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
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
Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi was established in 1895 after the South African government and a couple of influential conservationists realised that the continuous hunting of wildlife was causing them to run out of raw materials like Ivory (Elephant tusk) for the trading between Europe, Africa and Asia. Its is am ideal game reserve to visit for a Safari while in Durban as it is a Big 5 game reserve, Malaria free and near Durban.
Why did they over hunt this area? Actually it was more the fact that there was an issue with Tsetse flies which was believed to be caused by the animals. The Tsetse fly caused Sleeping sickness or “Nagana” which affected the Blood of animals and Humans causing fever, loss in weight, weakness, Anemia and potentially death.
This was so feared by the Settlers that they killed vast numbers of game(animals) literally 100 000′s in order to get rid of this disease.
It was only in the 1940′s that DDT (an agricultural toxin) was used by being sprayed over the vast area of Hluhluwe Imfolozi’s 96 000 Hectare reserve. This not only killed off the Tsetse fly but also the Anopheles mosquito which carried Malaria(female only). This meant that today we are very lucky to take our clients on Safaris near Durban and not have any issues with Malaria!
We are blessed in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to have a Pride of Lions which has a strange ability to climb trees. This is not usual in Lions as Lions do not have a locking mechanism in their wrists to come down from a tree in a graceful manner. They are also big animals and to see them taking to the trees is amazing. On our Safaris from Durban you may get lucky enough to see this spectacle.
There is a couple reasons this pride of Lions would have turned to climbing trees and the most common reason would be that the area that they hold a territory in is too very thick and it makes it easier for them to see there prey item by being up high. Having said all of this the Big Lions do not take to the tree so this is something that the Lionesses and the young Lions are doing. As they get bigger the risk of falling when they come down the tree and breaking there necks is higher.
Behaviour like this of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi tree climbing Lions has also been reported in east Africa but as mentioned is very uncommon due to the risks of coming down. These cats are like our domestic cats happy to go up but to come down is a slippy affair!
Just to see these amazing creature even on the ground on one of our Durban safari tour is amazing but when they are seen up in the tree it is even more amazing and special for us.
With in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there is some amazing scars which can be seen on either Wilderness Trails or from the air. The reason behind these great scars at the confluence of the Black and White Umfolozi rivers is due to the greatest Zulu King, Shaka!
King Shaka reigned supreme of the vast area of Zululand between 1816 and 1828 defeating and taking over smaller Black African Tribes. He became known by the tribes as “the Hyena man” and the Cape Colonist called him the “Black Napoleon”.
Shaka instructed his “Impis”(Worriers/Soldiers) to construct these great pits which were used to chase vast numbers on animals into once a year. The young Impis would then spear the animals killing them as a sign of there courage. It appears that there could have been more to this non-selective killing of animals. Shaka being as great as he was would never want anyone to be a stronger King than he was or to defeat him. It seems that he could have used his hunting pits to prevent there being much food for intruders who entered the area wishing to dethrone the great Shaka!
Throughout Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there are signs of Stone age activities with Artifacts being found over they years. It was also an area where early metal work took place and on the Western side of Masinda lodge with in the game reserve we are told Iron Ore was found and formed into spears and Assagais by the Zulus.
Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is home to the Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant. Apart from these amazing creatures, Hluhluwe Imfolozi has Hippos, Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, African Wild Dog and a vast number of Antelope Species.
This is not all that you can expect to see in this amazing nature reserve. With around 380 species of birds, Mountainous areas, Open areas and views to die for you will never get bored if you are guided through this amazing reserve.
The Hluhluwe Section of the game reserve is vastly different to the Umfolozi section. Hluhluwe is more scenic with more rolling hills and forests. It contains Savanna and some grasslands but more so mountainous with great views over the Valleys.
Hluhluwe is an ideal spot to look for Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard as well as stunning bird life.
The Umfolozi sections of the game reserve is a mixture of Acacia thorn veld and grasslands. We come across many Tamboti thickets and riverine forests which can also make this a good spot to look for Leopard, Lion, Cheetah and African Wild Dog.
Overall between the two sections of reserve we have the chance of seeing the Big 5 and all the other animals mentioned during your Durban Safari Tour.
During the early years of the game reserves establishment from 1895 there was still a vast amount of hunting that took place. With the years of punishment to Rhino populations and other species this was getting out of hand and a program was put into place in the 1850′s to bring back the Black and White Rhino populations from the brink of extinction.
It was this program which also meant bringing in new genetics from other areas to prevent in breeding that really was a huge success. Today in the 21st century the White Rhino population in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the highest density of any reserve in the world.
This is a true feather in the cap for KwaZulu-Natal National parks(Ezimvelo KZN Wildlife).
There are two major camps/lodges within Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on one of which is fenced and has catering, this is Hilltop camp.
All the other camps/lodges are self catering facilities and the Bush camps require a Guide to be with you during your stay, for your safety due to no fencing and human nature to explore.
Hilltop camp is my lodge of choice, being a 3 star facility with Wifi, TV, Shop, Bar and restaurant all set in the forest on the highest point in the game reserve. This of course means great views day and night(of the Stars).
Below are a few picture of Hilltop camp.
I was blessed to have a repeat client from a year ago return with her family for a 6 Day Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and to the Drakensberg Mountains.
It is always great to get return clients but it is hard as well as I need to keep my standards high and try and ensure I go above and beyond my duty.
We began this amazing 3 day Durban Safari Tour by visiting the Emdoneni cat rehabilitation centre in Hluhluwe.
Here we saw 4 endangered species of wild cats; Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.
Once we finished up here we continued our Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. When we arrived at the Memorial gate and entered one of the first things we saw was a herd of Impala with there new born babies.
It was minutes and a Hyena ran across the road in front of up but the picture was no good for this blog post sadly.
As we continued we spotted a few Buffalo and one lone very old Buffalo bull. He was really relaxed and just stood in the middle of the road like a cow.
We got ourselves up to Hilltop camp and had some lunch before checking in to the lovely rooms.
After an hours rest we went back out to see what else we could find.
Our Afternoon Safari tour was great as we spotted a Journey of Giraffe, Rhino and Zebra.
We then spotted some Zebra and a foul was suckling from its mother. This was amazing to see on a Safari Tour.
Before we spotted the above Giraffe though we got some Rhinos after we had had a huge thunder storm. This was a mother and a calf with a Big Male Rhino which actually charged our vehicle. What a cheek! I could not believe it; this just shows that even when you think you know all there is to know about animal behavior they will keep you on your toes.
This was the first charge I have had from a Rhino which stopped this close to my vehicle. His horn almost touched the vehicle that’s how close he got!
We also spotted some more Rhino which had clearly got caught in the storm as they were wet all over and actually looked very clean. I got a great picture of one of them on this Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.
After the storm we spotted the most beautiful Rainbow where you could see the entire half moon and not only one rainbow but two!
We continued and could come right with any cats so began to head back to the camp on route we spotted some Water Buck near the road.
We had had a great 1st day on our Durban Safari Tour and had a good amount of time left to spot more animals.
It was time to get in for some dinner so after a quick break we went through for some dinner which was a buffet and lovely.
It had cleared a bit but it was still very hazy for Star gazing.
It was time for bed as we decided to get up and leave at 5 am and take breakfast packs with us so that we could stay out longer and get further down into the game reserve to find cats and/or Elephant.
We headed down south and it was actually very quiet at first but we did spot Giraffe next to the road and a Hinged backed Tortoise laying her eggs.
As we reached the Umfolozi River we spotted a Rock monitor Lizard walking on the sand bank of the river.
It wasn’t long before we spotted a new animal which was a Martial Eagle the largest Eagle in Africa. He posed beautifully in the tree for a photo. Once we were done our Durban Safari Tour continued.
We passed through Mpila camp in the Umfolozi section of the National park before we finally spotted an Elephant. The only problem was he was in Musth so we needed to be a little careful. We did just that and still got a great photo in a safe manner.
We continued our Safari for quite some time before seeing anything major and then we spotted some Giraffe crossing the road and then eventually drinking water which is rare as they are independent of it.
Next sighting was some White backed Vultures basking in the sun. This helps with killing external parasites on the feathers.
We then continued and came across some Vervet monkeys sitting in a tree resting during the African Midday Sun.
The day was now hot and sticky as the humidity was still very high. So we continued to the centenary center for some lunch. Before we could get there we spotted some Baboons near the river.
It wasn’t a fast trip back for lunch as we kept spotting animals. One of which was a Warthog which went into the mud wallow to cool off near to the road.
As we neared the luncheon stop we spotted some Rhino resting in the shade of a tree in an open area it was a lovely sighting.
Eventually at lunch we enjoyed a rest and a look at the local crafts.
It was then time to head back to camp during mid afternoon and book the bush walk for the next day.
We had some rest before dinner where we reminisced about the great day. All we were missing was cats but we were still content.
Again the skies clouded over and no starts were to been seen in the sky.
We went off to be with another early start the next morning for a 5am departure to Munyaweni Bush camp were we would meet Sabelo an go on the bush walk.
We began a great bush walk with Sabelo where we spotted Rhino sleeping and a Hyena Carcass. The main point of these walks; are to focus on the smaller things which we don’t speak to much of on a driving safari. Ie: dung, tracks, birds, trees etc
It is always exciting to see these amazing creatures on foot and you never know what you will see. We did also spot bones from Rhino which had died in fights over territory and I picked up a zebras hoof!
We raced back to camp after the bush walk as I had heard of a confirmed Lion sighting. We got back to a speedy buffet breakfast and coffee before packing, checking out and leaving the camp. True to form when you are in a rush somewhere something shows up to block your way and this time it was a Bull Elephant.
After the Elephant we spotted a crocodile resting near a stream.
We then spotted a Black Rhino and at this point I couldn’t believe our luck as we had done very well.
I felt anything would be possible on today’s Safari Tour.
We got to the area where the Lions were and were greeting to a Male Lion feeding on a Zebra 15 meters off the road. He was a beautiful young male and the only one we could spot as the other were resting in the shade some distance from the road.
We then headed off to Isimangeliso Wetland Park or St Lucia and boarded a boat for a 2 hour cruise of which we were the majority of the guests on board.
We were lucky to spot some crocodiles and of course the usual Hippos.
After we finished up with the 2 hour boat cruise we headed into the little town of St Lucia for some lunch.
Once we were done with lunch we headed back to Durban remembering all the amazing times we spend in just 3 days on a Durban Safari Tour with Tim Brown.
Remember its always better and Safer with a guide but choose your guide wisely, reviews of other clients on a guide with help you choose.
We began our Durban Safari at our famous harbour where the Holland America ship docked and our 13 clients got off for a guided Safari.
We ended up going to St Lucia first where we got on board the boat for the estuary cruise to view Hippos and Crocodiles.
It was a great 2 hours on the St Lucia estuary and after we had docked we got back on the vehicle to head to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game reserve. Before we left though, we took a picture of a sign in St Lucia.
When we arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we spotted a mother Rhino and her calf. We were in a rush to get to the lodge to check in and get the clients onto there evening open vehicle game drive.
Our next sighting was Warthog with her piglets and some Buffalo. All of these lovely sighting were going to make us late so we just stopped for a quick photo before moving on.
After we arrived at camp we quickly checked in and got the clients off the Holland America ship, onto the open vehicles for there night drive. As this was happening a storm was brewing and I was thinking “here we go..”
The rain eventually came and one of the vehicles came back early so we began dinner early while waiting for the others who came back drenched.
We got some entertainment as the staff came out and did some dancing and singing for us. It was great and then it was time for bed.
I was on wake up call duty and was up at 4am for 04:15 wake up calls. We got the clients down in time for there 5am open vehicle game drive before I headed to the conference centre to catch up on work.
They client got back just before 08:30 and we all had breakfast before checking out and heading to Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center.
There was some drama to follow:
We first spotted some Zebra near the road as we made our Safari out.
As we continued our Safari from Durban we spotted a huge herd of Buffalo on the hill which we stopped to photograph.
It was at this point that we ended up with a Musth Bull Elephant on the road with a little are in front of us and a mini bus behind us. This Elephant was a little bit disturbed by all the noises of the vehicles and he came onto the road. Our driver tried to reverse his bus with the trailer at the back not very well.
At this point the little car in front decided to rev his engine and make a dart for it he only encouraged the Bull Elephant onto the road and frustrated him further.
It was at this point I instructed our diver to turn the engine off as we had no where to go and the diesel engine was just going to stress the Elephant out even more.
Unfortunately it was too late and the Elephant decided to touch our vehicle with his trunk and tusk. At least he did minimal damage…
We had lots to talk about on the drive to emdoneni.
When we got to Emdoneni cat rehab centre we enjoyed some interaction with the big cats and at the end the new cheetah cubs that have been brought in for breeding came out to play.
This was there first major interaction with a large group of humans so no touching was aloud. They were so beautiful and this really made our Durban Safari extra special, oh and the Elephant!
We then had to head back to Durban so it was back to the final questions on the few hours back to the Holland America Ship.
Our clients were great as they were so interested in the History that it made it easy for me to cover it in a structured manor.
We arrived back just before dark and that evening the Holland America Ship Sailed down to Port Elizabeth.
After collecting my group of clients from Durban for there Big 5 Safari at Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we headed up to St Lucia or Isimangeliso wetland park to view Hippos and Crocodiles. We were very lucky as we had cooler weather during this 3 day Durban Safari tour and the animals were out and about!
I covered all the usual things like the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa and the History behind the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Flora and Fauna.
We had such a great time at St Lucia and a great lunch before heading onto Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to check into our accommodation at Hilltop camp for the next few days.
Little did we know at this stage that our Safari near Durban would be very memorable. Driving in from Memorial gate we say a fair few species including a herd of Buffalo on the road, Giraffe, Rhino, Zebra, Monitor Lizard and some antelope species!
We continued to the lodge and again spotted some Buffalo on the road! This was amazing as we just sat and watched them for 10 minutes while at the same time looking at Giraffe.
After checking in and having a few minutes literally to message my wife we headed back out onto the reserve to see what else we could find. It was just one of those Durban Safaris where you know that the animals are going to show up some where some how! We could not have been out 30 seconds and I spotted this beautiful bird, the Trumpeter Horn bill.
This was amazing an after seeing more animals we in this one day seen 2 or the Big 5 and some amazing other interesting sightings. This was only the beginning of our 3 Day Safari Tour from Durban so we still had 2 days to see more and boy did we see more!
We settled in for the night at Hilltop camp and enjoyed some great food before we all rather quickly retired to bed. It had been a long day. I tried to get some work done but the Wifi was not strong enough to send out my quotes so I had to wait a couple days…
I met my client very early for them at 6am and we departed for a 3.5 hour Safari to see what new animals and wildlife we could spot. The day began with sighting after sighting of these amazing animals we have in Africa.
After a great sighting of Zebras it was the turn of the Giraffes, it is so difficult to choose the best pictures so I just put this picture of this Giraffe bending down to feed right next to the road! Durban Safaris and Durban Tours are a must do if you are visiting Durban city for business or pleasure!
We did find Elephant which is one of the Big 5 making it 3 of the Big 5 Spotted over the 2 days before breakfast on day 2 however the next picture was taken after breakfast. We has heard that Lions we spotted in a nice open area and had killed a Buffalo so decided to follow up on this, before we arrived this Big Bulls Elephant was wondering down the road towards us! He was resting his trunk over his tusk!
It was at this point that the rest of our Safari from Durban would change for the better and we would have unbelievable sighting of the Big 5 as well as other animals.
We arrived at the area where the Lions had been spotted an as there was a burned section it was clear to see these lions well a couple of them. This is a Pride of 7 Lions, 2 adults females with cubs aged 18 months – 2 years. They had killed a Buffalo female in the night and one was guarding her prize while the others were hiding in a bush.
We had an amazing time watching these Lions especially later on when a Rhino walking right up to the Lions that were sleeping under the tree and he had no idea they were there. The Lions just stayed still keeping an eye on him and once we wondered past they relaxed again. A Rhino is to big to be taken by Lions generally speaking as they have a horn they use to protect themselves if needs be.
I made a video of this as you just wont believe me otherwise: Rhino Walks past Lions with a Kill Video click here.
We enjoyed this amazing sight for some time before heading back to the lodge for a rest of 2 hours. We then headed back to the Carcass to see what had changed. It was great as now we had 3 of the lions active and this one young male was wondering around feeling sorry for himself as he must have eaten to much. He kept eating grass like your domestic dog and cat at home when they feel ill. Wow what a Safari from Durban this was turning out to be!
The next image also has a video link to it as it was the one Lioness feeding on the Buffalo during our Durban Safari Tour.
We decided it was time to go and look for different animals in the remaining time we had before the night drive and headed back round to the main road to continue our Durban Safari, here we spotted some lovely Rhinos and a mother with a tiny baby.
That was it for the day apart from the evening game drive where the client saw not new to what we had showed them but the experience non the less was exciting for them. It was time for dinner and then a good nights rest after a crazing day of more than 8 hours of Safari.
I got the clients up a little later this morning at 06:50 and we packed the luggage and made a move down to reception for some breakfast and to check out. It was nice to sit down with a cup of coffee while the clients sorted out there accommodation for the night in Umhlanga. We then departed for the last 2 hours of Safari time and this would also be amazing.
We spotted load of Elephant down in the valleys but was not a great picture so we just enjoyed them. We also spotted more Zebra and returned to the carcass. The Lions had gone and the carcass had been dragged closer to the road, the vultures were polishing off the rest…
We moved on after a short time here and spotted the same mother Rhino with her calf, the calf showed great interest in my car and we actually moved back so that the mother didn’t get to interested in us. Baby crossed the road and mother followed her.
After this lovely sighting we headed out on a dirt road and found the African Wild Dogs, to me like gold as they are the most endangered Carnivore in Africa. They had all there pups with them and it was amazing amount 1/3 of the entire game reserves wild dog population were in one spot with us! So exciting you cannot believe!
I have to make a video when they all lined up on the road for us.
We were running out of Safari time so we headed out of Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation Center for the 10:30 Tour of the 4 endangered Cats the Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.
The client loved it and at the end of a great 3 days of Safari from Durban we began to head back to the Airport to drop the clients of for there flight back to Norway.
As Durban Safaris go this had been a brilliant Tour and we had seen lots of different animals but also the quality of the sightings were outstanding. If you would like to join Tim Brown Tours on a Safari near Durban contact us!
I met my client at a Durban hotel, it was here we would begin our Durban Day Safari to the Valley of 1000 Hills.
This Durban Day tour and Safari is always a interesting one as it covers a vast amount of things: Nature, Culture and History all in one short day. We always begin with the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal chat in the vehicle on the drive to Tala game reserve before we cover the nature side of things in the reserve.
Tala game reserve is great place for a Safari near Durban as it is only 45 minutes from the city. Being so close it means we can cover more than just the Animals in a Durban Day Tour.
We arrived at Tala game reserve and had some really good sightings of animals. Our first sighting was this Wildebeest silhouetted with a dam behind him.
Tala game reserve has a very high density of animals which means you should see a lot in a short time which give us the opportunity to cover this game reserve in short space of time. Minutes later we spotted more animals on this Durban Day Tour.
This was such a great picture as we had 3 different species of animals all next to one another. This is common in shared habitat like open grasslands. Both the Ostrich and Blessbok eat grass.
Our next sighting was of some Zebra, wow what a Day safari Tour!
These Zebra were just grazing away and taking things very easy. It was at this point we decided to look for Rhinos at the open areas near the watering holes. We had no luck with the Rhinos as it was a cold cloudy day for our safari which meant the Rhinos hid in the thick bush. We did however have an awesome sighting of Eland which is a huge cow sizes antelope, in this species both male and female have horns.
Eland seen on our Durban Safari near Durban to Tala game reserve, Valley of 1000 Hills and Zulu Cultural Village
These Eland were traditionally hunted by the true South Africans the San-Bushmen and we used for not only food but every part of the body was used for something. The skin was used for clothing, Blood and Fat for binding agents in paint, horns to transport fluids etc.
Our next sighting after a quick look around the curio shop was the Giraffe.
This female Giraffe had a baby with her but the baby always was moving away from its mother. Our Durban Day Tour was really looking promising at this stage. We headed down to another dam where we spotted some Hippos resting in the water.
These Hippos were having a good rest after a night of feeding on grass, these 2 Ton beast can consume as much as 90Kgs of grass in a night! After spotted a Fish Eagle with a fish he had just caught we continued on and departed for the Valley of 1000 Hills. It took us about 35 minutes to get to our destination, Phezulu Safari Park.
It was here that we had arrived just in time to join a free “Dangerous snake demonstration”, this was very interesting and we then had some lunch before doing the full Tour of the reptile park.
These were some big crocodiles we saw and we also got to enjoy the snakes, terrapins and Tortoises on this part of our Durban Day Tour.
It was not 2pm and time to get across to the Zulu Cultural Village for the Zulu Dancing and singing, it is also here where we get to enter into the meeting Hut and cooking hut to learn more about Zulu Culture.
We were shown how a marriage proposal would work in Zulu culture and the Sangomas or Fortune tellers throwing the bones to read the future of the young man who was to be married. All of this is very exciting to witness even for me and I have done and seen this many times!
This Zulu is one man I can never take my eyes off as he dances with such passion every time he is in front us. Its truly a special experience to be invited to witness the traditions which are sadly fading in Zulu Culture. This is for me what makes this a special Durban Day Tour to be involved with.
The last part of our Durban Day Tour at this Zulu Cultural village is to visit with Chief Gaza and learn more of how the Zulu lives and of there traditional weapons. The Assagai being held by was invented by the great King Shaka in the 1820’s. It was a short stabbing spear and used to kill the British in close combat in many famous battles in the future including Isandlwana in 1879.
It was a this point we now had a look at the curio, craft shop before heading back to Durban City.
What a great Durban Day Tour!
We began our Durban day safari at one of the Durban Beach front hotel where I collected my clients from. After a briefing of the days itinerary we began our 3 hours drive from Durban city to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. If you are looking for a Safari near Durban, Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the place to go as it is also a Big 5 game reserve. The term “Big 5” comes from hunters which historically named the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot. Today on our Safaris we still call these animals the “Big 5” as they are some of the most sort after animals to see on a Durban Safari Tour.
After a short stop I continued to talk about the history of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal to the clients which is all part of a Tour guides job an very important in making sure our clients always leave having learned something and experienced nature.
We arrived at Hluhluwe Imfolozi with the promise of Lions on a kill near the gate, sadly the Lions had dragged the carcass into some thick bush and we saw nothing.
As we continued we spotted some Buffalo of a hill near where the Lions had been spotted in the morning.
We continued on to look for more animals and had great luck is spotting a mother White Rhino and her calf, the best part was the calf walked over to a territorial males dung midden and defecated on top of it. He however did not break it up with his feet meaning he was showing submission so he could walk through to drink water safely.
We also came across some Vervet Monkeys and Baboons in the next half an hour which were very playful. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is a great place to do a Safari near Durban.
After enjoying these lively characters playing and drinking we also had the good fortune of spotting some Giraffe on our Durban day safari tour. There a a fair number of them but I chose only one picture of this mother and calf.
We decided to stop of some lunch and take a break from all the Safari Driving. We had lunch at Hilltop camp one of my favorite places as they have an amazing view over the Hluhluwe section of the reserve. This view can make a Durban day Safari that much more special when you mix in all the different animals we see as well.
After lunch we had to make a decision as to where to look for animals, we chose to head towards the gate in the east where Elephant had been see earlier in the day.
We continued to tick animals off the Safari list like Warthog, Impala, Nyala, Wildebeest and Zebra.
We were very lucky again to see more Giraffe and then Rhino resting near the road a mother with her calf. Its sightings like this which really make a Durban day Safari so special and is a sight for sore eyes!
We were now running out of time and still had no luck with Elephant which was starting to frustrate me a lot… This sadly can happen when the weather is colder but you just have to remember it is not a Zoo and the animals will either show up or not, it is in there hands not ours…
Close to the game we spotted a variety of animals Nyala, Impala and Warthogs before checking the Umfolozi river for any signs of Lions. We did find tracks of Lions from the morning but no luck with seeing any.
It was time to begin our 3 hour trek back to Durban after yet another satisfying Durban Day Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
We were all fairly happy apart from not having found Elephant which we usually do on a Durban Day Safari, unfortunately that is the way the cookie crumbles…
The clients all fell asleep on the way home as they had a bit of jet-lag and two of the kids had a chess game the next day in Durban of the World Chess youth Championships.
We arrived back well after dark and some tired bodies left my vehicle. Still this had been a good Safari from Durban.
I collected my client from 4 different addresses as they were all single travelers. I was very grateful we could make a plan for all of them to get the African Safari experience from Durban. Durban is fortunate to have the continents Oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi which is only 2.5 – 3 hours outside of Durban City. This amazing game reserve is also home to the Big 5 and if our main destination on our Safaris from Durban. In my opinion for Safaris near Durban, Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve is the best!
Once we got going everybody settled in well and got to know each other between my conversation on the History of Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. There is a vast amount in Durban and South Africa’s History which has taken place and in such a short space of time. One of the most interesting part to South Africa and Durban History is the arrival of the Zulu in the early 1800’s. Most people believe that the Zulus or the Black Africans are the real South Africans, this is false. If you take a Safari or Tour with Tim Brown Tours you will learn more of the many interesting secrets that this beautiful country, province and City has to offer.
By the time we got to the game reserve it was 09:30 and we entered and within minutes we had spotted Zebra in the distance! We waited during our Safari for the moment when the Zebra stopped under this Marula tree which made a great photo!
As we slowly continued on it was not to long before we found more animals, the one was a Vulture which was on its nest with its chick. This was beautiful to see and I got a great picture of it to share with the group that was with me on our Durban Safari Tour.
Our Safari near Durban continued and we spotted Nyala and Kudu which are antelope in the same family. The curly horned family or Tragelifus… I got a decent picture of one of the Kudu cows(female) on our Durban Safari Tour.
After spending some time with the Kudus we continued our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across a beautiful bird the Cape Glossy Starling. Within Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve there is a vast amount of flora and fauna. There are about 380 different bird species!
We enjoyed this bird for a minute before heading further down south in the game reserve. Today actually was a hot day and sat around 37 degrees Celsius or 98 Fahrenheit. We got down to the black Umfolozi river on our Safari from Durban and were luck to find a Bull Elephant drinking and spraying water on himself to cool down.
This was a very exciting sight and we spend some time here enjoying this special moment. So for those that are reading this blog post, their are Safaris near Durban which offer the Big 5 animals and are good quality.
After enjoying our time with this Elephant we continued and found some Rhino in a dry river bed. Before this we did spot a giraffe but he was not interested in posing for a photo.
It was exciting to watch these Rhinos as they were originally sleeping and then got up as slowly walked a bit closer in the river bed. After spending time with them we had to continue to make the most of our time on our Durban Safari Tour.
We had a quiet patch with just Impala, warthogs and some birds until we got past a view point in the river where we were able to stretch our legs and enjoy the view. We then continued to a hide(an area, hut overlooking a watering hole) here we used the wash rooms and waited patiently for animals to come to drink. We were lucky that some Warthogs came and rolled around in the mud. Our Durban Safari was definitely looking good so far.
We again had a long gap with very few animals during the hottest part of the day but then we came across some giraffe close to the road with one male posing in the shade further back under a tree. Wow this was a relief and kept our momentum up on our Durban Safari.
This had been great to see these other Giraffe feeding so close to us. We left them to enjoy there day and we headed back up for what would be a late lunch. As we crossed back over the Umfolozi river there was no Elephant, he had moved off. I did bump into a friend of mine who mentioned that when the came in there was a herd of Elephants at the gate. So I posed the question to the clients, How late would you like lunch – Can you survive. Of course they all agreed if we could see more Elephants lunch could be done later.
So we drove off and spotted more Giraffe on our Durban Day Safari before we got to the Elephants.
This was a hard spot but we got him sleeping under a tree. Giraffe can lye down but will always do it with there necks up right. We hurried on to the Elephant and we were in luck they were still there in the Forrest, drinking water.
These Elephants were beautiful just how they posed was amazing for us all. The female on the right which was clearly the Matriarch was huge with big tusks for a female. Watching the drinking was great and worth having a very late lunch for.
We were so lucky on this Durban Day Safari that we even got this Elephant sniffing us from a distance. She was beautiful and this sighting probably made the day for my clients and myself. We had seen 3 of the Big 5 now and only missing the Cats which was normal for a quick day safari from Durban.
It was time for some lunch and we drove 2 km back to get the the lunch stop, we arrived at just after 3pm so this was a late lunch. After enjoying some food and the clients purchasing some Curios/Gifts from the craft shop we began to head back to the gate to head back to Durban.
Before we could totally exit the reserve we found some more Zebra right next the the road this was the cherry on the top for our Safari near Durban in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
As we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we all had smiles on our faces and had had a great Durban Day Safari Tour. We stopped along the way to get coffee and arrived in Durban after 7pm. What a great Safari near Durban enjoyed by us all.
It was a beautiful spring day when I collected my clients from a Durban hotel. They would be spending 3 Days with me on a 3 day Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve situated near Durban. My clients were from England and on their honeymoon which made the Safari Tour even more special!
I was really fortunate to have previous clients which had recommended my services to the honeymoon couple. This made the safari more special for me too as a referral is like gold dust.
After covering some of the history of our amazing country, South Africa and City of Durban it was time to look at the History around the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and the Cat rehabilitation center we would first be visiting. My age seems to be catching up with me at a young age as I very often get distracted and lose my place on the stories about South Africa’s interesting History.
Emdoneni Cat rehabilitation center was our first stop on our Durban Safari Tour and the help endangered cats like Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat increase there numbers. At this stage no success with Cheetah but plenty with the other endangered cats.
I am pleased to say that Tim Brown Tours supports this project by bringing our clients their as the entrance fee’s go to the aid of these amazing cats.
We were fortunate that the Cheetah were happy enough to stay in the same position for pictures.
The African Wild Cat which we also go to look at is have very little DNA difference between it and the domestic cats, research tells us that Wild Cats were domesticated as far back as 10 000 years ago. It is more to do with Natural selection and human intervention with cat breeding which has caused there to be visual and behavioral differences.
This lovely Serval sat up in the tree on our Durban Safari and snarled at us every time we walked under the tree she was sitting in.
Upon entering through Memorial gate into this World Famous and historical game reserve, being the oldest in Africa we had immediate success. We spotted a few different species of animals in a short time before lunch.
Most of the Big 5 sightings were not brilliant but still were great. We moved on to Hilltop camp where we had some lunch and checked in before getting back onto the reserve to see what other animals we could find.
After spending some time driving around and getting animals closer and closer we eventually had accumulated some fantastic sightings and it was only day one of our 3 Day Safari.
One of the first major sightings was a Buffalo bull but I chose this picture of a female Buffalo that was covered in Red Billed Oxpeckers that we saw later on in the day.
We continued on with our Durban Big 5 Honeymoon Safari and we eventually got a picture of a Rhino closer to the road.
We made our way back to the main road and back to Hilltop camp for some dinner after a pretty good time out in the African Bush. Our Durban Big 5 Honeymoon Safari had started to get really exciting with 2 of the Big 5 Spotted on the first day.
On our drive back it was getting dark and we spotted some Bush Pigs which are nocturnal and a Grey Duiker.
Over all our Durban Safari today had been great for a start and with a 7am start the next day we would hopefully find more exciting Big 5 species and general game.
We then met for some star gazing and then dinner which was lovely as always before some sleep. What a great day on Safari near Durban.
I met my clients on Day 2 at 7am for breakfast and then we would do a full day safari down into the South of the reserve the Umfolozi section to try and find Cats and Elephants.
Our Safari from Durban had already been very successful but we hadn’t yet seen Elephants and of course seeing an Elephant is a big thing on a Safari as it is one of the Big 5.
We had a great start with lots of Zebra, Giraffe, Nyala, Impala, Kudu, Rhino, Buffalo and load of other great animals.
As we got into the umfolozi section we came across a Dazzle of Zebra crossing the road which was really great to see during our Big 5 Safari.
As we continued our Big 5 Honeymoon Durban Safari we came across a Pride of Lions resting 50 meters from the road on a ridge. We were very lucky as we got to see that there were 7 of them in total with 2 males.
Of course as always you get those people who feel they are entitled to do as they please and put there children’s lives at risk and today was no different. True to form 2 South African men got out of there vehicles one with a young child because they couldn’t see the Lions from there vehicle… After asking the one man if he was aware he was contravening the regulations I was told “No”. Man common sense is really not so common. I was also blessed with his wife’s verbal abuse. At least I was concerned about the Childs safety…
As we continued we spotted a Bull Elephant very far away so we didn’t get a great photo of that. I knew we would be lucky later and see Elephants somewhere.
We continued our Durban Big 5 Safari and spotted some Rhinos resting near to the road. This made for a great picture.
As we continued with our safari near Durban and we came across more Giraffe, Rhino and something new a Wildebeest close as well as a Warthog resting.
The Wildebeest was a good sighting as we had only seen then at dusk on Day 1 of our Durban Safari so this made up for the bad light.
At a view sight over the White Umfolozi river we spotted a Warthog resting he was not the least bit concerned with us. Great day to this point already with what we had seen on our Durban Safari.
Our next sighting was very interesting and also very frustrating. It was an Impala in a tree. Now Impalas don’t climb tree so this one could only have got there by one animal, a Leopard. But could we find this Leopard, no chance!
Leopards can hoist 2 x there body weight into a tree and this helps to keep it away from Hyenas and Lions.
As we began the long journey back to the luncheon stop we found our first good sighting of Elephant in the Umfolozi River feeding on the reeds, mud wallowing and drinking. There were actually 5 Bull Elephant and a couple Buffalo Bulls that we saw on that stretch of river.
We stopped for lunch at around 1pm and enjoyed some good food before continuing to look for anything else we could find, we were very lucky on this Safari from Durban!
It had now been 7.5 hours of Safari and it was time to get back to camp for some rest before my client headed out on the evening game drive with the lodge.
Overall it had been an amazing second day on our Big 5 Durban Safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
I went through for dinner an my client would have a private dinner after there game drive and we would meet again in the morning for day 3 of our Durban Safari.
It was now time for bed as we needed some rest, the 3rd day of our Durban Safari would entail: Breakfast, checkout, 3 hour Hluhluwe imfolozi Safari and a 2 hour boat Cruise at St Lucia- Isimangeliso Wetland Park.
We began at 8am and came through for some breakfast before checking out and starting our last few hours of Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.
The few hours were great and we basically recapped on animals seen already on our Durban Safari. Unfortunately we did not find any more cats so we had to be happy with the one sighting of these amazing creatures. Fortunately on the evening game drive the clients saw Hyena which was a new animal.
One of our first sightings on our morning safari was this a herd of Buffaloes crossing the road.
As we continued we also came across a crash of Rhino next to the road, the one female had a huge horn.
It was now time to head to the Nyalazi gate and end the Big 5 Safari part of our Tour. We departed and headed to St Lucia Estuary – Isimageliso Wetland Park for our 2 hour Hippo and Crocodile boat Tour.
After if covered the History of the St Lucia area we arrived and began our cruise of the St Lucia Estuary. We saw lots of crocodiles and Hippos on this Boat Tour near Durban but even the Bird life was amazing.
As we continued up the Estuary of St Lucia we soon spotted Hippos and a fair few crocodiles. Our Safari near Durban had really been going very well and the best way to cap it off is to end with a relaxing 2 hour Estuary cruise at St Lucia.
We had a really great sighting of a Hippo baby out the water feeding on the grass of the river bank. This is always interested as Hippos are vegetarian and eat grass only.
After we finished with the 2 hour boat Tour we headed into St Lucia town and had some lunch before departing for Durban City.
Durban is almost 3 hours away from St Lucia and we were already tired so we stopped along the way to freshen up and fill up the car.
Our 3 Day Honeymoon Big 5 Durban Safari Tour had been really successful and we all enjoyed the amazing sights from the Stars at night to the animals in the day. You will be surprised but there are Safaris near Durban and Tim Brown Tours conducts Durban Safaris and Durban Tours any day of the week and year.
If you are interested in this or one of our other Durban Safaris or Durban Tours contact me through the online booking form or inquiry form and I will try to make your Safari/Tour just as exciting!
We began our Durban Day Safari in Durban City where I collected my first 2 clients at 05:30 who were in Durban for a conference on Child Psychology. Our next stop was a 06:15 pick up at Zimbali where we met the other 4 clients. Our destination on this Durban Day Tour would be Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. Hluhluwe Imfolozi is the oldest game reserve in Africa and home to the Big 5 – Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Buffalo. It was previously known as Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve but recent changes have meant the name change to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, I still use the old name mostly.
My group were a great bunch, some had been to Safari parks before in the Serengiti but this did not effect there experience with Tim Brown Tours.
I consider it a great privilege to show off my country and what I am fortunate enough to have learned with overseas clients who just really wish to have a holistic experience and a great Durban Day Safari Tour in the South African Bush. Durban Safaris and Durban Tours are the best way to see what this beautiful country of South Africa has to offer you!
We started well with a Zebra near the entrance to the Umfolozi reserve and once we had paid our way through the gate we continued down South in the Umfolozi section of the game reserve in the hope of finding cats.
As we continued further south and passed Impila camp we spotted a giraffe with a young baby on her own and looking a bit lost it also looked like she was interested in picking up a bone but we lost visual of her and continued with our Durban Day Safari.
After we moved on with our Durban day safari we were lucky enough to spot 5 Rhinos which was the first of the Big 5 animals we had seen on this Tour. These Rhinos we resting under the trees and enjoying a sleep until this big territorial male came along and chased 2 of they young males away from his territory.
We left this male to rest and as our Safari continued I was getting more anxious as two days before we had seen so much including Lions and at this point we had only seen 1 of the Big 5. Well we were not to be disappointing to much longer as we came across a large herd of Elephant with small babies. One baby was suckling.
This turned out to be the turning point on our Durban day Safari as we then spotted African Wild dogs, they then crossed the road in front of us and dissipated. They are only the most endangered carnivore in Africa! Unbelievable, in the middle of the Day!
African Wild Dogs cross the road in front of our Safari vehicle on our Durban Safari
After going through a lean patch we had seen the Wild dogs and after this was another massive herd of Elephant! Our Durban day Safari was becoming crazy! We made our way down to Bhejane hide to see if any animals were coming to drink at the mud wallow, we were in luck as we saw Impala, Nyala and Warthog in 15 minutes.
At this point we had done 5 hours of Safari time after a 3 hour drive from Durban and it was time for some lunch. We drove up to the Centenary center for some lunch but before we could get there we spotted a baby crocodile in the Umfolozi river.
After a very short lunch we continued on and found Elephant Bulls at the Gate. After watching them for a bit we decided to continue and we spotted Buffalo near heading to join the Elephant for a drink. So we turned back and watched the Buffalo and Elephant for a bit longer. It was now 16:15 and we had done 7 hours of Safari time on this Durban Day Safari which was 2 hours longer than usual for us. What a great day in the African bush on Safari!
What a great Durban Day Safari! We had seem so much and such great quality sighting that all of us were happy. By the end of the Safari we had seen 3 of the Big 5 and the African Wild Dogs!
On the drive back we now could enjoy the memories of a great Durban Day Tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and reminisce about the day.
Overall a very successful and enjoyable Durban Day Safari.
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.