South African safari Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 11th January 2016

    South African safari to Hluhluwe game reserve.

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Lioness

    South African safari; Lioness

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino sleeping

    South African safari; Rhino sleeping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lioness carries Buffalo calf across road in front of us 


    This was an amazing part of our South African safari and we then filmed her feeding next to us which was just incredible!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safari tours; Lioness eats a Buffalo calf 


     

    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!

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Lioness at night

    South African safari; Lioness at night

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African wild dogs

    South African safari; African wild dogs

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: South Africa safari; African Wild dogs on the hunt


     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Leopard Tortoise

    South African safari; Leopard Tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe and Zebra

    South African safari; Giraffe and Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Durban Safaris; Zebra kicks gravel to get nutrients from soil 


     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino

    South African safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Video: Rhinos in Africa play with one another


     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino with wonky horn

    South African safari; Rhino with wonky horn

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: African safari from Durban

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippo

    South African safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also got a great photo of a big Nile Crocodile with a Grey Heron and an African spoon bill.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile

    South African safari; Crocodile

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippo out the water

    South African safari; Hippo out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

  • 6th January 2016

    South Africa safari

     

     

    Our South Africa safari began in Durban where I collected my clients and we began the drive to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is malaria free and home to the big 5.

    It would be a South Africa safari that we would not forget!

    We began with Cheetah interaction in Hluhluwe and then made our way into the Hluhluwe game reserve. It was not long and our African safari tour began to unfold before us.

     

    Our first sighting was of Zebra inside 2 minutes and these two one a male and the other a female were resting their head on each others backs.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Zebra

    South Africa safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Seriously if you are looking for the best African safari tour with value for money this is the one you need to choose! If you read on with this post you will see why I say that. Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve being the oldest game reserve in Africa had amazing sighting of animals but it is always safer and better to go with a South African safari guide who is registered and qualified to take you on safari.

     

    Next we saw Buffalo which were far away as well as some Elephant so already we had seen 3 of the Big 5! There was nothing really worth photographing I felt so we continued on to the Hilltop camp for some lunch. We enjoyed so good service from the manager of the restaurant before checking in and resting before we would continue at 4pm.

     

     

    At 4pm we headed back out on our South Africa safari and managed to find Rhinos. We waiting 20 minutes for them to make their way to the road and then got them crossing near us.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Rhino

    South Africa safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Next on the agenda was Elephants close and we got them on the road! Wow what a start to our South Africa safari tour. The Elephants we coming from the river and were chilled out so we could enjoy them before moving on to check the Hluhluwe river ourselves.

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Elephant

    South Africa safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also managed to get a great video of an Elephant trying to strip a branch!

     

     

     

    Video: Durban safaris; Elephant works on its meal


    We moved along with our South African safari and located some Giraffe crossing the road, we positioned ourselves and enjoyed the moving along through the thicket feeding on the Acacia trees.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Giraffe

    South Africa safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our South Africa safari just got better as we went along and it was about to get a whole lot more amazing as we located the Lions that has been resting in the shade. This sighting was the best African safari tour sighting you could ever wish for and we were spoiled!

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion grimace

    South Africa safari; Lion grimace

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    One of the Sub Adult males got up and walked over to his sister and did a Grimace! This is typical to what you would want to see on an African safari tour! We waiting for over an hour and this is what the documentaries never show you but eventually 3 of the 5 Lions crossed the road. We now had seen clearly 4 of the Big 5!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion on road

    South Africa safari; Lion on road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    They Lioness that had already crossed the road spotted some Impala and sadly for her they spotted her and the male Impala came running out towards the Lions, another thing documentaries don’t show you!

    A prey item always wants to see where the predators are. The Lions lay down and waited and then the Best African safari experience we could have ever wishes for took place.

    Let this picture be a taste before the video!

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion and Rhino stand off

    South Africa safari; Lion and Rhino stand off

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The video of what happened you will not believe so I am glad you can watch it! The Rhino with few month old calf walked past a young male Lion and didn’t see or smell him. He then got up and walked after the Rhino before charging and grabbing the baby Rhino which he quickly let go once mother Rhino turned around with her big horn!

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion attacks baby Rhino; Lion vs Rhino 


     

    Please excuse my language in the video it is not a natural sighting to see and we all get a little excited! We could not believe our luck at this point I was feeling like this was the best African safari tour ever!

     

    We had to depart now and head back to Hilltop camp for dinner and share our story!

     

    Dinner was great and we were all so tired we went to bed early but we would have a 5 am start the next day.

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South Africa safari

     

     

     

    We began the second day of our South Africa safari at 5am and we made our way down south to try and find the only one of and the most difficult of the big 5, the Leopard.

     

    We started really well with a Porcupine which is nocturnal near the road which was super special for me as I have not seen one in this game reserve.

    It scuttled off to quick to get a picture but is was not long until we spotted Rhinos on the road sleeping.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Rhino

    South Africa safari; Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I realized that I had used up so much battery with the Lions and stupidly had forgotten my charger at home so I have to conserve my battery.

    We did see Giraffe around the next bend and Nyala but we had already great shots of them. Our African safari tour continued and we found a lovely herd of Buffalo near the road,

    This one female look at me as is I owed her money!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Buffalo

    South Africa safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued in the malaria free Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and made our way down to the Umfolozi river it was near here that we found Wildebeest with new born babies and Rhino. We also spotted Kudu which was new for us on this trip.

    We eventually turned back after not finding the Leopard and made our way back to Hilltop camp after what was a very successful African safari tour.

     

    After breakfast we took some time out during the heat of the day and met again later for another South African safari.

     

    We headed to an area we had not yet visited and its was so hot all we saw was warthogs.

    Once it finally cooled down we spotted some Rhino and then the Cherry on the top, the Black Rhino!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Black Rhino mother and calf

     

    South Africa safari; Black Rhino mother and calf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this great sighting we spotted a huge bull Elephant and some Buffalo which were resting near the road. This really was turning out to be an amazing African safari and one of the Best African safaris I have done.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Bull Elephant

    South Africa safari; Bull Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then spotted the African Lions resting in the distance and watched them get chased by Elephants into the drainage after 15 minutes of waiting they emerged on the other side closer to us and we got a great look as 3 of the 4 Lions that were there.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lions

    South Africa safari; Lions

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This young Lioness who is the sister to the young male then presented herself to her brother and he attempted to mate with her. Thankfully he missed the spot and only made himself look silly.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Lion attempts to mate with his sister!

     

     

     

     

     

    We had been one an amazing ride and our South Africa safari really had taken great shape and we were all very happy. We returned to Hilltop camp for some dinner and then went off to bed before another 5 am start.

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South Africa safari

     

     

     

    Our third day began were we left off with the second day as we relocated the Lions and watched then get chased by Elephants before they reappeared. The best part was that today the Big male had joined the Lions so we had most of the pride together again.

    This really was on of the best African safari tours with us having seen Lions on all three days of this safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Lion

    South Africa safari; Lion

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this amazing sighting and after 2 days of brilliant game viewing on our South African safari we really didn’t have any need for more pictures even though we say Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and a lot more on this morning.

    We headed back for breakfast and checked out before heading to Isimangaliso Wetland park or the St Lucia estuary where we would be taking a 2 hour boat cruise to watch Hippos, Crocodile, Bull sharks and some wonderful bird life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Hippo

    South Africa safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our first sighting of Hippo happened before we could even leave the Jetty! They were resting and playing all at the same time in the St Lucia estuary.

     

    It wasn’t long and I spotted a bull shark hunting fish in the St Lucia estuary. This is always amazing and never an animal you are likely to see.

     

    Of course it happened so fast I did not have time for a picture that was any good. Next was more Hippos and them more! We spotted two feeding on the reeds which is rare in the middle of the day at 38 degrees!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South Africa safari; Hippo feeding

    South Africa safari; Hippo feeding

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After an amazing time out on the St Lucia estuary we went into St Lucia town for some lunch and then headed back to Durban.

     

    This truly had been one of the best African safari tours I have conducted with the highlight being the sighting of the Lion attacking the Rhino calf on the first evening!

     

  • 28th November 2015

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino on the road

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino on the road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino rolling on his back

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Rhino rolling on his back

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hluhluwe river

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hluhluwe river

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Lion drinking

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Lion drinking

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants mud wallowing

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants mud wallowing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: African safari tours; Elephants in the mud in Hluhluwe game reserve 


     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Cheetah mom and cub

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Cheetah mom and cub

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

    Day 3: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Crash of Rhino

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Crash of Rhino

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

    Video: Buffalo crossing the road


     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Southern Ground Hornbill

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Southern Ground Hornbill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephants

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Impala new born

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Giraffe

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; 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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Buffalo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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!

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Leopard tortoise

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Leopard tortoise

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Siloet

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Siloet

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Nyala Philo Erection

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Nyala Philo Erection

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephant bull

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Elephant bull

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Bull Shark

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia Estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hippo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Hippo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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.

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Greater Flamingo

    Hluhluwe game reserve 4 day safari; Greater Flamingo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    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:

     

     

    South Africa Safari tour

  • 16th October 2015

    Hluhluwe game reserve safari 15th October 2015

     

     

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

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions on a kill

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions on a kill

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on Buffalo


     

     

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on a Buffalo

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Lions feeding on a Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Hluhluwe game reserve: Lions on a Buffalo kill

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Zebra walking down road

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Zebra walking down road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino marks his territory

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Rhino marks his territory

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Buffalo and Rhino in the riverbed

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Buffalo and Rhino in the riverbed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephant in the riverbed

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Elephant in the riverbed

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Giraffe crosses road

    Hluhluwe game reserve; Giraffe crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

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

  • 30th July 2015

    South African Safari 26-29 July 2015

     

     

    We began our South African safari near Durban where I collected my client who were out for a Baptist conference here in Durban, South Africa!

    As it was a slightly larger group than I usually take on Safaris from Durban I rented a 13 seat vehicle and trailer.

    Once we got all the luggage in we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi and Hilltop camp for our 3 nights there and to enjoy nature at its best.

    On route I covered as much history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as possible over the microphone and in no time it seemed we had arrived at the gate into Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, my second home.

     

    Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve as a deep history which you can read about on the link over the words Hluhluwe….

    It is well known for having saved Rhino from extincting in the 1940’s and 50’s.

     

    On route to Hilltop camp we spotted one of these amazing Rhinos the White Rhino before having the most amazing Black Rhino sight I have had in a long time. This male Black Rhino walked down a slope and crossed the road in front of us and was super relaxed for a Black Rhino. I was amazed and we were all super happy.

     

     

     

    Video: Black Rhino crosses road in front of us during our Durban safari

     

     

     

     

     

     

    What a special moment! We then arrived at Hilltop camp and checked in getting clients and luggage to the rooms which did take a little but of time as it was dark.

     

    We then met for dinner before a good nights sleep.

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 2: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    Day two began at 06:30 am and we made our way into the northern section of Hluhluwe game reserve. We had luck right off the bat as we found Elephants near to the road and all down in the valley and up on the hills near the camp.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant

    South African safari; Elephant

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also had some amazing luck with Rhino as we got one posing very nicely for us all during our South African safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino standing

    South African safari; Rhino standing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were trying our best for the African wild dogs but hear they had made there way over the river after feeding on an Nyala and taken their puppies with them. So we continued and up the road found a huge herd of Buffalo in fact we must has seen about 6 herds of Buffalo….

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Buffalo

    South African safari; Buffalo

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    I love the above Buffalo picture even though it is not sharp it has character with the flies and the dust. We also managed to spot some Zebra on our South African safari which was great as the sunlight really hit them nicely.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Zebra

    South African safari; Zebra

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The one Zebra looks like she is laughing at us… As we continues our 4 day safari tour in Hluhluwe we also found Giraffe but they were far away and I knew we would get them later. So we continued back to camp for breakfast before heading out to the Cat rehabilitation center.

     

     

    The Cat rehabilitation center was amazing and my clients loved it as they got to interact with Cheetah hands on and Serval.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

    South African safari; Cheetah at emdoneni

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The next picture was of the Cheetah cub which is 3-4 months old and the clients got to play with him, he is very cute and playful. Wow what a South African safari this was turning out to be from Durban!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

    South African safari; Cheetah cub at cat rehabilitation center

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then made our way back to the gate and just stopped for some food and fuel. We then got back to camp as some of the group we doing the evening open vehicle safari and other we coming with me.

     

    Those that came with me were treated to a few things, the first was a Southern Tree Agama.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

    South African safari; Southern Tree Agama

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We also found some Vultures in a tree among the usual things like the Elephants, Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra and even a Wildebeest.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

    South African safari; White Backed Vultures

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then had great fortune and found the Giraffe we had been looking for near to the road so it was great for photos excepting the light was beginning to fade. Either way it was fantastic and our success continued during our Safari from Durban in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We tried one more time for cats and dogs with no luck, but we had an amazing sighting for a rare specie the Bush Pig which you usually only see at night. It was now dusk and the video I made came out decently but not very well.

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bush Pig out at dusk


     

    We still had one more shot of the day and it was of the sun going down and the planets Venus and Jupiter! The night sky had cleared from the previous night was was looking great with so many stars out.

    We had a great day on safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

    South African safari; Sunset, Venus and Jupiter

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was now time to wait for the others to get back and at 8pm we all had a great dinner. The food at Hilltop camp is always lovely. We were all very tired and headed off to bed as we would meet the next day fairly early at 7am for breakfast.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 3: South African safari from Durban

     

     

    We began the day in the hope of finding cats but sadly we battled for them through the day!

     

    This did not bother us much as we found many other species of animals from Elephant to Mongooses.

    We were wanting to see more Giraffe on this African Safari and we did.

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Giraffe

    South African safari; Giraffe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    My clients were very happy with the Giraffe and after a short while we spotted a bull Elephant which crossed the road in front of us and fed next to the road to I made a video of this.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

    South African safari; Elephant crosses road

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Elephants near the road on Hluhluwe safari


     

     

     

     

     

    We slowly made our way down to the Umfolozi river and before we got there we spotted a Rhino bull which decided to sit down and then have a rest by lying down.

    It was an amazing sighting as I managed to shoot the sequence of events.

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 1

    South African safari; Rhino 1

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 2

    South African safari; Rhino 2

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Rhino 3

    South African safari; Rhino 3

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the Rhino went to sleep we made our way over the Umfolozi river which was in full force after the heavy rain we had had a couple days before! It was great to see this river flowing so well during our Durban safari in South Africa.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

    South African safari; Umfolozi river in flow

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We continued and tried to get as far south as we could but time was also running out as I was unable to travel very fast in the 13 seat vehicle.

    Things were quiet and we decided to stop at Bhejane hide hide and see what animals would come to us but sadly it was only birds.

    We did however see Terrapins on the bank of the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Terrapins

    South African safari; Terapins

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Once of the best sighting at the watering hole was this African Hoopoe which was searching for food and maybe had a nest in this dead tree next to the watering hole.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

    South African safari; African Hoopoe

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We the made our way to the Centenary center for some lunch and then had a look around the curio shop. As we were a group of 12 it took longer than we thought and we needed to rush back to Hilltop camp to get back for the clients who were doing the evening open vehicle safari and to load up most of the luggage into the trailer, Thank you Jason for your help!

     

     

    We arrived back and sorted everything out before meeting for dinner. We had to wait for the 4 clients that went on the open vehicle game drive but it was a good wait.

     

    As we stood at the bar we noticed that Prince Harry was in the restaurant enjoying dinner we could not believe our luck to see such a character. We waited on the others and told them but did not want to bother the young prince as others were doing and we sat to enjoy our meal having had a great day.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Day 4: South African safari from Durban

     

     

     

    We began our forth day with a very early start at 05:45 and left Hilltop camp by 6am for St Lucia or Isimangaliso Wetland park for our 2 hour boat cruise viewing Hippos and crocodiles.

     

    We arrived 10 minuted early and had a great 2 hour on the boat seeing lots of Hippos, Crocodiles, Mangroves and birds.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

    South African safari; Crocodile at St Lucia

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We had unbelievable sightings of Hippos both in the water and on land during our African safari from Durban.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

    South African safari; Hippos out the water

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    St Lucia estuary is the largest esturine system in Southern Africa and home to 4 of the Big 5 the 5 most dangerous animals to hunt on foot.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Hippos playing

    South African safari; Hippos playing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were lucky to catch these two baby Hippos playing in the estuary while we were on the boat tour of St Lucia we also had amazing Bird sightings of Pink Backed Pelicans, African Fish Eagles to Black winged stilts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

    South African safari; Pink backed Pelican in flight

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As the boat cruise drew to an end we had one more sighting and that was of a Bull Shark swimming in the St Lucia Estuary! They have been stuck here since 2007 when the estuary closed naturally to the ocean due to a lack of rainfall.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Video: Bull Shark in St Lucia estuary, South Africa

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We finished up our cruise and began our way back to Durban International or King Shaka International airport stopping along the way for some food and coffee.

    We arrived on time for the clients that would be catching there flights out of Durban and I took two of the clients after the safari to the Hilton Hotel in Durban. It had been an amazing tour having just missed out on the cats!

     

    We all enjoyed it and would have many memories to take back home with us.