Zululand holiday, wildlife and beaches, South Africa

Description of Zululand holiday, wildlife and beaches, South Africa

You don't have to spend your precious holiday time travelling large distances to get around South Africa from wildlife spots to beaches to mountains. KwaZulu Natal is over in the east, and it has such a diversity of first class experiences within its borders, that you needn't go elsewhere.

The St Lucia Wetlands are one of the spectacular natural areas of KZN. It is now known as the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park. The pristine ecosystems in this World Heritage Site include an estuary, lakes, coastal forest, dunes, swamps, mangroves, coral reefs, grasslands... the biodiversity is astonishing.

Hluhluwe Game Reserve is a ‘Big Five’ destination where you stand a chance of seeing elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and lion.

Kosi Bay is at the very top of KwaZulu Natal’s east coast (Maputaland), just below the Mozambique border. It is a World Heritage Site, and part of the Kosi Bay Coastal Reserve Forest. Here you can go swimming, snorkelling, fishing, visit the traditional fish traps, try your hand at spear-fishing, or maybe visit a local school.
Featured activities:
- Wildlife viewing
- Swimming
- Snorkelling
- Canoeing (not recommended for under 12yrs)
- Cultural tours

Best time to go: The rainy season here is from about October to March (though the rainiest months tend to be January and February). This is also the hottest time, with average midday temperatures of about 29°c. From April to October it rains little and is cooler. For example in July the average midday temperature is about 23°c and 11°c at night. So this usually makes for pleasant days of sun then chilly nights.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:TO KOSI BAY: When you arrive at Richard's Bay airport you will be picked up and driven north. The beaches here are wild and amazing, but it's not just about sitting on a beach. There are lots of activities we can offer where we're based including snorkelling, canoeing, visiting local villages and checking out traditional fishing. Your base is a rustic reed chalet about 10 minutes from the beach. It's a no-frills place, but very welcoming and they do great home-cooking and BBQs! Dinner.
Day 2:KOSI BAY: A stay at the rustic Amangwane Camp is all about the coastal scenery, flora and fauna of Kosi Bay. Snorkel amongst shoals of tropical fish in the clear waters or kayak on lakes through bird-filled mangroves, and have fun exploring the great outdoors and enjoying some healthy fresh air and exercise. There are some lovely viewpoints, too. You can also spend time chatting to local people, too, finding out about their day-to-day lives. Full board.
Day 3:TO UMKHUMBI LODGE, NEAR HLUHLUWE: After breakfast this morning we will transfer you by road south to a private reserve area close to Hluhluwe Game Reserve. It is a friendly, family-owned lodge and your hosts will ensure you soon feel at home. Rooms have aircon and there is a small pool. This afternoon perhaps take a walk in the bush near the lodge. Returning to the lodge, watch a glorious sunset before sitting down to a delicious dinner. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 4:HLUHLUWE SAFARI: Full day game drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve. It's an excellent 'big five' reserve, so get ready for some excellent wildlife viewing. Breakfast, dinner.
Day 5:AT UMKHUMBI LODGE: Today you have a day to please yourself. We've left the day free so there's flexibility for you to choose from a choice of activities, or simply relax at the lodge. You might choose to do more wildllife viewing, visit a cultural village, try kayaking, meet an elephant, feed a cheetah, go birding ... Breakfast, dinner.
Day 6:TO ST LUCIA: This morning we'll take you for another exciting game drive in Hluhluwe, before we head back to the coast, this time to St Lucia. This afternoon we've arranged a boat cruise for you on the eastern shores - excellent for birds and crocs! You're in a welcoming guest lodge for the next two nights. Breakfast.
Day 7:ST LUCIA: You have a free day today to enjoy either a relaxing day on the beach or by the lodge pool, or if you're feeling energetic try kayaking with a guide on the lake, or opt for a less strenuous cruise. Either way you should see hippos, crocodiles and lots of birdlife. Breakfast.
Day 8:TIME FOR HOME: Sadly it's time to pack your bags and we'll take you back to Richards Bay for your journey home. Or perhaps talk to us about staying longer either in KwaZulu Natal or elsewhere in South Africa. Breakfast.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Zululand holiday, wildlife and beaches, South Africa


Hluhluwe Game Reserve: At Hluhluwe, Hilltop Camp rates as one of the most environmentally and culturally aware accommodations you can find. They are members of the World Conservation Union. They are very involved in conservation and have brought the white rhino back from the brink of extinction here. Add to that the recycling, waste prevention schemes and so on, and this really is a place that takes responsibility for the environment, wildlife and community seriously.

Carbon Offsetting: The tour operator is a multi-award winning responsible travel company, and for each person travelling with them they plant 10 indigenous trees in a degraded area of northern Tanzania.


Hluhluwe Game Reserve: Is government-owned but they run a Community Trust fund for the local community, and 98% of the staff are local.

Our camp at Kosi Bay is a community-owned initiative backed by a local private organisation. The community is fully involved with the camp and benefit financially from the profits. Guides and other employees are sourced from the local community where possible, and training and support is given. Staff are also given the chance to get qualifications whilst working with the camp. Currently there are four permanent staff members, but local guides are also employed as needed, such as kayak guides. Locally sourced goods and services are also important to the camp. For example most of the furniture and fittings for the camp were made locally. Visits to the local school or homesteads also bring money into the local community. The camp specifically backs the local school and crèche through infrastructure upgrades.

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