Durban overnight Big 5 safari

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Durban overnight Big 5 safari

 

 

We began our Durban overnight Big 5 safari on the Bluff in Durban where I collected my client and we headed off to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 game reserve. It would be a safari from Durban to remember!

 

The usual story took place with me covering the general history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal on route to our first stop, the endangered cat project for Cheetah interaction.

 

We had a great time as we got to interact hands on with 3 endangered Cat species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

Durban overnight safari; My clients with the Serval

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once we left the Cheetah project we made our way into Hluhluwe Big 5 game reserve a mere 20 minutes away. It was now time for our Durban overnight safari to begin!

Our first sighting was of some Zebra, Buffalo and Warthog. Having told me guests not to expect too much early bells, I felt some added pressure build as I knew it would be hard to keep up the success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

Durban overnight safari; Zebra crossing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Warthogs were just up the road so we spent some time being entertained by them before moving on with our Durban safari.

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

Durban overnight safari; Warthogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Sounder of Warthogs on our safari from Durban


We then made our way through to Hilltop camp for some lunch and to check in. It had been a good start and it wouldn’t be long before we would be back out to see what we could find on our Durban overnight safari.

 

Lunch was great and after 30 minutes of rest we headed back out.

We were very lucky as we had a great sighting of a Crash of about 9 Rhino which was unbelievable, sadly for us the photos were not the best so I didn’t put them up.

 

We checked over the Hluhluwe river and enjoyed the great views of Nyala feeding and it wasn’t long after this we spotted a big old male Giraffe. It was strange as he was so focused on what must have been female in the distance that his male part was erect for a moment before he crossed the road in front of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We continued on and came across a huge male Elephant a few meters from the road and he was in Musth but was very relaxed so after watching him we moved closer to enjoy him more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This great shot of the Elephant my client took for me when the Elephant opened up his ears to cool the blood down and help regulate his temperature. I decided to try and be a bit creative as the Elephant had some Rhino and a small breeding herd of Elephant behind him. Have a look at this picture below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Elephant and Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was getting dark now and we needed to make our way back up to the camp. We had been very lucky and our Durban overnight safari has really begun very well with us having seen 3 of the Big 5 in the first day.

 

We arrived back at camp right on time and then got ready for dinner. After a quick dinner it was time for bed it had been a long day and we had agreed to start at 6am the following day to see if we could find some cats.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2: Durban overnight safari

 

 

Our second day of safari from Durban was like a dream in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. I could not believe the luck we had and nor could my clients.

 

We started with Giraffe and Rhino before having the most special sighting of Lions you could ever wish to have on a safari.

We had a pride of 7 Lions walk onto the road in front of us and basically play around for about 15 minutes. It was very special and we got amazing footage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

Durban overnight safari; Lions play on road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was pure bliss as these Lions rolled around and wondering in and out of the bushes near the road. I managed to get a couple of video clips so you can try and feel what we experienced.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Durban overnight safari, Lions playing on the road


 

 

We were very luck as we almost had this sighting to our selves with just one car coming behind us after a while to share it with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

Durban overnight safari; Lions on road

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Durban safaris with Tim Brown Tours, Lions on the road

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lions played and it was also clear that they were marking territory and one Lioness actually did what we call the Flemen grimace which is where she inhales the scent over a gland on the upper pallet of her mouth to check if it needs resenting. This is also done by males to check if a female is ready for mating or even to check if other Lions had made the scent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

Durban overnight safari; Lioness does Flemen grimace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This had been an amazing sighting and we very happily continued on down south to see what else we could find. Clearly our Durban overnight safari had heated up!

 

It wasn’t long after this that we found a young Giraffe, we couldn’t spot her mother she must have been around, well we hope so!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

Durban overnight safari; Giraffe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As we continued our Durban overnight safari we finally had a great sighting of Buffalo where they crossed the road in front of us. We also had them near the road not long after this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

Durban overnight safari; Buffalo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Buffalo crossed the road in front of us and a bit further along we got a herd walking parallel to the road all in a line heading off to find more food.

 

Once we left the Buffalo and crossed the Umfolozi river we spotted a bull Elephant and it was another 5 legged one! We watched him feeding and then he walked up to a Rhino midden and started to dust bath with Rhino dung!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

Durban overnight safari; Elephant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Elephant dust bathing in Rhino dung

 

 

 

 

 

 

This had been so far an amazing start to our 2nd day on safari from Durban in the Big 5 Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. More was to come as we got further south into more open areas and found some Rhino grazing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was now time for a quiet period which was fine but before we could get the words out “Wow its finally quiet” my left eye worked some magic and somehow spotted a Big male Lions laying down looking right at us. I was impressed with my spot as well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We could not believe that we had seen Lions twice in one day in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve and we spent to time with this male.

After a few minuted it became apparent that he was not alone and that he was mating with a Lioness who was hidden to us at first. This was amazing on two occasions we got them mating! Wow what a great Durban overnight big 5 safari tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

Durban overnight safari; Lions mating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had been seeing vehicles stopped about 200 meters away but we were so into what we were watching we decided to wait before checking what they were looking at.  During our time with the mating Lions we also had Rhinos 50 Meters away mud wallowing.

We decided to leave the mating Lions and see what the fuss was about further up the road. It was another male Lions 20 meters off the road in clear view! Wow, we had been very lucky.

 

This male was clearly the less dominant of the two males hence he was not mating with the female.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

Durban overnight safari; Big Lion licking his paw

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was clear to see that this male was less dominant he had less black in his mane which has been proven to be less attractive to females.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Video: Lion licking his paw on our Durban overnight safari tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were lucky on our Durban safari to see this male Lions so close but also grooming himself in the video above.

It was time for us to see what else we could find and we found more Rhino, Buffalo and Zebra before stopping at a view sight and you wont believe it spotting another Pride of Lions! This was the third time in the day we had spotted Lions and these ones where far away! The game reserve has about 120 Lions and we had seen almost 20 of them.

 

I did take a picture but honestly felt it wasn’t worth put up after all the close ups we had got.

 

 

We stopped later for lunch and enjoyed the museum about Operation Rhino in the 1950’s and ’60 which brought back Rhinos from extinction.

We then left and found more Elephants before arriving back at camp mid afternoon and had a rest before the evening game drive.

 

 

We would all meet again the next day for a 6am safari.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Durban overnight safari

 

 

We met at 6am for a 2.5 hour game drive to see what we could find. We found Lion tracks, Hyena tracks and even Leopard tracks but only saw 3 of the Big 5, Rhino, Buffalo and Elephant. We actually also spotted some antelope as well as Zebra and Giraffe but as we had been so spoiled the day before it almost was a little anticlimax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

Durban overnight safari; Rhino

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

Durban overnight safari; Rhino and Wildebeest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We returned to camp for breakfast before packing up and leaving the lodge for St Lucia.

 

On route we covered some of the History of St Lucia and the area of Isimangaliso Wetland park before we had some lunch in St Lucia town a very quint little village really. We then ventured on a 2 hour boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary one of the only places in the world you will find Hippos, Crocodiles and Sharks living in the same area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

Durban overnight safari; Crocodiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After spotting these 3 crocodiles together we spotted pod after pod of Hippos which really is the highlight of the boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Durban overnight safari; Hippos

Durban overnight safari; Hippos

Durban overnight safari; Hippos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We departed St Lucia South Africa’d first world heritage site at 3pm and made way back to the Hilton hotel where I would be dropping my clients off. It was a relaxed drive back answering any final questions and just having some general chats.

 

It had been on of the best Durban overnight safaris I have ever had the privilege of conducting!

 

If you would like to book this tour, click on the link below:

 

Durban overnight safari