I love doing the 1 day safari tours, but when I get a chance to do an overnight or extended tour it’s all I can do to sleep I get so excited! The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is really one of the finest reserves in KwaZulu-Natal that I’ve visited so any return visits for me are so exciting. On this visit I was fortunate to show show Resille and her father Ulrich who were visiting family in Durban the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on our 3 day Safari Tour.
Day 1 of our Hluhluwe Imfolozi 3 Day Safari Tour
After a 7am start we headed north to the Emdoneni Cheetah Rehabilitation Center. Along the way I chatted quite a bit about the history of Durban, the Zulu people as well as pointed out sites along the way. I find this helps to take the mind off the 2,5 hour journey. And since everyone was awake, I hopefully hadn’t bored anyone to sleep!
On arrival at Emdoneni we joined a few other people for a tour of the cats that call Emdoneni home. We started off with the African Wild Cat, then the Caracal, followed by the main attraction of the visit, the Cheetah before finally finishing off with the Serval.
Everybody enjoyed their time at Emdoneni as did I, I got some great pictures of Resille stroking one of the Cheetahs in Emdoneni. This is one of the attractions we love taking people to when booking a Country and Coastal Touring safari tour.
Resille was also so fortunate to get to play with one of the new Cheetah cubs at Emdoneni. Although they cute they can be quite a handful. The sister of this cub received a nasty wound from her brother so was at the vet overnight!
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve
After our time at Emdoneni was up, we headed onto the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve which is about 20 min away from Emdoneni. We entered through Memorial Gate and spent about an hour enjoying a game drive before lunch.
Within that first hour we spotted Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Impala and some Warthog! A fantastic start to our planned 3 day Safari Tour.
We broke for lunch and to check into our rooms, it had been a long day and everyone was feeling it so a rest was in order. My guests had decided to enjoy an evening game drive so at 5pm they climbed into the open vehicles and headed off into the later afternoon.
After 3 hours they were back ready for dinner where they reported on the animals they had spotted, Giraffe, Buffalo, an Owl, Rhino (really close as well) and other animals. Seems they had a great time!
Day 2 of our Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Tour
We started our 2nd day with a plan to head towards the southern part of the park. I had a feeling we would get some great sightings, and although it was a long day I was pleased to be right!
After breakfast at 7am we left our camp at Hilltop Camp in the northern part of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve and using the main road made our way to the south. Along the way we spotted a number of Leopard Tortoise crossing the road as well as some Nyala, Elephant and Baboon.
Lion Resting in the heat of the day!
The rest of the day was fantastic. We came across a pride of Lions resting under the shade of some trees. At first it was difficult to see them but then one of the lioness got up and moved to a different spot giving us a great view.
After some time here we continued on to a hide overlooking a waterhole that I hoped would have some animals. At first though I thought we were going to be disappointed as there were no animals at the hide at all.
Watching Elephant at the Hide
But then I noticed movement in the bush beyond so I told everyone to just keep watching, and in front of us out popped some Elephant that came in to drink at the waterhole. It was a fantastic sighting that we all really enjoyed.
It was nearly time for lunch so we left the hide and stopped at Centenary center where everyone had a burger; really filling as well. After lunch we started for our camp at Hilltop, but along the way I wanted to try a few side roads.
African Painted Wild Dog
Again luck was on our side where we came across one of Africa’s most endangered animals, the African Painted Wild Dog. What made this sighting even more special was that we had the sighting to ourselves for at least 20 minutes!
Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve Day 3
Since this was our last day at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, we decided to do an early morning game drive and so before breakfast we headed out to see what we could find. Once again lady luck was on our size because we came across the same Wild Dogs from the day before, only this time they had made a kill and were eating!
Wild dog on a kill
We spent at least 30 mintutes watching the Wild Dog eating and playing. At one stage there was a tug-of-war game being played with what remained of the hind leg of a male Nyala! Another Wild Dog was also enjoying tossing the tail of the Nyala about.
We carried on and came across some more Giraffe and Rhino. We decided to head back at this point to check out and have some breakfast, and along the way enjoyed some more views of different animals.
Lions resting on the hillside
After booking out we enjoyed one more game drive through the park on our way to exit through the gate. I decided to take a scenic route out and we came across Rhino and some female Kudu.
We were also so fortunate to get our second sighting of some Lion resting on the hillside. They were quite some distance away so my little camera had some difficulty zooming in, but it was still a great sighting.
After our final few moments in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve we left for St.Lucia which is about a 45 min drive away.
St.Lucia was named by the early Portuguese sailors that were shipwreck here in the 17th century. St.Lucia is the patron saint of those that have difficulty seeing or are blind.
We boarded the barge (I think that’s the correct description) and enjoyed the next 2 hours cruising long the estuary, spotting Hippo, Waterbuck and a Crocodile. We also got to see a beautiful African Fish Eagle and a number of Pied Kingfisher. We were also buzzed by a gorgeous Goliath Heron that flew low by.
All good things must eventually come to an end, and so after a great lunch at a nearby restaurant, we got back on the road for a 2,5 hour trip back to Durban. To help the time go be fast, we chatted about our respective countries (South Africa and Germany) as well as about what we and experienced on our 3 day Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari Tour.
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Country and Coastal Touring are registered tour guides and tour operators based in the city of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. We offer a range of pre-planned day tours, overnight tours and extended tours throughout South Africa. We also offer bespoke tours that can be planned to your specs.