all had a really good time and now it was time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park. After a few clients nodded off for the hours drive to St Lucia we had arrived and tried to arrange meeting for the clients. We then hopped onto the 15:00 – 17:00, 2 hour boat cruise on the estuary which was great and the clients loved it.

So many Hippos and crocodile and the sun setting on the way back.

 Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Crocodiles basking in the sun on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

We needed to rush off and check in to our guest house before walking into the town avoiding Hippos which thankfully we didn’t meet along the way. We got to John Dorys and had some good seafood before walking back to the Guest house and getting some rest.

 

Day 4: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park.

 

The following day we had a sleep in and breakfast at 08:30 which the owner of the Guest house prepared very well.

We then packed and headed down to the board walk before onto the beach and to look at Maphelane the Second Heighest Vegetated sand dune in the World.

 Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Warninng signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Warning signs in St Lucia on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

After all this including dipping the feet in the Indian ocean we headed back to Durban and our Safari Experience was over.

Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Maphelane Vegitated sand dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Pelican in flight on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban
Indian ocean with Maphelane Sand Dune on our 5 Day Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Safari Tour including St Lucia and Durban

 

I think we all felt deflated to have to go to a city…

I dropped the clients at there hotel and once they were settled I took them down to the beach front to look at curios and get some dinner.

I headed home and would return to attend to the clients needs the next day.

 

Day 5: Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi Game reserve, St Lucia Isimangaliso wetland park and Durban City.

 

We tried to get a meeting with SAB-Miller(the Brewery) but sadly the could not that day. So it was a later start for me only collecting my clients at 12 Midday and meeting them at the Botanical gardens before some lunch on Florida Road.

We then had a 2pm meeting with Mr Mcloud the head of the Water department in Durban who has some amazing ideas which are being turned into reality with the help of Bill Gates.

 

Our meeting was an hour and a half and frankly this guy knew so much and it was so interested I didn’t mind sitting there for another couple hours!

We sadly had to leave and it was time for me to say good bye to the clients. I dropped them at there hotel and headed back home to get ready for the next days Drakensberg Hiking Tour.

If you would like a Big 5 Safari experience like this contact Tim Brown Tours and we can make this a reality for you.

 

Kumnandi Africa!

2 Comments

  • Alessandro
    Alessandro
    30th May 2014
    Reply

    Thanks Tim!
    Our trip was great and your guide impeccable!

    Alessandro

    • Tim Brown
      Tim Brown
      1st June 2014
      Reply

      Thanks Ali, Glad you guys enjoyed it. Hope you enjoy the tour blog post I emailed to you. Regards Tim

Leave a Comment