Big 5 Safari Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 27th May 2016

    Our Durban safari tour began in the city where I collected my clients and we made our way towards the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve my favorite protected area in Africa.

  • 6th Apr 2016

    Join Tim Brown Tours on a Durban safari tour to the Hluhluwe game reserve where nature comes alive and dreams are made! Try us for your African safari experience.

    After collecting my clients from their hotel in Durban we headed off to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would begin our safari.

    We are blessed with good weather in Durban and it only get warmer on route to Hluhluwe game reserve. It was here that we entered and began our safari looking for as many of the Big 5 as possible.

  • 16th Jan 2016

    Our Big 5 Durban safari tour began in Durban and we headed to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve stopping at a Cheetah sanctuary to interact with some Endangered big cats.
    Once we finished up we entered into Hluhluwe game reserve and made our way slowly to Hilltop camp, on route spotting some Zebra fighting.

  • 11th Sep 2015

    I met my polish clients in Durban who were here for the World forestry conference and we began our two day Durban safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    After covering the usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and how all the population groups came to be here we stopped for some coffee. We then continued on to the Cat rehabilitation center where we would be interacting with Cheetah hands on as well as looking at Serval, Caracal and African wild cat, species that are listed as either endangered or threatened.

  • 1st Sep 2015

    This Durban day safari was one of my best and not because I felt good about my performance but because nature also performed for us!

    We began in Durban as we usually do and I collected a Swedish couple who were very excited about the Durban day safari after reading reviews on TripAdvisor. This always makes me feel a little pensive as with nature it is out of our control. All I know is the best places to look for the animals and their behaviour.

  • 6th Aug 2015

    Big 5 safari from Durban for 2 days

     

    I met my clients in Durban for their Big 5 safari just outside Durban to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is world famous for its Rhino breeding success through the 1950’s.

    We are truly blessed to have such an amazing Big 5 game reserve near Durban which in my opinion is just as good if not better than Kruger national park.

     

    Kruger National park may be bigger but it is not as scenic as Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve one of the main features all my clients point out!

     

    As usual I covered the History of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa on route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi national park as well as anything we saw through Zululand.

     

    As we got further into Zululand we stopped at a Cat rehabilitation center to enjoy some interaction with 4 species of endangered cats, the most exciting being Cheetah!

    My client of course loved it being big cat fans.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

    Big 5 safari Durban; Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Servals are very relaxed and also great to interact with so the above picture if of one of the Serval we interacted with. All this cats are here for either breeding or interaction due to some issue which prevents them from being released into the wild. The idea is to try and get as many of them back to the wild where they belong if not they are used as an educational tool to highlight there situation.

     

     

    We then left and arrived in Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve not 3 hours from Durban and began our 2 day safari tour.

    Our first sighting was of Nyala and Warthogs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

    Big 5 safari Durban; Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was a little concerned as it had been a bit quiet in the national park in the past few days but that would not stop us having good sightings!

    We spotted Giraffe and Zebra in the distance so I made our way closer and we had the most amazing sighting where we had a troop of Baboons, Zebra, Giraffe and Rhino cross the road in front of us! It was amazing so at this point we had see the first of the Big 5 animals the Rhino but it seemed like we had seem so much more which we had!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

    Big 5 safari Durban; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhino crossing road on our African safari


     

     

     

    I made a good video of the Rhino crossing and then later got a great photo of a male Giraffe near to the road.

    It had been a great start and it was time to head to Hilltop camp for some lunch, check in and head back out for more animals.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed the Giraffe for a while and moved on to Hilltop camp for some lunch.

    We were as quick as we could be as my clients also wanted to do the open vehicle safari at 5pm-8pm with the lodge which meant for me I needed to find as many animals as possible in the afternoon.

     

    Our first sighting in the afternoon as some Nyala and then some Baboons all over the road grooming themselves.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

    Big 5 safari Durban; Baboon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried to check all the view points over the Hluhluwe river to see if we could add to our Big 5 list with Elephant but we had no luck. We did find a few Red Duiker and one new born which was very cute, sadly I missed the photo so got the adult instead.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

    Big 5 safari Durban; Red Duiker

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to begin our way back to Hilltop camp but before we could get there we managed to add lots more Rhino and a herd of Buffalo to our Big 5 safari list.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

    Big 5 safari Durban; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had now seen 2 of the Big 5 on our safari from Durban and the clients got on to the evening game drive before we met again at 8pm for dinner. I was surprised as when they returned they had not been too luck so had not added any more of the Big 5 to the list which meant I had huge stress to find Cats and Elephants the other 2 major ones of the Big 5 were were missing. The Leopard which would be the 5th of the Big 5 we try and think of it as a bonus as we see it so rarely.

     

    After a great dinner it was time for bed and we were all exhausted after a long day.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Big 5 safari from Durban

     

     

    We met before 7am and got all luggage in the vehicle before having a quick breakfast and making our way as far down south in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as the 3.5-4 hours we had would allow us.

     

    This would be a pure crazy day as we just had such luck!

    As we had our way down south we ignored Rhino, Buffalo in the distance and most other things it the quest to find Elephant and Cats.

    We did have to stop for this sighting of Giraffe and Zebra though!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra and Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We didn’t have to continue much further before we spotted our Elephants but they were far away and it did not make for the best picture. Minutes after we spotted another 2 Elephant and then another 2! Again pretty far away but we now had 3 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

    Big 5 safari Durban; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on we headed over the Umfolozi river and saw nothing but on the other side I bumped into a friend of mine Marumo who is involved in research. She said that 10 minutes before there was Lions in the river bed. I though we may as well turn back and check from a view point and there they all were all 14 of these amazing Lions! We were all so excited.

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lion mom and cubs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lions in Imfolozi game reserve


     

     

     

    We now had 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari and were very happy with that. I had to put up another picture with a couple of big males in it to share with you all.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

    Big 5 safari Durban; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We must have spent 15-20 minuted watching them and knew we still needed to try find Elephants closer but I think in our hearts we were all content having seen 4 of the Big 5 during our Safari from Durban.

     

     

    We battled and only found everything else except the Elephants close. We got one good sighting of Zebra though!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

    Big 5 safari Durban; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way to the gate to head to St Lucia estuary for our 2 hour boat cruise to see Hippos and Crocodiles as well as some Bird Life. It was an hour drive and we said farewell to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve and hello to Isimangaliso Wetland park.

     

    We stopped for some lunch in St Lucia town which was lovely before the boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary.

     

    Our cruise went very well we saw Hippos galore, Crocodiles, Birds and even a baby Hippo new born and its mother out the water.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

    Big 5 safari Durban; Hippo mom and baby

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was really fortunate to have filmed this and it was amazing watching the young Hippo head into the water with its mother and have her display by opening her mouth.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hippo mother and baby on the shore run to the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great look at couple of Crocodiles which was great and after seeing 4 of the Big 5 on our Durban safari to see Hippos and Crocodiles is always a treat!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

    Big 5 safari Durban; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of my favorite pictures from the St Lucia boat cruise was the this one below where I managed to have the good fortune of lining up 2 or 4 Hippos heads in a row.

     

    We had a great 2 hours at St Lucia on the boat and it was not time to head back to Durban and say goodbye after sharing some great memories.

     

    If you wish to do the same tour as described above please click on this link below:

     

     

    Durban 2 day Big 5 safari tour

     

     

  • 30th Jul 2015

    South African Safari 26-29 July 2015

     

     

    We began our South African safari near Durban where I collected my client who were out for a Baptist conference here in Durban, South Africa!

    As it was a slightly larger group than I usually take on Safaris from Durban I rented a 13 seat vehicle and trailer.

    Once we got all the luggage in we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi and Hilltop camp for our 3 nights there and to enjoy nature at its best.

    On route I covered as much history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as possible over the microphone and in no time it seemed we had arrived at the gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, my second home.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as a deep history which you can read about on the link over the words Hluhluwe….

    It is well known for having saved Rhino from extincting in the 1940’s and 50’s.

     

    On route to Hilltop camp we spotted one of these amazing Rhinos the White Rhino before having the most amazing Black Rhino sight I have had in a long time. This male Black Rhino walked down a slope and crossed the road in front of us and was super relaxed for a Black Rhino. I was amazed and we were all super happy.

     

     

     

    Video: Black Rhino crosses road in front of us during our Durban safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What a special moment! We then arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in getting clients and luggage to the rooms which did take a little but of time as it was dark.

     

    We then met for dinner before a good nights sleep.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    Day two began at 06:30 am and we made our way into the northern section of Hluhluwe game reserve. We had luck right off the bat as we found Elephants near to the road and all down in the valley and up on the hills near the camp.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had some amazing luck with Rhino as we got one posing very nicely for us all during our South African safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino standing

    South African safari; Rhino standing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were trying our best for the African wild dogs but hear they had made there way over the river after feeding on an Nyala and taken their puppies with them. So we continued and up the road found a huge herd of Buffalo in fact we must has seen about 6 herds of Buffalo….

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I love the above Buffalo picture even though it is not sharp it has character with the flies and the dust. We also managed to spot some Zebra on our South African safari which was great as the sunlight really hit them nicely.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Zebra

    South African safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The one Zebra looks like she is laughing at us… As we continues our 4 day safari tour in Hluhluwe we also found Giraffe but they were far away and I knew we would get them later. So we continued back to camp for breakfast before heading out to the Cat rehabilitation center.

     

     

    The Cat rehabilitation center was amazing and my clients loved it as they got to interact with Cheetah hands on and Serval.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next picture was of the Cheetah cub which is 3-4 months old and the clients got to play with him, he is very cute and playful. Wow what a South African safari this was turning out to be from Durban!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way back to the gate and just stopped for some food and fuel. We then got back to camp as some of the group we doing the evening open vehicle safari and other we coming with me.

     

    Those that came with me were treated to a few things, the first was a Southern Tree Agama.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also found some Vultures in a tree among the usual things like the Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra and even a Wildebeest.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had great fortune and found the Giraffe we had been looking for near to the road so it was great for photos excepting the light was beginning to fade. Either way it was fantastic and our success continued during our Safari from Durban in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried one more time for cats and dogs with no luck, but we had an amazing sighting for a rare specie the Bush Pig which you usually only see at night. It was now dusk and the video I made came out decently but not very well.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bush Pig out at dusk


     

    We still had one more shot of the day and it was of the sun going down and the planets Venus and Jupiter! The night sky had cleared from the previous night was was looking great with so many stars out.

    We had a great day on safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to wait for the others to get back and at 8pm we all had a great dinner. The food at Hilltop camp is always lovely. We were all very tired and headed off to bed as we would meet the next day fairly early at 7am for breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    We began the day in the hope of finding cats but sadly we battled for them through the day!

     

    This did not bother us much as we found many other species of animals from Elephant to Mongooses.

    We were wanting to see more Giraffe on this African Safari and we did.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My clients were very happy with the Giraffe and after a short while we spotted a bull Elephant which crossed the road in front of us and fed next to the road to I made a video of this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephants near the road on Hluhluwe safari


     

     

     

     

     

    We slowly made our way down to the Umfolozi river and before we got there we spotted a Rhino bull which decided to sit down and then have a rest by lying down.

    It was an amazing sighting as I managed to shoot the sequence of events.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 1

    South African safari; Rhino 1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 2

    South African safari; Rhino 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 3

    South African safari; Rhino 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Rhino went to sleep we made our way over the Umfolozi river which was in full force after the heavy rain we had had a couple days before! It was great to see this river flowing so well during our Durban safari in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and tried to get as far south as we could but time was also running out as I was unable to travel very fast in the 13 seat vehicle.

    Things were quiet and we decided to stop at Bhejane hide hide and see what animals would come to us but sadly it was only birds.

    We did however see Terrapins on the bank of the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Terrapins

    South African safari; Terapins

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once of the best sighting at the watering hole was this African Hoopoe which was searching for food and maybe had a nest in this dead tree next to the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We the made our way to the Centenary center for some lunch and then had a look around the curio shop. As we were a group of 12 it took longer than we thought and we needed to rush back to Hilltop camp to get back for the clients who were doing the evening open vehicle safari and to load up most of the luggage into the trailer, Thank you Jason for your help!

     

     

    We arrived back and sorted everything out before meeting for dinner. We had to wait for the 4 clients that went on the open vehicle game drive but it was a good wait.

     

    As we stood at the bar we noticed that Prince Harry was in the restaurant enjoying dinner we could not believe our luck to see such a character. We waited on the others and told them but did not want to bother the young prince as others were doing and we sat to enjoy our meal having had a great day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: South African safari from Durban

     

     

     

    We began our forth day with a very early start at 05:45 and left Hilltop camp by 6am for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    We arrived 10 minuted early and had a great 2 hour on the boat seeing lots of Hippos, Crocodiles, Mangroves and birds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had unbelievable sightings of Hippos both in the water and on land during our African safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia estuary is the largest esturine system in Southern Africa and home to 4 of the Big 5 the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos playing

    South African safari; Hippos playing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky to catch these two baby Hippos playing in the estuary while we were on the boat tour of St Lucia we also had amazing Bird sightings of Pink Backed Pelicans, African Fish Eagles to Black winged stilts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As the boat cruise drew to an end we had one more sighting and that was of a Bull Shark swimming in the St Lucia Estuary! They have been stuck here since 2007 when the estuary closed naturally to the ocean due to a lack of rainfall.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finished up our cruise and began our way back to Durban International or King Shaka International airport stopping along the way for some food and coffee.

    We arrived on time for the clients that would be catching there flights out of Durban and I took two of the clients after the safari to the Hilton Hotel in Durban. It had been an amazing tour having just missed out on the cats!

     

    We all enjoyed it and would have many memories to take back home with us.

     

  • 23rd Jun 2015

    Durban 2 day safari

     

    I met my clients down in Durban near the harbour and it was here where we began our Durban 2 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest national park in Africa and home to the Big 5,  Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant!

     

    Seeing the Big 5 is not the only attraction in on a Hluhluwe safari as we also have beautiful scenery and other animals like Giraffe and Zebra to mention a few.

     

    We started at the Cat Rehabilitation center to interact with 4 endangered species of Cat namely the Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.

    Here my client really had a blast as they loved cats.

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Guests with Cheetah

    Durban 2 day safari; Guests with Cheetah

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also got to interact with the Cheetah cubs on our Durban safari tour before we made our way into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see how many of the Big 5 we could spot in the 2 days.

     

    Our game drive began very well and we spotted some Impala, Buffalo and Zebra before reaching Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe.

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Zebra

    Durban 2 day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Buffalo were a little further away but we managed one or two decent pictures of them before making our way to Hilltop camp for some lunch.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Buffalo

    Durban 2 day safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After lunch I check us in and got my clients to their room for 20 minuted before we headed back out onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see if we could find more of the Big 5.

     

    It was not long before we spotted a crash of three Rhino next to the road! This was awesome as we waiting and watched and we actually had them get quite close to us before they moved around us and we decided to let them enjoy their dry grass.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Rhino

    Durban 2 day safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Big 5 safari from Durban was hotting up and we headed to the Hluhluwe river to see if we could find more animals down there. We did, We actually got out at a view sight and watched Rhino, Buffalo and Baboons in the river bed feeding, drinking and grooming! It was a great sight and it had a lovely view of the area!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; View over Hluhluwe river

    Durban 2 day safari; View over Hluhluwe river

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on and found more Buffalo, Nyala and Rhino before we had to start to make our way back so that my clients could catch the evening open vehicle safari from Hilltop camp.

    As usual this would mean we would begin to see more animals to halt our progress, which I was not complaining about!

     

    We had an awesome sighting of Elephant near to the road feeding and moving quickly over the area we were in. This was not the 3rd of the Big 5 that we had seen today!

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Elephants

    Durban 2 day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing Elephant sighting we had to rush off to Hilltop camp but before we could get there my clients threw down a challenge and I accepted their challenge! It was to try find Giraffe and would you believe it we did! It was amazing, we spent another 2 minutes watching them before we could eventually get going to Hilltop camp for the evening safari tour.

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe

    Durban 2 day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Finally we arrived and we still had time to have a washroom break before the night safari! I would arrange dinner and my clients would be back at 8am for it. In the mean time I could get this work done on the Blog post and some emails that needed attending too.

     

    Day two would hopefully be as good as the first and we were hoping to find a cat or two.

     

     

    Day 2: Durban 2 day safari

     

     

    We met for a quick breakfast before a final 3 hour safari drive. It was one of those days when you just cannot believe your luck and when you seem to get almost everything you wanted.

    I actually wanted to find the African Wild Dogs and Lions and within 30 minute I had located the Wild Dogs walking back to their den sight. The best part of this was we were the only vehicle the whole time to see them.

    They had fat little bellies which meant they had fed and were going to give meet to the expectant mother.

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; African Wild Dogs

    Durban 2 day safari; African Wild Dogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also came across all the usual suspects like the Rhino, Buffalo, Warthog, Impala, Nyala and Zebra before in the quest to find lions we hit the jackpot. We came round a bend in the road and in the long grass I spotted 3 heads poking up it was Lions! After a few seconds we spotted another 3 Lions resting on full view on the bank near by.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Lions

    Durban 2 day safari; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was not the end of the action as a Big Buffalo bull walked straight into the resting Lions and I had the camera ready for the action! It was great as it was the day time the Lions knew it would be stupid to try take the Buffalo down when he can see them in case they get injured. An injury in the African bush can mean death!

    The Buffalo made the Lions move and even in the second video gave them a grunt and stomp!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban overnight safari; Buffalo walks into Lions


     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban overnight safari; Buffalo walks into Lions on they scatter

     

     

     

     

     

    Just when you think things could not get any better we found on our trip out of Hluhluwe a mother and bay Rhino. The baby was running around as is he/she had drank some energy drink or something as eventually mom had to tell the baby off from playing hide and seen with here. It was and awesome sighting!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Rhino mother and calf

    Durban 2 day safari; Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino baby runs around its mother

     

     

     

     

     

    This was a super safari experience in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we were so happy with the day to this point! We spent some time then with some Giraffe before make our way to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park for lunch and our 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.

     

    We had some lunch in St Lucia a restful town and the hopped on the boat. Again you never know what you will get on these cruises and we had seen 4 of the Big 5 in Hluhluwe Imfolozi in 24 hours and now wanted see how our luck would be here.

    We began with Crocodile.

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Nile Crocodile

    Durban 2 day safari; Nile Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I them decided to save my pictures for the one moment I knew would come and even though we saw lots of Hippos the light and reflection was not the best. We spotted a African Fish Eagle with a fish it had caught so I snapped that picture.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; African Fish Eagle

    Durban 2 day safari; African Fish Eagle

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time for me to capture the moment we all had been waiting for! A Hippos raised itself out of the water and marked his territory before giving us the best pose you could get the mouth wide open! Wow this was a great Durban overnight safari!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari; Hippo with mouth open

    Durban 2 day safari; Hippo with mouth open

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Between the African Wild dogs the most endangered carnivore in Africa, the Lions who should have been sleeping and now this Hippo raising himself out of the water to display to us, I felt like we were in the Jungle Book!

     

    It had been an amazing two days on Safari from Durban and we all returned to Durban with big smiles on our faces! Mr Luck as we called Cahel one of my clients had maybe brought some extra luck to my usual luck… Thanks mate!

     

     

  • 19th Jun 2015

    Durban day safari – 19th June 2015

     

     

    I met my clients at their hotel in Durban to begin their Durban day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest proclaimed national park in Africa and home to the Big 5. We were hoping we would see as many of the Big 5 as possible and anything else that would show up.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi being proclaimed a national park in 1895 is only 2.5 hours from Durban and is an ideal place to visit if you have a day off from conferences or work in the city.

     

    If you would like to book this tour click on the link below:

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi day safari tour 

     

    On route I chatted to my client about some of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa.

     

    It was great that my clients were interested and had some questions of there own, this always makes my job easier.

     

    We eventually got to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Durban day safari and it began rather slowly with distant sighting of Zebra, Buffalo and Elephant.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Elephants

    Durban day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After these long distance sighting I was really hoping we would see some animals closer and we did! It began with the Impala and Zebra and then we saw some Giraffe a bit closer up.

    We continued over the Umfolozi river and managed to find a few Rhino and later a big bull Rhino sleeping under a small tree. We were pretty happy about this chap as he was is such a lovely position for a photo.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Rhino

    Durban day safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was beginning to feel a little pressure as we had been a couple minuted late to see a cheetah and had missed her totally so it was a little frustrating but I knew this was nature and that is how life goes. We did manage to spot a lovely bird the Lilac breasted Roller.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lilac Breasted Roller

    Durban day safari; Lilac Breasted Roller

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I made a big call and headed straight for the Bhejane hide where I knew there was water and we would see something down here. Fortunately the gamble paid off and we spotted lots of Animals at the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Wildebeest, Nyala and Impala

    Durban day safari; Wildebeest, Nyala and Impala

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Durban day safari was coming together now with 3 antelope species together in one photo and we even got a great set of Photos with Zebra drinking. They were a bit skittish but that is normal for Zerba.

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Zebra drinking

    Durban day safari; Zebra drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to try and see if we could some how locate this Cheetah again but it would not be easy. On route however we managed to find some beautiful Giraffe on 2 occasions near to the road.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then hit the jackpot and finally had some really good luck and found this female Cheetah on a kill with here youg cub! Our Durban day safari was not kind of complete!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safari; Cheetah on a kill


     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub on kill

    Durban day safari; Cheetah mother and cub on kill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The mother Cheetah had killed a young female Nyala and stashed it near to a tree only 5 meters off the road in clear view of us. She was super relaxed with us but very concerned about the chance of predators stealing her kill and was looking around as well as getting up to make sure she and her cub were safe!

    Lions will kill Cheetah as they are competition for food!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day tour; concerned Cheetah on a kill with Cub

     

     

     

     

     

    After what was a splendid sighting we let others have a look and moved on for what would be a very late lunch at 3pm! Wow, but we had had and amazing day and the Cheetah on a kill capped the day off.

    Lunch was lovely and we had very little time after lunch to find any more animals but before we could exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we did find more Elephants and Giraffe!

     

     

    Wow what an amazing Durban day safari we had!

    We made our way back to Durban very happy with how our Safari from Durban had gone!

  • 15th Jun 2015

    Durban safaris – 3 day tour 12 -14th June 2015

     

    I had two different pick ups for this 3 day Durban safari tour one in Durban and the other in Umhlanga. Once I collected my client and we got chatting I knew we would have a good safari!

    Our first day was near floor-less as we achieved so much in the first day. We began covering some of the interesting history of the area of Durban and KwaZulu Natal before arriving at the cat rehabilitation center near Hluhluwe.

    Our tour around the rehab was great!

    We entered the enclosures with all 4 of the endangered species of Cat; Serval, Caracal, African Wild Cat and Cheetah.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Serval

    Durban safaris; Serval

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The above picture of a Serval is lovely and these cats are very interactive so when we go into the enclosure it is always a great time watching them.

    Our Durban safari continued and we entered with then Cheetah cubs which were also very interactive.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Cheetah cub

     

    Durban safaris; Cheetah cub

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This Cheetah cub was so interested with watching her sister playing with a rope on the end of a stick that even her soccer ball was not distraction enough!

     

    We finished up with the cats and moved on into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for the Durban safari side of our 3 day Safari tour. This Big 5 game reserve near Durban is malaria free and is probably the biggest hidden secret in the area.

     

    Our first sighting was of Warthogs and as it was the first animal we saw we spent some time with them before continuing our safari and then spotting some Zebra not too far from the road.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Zebra

    Durban safaris; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the two nights and had some lunch before checking in and settling into the rooms for half an hour.

    Then we headed back out to continue our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We spotted a huge herd of Buffalo on the road so we spent a good 15 minutes with them while they all crossed and then only continued on.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Buffalo

    Durban safaris; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Durban safaris; Buffalo crossing the road in Hluhluwe

     

    We were making our way toward the Hluhluwe river when we spotted both Rhino and Elephants. All we could do was wait to see what would happen and good job we did as the Elephants came to the road and we got them to cross in front of us.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Elephant

     

     

    Durban safaris; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Rhinos at this point were near to the road as well so we managed to get a decent photo of them before moving onward to see what else we could find.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Rhino

    Durban safaris; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We heard that Lions had been seen at 3pm but it was already 5pm so I knew the chances of finding them was not very high. When on a Durban safari or any safari you always have hope and we tried our best at first without success but then as the sun set we spotted them making their way to the road following a herd of Buffalo.

    The Lions then began to hunt the Buffalo which made things hard on me as I was caught up with the ethical battle of keeping the lights on the Lions so we could see them but also not wanting to give the Lions away to the Buffalo which would end there chances of a successful hunt.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Lioness

    Durban safaris; Lioness

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video – Durban safaris; Lions cross road at night to hunt Buffalo

     

    What a great start to our Durban 3 day safari tour, the Lions attempted the hunt and in the darkness we heard the growling and Buffalo bellowing when we turned the lights one there was only dust and the Lions had not been able to hold on to their dinner. The lucky Buffalo kept walking away and we left the lions to try again.

     

     

    We made our way back to the lodge and settled in for some dinner and a chat about how amazing our day was having seen 4 of the Big 5 on the first day of our Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    We even did a spot of star gazing before we were all very tired and we headed off to bed.

     

     

    Day 2: Durban safaris; our 3 day safari tour

     

     

     

    We began our day with high hopes of seeing lots of animals and hopefully more Lions but you just never know what will show up for you on these safaris from Durban.

    After breakfast we headed South in the game reserve and it was like the luck from day one had never left as we kept up the tempo and saw lots of animals.

     

    Our major concern was finding Giraffe which we managed to knock on the head after just 30 minutes of driving!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Giraffe

    Durban safaris; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Safari in South Africa; Giraffe crossing road


    We also spotted lots of general game like Zebra, Impala, Warthog, Wildebeest and we must have spent about 45 minutes in one spot as all these amazing animals came to a watering hole to drink.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Rhino reflection

    Durban safaris; Rhino reflection

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino get spooked by Zebra at mud wallow


    After watching these Rhinos drinking and getting spooked by the Zebra which came in for a drink we managed to see the female Rhino sharpening her horn so that she would have it ready for any poachers that tried to mess with her and remove her horn!

     

     

     

     

    Video: African safari; Rhino sharpens her horn waiting for poachers!


     

    Our 3 day safari from Durban was really turning out to be a great time and we just kept getting great luck and being in the right places at the right times.

    We waited longer at the watering hole as a herd of Wildebeest came down and had a drink during this time we also spotted some great bird life. The best was a Malachite King fisher!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Wildebeest drinking

    Durban safaris; Wildebeest drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Safari from Durban; Wildebeest drinking in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve


     

    We then continued on to the Umfolozi river and I could not believe our luck as all of a sudden we spotted Lions running in the river bed. The only issue was they were running away because there was a bush walk that had not seen them and were having there walk in the river bed. This made it exciting and after a very short time we lost visual of the Lions so we continued with our Safari in Umfolozi.

     

    I did get a picture but I felt it wasn’t good enough to go up on the blog and if you read on your will see why.

     

    We drop through at this time of the year what looked like a desert as the place was so dry but we did spot more Rhino, Giraffe and other animals before we got to another section of the river and you would not believe it but there was Lions here!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Lions in walking in river bed

    Durban safaris; Lions in walking in river bed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The picture was not the best but I still figured I would use it. We then continued to a “hide” which is a hut overlooking a watering hole. It was here we spotted a wide variety of animals and birds before moving on back up to get some lunch.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Antelope drinking

    Durban safaris; Antelope drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: African safari; Warthog rubs himself after a mud wallow

     

     


     

    After spending time in the Hide we made our way back to where we had seen the second lot of Lions in the river bed and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking. The Lions just watched them from the safety of being up stream.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Buffalo herd

    Durban safaris; Buffalo herd

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was a great sighting on our Durban safari tour and we made our way back to the area where we had seen the previous pride of Lion that had been chased by the people on foot. It was here that we spotted them resting in the dry river bed. There was two big males and some Lionesses and cubs!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Lions resting in river bed

    Durban safaris; Lions resting in river bed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari; Lions in the Umfolozi river


     

     

     

    This had been an amazing day seeing the Lions 4 times and seeing 3 of the big 5 before lunch. We still had not seen Elephant the whole morning and now it was lunch time so we saved that one of the Big 5 for a big later.

     

    Lunch was great at the Centenary center before we began the drive back up to hilltop camp. On route we got our Elephants in fact 3 or 4 different Elephant sightings! This meant we had 4 of the Big 5 today as well!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Elephant bull

    Durban safaris; Elephant bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our next stop would be back at camp where we would have an hours rest before heading out on the evening night safari from 5pm – 8pm.

     

    Dinner was great as usual and we headed off for a good nights rest.

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban safaris; 3 day safari tour.

     

     

    I met my client just before 7am to collect their luggage and get them down for some breakfast. It was a relaxed time as when you do they same tour regularly you get into such a routine of doing things that it just flows. Just after 07:30 we were already on the road and at this stage I asked one of the ladies “what would you like to see today” she said to me ” the African wild dog would be nice”.

    I knew where to look but had no idea if we would be so luck to find the most endangered carnivore in Africa but we did! I could not believe our luck and nor could my clients!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; African wild dog

    Durban safaris; African wild dog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We watched the dogs jumping up and down in the long grass and running all over the place for about half an hour before we lost visual and began to make our way out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It had been an amazing 3 days with some amazing sightings for a 3 day safari from Durban.

     

    Our next stop would be St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park to take a 2 hour boat cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.

     

     

    Our first look from the Jetty we spotted a pod of Hippos and when we got going we made our way to them to enjoy nature. They all ran into the water but it was lovely to see them.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; baby Hippo

    Durban safaris; baby Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Further up stream of the world heritage site of Isimangaliso Wetland park we found Crocodiles, Fish eagles, Herons, Kingfishers and lots and lots of Hippos. Wow what a safari up St Lucia estuary.

     

     

     

     

    Durban safaris; Crocodile

    Durban safaris; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had a very interesting sighting of a Hippos chewing at a Buoy on a barge boat. This or though exciting for the clients go me very concerned as this behaviour could be very dangerous in the future as the Hippo playing with the boat will show others that they can do the same and this could increase attacks on boats.

     

    I did however made a video for you to see this interesting behaviour.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hippo chewing buoy of boat in St Lucia!

     

     

     

     

     

    Our cruise ended and we made our way into St Lucia town for some lunch which was great. After lunch we took a drive to the estuary mouth and then began our trip back to Durban after a very successful 3 days safari from Durban.

    My clients were happy and so was I.

     

     

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