Well what or how can we even start to explain what an adventure it was.
We recently enjoyed what has to have been the most incredible Safari ever.
With a bit of apprehension I must say, we booked a Durban Safari. Our group comprised of mostly girls traveling from the UK and as first timers to South Africa we where not to sure with whom we could book with.
After doing some lengthy research we decided that we wanted to visit the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The park boasted Big 5 wildlife and some other interesting historical information that we seemed keen to learn more about. The internet, Instagram and of course Facebook makes research quite easy today so it was decided that we would book through Heritage Tours & Safaris for our Durban Safari Tour.
Guest Article: Durban Safari
Communication with the Heritage office (Bev) was fast efficient and flawless. All travel details where executed with precision. Vusi we loved all of your stories and incite into some amazing and splendid Zulu culture during our transfer from Durban to the park.
The transfer vehicle was clean and on time at our Durban hotel. Excitement mounting we set of this was after all our first safari. Vusi entertained us with some amazing stories and before we knew it we had arrived at the Nyalazi gate in the Imfolozi side of the park. We where introduced to Senzo yes our personal guide for the day yaay no one else on the vehicle. A quick intro and we set of by know the sun rising over some amazing scenery with Elephants in the far distance.
Senzo can only be described as passionate and accommodating. The entire day he ensured that he answered every I'm sure sometimes silly questions. He went out of his way to try and make sure we got to see everything possible. Unfortunately we did not to see the Leopard however Senzo explained that they are predominantly nocturnal animals which makes sightings quite difficult.
We where surprised at first that Senzo made use of his cell phone during the drive however he quickly explained that some of the other Heritage rangers where in the park as well and they kept in contact with each other regarding sightings.
A really nice gesture from Senzo was that when he was stopped by other self drive people he wholeheartedly explained to them what it was that we had seen and where the sightings had occurred. Why on earth would you do that I asked, we had after all had paid a fair amount ? Senzo answered by saying that everyone should enjoy the park. The better the experience the more people would understand just how beautiful the park was and what it had to offer. Senzo seemed absolutely sincere and I must say I felt the same way.
The sun's face was by know warming our cheeks, the bush too was becoming louder. Impala, Nyala, Baboons and one quick sighting of a Hyena was about all we had seen so thus far. Senzo decided it was time to stop stretch our legs and enjoy a really nice bush breakfast. It was amazing to sit quietly and listen to the bush rustle and hear the Vervet monkeys with their alarm calls, clearly something was close.
Senzo explained so much during the stop, not to mention his good sense of humor. Tummy's satisfied we retreated to the game viewer, I must say being elevated somewhat you are able to enjoy 360 degrees which obviously makes photography easier. On wards and law and behold Elephants and more Elephants babies as well. We must have sat their for at least half an hour watching mostly the babies enjoying themselves in the mud. Trumpeting and spraying themselves with water and then mud was an thrill. We continued pass Mpila camp and the difference in vegetation was apparent, soon the comfortable tarred road changed to gravel as well.
We continued South towards Mphafa hide, en route we enjoyed numerous sightings of Giraffe, more Nyala, Vervet monkeys and Zebra's. However when we arrived at the hide we truly where in for a treat a White Rhino and her baby where their to meet us. Drinking water in absolute silence the two continued back into the camouflage and quickly disappeared out of view. How on earth could poaching continue at such a rate and what chances did that little one actually have in life. We continued deeper into the bush, when suddenly Senzo stopped and hushed us to be quiet. LIONS yes finally. I was speechless at the mere sight. We where fortunate to have come across 3 cubs and their moms. They had clearly been hunting some time before as crusty clots of blood remained on their thick coats. The females with full bellies lazed about while the cubs played and harassed their moms. It was amazing to see the amount of patience that the females had before a loud roar would below through the bush and the little ones would (behave) for a minute or so.
We departed as other vehicles arrived, quick memory card change and once again deeper we ventured. By now it was midday and getting quite warm. Lunch time had arrived. We had read on the website that a full lunch was included a traditional BBQ.
Senzo effortlessly had that fire going, tablecloth, salads, drinks and more ready. A treat of note not to sure how he managed to pack so much into two boxes though. After lunch we gradually made our way back towards the gate of entry. We where fortunate to have witnessed a pack of Wild Dogs in the road, more Rhino's unfortunately no Black Rhino and Giraffes really close up. Buffalo as we reached the gate and ofcourse more naughty monkeys.
Vusi with his friendly smile was their to meet us and surprisingly had the transfer vehicle running ensuring that the air-conditioner was on high for us. Sadly it was time to say goodbye to our new friend Senzo, contacts exchanged we said our goodbyes and set of back to Durban.
After arriving back in the UK, I made sure to keep in contact with Senzo. He continues to update me with amazing sightings and incredible info.
I can honestly say that our Durban Safari had to have been our highlight of our holiday in South Africa. Heritage Tours & Safaris ensured that every detail was taken care of. A special thanks to Senzo for being such a dedicated ranger and making our day so special.
Some of the pictures
Captured on Durban Safari Tour
An Enormous thanks to Emma for such a wonderful review
Heritage Tours & Safaris offers the following DURBAN SAFARIS
Full Day BIG 5 Safaris
- Duration Full Day
- Fully Catered
- Big 5 Reserve
Half Day BIG 5 Safaris
- Duration Half Day
- Fully Catered
- Big 5 Reserve
Bush & Boat Safari
- Duration Full Day
- Fully Catered
- Big 5 Reserve and iSimangaliso Park