Trip Report

Safari Day Tour Trip Report for 19 March 2022

Viewing three out of the Big 5 isn’t a bad way to enjoy a Saturday.

I picked up my clients Michelle and her colleague (terrible memory, I can’t remember his name) from their hotel at the “Protea Fire and Ice” in Umhlanga which is about 10 minute north of the city of Durban and headed directly for Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve for their safari day tour.

I like to get an early start (6am) in order to a) get to the game reserve early and b) beat the traffic. It is a 3 hour drive to the game reserve so the earlier the better.

The drive to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is really a pretty one, at first it’s rolling green hills of swaying sugar cane and then it’s forests of tall Eucalyptus trees and finally the scrubby veld of Zululand. On the way up I chatted to my guests about the the Zulu people, a little history of Durban as well as pointed out sites along the route. It all helps the trip go by a little faster I believe (and hope!).

Arriving at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

We got to Hluhluwe at just after 9am making better than expected time since we did stop on route for coffee and snacks, and the road to the main gate had a number of construction stops slowing traffic down.

After entering the park we got started right away with some “white backed vultures”. The vultures often sit in trees waiting for thermals to develop and in this case led to great photo’s.

Next up we found impala and warthog and then viewed a herd of elephants way off in the distance crossing the Black Imfolozi River. A bit later after that still we had an opportunity to view elephants far closer as they splashed about in the river.

Join me on a safari tour!

I offer a range of pre-planned safari tours from Durban to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve that you can join. I will also be launching a new range of Kruger National Park that you can join.

After a short break at Mpila Camp we went on to view a crash of Rhino nice and close. It’s so sad that as coid-19 restrictions began to ease, the poaching of these amazing animals has increased as well.

I had started the day by heading south into the Imfolozi area, the sightings were pretty good but we were getting hungry and decided to head north to Centenary Center for a spot of lunch.

On the way there we came across our first Buffalo (a “dagga boy”) chilling out in a mud hole while some impala tried to figure out if they drink from the some mud hole with him in it!

Lunch was good as it always was, I had a burger while my guests enjoyed a chicken wrap and a “buffalo” pot pie (kinda wish I had tried it). They also had a quick look around the extensive curio’s on display nearby. The curio shop is owned and operated by the ladies from the nearby “township” and the goods sold there go on to support many local people.

After Lunch Action

After lunch we continued northwards. We had spotted a lot of game so far, but I was hoping to find some lion and giraffe. I heard of an animal kill nearby so started off with that although on arrival, it was clear the kill was made some time ago.

We spotted some game on the way to the kill, impala and warthog for the most part as well as a great sighting of a dazzle of zebra, but on leaving the kill site found a gang (herd) of Wildebeest (also known as Gnu). They are such strange looking animals at first but they kinda grow on you the more you watch them.

We carried on and found such a handsome nyala that we spent a good 20 minutes just watching him as he watched us. Loads of buffalo sightings made up the rest of the afternoon, as well as chacma baboons, vervet monkeys, two terrapins and the ever present warthog.

Unfortunately no lions of giraffes spotted the entire day. It goes like that sometimes, but on the whole we had a great day and my guests who had never been on a safari tour were really pleased.


I always try to keep an eye out for the bird life as I work to adding to my life list, but on this trip I didn’t really see much. There were the vultures and rollers, starlings and drongo’s, blue wax tails, weavers, hadeda’s and egret’s – the usual suspects. I’m hoping to enjoy a purely birding trip to Hluhluwe on of these days and hopefully will be able to put out a far more detailed report!

The Gallery

Notes about Photo’s

I manged to leave my camera at home and only took my digital video recorder. Also, my camera has seen better days and chews through batteries like there is no tomorrow! So, I have video which I’ll edit an upload soon, but not photo’s from the day – the photo’s I’ve posted here are from previous tours.

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