Durban day safari tour – Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve 15th March 2015
We began our Durban day safari tour in Durban city where I had two pick ups and then moved to Umhlanga for another two pick ups. This was the most number of pick ups I think I have done before and it went very smoothly.
It was nice to have a mix of clients from Irish and British to Belgium/Dutch.
We began the long journey but as always with me chatting about the history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal, I always find it goes quickly and I am sure the clients that are interested in it feel the same way.
The word “safari” come from east Africa and is Swahili for “Journey” so basically all my Durban Tours are Durban safari tours!
Our Durban day safari tour continued as we headed up the North Eastern coastline and we stopped once to stretch the legs and grab a coffee before the final hour and 15 minutes to Memorial gate in the North eastern corner of the world famous and Africa’s oldest game reserve, Hluhluwe Imfolozi.
I chose to enter in the North as the Umfolozi section can be very quiet at times and if their are no cats around it can be difficult at time to make a good day of it. Having already been in touch with some other guides from the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, I decided to go North.
It was a good choice for us as we nailed 4 out of the Big 5 again and got to see a Lioness! I was so happy to be able to share this with my clients, it is always a privilege.
We had many sightings very close to the gate when we entered from African Buffalo, Impala, Rhino and Zebra.
Durban day safari tour; Rhino
These Rhinos were worth a photo as the two standing were sub adults and just wondered up to the fella that was resting to say hello. It is always amazing on our Durban day safari tours to watch the behavior of these wild animals as you can learn so much about how they think. It was seconds later that we spotted some Zebra so I managed to take a decent photo of them too.
Durban day safari tour; Zebra
Zebra are also such amazing creature being the only animal the kicks and bites at both each other and at predators. Their are so many Zebra in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve which have gashes and scars from being attacked by Lions and surviving! Can you believe it!
Our Durban day safari tour continued and we made our way towards a dried up mud wallow to search for some Giraffe but before we got there we found a herd of Elephant. Trouble was they were not to close to the road but patients pays off, and we finally go a good photo.
Durban day safari tour; Elephant feeding
After watching these Elephants feeding and resting in the shade in the Hluhluwe section of the game reserve we moved on to find these Giraffe. It wasn’t long and we had them in our sight and we spend some time enjoying the as they fed and resting in the shade on the trees on what was already a hot day at 36 degrees.
Durban day safari tour; Giraffe
Our Durban day safari tour then led us to the river as every where was so dry that we needed to try the rivers to find more animals, not that we hadn’t done well already with 3 of the Big 5!
We made our way to the Hluhluwe river and it was here that we spotted a huge herd of African Buffalo in the mud and 2 Elephants feeding on the reeds.
Mud wallowing is important to cool down but also to remove external parasites from the body, must say I only tried it a couple time when I was knee high to a grass hopper and when I was doing my training 10 years ago!
Durban day safari tour; Buffalo and Elephants
At this point we were feeling the heat but having chatted to a buddy of mine we got wind of Lions in the area so we raced off to go and see if we would be lucky enough to get to see them. It is not common to see Lions in the day time and if you are lucky to see them they tend to be in thick areas which mean a bad sighting. So I was a little optimistic about it.
We arrived in a haze of dust and as the dust settled we saw a Lioness on her back with here feet in the air. It was awesome to see her on a Durban day safari tour.
Durban day safari tour; Lioness flat on her back
We spent some time watching her as we want her to show herself a bit more so after a few minutes she rolled over and gave us a lovely stare showing here scars from fights over the years. Now we had seen 4 of the Big 5 inside 2 hours on our Durban day safari tour and things couldn’t have been better!
Durban day safari tour; Lioness alert
We now made our way to the river again to another section to see if we could find anything new. On route we came across the Anti Poaching team and we requested to take their photo. They do such an amazing job in protecting our Rhinos from poachers and risk their lives for nature in South Africa.
Durban day safari tour; Antipoaching team
We got to the river and stopped for a toilet break and I thought of all the amazing animals we had seen so far on this Durban day safari tour, we had been truly blessed with good luck and correct information and my gut feeling of going north had paid off for my clients. I was very happy.
After we left the river we followed its twists an turns and spotted a herd of Elephant and Buffalo down at the river but the picture was not clear so I left it out. We also spotted Nyala and more Rhino, Giraffe and a great sighting of Zebra very near to the road.
Durban day safari tour; Zebra on termite mound
At this point lunch at Hilltop camp was calling our names and we made our way their for some food. The views there are amazing and having a rest was pleasant for all of us. My clients enjoyed some Beer and wine and eventually some food before we had a quick look at the curio shop and then departed Hilltop camp to see what other animals we could find on what had turned out to be a great Durban day safari tour.
Things after lunch in the heat of the day were a little quiet but we spotted some Nyala near the road so I got their picture to add to the already large collection.
Durban day safari tour; Nyala
We continued our Durban day safari tour in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and came across an amazing crash or 6 Rhinos just next to the road in the open looking at us like we were stupid. They were amazing and we got to enjoy them as the rested in the shade and rubbed there horns on a tree stump. The best picture I got was this one with 4 of their heads in a row! It was incredible! Rhinos being on the brink of becoming extinct this sighting of 6 together was very special for us all.
Durban day safari tour; Crash of Rhino
What an amazing Durban day safari tour, I don’t think we could have wished for more even though I agreed if we spotted a leopard I would buy everyone lunch. Unfortunately that didn’t happen so I didn’t get the pleasure of buying lunch for everyone!
We headed now toward the gate as it was getting closer to 15:30. We then spotted some Baboons down in the Umfolozi section up in a tree and as we exited the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve we got them all over the road which was amazing. It was almost 4pm by the time we left and the Baboons just added that cherry on the top to the Durban day safari tour as I know some of my clients really wanted to see monkeys.
Durban day safari tour; Baboon mother and baby
An amazing Durban day safari tour with my group had come to an end and we cracked on to Durban to drop off the clients for their night out ( I am Sure) of celebrating the Tour they had just been on.
We arrived around 7pm and we all had smiles as we had seen so much, 4 of the Big 5 and so many other amazing animals, even the Anti poachers were great to see.
Thank you to all my clients for joining me on this Durban day safari tour to Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve, Africa’s oldest proclaimed national park and home to the Big 5 animals, The Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhino!