Drakensberg mountain tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 14th December 2014

    Wild dogs mating and then get chased by Rhinos during one of our safari tours

     

     

     

    These moments I get to share with my clients and with nature are very special to me. This particular day we had clients arriving late so we just began our safari tour later.

    We got out into the African bush and were truly blessed to have such an amazing sighting just a couple kilometers from the lodge.

    The Wild Dogs where just playing around an were also about to go hunting when the Alpha Male and Female began to mate. As you can see in the video these Rhinos did not take kindly to these predators in the feeding grounds and chased them! Very exciting to witness.

    Wild Dogs are a breed of their own they are not related to wolves and are only found in Africa. What makes them even more special is the fact that they are the most endangered carnivore in Africa with less than 5000 individuals left in Africa.

    Major issues which have kept their number down are : Habitat loss and mostly getting into contact with domestic dogs outside the National parks which have Rabies or Canine distemper. This has been the major contributing factor to their decline in numbers.

    Rhinos themselves are in a battle to survive with some experts suggesting that by 2020 their will be no Rhinos left in Africa. This is probably slightly incorrect but they are being killed at an alarming rate with numbers killed in 2012 being around 868 and in 2013 around 1004. This year of 2014 is no different with close on 1000 killed that we know about by mid December.

    The reason for the poaching are simple. Their are two major markets, China and Arabia. The Chinese believe that the crushed Rhino horn can cure cancer as well as general cold and flu. Some Arabian countries like Oman believe that when there son reaches the age of 12 he becomes a man and the father give the gift of a Rhino horn handle on the Dagger which is the gift. This is of course reserved for those fathers that can afford to use this material.

    Rhino horn is made of 3 major compounds: 

    Keratin – a compacted hair formation which is what forms horns on antelope and our own finger nails.

    Calcium – a bone structure adding strength the the horn and;

    Melanin – which is what we have in our skin to protect us from the UV rays of the sunshine, some people have more than others.

     

    Sadly traditional beliefs in this situation are to the detriment of the Rhino and not their to protect them as in most cultural beliefs.

     

    Why don’t you join us, Tim Brown Tours on a Durban Safari or Durban Tour to any of the 3 major destinations in KwaZulu-Natal that we offer. The Big 5 game reserves, Drakensberg mountain tours or Battlefield tours.

    Within these category’s we cover: History, Culture and Nature.

    We look forward to meeting you and showing off our beautiful country to you and your family or friends.

     

  • 19th June 2014

    Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban to the Sani Pass 18th June 2014

     

     

    We departed from Umhlanga outside of Durban with my clients and headed to UnderBerg where we would meet the 4×4 vehicle to begin our Durban Day Tour which would take us over into the Drakensberg/Lesotho via the Sani Pass. Sani Pass is a massive 2874 meters above sea level and has the Highest Pub in Africa at the top. Lesotho in the Drakensberg is on average over the country the Highest country in the world! This is mostly due to it being one of only a few countries which is land locked by one country(South Africa).

     

     

    The Zulu Name for this amazing mountain range is Ukhahlamba which in English mean Barrier of Spears due to the nature of the difficulty to cross these majestic mountains.

     

     

    This eastern side of Lesotho is the most baron part of Lesotho and only a handful of Hardy people live here. The Sani Pass has been used for years as a trading point for the Basotho(people of Lesotho) to Shear their sheep and goats and sell it to the South Africans.

     

     

    The Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban is only 2.5 – 3 hours away from the city of Durban and is spectacular. If you are in the Durban are you need to take this Durban day tour with Tim Brown Tours.

     

     

    Tim Brown Tours is fortunate to have won the certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for the second year in a row and is rated very highly on TripAdvisor. If in Durban and wishing to do either a Durban Day Safari/Durban overnight Safari or Durban Day Tour/Durban Overnight Tour you need to contact us! We will make sure your experience is special.

     

     

    We begun this amazing Durban Day Tour at 08:30 from Underberg and on route had some spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountains.

     

     

    We first stopped at the old Ticket station where if you are moving between Lesotho and South Africa you need to stop and put your name on the list so that the taxi knows who was there first before traversing the Sani pass into Lesotho via the Drakensberg or into South Africa.

    Ticket office at base of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Ticket office at base of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

    The next stop apart from the great views of the Drakensberg mountain was this lovely little waterfall on our Durban Day Tour.

    Waterfall when heading up Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Waterfall when heading up Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up Sani Pass in the Drakensberg and stopped to look at the views in the mountain range the next stop being the border post into “No mans land” – the 8 Kilometers between the South African Border post and the Lesotho Border post.

    Border post on South African side of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Border post on South African side of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued up the Drakensberg and Sani Pass and reached ice corner which is so named because it is always got ice at that bend, when it snows that is a very difficult corner to traverse; even with a 4×4!

    Ice corner on our way up the Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    Ice corner on our way up the Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    After getting up Sani Pass and finally through the border post into Lesotho our Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban continued! We drove off to a Basotho village where we met with Me-Ilena and she was busy making the traditional Sotho pot bread. She was very welcoming and invited her into her home and we learned more on the Sotho Culture.

     

     

     

     

     

    Basotho Hut where we visit on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    Basotho Hut where we visit on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Women prepares home made pot bread on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Women prepares home made pot bread on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

    After we said goodbye to Me-Ilena and her lovely children we made our way back to Sani Top Pub the Highest pub in Africa at 2874 meters above sea level.

    We met some Basotho boys who played some music for us but it was so cold up there with a gale force wind blowing that we couldnt enjoy it for very long before heading inside to have a coffee and some warm food. This Durban Day Tour was warming up.

     

     

     

     

     

    Basotho Boys playing home made instruments at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Basotho Boys playing home made instruments at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    Lunch at the highest Pub in Africa was amazing and at that altitude I must say I got a headache the wind chill factor didnt help as it reduced the temperature close to zero.

    Highest Pub in Africa at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    Highest Pub in Africa at the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

     

     

    We left the Highest Pub in Africa in the Drakensberg/Lesotho and made our way back down the mountain the views were amazing and we were all very content with how the Durban Day Tour to the Drakensberg had panned out.

     

     

     

     

    View of highest Pub in Africa heading back out of Lesotho down Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

    View of highest Pub in Africa heading back out of Lesotho down Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014
    View down the pass from the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

    View down the pass from the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg 18th June 2014

     

     

     

    Sani Pass Tour from Durban into the Drakensberg are so special and you have to experience it to believe it! I do my best thinking in the mountains and even had my fathers ashes scattered in the Drakensberg in 2009. It is a truly special place.

    I would like to dedicate this blog post to my clients who did 3 Durban Day Tours with me but also to my Brother and his wife who had there first child this morning – To you “Jonah Lex Maber” may your life be as blessed and for-filled as mine!