Durban day tour to Tala and Valley of 1000 Hills – 8 January 2015
I met my clients in Kloof as western suburb of Durban. The man of the family spent the first 16 years of his life in South African and wanted to show his family more of the area.
We didn’t really chat much about history on this Durban day tour as the questions were mostly heading towards the changes in the past 10 years etc. It was still a lovely drive up to Tala game reserve where we began with our Durban safari part of our tour.
Once we got in through the gate we headed up to look for the Rhino but their were not around probably due to the fact that their was a lot of activity and it looked as though the guys were darting the Rhinos to remove the horns. This proved to be true later when we eventually sadly found a Rhino still with a dart in its back and the horn removed!
These smaller private game lodges like Tala game reserve are having to turn to dehorning their Rhinos due to the high number of Rhinos being poached in South Africa. The rough figures for 2015 was 1200 poached that we know about and at this rate some people believe by 2020 so in 5 years time their will be no Rhinos left in South Africa.
Anyway our first major sighting was Zebras and lots of them! Tala game reserve has such a high density of animals it is unbelievable for such a small game reserve!
Zebras on our Durban safari tour to Tala game reserve
Zebras very often stand like this in order to rest the head but also to let the other ones tail swish in front of their noses to keep the flies away! Nature is amazing and taking a Durban day tour is one of the best ways to experience it!
Our next sighting was of some Eland which are very special in the original South Africans culture the San-Bushmen. The San-Bushmen originated on the land here in South African and now are down to about 300 people as very sad situation. Eland was their animal for food, clothing, paint and ceremony. It is high in fat and was used as a spiritual creature for the San-Bushmen to reach their God!
Durban safari Tour, Eland seen in Tala game reserve
As we continued our Durban day tour we came across a pair of Blue Cranes which is South Africa’s national bird. They are very rare and only really found in protected marsh like areas. So for me this was a cracking sighting!
South Africas national bird the Blue Crane
We spent more time looking for animals and came up with some Giraffe a whole Journey of them! They were beautiful and after watching them cross the road in front of us and feed we move off to find 2 males which were up to interesting behaviour.
Some studies have shown that Giraffe are the “Gayest” animal in nature but my honest opinion is that displays of male trying to mate with each other are for dominance just like your domestic dogs at home. Even 2 female dogs will show dominance in the same manner of mounting each other.
Durban safari tour, Giraffe dominance
As we continued we headed down to the dam where we find the Hippos in the day time enjoying the sun and water. It was here that we are able to get out and enjoy the scenery and the Hippos from the safety of a wooden hut.
It was lovely to watch all the Egyptian Geese playing around and calling.
Durban day safari, Hippos in dam
We headed up to the toilets and the curio shop where we also found some Nyala and a Giraffe outside the shop. He was not for Sale!
My clients enjoyed some shopping before we continued with the Durban day tour and we to find the Rhino.
I must say I actually got a huge fright when I spotted this Rhino laying next to the road breathing heavily and not moving, even though I became aware that they may be dehorning their Rhinos.
This pour chap was dehorned and looked more like a Hippo! I really wish we would spend more of the money raised to fight poaching to get the Chinese government to accept Rhinos from us and harvest the horn as it grown 3-5 centimeters per year!
We have very good trade relations with China and this would be a foot hold to get this sorted out and legalize the trade of Rhino horn like we did 11 years ago with Ivory. In the past 11 years in South African we have only had 1 incident of poaching an Elephant for its tusks and that was a year ago!
My opinion, but I believe we are making more of a mess of things than we really need to.
Durban day tour, Rhino darted and dehorned
After this sighting we decided to make our way out of Tala game reserve and continue our Durban day tour in the valley of 1000 Hills 40 minutes away. We arrived at 12:45 and went to the Boma restaurant for lunch with a great view over the Valley of 1000 Hills.
We all had such a big portion of food we could not each everything on our plate but the food was good!
We began a bit later at the reptile park where we looked at some Crocodiles.
Durban day tour, Crocodiles at a reptile park in the valley of 1000 Hills
After enjoying these very old prehistoric animals we continued with the snakes and then moved on the traditional Zulu cultural village. It is here that you get a great view over the valley of 1000 Hills and where we get to learn more about the Zulu Culture.
Durban day tour, view over the valley of 1000 hills
We entered the Zulu Cultural village an were entertained by the Zulu dancing and singing of both the men and the women. This is always a great sight to see on a Durban day tour, the team always give a great performance.
Durban day Tour, Zulu cultural village
Durban day tour, Zulu traditional dancing
After enjoying the great Zulu dancing we got to enter into the Zulu huts and learn more on the cultural side of this great nation! We also got to sample some Traditional Zulu beer which even my guest enjoyed and had a second helping.
The final touch to our Durban day tour was the look at the craft shop where many things can be purchased.
At this point we had completed the day of Touring in the Valley of 1000 Hills and Tala game reserve. It was not time to head back to Durban, well Kloof to drop my client off safely.
It had been a very enjoyable Durban day tour.