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
Join Tim Brown Tours on a Durban safari tour to the Hluhluwe game reserve where nature comes alive and dreams are made! Try us for your African safari experience.
After collecting my clients from their hotel in Durban we headed off to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would begin our safari.
We are blessed with good weather in Durban and it only get warmer on route to Hluhluwe game reserve. It was here that we entered and began our safari looking for as many of the Big 5 as possible.
We did really well. As we entered the gate we found Wildebeest and Zebra close to the road and further along Buffalo and Rhino. It was a great start!
This Buffalo cow next to the road was looking very ominous but we enjoyed the pose she struck and the Red Billed Ox Peckers on her back made the picture that much better.
We did spot Lion but it was one of the worst sighting I have every had as it was one Lion under thick bush a flat as a pancake!
I didn’t even both with a picture.
We later spotted these Zebra relaxing next to the road and now it was time to find Giraffe in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve but before we got there we spotted a lovely old male Giraffe in Hluhluwe.
This lovely Giraffe walked across the road in front of us and we got a great photo of him. It was time to get some lunch but before we could we spotted more Rhino and this fella was posing!
What a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve it was turning out to be! We had now seen 3 of the Big 5 and only needed Elephant to make it 4 of the Big 5.
Lunch was fast and in 30 minutes we were back on the road. I bumped into my colleague who confirmed there were Elephants down by the river so we sped off not before seeing a very rare bird a Secretary bird.(I could probably use one of those in my office!)
We got down to the river and spotted some Elephants and the a funny thing happened a large herd of Elephant came down and the couple of Elephants the were there alone just followed the herd which looked really odd!
We then tried to spot some Elephant closer and had two more great sighting of Elephant close up better each time! what a great safari from Durban.
We watched these Elephants feed for a while as it was very interesting how they used their feet and trunk before some Rhinos decided to join the show! It was great as we could get a lovely photo with two of the Big 5 in one picture!
As all things do they come to an end and we needed to head back to Durban after what had turned out to be an excellent day safari. We only missed a good look at Lion which is never expected on a day tour anyway as these cats are nocturnal so we were all very happy.
We arrived back in Durban 3 hours later tired but happy. I said goodbye and headed home happy with the way they day went!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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!
Our South African safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began in Durban. After collecting my clients we headed into Zululand and our safari began with a visit to a Cat rehabilitation center.
After some amazing interaction with four endangered species of cat we departed for Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve where we would try to find as many of the Big 5 animals as we could. We were very luck and the first animal we saw close was 2 Lions about 25 meters off the road.
My photos for them did not come out well but it was no problem as a couple kilometers away we found a Lioness resting!
We were shocked with our luck and on route to Hilltop camp where we would be staying we spotted Rhino, Buffalo and a few other species!
We then settled in at Hilltop camp for some lunch and then checked in before heading back out with already two Lion sightings under our belt. It wasn’t long and we had found four of the Big 5! Elephants were feeding off in the distance but we didn’t worry to much about this as I knew we would see them closer.
It wasn’t long and our South African safari turned good again and we found Rhino close to the road and one sleeping behind a Marula tree!
It was getting darker with all the cloud cover but we did spot Buffalo which didn’t come out in the camera very well but the best was yet to come as at dusk we spotted a Lioness and had her all to ourselves for 25 minutes!
She fetched a carcass of a baby Buffalo and walked across the road in front of us with it and then lay down 5 meters off the road with it and fed! This was an amazing end to the day and I have videos to show you how awesome this part of our Safari from Durban was!
This was an amazing part of our South African safari and we then filmed her feeding next to us which was just incredible!
At this point we were going to be late and we had accepted that we may have to pay a fine but it would be worth it due to the amazing sighting. We tried to get back to Hilltop camp as quick as we could but another Lioness further up the road almost on the road halted our progress!
She was so beautiful we had to take a photo of two. we arrived 15 minutes late and were let in with not reprimand but the risk is to high to break rules. It in this case was purely not our fault.
We arrived at Hilltop camp buzzing and settled in for dinner. I knew I would not sleep after all the excitement but at some point during uploading of these videos I feel off to sleep.
The second day would begin at 5am.
We had another amazing start we found some Elephants in the distance and then some Rhino. The photos were no good and as we continued we had an amazing sighting finding African Wild dogs which is the most endangered carnivore in Africa! I was so stoked! Wow! South African safaris in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve can be amazing.
As we continued we found a Leopard tortoise on the road so I had to move it as we always find people not driving properly and hitting them.
As we continued our South African safari we came across a journey of Giraffe and a Dazzle of Zebra. We also had then together on the road drinking from the small puddles of water from the rain in the night.
It was time to get to a rest room break so we headed for the Nyalazi gate. After a short stop we began to make our way back to Hilltop camp and found Rhino closer to the road.
Things we hotting up again on our South African safari and we found some Elephants next to the road which was amazing. The one male came onto the road for us.
I had been waiting for the perfect moment to take a good picture of Buffalo and it wasn’t long till we got that too!
The rain seemed to have softened the animals hearts and they were showing themselves except for that pesky Leopard which I wasn’t expecting anyway. We still had time so we would see what happened.
We returned to Hilltop camp and had some Brunch before a rest. We would meet again at 15:45 for another attempt at more amazing animals.
At 16:00 we departed and as usual the African bush was slightly quiet before the later afternoon and evening. We managed to spot Elephant in the distance and had close ups of Rhino and Buffalo.
The rain began to fall and we spotted Baboon all curled up in each others arms trying to stay away from the rain.
South African safari; Baboons in the rain
It wasn’t long before we had an awesome sighting on our South African safari of Rhino where their was 3 mothers and 3 calves which joined force to play and mud wallow, it was almost like a play group.
We were hoping that on our way back we would be able to find some Lions as we had done so well the day before but as nature had it, it can also take it and we did not find Lions!
We did however come across one of my favourite Rhinos which has an abnormal horn which bends the opposite direction to usual.
It was time to head back from our South African safari to Hilltop camp our based for the 3 days and have some dinner which well welcomed by us all.
After a great meal we would meet at 7am the following day for luggage collection, breakfast and check out.
Our African safari from Durban began at 7am and we enjoyed some breakfast and got the formalities out the way before heading out for 3 hours or so to see what else we could find before we departed Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park, South Africas first world heritage site.
It wasn’t long and we found Zebra and Giraffe near the road.
It was a quiet drive around considering we had basically seen everything most animals we saw we already had better photos so we just enjoyed the ambiance of the South African safari.
It was time to exit the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we made our way to St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park which was also established in 1895 and is home to 4 of the Big 5 but most importantly Hippos, Crocodiles and Bull Sharks.
Upon arrival we visited a craft shop and then boarded the boat up the St Lucia estuary to view Hippos and Crocodiles.
We also got a great photo of a big Nile Crocodile with a Grey Heron and an African spoon bill.
The St Lucia boat cruise on the estuary is amazing and we always see lots of Hippos and today we even got a Hippo out the water as it was a cooler day which we do not always get to enjoy.
It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari from Durban in Zululand and we were all very happy. Each day had its big sightings like the 4 Lion sightings on day one, the Wild Dogs and Rhino playing on day two and the third day was the Hippos!
We had some lunch in St Lucia before making our way back to Durban.
Another amazing South African safari under the belt!
Our African safari from Durban began near to the big city and we began our journey to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve , Africa’s Oldest protected area!
I covered the history of this famous national park and the history of the Durban and surrounding areas before we arrived at Hluhluwe game reserve.
We tried our best in the heat to find Lions but it was to no avail as they were resting in a riverbed.
We had great other sightings of 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephants.
First though we spotted some Zebra.
We continued on this hot day in Africa with our African safari tour from Durban and found some Baboons up the trees and on the ground. They were not alarm calling which was a sure sign that the Lions were well hidden.
We continued on and found some Elephants in the distance so we made our way around to them and located a lovely young bull near to the road. We waited with him until he decided to cross the road and we could enjoy this a close range.
We also found a herd of Elephants and as we looped around near the main gate we found a huge old bull Elephant with a lovely set of tusks. This really was turning out to be a great African safari from Durban.
We decided to loop around to the Hluhluwe river where we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo drinking and resting in the mud, The best part was that a herd of Elephant we spotted earlier on our African safari came over the hill and went down to the river to drink water with them.
Our African safari from Durban continued on and we located some Nyala and Water buck before spotting some Buffalo close which were looking to relocate their herd.
We stopped at Hilltop camp for some lunch and it was a long wait for food as it was so busy. We eventually got fed and watered before we made our way out again and headed into the Umfolozi section of the game reserve.
It was a wish that we could see Giraffe a bit closer so that was the aim and we eventually achieved it!
After a great sighting of a journey of Giraffe we continued with our African safari from Durban and found a lovely Rhino bull which was close to the road. To this point we had only seen Rhino further away so one 4 meters from the road was a real treat!
This Rhino you can see he is two toned as he had been in the mud somewhere wallowing to help remove ticks off his body.
It had been a great day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we needed to head back to Durban so we exited the reserve and ended our African safari from Durban.
We arrived back very happy after what had been a great day in the African bush!
After collecting my clients who were returning to Africa from Monaco to visit family for the festive season we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve for their Durban 3 day safari tour.
We chatted about the history of Durban and South African before arriving at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and beginning our safari to see what animals we could find.
The first day of our Durban safari tour turned out to be good as we began with lots on Impala and some Buffalo.
As we continued our Durban safari tour we came across some Wildebeest as well and one mother has a new born with here which still had some of the umbilical cord attached.
At the same point there was some Zebra which were a little skittish and after a while we got them crossing the road in front of us like a real Zebra crossing! Our Durban safari tour was beginning to hot up!
We then headed down to the Umfolozi river but before we got there we spotted a Elephant bull which had just finished a mud bath and then began to rub up against a tree. Within 10 minutes a Giraffe walked around the back of him and another bull Elephant came for a mud wallow.
It was a great sighting for the first day of our Durban safari tour.
We went down to the Umfolozi river and found only a couple old Buffalo bulls so we headed back to Hilltop camp for some lunch.
On route to Hilltop camp we spotted some Nyala and the male was testing the female to see if she was ready to be mated! She was not…
We arrived at Hilltop camp and as it was Sunday buffet and fully booked we had to wait for our lunch but it was fine as we had some Buffalo outside the dining room.
We checked in and had a short rest before heading back out!
Only two of my five clients came out on the afternoon game drive with me which usually means we end up seeing something amazing and the other miss out…and we did!
We began with a great sighting of a Rhino crossing the road in front of us.
As our Durban safari tour continued we spotted another Elephant and this bull was making his way to the road as well so we let him cross in front of us and got a great shot with lovely lighting.
We continued and as the sun began to go down on what had been a great Durban safari already we spotted some Lions stalking a Giraffe in the river bed.
It was a great sighting a little hard to see but it was still great. We managed to see another male Lion just resting and watching the Giraffe from another angle.
While we were engrossed in the Lions we noticed a Rhino mother with a young calf also come down to drink, it was a lovely ending to what had been a great Durban day safari tour.
Our Durban safari tour had started so well and after arriving back at Hilltop camp we went through for some dinner to tell our stories from the day. We also got to watch some Zulu dancing from the staff before we retired to bed.
I met my clients just before 5am and we headed out to check on the area where the Lions had been stalking the Giraffe the evening before.
As per usual when you are trying to get somewhere you always on these Durban safari tours find lots of animals so on route we spotted some Rhinos resting at a view site!
As we continued we thought we would be able to get to the area quickly but then we had Elephants on the road and they climbed up a bank. It was a great sighting as the one Elephant slipped on the bank and let out a great big trumpet with embarrassment.
We left our Elephants to rest and finally got to our area where the Lions were and discovered a dead Giraffe which meant the Lion were successful and took the Giraffe down during the night. We had a decent view on the safari tour so we managed to get some decent photos.
We also got the one Lioness with muddy paws walking around a bit and at the same spot Elephant, Buffalo and Zebra came to drink with the Lions looking on.
We headed back to camp spotting a few animals along the way including a living Giraffe mother and baby.
We settled into some breakfast and then headed to the Cat rehabilitation center where we got to interact with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat hands on. The are 4 endangered species of wild cat.
It was then time to return back to Hilltop camp for lunch. On route we spotted a huge herd of Elephants, Giraffe, Zebra and Buffalo.
The next picture was amazing as we got this journey of Giraffe crossing the road in front of us and the one female began to groom herself and the stuck her tongue out at us as she was cleaning her nose!
A Giraffe has a 45 centimeter long tongue for twisting around twigs to remove the leaves. This was a great sighting! It was now time for our Durban safari tour to head back to Hilltop camp for some lunch and we settled back into camp until 5 pm when we headed back out on safari to see what we could find.
At 5 pm we ventured out and we located a young Buffalo carcass but it was a couple days old and had been left which in Hluhluwe Imfolozi is usually a sign of a Leopards kill. As it was also close to the main road that was the verdict and sadly we didn’t see it.
We headed back to the Lions for another look which turned out to be a great look as they moved around a bit but also were now closer and in the open.
Durban safari tour; Lions in river bed
We then raced back to Hilltop camp for some dinner and some rest before another early start the following day at 5am.
On our third day of our Durban safari tour we left at the crack of dawn and although we were 3rd in line to head out onto the reserve we took a quicker route to be the second vehicle back with the Lions giving us the ideal spot to enjoy these amazing animals.
We managed to watch the adult Lioness feeding on the Giraffe which was great.
As we enjoyed this great sighting which is the sighting everyone want to see on a safari we managed to photograph a young male Lions yawning. This was amazing to see his teeth!
It was time to continue with our Durban safari tour and we made our way into another area we had yet to visit and it was here we found Black Rhino which for me is almost as good as finding a Leopard!
We had a great time waiting on this Black Rhino and her calf before we decided to move on to find more Giraffe and Zebra as well as some Elephants!
It was not time to head back to Hilltop camp and have some breakfast before we would depart for St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park. We arrived at the St Lucia estuary and had a great time with the two hour boat cruise watching Hippos in the Estuary.
We also had an amazing cloud formation which I had to take a picture of as it was just so beautiful.
We then made our way to the town of St Lucia and settled into some lunch before beginning our drive back to Durban. It had been an amazing 3 days of Safari tour and my client as well as myself were very happy with how it went.
We got 4 of the Big 5 and this was just great!
Our African safari tours can be done from Durban with Tim Brown Tours and it was here where I collected my clients for this 4 day safari.
We could begin by visiting the Fort Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe which features the Wheel chair of King Mpande a half brother to the famous King Shaka of the Zulu Nation. It also features John Dunns furniture, Zulu crafts and a Church showing off the missionary work of the Norwegians in the area!
The Chair of Mpande the former Zulu king is always amazing to see as a Missionary called Schroeder built this chair for Mpande due to his illnesses caused by his lifestyle and weight.
After being guided through this area we had some lunch before continuing our African safari tour to the world famous Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, the oldest in African and home to the Big 5!
We entered to the gate to some high security presence due to Rhino poaching concerns and we headed to Hilltop camp. I was thinking it would take us 40 minuted but it took much longer as we saw so many animals.
Our first major sighting was Rhino, Buffalo and shortly after Elephant but they were far enough away that the pictures were no good. We then spotted a Giraffe and her baby with some Impala.
We continued along and come across a huge herd of Buffalo on the road as well a either side of us! This was a great beginning to our African safari tour.
We finally arrived at Hilltop camp and quickly checked in and then after a short break of 10 minutes in the rooms we headed out to see what else we could find. I got word of Lions so we made our way around into the area they had been seen but before we could get there we found some Rhino!
We finally arrived at the Lions and they were far down in the valley and had recently killed a Buffalo which they were feeding on. The issues was the distance and the fact the rain began to fall… Well what can you do! A Lion is a Lion! We could consider ourselves very lucky!
We left the Lions and went to find Elephants and it was not long and we nailed it! We located a lovely breeding herd of Elephants and even though the rain was falling it was great to see them so near to us and crossing in front of us during our African safari tour.
After enjoying a great time our on safari we headed back to Hilltop camp and we settled in for some dinner before an early nights sleep as we would be going back out at 5am the next day.
Our second day began were the first had finished off at Hilltop camp and we quickly got back into it with sightings of Giraffe, Zebra, Rhino and Elephants down at the Hluhluwe river.
We had to wait for the great quality sightings but they say good things come to those who wait!
Finally we got a great sighting of an Elephant bull coming down the road and we let him go past us, he was lovely and relaxed.
It was now time a good Zebra sighting as well and it happened for us! We go them right next to the road and you could say that now our African safari tour was hotting up!
It was now time to relocate the Lions which should be easy as we knew a Buffalo was big enough to last a few days. We were successful and got the Lions at the same place they had only dragged the carcass under a tree. The best part of this sighting was they some Rhino chased a Lioness she then went to the toilet and began to play with something perhaps a tortoise of lizard!
It was now time to head back for some coffee and breakfast before a rest. We would head out again after lunch to the Cheetah project for some interaction with the majestic cats!
Well out luck change as at 2pm the rain began to come down and we could not go to the Cat rehab center today so waiting for a gap in the weather, it was no good so we settled in and had some dinner before bed.
Our third day of our African safari tour began with a bush walk mostly to look for birds in the forest and we did very well before heading down for some breakfast.
The safari after breakfast was amazing and we saw 3 of the Big 5 very close to the road an so much more. First it was the Giraffe.
After the Giraffe we managed to spot Zebras and had the drink water out of a puddle on the road.
We now had a big day on the cards and we did 1.5 hours of Safari before heading to the Cat rehabilitation center which was very good. We then continued to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland Park where we had lunch and then took the 2pm Hippo and Crocodile boat cruise.
After this great sighting of a Crocodile with his mouth open to regulate his body temperature we got lots of Hippos and finally one opened its mouth for us!
We finally completed what was an amazing St Lucia boat cruise and we were all very happy. The ladies got into the craft shop and after they were done we headed back to the gate of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and had more luck with the animals spotting Elephants close up!
We had one more surprise sighting as I took a dirt road loop we hadn’t covered yet and we spotted one of the best sightings of African Wild Dogs I have ever had! They were amazing, Playful and just beautiful. The most endangered carnivore in Africa shared its time with us and it was a real privilege to have spent just under an hour with them.
This was such a special day on our African safari tour that I don’t think we could really take it all in as we were all so tired and ended up getting back, having dinner and heading to bed. I must say I did stay up to write this part of the Blog post but its always hard to get these things to sink in even when you see them more often than most.
We began at 5am with the safari and tried to see what animals we could fine before breakfast.
It was a day we would not forget! We only needed to find Lions closer than the two other sighting we had and this was all that was on my mind so I got us into the area where I hoped the Lions would move to.
It was a pure blissful sighting as we first spotted them on a hill far off and then this happened!
Our African safari tour just got crazy from here as every possible way you could see a Lion took place meters away from us! We started with the hunt of Zebra and all the 7 Lions then walking onto the road and drinking water next to us.
You would normally expect that it would end here and you would have to continue driving but it did not. The Lions scent marked, played with sticks and road work equipment before climbing into a Marula tree!
This has to be one if not the best Lion sighting I have ever had! It was amazing and one I will never be able to comprehend and take in properly. I hope my clients realize what a miracle this sighting was and I am sure they will never forget it.
We even had a Lioness call the other!
This whole 1 and half hours that we spent with these Lions made the entire trip worth it and even though our adrenaline was pumping I personally felt exhausted afterwards. This could have been the emotion of what we witnessed but it was just amazing, really now words can describe it.
We returned to Hilltop camp for breakfast and check out before heading back out which really felt like a waste of time, how were we to top what we saw! Every animal from that point on got very little attention and we left Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve after lunch.
We returned to the big city very happy with what had been an unbelievable 4 days on our African safari tour!
Our Durban safari tour began in Durban city where I collected my clients for their safari experience with Tim Brown Tours. We headed up to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on route stopping at a Cat rehabilitation center for interaction with Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild cat hands on!
There is no point in coming to Africa and not experiencing an African safari! South Africa is as good a place to begin with a safari as we are home to the oldest game reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve established in 1895.
On route to this majestic national park home to the Big 5, I always cover this history of South Africa as it ties so well into our Safari experience.
After the Cat interaction we arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and began our South African safari. It was one of those days when you just try to see what you can find and you have such success in doing it!
We had Zebra on the road, Warthog, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephants all within the first 1,5 hours.
After we enjoyed these Zebra we found some Rhino and then a massive herd of Elephant the size of which we do not see often so it was really exciting! Our Durban safari tour moved on as we positioned ourselves in the best place to watch these amazing creatures.
After enjoying this safari with the Elephants we moved on and spotted Nyala as well as more Buffalo in the valleys and on the hills. We then stumbled across a lovely Rhino mother and her calf which got up and raced across the road and then posed for us. Wow our South African safari was really hotting up!
We made our way up to Hilltop camp where we would be spending the 2 nights and had some lunch before getting some rest. At 16:45 it was time for the open vehicle game drive which my client would enjoy and then return at 8pm for some dinner.
After dinner we went to sleep to rest the body and mind and our Durban safari tour would continue the next day at 7am.
We began day 2 with a great breakfast at Hilltop camp and then headed out with two things on our minds, Giraffe and cats!
It would be a tall order for our Hluhluwe game reserve safari but we made the best of the pressure and got really lucky at times.
Our first major sighting knocked the Giraffe on the head!
On any African safari there is never a guarantee of the animals you want to see especially the cats as the Lions and Leopard are nocturnal.
On two occasions we actually located blood markings and drag marks which looked clearly to be Leopard but we could not spot the animal in the thick bush so far off the road.
Our Durban safari tour continued and we made our way further south finding more and more Elephants and Rhinos which was excellent.
We were lucky to find two bull Elephants on the road and later a big male Elephant sleeping next to the road. He was so relaxed he broke wind a few times and hardly moved when we drove away. South Africa is really an amazing country!
We had great luck with Rhinos and the one male we found in a mud wallow during our South African safari was in the cutest position looking like a puppy the way his feet were close to his face!
We made our way back up to the Centenary center for some lunch and then I got reports that the pride of Lions in the north were out in full view near the main road and close to the Memorial gate.
At this stage we were about 1.25 hours drive way which I managed in 1 hour I think and we arrived to a brilliant sighting with no other vehicles except us! It was pure safari magic!
To find Lions out in the middle of the day was amazing and even more so as they were with their heads up most of the time! Our Durban safari tour was really becoming a special one and these Lions really made our day.
It is time now that these two young males and young female of the pride move on to prevent fights and in breeding so it is possible that today was an indication of this change. Always so exciting to see change on an African safari.
I was probably more relieved than my clients to have seen Lions! Every one thinks a guides job is so glamorous but at the end of the day there are pressures which we feel to deliver the best that a safari can offer. Its our job!
We headed back to Hilltop camp and it was almost 16:00 so we had been out over 8 hours on safari in Africa.
We then would have dinner later and some rest before day three would begin!
The third day of our 3 day Durban safari tour began later at 8am and we enjoyed some breakfast before putting the finishing touches on our Hluhluwe game reserve safari before heading to St Lucia for a 2 hour Hippos and crocodile tour.
We had some lovely sightings before we left of Buffalo, Zebra and Rhino!
It was not 10:30 and time to head to St Lucia – Isimangaliso Wetland park for the boat cruise. We almost had the boat to ourselves at this world heritage site and enjoyed some great sightings of Hippos, Bull Sharks, 1 Crocodile and lots of Bird life.
The Flamingos are a real treat in St Lucia estuary now as we only see them if the water level is low and its very low so we saw two flocks!
The Hippos were very sleepy today and we only had one opportunity for a Hippo yawn and I missed it! Having said that it is always an amazing experience and a great tour being around 2.5 hours from Durban and a great additive on our Durban safari tours.
It was then time to have some lunch in the town of St Lucia and then head back to Durban. We arrived as the sun was beginning to set and were pretty happy with the 3 days we had spent together on our African safari.
If you would like to join a tour of this nature please click the link below:
We began our 4 day Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve safari in Durban on the 23rd November 2015 and made our way to a Cat rehabilitation center to interact with Cheetah hands on.
This project releases and breeds endangered wild cats in order to increase the numbers in the wild in game reserves like Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
I covered the usual history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal before we arrived in Hluhluwe and our tour began.
After the Cat tour my client and myself headed off into the Hluhluwe game reserve for the big part of our tour the 3 nights and 4 days of Safari!
It is always a pleasure showing off my country to clients from all over the world and this tour would be no exception.
As we entered the gate of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we got lucky and spotted lots of great animals from Rhino to the Warthogs.
After we enjoyed this amazing sighting we also had some Rhino in the mud wallowing which was amazing! We watched them as well as the Wildebeest we spotted for some time before moving on with our Durban safari tour.
It had been an amazing start to our safari in Hluhluwe game reserve and it would only get better. As we continued we found a herd of Elephant and more Rhino.
We would see them later in the afternoon so I will only put one picture.
It was time to make our way to Hilltop camp in Hluhluwe game reserve for some lunch and to check in.
After a great lunch we headed back out and went to the Hluhluwe river which for the first time in 6 months had water in it. It was a great sight after the heavy rains 2 days before.
We made our way back to where the Elephants were and got word of Lions hunting in one of the valleys so we changed plan and made our way there. It was well worth it as we located them again although far away it was still amazing to watch them hunting the Buffalo. We got one also drinking from a pool of water.
Our Hluhluwe game reserve safari began again and we went back to the Elephants and also found a Giraffe! This was great as we could enjoy both while the sun went down.
It was time to get back to Hilltop camp and get some dinner before some well deserved sleep and a very early 5 am start.
Dinner was amazing and Julius and his team looked after us as usual, even making us breakfast packs at very short notice!
Our second day of safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve began quietly as we tried to check on the Lions but with no luck. It was one of those days when no one found Lions but we just had to do our best and find what we could.
The temperature picked up to 32 degrees during the day and we had many great sightings but our first special one was a new born Impala with its mother. This was the first birth of the season for me to see so I was pretty happy.
We continued our safari out of the Hluhluwe game reserve and into the Umfolozi game reserve and got onto some tracks of Elephants. We tracked them for about 20 minuted and eventually found a small breeding herd which then took a mud bath right near the road. It was amazing as they got into some great positions.
After this amazing sighting we eventually got a Giraffe in the some good light and not far away from us! He was a lovely young male Giraffe and this really was great to see on our Durban safari tour.
We continued with our safari in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a lot of other animals from Kudu, Nyala, Warthog, Buffalo and eventually got the Zebra closer to us.
It was getting very hot and although we were finding Elephants and other animals we really did want to see a cat and we were in luck. Quite far off the road was a Cheetah mother and cub which was resting up in the shade of the trees and we were able to enjoy here for a while before moving on with our Durban safari tour.
It was not time to head back to get some lunch via the Umfolozi river loop. We didn’t see much as it was almost midday and the animals were resting. We eventually got back to the Centenary center with was so busy it was like a shopping center! We ordered some lunch and then my clients enjoyed the craft market. I had to interrupt them as there was two bull Elephants in one of the parking lots and this was very exciting. My camera was in the car so I just enjoyed them.
We then left and continued our safari back into the Hluhluwe game reserve before arriving back at camp at 3 pm a full 10 hours of safari and we were all exhausted and had to have a rest before dinner at 7pm.
After a good dinner at Hilltop camp it was bed time.
We headed out early at 5am and had some immediate luck as we found a crash of Rhino on the road. It took us some time to get past them but when we did we were able to line up an amazing photo. This was a great start to our Hluhluwe game reserve safari on day 3.
After this excitement things continued going well as we came across a herd of Buffalo crossing the road this took about 6 minuted for them to do this and I filmed it! Wow it was amazing!
We didn’t need to continue much further for the next exciting sighting of an endangered bird the Southern Ground Hornbill. It is one of my favorite birds and I haven’t seen one in months so a breeding pair was a real treat. Our safari from Durban was really living up to expectations.
It was now time to spot some Giraffe a mother with a baby and shortly after we found a herd of Elephants on the road which were not to happy so we kept our distance until they calmed down and then we enjoyed them.
It was time to get onto some dirt road loops and check the hills again for the Lions. We stopped at a view site with no luck but did have a great sighting of Zebras running down the road.
After the Zebra it was time for the new born Impalas and we found two mothers with two new born babies away from the herd. Our safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve really had some good timing with the arrival of new life and the rain.
It was time to head back for a late breakfast and a rest in the middle of the day before we headed back out after lunch to see what else we could find. I managed to get some work done and fell asleep doing it before our afternoon safari began.
An African safari tour is really something that you can only experience, it is not something you can tell people about as they will have no idea what you are talking about. Africa has something which draws you and never lets you go!
We headed out on our African safari tour and found many animals resting as it was still hot. We found Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Wildebeest and Giraffe.
The Giraffe were amazing and before you knew it we had to head back to Hilltop camp as my client were doing the evening game drive. We still found some amazing Buffalo on the road and we got ourselves surrounded on purpose to experience the sighting.
We left the Buffalo to cross the road and continued with our African safari tour. We then had more luck as we spotted two Leopard tortoises one crossing the road.
This was great and as close to a Leopard as we would probably come!
We got back to camp and changed over for the open vehicle game drive as a storm brewed. We had a little rain and the it stopped. My clients got back at 8pm for dinner which was great and then it was time for bed.
We began day four again at 04:30 am and right at the lodge entrance was a large herd of Buffalo which were resting with the sunrise behind them. This made for a great siloet of them.
We continued and it was rather a quiet morning, we did have a great sighting of two male Nyala doing what we call Philo Erection. This is where the hair stands up on the back the tail is lifted and it is all about making yourself look bigger than the other male for dominance.
We continued on with our Hluhluwe game reserve safari tour and found Rhino and Giraffe before we spotted a lovely bull Elephant near the road. We were lucky as he came onto the road for a better photo.
We made our way back to Hilltop camp so we could have some breakfast and pack before heading out of the Hluhluwe game reserve onward to St Lucia -Isimangaliso Wetland park.
It took us just over an hour to get to St Lucia and we were a little early so we did some of the board walk to the St Lucia estuary mouth. We spotted here Crocodile, Hippo and a Bull shark it was amazing!
We them got onto a boat and did a tour of the St Lucia estuary to see these Hippos, Crocodile and birds closer. We had great luck as we even spotted about 4 different Bull Sharks.
Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Bull Shark
The Mangrove swamps are also a big attraction to this world heritage site in South Africa but the Hippos seem to always over shadow the Mangroves during a South African safari tour.
We must have seem about 100 Hippos from the boat and the bird life was amazing too. We found the illusive African Finfoot and some Greater Famingos which are rare in St Lucia.
It was not time to end our St Lucia estuary cruise and make our way into St Lucia town for some lunch. We stopped at John Dorys for some seafood and after a great lunch began the drive back to Durban.
It had been a great 4 days of Safari from Durban in South Africa and we all enjoyed it!
If you would like to join one of these South African safari tours click the link below:
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.