After an early pickup at 6:30am, we left the Maharani Hotel in Durban, and settled in for the 2,5 hour drive along the north coast to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. Along the way I chatted to my guests about the history of South Africa and in particular Durban, as well as touched on such subjects as the Anglo Zulu war, the Boers and of course the Zulu King, Shaka; this helped the time fly by on our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Full Day Safari Tour.

elephant resting in the shade at the hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve

Elephant resting in the shade at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Full Day Safari Tour

As much as we all enjoyed chatting about South Africa’s history, the real event of the day was arriving at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve and getting stuck into some wildlife viewing. The day seemed to be pretty promising since before we even entered Nyalazi gate, we spotted a bull Elephant relaxing under the shade of a Silver Thorn Acacia Tree.

From here on in the sightings got better and better. We spotted Zebra and Giraffe, as well as Wildebeest and Impala. We were even fortunate to watch a Tawny Eagle enjoying a snack at the top of a tree (looked like perhaps a lizard that was being snacked on). There were also many bird other sightings, from a beautiful Bataleur Eagle soaring above, to an African Pied Wagtail that posed patiently  as we snapped away, Glossy Starlings, African Hoopoe’s and more.

male giraffe at the hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve

Male Giraffe at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve spotted on out Durban Day Safari

We broke for a picnic lunch at Sontuli Loop and as we finished up got a real treat. Across the river a Black Rhino had popped out of the bush and was slowly making her way along the sandy bank of the river, and moments later, a calf appeared! Unfortunately my camera was in the car, and by the time I had fetched and returned with it, the Black Rhino had headed back into the bush. Still, it was a fantastic sighting on this full day Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Tour.

Our Durban Day Safari Tour wasn’t over yet, and after lunch we continued on. 5 Minutes later we stopped for a grand Nyala male who was snacking contently while a troop of Chacma Baboon foraged nearby! Sights like these are always fantastic on our Durban Day Safari Tours.

tawny eagle at the hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve

Tawny Eagle at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Maybe 15 minutes later we had a wonderful experience as a herd of Elephant popped into view with some very young calves in tow. Like youngsters of every species, they were played, snacked and finally napped, it was just wonderful to watch and be a part of this moment.

We had hoped that we would discover some cats on this full day Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari tour, but it seemed luck to day wasn’t on our side. We saw Buffalo, Wildebeest, White and Black Rhino, Giraffe, Warthog and of course Impala, but no Lion. Finally it was time to go.

lioness crossing the road at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Lioness crossing the road at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

As we started out the park, an park employee waved us to a stop and with wide eyes pointed into the nearby bush and exclaimed “Lion“. A second later a Lioness popped out the bush and started traveling along the road. She disappeared into the bush, and then not a moment later, crossed the road in front of us! It was an exciting moment, especially as we were headed out the park.

Finally though, all things must come to an end and so we left the park for our drive back to Durban. All in all I had a great day with some really friendly and warm people.

african pied wagtail at the hluhluwe imfolozi game reserve

African Pied Wagtail at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

For more information on our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Full Day Game Reserve Tour, or for any of the other day or multi-day tours we offer, just drop us a line using the contact form below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


Country and Coastal Touring are registered tour operators and guides in based in the city of Durban, South Africa.

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