Durban day safari – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 4th April 2015
We began our Durban day safari in Kloof where I collected one of my clients, then we moved on South of Durban for another two before our final pick up in Umhlanga near Gateway.
Once I covered the basic itinerary and handed out snack packs and waters to the group we began the 2.5 hour journey(safari) to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which is World famous for having the highest density of Rhino around. We were not disappointed at all!
On route I covered some of the history of Durban, KwaZulu Natal and the History of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve on of our national parks here is South Africa.
Their is also a lot of interesting history behind the area as to how every different colour and creed came to be here in Durban as well as the early Zulu history which is one of my favourite topics!
I always get concerned that so early in the morning I bombard my clients with history but it does pass the time and in my opinion very important to understand the area and its people as well as the struggles we face and have faced in the past.
When we finally arrived at the game reserve we stopped for a rest and then headed into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve to see what animals we could find.
The first thing we saw was some Vervet monkeys in and around a Marula tree. The one monkey sat in the fork of the tree.
Durban day safari, Vervet monkey in Marula tree
After this it was a matter of minutes and we found more animals actually Rhino but pretty far from the road so for a start this was great. We also spotted Nyala crossing the road in front of us and some Zebra with Wildebeest near to the road.
Durban day safari, Zebra
After enjoying watching these Zebra for a while and after explaining a few interesting facts about them we continued on towards the Umfolozi river where I was hoping we would find some animals. As some of the mud wallows were beginning to dry up with the lack of rain the hope that animals would be drawn to the major rivers was higher.
Before we could get there we saw a Bull Elephant in the distance which being our first Elephant for the day we stopped to chat about it before moving on to the river.
Below is some of the pictures of the animals from the gate to the Elephant on our Durban day safari.
Durban day safari, Rhino, Nyala and Elephant
It was time to check the river out and it was here we spotted 2 old Buffalo bulls resting in the water and chewing the cud. These creatures are one of the Big 5 and are rated as the most dangerous of them. You will have to take a Durban day safari with Tim Brown Tours to find out why!
Durban day safari, Buffalo bulls and a Blacksmith Lapwing
The Blacksmith Lapwing is the little bird you see on the right of the one Buffalos bum. It was also here at the river where we spotted a tiny Nile Crocodile he only looked a year or two old.
Durban day safari, Nile Crocodile
Moving along from the Umfolozi river we headed South west and began to try and see if we could find other animals and perhaps closer to the road. As we went along we stopped for a quick restroom break and then saw loads of Impalas. There after we found a couple of Rhinos next to the road. Jokes aside about 3-5 meters from the vehicle and just grazing away, not a care in the world. Wow, we were lucky and our safari from Durban was really looking good.
Again it was a matter on minutes and we spotted another Rhino and a Wildebeest.
Durban day safari, Rhino standing and Rhino yawning
I had to put a compilation together as we had seen so many Rhinos on this day safari from Durban. The one Rhino in the picture above was laying down and then got up and had a big yawn! That was really cool!
We continued on and finally came around a corner and there was an Elephant right next to the road feeding. I stopped and shouted “Elephant” and it always great at first as some client say where even though the Elephant is right in front of us. It was a great sighting and we watched him feeding before continuing on to a view site over the river.
Durban day safari, Elephant
We also spotted Baboons and the best part about this was that the clients were asking about the big red bum of the female and I was saying it is because some are in season and for some reason the males are attracted to this swollen red bum. Before I could finish the one big male jumped up on his hind legs and proved to us in broad daylight that he fancied the lady Baboon with the big red bum!
It was short and sweet and left my client in stitches of laughter having just witnessed nature at its best.
Durban day safari, Animal selection
We finally got to the river section where we could get out and enjoy the view over the river, it was here we spotted a Black Rhino I was so stoked as they are so rare at about 200 left in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. I quickly got a picture. The funniest thing was we stood next to a couple of South Africans and they had no idea that they were looking at a Black Rhino they were not sure and just thought well it must be the common White Rhino! This is a sure sign that even the locals need to come on a Durban day safari or Durban day tour to learn more about what is on our own doorstep.
Durban day safari, Black Rhino and White Rhino in mud wallow
Black Rhino is the top picture notice the smaller size, rounded mouth, almost no ears (due to parasites), Injury from parasites on side of body (common in Black Rhino) and head fixed higher up! Why am I telling you all of this? You need to come on one of my Durban safaris and I will explain which we see these amazing animals.
If you look at the previous picture you will see that there are Vultures sunning themselves in the top image these are White Backed Vultures and the sunning helps kill parasites on there feathers.
Our Durban day safari had been so good up to this point especially when you look at what we had seen and now it was time to head back up to the Centenary center for lunch. It was on route that we had 3 other things on our minds, Giraffe, Elephant and Lions. Could we some home get more and better quality sightings??? I knew we should with the Elephant, but Giraffe had been a frustration 2 days prior on my other day safari from Durban as had the Lions. We lived in hope, and then we knocked one off the list with Giraffe up a hill which was great to see. My clients and I were happy. I don’t thing my clients really realise the pressure and stress I am under to try and provide for them as many animals as possible. It is the same feeling that a man has when he is under pressure to provide for his family!
Durban day safari, Giraffe
Lunch was amazing and I loved my Ostrich steak roll! My clients were kind enough to get me an Espresso Ice cream which must have had coffee in it as I was feeling alive again and ready to nail these animals that we wanted.
We were in great luck and really blessed with the next sightings we had! I really was not expecting them at all.
We found a Elephant bull near the road and he began to run his bum on a tree which was so cool to see then he walked over to another tree a Marula and ripped of a branch before breaking wind(farting). It was amazing! This was not the only Elephant we saw as we found another 6 or 8 of them it then went from a Rhino day to and Elephant day!
Durban day safari, Elephants everywhere
Durban day safari – Elephant rubs his bum on a tree Video
Durban day safari – Elephant pulls a branch from tree then farts Video
This was pure madness and we raced off to try and find some more Giraffe. I bumped into an old friend of mine and fellow guide who actually mentioned that Lions had been resting very far from the road in the same spot for 2 days. So with this new information I raced off to see if I could some how relocate Lions that you could not see with then naked eye!
We finally got there and with the Binoculars I could see then and showed them to the clients. Still a Lion is a Lion so we were very happy and a realised that it was clearer to see them if you made a video clip so that is what I did. Sadly its shaky but that is also fine. I will never be disappointed with a Lion sighting and we were all over the moon.
Durban day safari, Lions a million miles away with cubs
What you will notice is to the bottom right of the Lioness sitting upright is a tiny cub which I only noticed when I looked at the pictures at home. Wow that is amazing! What a great Durban day safari we had!
Video Durban day safari – Lions as far as my camera can see!
Wow what an amazing Durban day safari, how many times do you see 4 of the Big 5 and the Quality of the sightings being so good!
It was now just the formalities of getting back to Durban and returning my clients safely to their home in Durban.
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