Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve, Cat rehab and
Isimangeliso Wetland Park(St Lucia) 3 Day Durban Safari
Tour 30 Jan – 1 Feb 2014
We began our Durban Safari 3 Day Safari Tour in Durban where I met my clients and we hopped into the Tim Brown Tours new vehicle the before departing for Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. Ironically it was the first day in my newly branded Tim Brown Tours clothing, the others lasted 4 years but were showing signs of wear…
After I had chatted about the amazing History of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban and South Africa we entered the Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve which is an amazing place. Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve is Durbans/KwaZulu-Natals Oldest Game reseve established in 1895 with a size of 96 000 hectares it is also home to operation Rhino in the 1960’s which brought White Rhinos back from extinction and then supplied Kruger National park!
Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve/Durban Safari Tours
This young couple of White Rhinos were very interesting we spend about 20 minutes with them and allowed then to cross the road in front of us before having them right next to the vehicle. It was a great experience on this Durban Safari Tour to have them so close always great for the clients.
We continued trying to find Cats but it was not to be on Day 1 so we settled in for a quick lunch at the Centenary Center built in 1995 for the centenary of Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. This was where operation Rhino took place. They still have “Bomas” there where Rhinos are kept before being transported to other reserves to keep the genetic lines clean.
After lunch we needed to speed up things and get out at Memorial gate to Emdoneni Cat rehab Center where we would be spending the first night.
We got the at 4pm in time for the Cat Tour around the rehab where clients can interact with 4 different endangered species, Namely the Cheetah, African Wild Cat, Serval and Caracal.
While I was checking in and getting the luggage to the rooms the clients did the Cat Tour and really enjoyed it. They both were passionate about cats and adopted a Serval for a year. This is another opportunity you have as a client. You then have free entrance fee’s but have to pay your flights to come visit you adopted cat. Your name however does go up on the enclosure stating you adopted this cat for a year etc.
Speaking of Cat on Day 2 and Day 3 of our Durban Safari Tour this picture below shows the distance we got to these big cats. Sadly they were either close but lying flat or far on the hills.
Lions of Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve
You will have to note this was my camera with 30x optical zoom plus all its digital zoom to get the above picture! But a Lion is a lion and we saw them on two occasions.
On the second day we entered into the Hluhluwe Section of the game reserve and tracks lions tracks until we got stopped by some Elephants which wasn’t a bad thing but then I heard the Baboons alarm calling and Damn we were to late as the lions had crossed the main road already and we hadn’t seen a thing. So we looked at the Baboons and Giraffes which were looking at where the Lions had gone. The worst part of this was the fact that later that afternoon we saw the foot of a lion and a glance at an obscured face of a Lion as there was too much grass and plants as they lay flat on there backs!
Elephant and Buffalo of Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game reserve on our Durban Safari Tour
Now that I’ve had a little complain over tracking the Lions above are pictures of what we saw during looking for the Lions…
Really I shouldn’t complain. Buffalo and Elephant are amazing animals and we saw loads of them. Hluhluwe in particular was very busy with Buffalo and Elephant so Day 2 was mostly spent up there as apposed to Umfolozi. We did however venture there in the afternoon after we had lunch and checked in at Hilltop camp to look for those pesky Lions.
We did find them but really it wasn’t worth looking a the foot and the distorted face through the long grass.
We kept on looking for the elusive Leopard but the best we could muster was a Leopard Tortoise.
Day 3 : Hluhluwe Umfolozi 3 Day Safari Tours
After the clients had an unsuccessful open vehicle night drive with Hilltop camps Safari Team they had some dinner and went to bed.
We then went through for a buffet breakfast before checking out and looking one more time for those Lions which we found but walking up on a hill. It was getting late and we needed to get to St Lucia (Isimangeliso Wetland Park) for our 2 hours boat cruise to view Hippos and crocodiles.
It was a huge success and beautiful sunny weather we had our lunch before we the boat cruise as the clients needed to get back to Durban to meet friends and Family.
It was time to head back the final 2.5 hours to Durban City after a great Durban Safari Tour to Hluhluwe Umfolozi game reserve. The Bush Tours really are amazing and a passion for me personally.
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