3 Day overnight Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014.

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3 Day overnight Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014.

Day 1 of our  3 Day overnight Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve

We began our Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve in Durban City where I collected my Clients some of which had run the Comrades South Africa’s major Ultra marathon from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.

 

I covered the usual things like the history of the area we were entering into and of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The history of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve is always interesting as well as the Flora and Fauna in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve.

 

We made good time and our first stop was a Cat rehabilitation centre outside Hluhluwe Town where you can interact with 4 different species of Cat, namely; Cheetah, Serval, Caracal and African Wild Cat.

 

The clients were lucky to get the photo taken with these majestic cats. This is always a good start to a 3 Day Durban Safari Tour because even the Big 5 Game reserve of Hluhluwe Umfolozi can at times cause problems with finding big cats, This Tour was not the case though!

 

After the Cat rehab centre we entered at Memorial gate duly named as there is a grave next to the gate and we began our Hluhluwe Umfolozi safari Tour.

We had immediate success as we got a Zebra crossing the road in front of the vehicle.

 Zebra Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Zebra Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Zebra Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

We continued a mere 200 meters before we found Elephants and Buffalo crossing the road too. It was like the animals can out especially for us in the heat of the day.

We must have had some good Ora for our Durban Safari Tour to be going so well.

First was the Buffalo crossing…

Buffalo Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Buffalo Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Buffalo Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

After the Buffalo had crossed we drove another 150 Meters and there was a second herd of Elephant crossing the road to the other side so we drove around and waiting on a dirt road for them to come around and the walked in front of us a second time! A great Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour

Elephant Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Elephant Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Elephant Crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

We eventually got to Hilltop camp (Hluhluwe) where we began to settle in by having some lunch and checking in. After a great lunch and 40 odd minutes in the rooms we headed back out until gate closure at 6pm.

 

Our Day’s Safari Tour started with a female Giraffe with what looked like a broken leg and I could feel the mood drop in the vehicle after I said its nature and we don’t interfere. I wish that was always the case…

Giraffe with Broken leg on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Giraffe with Broken leg on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Giraffe with Broken leg on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

Our Hluhluwe Umfolozi safari tour continued and we headed out to the Hluhluwe River where we got out at a view site to look over the river at some Buffalo and we also spotted Hippos and a crocodile in the River. This was great! Durban Safari Tours are amazing if you are patient and lucky like we were.

Our Safari Tour continued and we spotted some Nyala females coming to the road and we adjusted the vehicle so they would cross in front of us. Later we also spotted a male Nyala on the Tour in Hluhluwe Section.

Nyala Female crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Nyala Female crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Nyala Female crossing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

As our Hluhluwe Umfolozi safari tour continued we found an amazing sight! A big male white Rhino mud wallowing and then as he got out he rubbed himself for about 20 minutes on a rock which was once a sign. His rubbing became so elaborate that I had got myself some great pictures. See below what a great Rhino, What a great Durban Safari Tour.

Rhino kisses a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino kisses a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino kisses a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock showing us his Bum on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock showing us his Bum on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Rhino rubs his male parts on a rock showing us his Bum on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

After this I was so stoked at what we had seen that I though we could find anything even Lions that had moved away from the road… We spotted more Buffalo and Elephant before I got to this area. It was now dark and we had no chance unless these Lions came onto the road so we continued in the process driving right along side and Elephant in the dark. We moved past him and got back to Hilltop camp (Hluhluwe) after an amazing Day Safari from Durban. We arrived back at camp spot on 6pm and took a rest before dinner.

 

At dinner I think we were all tired and we rushed our meal down and then headed to bed after a great Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour from Durban.

 

Day 2 of our  3 Day overnight Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014.

 

The next morning we slept in till 6am and met for a 7 am breakfast before heading down into the Umfolozi section of the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve to continue our Durban Safari Tour.

We rushed down to save time and only stopped momentarily to look at a young Bull Elephant before a rest room break at Mpila Camp (umfolozi).

 

After this and a chat with a mate who told me that there were no cats where I was wanting to search, I decided to try another area and bang we came round a bend to a couple cars stopped and a pride of 4 Lions had killed a Wildebeest which the had wrapped around a tree next to the road. The Lions we hiding a big but after 20 minutes of waiting the showed themselves but did not feed on the carcass.

Young Male Lion yawns on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Young Male Lion yawns on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Young Male Lion yawns on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Dead Wildebeest killed by lions on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Dead Wildebeest killed by lions on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Dead Wildebeest killed by lions on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Lion gives me the beady eye on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Lion gives me the beady eye on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Lion gives me the beady eye on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

We were so lucky to see these Big cats on our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour! We continued and saw a warthog, impala and Zebra only 50 meters from the Lions.

We decided to head to a “Hide” which is a secure area over looking a water point where you can sit quietly and watch what ever comes by. We saw a male Nyala who was beautiful come and drink.

Male Nyala drinks at Mphafa Hide on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Male Nyala drinks at Mphafa Hide on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Male Nyala drinks at Mphafa Hide on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

Our Safari Tour of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve was really going well but became quiet for a while at the sun baked down at 35 degrees Celsius(so much for winter).

 

We continued our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour and spotted some Living Wildebeest, Giraffe, Warthogs and loads of Impalas.

 

We also stopped to look at a Zebra and her foul near the road.

Zebra and her foul on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Zebra and her foul on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Zebra and her foul on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

Lunch was beckoning so we made our way to Centenary centre home of operation Rhino in the 1950s and had some food there. The girls got cause up in the curio shop and there food got cold which was a great laugh…

 

We had to leave and continue our Hluhluwe Umfolozi Safari Tour and we moved back into the Hluhluwe Section of the reserve where we found 2 male Elephants crossing the road again!

Arriving back we got the tickets for the evening game drive and took a rest before that would take place from 5pm – 8pm.

 

When my clients returned at 8pm they were cold and hadn’t seen too many new things except Genets and Owls.

 

It was time for a warm dinner and bed.

 

Day 3 of our  3 Day overnight Big 5 Safari Tour from Durban to Hluhluwe umfolozi game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso Wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014.

 

We got up at 6am and met before 7am to pack the bags into the vehicle before heading off to have some breakfast at Hilltop camps restaurant.

After breakfast we quickly checked out and made our way out onto the reserve for our last 3 hours of Safari Touring before we would depart for St Lucia – Isimangeliso Wetland Park.

 

We had some good luck with this big male Elephant right next to the road dust bathing. He wasn’t the least bit interested in us.

Elephant Bull Dust Bathing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Elephant Bull Dust Bathing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Elephant Bull Dust Bathing on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

After this great sighting we continued to as many view sights overlooking the river as possible it turned out to be a good choice as we came across a Big Elephant bull crossing the Hluhluwe River.

Durban Safari Tours really can be a treat!

Elephant crosses the Hluhluwe River on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Elephant crosses the Hluhluwe River on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Elephant crosses the Hluhluwe River on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

Before we left for Isimangeliso Wetland Park the clients wanted to see Giraffe one more time and we nailed it! We got this beautiful old male which slowly walked closer to the road and with a bit of vehicle manipulation we got it to cross in front of us.

Giraffe male on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014
Giraffe male on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

Giraffe male on our 3 Day Big 5 Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and St Lucia Isimangeliso wetland park 3rd to 5th June 2014

 

After enjoying the Giraffe and spotting a few more species it was time to end our 3rd Day Safari Tour in Hluhluwe Umfolozi and head to Isimangeliso wetland park for a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia Estuary.

 

We arrived and had to wait for a group of students to arrive which were 30 minutes late(African Time-lol) Once we got going it was a real Safari Tour treat as we spotted Water Monitor Lizards mating as well as Fish eagles! I was so frustrated with myself as I left my camera in the car! So sorry no pictures on that you will just have to trust me!

 

After the Safari Tour on the Boat at St Lucia Estuary we headed into St Lucia town to get some lunch at Ocean Sizzler which was great as always. They do the best food and the best portions for your money!

 

We then had to begin the long trip back to Durban and the rain decided it was going to fall which slowed us down a bit. All in all it was a great Hluhluwe Umfolozi safari Tour.