It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal – Anglo Zulu, Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and Blood River
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Budget Package
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, Cat Rehabilitation and St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park – Standard Package
uKhlahlamba Drakensberg Hiking and Sightseeing Tour
Durban is an amazing city with more things to do than you would believe if you were not familiar with the area.
Watch highlights of Zulu Dancing, the famous Sani Pass in the Drakensberg and Safari footage.
Learn about different traditions and expand your horizons.
We began our 3 day safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve in Umhlanga and then met my other clients in the Canelands area outside of Durban. It was a humid day and only got hotter as we headed onward to the cat rehab center outside Hluhluwe. Durban safaris and tours are the best was to see KwaZulu Natal this amazing province that we live in and taking a tour with Tim Brown Tours is the best choice you can make if you have limited time.
We began our tour of the cat rehabilitation center and started with the African wild cats which look most similar to the domestic cats. Moving on we entered the Caracal enclosure where we got a very active cat to watch but not touch.
It was then time for some interaction and we headed into the Cheetah camp to interact with two hand reared brothers. It was here that my clients got to sit with the Cheetah and have their picture taken.
I got one in of two of my four clients and I hope they don’t mind me using their picture.
After this amazing experience we entered into and enclosure with a 6 month of Cheetah which will be used for breeding in the future with her sister which happens to be at the vet at the moment.
We all interacted with her before moving onto the Serval which are cats that are easily domesticated which means these hand reared cats and be more playful than some of the other bigger cats we saw.
Wow! What an amazing experience! How can you visit Durban and not come on a Durban safari or Durban tour when their are so many amazing things to see and do on a cultural, historical and natural level.
We had completed the tour of the cat rehab center and made our way to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our Big 5 safari tour. It is always special to visit the oldest game reserve in Africa which is also home to the Big 5 animals, Lions, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. These are the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot, not that hunting takes place here anymore as it is a national park and used for eco-tourism.
Upon entering we spotted some Buffalo, Zebra and Impala within a few minutes. We then had a great sighting of 2 Rhino which crossed the road in front of us!
As we continued our Durban safari we got a bachelor herd of Buffalo and they we close to the road but they were mud wallowing. They were not to keen to have us around and ran off down the road and onto the other side parallel to us. We drove next to then and realised they we running at almost 40 km per hour!
At this point I noticed they wanted to cross back over to a watering hole to drink so I stopped they came across into the watering hole to drink.
After watching this amazing show on our Durban safari tour we also managed to get a great photo of one of these Buffaloes licking his nose clean after the drink he had. This really was a special moment.
We now were all getting a little hungry so we headed off to Hilltop camp for some lunch and we also checked into our rooms so we could have 45 minuted of rest to recover from all the excitement.
Our Safari from Durban really had started well.
At 15:30 we headed back out and it was still hot and humid so we had the air-conditioner on. We stopped at a few view points and spotted some Baboon on the road at one point.
This Baboon seemed to have so issue with his foot and mouth in sure it wasn’t the disease though! It was a great picture as the light caught his eyes and the hand to mouth and foot to head just made it such a winner!
We continued and found Nyala and Rhino in the distance before spotting some Giraffe near to the road.
After checking for Elephants everywhere I felt a little deflated having not seen any on day one but I also knew we had 2 more days. So after a long day in lovely Africa we headed back to Hilltop camp for the night and so great Buffet dinner. One of the meats was Eland the largest Southern African antelope which is not hunted on Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I will have you know!
We wanted to do some Star gazing but the clouds came over so we could not. We would have a not so early start the next morning at 7am when we met for breakfast and then headed down south in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
Day 2 was a very important day for us to try and knock some of the big things on the head. It was a little stressful as I was sure we would find Elephant but was not so positive on the Lion front. They always say that hard work pays off and we worked very hard on day 2 to find the Big 5 and even the little Dung beetle.
After a quiet 30 minutes I was frustrated but then I spotted these Elephants! What a relief!
We had 3 or 4 Bull Elephants together and watched then in a dry river bed before they moved out into the open for a good picture! Wow it was great! It is such a relief, I don’t think anyone really realizes how stressful my job can be. It a constant effort to find these animals for my clients and sometimes no matter how hard I try it doesn’t come off. Most of the time it does though!
Next was a Leopard Tortoise which was on the main road so we waited for it to move off the road so it didn’t get squashed and enjoyed it walking around, Wow what a great sighting on our Safari from Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
It was now time for the Big 5 and not the little 5 so we continued down south and crossed the Black Umfolozi river it was here I made the best all of the day. I said, “lets check back on that little road” I did and bang we got a pack of Wild dogs for 2 minutes as a mud wallow all to ourselves!
This was really the cherry on the top but more amazing sightings would follow, we just had to keep working hard and we would find more amazing animals.
Just in case you didn’t know this is the most endangered carnivore in Africa and their are only 60 odd in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, we saw about 13 of them! It was amazing! What a safari from Durban.
Next was a male Wildebeest which we spotted in an open area we 4 Rhino one of which made his way to the mud Wallow and lay down for a while.
After all the worry of the morning the day was really turning out very well. Our Safari from Durban was about to take another great spin as we finally found Lions, 15 meters off the road laying in the thickets.
This was really amazing and such a relief, we ended up watching these Lions for 20 odd minutes and one of the Lionesses got up and wondered around which was great to see.
The above video was very interesting as you will see in the video the Lioness was branded with the number 13. For some people this is a lucky number and other it is not, for us it seemed to be lucky.
As we moved on we found some Zebra right next to the road and they were resting their heads on each others backs which was amazing for my client to see. There is an explanation for this but you will have to take as Durban safari tour with Tim Brown Tours to find out!
Right across the road from the Zebra was a Rhino in a mud wallow and this was a crazy sighting as he was only 2 meters from the road which made it hard to drive up and not disturb him. We managed it though by turning of the engine and rolling up top him.
This was a very special sighting and you really had to be there to feel what it was like. I made a short video which I hope can help you feel what the experience was like for us and mostly my clients on this Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour.
We really had now be incredibly lucky and seen so much that we could only smile and laugh at how nervous I had been in trying to find good sightings for my clients.
We didn’t have to go much further before we spotted a Giraffe male feeding off the trees.
We were all getting hungry again after all the concentration and made our way back up to the Centenary center home of operation Rhino which brought back the White Rhinos in South Africa from extinction and also restocked Kruger national park with the population they have today.
Lunch was great and a look around the museum and curio shop was on the cards before we began the hour long drive back to Hilltop camp.
On route we spotted another Elephant right next to the road feeding.
Our day could not have been any better and as we arrived back at Hilltop camp we only had 45 minutes before the open vehicle game drive which my clients chose to do for the experience.
We met again at 8pm upon there return to see if they stars would be visible so I could do some star gazing before dinner. Sadly it was very cloudy and we had no chance. Even after another half hour no luck for us!
We went off to bed still very satisfied with our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour and looking forward to the last day which would contain 3 hours of Safari and a 2 hour boat cruise on Lake St Lucia at Isimangeliso wetland park.
We began which packing the luggage into the car and a 7am start then breakfast. It was a great buffet again and then we got work the another pack of Wild Dogs were on a Nyala male kill not far from the camp. We rushed off and found what was left of the Nyala which was 1 leg and some horns! That was exciting enough but the smell of the Dogs was still in the area and we drove through a thicket which lead us to the dogs in an open area. They were up to there normal behavior after a kill of defecating and resting in the grass. A couple of the dogs including the Alfa male and a sub Adult male showed off a bit to us which was great to watch.
After this we found an African Harrier Hawk in a tree near to the road. My clients seemed to be interested in birds so this was great for us to see and watch as he flew from branch to branch. As Safaris from Durban go this was really one of the better one!
We didn’t have to go much further and at a bridge crossing we spotted a Crocodile resting in the water. These are amazing creatures to see also like the Rhino so prehistoric to look at yet their simple body is so effective.
We continued and did a loop which was not really that lucrative but after what we had already seen it didn’t seem to matter as we had some general chatter. We did spot some Rhino and Buffalo but all pretty far off except for one.
I again got word the Lions were in another area further south in the reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi so we made our way down their before exiting the reserve and came across some very sleepy lions. At this point the rain also came down but the Lions just lay in the open not to worried.
We now had just the cherry on the top and this way great as it was one of my clients birthdays and to now seen Lions and African Wild dogs twice in 3 days was amazing for us all. Durban safaris never seem to let you down even when things are quiet their is always something that shows up for us.
It was not time to head to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland park and it was here that we would do a 2 hour boat cruise on lake St Lucia to view Hippos and crocodiles. This area of St Lucia estuary is the largest estuary or lake system in Southern Africa.
We managed to capture these two Hippo having a little argument in the Estuary. It was great to see their mouths open and having a full on conversation over something which I couldn’t hear.
We also spotted lots of King Fishers and even this amazing African Fish eagle.
To catch these birds in flight is a real challenge but I got it! I was pretty happy with the picture I must say.
We headed into St Lucia town for some lunch and enjoyed the meal before we headed all the way back to Durban to return the client to their respective hotels.
I know we all had a good time and the sightings were so special so I have to thank nature for showing up for us and making our Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari tour that much more special.
I was blessed to have a repeat client from a year ago return with her family for a 6 Day Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and to the Drakensberg Mountains.
It is always great to get return clients but it is hard as well as I need to keep my standards high and try and ensure I go above and beyond my duty.
We began this amazing 3 day Durban Safari Tour by visiting the Emdoneni cat rehabilitation centre in Hluhluwe.
Here we saw 4 endangered species of wild cats; Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.
Once we finished up here we continued our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. When we arrived at the Memorial gate and entered one of the first things we saw was a herd of Impala with there new born babies.
It was minutes and a Hyena ran across the road in front of up but the picture was no good for this blog post sadly.
As we continued we spotted a few Buffalo and one lone very old Buffalo bull. He was really relaxed and just stood in the middle of the road like a cow.
We got ourselves up to Hilltop camp and had some lunch before checking in to the lovely rooms.
After an hours rest we went back out to see what else we could find.
Our Afternoon Safari tour was great as we spotted a Journey of Giraffe, Rhino and Zebra.
We then spotted some Zebra and a foul was suckling from its mother. This was amazing to see on a Safari Tour.
Before we spotted the above Giraffe though we got some Rhinos after we had had a huge thunder storm. This was a mother and a calf with a Big Male Rhino which actually charged our vehicle. What a cheek! I could not believe it; this just shows that even when you think you know all there is to know about animal behavior they will keep you on your toes.
This was the first charge I have had from a Rhino which stopped this close to my vehicle. His horn almost touched the vehicle that’s how close he got!
We also spotted some more Rhino which had clearly got caught in the storm as they were wet all over and actually looked very clean. I got a great picture of one of them on this Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.
After the storm we spotted the most beautiful Rainbow where you could see the entire half moon and not only one rainbow but two!
We continued and could come right with any cats so began to head back to the camp on route we spotted some Water Buck near the road.
We had had a great 1st day on our Durban Safari Tour and had a good amount of time left to spot more animals.
It was time to get in for some dinner so after a quick break we went through for some dinner which was a buffet and lovely.
It had cleared a bit but it was still very hazy for Star gazing.
It was time for bed as we decided to get up and leave at 5 am and take breakfast packs with us so that we could stay out longer and get further down into the game reserve to find cats and/or Elephant.
We headed down south and it was actually very quiet at first but we did spot Giraffe next to the road and a Hinged backed Tortoise laying her eggs.
As we reached the Umfolozi River we spotted a Rock monitor Lizard walking on the sand bank of the river.
It wasn’t long before we spotted a new animal which was a Martial Eagle the largest Eagle in Africa. He posed beautifully in the tree for a photo. Once we were done our Durban Safari Tour continued.
We passed through Mpila camp in the Umfolozi section of the National park before we finally spotted an Elephant. The only problem was he was in Musth so we needed to be a little careful. We did just that and still got a great photo in a safe manner.
We continued our Safari for quite some time before seeing anything major and then we spotted some Giraffe crossing the road and then eventually drinking water which is rare as they are independent of it.
Next sighting was some White backed Vultures basking in the sun. This helps with killing external parasites on the feathers.
We then continued and came across some Vervet monkeys sitting in a tree resting during the African Midday Sun.
The day was now hot and sticky as the humidity was still very high. So we continued to the centenary center for some lunch. Before we could get there we spotted some Baboons near the river.
It wasn’t a fast trip back for lunch as we kept spotting animals. One of which was a Warthog which went into the mud wallow to cool off near to the road.
As we neared the luncheon stop we spotted some Rhino resting in the shade of a tree in an open area it was a lovely sighting.
Eventually at lunch we enjoyed a rest and a look at the local crafts.
It was then time to head back to camp during mid afternoon and book the bush walk for the next day.
We had some rest before dinner where we reminisced about the great day. All we were missing was cats but we were still content.
Again the skies clouded over and no starts were to been seen in the sky.
We went off to be with another early start the next morning for a 5am departure to Munyaweni Bush camp were we would meet Sabelo an go on the bush walk.
We began a great bush walk with Sabelo where we spotted Rhino sleeping and a Hyena Carcass. The main point of these walks; are to focus on the smaller things which we don’t speak to much of on a driving safari. Ie: dung, tracks, birds, trees etc
It is always exciting to see these amazing creatures on foot and you never know what you will see. We did also spot bones from Rhino which had died in fights over territory and I picked up a zebras hoof!
We raced back to camp after the bush walk as I had heard of a confirmed Lion sighting. We got back to a speedy buffet breakfast and coffee before packing, checking out and leaving the camp. True to form when you are in a rush somewhere something shows up to block your way and this time it was a Bull Elephant.
After the Elephant we spotted a crocodile resting near a stream.
We then spotted a Black Rhino and at this point I couldn’t believe our luck as we had done very well.
I felt anything would be possible on today’s Safari Tour.
We got to the area where the Lions were and were greeting to a Male Lion feeding on a Zebra 15 meters off the road. He was a beautiful young male and the only one we could spot as the other were resting in the shade some distance from the road.
We then headed off to Isimangeliso Wetland Park or St Lucia and boarded a boat for a 2 hour cruise of which we were the majority of the guests on board.
We were lucky to spot some crocodiles and of course the usual Hippos.
After we finished up with the 2 hour boat cruise we headed into the little town of St Lucia for some lunch.
Once we were done with lunch we headed back to Durban remembering all the amazing times we spend in just 3 days on a Durban Safari Tour with Tim Brown.
Remember its always better and Safer with a guide but choose your guide wisely, reviews of other clients on a guide with help you choose.
Our Durban Day Safari began in the Durban area, I had 3 different pick up point and then by 06:40 we were on our way to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve home to the Big 5.
We went through some patches of Rhino and the clients where a little concerned but this didn’t affect our game viewing experience! We had great sightings through out the day and just when we thought we wouldn’t see an Elephant before lunch they showed up too!
I covered the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as usual and before you knew it we were at the national park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi by 09:15 am.
Our Durban Safari began and we immediately spotted Wildebeest, as we continued we came across Impala, Nyala and a Big crocodile at the Umfolozi river bridge crossing!
Before we even got to the Umfolozi river we spotted some Rhino’s 5 in totals grazing some grass 50 meters off the road. This mother Rhino had a huge Horn large enough to spear 2 poachers in one thrust of her weapon!
As we continued we did spot more Buffalo, Rhino, Zebra and Warthogs but the photos were not really worth putting up as I got better ones later in the day.We did however spot a Giraffe which was a beautiful Male with some hip issues but he still looked very elegant.
Our next major sighting was actually a Cheetah which was amazing to see. At first two vehicles hogged the sighting and we could barely see his head as he lay on a hill. All of a sudden he got up and started walking down closer to the road we were now in the drivers seat and had the best views of him. To see a Cat any cat on a Durban Day Safari or Durban day Tour is very lucky and I was very happy with this sighting.
This was turning out to be a great day safari from Durban. While we waiting to see if this cheetah would come out from behind some bushes we had 2 Rhinos walk straight along the road towards where we had all stopped… Fantastic!
It always better when the animals come to you! You cannot force nature they are free to wonder where every they like!
As we realised the Cheetah had lay down for the middle of the day we continued and spotted lots more animals before finding some Baboons on the road with some Vervet monkeys.
This was great to see as these Apes are so much like humans that we end up being so fascinated by them. At this point our Durban Day Safari was turning out really well! Next was the Vervet monkeys and then we would head up to get some lunch.
We attempted to get back by 13:30 for some lunch but it wasn’t easy as we kept spotting animals, before we made it to lunch we got a much better photo of Zebra on our Durban Day Safari.
Just before we turned into the parking lot at the Luncheon stop I spotted 2 bull Elephants far from the road. It was a start!
Finally some lunch, I could tell everyone was hungry by the speed the lunch went down on a long day like this not even the snack packs I provide can fill that void of real food. I must say I was starving! Game viewing is hungry business!
After our lunch and a look around either the Museum or Craft shop we headed on to find more Elephants.
It didn’t take us more than 5 minutes and we spotted 3 of the Big 5 together on a hill including 1 Elephant.
Being so far away we didn’t spend to much time here and moved on to find 2 bull Elephant less than 1 kilometer away. This was really great as they we 20 odd meters off the road and we got great pictures.
Wow what a Safari from Durban.
We spend some good time with these 2 Elephants before continuing on to see what else we could find. Eventually we got Buffalo much closer to the road and could enjoy then for a while before spotting more Rhino and Giraffe.
This was now really the end of our day and we turned back to get to the gate and head back to Durban. We got back to the city of Durban more than 12 hours after we had left but the long day was worth it for us all. To see a Cheetah for me anyway made the day worth every second put in. Another great Durban Day Safari Tour.
Our Durban 3 Day Safari to the Big 5 – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban city where I met my clients at the Blue Waters Hotel.
Huhluwe Imfolozi game has amazing Flora and Fauna and is a very diverse game reserve. The seasons have an huge effect on this protected National Park and this time of the year is really dry and baron with almost no water except in the river systems. The National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is home to the Big 5: Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Being only 3 hours from Durban it is a must visit with a Guide if you are in the area!
As we drove up from Durban I educated the clients from Hong Kong on the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the history behind the national park.
It took us around 3 hours to get to the Nyalazi gate into the Umfolozi section of this Big 5 game reserve and we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.
The fires were a problem and we no doubt effecting game viewing but we still did very well and managed to find 3 of the Big 5 before lunch. Our first sighting was of this male Elephant near the gate.
We did try to find the cats but it was just too hot in as the southern section of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We saw: Giraffe, Nyala, Buffalo, Rhino, Warthogs, Impala amongst other things like a slender mongoose.
After a while we decided to head back to the home of Operation Rhino – Centenary centre to have some lunch and a rest. My clients also bought a few things at the curio shop before we departed to Memorial gate to get to Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre before 4pm.
We made it just in time to check in and then begin the feeding session. Basically there are two tours a day and the second in the afternoon is when they feed the cats cuts of meat mostly chicken or wild meats. We got to interact with 3 of the 4 different species of endangered wild cat namely: African Wild cat, Serval and the Cheetah.
After spending a good hour and a half with these amazing cats we returned to our rooms before dinner at 7pm.
Dinner was a lovely affair as there was a fire burning outside the restaurant and music playing inside making the atmosphere very pleasant.
I had chatted with my clients and we had made the decision to get breakfast packs and get up early to be at the Gate of Hluhluwe when it opened at 6am.
It was now time for some rest and we went to bed with alarms set very early!
At 05:30 we departed Emdoneni lodge for the Memorial gate which is the Northern gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. We had immediate success and I knew today would be a good day!
We first spotted Zebra and Rhino within 20 minutes and then a large herd of Buffalo before 5 Rhinos greeted us on the main road before moving into the bush.
As we continues past all the burned sections from the run away Veld fire a couple days before we enjoyed the mist in the valleys and took a few photos. We also had some brilliant luck, as I was driving a herd a branch crack and stopped as I knew it sounded like Elephant. I was right and out of the misty thickets came a small herd of Elephant and crossed the road right in front of us!
We continued on to find another 2 herds of Elephant and a bachelor herd, Giraffe and Zebra amongst other species. It was turning out to be a great day of Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
As we made our way closer to the White Umfolozi river we spotted a large male White Rhino sleeping and after watching him for 2 minutes he jumped to alert and posed for a great photo.
After this the weirdest thing happened, I spotted an old giraffe male and every time he blinked tears would come out of his eye! I know Giraffe cannot cry so this must have been a result of the smoke or and eye infection.
Amazing stuff! I tried to take a picture but the tears fell so fast so I could only show the wet eye and a tear drop on the eyelash.
We made it down to Bhejane hide a hut which you can sit inside which overlooks a waterhole. This is an ideal spot as there is no other water in the immediate area. We had great luck as when we arrived 7 different species were at the Watering hole including: Elephant, Buffalo (2 of the Big 5), Zebra, Warthog, Nyala, Impala and Wildebeest. By the time I had taken a photo with my camera I could only get 3 species which is still amazing!
After we were done there we made our way around to find the Lions and lucky for us we were in luck and we spotted 3 Lioness on a ridge. What made this even better was that they got up and walked close to our vehicle to begin stalking Wildebeest. Of course a convoy of cars formed and kindly blocked the Lionesses path across the road so we left them to sort themselves out. It was a brilliant sighting though!
After we left the Lions we headed up to the centenary center for lunch. On route we spotted Giraffe, Buffalo, Baboons, Elephant and Rhino.
We settled in to have some lunch and then looked around the museum before we departed for Emdoneni lodge where we would also be staying the second night.
We all were very tired after a 9 hour Safari stint in the African Bush.
After a rest it was time for dinner and bed.
We began the final Durban day Safari with breakfast before we entered at memorial gate to find a pleasant surprise! Lions and Hyenas.
The whole reason was not so apparent as the Lions had made a kill of a Giraffe and the grass was so long that we could not see them or the kill until later on. What made it apparent was that a Journey of Giraffe approached and got very close to the Lionesses to see who they had killed! Very exciting!
The next thing when the Giraffe got close to the Lioness was very interesting as the Lioness moved away from the carcass and from the giraffes which were eyeing her up. Life over limb hey! Even a Lion has to be careful of the big feet of a Giraffe, a kick to the jaw could case the Lions death!
We continued out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and with that it was the end of the the Bush Safari Experience, now it would be time for a Boat Safari Experience at St Lucia-Isimangeliso Wetland Park.
The boat cruise was 2 hours long and very enjoyable with great sightings of Hippos and Crocodile.
After St Lucia Estuarys Tour we heading into the Town for some lunch at The Ocean Sizzler and we all had some fish as its fresh being a coastal Town.
Then it was time to say good bye to the Safari from Durban and head back to the big city. We arrived back just after 6pm very happy after the 3 Days of Safari Touring in KwaZulu-Natal.
Our Durban overnight Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Umhlanga near Durban city where I met my clients.
On route to Huhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 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 is incredible and very interesting.The National park of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is home to the Big 5, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Being only 3 hours from Durban it is a must visit with a Guide if you are in the area!
After a quick two and a half hours drive to Nyalazi gate we entered the Big 5 game reserve and we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as it was already hot at 28 degrees Celsius and this was winter. We headed south to try and find the big cats as the southern section of Hluhluwe Imfolozi is flatter and dryer. This turned out to be a good idea as we spotted Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo and Lions out of the Big 5. This wasn’t all as we saw Zebra, Giraffe, Nyala, Warthogs, Impala and a whole array of birdlife.
White Rhino rests on our Durban Safari from Durban
The Lion sighting was the most special as we worked so hard to find them and eventually we spotted them. The best part was we had the sighting to ourselves as the Male Lion wondered around looking at us and then a Lioness got up too and walked around before disappearing behind the grass.
After all of this excitement we headed back up north to the Centenary centre for some lunch, it was already 2pm but we had done so well we didn’t worry about that.
Our Safari from Durban had just begun as we headed up to Hilltop camp and realised that half the game reserve was burning down… Luckily the team at Hilltop camp had got control of the situation had the fire was being attended too.
On route to Hilltop camp we spotted more Rhinos, Giraffe and Zebra. Even the Baboons we out playing today! Our trip from Durban was well worth it!
We arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in to the lodge before an hour rest. At 16:30 we continued our Durban Safari and as we left we spotted a Black Rhino right outside the gate to Hilltop camp.
I couldn’t believe it!
We the moved on to do a Safari down by the river and it was here we spotted a mother and calf White Rhino near the road.
As the sun began to set the Night Jars came out and we spotted one on the road. It also stayed long enough for its photo to be taken.
It was amazing driving back to camp at dark as the fires we still smouldering and the glow looked incredible. We turned off the engine and listened to the sounds of the night. We even herd Elephants nearby breaking trees. It had been such an exciting Days Safari from Durban.
Sunset in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
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.
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.
Dinner was great and we retired for the night. The following day we would look for more Elephants.
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 at 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.
Buffalo cow stares us down in Hluhluwe on our Safari Trip from Durban
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.
The boat cruise was amazing as usual and it was even better as we had a small group on board the boat. We had fantastic sightings of Hippos out of the water and Crocodiles. I also got a great photo of an African Fish Eagle.
Crocodile at St Lucia Estuary Isimangeliso Wetland park during our Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban
Pod of Hippos resting on the St Lucia Estuarys bank on our Tour 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!
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!
We began our Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour in Durban city Ethekwini as its known the Zulu word for (By the bay/sea). After meeting my client at the Beverly Hills Hotel we traveled up to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for our Durban day Big 5 safari tour.
The Drive up I covered the History of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Durban as well as the different population groups and how they came to be here in the are of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Hluhluwe Umfolozi. One of the other major things I cover is the Flora and agricultural crops like Sugar Cane and Eucalyptus Siligna trees we come across on route to the Big 5 game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi.
Today was to be a good day for us all! Even though we didn’t come right with any cats. We had some amazing sightings on our Durban Day Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve.
We were lucky with our sightings and managed 3 of the Big 5 and Elephants on three or 4 different occasions.
Upon arrival at the Nyalazi gate we had a patch of quietness where we only saw a herd of Buffalo in the distance and a few impala but then things began to pick up and we found Wildebeest, White Rhino, Giraffe, Zebra, Warthogs as well as Elephant in the distance.
As our Durban Big 5 Day safari Tour progressed we spotted more and more animals and eventually got a great big male elephant next to the road.
One this which is important to note is that in Nature there is no such thing as “Gay” animals. Male animals will mount the backs of other males as a sign of dominance and nothing else!
It was now time for lunch and instead of stopping at Hilltop camp hluhluwe we stopped at the centenary center as we had been so far south in the Umfolozi section of the reserve. Centenary center is home to operation Rhino which brought back the White Rhino population from about 60 individuals in the 1950’s and 1960’s to approximately 2300 in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and stocked Kruger national park with there White Rhinos now sitting at 4000 individuals approximately.
After lunch we headed back out into the bush to Tour the Northern section, Hluhluwe. We were very lucky as we came across this bull Elephant drinking.
We came across more Elephant and captured this great images of a Golden Orb Spider in the foreground with a Bull Elephant in the back ground. Our Durban day Safari Tour has really heated up and really turned out to be a great Safari Tour in the African bush.
If you wish to experience a part of Durban which few know about contact me and we can arrange a Durban Day or overnight Safari Tour to the Bush-Hluhluwe Umfolozi, Berg-Drakensberg Mountains or the Battlefields- KwaZulu-Natal.
We began our Durban Day Safari Tour in Durban city Ethekwini as its known the Zulu word for (By the bay/sea). After meeting my clients at the Blue waters hotel we traveled up to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for our Durban day safari tour.
The Drive up I covered the History of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Durban as well as the different population groups and how they came to be here in the are of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Hluhluwe Umfolozi. One of the other major things I cover is the Flora and agricultural crops like Sugar Cane and Eucalyptus Siligna trees we come across on route to the game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi.
Today was to be a good day for us all! after Wednesdays Safari Tour in the rain it was 36 degrees at its hottest and a beautiful day for a Bush safari Tour.
We were lucky with our sighting and managed 3 of the Big 5 and Elephants on three different occasions.
We began with two male Buffalos wallowing in the mud South west of centenary center turn off.
These old Males like there own space from the breeding herds of Buffalo as they just cant keep up with the speed they move at when looking for food and water. – Great Safari Experience to see the guys meters from the road.
Next on the Agenda was the most beautiful sighting of the White Rhino and her 18 month old calf. The were resting in the shade under a tree due to the heat of the African Sun on our Safari Tour from Durban.
This Male Warthog in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve was relaxing in the water/mud and hardly moved an inch in the time we watched him. We also came across this some Wildebeest close to where the Zebras were, this was turning out to be a great Safari Tour from Durban.
I really like this photo of this Dazzle of Zebra I took they all were resting there heads on each other and the little stomp of the foot to get the fly’s off was really sweet! If you are reading this post I would contact me and book you Durban Safari Day or overnight Tour as soon as possible.
After waiting for the whole day to get a real close up of an Elephant we got it late in the afternoon before we left Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve for Durban City.
It was a small breeding herd with two little babies and about 5 Adults. They were only 8 meters from the main road and if some idiot hadn’t reved them they would have crossed right in front of us.
This was an amazing Durban Day Safari Tour and Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve keeps living up to it great reputation as being KwaZulu-Natals best kept secret. Well the word is out and If you want to experience the same as we did contact Tim Brown Tours to book you Safari Tour experience from Durban. Collection is at your hotel of choice so don’t miss the chance.
Tim Brown Tours – Opening gates to the Safari World of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
Join us for : Big 5 Safaris Durban, Bush Safaris, Durban Bush Tours, Durban Day Safari Tours, Durban Safaris, Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Tours!
As usual I spoke of the rich history of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa and Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve itself which is an amazing place. The “operations” in the 1960’s just to bring White Rhinos back from extinction speak loud words on what Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve has done for conservation since 1895 when its was established!
Taking a Big 5 Safari Tour should never be a excuse to assume that you will see everything you wish to see and today really proved that. After expecting the rain to stop so that we could have a chance at seeing animals come out to remark there territory, it just kept raining. So our sighting we very hard to come about and not the clearest.
Having said the above we did see 2 Of the Big 5 and other animals : Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Impala, Nyala, Warthog, a Giant legless skink, Wildebeest, Waterbuck and lots of Elephant dung but no Elephant… We even got tracks of Hyena and Wild dogs but we were to late. They say life is all about timing and I agree…
The pictures above show some of the Giraffe we managed to find on the Safari Tour from Durban. The Bottom image of a male Giraffe shows a wound on his head and the red billed oxpecker cleaning it up. Very often they do more damage by opening the wound and preventing it from healing but this chap didn’t mind at all. Just one of the little surprises Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve spits out at you every so often.
These Rhinos on of the Big 5 were seen laying in the mud about 60 meters from the road and the Wildebeest 5 meters from the road with some vervet monkeys. Sadly we didn’t get a closer sighting of the Rhinos than this but that is nature for you, you are never guaranteed anything. Considering it was raining I think we did alright on the Safari Tour from Durban city.
Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve Safari Tours always show interesting things. This Day Safari Tour we got to see this male Nyala clash horns with another male over the right to mate with females. It was very exciting as it was 15 meters off the road an the clash of horns could be heard almost like gun shots. They continued to wonder around each other with hair stood up on neck and back (philo-erection) as its known. Very cool sighting in the rain at Hluhluwe Umfolozi.
This female water buck which is dependent on water was looking down at the river in flood and probably was really happy she didnt have to walk far for water…
So after departing from Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we headed back to Durban City in the comfort of the vehicle after an interesting but wet Durban Day Safari Tour.
Tim Brown Tours cover the following areas Big 5 Safaris Durban, Bush Safaris, Durban Bush Tours, Durban Day Safari Tours, Durban Safaris, Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tours, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Tours.
We began our Durban Day Safari Tour in just outside of Durban in Umhlanga the Zulu word for Reeds. After meeting my clients at Zimbali Lodge we traveled up to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve for our day safari tour.
The Drive up I covered the History of South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal and Durban as well as the different population groups and how they came to be here in the are of Durban and Hluhluwe Umfolozi. One of the other major things I cover is the Flora and agricultural crops like Sugar Cane and Eucalyptus Siligna tree we come across on route to the game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi.
Today was to be a special day for us all!
After spending more than an hour having only seen Impala, Warthog and Wildebeest we found this big Fella a Male White Rhino in the mud. It was already 34 degrees Celsius so I don’t blame him. Mud wallowing is common among some species of animals for a few reasons: one of which is to remove external parasites off there bodies ie Ticks. – For more information you will have to take a Durban Day Safari Tour with Tim Brown Tours!
At the same mud wallow we found about 5 giraffe browsing on the acacia leaves as well as Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthog and Impala. All of sudden it was like a Zoo full of animals surrounding the one watering hole with very little water. Giraffe are independent of water and do not need to drink unless they feel perfectly safe to do so. To get more interesting fact again you will have to come on a Durban Day Safari Tour with Tim Brown Tours.
A bit further up the road this was a real treat on our Durban Day Safari Tour. To find Lions during the Day is hard enough considering the are nocturnal but this was special for a few reasons.
We went down to Mphafa hide in the Umfolozi section of the reserve and I had told the clients I was just going to get out in the parking lot to check it was safe before they joined me in the walk to the “hide” which over looks a watering hole.
I got out and took one step and heard a growl and the grass rustle, when I looked up there was a young male Lion staring at me about 15 meters away and he began to wander off away from us. – These are common warning signs not to come any closer! I obviously jumped back into the vehicle and showed the clients the Lion. All of a sudden another 4 or 5 Lionesses began showing themselves from there hiding spot in the rocks next to the hide. This was super amazing and we got some good photos of them getting comfortable again. – Only on a Hluhluwe umfolozi Durban Day Safari Tour with Tim Brown Tours.
Cheetah mother and cub on our Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserveOur Durban Day Safari Tour only got better as we spotted a mother cheetah and her cub(left) resting under a tree. I told my clients I hadn’t seen a cheetah for 6 month which shows how rare this sighting was! To find two different Cat species on a Day Safari Tour is like liquid gold. We had hit the jackpot…
We headed off in high spirits to see if we could find Buffalo a bit closer as well as Elephants and of course to have some lunch.
After lunch this is what we came across.
This was a great sighting although we had spotted two other Bull Elephants this was was 10 meters from the road and had be rolling around in a red clay based soil to cool down so he looked so red! You can see how beautiful his long eyelashes are and that he is flapping his ears to cool his body temperature down. A fantastic sighting having now seen 4 of the Big 5 and cheetah which is so rare we were very happy and lucky.
It was time for the Buffalo and true to form I headed up to Keiths pan in the hope that we would find some there and we sure did, we must have seen about 50 individual African/Cape Buffalo in the mud just before we had to exit the reserve on our Durban Day Safari Tour.
To conclude a great Day Safari Tour from Durban this picture of a Buffalo Bull chewing the cud was great apart from the grass that blew in front of his face.
If you are reading this post and are not envious of these great Durban Safari Tours we have to offer I would be very surprised. Durban Day Safari Tour can be just a good as and overnight safari tour from Durban.
Durban Safari Tours and KwaZulu-Natal Safari Tours have been areas that few have focused themselves on. It has been a dream to show off Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the world.