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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.