Sometimes in good ol’ South Africa, I think we forget just how lucky and blessed we really are; we take a lot of what makes a our country so wonderful for granted. I was incredibly fortunate that I recently was able to take two visitors from Turkey on a tour of Tala Game Reserve who reminded me that we have right on our doorsteps, a lifestyle that people travel thousands of kilometers to experience!

Dazzle of Zebra

Dazzle of Zebra

Tala Game Reserve

I collected Hani and her mum from their hotel in Durban and we started directly for the Tala Game Reserve in the Tala Valley about 45 min from Durban. With a 10 minute stop along the way to stretch our legs, we were in the park by 9am; a pretty respectable time.

Tala Valley landscape

The peaceful landscape of the Tala Game Reserve

I visit Tala Game Reserve on a regular basis and every time without fail when I drive through the entrance into the park, a very real sense of peace washes over me. To have a place like Tala to visit so close to the city is very special indeed.

I normally make a right on entering the gate, heading directly up the hill, but the gate guards let me know that the Hippo were out and about around the pool, so off I went in search of them. It would be the very first time that Hani and her mum had seen Hippo outside of a zoo so they were so excited they could barely sit still!

Blesbok at Rest

Blesbok at Rest in Tala Game Reserve

We spent as much time as we could watching the Hippo’s but there was plenty more we wanted to see so we left them to their own devices. Returning to the gate I headed right this time up the hill and right away came across loads to view!

During the morning Hani asked if there were Giraffe in the park since this was one of her favorite animals. I find it interesting that although the “big-5” are obviously animals that everyone would like to see, it seems to be the Giraffe that is everyone’s favorite!


Fortunately I had spotted some Giraffe on a nearby ridge and was already headed in that direction so Hani was about to get her full of Giraffe a lot sooner and closer than I think she expected!

Female Giraffe at Tala Game Reserve

Female Giraffe at Tala Game Reserve

 PheZulu Safari Park

We left Tala Game Reserve at lunch time and headed for our next destination, PheZulu Safari Park. Along the way I stopped of at a number of view sites that overlooked the valleys at Monteseel, Alverstone and KwaNyswa. Hani was very interested in the cultural lifestyle’s of the Zulu people today and I was glad to be able to provide some insights.

After the Zulu show we headed to the reptile park at PheZulu to look at some Nile Crocodile. Here Hani’s mum drew the line and decided she didn’t want to accompany us; I don’t blame her, those crocodile are as scary as they come!

Nile Crocodile at PheZulu Safari Park

Nile Crocodile at PheZulu Safari Park

Nile Crocodile

Would you believe that a number of these chaps were found in some local rivers! I find it amazing that they can live up to 120 years old, and reach enormous weights of 800kg! At the park they just tend to ‘lay-about’ but I’m told that they move like ‘white-lightening’ when they want too!

After the reptile park it was a slow drive back to Durban where I answered a few more questions for Hani and her mum. A really enjoyable day out for us all I think. Thanks Hani and mum!



Some more picture from the day…


Young Male Impala Hiding Awaya

Young Male Impala Hiding Away

Blue Wildebeest at Tala Game Reserve

Blue WIldebeest not being very cooperative at Tala Game Reserve!

Nile Crocodile at Tala Game Reserve

Nile Crocodile at Tala Game Reserve

Valley of 1000 Hills, KwaZulu-Natal

Valley of 1000 Hills, KwaZulu-Natal

We at Country and Coastal Touring offer a variety of tours to visitors; from 3-hour city tours for those stretched for time, to 1-day safari’s at Hluhluwe Game Reserve or Tala game Reserve to the longer 5-day and 7- day tours of KwaZulu-Natal. Contact us for assistance in planning your next vacation today!