Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We began our Durban day safari at one of the Durban Beach front hotel where I collected my clients from. After a briefing of the days itinerary we began our 3 hours drive from Durban city to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. If you are looking for a Safari near Durban, Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the place to go as it is also a Big 5 game reserve. The term “Big 5” comes from hunters which historically named the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. Today on our Safaris we still call these animals the “Big 5” as they are some of the most sort after animals to see on a Durban Safari Tour.
After a short stop I continued to talk about the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the clients which is all part of a Tour guides job an very important in making sure our clients always leave having learned something and experienced nature.
We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi with the promise of Lions on a kill near the gate, sadly the Lions had dragged the carcass into some thick bush and we saw nothing.
As we continued we spotted some Buffalo of a hill near where the Lions had been spotted in the morning.
Buffalo herd seen during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We continued on to look for more animals and had great luck is spotting a mother White Rhino and her calf, the best part was the calf walked over to a territorial males dung midden and defecated on top of it. He however did not break it up with his feet meaning he was showing submission so he could walk through to drink water safely.
Young Rhino showing submission to the dominant male, seen during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We also came across some Vervet Monkeys and Baboons in the next half an hour which were very playful. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is a great place to do a Safari near Durban.
Baboon crossing road during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
After enjoying these lively characters playing and drinking we also had the good fortune of spotting some Giraffe on our Durban day safari tour. There a a fair number of them but I chose only one picture of this mother and calf.
Giraffe mother and calf seen during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We decided to stop of some lunch and take a break from all the Safari Driving. We had lunch at Hilltop camp one of my favorite places as they have an amazing view over the Hluhluwe section of the reserve. This view can make a Durban day Safari that much more special when you mix in all the different animals we see as well.
After lunch we had to make a decision as to where to look for animals, we chose to head towards the gate in the east where Elephant had been see earlier in the day.
We continued to tick animals off the Safari list like Warthog, Impala, Nyala, Wildebeest and Zebra.
Zebra cleans herself during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We were very lucky again to see more Giraffe and then Rhino resting near the road a mother with her calf. Its sightings like this which really make a Durban day Safari so special and is a sight for sore eyes!
Rhino Mother and calf rest during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
We were now running out of time and still had no luck with Elephant which was starting to frustrate me a lot… This sadly can happen when the weather is colder but you just have to remember it is not a Zoo and the animals will either show up or not, it is in there hands not ours…
Close to the game we spotted a variety of animals Nyala, Impala and Warthogs before checking the Umfolozi river for any signs of Lions. We did find tracks of Lions from the morning but no luck with seeing any.
Impala, Nyala and Warthog during our Durban day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve near Durban
It was time to begin our 3 hour trek back to Durban after yet another satisfying Durban Day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We were all fairly happy apart from not having found Elephant which we usually do on a Durban Day Safari, unfortunately that is the way the cookie crumbles…
The clients all fell asleep on the way home as they had a bit of jet-lag and two of the kids had a chess game the next day in Durban of the World Chess youth Championships.
We arrived back well after dark and some tired bodies left my vehicle. Still this had been a good Safari from Durban.