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
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
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
Address: Springside Road, Hillcrest, Durban, 3610, South Africa
T: +27 71 453 2781
We began our Durban day safari tour in Durban city where I had two pick ups and then moved to Umhlanga for another two pick ups. This was the most number of pick ups I think I have done before and it went very smoothly.
It was nice to have a mix of clients from Irish and British to Belgium/Dutch.
We began the long journey but as always with me chatting about the history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal, I always find it goes quickly and I am sure the clients that are interested in it feel the same way.
The word “safari” come from east Africa and is Swahili for “Journey” so basically all my Durban Tours are Durban safari tours!
Our Durban day safari tour continued as we headed up the North Eastern coastline and we stopped once to stretch the legs and grab a coffee before the final hour and 15 minutes to Memorial gate in the North eastern corner of the world famous and Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
I chose to enter in the North as the Umfolozi section can be very quiet at times and if their are no cats around it can be difficult at time to make a good day of it. Having already been in touch with some other guides from the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, I decided to go North.
It was a good choice for us as we nailed 4 out of the Big 5 again and got to see a Lioness! I was so happy to be able to share this with my clients, it is always a privilege.
We had many sightings very close to the gate when we entered from African Buffalo, Impala, Rhino and Zebra.
Durban day safari tour; Rhino
These Rhinos were worth a photo as the two standing were sub adults and just wondered up to the fella that was resting to say hello. It is always amazing on our Durban day safari tours to watch the behavior of these wild animals as you can learn so much about how they think. It was seconds later that we spotted some Zebra so I managed to take a decent photo of them too.
Zebra are also such amazing creature being the only animal the kicks and bites at both each other and at predators. Their are so many Zebra in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which have gashes and scars from being attacked by Lions and surviving! Can you believe it!
Our Durban day safari tour continued and we made our way towards a dried up mud wallow to search for some Giraffe but before we got there we found a herd of Elephant. Trouble was they were not to close to the road but patients pays off, and we finally go a good photo.
After watching these Elephants feeding and resting in the shade in the Hluhluwe section of the game reserve we moved on to find these Giraffe. It wasn’t long and we had them in our sight and we spend some time enjoying the as they fed and resting in the shade on the trees on what was already a hot day at 36 degrees.
Our Durban day safari tour then led us to the river as every where was so dry that we needed to try the rivers to find more animals, not that we hadn’t done well already with 3 of the Big 5!
We made our way to the Hluhluwe river and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of African Buffalo in the mud and 2 Elephants feeding on the reeds.
Mud wallowing is important to cool down but also to remove external parasites from the body, must say I only tried it a couple time when I was knee high to a grass hopper and when I was doing my training 10 years ago!
At this point we were feeling the heat but having chatted to a buddy of mine we got wind of Lions in the area so we raced off to go and see if we would be lucky enough to get to see them. It is not common to see Lions in the day time and if you are lucky to see them they tend to be in thick areas which mean a bad sighting. So I was a little optimistic about it.
We arrived in a haze of dust and as the dust settled we saw a Lioness on her back with here feet in the air. It was awesome to see her on a Durban day safari tour.
We spent some time watching her as we want her to show herself a bit more so after a few minutes she rolled over and gave us a lovely stare showing here scars from fights over the years. Now we had seen 4 of the Big 5 inside 2 hours on our Durban day safari tour and things couldn’t have been better!
We now made our way to the river again to another section to see if we could find anything new. On route we came across the Anti Poaching team and we requested to take their photo. They do such an amazing job in protecting our Rhinos from poachers and risk their lives for nature in South Africa.
We got to the river and stopped for a toilet break and I thought of all the amazing animals we had seen so far on this Durban day safari tour, we had been truly blessed with good luck and correct information and my gut feeling of going north had paid off for my clients. I was very happy.
After we left the river we followed its twists an turns and spotted a herd of Elephant and Buffalo down at the river but the picture was not clear so I left it out. We also spotted Nyala and more Rhino, Giraffe and a great sighting of Zebra very near to the road.
At this point lunch at Hilltop camp was calling our names and we made our way their for some food. The views there are amazing and having a rest was pleasant for all of us. My clients enjoyed some Beer and wine and eventually some food before we had a quick look at the curio shop and then departed Hilltop camp to see what other animals we could find on what had turned out to be a great Durban day safari tour.
Things after lunch in the heat of the day were a little quiet but we spotted some Nyala near the road so I got their picture to add to the already large collection.
We continued our Durban day safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across an amazing crash or 6 Rhinos just next to the road in the open looking at us like we were stupid. They were amazing and we got to enjoy them as the rested in the shade and rubbed there horns on a tree stump. The best picture I got was this one with 4 of their heads in a row! It was incredible! Rhinos being on the brink of becoming extinct this sighting of 6 together was very special for us all.
What an amazing Durban day safari tour, I don’t think we could have wished for more even though I agreed if we spotted a leopard I would buy everyone lunch. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so I didn’t get the pleasure of buying lunch for everyone!
We headed now toward the gate as it was getting closer to 15:30. We then spotted some Baboons down in the Umfolozi section up in a tree and as we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we got them all over the road which was amazing. It was almost 4pm by the time we left and the Baboons just added that cherry on the top to the Durban day safari tour as I know some of my clients really wanted to see monkeys.
An amazing Durban day safari tour with my group had come to an end and we cracked on to Durban to drop off the clients for their night out ( I am Sure) of celebrating the Tour they had just been on.
We arrived around 7pm and we all had smiles as we had seen so much, 4 of the Big 5 and so many other amazing animals, even the Anti poachers were great to see.
Thank you to all my clients for joining me on this Durban day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest proclaimed national park and home to the Big 5 animals, The Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino!
We began our Durban day tour in Kloof where I collected a group of 4 clients before heading down into Durban city to collect another couple from the Elangeni. Once all were aboard and introduced to one another we began the 2.5 hour drive up to the game reserve of Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
On route as normal I tried to cover as much of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as possible and also opened the floor to questions. It is always amazing to get everyone’s perspective on South Africa and Durban and a lot of the time clients do not expect to see such a well developed City or country. I always hear how wonderful our roads are as well as the infrastructure. One of the major things my clients tell me is how green it is!
Being our Summer time going now into Autumn this is still the time of the year we have the majority of our rainfall in KwaZulu Natal. Our tours in KwaZulu Natal are always amazing even when we have times where the animals choose not to show up.
We finally arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve at I think 09:30 and after getting the entrance pass we headed into the national park to be greeted by some Warthogs with piglets. They were covered with mud and this one mother was rubbing herself on one of the bridge crossings.
After watching these Warthogs for a while we continued with our Durban day safari tour to see what else we could find! It was a matter of a minute and we spotted some Baboons and Buffalo in the distance. We decided to wait and watch the Baboons as they were getting closer to the road, every so often we had one run across the road in front of us but I was to slow to get a photo of that.
After the Baboons we spotted some Zebra and Buffalo that were closer to the road. We even got some Zebras crossing in front of us which is always great to see. While we were watching all of this and I was explaining about some of these amazing animals we spotted a Giraffe in the distance which was great to see but didn’t make for a good photo; we could have to wait!
So far it had all been rush and the sightings on our Durban day tour had been thick and fast!
We continued on but within another few minutes we spotted Nyala one of the man types of antelope we have in Africa and then it was a beautiful bird a European Roller! Wow this was turning out to be a great Durban day safari.
This had been an amazing start to our Durban day tour but I knew the day was still long and we had more chances of seeing better or more sightings of the Big 5 and others. At this point we had seen out of the Big 5; Buffalo and Rhino. The Rhino had been in the thickets so I chose to return later to see if we could get them more in the open.
The craze continued as I headed to the Hluhluwe River to look for Elephants but before we could get there we saw more Giraffe. Then at the Hluhluwe river itself we hit the Jackpot! A Lioness walking in clear view down at the river and we just watched here. Every so often she would turn back to see if anything was following her. It became clear when I looked back at the photos that she had swollen nipples meaning she had cubs she was feeding. She walked cautiously up to some Buffalo in the river and then crawled away into the thickets behind the reeds. This was not the 3rd time in 2 weeks I has seen Lions here and clearly now in my mind it was because she had a den sight.
Very exciting stuff for us and we were all pumped up with the luck we were having! Not 3 of the Big 5 we had seen!
Fortune had favored us and we continued to another section of the Hluhluwe river to find Elephant. Again we managed to spot more Nyala antelope and even a crocodile in the river before finally spotting our Elephant at a designated view sight. As the Elephant was in the river and 50 meters away it was safe for us to get out and watch him feeding on the grasses growing in the ever drying up river!
What a great Durban day tour this had been so far! This was not the 4th of the Big 5 and we were on a role!
At this view sight I took picture for my clients of them with the Elephant behind them and I hope they don’t mind me putting their photo up on this blog post. It is always nice to show how if you respect nature you can have a chance to take photos like this on a Durban day tour.
After spending some time with the Elephant we shot back to where the Rhinos were from earlier and we were lucky as they were sleeping in the open under a tree in the shade. The best part of this was that their was 3 Giraffe that walked right past the Rhinos which meant the Rhinos got up to have their photo taken. This was a great sighting and we were all smiles!
The temperatures were rising and it was 33 degrees, it got a little worrying as we headed up to Hilltop camp for lunch and the temperature crept up to 38 degrees. It luckily came down and while we were having lunch it dropped off to about 32 degrees.
Lunch was great apart from the waiter forgetting one of our orders, he tried to make amends by bringing out some ice cream in the mean time which was a nice touch but obviously was a little random. All in all we were very happy with the day and the lunch went down a treat.
We finished up later than I was hoping but what can you do. We continued on our merry way and tried a new area of the game reserve to see if we could find some Lions that had been seen in the morning. Sadly the animals we did see were very far away as it was so hot. We found Rhinos sleeping in the shade, Nyala, Zebra and Rhino.
We also spotted a lovely little crocodile in one of the streams.
We kept trying and as we exited the eastern gate we spotted two Elephant Bulls just drinking water from a mud wallow. As we had the safety of the gate we were also able to get out for better photographs and this was not the second time we had seen Elephants on foot on a Durban day tour! In fact we had not seen Elephants the whole day from the vehicle.
I also used this opportunity to get the clients a good photo of themselves with the Elephants. This had been a great gesture by nature to show up as we were about to leave, it was 4pm and we had struggled after lunch. Over all it had been an amazing Durban day tour and we had seen so much including 4 of the Big 5 which for a day tour was exceptional.
It had be a great day and now it was time to hit that long road back to Durban and then Kloof. We had a little rain on the way back to the city but we were fortunate that the whole safari had been a hot sunny day!
Another brilliant day safari tour with Tim Brown Tours.
I met my clients in Durban and thought this would be a fairly normal Durban Day Safari Tour but I was totally wrong.
You can never predict nature and today was a day I was really happy about that!
Our Durban Safari Tour began and strangely rather slowly.
We saw the usual suspects, Warthogs, Rhino, Zebra and Wildebeest before getting to the Umfolozi river crossing. It was here that the day turned into an amazing day. It was a day of firsts.
My clients were told by some one in Johannesburg that Durban doesn’t have the Big 5. Well that is wrong but even my client would not believe what happened.
We started with some Bull Elephants next to the road which was great for a Durban day Safari tour.
As we drove onto the bridge of the Umfolozi river we spotted 3 of the Big 5 and I got a picture of all three in one photograph.
This was incredible!
The Buffalo’s were in the river with an Elephant and on the hills was a Rhino.
We continued up and as I looked back down the river on the distant sand bank was a pride of Lions resting. Wow what as Durban Safari Tour!
Next we spotted a giraffe; at this point after the slow start I was really happy and excited about seeing Giraffe for my clients.
We headed pasted one of the camps and onto the dirt roads, it was here that I spotted some Rhinos in the mud wallow which was really close to us. Very exciting Safari!
I had heard that there had been a Cheetah spotted with her 3 young cubs but I didn’t want to rush their as I knew they could very easily have moved.
On our way down there out of the corner of my eye I spotted the first Leopard I had seen in 6 months. I was so excited I think I may have cursed which I apologised for!
She was a beautiful female and she slinked off into the bushes after a couple of snap shots were taken.
At this point adrenaline was pumping and I felt like anything was possible we had already seen all 5 of the Big 5 the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot! What an incredible Durban Day Safari Tour.
We made our way down to the cheetah and there were 5 cars there so we got in and out fast its never fun sharing a sighting with other vehicles…
This cheetah was so beautiful and so where her cubs.
We moved off pretty quickly and went back the same way we had come and just thought maybe we would find out Leopard again. I really though there was no chance!
I was pleasantly surprised as I found her 5 meters from the road resting in the shade.
I could not believe our luck this time we were calmer and got a great photo.
I realised she wanted to not be seen by anyone and she moved away from us so I turned off the engine to not stress her out and she walked across the road in front of us. This was just crazy exciting for me and I am sure for my clients.
At this point we were so happy we began to head back to our luncheon stop at the Centenary center. Our Durban Day Safari Tour could not have been any better!
We spotted some Baboons on our way to lunch and got another great photo of what had been a brilliant Durban Safari for us all.
After lunch my guest had a look around the curio shop and for the first time in my life my guests said to me. Tim we feel we are satisfied and we can head back to Durban!
To be very honest they were right and more driving could not have rendered any more results except nothing as it was already so hot at 36 degrees.
We were out of the game reserve at 14:30 and back in Durban at 17:30 about 1.5 hours earlier than normal. It had been a real special day and even I do not have words to describe this amazing and wonderful Durban Day Safari. This type of experience sometimes only happens once in a life time!
If you wish to be as lucky or half as lucky join me Tim Brown Tours for a Durban Day Safari or Durban Tour and I will try to make you day safari tour just as special.
We began our Durban Day Safari Tour in Durban North where I collected my clients and we headed up to the game reserve. As usual I cover the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa as well as the origins of the population groups we have in South Africa.
When people visit South Africa some tend to forget that if they go it alone they are losing out on local Knowledge and a Tour guide who is qualified in the areas History, Nature and Culture would definitely improve there experience. One needs to remember you may only be in South Africa once in your life so find a local guide to maximize your experience.
It was not long an we were at the Nyalazi gate and before we could even get to the official gate we saw Baboons and a massive herd of Buffalo cross the road in front of us!
We didn’t have to continue much further before we found more animals near the gate including, Zebra, Giraffe and Rhino.
This was turning out to be a great day safari from Durban.
This was a beautiful male Giraffe and close to the road as well. While we were still watching this guy and some Buffalo a White Rhino male appeared on our right, I noticed he wanted to cross the road so I reversed back and let him cross which ended up giving us a great shot of him crossing in front of our vehicle.
It was again a few hundred meters after this that we spotted some Wildebeest and Warthogs with Tiny new borns! They were very cute as they suckled from there mother 5 meters off the road.
It was again a matter of time before we saw an amazing bird flying above us, the Secretary Bird! We had also spotted White Backed Vultures on a nest and in flight.
We continued on and enjoyed some lovely scenery in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. The client were desperate to see Elephants and it was our luck day as we saw them on 4 or 5 different occasions.
Our first sighting was quite far about 100 meters from the road but if was enough to get the juices going!
There were two Bull Elephant only one visible in the above picture but what was so nice about this was the Wildebeest and Zebra in the foreground. The Elephant was flapping his ears to cool down the blood in the ears as it was already 30 odd degrees. As the day went on it got up to 38 degrees Celsius. A real stinker of a day.
We continued over the Black Umfolozi river where we found more Buffalo and as we got away from the tar road onto dirt we found a Giraffe male hiding in the shade away from the baking sun!
We were also lucky to spot a beautiful male Kudu.
After leaving this Kudu in the shade and spotting more Impala than we could count we finally got more elephants down in the White Umfolozi river playing around to cool off. It was amazing as once we left them we had an amazing close encounter with a Bull Elephant which approached us in a non threatening way. I allowed him close to us before moving as he wanted to also cross the road.
We continued on to stretch the legs at a picnic sight further down the road. This picnic spot has a great view over the river so we looked to see what we could find. There was a Black Rhino resting in the river it wasn’t long and he got up, it was amazing. Black Rhino are very rare and we were very luck to see one! Some South Africans we chatted to said it was the first Black Rhino they have seen in 15 years of coming to the National parks!
After this amazing sighting we began our hour long drive back to the Centenary center for lunch. When we got there we all enjoyed some food before heading back out on safari to see what else we could find. Our time was a bit limited and we only had just over an hour left of safari time before we would need to head back to Durban.
This was not the end of our spectacular day as we had another 2 sightings of Elephants.
Bull Elephant next to the road on our Durban day Safari Tour
This sighting was of two Bull Elephants which we let walk onto the road and we watched them walk down and away from us. Amazing day Safari from Durban.
We still had time for a few more Rhino and Zebra but then we needed to turn back and head back to the big city of Durban. It had however been an great Durban day safari tour.
On Route to Durban we had time for final questions or sleep before arriving after dark to a little rain! Not surprising with the Temperature being so hot during the day.
I collected my client from 4 different addresses as they were all single travelers. I was very grateful we could make a plan for all of them to get the African Safari experience from Durban. Durban is fortunate to have the continents Oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi which is only 2.5 – 3 hours outside of Durban City. This amazing game reserve is also home to the Big 5 and if our main destination on our Safaris from Durban. In my opinion for Safaris near Durban, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the best!
Once we got going everybody settled in well and got to know each other between my conversation on the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. There is a vast amount in Durban and South Africa’s History which has taken place and in such a short space of time. One of the most interesting part to South Africa and Durban History is the arrival of the Zulu in the early 1800’s. Most people believe that the Zulus or the Black Africans are the real South Africans, this is false. If you take a Safari or Tour with Tim Brown Tours you will learn more of the many interesting secrets that this beautiful country, province and City has to offer.
By the time we got to the game reserve it was 09:30 and we entered and within minutes we had spotted Zebra in the distance! We waited during our Safari for the moment when the Zebra stopped under this Marula tree which made a great photo!
As we slowly continued on it was not to long before we found more animals, the one was a Vulture which was on its nest with its chick. This was beautiful to see and I got a great picture of it to share with the group that was with me on our Durban Safari Tour.
Our Safari near Durban continued and we spotted Nyala and Kudu which are antelope in the same family. The curly horned family or Tragelifus… I got a decent picture of one of the Kudu cows(female) on our Durban Safari Tour.
After spending some time with the Kudus we continued our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a beautiful bird the Cape Glossy Starling. Within Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there is a vast amount of flora and fauna. There are about 380 different bird species!
We enjoyed this bird for a minute before heading further down south in the game reserve. Today actually was a hot day and sat around 37 degrees Celsius or 98 Fahrenheit. We got down to the black Umfolozi river on our Safari from Durban and were luck to find a Bull Elephant drinking and spraying water on himself to cool down.
This was a very exciting sight and we spend some time here enjoying this special moment. So for those that are reading this blog post, their are Safaris near Durban which offer the Big 5 animals and are good quality.
After enjoying our time with this Elephant we continued and found some Rhino in a dry river bed. Before this we did spot a giraffe but he was not interested in posing for a photo.
It was exciting to watch these Rhinos as they were originally sleeping and then got up as slowly walked a bit closer in the river bed. After spending time with them we had to continue to make the most of our time on our Durban Safari Tour.
We had a quiet patch with just Impala, warthogs and some birds until we got past a view point in the river where we were able to stretch our legs and enjoy the view. We then continued to a hide(an area, hut overlooking a watering hole) here we used the wash rooms and waited patiently for animals to come to drink. We were lucky that some Warthogs came and rolled around in the mud. Our Durban Safari was definitely looking good so far.
We again had a long gap with very few animals during the hottest part of the day but then we came across some giraffe close to the road with one male posing in the shade further back under a tree. Wow this was a relief and kept our momentum up on our Durban Safari.
This had been great to see these other Giraffe feeding so close to us. We left them to enjoy there day and we headed back up for what would be a late lunch. As we crossed back over the Umfolozi river there was no Elephant, he had moved off. I did bump into a friend of mine who mentioned that when the came in there was a herd of Elephants at the gate. So I posed the question to the clients, How late would you like lunch – Can you survive. Of course they all agreed if we could see more Elephants lunch could be done later.
So we drove off and spotted more Giraffe on our Durban Day Safari before we got to the Elephants.
This was a hard spot but we got him sleeping under a tree. Giraffe can lye down but will always do it with there necks up right. We hurried on to the Elephant and we were in luck they were still there in the Forrest, drinking water.
These Elephants were beautiful just how they posed was amazing for us all. The female on the right which was clearly the Matriarch was huge with big tusks for a female. Watching the drinking was great and worth having a very late lunch for.
We were so lucky on this Durban Day Safari that we even got this Elephant sniffing us from a distance. She was beautiful and this sighting probably made the day for my clients and myself. We had seen 3 of the Big 5 now and only missing the Cats which was normal for a quick day safari from Durban.
It was time for some lunch and we drove 2 km back to get the the lunch stop, we arrived at just after 3pm so this was a late lunch. After enjoying some food and the clients purchasing some Curios/Gifts from the craft shop we began to head back to the gate to head back to Durban.
Before we could totally exit the reserve we found some more Zebra right next the the road this was the cherry on the top for our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
As we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we all had smiles on our faces and had had a great Durban Day Safari Tour. We stopped along the way to get coffee and arrived in Durban after 7pm. What a great Safari near Durban enjoyed by us all.
We began our Big 5 Private Durban Day Safari Tour to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve in Durban City where I collected my Clients who were here for business. I covered the usual things like the history of the area we were entering into and of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The history of the world famous Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve is always interesting as well as the Flora and Fauna in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve. We made good time and our first stop was at North coast plaza to get coffee. After this short stop to rest we entered at the Nyalazi Gate of the Big 5 Umfolozi Game reserve. These Big 5 Game reserve can be misunderstood as being a guaranteed sighting of the Big 5 but this is not the case as animals roam freely in an area of 960 Square Kilometers. We were lucky and had immediate success as we got a Kudu near the road.
We continued on the main road and we found Elephants in the valley between the airstrip and Masinda lodge. Our Durban Private Big 5 Day Safari Tour was hoting up! It was like the animals can out especially for us in the heat of the day! We must have had some good vibes for our Durban Safari Tour to be going so well.
After the Elephants we got a small bachelor herd of Buffalo crossing the road in front of us and the really posed for us. This was becoming a great Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi Private Safari Tour.
Our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour started well and we even spotted Rhinos up on the Hill!
Our Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi Day Safari Tour continued and we headed down South deep into the Umfolozi section of the reserve where we would attempt to find cats. We didn’t have very much luck at first but then made our way to Bhejane Hide. On route we spotted a Journey of Giraffe and some Zebra.
At Bhejane hide we spotted Warthogs drinking and mud wallowing as well as some Baboons. The one Male had just had sex with one of the females and was resting. We were lucky to see this twice on our Durban Big 5 Private Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
Our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour continued and we spotted a Male Cheetah walking up a ridge and scent marking on the trees, he even rolled over in the dust before disappearing out of sight.
As our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Day safari tour continued we found some wildebeest resting near the road and even a Puff Adder which we nearly hit with the car. I reversed to show the client the beautiful markings and the short fat nature of the snake.
Our amazing Durban Private Big 5 Day Safari from Durban had really turned out well and we hadn’t even had lunch yet! We made our way to the Centenary centre home of operation Rhino and looked at an old carcass of a Buffalo which was killed a week ago by Lions. We also saw some Zebras crossing the road which was great. Zebra crossing road on our Durban Big 5 Private Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve 28th June 2014
After we got some lunch and had a look around the shop our Day Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban was coming to an end. Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve had been a good host for us and still had a couple things to show us. We started to head to the gate and saw some Giraffe trying to cross the road as well as some baboon again playing. We got to see the big male give one of his wives some action and then it was time to finally head out of Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 and Malaria free game reserve.
The long drive back to Durban City was made easier by having seen so much great things and experiencing the wonders that the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve has to offer. Although a Durban Day Safari Tour to this Big 5 game reserve is not ideal to maximise game viewing it is a lot better than not going on a Durban Day Safari Tour at all! Join Tim Brown Tours on your next visit to South Africa we can arrange the best possible experience for any time frame and ensure you leave South Africa – Durban with a lifetime of memories.
After some my clients booked there tour and having realised that they were repeat clients from 2 years ago, the pressure gently mounted as I was reminded that we had seen Leopard on our last Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve. Amazingly with my photographic memory I could remember the Leapard sighting which Laura had actually spotted walking down a game path after our lunch at Hilltop camp. I obviously have no control of nature I just know the best areas to look for them!
As per usual on a Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve I cover the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on our drive up and what is nice is after 2 years of continuous learning I had some new information for my repeat clients.
After departing Durban at 06:30 we had arrived 3 Hours later at Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 game reserve to begin our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour in the oldest national park in Africa!
I chose to take a chance and go into the quieter section of the game reserve the Umfolozi section where I knew I would battle for Rhino,Elephant and Buffalo compared to the Hluhluwe Section which is full of them. My reasoning behind this decision was 2 fold! One reason being the clients wanted to see Lions and cheetah as well as Elephant. The other reason being I knew the Umfolozi section being so baron and dry makes it easier to spot the Cats, we also usually come across Male Elephants along the way so that sealed the deal! Of course there is no promised when it comes to nature, Luck plays a huge role in seeing these amazing Big 5 Animals on a Durban Big 5 Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 game reserve.
We were blessed among the quiet times with beautiful views and some great sightings. Our first major sighting was some Rhino on a ridge resting.
Once we had a quick look at them and they stayed stationary we moved off and hit the jackpot with a large Bull Elephant about to cross the road. I lined up the vehicle for my clients to give them a good view as he crossed the road and amazingly he stopped on a dirt road perpendicular to us and picked up a piece which had broken off a Car and threw it in the air! This was so cool it just made it very clear who was the boss and what he could do if he wasnt respected by us.
After this male Elephant we actually went through a lean period where we only came across Impala and Warthog for about an hour! This is usual though and you just have to be patient and wait for your luck to pick up. Eventually we came across some Zebra and a Large male Kudu with big curling horns. Ok, they we not the Big 5 but they were a blessing after a drought period on our Bull Elephant stands on the road on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve!
We continued on and visited Bhejane hide where I knew there had been a Lioness in the early morning. The trouble is as soon as word gets out every Tom, Dick and Harry go there usually making so much noise that the Lions move off. This is exactly what happened but this did not take away from the value of our visit to Bhejane Hide. We saw load of great animals! First was this Buffalo with the White Fronted Bee-Eaters sitting on a dead branch in front of face. What luck, Buffalo Bull resting with two White Fronted Bee-eaters on a dead branch on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve, Brilliant!
As we waited in the “hide” to see what else would come to drink water we spotted some Wildebeest making there way in for some muddy water on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
The Wildebeest gently waded through the mud to get to the water and quenched there thirst. It was a hot Winters day Safari Tour in Africa and the mercury rose to 29 degrees. Next to come along was a big hit everybody started to get excited and it was a Journey of 8 giraffe that come to drink on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
As we decided to leave the hide mostly due to the time and distance to the luncheon stop I handed out some waters to quench our thirst. As we drove back up at a good rate of knots we reminisced over what we had just enjoyed. The trouble was it didnt end there! We arrived at a view sight over the White Umfolozi river and we stopped to see what people were looking at! It was Lions in the distance on the other bank in the shade with little cubs on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
We only spent 5 minutes watching them through the binoculars before we decided to continue on as a cheetah had been seen in the morning and bam! There he was 100 meters away from where we had just been watching the Lions was a Male Cheetah resting in the shade on this hot African Day on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
This was now everything my clients really wanted to see, Lions, Elephant, Giraffe and cheetah in the wild! We could now move on to get some lunch which was more like and early dinner!
We didn’t travel to far and we spotted a Rhino Male resting up in the shade this always happens when you are hungry that you begin to see loads of amazing animals.
At this point is was a quick photo before heading on as it was already 2pm. By the time we got up to the Centenary center which is home to Operation Rhino in the 1950’s and 60’s it was 14:30. We ordered our lunch and by just after 15:00 we had a filled our tanks and were reminiscing over the days events on our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
We put it out to the universe that we would like to see more Elephants before leaving and literally at the gate we were to exit was a couple of Bull Elephants feeding way right next to the road!
Our Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve was basically completed with the small matter of a 3 hour drive back to Durban. Non of us were complaining of that after what had turned out to be a spectacular Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve on the 21st June 2014.
We arrived in Durban(Umhlanga) happy and satisfied with the day and I said farewell to my clients. Im sure they will be back again for a Overnight Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve.
If you wish to experience something similar to a Durban Big 5 Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Big 5 Game reserve you need to contact me and Tim Brown Tours will try and make you Safari dreams come true!
We began this Durban Day Tour from Umhlanga where I collected my repeat clients after we had spend 3 Days in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve. Today would be quite different with a visit to a smaller Safari Park/Game reserve outside of Durban called Three Cities Tala Private game lodge. We would also visit the Valley of 1000 hills where Phezulu Safari Park is situated and watch some traditional Zulu Dancing and Singing with the bonus of the reptile park on the side!
I was fortunate to have clients that were happy to enjoy what ever came there way on our Durban Day Safari.
After a short hour drive from Umhlanga(Durban) to Tala private game reserve we began the search for the animals. We first spotted the Hippos and made our way around after our to to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland parks boat cruise had been cancelled we wanted to see move of these great animals. I was fortunate to catch a Hippo with its mouth open on this Durban Day Safari.
As we enjoyed the Hippos we also watched a colony of Egyptian Geese cackling away on the banks of the pond.
Our Durban Day Safari at Tala continued on and found a Wildebeest mother and Calf and later larger herds of Wildebeest one of which a dominant male was scratching his head!
We spotted a male and female Ostrich notice the male which is the black one is ready for mating he has pink on his shins and beak. The shins you wont see but the beak you should!
As we continued our Durban Day Tour we came across some Zebras, Actually load in total through the day…
The best sighting of the day in Tala private game lodge was the Giraffe we just had loads of them about 15 in total walking across the road, standing by the watering hole and even drinking. This was my clients interest the Giraffe so we spend a least half an hour with these lovely animals and enjoyed there movements on our Durban Day Tour.
It was time to depart Tala Private game reserve after having a look around there curio shop and walking within 10 meters of a giraffe, we had to continue to the Valley of 1000 Hills and Phezulu Safari Park.
It was a 30 minute drive over the rolling hills of the valley of 1000 hills where we stopped for lunch at the Boma restaurant at Phezulu Safari park. We had some great food with a view and then made our way to the Crocodile and reptile park so get educated on these amazing prehistoric animals.
We went around with Mdu who did a good job and Trudy who was keen on the snakes got to hold a Brown House snake and a Python (both being Non-Venomous)! – So now you know what we get up to on our Durban Day Safari Tours!
After all this excitement on our Durban Day Tour we still had more as we moved across to the Traditional Zulu Village run by Chief Gaza whos family still live there. This was great as Zulu Dancing and singing is so powerful as well as entering the huts and drinking traditional Zulu beer made this an awesome Durban Day Tour experience.
The whole point of these Zulu Cultural experiences is to learn about there amazing culture and that the clients did. The entering of the Huts is a special touch which makes this Durban Day Tour a must.
When we had taken in this amazing experience we departed to visit the Leather shop down the road before our Durban Day Safari Tour was coming to an end. We made our way back to Umhlanga(Durban) where I dropped my clients off.
After meeting my clients in Durban at the Quarters Hotel on Florida Road we began the Journey to the Big 5 Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve covering the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and Hluhluwe Umfolozi.
We stopped along the way at Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation centre where the clients were able to interact hands on with 4 endangered Wild Cats the Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat!
We were lucky on this Durban Day Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi as the Caracal and Servals were very interactive.
After enjoying these cats and getting educated on the plight we continued to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve; Africa’s Oldest proclaimed national park established in 1895.
The Flora and Fauna in Hluhluwe Umfolozi is remarkable and I knew the clients would enjoy it.
Upon entering Hluhluwe Umfolozi for our Safari tour we got lucky with some Giraffes near the gate. As we went further up the road we spotted some Buffalo in the valley before spotting a Crowned eagle sitting on a Sycamore Fig Tree while the Trumpeter Hornbills cried there displeasure.
On the opposite side of the road was an old male Buffalo which just lay down in the grass looking very tired and old.
We continued on towards Hilltop Camp for some lunch and to check in to the resort.
After a great Lunch and 30 minutes of rest we headed back out onto the game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi on our Safari Tour and came across a herd of Buffalo crossing the road. We were actually looking for Elephants but they were to far away we could only hear them trumpet in the distance.
Our Durban Safari Tour continued and we spotted some Rhino in the long grass, we were patient and we found them coming closer to the road which made for a great photo.
We moved on to a view point where we spotted some Hippos standing in the shallow water feeding on the reeds at about 16:30 and a Big Crocodile on the bank. Our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour was really building up.
We continued and spotted more Rhinos and Loads of Giraffe all over the place it was frustrating at the light was fading and I needed to drop on of my clients off at the Memorial gate. After doing this we returned to Hilltop camp in the Hluhluwe Section of the reserve.
So far on Day 1 of our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour we had seen 2 of the Big5, Rhino and Buffalo. This left me with a great challenge the next day!
After some great steaks at Hilltop camps restaurant we headed to bed after a brief looking at the stars. We had an early morning the next day a 6am start.
We woke early long before the sun was up and began our day from Hilltop camp driving down into the Umfolozi section of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve to try find Lions. We took with us packed breakfasts and our Durban Safari Tour began!
We sped down south and saw a few giraffe before we struck gold and got a young male Lion crossing the road in front of us. It happened so fast by I did get a photo after he lay down in the thickets 30 meters off the road.
We were all so happy now that we had knocked the Lion on the head so to speak. After this we moved on and spotted a Wildebeest and Impalas near the road. I heard a sound and turned the engine off, It was a Hyena calling announcing his presence. Sadly he was to far away to be seen but it added to the experience of our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour.
We made our way down to the Black Umfolozi river where we spotted hyena tracks and a Lioness in the distance down stream which was in a bad way. She could have been attacked by a big male and was looking worse for wear!
As we left that area we were so happy having found lions twice on our morning Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Hilltop camp.
We could not have asked for a better start to the day. Then we reached Mpila camp in Umfolozi and spotted some vervet monkeys and Impala before continuing down towards Mphafa hide where we were luck enough to see Zebra, Nyala and Impala drinking. Durban Day Safaris to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve are amazing and we had 3 of them back to back!
After this we continued our Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve and found Warthogs, loads of Impala even a Kudu and more Zebra and Wildebeest before we spotted a large Journey of Giraffe near the White Umfolozi river. Durban City had certainly become a distant memory for us at this point!
We came across a crash of Rhino resting in a open area before checking back on our injured Lioness which got up and hobbled along before sitting down again in the river on a sand bank. I think that tonight is the night that the call of the Hyenas will carry her name…!
Giving our pathetic Lioness a final glance we had to push on and not let the inevitable consume our minds. We were quickly cheered up as I spotted some Elephants on the hills which was great as being patient for the whole day we were rewarded. After a few minutes we continued to lunch at Centenary centre, At this point I had been driving for 6 hours and was pretty shattered!
Lunch at the home of Operation Rhino which brought back the Rhinos from extinction in the 1950’s and 1960’s was special. You always feel humbled to know that Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve saved Rhinos from a definite extinction 60 years ago. We should all be indebted to them for this miracle!
On completion of lunch we shot off on our final stretch to Hilltop camp on what had already been a fantastic Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour in this amazing Big5 game reserve.
We again spotted Elephants on a ridge still a little far for good photos but as we came closer to Hilltop camp we nailed these Ellies! We got a Large herd of about 25 individuals with lots of tiny babies crossing the road in front of us. They were on a mission to get to water down at the mansiya river. What a 3 Day Safari Tour this was turning out to be!
After an 8 hour Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve we arrived back at Hilltop camp, collected the tickets for the evening game drive and I showed my clients were we had been they were amazed at home far we had travelled.
After a rest for the clients I collected them and took them to the Open vehicle for there Evening – Night Safari game drive. I’m sure they would enjoy this even though it would be a bit cold…
It was time for dinner and bed…
We had a sleep in till 6am and met just before 7am to pack the car and get some breakfast before a final 3 hour Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve.
After this we would head to Isimangeliso wetland park for a 2 hour boat cruise on the Estuary of St Lucia.
We departed after breakfast and made our way to try and relocate the herds of Elephant we had spotted the day before crossing to get a drink from the river. It was 5 minutes and we spotted the on there way back feeding in the thickets. As my clients loved Elephants we spend lots of time with the Elephant waiting on then. Eventually after 40 minutes we drop off and spotted another large herd of Elephant near the road and we waited for then to cross in front of us. We the spotted an old Big male who seems to have some sort of polio in his back left leg(old hop along we called him).
The sighting got crazier as 2 younger but still big males were challenged by old hop along and we had a great time reversing to give the 3 of them space!
There was a 3rd herd of Elephant making its way to the road and we let them cross they has some really tiny babies and this made our day!
What a final Day Safari Tour! We also stopped next to a large male who put his trunk up to smell us and my pour clients got such a fright but he was only smelling us nothing malicious.
I could not believe what this day Safari Tour had brought us! After about over an hour and a half we decided to leave and see what else we could find. We also spotted giraffe, Buffalo and Baboon another favourite with my clients. We even found a Southern Egg Eater Snake in a pile of Elephant Dung!
We had to head on to the gate to make our way to St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetand Park. All of a sudden the wind picked up and was blowing the vehicle around a bit. We arrived in St Lucia and were disappointed that all boat cruises had been cancelled due to the strong winds.
We made the most of this and had some great seafood and pizza in St Lucia Town. Then we headed down to the board walk and did the walk to the Indian ocean and spotted 2 hippos grazing out of the water and a crocodile on a grassy patch in the middle of the Estuary.
Along the walk I tried to cover things like the mangrove swamps and crabs which would have been covered on the boat had the weather played ball with us!
After enjoying St Lucia – Isimangeliso wetland park we continued back to Durban City (actually Umhlanga) reminiscing on what the 3rd Day of our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve had brought us.
An amazing time, just incredible Days of Safari Touring!
I collected my clients from Durban for there Durban Day Safari Tour and we headed up to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve Africas oldest. On route I chatted about some of the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal as well as general political issues we face in our wonderful country of South Africa.
It was a warm day for winter in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and I was still expecting to see more Rhinos but Sadly we only has one decent sighting the whole day.
We arrived at Memorial gate where we began our Hluhluwe Imfolozi day Safari Tour. As we passed the usual road works we came across a nice male young male Elephant crossing the road while his mates were on the other side moving further away from him.
We continued on and an tried to find some Lion cubs that were seen in the early morning game drive but alas it was to late, to thick and to hot for them to be next to the road at 10:30. We did however have a lovely herd of Elephant on the road right where the Lions would have been and they clearly were not happy about the smell of Lions!
We had to wait for the mother with her calf to move away before they males shifted themselves and we continued on to find 3 White backed Vultures still waiting on the thermals to fly and look for dead meat. Our Durban Day Safari Tour was heating up. Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game reserve is an amazing place.
We continued along the dirt road and spotted a bachelor herd of Nyala crossing and them waiting in the thickets close to one another so we could get a great shot of them on our Durban Day Tour.
We moved on and enjoyed the fresh Durban and African air and as I got a question about the existence of Crocodiles in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we I spotted one. He was resting on the banks of the Hluhluwe River with his mouth ajar to regulate his body temperature. Durban Day Safari tours can be rewarding but you have to be patient.
It was nearing time to head to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe for lunch but before we did this we checked the River at a different section and found a large herd of Buffalo resting on the rivers edge probably after a scary African night in the bush with Lions at there feet. We are lucky to have a Big 5 Safari reserve so close to Durban.
We had now seen two of the Big 5 on our Durban Day Tour and continued to see what else we could find. As we checked for Rhinos we found this Baboon with his family next to the road and in the road feeding of fruits.
It was now really time for some lunch with no success on the Rhino front and my clients really wanting to see them we stopped earlier so we could get the middle of the day out the way on our Day Safari Tour.
Hilltops lunch was great as always and we hurried it along to get back out. We headed down south and found a crash of 3 or 4 Rhinos next the the road but in the thickets which meant we didnt get a great photo. The big male got up and walked into a little opening but I didnt feel the picture was worth putting up as it was so bad. This was not 3 of the Big 5 and the clients could smile again! To get 3 of the Big 5 is hard enough in such a short Durban Day Safari.
We were on a roll again and spotted some giraffe near enough to the road but just the sun messing up the picture.
After looking at the giraffe for a while we continued on and got to the Umfolozi River where there was another crocodile and a Male buffalo on the rivers bank. We had to turn back and on route to the gate we finally found out Zebra, yay! Now our Durban Day Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve was complete.
After the Zebra male struck a pose it was time to move on and we were lucky to see a big male warthog at the Nyalazi gate as we exited and made our way back to Durban after a fairly successful Hluhluwe Umfolozi 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.