Durban Safaris Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 4th September 2016

    We have had some great success on our recent African safaris from Durban over the past couple of months.

  • 25th March 2016

    Tala half day tour

     

     

    Our Tala half day tour from Durban began in the city of Umhlanga. Once we heading off we got chatting about the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa before we arrived at Tala game reserve.

    The history is the build up to a great Durban tour and it is always interesting to answer questions on my beautiful country considering how much has happened here and what we have managed to come through.

    Once we arrived at Tala game reserve for our half day tour we got into 4×4 and off we went through the reserve looking for animals. Fortunately the one animal the clients really wanted to see as they hadn’t seen it the day before on another tour was the Giraffe and we spotted it in the distance.

    I made our way around to the Giraffe first but before we could get there Tala threw up some get other sightings like; Ostrich and Hippos.

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; Hippo

    Tala half day tour; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We got round to the Giraffe and there were 6 of them enjoying the succulent leaves of the Acacia trees. We really spent some good time with them till we could get the best photo before moving on with our Durban safari.

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; Giraffe

    Tala half day tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was time to look for the Rhino now which is never really that hard at Tala game reserve as they have a very high density of animals and of course male Rhinos are territorial. The first pair we found we hard to photograph but we got a great shot in the end.

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; Rhino

    Tala half day tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Durban safari continued through Tala game reserve and we found lots of Zebra, Impala, Blessbok and Rhino together at a watering hole. This made for a great photo.

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; 3 in 1

    Tala half day tour; 3 in 1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was also time to have a rest break and a look through the craft market which we did and my client were able to find gifts and items for their home decor.

    We got back out on our Durban safari and Tala produced more lovely sighting of Impala and Zebra.

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; Impala lamb suckling

    Tala half day tour; Impala lamb suckling

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Impala lamb suckling was a great sighting and then the Zebra really posed so nicely for us on a ridge near the dam.

     

     

     

     

     

    Tala half day tour; Zebra

    Tala half day tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to make our way back to Umhlanga to return my clients after a lovely half day tour from Durban which was well worth the trip. We all had a great time and I am sure the clients enjoyed everything the tour offered.

    Durban safaris are the best was to see nature close up and can be done in a half day.

  • 9th March 2016

    Hluhluwe day safari

     

    We began our Hluhluwe day safari bright and early as you would when going on an African safari tour! It was a lovely day as it had rained the night before so it was a little cooler today so we could enjoy the safari away from the extreme summer heat!

     

    On route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve I covered some of the interesting history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as well as the population groups and how they came to be here. It also ended up with some politics which you really should never discuss with your clients but if they are happy with hearing your opinion then it is fine.

     

    Our arrival at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for our safari was great for us all as I have personally been away from actual tours for 3 weeks and was fresh and really looking forward to finding animals. I also took our new 4×4 vehicle up to test the capabilities and it was very comfortable and ideal for a safari.

     

    Our first sighting was actually Zebra just on the other side of the gate at a mud wallow. We then entered and found Warthogs as well waiting for us!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Warthogs

    Durban big 5 day safari; Warthogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not long and we found Rhino up on a hill making their way down we watch for a while but I knew we would have a better sighting else ware so we moved on.

    We went over the lovely rolling hills of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and found some Rhino close enough for a great photo.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Rhino

    Durban big 5 day safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After chatting about the plight of these amazing creatures we continued on and found some Nyala and more Zebra on the hills. It was not long before we spotted Giraffe in the distance. I told my clients not to worry we will get round to them and that was a stupid thing to say as the next road junction was closed due to road works so I had to take the long way round to get to the Giraffe.

     

    We stopped at a view point of what is supposed to be the Hluhluwe river, well it was totally dry and had no animals. You know when you look at a documentary of a desert and you see bones, that is exactly what we saw!

    Finally we got some Buffalo nice and close.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Herd of Buffalo

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Herd of Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The baboons we saw on our Durban safari tour were not really playing ball but we did find one that looked like it was lighting a cigarette! LOL

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Baboon lights a cigarette

    Durban big 5 day safari; Baboon lights a cigarette

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finally made it round to the Giraffe and thank God they were still in the same area as it had been an hour detour! Our Durban safari became very exciting very quickly at this point!

    This one Giraffe was chewing a bone and had all these Red Bill Oxpeckers on her feeding on the ticks.

    This is very common behavior to get calcium into their diet but is not always seems or understood. I love nature!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Giraffe chewing a bone

    Durban big 5 day safari; Giraffe chewing a bone

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then hit a stroke of good fortune as I watch a Giraffe staring into the bushes and I looked to see what she was looking at. It was an Elephant hidden and feeding in a thicket on the other side of the dry river bed. We waited and waited and eventually he came out into the open and this made our Durban safari very much worth it as we had now seen 3 of the Big 5 already!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Elephant

    Durban big 5 day safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued our safari and made our way up to Hilltop camp for some lunch but before we could get there my clients did well to spot a Zebra which was rubbing himself on a dead branch. We stopped to watch this interesting act.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban big 5 day safari; Zebra has a scratch

    Durban big 5 day safari; Zebra has a scratch

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lunch was great and we continued on with not much time to go and as it was the afternoon we battled for any new animals. We did find Hippo before lunch which I forgot about but there after it was some Impala, Nyala and some of the other animals we had seen already.

     

    It still had been a great Durban big 5 day safari tour and we were all pretty happy with the day as we departed arriving after 7pm at the Oysterbox hotel and then 07:40 in Kloof before I headed home.

     

    An African safari is a must and if you are in Durban why go to Kruger park which is 10 hours away when you can have the same wonderful safari experience 2.5 hour outside of our lovely city!

  • 16th January 2016

    Durban safari tours

     

     

     

    Our Big 5 Durban safari tour began in Durban and we headed to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve stopping at a Cheetah sanctuary to interact with some Endangered big cats.

     

    Once we finished up we entered into Hluhluwe game reserve and made our way slowly to Hilltop camp, on route spotting some Zebra fighting.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Zebra

    Durban safari tours; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was not long into our Durban safari tour that we spotted some Giraffe and behind the Giraffe was a Rhino. It was a great start to our tour and we continued on to Hilltop camp for a late lunch.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

    Durban safari tours; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After lunch we got settled in our rooms and then went back out in the hope of finding Lions in the evening on our Durban safari tour. It was not to be but we did find some Elephants shortly after lunch.

    This was great as it was close to top of the list to see and with being patient we got then to cross the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Elephants

    Durban safari tours; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we winding our way on some dirt road to the Hluhluwe river we managed to spot some Rhino next to the road sleeping. They looked so cute! Our Safari from Durban was really hotting up.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Rhino

    Durban safari tours; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky enough to find more Rhino on the road and Buffalo at dusk before we needed to get to Hilltop camp for some Dinner and of course a rest.

     

     

    Dinner was lovely and so was a good nights rest, we would be up early and departed at 5am the next day to continue our Durban safari tour.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban safari tours

     

     

    With a 5 am start we were already tired but it was a day full of expectation and after one and a half hours of no cats I was feeling the heat!

    We had still great sightings at first of Elephant on the road, Rhino, Buffalo and much more.

    Our first major sighting was actually a Black Rhino which is hugely endangered and this was awesome to see!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Black Rhino

    Durban safari tours; Black Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Further into our Durban safari tour in Hluhluwe game reserve we spotted a lovely herd of Buffalo on the road.

    The one male gave us the stare of the tax man!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We made our way into the Umfolozi section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and after a toilet stop we continued our Durban safari tour. We checked the best areas for Lions without much luck but still kept seeing other great animals like these Rhinos on the edge of the cliff.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Rhino

    Durban safari tours; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I was not beginning to feel the heat and even though I know nature is uncontrollable I like to think that if I work hard I will be able to find cats for my clients.

     

    Thankfully less than a kilometer away we found our Lions resting 100 meters from the road but after a couple minutes they got up and moved into the thickets. I was just so grateful we had seen them!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Lions

    Durban safari tours; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We headed back up to Hilltop camp feeling pretty happy with what we had seen in the 3.5 hours of Safari in Hluhluwe and Imfolozi game reserves.

    Coffee and food was calling so when we got back to camp it was great to have the food and Coffee all prepared and a ready for us!

     

    After brunch we took a rest until after lunch when we went back out again to see what we could find.

     

    Sadly two of the family we unable to make the afternoon game drive so the 3 of us headed out and spotted some Zebra on the road.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Zebra

    Durban safari tours; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued our Durban safari tour we could not believe our luck as we spotted another Black Rhino in the distance on a hill this was some sort of record! Two different sightings of Black Rhino in one day!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Black Rhino in afternoon

    Durban safari tours; Black Rhino in afternoon

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued with our safari in Hluhluwe game reserve and headed to the Hluhluwe river, it was here we located a mother Buffalo with a new born baby in the mud. The baby did stand up and sat back down so we hoped she would get up with the new mother and move away at some point.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo in the mud

    Durban safari tours; Buffalo in the mud

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We needed to get back to camp as my client were taking the open vehicle game drive and we also needed to check on the other two. Sadly they were still not feeling to great so they skipped the drive but the lads headed out.

     

    I got some time to write this post and then headed through to meet the ladies for dinner and later the men would join us.

     

    It had been another amazing day in Africa on safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: Durban safari tours

     

     

     

    Our day began at 5am and we headed out with 4 of the big 5 already under our belt and just the elusive Leopard to find which I always assume we will not as it is a glimpse every 5 months or so…

    We decided to go back to when I knew the Lions had last been seen to check again and then we would head to the Hluhluwe river to see if they finally moved around to there.

    It turned out to be a great idea! When we arrived at the Hluhluwe river we found both Black and White Rhino together 50 meters apart in the riverbed! This was a rare sight so I had to post the picture. It was a few seconds and the Black Rhino ran away into the thickets.

    For the record our Buffalo new born and mother had moved off and got out of the mud!

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; White and Black Rhino in same picture

    Durban safari tours; White and Black Rhino in same picture

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We checked the next view point and finally located our Lions and it was the whole pride. As they were down in the riverbed and all 7 Lions were there and we were at a view sight on to of a hill we were able to get out for a better view.

    It was great as no other vehicles had yet driven by so we had then to ourselves and enjoyed a young male Lion playing with what looked like a Terrapin or Tortoise.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion plays with a Tortoise/Terrapin

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Durban safari tour had really become a great trip and we now had our second sighting of Lions and finally a big Male which everyone wants to see!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Lions

    Durban safari tours; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We left our Lions and made our way for a toilet stop before finding what the kids had wanted to see, a Mongoose. We managed to see 3 Slender Mongooses on this day and the best was our second sighting.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Slender Mongoose

    Durban safari tours; Slender Mongoose

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to take our Durban safari tour elsewhere to the Isimangaliso wetland park or commonly known as St Lucia estuary for a 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile viewing boat tour.

    We stopped at Hilltop camp to get breakfast, pack and check out before going.

     

    It was an hours drive from the Nyalazi gate and we were back to the boring cows and goats of the area!

     

    Once our tour got to St Lucia estuary we boarded the Santa Lucia and we enjoyed a great cruise!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Crocodile

    Durban safari tours; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Further us stream we finally got to some big pods of Hippos and had great sightings even on in the reeds feeding. Most of the Hippos as they do in the day time were spending the day in the estuary keeping cool in the water.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari tours; Hippo

    Durban safari tours; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great part of our Durban safari tour we headed into St Lucia town and made our way for some lunch. After this we made our way back to King Shaka international airport as my clients had a flight to catch to Port Elizabeth.

     

    It had been a great 3 days with some amazing sightings, highlights being: Elephants close, Black Rhino 3 times, Lions twice and really everything that makes a safari a safari!

     

  • 25th October 2015

    South Africa holidays – Kruger park vs Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve

     

     

    South Africa has a wide range of wilderness safaris to choose from and it always boils down to what South African holiday or South African safari tours are best advertised!

    I hope that this post will be able to clear up some of the many questions potential travelers to South Africa have when looking at wilderness safaris or African tours.

    If you join us on your South African holiday you can expect an amazing experience from culture, culture to historical.

     

     

     

     

    Experience Tim Brown Tours – Durban Safaris and Durban Tours:

     

     

     

     

     

    It is clear that most people around the world when you say South Africa they think of a Safari! Who wouldn’t but along with that comes the next thought, Kruger national park. Kruger Park is the first Wilderness safari which comes to mind and most of the time as it is so well advertised travelers will not look any further.

    What does a traveler do if they have limited time and are not travelling to Johannesburg?

    We have to consider that even Johannesburg is 4 – 5 hours away from the famous or well advertised Kruger park.

    There are so many options when considering a South Africa holiday or South Africa tours. There are African budget safaris, Luxury safaris and middle range safaris which in my opinion are better value for your Doller/Euro or Pound!

     

    Everybody has a budget and it is not always possible to splurge on an expensive African safari but if you are to travel all this way you do want to experience a Wilderness safari be it in Kruger national park or Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    Facts about Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve:

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the oldest protected area/National park in Africa established in 1895 and is home to the Big 5, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. This is not all as Hluhluwe Imfolozi also has, Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, African Wild dog, Hippo and Hyena!

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is split into two sections the Hluhluwe game reserve in the North and the Umfolozi game reserve in the south. Both of these are linked and have no fences between them but are fenced off from the local communities giving the reserve more protection and the people.

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is 96 000 hectares in size and is ideally situated 2.5 hours from Durban a coastal city on the eastern tip of Africa.

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi is Malaria free which is a big plus factors so you do not need to take any anti-Malarial medication!

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve was home to “Operation Rhino” in the 1950’s which brought back the White Rhino from extinction, during these years the Kruger national park had no Rhinos left due to poaching and hunting.

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve now has the highest density of White Rhino in the world and they are protected by an Anti-poaching team which are able if they come across poachers to shoot them with out asking questions. The same applies in Kruger national park.

    The Rhino is part of our heritage and scientists believe by 2030 there will be no Rhinos left in the World.

    In South Africa alone in 2014 – 1215 Rhino were killed for there horns, in 2013 – 1004 Rhino and in 2012 – 868 Rhinos. You can see the trend is increasing and this the Rhinos we know about or have found!

    This is even more of a reason to get to South Africa for a holiday and Hluhluwe game reserve for either a African budget safari or African safari tour before it is to late.

    If you compare the two pictures I have take I am sure you would agree that the living Rhino looks much better! These was taken on the same day the 29th of September 2015 to show you the reality of this situation we are in!

     

     

    Rhino comparison; The reality

    Rhino comparison; The reality

     

     

     

     

    This was a video I took of what you can experience if you visit Hluhluwe game reserve with Tim Brown Tours. It was a cute baby Rhino laying down on the road in front of us twice!

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino calf rests on road in front of us

     

     
    It is clear to see that Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as an African safari tour destination in its own right has so much to offer!

     

     

    Facts about Kruger national park

     

     

    Kruger national park is the second oldest protected area/National park in South Africa established in 1898 and is home to the Big 5, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. Kruger park also has Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, African Wild dog, Hippo and Hyena. This makes it on par with Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    Kruger park is very commercial and is so busy due to its good marketing that the park has had to put a limit to the number of vehicles entering each gate. This means you could go there and be turned away!

    Kruger park is however 1000 000 hectares in size which means if a sighting is called in you probably will not be able to get there as it could be just to far away. It is not ideally situated at 9 hours from Durban or 4-5 hours from Johannesburg.   It also boarders with Mozambique on the east and Zimbabwe in the north making it at higher risk from poachers coming in from the poorer countries to kill Rhinos.

    Kruger park is not Malaria free which means you will have to take anti-Malarial medication!

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve supplied Kruger national park with Rhinos as they had non left due to poaching and hunting in the 1950’s.

     

    Now having compared Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to Kruger national park it is hard to believed why so many people choose Kruger park for a wilderness safari instead of making their holidays in South Africa for an African safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi???

     

    Any African safari tour is better than non but having the pro’s and con’s shown to you I am sure you will be visiting Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve instead of Kruger national park for your African safari.

    If the above was not enough to change your perspective see what our clients have said about us on TripAdvisor!

     

     

     

    If that didn’t do it try this Video review about South Africa holidays with Tim Brown Tours on African safari tour.

     

     

    Review video of Tim Brown Tours – Durban Safaris and Durban Tours:  

     

     


     

     

     

  • 16th October 2015

    Hluhluwe game reserve safari 15th October 2015

     

     

    After having a few days off from being on the road I began another Hluhluwe game reserve safari for a couple from America who were out in South Africa for a holiday.

    An African safari is always the best way to see the best that Africa has to offer and Hluhluwe game reserve which is a Big 5 reserve is the best place to visit if you are in the Durban, KwaZulu Natal area.

    Hluhluwe game reserve is the oldest protected reserve in Africa and home to the Big 5, the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. The Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino. We are very fortunate to have the Hluhluwe game reserve on the door step of Durban.

    Hluhluwe game reserve is a mere 2.5 hours away from Durban city and as this blog post will show in one day on an African safari, is the best place to visit with Tim Brown Tours.

     

    We began this amazing day in Durban where I met my clients and on route to the Hluhluwe game reserve I covered the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa. As South Africa and particularly Durban is a melting pot of difference cultures their is so much to talk about before we even get to experience the Hluhluwe game reserve on our African safari.

     

    We arrived earlier than I expected at Hluhluwe game reserve and I had an idea where Lions could be from discussing with some guide friends the day before. We went straight there but the Lions were no where near where I had been told. I figured I would try another 5 km up the road to be sure and just as I was about to turn back we spotted them feeding on a Buffalo about 100 meter off the main highway which cuts through the middle of the Hluhluwe game reserve in the North and the Umfolozi game reserve in the South.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions on a kill

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions on a kill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on Buffalo


     

     

     

    It is a bit of a misconception that Vultures always circle when there is a kill. They circle and drop down waiting in the near by trees and on the group for the predators to finish. A lot of the time you can see vultures circling and you assume they have found a carcass. Most of the time it is just them catching the thermals after leaving there roosting spot and using the thermals to conserve energy circling upwards before heading off to find a carcass.

     

    These Lions had killed this Buffalo a couple day before and we got to see 5 Lions in total. There were two big males and 3 Lioness.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on a Buffalo

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on a Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve: Lions on a Buffalo kill

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After spending almost 45 minutes with these Lions and watching them feed and move around we decided be better head into the gate of the Hluhluwe game reserve and investigate roads that we can only use by paying the entrance.

    What was so funny was that on this one stretch of road we had seen 3 of the Big 5, Buffalo, Lions and Elephant.

     

    We entered the Hluhluwe game reserve and had some luck as we spotted a dazzle of Zebra walking down the road towards us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Zebra walking down road

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Zebra walking down road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had a great sighting of these Zebra and we made our way further north in Hluhluwe game reserve to and area where Lions had been seen. Sadly for us we were 10 minutes to late and the Lions had moved away with all the vehicle pressure so we only saw then far off. It was not all lost as I spotted some Giraffe and Rhino and then we spotted an Elephant. It really was turning out to be a great safari in Hluhluwe game reserve.

    As the pictures were not a good as we would get later in the day we continued on with our safari and headed back south out of the Hluhluwe game reserve in the Umfolozi game reserve. It was here we spotted Rhino and one was marking his territory.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino marks his territory

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino marks his territory

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The male Rhinos kick their dung and scatter it out in what we call a midden which is a regular spot within their territory that the use to mark out their boundaries. The scattering gets their scent into their feet as well and they can then walk putting more scent down as they go.

     

    We were trying to get ourselves down to the Umfolozi river but kept seeing things like Giraffe and Impala so it took longer than we expected.

    At one of the view points over the Umfolozi river we spotted Lions far down stream and nearer Buffalo and Rhino together laying in a small patch of water on the sand.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Buffalo and Rhino in the riverbed

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Buffalo and Rhino in the riverbed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We enjoyed the fresh air and stretching of our legs before continuing on to the actual river crossing. As we were beginning the crossing of the bridge to check the river bed we all gasped as literally 15 meters from the bridge was two big bull Elephants which had dug a whole in the sand and were drinking the fresher water below.

     

    It was a great sighting as there was about 6 more Elephants further down stream as well. We mostly enjoyed the two nearest to us and spent a lot of time with them.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephant in the riverbed

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephant in the riverbed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now already 13:30 and we still had to get back to the luncheon stop but non of us were complaining as we had just seen so many amazing animals in Hluhluwe game reserve on our African safari.

     

    We left the Elephants and continued our African Safari and with another stoke of good fortune spotted a male Giraffe near the road. We waiting as I felt he would cross in front of us and we were lucky as he did!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Giraffe crosses road

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Giraffe crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This was now the Cherry on the top on our day and having spend so much time seeing amazing sighting we would only now have time to get some lunch, look at the craft market and make out way back to the Lions we had originally seen to see what was happening.

     

    We had a great lunch and then re-visited the Lions. They had left the carcass to the Vultures and between the three of us we managed to eventually spot where they were resting under a tree very far away.

    I was lucky to have some great eyes in the car the things I missed my clients spotted which was great and made the day that much more fun and exciting.

     

    We departed for Durban and chatted about the amazing day and any other questions that my clients wishes to ask.

     

    Thank you to my clients for joining me on this African safari to Hluhluwe game reserve I hope you enjoyed the blog post just as much a I enjoyed seeing all those amazing animals with you.

  • 24th September 2015

    Durban day safari 23 September 2015

     

     

    Our Durban day safari began in Durban city where I met my clients and we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

    It was going to be a hot day and not only with the weather but with the game viewing as well. It was a bit of a Ferrari safari as I had some racing to do to get around Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to maximize our safari time.

     

    On route I covered some of the history of the area and the country of South Africa before we arrived at the gate just before 10 am.

     

    Our Durban day safari began and off we went having some good luck. It wasn’t long before we spotted Zebra and Giraffe as we made our way south in the national park.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Zebra

    Durban day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This Zebra was a real poser and stood still for a while before calling out to the rest of his harem which had got to far away from him. As we continued our Durban day safari we enjoyed some Giraffe feeding on some leaves.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

    Durban day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We spotted some Elephant some distance away so I’ve put a picture from later in the day when we managed to get them a little closer to the road. Our Durban day safari was beginning to take shape as we also spotted Buffalo in the distance meaning we had now seen 3 of the big 5 in we include the Rhinos on the hills too.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Elephant

    Durban day safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued on with our safari in the hope we would find Lions at a carcass of Giraffe which was now 4 days old. Sadly it was only Vultures and some big ones at that, the Lappet faced Vultures!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lappet faced vulture with Giraffe tail

    Durban day safari; Lappet faced vulture with Giraffe tail

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safaris; Vultures feed on Giraffe carcass

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way round the loop and found an amazing sighting of Rhino together with Warthog. Our Durban day safari was really heating up even the temperature was 32 degrees.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Rhino and Warthog

    Durban day safari; Rhino and Warthog

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted our Elephant in the distance again before we stopped for lunch. Our lunch was great and we made our way up north as quick as we could as I heard that there was some Buffalo near to the road as well as a slim chance of Lions.

    It wasn’t long and we spotted the Buffalo but not the heard I was aiming for! One old male came up a big hill and we watched him settle in with a big her before we moved off and continued our Durban day safari.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Buffalo bull

    Durban day safari; Buffalo bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It had been a great day it was about to become greater as we found our Lions! The best part was they had just killed an Nyala and then decided to vocalise as well as chase a herd of Buffalo away from the river! It was amazing and my client loved it.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Lions

    Durban day safari; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safaris; Lions in Hluhluwe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After enjoying an amazing time with these Lions we went to see the Buffalo which had just been chased by the Lions and we got them to cross the road in front of us.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day safari; Buffalo herd

    Durban day safari; Buffalo herd

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great Durban day safari we began to make our way towards the gate. We were lucky to see a Rhino with little baby but we did not get a clear photo. It was time to start the 3 hour drive back to Durban. We stopped for some coffee and then arrived in Durban after 7pm. It had been a great Durban day safari!

  • 20th September 2015

    Durban safari 18-19th September 2015

     

     

     

    We began our Durban safari in the city of Durban where I collected my four clients for what was to be a very successful 2 days of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

    On route we chatted about the interesting history of the area as well as the crops and population groups. Before you knew it we were at the Cat rehabilitation centre for the 10:30 tour for interaction with Cheetah. We would also see Caracal, Serval and African wild cat.

     

    The Cheetah was great fun and the one male was stalking Wildebeest up the fence line. Sadly for the Cheetah the Wildebeest was safe on the other side of the fence.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Cheetah stalks wildebeest

    Durban safari; Cheetah stalks wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued from the Cheetah project and made our way into the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to begin our Safari side of the trip.

    It was am amazing start as I managed to spot a big bull Elephant in the distance on a road so we raced around to meeting him head on! He was in Musth which means his is at his sexual peak and had 6x the normal levels of testosterone running through his body! A scary problem which makes him potentially more aggressive. I therefore needed to sum up him mood quickly before getting closer. We had a blast with this Elephant!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Elephant walks down road towards us


     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Elephant walks down road

    Durban safari; Elephant walks down road

     

     

     

     

     

    If we thought that this was all we would get from this lovely Elephant we were wrong. With the amount of space and respect we gave him we pulled off the road and allowed us closer so we could enjoy him feeling off Marula tree bark. The display was one we will all never forget!

    Remember it is always safer and better to go with a Durban guide who is qualified in these areas. It is important to understand the animals behaviour and you need more than just a crash course in Guiding to know these things. To many people come on there own get lost of get there car shoved off the road by an Elephant! A guide will save you a lot a embarrassment and in some cases your life! Always make sure your Durban guide is experienced and qualified!

     

     

     

     

     Video: Durban safaris; Elephant feeding on a Marula tree in Hluhluwe


     

     

     

     

    This sighting as you can see from the Videos was truly amazing and to be honest it set the tone for the rest of the 2 day Durban safari tour. We were already more relaxed as we have been battling for good Elephant sighting this past couple weeks and now we could truly enjoy our time in Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve.

     

    We began to make our way to Hilltop camp on route spotting Zebra and Rhino as well as two old Buffalo bulls in the distance. As we neared the camp we spotted some Samango monkeys and two Purple crested Turacos.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Purple crested Turaco

    Durban safari; Purple crested Turaco

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived at Hilltop camp and I bumped into some friends and so did my clients as there was a big conference in Durban which clearly meant that some people had come out a day or two earlier to indulge in a safari experience!

    I got word of Lions and told my clients we need to have lunch and we can go to the room later, they all agreed and after lunch we flew down south and we blessed with an amazing sighting of two Lions. One was feeding on a Buffalo calf they had killed and the other was laying in the open!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Lion

    Durban safari; Lion

     

     

     

     

     

    This appeared to be two young Lions which probably had left there mother recently as the last time I saw them she was around. These two were about 18 months to two years old.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Lion feeding on Buffalo calf

    Durban safari; Lion feeding on Buffalo calf

     

     

     

     

     

    In the above picture you can clearly see it is a Buffalo calf and you can see the claw gripping into the animal so that the Lion can feed more easily. Wow, what a great Durban safari tour! Watch the Video below.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Mini safari Durban; Lion feeds on Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We decided that we now had to go after almost half an hour with these amazing creatures, we need to get back to camp to get settled before my clients would attempt the evening open vehicle game drive.

     

    No sooner had we left I said to my clients “We haven’t yet seen Rhinos close” and a Rhino mother and calf appeared on the road, stayed for 2 minutes and then ran off into the bush! At this point I was actually feeling high, like “your wish is my command…” it was so funny!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Rhino

    Durban safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

    We arrived back at camp and got settled before meeting at 16:45 for the 17:00 open vehicle game drive. The excitement would not give in and there was an Elephant in front of the lodge so we all went out to look at him for 5 minutes.

     

    Amazing how our 2 day Durban safari tour just kept producing animals. I was beginning to think this will not keep up into day two.

     

    Later my clients returned from game drive cold and looking forward to the dinner.

     

    After dinner it was time for bed and we would meet for 7am the following day for breakfast before going in search of the Giraffe we hadn’t get seen.

     

     

     

    Day 2: Durban mini safari tour

     

     

     

    After collecting luggage we enjoyed the lovely view from Hilltop camp and some great breakfast.

    We then checked out and went in search of the Giraffe.

     

    It wasn’t 15 minuted and we had found a journey of 6 Giraffe near the road. We spend almost 45 minutes with them as they fed and go closer to the road and eventually crossed in front of us. Nothing like patience.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Giraffe

    Durban safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    We were now satisfied and took it easy stopping along the way to look at view point over the river but I remembered we hadn’t seem Buffalo close so I think I murmured those words to the clients and after a short while it came to be. We found a large herd of Buffalo right next to the road! This was an unbelievable mini safari from Durban!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Buffalo cow

    Durban safari; Buffalo cow

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We stopped again at another view sight and now it seemed as if we were being followed by other vehicles so we didn’t stay long. We headed off and had a great sighting mostly to our selves of a Rhino bull which began in the distance and by waiting for him he crossed the road in front of us and scent marked. Wow what a great sighting we had of another of the big 5. We seem already 4 of the Big 5 in just two days having seen 4 of the big 5 on day one and 3 of the big 5 on day two again!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Rhino

    Durban safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tour; Rhino marks territory with urine


     

     

     

     

    As we continued to the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve we realized what an amazing mini safari from Durban we had just experienced! It was unbelievable and we still had to go to Isimangaliso wetland park for the St Lucia boat cruise to view Hippos and crocodiles which would be amazing as well.

     

    It was an hours drive to St Lucia and most of my clients to the opportunity to rest up and before you knew it we had arrived. We got ourselves down to the jetty and I still have no idea how the rain held off but it did and we had an amazing time with some of the best photos of Hippos I have ever taken.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Hippos play fighting

    Durban safari; Hippos play fighting

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Isimangaliso Wetland park, St Lucia; Hippos play fighting


     

     

     

     

    The dull light and cooler weather seemed to work in our favour and some how we manage to spot Crocodile who usually dislike this weather. We had a number of Herons and King Fishers as well.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban safari; Crocodile

    Durban safari; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

    To try and sum up this two day Durban safari is very difficult as words are not enough so I am glad I got some pictures and video clips to share the experience with you all. It was amazing in every aspect and a true reflection as to what we have in the amazing country of ours. I know my clients will never forget it and I am sure they will be back for more of the same in the future. 

     

    If you would like to be a part of one of these amazing experiences from Durban please click on the link below to find out more about the tour. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google + basically all the major social media sites. Our videos can be found on Youtube!

     

     

    Durban 2 day safari tour

     

  • 18th September 2015

    Durban mini Safari 17th September 2015

     

     

    We began our mini safari from Durban where I collected my 4 clients who where here for business and pleasure respectively. After covering the basic history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal we arrived at the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve by 09:30 and began with our Safari of the reserve.

     

    We entered in the North east and tried our best to look for Elephant in the cool weather. I knew it would be difficult but had high hopes after getting them a couple days before.

     

    Our first sighting on our mini Durban safari was the Wildebeest which was looking to link up with some Impala for safety reasons.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Wildebeest

    Durban mini safari; Wildebeest

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Just up around the corner we spotted some Zebra with one in the road which was very cool. We enjoyed them for a short while as I discussed their amazing pattern as well as interesting facts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Zebra

    Durban mini safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then continued with our mini safari from Durban and found a massive herd of Buffalo which were on the road. We must have spent 20 minutes with them as even the Red Billed Oxpeckers though we were a big white Buffalo and kept landing on the roof of my car.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Buffalo

    Durban mini safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We managed to find Giraffe in the distance before we decided to stop at Hilltop camp for a restroom break then heading off to see the Giraffe carcass that Lions had killed 5 days before. I was hoping that maybe the Vultures would still be around but even the smell was gone and just some skin and bones remained.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Giraffe carcass

    Durban mini safari; Giraffe carcass

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We began to make our way around the loop to see what else we could find and sadly all the Elephants were hiding. We saw fresh tracks and dung but nothing else except Zebra and Giraffe which was still amazing!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Giraffe

    Durban mini safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then raced off to the Centenary center for some lunch and into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve. Before we got there we spotted a Rhino bull which was great to see.

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Rhino

    Durban mini safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

    I was again hoping to find Elephant down the way we went but no luck again on this mini safari from Durban so we stopped for lunch and a rest.

    After enjoying some good food we gave it one last bash. Our mini Durban safari took us to the Umfolozi river which is now a dry river bed. There was nothing to been seen except a Rhino mother and calf. So we had a quick look and tried again for the Elephant with no luck.

     

     

     

    We did however spot some Kudu which are the largest antelope in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban mini safari; Kudu

    Durban mini safari; Kudu

     

     

     

     

     

    We had now ran out of time and we made our way to the exit gate and were still very content with how the day had gone aside of the lack of Elephants. One this I always say if Nature is Nature and we cannot control it.

     

    We made our way back to Durban where I dropped my clients off and I raced back home to get the vehicle ready for the next days 2 day mini safari from Durban.

     

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

     

     

    Durban mini Safari

  • 16th September 2015

    Durban day tour 15th September 2015

     

     

    We began our Durban day tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve in Durban city where I collected my clients. It would be a day to remember with great sightings.

    I covered the usual history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal on route to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve and answered any questions my clients had.

     

    We arrived before 10 am and had immediate luck as we spotted Zebra and Giraffe together!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Zebra

    Durban day tour; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then continued with our Durban day tour and our safari lead us to some Rhino, 3 of them! It was great to see a mother, calf and big male. At this point we also spotted Baboons and Nyala in the distance but continued to the Hluhluwe river which is mostly dry at this time of the year.

    It was here that we spotted some male Nyala doing what is referred to as philo – erection where the 2 male pounce around on another with the hair on the back of their necks and backs standing up as well as head down and tail up, This is basically to make themselves look bigger so that they can challenge another male for the rights to mate etc.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Nyala bull

    Durban day tour; Nyala bull

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way around the river after spotting some Buffalo far off the road and after enjoying one of the lovely view points we tried another to see if we could find Elephants. We were in luck as we found a bull Elephant down at a section of water in the river and we must have spend 30 minutes with him at this view point. We watched him mud wallow, rest his trunk on his tusk, feed and shake a sycamore fig tree to try get some fruits to fall down. He then went to sleep. It was amazing!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Elephant

    Durban day tour; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban day safari; Elephant shakes figs off Sycamore Fig

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This had been an amazing experience and is always better with a guide who is qualified and understand nature and the animals behaviour to ensure you have the best experience possible.

    I know my clients were very happy with this amazing sighting!

     

     

     

    We then moved on and tried to see if we could find Buffalo again but before we could I spotted a Rhino walking in the distance. It was the territorial male of the area so I let him walk on the path he usually uses and we gave him space to cross in front of us, It was amazing! Wow this had been an amazing Durban day tour so far!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Rhino

    Durban day tour; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to find those Buffalo before we stopped for lunch. It was great that this Durban day tour was working like clock work and my plans were working out for us all.

    We found our Buffalo and they were right next to the road and resting in the shade. The one female had a Red billed Ox Pecker on her face and she stuck her tongue out at us. This was really funny!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Buffalo cow

    Durban day tour; Buffalo cow

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I think I have forgotten to mention the Giraffe we spotted in the distance and then some closer to the road! We found some Giraffe and one male was chasing the girls(some things never change) and he was testing the females urine to see if they were ready for mating! At least human don’t have to do this.

    He obviously did not find one that was ready as he moved off.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Giraffe

    Durban day tour; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting on our Durban day tour we were all super happy and made our way to Hilltop camp for some lunch. It was a great lunch and we spend longer than usual there but we had good reason we had done so well in the morning so we enjoyed a cup of coffee after lunch.

     

    When we finished we left Hilltop and made our way to where I knew of a Giraffe that had been killed by Lions a few days before. The Lions had long since moved off due to the activity of vehicle and the moving of the carcass off the bridge where they killed it. So we only had vultures when we were there. It was still an amazing sighting and very smelly!

     

     

     

     

     

    Durban day tour; Vultures feeding on Giraffe

    Durban day tour; Vultures feeding on Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

    We left the scene of the crime and we began to make our way south towards another gate. On route we spotted some more Rhino near the road and Giraffe which just capped the day off for us all.

     

    It was now time to depart Hluhluwe Imfolozi big 5 game reserve where we had spent a very successful Durban day tour. We were all happy and we began the long drive back to Durban.

    We stopped along the way for a rest and to refuel and arrived back in Durban after 6pm.

     

    It had been an a great Durban day tour and if you would like to do one of these tour please click on the link below:

     

     

    Durban Big 5 day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. 

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