drakensberg tours Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 5th September 2015

    Drakensberg and Midlands tour of KwaZulu Natal 1-2 September 2015

     

     

     

    It would be north of Durban where our Drakensberg and Midlands of KwaZulu Natal tour would begin. After meeting my clients at 6am we departed for Sani Pass and a tour over into Lesotho over the majestic Drakensberg mountain range.

     

    This day would be a very long day as it always is but this time I would have to stay at the bottom of the pass as the vehicle was full with the specialist Sani pass guide leading the adventure into Lesotho.

    I was able to get some work done before my clients returned somewhat tired but happy at after the amazing tour into Lesotho up Sani pass. They got to visit a Basotho village and taste some Basotho bread and beer! This is always a highlight on these Drakensberg day tours.

    Of course the climb up the pass into Lesotho is breathtaking and the stop for lunch at the Highest Pub in Africa at 2874 meters is amazing!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg, sani pass

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After my clients returned we still had what turned out to be a 3 hour drive to the Central Drakensberg as we had such bad mist I could hardly see right in front of my nose so we had to go slowly.

     

    We arrived at 7pm at Didima one of the most beautiful places in the Drakensberg and home to Cathedral peak the main peak in the area which is 3004 meters above sea level. 

     

    It was dark so we settled in for some dinner before quick  star gazing and then bed!

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Drakensberg tour 

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed a sleep in and met for breakfast at 07:30 am but the mountain was looking so beautiful we had to get some picture of it before breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View of Cathedral peak

    Drakensberg tour, View of Cathedral peak

     

     

     

     

     

    To show the perspective of the area I photographed my vehicle into the picture as well. The huts are shaped like the Eland antelope which is the San-Bushmens totem animal(the original South Africans).

     

    After breakfast we visited the Rock art center which has a museum on the bushman and has artifacts like original San-Bushmen Quiver and Arrows. This was found my J.S. Lombard in 1926 in the area of Didima. He of course felt he could make some money and tried to sell it. It now is of huge significance and part of a rare collection in the Didima valley. We also watched a very powerful 15 minute clip of the area and the Bushmen to understand them more!

     

     

    It was not time to hike to Doreen falls a lovely area in the Didima valley where the San-Bushmen used to run free before they were eradicated by Nguni, British and Dutch settlers.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Hiking in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, Hiking in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

    When you hike in the mountains you can sense the loss of life but there is a great peace over the area and the beauty is incomparable with any other land I have visited! The Proteas, our national flower are in this belt at about 1400 meters above sea level and we eve found 2 flowers left on one tree!

    We arrived at Doreen falls and on route spotted some Baboons and many wild flowers.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Doreen falls

    Drakensberg tour, Doreen falls

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way down the mountain and headed very happily to the midlands of KwaZulu Natal where we would visit the Piggly Wiggly for an amazing lunch as well as the shops in the area before heading to the Nelson Mandela capture site!

    After visiting a couple of amazing shops we arrived and the rain had come. It was the first spring rains on the second day of Spring! Good timing!

    We stopped and I explained to my clients about the capture site of Mandela and the plaque that is here to commemorate this even in 1962.

    We then entered the Museum which is a recent additive. It is amazing and very comprehensive!

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela in arrested

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela in arrested

     

     

     

     

    On the 5th August 1962 Mandela was arrested on his way from Durban to Johannesburg where he would be having a meeting about the way forward. He was basically in hiding.

     

    Mandela had a huge influence over the changes in our rainbow nation sadly too many of the older generations feel hard done by and still have hard hearts towards the changes where now our nations is free.

     

     

    Mandela stood up to the Apartheid government and back in the days when “Blacks” needed a pass just to enter there own land the city, Mandela and many other decided to protest and burn their passes.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela burns his pass

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandela burns his pass

     

     

     

     

     

    This was one of the first major events in our history which lead to more conflict as the “White” would not tolerate the lack of control over the “Native”….

     

    There were many trials against Mandela and other was in in 1956.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Treason trial 1956

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Treason trial 1956

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Nelson Mandela’s first interview after coming out of hiding


     

     

     

    Mandela managed to get away with this one and then went under cover visiting country’s like England rallying up support against the Apartheid system and to get support for the MK, the violent struggle.

     

    Mandela was a Lawyer and well educated and was wise. He would say things during trials that showed his complex mind and his ability to understand more than most could.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandelas words

    Drakensberg tour, Mandela capture site; Mandelas words

     

     

     

     

     

    These words that Mandela spoke would be worth a read from our President now to the person on the street. South Africa is for all groups of people and not only to be dominated by one group!

     

    We had now ran out of time and although we wanted to visit Howick falls it was raining heavy so we agreed to head back to Umhanga(North of Durban). 

     

    I dropped my clients off and we were all tired but very happy. I would collect them again the following day for a Shakaland day tour.

    This had been another amazing 2 day Durban tour.

  • 22nd July 2015

    Drakensberg tour – 20th July 2015

     

    We began our Drakensberg day tour just outside Durban from my home as I was taking my cousins and wife up the Sani pass into Lesotho.

    It had been 13 years since I had seen my cousin so I was pretty happy about showing off my beautiful country to them and having my wife come with us as well.

     

    I did the usual covering some of the history of the area of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa before we arrived in Underberg and changed over vehicles into a 4×4 to go up the Sani pass.

     

    Lesotho is an amazing country with the Drakensberg mountain as its border. In Zulu we call it Ukhahlamba which means the barrier of spears and the word “Drakensberg” means dragons peak!

     

    The view up the Sani pass in the Drakensberg was lovely today as it was a clear day.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View up the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a very lucky day on our way up to Lesotho and in Lesotho itself, we spotted a host of Jackal Buzzards and Pied crows… As well as Dassies(Rock Hyrax), Eland antelope and Reebuck. We even spotted some Ground Woodpeckers.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Ground Wood Pecker

    Drakensberg tour, Ground Wood Pecker

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Eland are the Bushmen or San peoples totem animal and these people were the original South Africans that were sadly killed out by every other group of people that are in South African today.

    The Eland had special powers for the San people and they would use it to communicate with there ancestors.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Eland

    Drakensberg tour, Eland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On route up the Drakensberg on our day tour into Lesotho we came across a small waterfall up Sani Pass called Lovers Cascade. It is believed that here the San people would come to drink the fresh water and which would give them eternal life…

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Lovers cascade!

    Drakensberg tour, Lovers cascade!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then stopped at the South African border post before we continued the 8 kilometers to Sani top the highest pub in Africa and of course the Lesotho border post.

    We got the passports stamped and I got a picture of my cousins.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, My cousins at the South African border post

    Drakensberg tour, My cousins at the South African border post

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we made our way into Lesotho we noticed that there was snow in the mountain and some of the hairpin bends were which has waterfalls were frozen over. It was about 9 degrees up the sani pass but mostly due to to cold breeze.

    It was now time for us to visit the Basotho village and to enter one of the huts to learn more about the Basotho people and taste some lovely home made bread.

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Snow in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, Snow in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the great hospitality we continued our Drakensberg tour and made our way to the Highest pub in Africa, Sani Top. It was here we had some lunch and enjoyed the great views as well as the warmth of the Pub as it was so cold.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, Highest pub in Africa

    Drakensberg tour, Highest pub in Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After lunch it was time to begin the journey down the Sani pass and enjoy the spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountain leaving Lesotho behind us.

     

    It was a beautiful decent down the Drakensberg mountain and we arrived back at the bottom at about 15:30.

     

     

     

     

     

    Drakensberg tour, View down Sani pass in the Drakensberg

    Drakensberg tour, View down Sani pass in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we got to the bottom we stretched our legs after the “African Massage” on the bumpy dirt roads and made our way back home after what turned out to be a very long but enjoyable day.

     

    Our Drakensberg day tour ended back at our home where we enjoyed some food and a special drink my cousins brought for us. It was a special day!

     

    If you would like to do this tour into the Drakensberg click the below link:

     

    Drakensberg day tour

  • 14th March 2015

    Drakensberg day tour – Sani pass Lesotho 12th March 2015

     

    I met my clients in Durban for their Drakensberg day tour where we would be going up the pass into Lesotho a land locked country in South Africa and on average the highest country in the world.

    We 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 thisDurban day tour with Tim Brown Tours.

    We begun this amazing Durban Day Tour at 09:00 from Underberg and on route had some spectacular views of the Drakensberg mountain.

    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.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Waterfall

     

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Waterfall

    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.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, South African Border post

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, South African Border post

    As we continued in no mans land we got some more amazing views up the Sani pass of the Drakensberg. For me it is like home and it holds so many memories for myself and my wife as we spend some of our Holidays in these majestic mountains.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, View up the pass

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, View up the pass

    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!

    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.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Sotho hut

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Sotho hut

    It was not time to see the amazing bread the lady of the house had prepared, Just so you know this is as rural a place as possible and we are actually entering some body’s home so this is a real honor to taste her bread and it is amazing!

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Basotho bread

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Basotho bread

    Before leaving the hut we learned more about the Sotho culture and also saw some 5 week old kittens. I had one of the cats laying on my lap and I was a bit surprised to find out it was the male! It was now time to head to the highest pub in Africa, Sani Top!

    Before we could get there we spotted a Basotho Shepard or herder.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Basotho herder

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Basotho herder

    Lunch at the highest Pub in Africa was amazing and at that altitude I must say I got a headache the wind chill factor didn’t help as it reduced the temperature. At least the pub is warm inside!

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Highest Pub in Africa

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, Highest Pub in Africa

    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. The view down the pass from the Top of Sani Pass on our Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass Drakensberg was amazing and I had to take more pictures.

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, View down the pass

    Drakensberg day tour, Sani Pass, View down the pass

    The view was so amazing the the drive so steep that I tried to film some of it to show you how it is driving down there but it is nothing like the real thing. You will have to just book a Drakensberg day tour to Sani pass to really see it.

    Video of drive down the Sani pass – Drakensberg.

    The Sani Pass Tour from Durban into the Drakensberg are so special and you have to experience it to believe it!

  • 1st December 2014

    Drakensberg 3 Day hiking and scenic Tour 26 – 28 November 2014 

     

     

    I collected my client from their hotel at 7am, this was the same group that we with me on the previous Durban Safari Tour.

    Our Drakensberg leg of our Tour would be very different to the game reserve safari tour.

    We began at the Nelson Mandela Capture site near Howick and this was a great part of the tour to learn about the big man and the way he chose to lead his life post imprisonment.

     

    Nelson Mandela capture site seen on our Durban Drakensberg and Midlands Tour

    Nelson Mandela capture site seen on our Durban Drakensberg and Midlands Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The actual capture site is across on the other side of the road where a plaque stands to commemorate this day in 1962 when Mandela finally was captured for trying to overthrow the South African Apartheid government.

     

    My clients at the Mandela capture site plaque

    My clients at the Mandela capture site plaque

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The latest edition to the capture site is a architectural structure which I can only describe as amazing that from one angle only shows the face of Mandela! This means of course that you have to enter the Museum section and take a “long walk to freedom” as they call it in order to see this amazing structure. Well worth the 200 meter walk…

     

    The new steel construction which shows Madibas face only at one angle

    The new steel construction which shows Madibas face only at one angle

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Nelson Mandela was also known as “Madiba” which was the name given to him by his clan/Tribe it is said that he was born of a Royal Chief of the AmaThembu people in the Eastern cape and his father relinquished this title due to a misunderstanding/dispute over stolen cattle…

     

    After this amazing visit I decided to add in the Howick Falls and craft shops to the itinerary as we had the time and it wasn’t far away. Howick is a lovely quaint British colonial town in the Midland of our beautiful province of KwaZulu-Natal.

     

    Howick falls near Mandela capture site

    Howick falls near Mandela capture site

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Howick falls is about a 96 meters drop and one of the higher waterfalls in South Africa but well behind Tugela falls at 947 meters.

    Once we had enjoyed the view of the falls we moved up the streets into the town to look at the lovely shops and have some coffee. I made the mistake of buying Joey a Vuvuzela and him being interested in music drove his poor mother mad. I do apologize Betsy! Sorry.

    At least Joey liked the Vuvuzela and Dave his father also gave it a blow.

     

    At this point we headed for our destination the amazing Central Drakensberg – Cathedral Peak and Didima where we would be spending a couple of nights. The views were breath taking and the villages we passed through were so rural but amazingly happy. I always say people are happier with less and less is more!

     

    Once we arrived and got settled at Didima we headed out on a hike to the lovely Doreen falls. We saw so much along the way including Protea flowers, Imphepo – a herb used to ward off evil spirits by burning it in your hut and breath taking scenery!

     

     Protea flower in the Drakensberg on our first hike

    Protea flower in the Drakensberg on our first hike

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Stuck between a Rock and a hard place seen on our Drakensberg Tour

    Stuck between a Rock and a hard place seen on our Drakensberg Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When we got to Doreen falls itself if was flowing beautifully and because we are so high up you can drink they clean mountain water naturally filtered by the rocks. I got my clients to pose behind the falls as there is a lovely cave there that could have been used by the San Bushmen as shelter hundreds of years earlier.

     

    Doreen Falls with my clients behind the falls during our Drakensberg Tour

    Doreen Falls with my clients behind the falls during our Drakensberg Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we made our way back down we came across a Reed buck male and female which were alarm calling once they spotted us. We stopped and gazed at them before the decided it was time to head off and leave us in their wake!

     

    Reedbuck seen in the Drakensberg mountains on a hike

    Reedbuck seen in the Drakensberg mountains on a hike

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to get back to Didima lodge for the night. We had a lovely dinner and had our day all planned for the next day with some hiking in the Northern Drakensberg – Royal Natal National Park.

     

    Day 2: Drakensberg 3 Day hiking and scenic Tour

     

    We awoke to the amazing clear Cathedral Peak visible from our rooms! What a lovely sight before some breakfast and an hour drive to the Northern Drakensberg!

     

    View on the second morning from my room of Cathedral peak in the Drakensberg

    View on the second morning from my room of Cathedral peak in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When we arrived in Royal Natal National Park named after Queen Victoria’s visit in the 1940’s we began with a short hike up to some Bushman painting which are 800 years old. These are young in the greater scheme of things as we have bushman painting dating back as far as 28 000 years. These amazing 4 foot high people have been roaming these mountain peaks for the past 40 000 years until modern man arrived.

     

    Bushman paintings that are 800 years old seen on a hike in the Northern Drakensberg

    Bushman paintings that are 800 years old seen on a hike in the Northern Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Myself showing some of these amazing Bushman paintings in the Drakensberg

    Myself showing some of these amazing Bushman paintings in the Drakensberg

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The sites are protected and can only be seen with a guide. Over years people have defaced these amazing pictures and this is what has now caused the protection of the artwork. Thank you to David and his friends…

     

    Before we descended the slopes I pointed out some fossils of a sea snail proving that at one time the Drakensberg was under water and it was an inland sea. Unbelievable as they are over 3000 meters above it now…

     

    Fossils in the Drakensberg of sea shells seen on one of our hikes

    Fossils in the Drakensberg of sea shells seen on one of our hikes

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We began the descent and the views were lovely, we still have a 3- 4 hour hike ahead of us so it was important to get down and begin the longer hike as the wind was picking up and the weather forecast was a storm later in the afternoon which we didn’t want to get caught in. Dave’s clever solution was to take the ponchos with us and this would ward off the rain, which it did!

     

    Drakensberg day 2 view of the Northern Drakensberg Mont aux Sources

    Drakensberg day 2 view of the Northern Drakensberg Mont aux Sources

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I quickly signed the hiking register and got ourselves started on the big hike up from Mahai to Tiger falls, Look out Rock, Gudu falls and Gudu forest before the descent to Mahai parking lot.

     

    The view before we left was as follows:

     

    View of the area we hiked on Day 2 in the Northern Drakensberg on our Tour

    View of the area we hiked on Day 2 in the Northern Drakensberg on our Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed the views of “Sleeping Beauty” and all the wild flowers before arriving at Tiger falls. This is a very special area for me as I have walked this area from a small boy. Tiger falls didn’t seem to have much water but it was a great place to refuel on mountain water before making our way around to “Look out Rock”. 

     

    Tiger Falls in the Northern Drakensberg during our hiking tour from Durban

    Tiger Falls in the Northern Drakensberg during our hiking tour from Durban

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After look out rock I think we were all getting a little hungry as the pace picked up and Joey sped down the mountain like a gazelle! We tried to match him which only made us more tired when we got down to the bottom 3 hours after beginning this hike.

     

    Proteas in flower with the Drakensberg behind seen on our Drakensberg Tour

    Proteas in flower with the Drakensberg behind seen on our Drakensberg Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point it was a matter of filling out the register to say we had returned safe and then we took the scenic drive to Hlalanathi where we would have lunch. 

    My chocolate coffee was welcome after all the mountain water I had drunk and so was the Burger.

    It was already 3pm and we departed for Didima arriving near to 5pm.

    It was time for some rest before dinner which was again lovely.(excepting my missing pastry!)

    Finally the storm had caught up with us and the rain came at night.

    Bed was calling our names and we go back to the fireplace around 8-9pm for some sleep.

     

    Day 3: Drakensberg 3 Day hiking and scenic Tour

     

    This day was a later start 7am meeting for breakfast after packing luggage into the vehicle. Breakfast as pretty good and then after we checked out we went down to the Rock art center Museum and interpretive center.

    This Museum is amazing and has artifacts found on the San Bushmen dating way back. One of the most interesting finding is a full set of Bushman hunting equipment. A quiver, Arrows, poison pouch etc.

     

    Bushman arrows and Quiver seen in a Muesem in the Drakensberg on our Tour

    Bushman arrows and Quiver seen in a Muesem in the Drakensberg on our Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was actually found by Mr J.S. Lombaard in 1926 in a cave in the Drakensberg mountains. He wrote a letter to request someone to purchase the items from him. It ended up in this museum we visited.

     

    Letter from Mr Lombaard on the findings of the San Bushman Quiver and Arrows

    Letter from Mr Lombaard on the findings of the San Bushman Quiver and Arrows

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of the last remaining full blooded Bushmen on the eastern part of South Africa by the name Qing also described some of the culture to the western communities which was jotted down in booked and made public. The museum contains snippets of the things he said as well as a very powerful video which explains to you more about the bushmen and there ways.

     

    Quotes from Qing a San Bushman who was interviewed on his people

    Quotes from Qing a San Bushman who was interviewed on his people

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this powerful experience we exited and took our final picture of my clients with a life size statue of an Eland the largest antelope in Africa and can weigh as much as 1000 Kgs.

     

    My clients and a statue of an Eland antilope at Didima during our Drakensberg Tour

    My clients and a statue of an Eland antelope at Didima during our Drakensberg Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This ended the second part of our Tour, 3 days in the amazing Drakensberg Mountains.

    The Drakensberg meaning – Dragons Peak or in Zulu UKhahlamba – Barrier of Spears, these are name to describe this incredible place of peace and beauty!

     

  • 23rd August 2014

    Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    Our Durban, KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari began in Durban(Umhlanga) where I met my clients. Neil had been with me a year ago and had returned with his wife and son to share his experiences with them.

    I am always happy when clients return for a second taste of the South African National parks.

     

    I began by covering some of the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as the history behind the national parks we would be visiting on day one.

     

    Day one began at St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park where we would embark on a 2 hour Estuary cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles. Isimangeliso Wetland Park is South Africa’s first world heritage site. It was decided by UNESCO in 1999.

    Upon arrival we had a look at a craft market and began this exciting cruise where we also spotted lots of birdlife.

     

    One of the first things we spotted was this African Fish Eagle which was perched on a tree in the Estuary of St Lucia.

     

    African fish eagle on Day 1 of our 5 Day Safari tour seen at St Lucia

    African fish eagle on Day 1 of our 5 Day Safari tour seen at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on and enjoyed the breeze we came across a few large pods of Hippos. This picture below was one of many we saw this day.

     

    Hippos seen on Day 1 of our Durban Safari Tour at St Lucia

    Hippos seen on Day 1 of our Durban Safari Tour at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    During this St Lucia boat safari we spotted some crocodiles as well but I chose this picture of the Estuary mouth with the Crocodiles resting on a sand bank. The Indian Ocean is in the back ground.

     

    St Lucia Estuary mouth with 2 Big crocodiles on a sand bank during our Durban Safari Tour

    St Lucia Estuary mouth with 2 Big crocodiles on a sand bank during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we finished up here we went into the town and got some lunch before making our way to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest protected area.

    We entered at Memorial gate and spotted some Rhinos, Zebra, Buffalo and Wildebeest before arriving at Hilltop camp and checking in for 2 nights.

     

    Zebra foul seen on Day 1 of our 5 Day Durban safari tour seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve
    Zebra foul seen on Day 1 of our 5 Day Durban safari tour seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The view from Hilltop camp is spectacular and after a short rest it was time for the evening game drive Safari Tour in the open vehicle. The clients got to see Elephant and Genet which we had not seen on the drive into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Huhluwe Imfolozi game has amazing Flora and Fauna and is a very diverse game reserve. The seasons have a 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!

     

    Upon our return to Hilltop camp we had dinner and went to bed ready for the new day.

     

    Day 2: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We met at 7am for breakfast before heading into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. We spotted many things including Giraffe, Zebra and Impala.

     

    I selected this picture of the White backed Vulture on a nest as the first one as Greg loved Birds.

     

    Day 2 of our Durban Safari tour we spotted this white backed vulture on her nest

    Day 2 of our Durban Safari tour we spotted this white backed vulture on her nest

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    A bit further on we found a bull Elephant but he was in the thick bush so his picture didn’t get selected. However the next sighting was a Buffalo bull and he gave us a great stare which I captured and you can see below.

     

    Buffalo bull gives us the stare on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Buffalo bull gives us the stare on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on our Big 5 Safari we had a great sighting of a Rhino chasing warthogs as he tried to cross to the road. It was a burned section so it looked great.

     

    Rhino chases warthogs as he tries to cross the road on our 2nd Day of our Durban Safari tour
    Rhino chases warthogs as he tries to cross the road on our 2nd Day of our Durban Safari tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We went to a view point to see if we could see anything and there were no cats but we spotted this great shot of a White fronted Bee eater.

     

    White fronted bee eater seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour

    White fronted bee eater seen in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on Day 2 of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Near to the same spot were a Journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. The Giraffe got his picture taken.

     

    Giraffe seen on our second Day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Safari Tour

    Giraffe seen on our second Day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point I figured we better try a watering hole as we were not finding the cats, So we headed to Bhejane hide and got a great picture of 3 different species at the watering hole. This was a great sight during our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour.

     

    Day 2 at Bhejane hide we saw 3 species of animals at the watering hole on our Durban safari Tour

    Day 2 at Bhejane hide we saw 3 species of animals at the watering hole on our Durban safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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 Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation centre for the 4pm Cat Tour.

    We were lucky as at the gate we spotted an old bull Elephant and he was feeding on some fresh shoots from an Acacia tree.

     

    Elephant bull feeds off the fresh shoot of an Acacia during our Durban 5 day Safari Tour

    Elephant bull feeds off the fresh shoot of an Acacia during our Durban 5 day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made it just in time to begin the feeding session Tour of the endangered Cat rehabilitation center.  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.

     

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Safari Tour

    Cheetah at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center during our 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending a good hour and a half with these amazing cats we returned to Memorial gate and got back to camp for dinner at 7pm.

     

    Dinner was great and after the food and conversation it was now time for some rest and we went to bed.

     

     

    Day 3: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We began at 7am when I met my clients to collect there luggage and get down for some breakfast. Today was our final day of our Durban Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    After checking out we began a very long journey as we had one last chance to find Lions before driving cross country to Didima in the Central Drakensberg (Cathedral peak).

     

    On route we saw loads of animals and on this Day we Spotted 4 of the Big 5! We finally found our lions resting in the Black Umfolozi river.

    We also spotted Black Rhino to add to our collection of White Rhino.

     

    Giraffe on day 3 of our 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Giraffe on day 3 of our 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Lions were a real great stroke of good fortune and they were all resting in the river on a sand bank. The heat of 38 degrees the day before must have taken its toll on them.

     

    Lions on Day 3 of our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

    Lions on Day 3 of our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I bumped into an old friend who I did my training with years ago and he mentioned a sighting of a sleeping Black Rhino. We were heading to that spot and we managed to relocate the Rhino sleeping in the shade of a bush.

     

    Black Rhino seen on our Big 5 Stretch of our Durban Safari Tour
    Black Rhino seen on our Big 5 Stretch of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After exiting Cengeni gate we heading to Ulundi, Vryheid, Dundee and Ladysmith before getting to the Drakensberg and Didima Lodge. This Journey took us 5 and a half hours to complete but we passed through rural South Africa and the Zulu Capital Ulundi. The battle of Ulundi saw the capture of the great Zulu King Cetswayo and his exile to Cape Town. Chelmsfords men defeated the Zulus and took over Ulundi.

     

    After lunch in Vryheid we made it to Didima at 16:30 where we checked in and recovered before dinner and a nice fire place in our rooms.

     

    Day 4: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    We began day 4 with a great breakfast at Didima. After this we headed down to the Bushman Interpretive centre and Museum in the rain, thank goodness when we came out the rain held off somewhat and we headed to the hikers parking lot to begin our hike.

     

    We hiked up to Doreen falls and up to a view point in the mountains before we headed back to the vehicle. During the hike up we spotted an Eland on the hill.

     

    Female Eland on the Drakensberg mountain on our hike during our Durban Safari Tour

    Female Eland on the Drakensberg mountain on our hike during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued with our Drakensberg Hike we enjoyed the views and sights and sounds. We spotted Baboons, heard a Jackal and found dung of Porcupines, Eland, Baboon and Jackal.

     

    Stuck between and rock and a hard place are a Cabbage tree and a Yellow wood tree during our Drakensberg leg of our Durban Safari Tour

    Stuck between and rock and a hard place are a Cabbage tree and a Yellow wood tree during our Drakensberg leg of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Doreen falls had a fair amount of water and we spent some time there enjoying the scenery.

     

    My clients in a cave with Doreen falls in front of then on our Drakensberg Durban Safari Tour

    My clients in a cave with Doreen falls in front of then on our Drakensberg Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we left the falls we hiked to a spot where we could enjoy the view and get a good picture.

     

    The view of Cathedral Peak on our rainy day of hiking in Central Drakensberg during our Durban Safari Tour
    The view of Cathedral Peak on our rainy day of hiking in Central Drakensberg during our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When we returned to the vehicle we got back to Didima lodge and I had some lunch before exhaustion set in and I rested my eyes for a couple hours before dinner and a bit of work.

     

    After dinner I had some work to do before Bed.

     

     

    Day 5: Durban KwaZulu-Natal 5 Day Safari of the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and Tour to the Drakensberg 18 August – 22 August 2014

     

    After meeting my clients at 7am and collecting there luggage we went though for some breakfast before checking out.

     

    It was then time to drive to my favourite part of the Drakensberg, the Northern Drakensberg. I have been visiting this area to hike since I was knee high to a Grasshopper.

     

    We would first start with the Bushman paintings which are 800 years old on a guided hike in the Northern Drakensberg which has to now be guided due to people defacing the San-Bushmen artwork.

     

    Bushman paintings seen on our second hike in the Drakensberg on Day 5 of our Durban Safari Tour

    Bushman paintings seen on our second hike in the Drakensberg on Day 5 of our Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    On this hike we also spotted Eland and this was the second day in a row and it brings you good luck.

     

    Eland seen on our Drakensberg hike up to the Bushman paintings on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

    Eland seen on our Drakensberg hike up to the Bushman paintings on our Durban 5 Day Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once we had enjoyed this short hike we went on to do a 3 hour hike via Tiger Falls, Look out Rock and Gudu Falls before making our way back down to the Mahai camp.

    The views are spectacular!

     

    Northern Drakenberg Royal Natal national parks view up the mountain during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

    Northern Drakenberg Royal Natal national parks view up the mountain during our 5 Day Durban Safari Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was very enjoyable and we then visited Hlalanathi Berg Resort where we had some lunch before enjoying the great views.

     

    It was then time to head back to Durban and drop my client off after 5 great days of Safari and Drakensberg Touring! What an amazing experience it had been!

  • 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!

  • 1st June 2014

    Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg Mountains 29 May 2014

    After collecting my clients from Durban I found out that they were comrades runners and were novices. The Comrades in an Ultra Marathon of 89 Km in distance and no mean feat!

    I covered most of the Usual history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as well as the interesting things we saw along the way up to the Northern Drakensberg.

    After just over 3 hours of driving we reached our destination Royal Natal National Park (a requested name change by the queen Victoria).

    We started with the hour round trip Hike which is now a guided tour due to foolish children vandalising the rock art over the years. This protected area contains painting which are 800 years old which are young compared to the Bushmans history which dates back as far as 30 000 years! The San or Bushmen are the oldest know population of people who have ever lived and in this part of South Africa are extinct due to intolerance by the Zulus, British and Boers in the 1800’s.

    The hike was short and steep but more than worth it. This is a special Durban Day Safari Tour to the drakensberg which I do not advertise.

    Northern Drakensberg view from the Bushman paintings on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    Northern Drakensberg view from the Bushman paintings on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    At the bottom of the picture next to the road you can see the company car a mere ant compared to the surrounding mountains. The bushman painting hike is very steep and from the bottom to the top about 500 meters above the base level.

    Bushman Paintings of Eland and a Cobra on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    Bushman Paintings of Eland and a Cobra on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    The above painting made of white and red Ocre stone mixed with Blood, Egg, urine, animal fat and painted with natural products like feathers, fingers and twigs or 800 years old and still visible under this rock over hang. The sand stone in the mountains acted as a sponge absorbing the paint so that even a bit of weathering would not cause it to be lost 800 years later. The San – Bushman are my favorite people and the Zulus soon after! Living off the land they carved a life for themselves in Africa and were the first to start Iron/metal making. Durban Day Safari to the Drakensberg with Tim Brown Tours.

    Proof of the Drakensberg being an inland sea on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    Proof of the Drakensberg being an inland sea on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    The above images is a picture of fossils of sea urchins/shells in the rock next to the San Rock art which proves that even the mighty Drakensberg which reaches heights above 3000 meters above sea level was once an inland sea!

    Our Durban Day Safari Tour had only just begun as we now started a 3 hour hike from Mahai parking lot via Tiger Falls, Look Out Rock, Gudu Falls and Forest and returning to Mahai.

    I could tell that these runners we a lot fitter than myself especially after the issues I have been having with my back, however I managed to keep up with the pace and drank 3 bottles of fresh mountain water at Tiger Falls.

    The views were amazing and from the bottom this is what we saw.

    View up to Tiger Falls from Royal natal National Park on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014
    View up to Tiger Falls from Royal natal National Park on our Durban Day Safari Tour to the Drakensberg mountains 29 May 2014

    The above image is a part of the route we walked we covered the grassed plains below to reach the forest in the “V” of trees and moved from left to right and back down through the grasslands. All in all about 6 km of tough hiking.

    A great Day Tour from Durban to the Drakensberg mountains.

    We stopped for lunch at Hlalanathi – Elements restaurant where a warm meal was welcome and we then has a final look at the mountain before heading back to Durban City. We returned very tired but happy with how the Drakensberg Day Tour from Durban had gone.

     

  • 23rd May 2014

    Drakensberg/Lesotho – Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We departed from Hillcrest West of Durban with my clients and headed to UnderBerg where we would meet the 4×4 vehicle which would take us over into 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 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).

    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.

    Sani Pass Sign in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Sani Pass Sign in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we began our Journey over the pass you immediately have brilliant views of the Drakensberg Mountain which is South Africas first world heritage Site and also the second in KwaZulu-Natal!

    The view before accending the Pass on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The view before accending the Pass on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we kept on heading up the dirt gravel road it got bumpier than ever but the views got more spectacular on the Durban Day Tour into Lesotho. The Drakensberg is one of the oldest volcanic rock formations in the World and is more than worth visiting! As we continued we spotted some Eland from a view spot. The Eland in the Totem animal for the SAN people who were the original South Africans more commonly known as the Bushmen. The hunted the Eland only for food and used every part of the body including the Fat which they mixed with blood, Ocre, Ostrich egg etc to make paint. The Drakensberg Mountains are littered with the Bushman paintings the only thing left of a race that was killed and the few remaining absorbed into the Zulu Nation.

    Eland the Bushmans Totom Animal on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Eland the Bushmans Totom Animal on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    After the Eland it was time to stamp our passports and exit South Africa for Lesotho.

    Border post as we left South Africa into no mans land between Lesotho and South Africa on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Border post as we left South Africa into no mans land between Lesotho and South Africa on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Once through the border post we had 8 more Kilometers of great views before we would stamp our Passports into Lesotho and visit the Highest Pub in Africa. Durban Day Tours to Lesotho are a brilliant way to see this majestic Drakensberg Mountain.

    Small Waterfall as we ascended into Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Small Waterfall as we ascended into Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We were almost at the Top a massive 2874 meters above sea level! We had already had great views and seen Eland, Mountain Rheebok and White Backed Vultures.

    View from the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    View from the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    What a place to stop in the Drakensberg for a drink and a rest. This really is a beautiful place to be and such a short way from Durban to take a Day Tour too.

    Me in the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Me in the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Even I had to have my photo taken in the Highest Pub in Africa and were a jersey as it was so cold. Below 10 Celsius.

    Basotho Boys play music for us outside the Highest Pub in Africa in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We carried on deeper into Lesotho to visit a Basotho village and see how these people really live. We got to enter into a Basotho hut but before this we passed some interesting buildings on our Durban Day Tour to Lesotho.

    The Local Tavern and Public Phone in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The Local Tavern and Public Phone in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    A bit further up the road we passed the local Catholic church now due to the missionaries the Basotho people converted to Christianity over a 100 years ago as there King decided it was the right thing to do. Yes, Lesotho is a Kingdom just like England but the King is only Symbolic and not active in the running of the Country.

    The local Catholic Church in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    The local Catholic Church in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    We finally got closer to the  Basotho Village but we spotted this Jackal Buzzard which looked straight past us and spotted a mouse and flew off and caught is. It was smothering it and we then decided to continue on.

    Jackal Buzzard takes off and catches a mouse in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    Jackal Buzzard takes off and catches a mouse in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Finally on our Durban Day Tour we entered the Hut!

    The Sotho hut we entered in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The Sotho hut we entered in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    The floor base is Rocks which like in Zulu Culture is covered with Termite sand and Cow Dung to polish. At the center was the fire and this heats the stones in the floor so inside it is very nice and warm. The thatching grass covers the roof and the toilet is always outside.

    Basotho Bread freshly made in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    Basotho Bread freshly made in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    After the Lady of the house Me Ileena had given us some bread and beer to taste and we had learned a bit more on the culture we had a chance to buy the bread and some crafts that she and her husband make.

    Inside the hut was also a few chickens and 2 cats all running around the place.

    We were done in the hut and heading to a place to have lunch before we began descending the beautiful Drakensberg Mountain from the Lesotho side.

    View as we descended the Pass from Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    View as we descended the Pass from Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    As we made our way down we bumped into this man who I see every time I come up Sani Pass into Lesotho. He never says a word or greets in anyway, it is hard just to get a nod from him but he is amazing. Every day he walks down the pass looking for dry wood and carries it up the mountain to sell for a few Maluti the local currency. What a guy!

    This always makes a Durban Day Tour to Sani Pass that much more special.

    The man that collects wood daily in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014
    The man that collects wood daily in Lesotho on our Sani Pass Day Tour from Durban 22 May 2014

    If you wish to experience the same when you come to Durban join me Tim Brown Tours on a Durban Day Tour or Durban Day Safari Tour.

     

  • 28th January 2014

    Durban Day Safari Tours – Tim Brown Tours

    I have put this post together just to show clients that there really is so much that they can do in Durban on the Day Safari and Tour front. In fact there even more that can be covered on overnight or multiple day Safari Tours from Durban.

    You all will know if you look at my website that I offer Durban Day Safari Tours to the “Bush”, “Berg” and “Battlefields” of KwaZulu Natal but what are these you ask? I have put together a description of what the Big 3 are, one of them includes the Big 5 as well.

    Durban Bush Day Safari Tours or overnight Safari Tours :

    This encompasses Tour and Safaris to the Nature or game reserves as we call them. So focusing on the National parks of South Africa mostly in KwaZulu Natal. Within these national parks we find the Big 5 which are the Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino.

    The Big 5 of Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve on Durban Safari Tours

    Above is the picture of these mighty animals which used to roam totally free in Africa and this beautiful country of ours South Africa! We are however fortunate to still be able to go on a Durban Safari Tour in just a day and usually see at least 3 of the Big 5. There of course is no guarantee as it is a large national park – Hluhluwe Umfolozi of about 960 Square Km or 96 000 Hectares.

    Really this in itself is worth the visit especially after our Rhinos are being killed at an alarming rate by poachers supplying mostly the Chinese with the horn for there traditional medicines to cure cancer!… Last year alone 2014 there was a massive 1004 Rhinos discovered killed for there horn in South Africa. The Rhinos are being killed at an alarming rate and by 2050 there probably wont be any left in Africa.

    Even more reason to take a Durban Day Safari Tour with Tim  Brown Tours and get into the “Bush” to experience the amazing animals before they are wiped off the face of the earth!

    Durban Drakensberg Day Safari Tours:

    The Drakensberg is the most beautiful mountain range I have ever seen, they cover a vast area from the south western parts of KwaZulu Natal to the North Eastern parts and beyond into the Limpopo province. They are a sight to behold and picture just don’t do the place justice!

    Drakensberg Cathedral peak Day Safari Tour

     

    Drakensberg royal Natal national park Day Safari Tour

    These two section of the Drakensberg are but a couple of the amazing wonder of the mountains. We also run Durban Day Safari Tours over Sani Pass into Lesotho which is a land locked country in South Africa. It is a Kingdom and the Drakensberg is the natural boundary separating the two countries.

    The first picture is of Cathedral peak which is an amazing 3004 meters above sea level it is a mean feat to reach the top on foot even I have not yet made the summit as at the end it is scrabbling and rock climbing to reach the very peak which is very hard after 5 hours of hiking up up and up only!

    The second image is another great place that we take Durban Safari Tours however its mostly done over a few days as apposed to a Durban Day Safari Tour. Having said that we can do it if you request it.

    In these great mountain the spirits of the bushman live and the painting Eco in the caves.

    Durban – Bushman Painting in the Drakensberg Mountains

    Bushman Paintings at Giants Castle Day Safari Tours

    The Eland the largest antelope in Africa was there divine animal which linked them to the ancestors. The painting on the right you will see the Eland lying upside down this is because the Bushman had killed one for food. The great detail that went into the painting of the Eland shows how much respect the Bushman aka the San people had for the animal. They only hunted for food and used every part of the animal: Skins for clothes, Fat for paint, Small bones for hooks to catch fish. They were truly the Original South Africans and the rest of us including the Zulu have migrated here!

    So if the Bush and the Drakensberg with there Bushman Paintings were not enough to visit this area of KwaZulu Natal and take a Durban Day Safari Tour with Tim Brown Tours then there is more…

    The Battlefields of KwaZulu Natal:

    The Battlefields are an amazing experience if you are into the intense history of South Africa and the savage battles that led to Thousands of deaths over the years. There have been Anglo-Zulu battles, Anglo-Boer and Boer-Zulu battles. Many of these battle sites can be visited in a Durban Day Safari Tour or better so on an overnight Safari Tour.

    Battlefield picture of Elandslaagte
    Graves from the battle of Spionkop

    The above battles are just two of hundreds that took place for power of land. This cost many lives as all battles do but the sites are such peaceful and tranquil places to visit. Many a time a tear will fall from the eye as the magnitude of the scene wrenches at your heart. Durban Safari Tours to these areas are a must if you are interested in the rich history we have to offer. Nothing makes this more amazing than having a Specialist Battlefield guide with you who can extract the battle out of the soil and reconstruct if for you on the day you visit for your Day Safari Tour from Durban.

    Having said all of the above there is still so much more for you to visit from Durban:

    Zulu Cultural villages  

    Zulu Culture is rich and locked in deeply with the British it is amazing to read of how the great King Shaka lead his people to destroying the British soldiers at the battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879.

    Traditional Zulu Dancing in the Valley of 1000 Hills Phezulu

    I find the Culture of the Zulu incredibly interesting and on some of our Durban Day Safari Tours we take client to visit these amazing Zulu Cultural villages. This villages can be incorporated into a Day Safari tour or a half Day Durban Safari Tour. Again we can arrange these Tours from Durban in overnight packages for you.

    They valley of 1000 Hills which is the backdrop to the above image is also an amazing place and is visited a lot on Durban Safari Tours. It is a mere 45 Minutes outside of Durban city.

    Zulu woman at Shakaland demonstrate how to carry pots on their heads

    On the Shakaland Durban Safari Day Tour you will witness the above scene where young girls demonstrate how they go about learning how to balance pots of water/Beer/milk on their head. Shakaland was actually the place where the movie Shaka Zulu was filmed in the 1980’s. The village has continued to function as authentic as possible.

    Would you not want to visit Durban, KwaZulu Natal after seeing these amazing offerings? Durban Day Safari Tours are really worth undertaking and Tim Brown Tours will ensure you are well looked after.

    Reviews can be found on TripAdvisor : Tim Brown Tours – Day Tours (TripAdvisor)

    If this is not enough there is more! A Cat rehabilitation center outside of Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve.

    Cat Rehabilitation Center 

    Me at Emdoneni Cat rehab center

    This Durban Day Safari tour can be take as a day tour linked with St Lucia or taken as a overnight package where on route to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we stop off at this Cat rehabilitation center to interact with this beautiful creatures.

    This Safari Tour included interaction with 2 male cheetahs, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cats. All four of these great cats are highly endangered so it is a joy to have this kind of opportunity to interact in this manner.

    Durban Day Safari tours really have a lot to offer the client and headed by our company Tim Brown Tours you are guaranteed to experience something different to what you have anywhere else in the World!

    Tim Brown Tours run with a 2013 Ford Tourneo 8 Seated vehicle which is very comfortable and luxurious at the game reserve this is an option of the extra open vehicle game drive which is worth the experience. This can also be arranged on a Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve.

    Open vehicle game drive in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve

    Above is the idea of the open vehicle game drive experience in Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve on Tim Brown Tours – Day Safari Tours from Durban.

    If you are still not sure please feel free to take a look at reviews on TripAdvisor or the Tim Brown Tours website.

    The World is waiting for you to experience it and Tim Brown Tours is here to make those Durban Day Safari Tours that much more amazing. Book with us now!

     

     

     

  • 29th August 2013

    Hluhluwe Umfolozi 3 Day Safari Tour 25 – 27 August 2013

     

    After collecting my clients from Durban on the morning of the 25th we headed out to Emdoneni for the Night and the afternoon Cat Feeding Tour.

     

    After this we had a great Boma dinner under the stars and went to bed.

     

    The following day it was up for breakfast check out and head to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve where we would spend the night.

     

    When we entered we had about 4 hours of game drive time and had some great sightings for 3 of the Big 5 as you will see in the pictures above.

     

    Lunch was calling at Hilltop so we stop there and then checked in before another 3 hours of game drive where we also had some very good sightings.

     

    After a great Safari we returned for dinner and some star gazing before bed.

     

    Day 3 was great, the clients wanted to do the open vehicle game drive so I got up early and had a run around camp before finding out where the Lions were.

    Upon there return I mentioned I knew where we could hopefully find the lions so we quickly atebreakfast and checked out before speeding off to find the Lions.

    When we got there we had to wait 30 min before we got a look at the male Lion and then he mated with a Lioness we never saw as the grass was so long. This was a great experience and just the sound and seeing him made the Tour all worth it.

     

    Onward to St Lucia next with some happy clients in the car including me! The boat cruise was very relaxing and we saw loads of Hippos even out the water and a few big crocodiles.

     

    Then some lunch and curio shopping before returning to Durban.

     

    All in all a great Tour.

     

    Tim Brown Tours

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