Big 5 of Hluhluwe Imfolozi Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 5th July 2018

    Here is the real story of Lions hunting Buffalo.
    Watch footage of Lions hunting Buffalo never shown by TV documentaries. This footage has been take over the past 5 years on our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tours from Durban.

  • 5th June 2015

    Safari from Durban 2nd -4th June 2015

     

    I met my clients in Durban city and this was where we would begin our Durban 3 day overnight safari tour. After the general introductions the 5 of us began this amazing 3 day safari from Durban.

    I began some free flowing conversation about the History of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa which is always worth a listen, well I think so!

    The usual being covered, I then also explained about each population group and how they come to be here as well as all the plantation we would see on route to our first stop the cat rehabilitation center, outside of Hluhluwe.

     

     

    It had now been 3 hours on the road and it was nice to stop to see something new and stretch the legs further to what we did at the couple of stops we took along the way. We began our tour of the cat rehabilitation center at 10:30 and it was here that my clients would be able to interact with 4 species of endangered cats, namely the Serval, Caracal, African wild cat and Cheetah.

     

    The clients always love this part of the tour and it add so much more to the whole safari experience from Durban.

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Cheetah cub at Cat rehabilitation center

    Safari from Durban; Cheetah cub at Cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we finished at the Cat rehabilitation center we drove 20 minutes to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and entered at the Memorial gate.

    It was here we entered and within a few minutes we spotted Baboons near the road and some crossing.

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Baboon

    Safari from Durban; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our safari from Durban had truly began and it was not long before we spotted even more animals! We spotted first a single bull Elephant and by watching him we found a herd of Elephant walking from a drainage line through a dip onto the open plain!

     

    Video – Safari from Durban – Elephants walk out of a dip in Hluhluwe


     

    After enjoying these Elephants we continued and spotted some Giraffe which we were all excited about as it is one of the big animals that clients always want to see. We spotted a baby with a mother and a couple other female Giraffe.

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Giraffe

    Safari from Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were on our way up to Hilltop camp where we would be staying for the 2 nights and it was not easy to get there as we kept seeing animals which of course we were not complaining about. We had another sighting of a small breeding herd of Elephant and it was great.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Elephants

    Safari from Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We eventually made it up to camp and settled in for some lunch most of us having the Bunny chow before heading to the rooms for a short while. I them met my clients and 3 of the 4 did the open vehicle game drive leaving myself and Jan to spend about 1 hour doing our own Ferrari safari(fast one).

     

    We headed out and with the cloud building up it was a little dark but we still spotted a herd of Elephant on the hill near the camp.

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Elephants at sunset

    Safari from Durban; Elephants at sunset

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The lighting on one Elephant was amazing and after enjoying the view we continued seeing almost nothing except Nyala as it was so dark and windy. We then got back onto the main road and had some amazing luck as we found a lone African wild dog the most endangered carnivore in Africa.

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; African wild dog

    Safari from Durban; African wild dog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The picture was not good as it was so dark and he was running down the road so I made a video clip in the hope that it would work out better.

     

     

    Video – Safari from Durban – Wild Dog runs down the road in the dark


     

     

    It was now time to get back to camp and wait on the others arrival from there evening open vehicle safari. I was glad to hear when they got back that the did see African Wild dog so we all had seen the same things.

     

    It was time for dinner and we all enjoyed what we wanted off the menu and then headed off to bed after a long but great safari from Durban. Day 2 of our safari I was sure would be just as good as day 1.

     

     

     

    Day 2:  Safari from Durban

     

     

     

    We met for a 7am breakfast before departing the lodge at 07:30. We would be heading into the Umfolozi section to see if we could get lucky with cats and any other animals.

     

    Our first sighting was of Rhino which was not a good as I hoped but as I always say a Rhino is a Rhino!

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Rhinos hiding

    Safari from Durban; Rhinos hiding

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed the Rhino mother and calf for while before continuing our safari from Durban. It was interesting as we managed to spot some great animal behaviour a bit later on when we found a White backed Vulture breaking a twig and then flying into a tree with it clearly looking to build a nest. This you don’t see often!

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; White backed Vulture with a twig in its beak

    Safari from Durban; White backed Vulture with a twig in its beak

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued further south we found a dazzle of Zebra and got some to cross the road in front of us before finding some Giraffe just before the Umfolozi river.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Zebras look over Umfolozi

    Safari from Durban; Zebras look over Umfolozi

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At the river itself we managed to spot some Elephants up stream just on the edge of the river and they were not really doing much except flapping their ears to cool off. It was already 27 degrees and this is our winter.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Elephants

    Safari from Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Driving on with our safari from Durban we were enjoying the views when we found 5 Buffalo bulls resting near to the road and just chewing the cud. It was a great site and they completely ignored us as normal.

     

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Buffalos

    Safari from Durban; Buffalos

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped for a rest room break and here we enjoyed watching some warthogs. We then went through a very frustrating patch where we spotted lots on Impala, warthogs and animals in the distance but nothing close. I got word that Lions had been seen earlier in the morning so I decided to give it a bash and see if we could relocate them. We were successful and it was an amazing sighting as we watched a Lioness and her sub adult male cub resting with each other clearly fat and full from eating something!

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Lions sleeping on a full belly

    Safari from Durban; Lions sleeping on a full belly

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Wow what a great day it had just turned out to be on our safari from Durban! We then watch the adult Lioness get up and walk away from her cub and I managed to get this on video before the male gave us a lovely glance.

     

     

    Video – Safari from Durban – Lions in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve


     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Young male Lion

    Safari from Durban; Young male Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We must have spend 30 minuted with these lovely Lions before beginning the long drive to the luncheon stop at the Centenary center, home of Operation Rhino which brought back the White Rhinos from Extinction.

    The drive back was very quiet until we got to the Umfolozi river and spotted more Elephants.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Bull Elephant

    Safari from Durban; Bull Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Before we could get to lunch we spotted some Giraffe with a huge herd of Impalas which at this stage we were a little tired of seeing. The Giraffe male came very close to the road showing us his 45cm long tongue as he ate the acacia tree leaves.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Giraffe

    Safari from Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped for lunch and had a great meal before a look around the Museum and the curio shop respectively. Once all were done we began the hour long drive back to Hilltop camp to book the clients on the evening open vehicle game drive. Our safari from Durban had gone really well today and we met again just before the evening game drive and then at 8pm for some dinner.

     

     

     

    Day 2: Safari from Durban

     

     

     

    The next day would be again a 7am start with some breakfast and checking out before some game drive time and then heading on to St Lucia -Isimangeliso Wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    We managed to finally get a great sighting of Rhino and we had 3 of them together on the road and in an open area which was very exciting. We watched them doing their thing and then moved on to find Buffalo and some Zebra before we needed to make our way out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to go to St Lucia.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Rhino

    Safari from Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were super lucky when we were at St Lucia and apart from the lots of Hippos and a Crocodile we saw we managed to spot the elusive Bull Shark which is found in the St Lucia Estuary.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video : Safari from Durban – Bull shark in St Lucia estuary


     

     

     

    Our Hippos sightings were very good and we managed to get some out of the water and one which was feeding on the reeds near the bank of St Lucia estuary.

     

     

     

     

    Safari from Durban; Hippo at St Lucia

    Safari from Durban; Hippo at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After a great 3 days of Safari from Durban it was time to grab some lunch and chat about how amazing a safari we had and then make our way back to Durban city.

     

    My clients were sad to leave the Nature behind but I am sure they will be back in the future to see it all again. Africa has a way of pulling at your heart strings!

     

  • 25th July 2014

     

    Our Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban city where I met my clients.

    On route to Huhluwe Imfolozi I covered the usual things like the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the national park. The Flora and Fauna of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve amazing and very interesting, from the Lions to the Ant Lion the National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi has is all.

    Our first stop was the Cat rehabilitation centre outside Hluhluwe Town called Emdoneni where you can interact with 4 different species of Cat; Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.

    Durban 3 Day Safari, Serval yawns at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center

    Durban 3 Day Safari, Serval yawns at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The clients loved this and this is always a good start to a Durban Safari. The Big 5 of Hluhluwe Imfolozi can at times cause problems but mostly the big cats, Lions and Leopards. We were lucky this Safari to find Lions!

    We entered at Memorial gate and we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari.

    As the day was warm and it was the middle of the Day we didn’t see a huge amount but what we did see was enough to keep us going until lunch.

     Durban 3 Day Safari, Baboons feeding at Hilltop camp

    Durban 3 Day Safari, Baboons feeding at Hilltop camp

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we pulled into Hilltop camp we spotted these Baboons feeding away in the camp not bothered at all by use being near to them.

    It was time for some lunch and after lunch we checked in and decided to go back out at 3pm to till 6pm to see what animals we could find on our Safari in Hluhluwe.

    We drove the Hluhluwe section of the game reserve and found Hippos in the Hluhluwe River as well as some White Rhinos near and even crossing the road.

     Day 1 on our Durban Safari, White Rhino Crosses road

    Day 1 on our Durban Safari, White Rhino Crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The view over the Hluhluwe River at any time of the year is spectacular but in winter when we get very little rain it is always nice to see it looking so good.

    Durban Safari, Hluhluwe River in Winter
    Durban Safari, Hluhluwe River in Winter

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban Safaris are not complete if you do not visit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is Africa’s Oldest and home to Operation Rhino in the 1950’s.

    As we continued on we spotted some Giraffe, Buffalo and even an Elephant Bull which had walked over the electric wires into the car park to feed off the Acacia tress. This time of the year being winter the grass is so dry that Elephants turn there attentions to eating more trees, bark and leaves.

    It was time to get back to the lodge for some dinner and rest after what was a great day in the African bush on our Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    I had arranged breakfast packs for us for the next morning so we could leave at the crack of Dawn, 6am and get down into the Umfolozi section of the reserve to try and find cats.

    The Umfolozi section is a little flatter; it gets less rain and therefore makes it easier for spotting Cats.

    Day 2: Durban Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    Once we got going we spotted a few giraffe which was great.

    Durban Safaris, Giraffe posing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Durban Safaris, Giraffe posing in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a fairly quiet time of it until we stopped at Bhejane hide. Bhejane hide is a hut which is set up over looking a watering hole where people can observe animals coming to drink water or mud wallow.

    We spotted Zebra, Nyala, Wildebeest, Warthog, Impala and Giraffe in the hour we spent there!

    This is always a real highlight of a Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari as you know when its so dry animals have to drinks and anything can come and visit the watering hole.

    Durban Safari, Dazzle of Zebra drink together in Umfolozi

    Durban Safari, Dazzle of Zebra drink together in Umfolozi

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Nyalas Drinking on our Durban 3 Day Safari

    Nyalas Drinking on our Durban 3 Day Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Warthogs drink in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Warthogs drink in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we had absorbed as much as we could we drove off to find lions which I had got word of from a friend of mine. We made our way there and found 2 Lionesses resting on the hill across the other side of the White Umfolozi River.

    Lioness rests on our Durban Safari Tour

    Lioness rests on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Being so far away we didn’t spend to long with them and we moved on to get some lunch at the Centenary centre near to the Nyalazi gate.

    Here we ate and refreshed ourselves with a spot of curio shopping before heading back to Hilltop camp.

    We rested for an hour and a half before going back onto the game reserve to see what else we could find.

    Lucky for us our Safari began well with some Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant!

    Day 2 on our Durban Safari we found this old Buffalo Bull in Hluhluwe

    Day 2 on our Durban Safari we found this old Buffalo Bull in Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Elephants cross the road on our Durban 3 Day Safari

    Elephants cross the road on our Durban 3 Day Safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After 2 hours of Safari time we went back to Hilltop camp for some dinner and after dinner I did some star gazing with the clients using my Laser Pointer.

    We were all very tired so it was another early night after 10 hours of Safari in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    Day 3: Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    After waking up and getting a buffet breakfast we checked out and began our final 3 hour game drive Safari in the reserve.

    Our Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve was really going well to this point and now it was the matter of putting the finishing touches on before we headed to Isimangeliso Wetland Park for our St Lucia boat cruise.

    We spotted Elephant again and a lovely mother and foul Zebra on a burned section of land.

    Zebra and her foul on Day 3 of our Durban Safari Tour

    Zebra and her foul on Day 3 of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spotting a few other species we had to call it a day and leave for St Lucia. Before we could leave though there was a surprise waiting at the gate! 2 Bull Elephants had crossed the road in front of us and made there way to the gate were there was some fresh water from the run off of the drains.

    Finally we got going to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

    Our Safari Tour from Durban was not yet complete as we had a 2 hour boat cruise on the World heritage site’s Estuary of St Lucia.

    We spotted load off crocodiles and Hippos on this tour and we all enjoyed it!

    Crocodile suns himself at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park

    Crocodile suns himself at St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hippos at St Lucia on our 3rd Day of Safari from Durban

    Hippos at St Lucia on our 3rd Day of Safari from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lunch was calling after the boat cruise and we went to my favourite restaurant in St Lucia – Ocean Sizzler where we all had fresh fish!

    After lunch we had to leave and continue Safari Tour, Sadly for us all it was back to Durban city!

    We had all had such a great time in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Safari from Durban and had so many memories to take back with us!