Kwazulu Natal safari and beach holiday, South Africa
Description of Kwazulu Natal safari and beach holiday, South Africa
Visit Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, the oldest wildlife reserve in South Africa, for epic game drives and a huge variety of wildlife, then relax on the tranquil beaches of the Elephant Coast, including pristine Mabibi Beach.
This 9-day tour of northern KwaZulu-Natal starts in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, where early morning game drives offer big cat sightings, such as lions and cheetahs, whilst dusky evening game drives are perfect for observing herbivores and bird-watching (340 bird species call this reserve home). You can also participate on a guided walk with the "Rhino Whisperer" for a chance to encounter one of the most elusive of Africa's Big Five.
After your safari adventures, you'll transfer to a luxurious eco-lodge on the Maputuland Coast, also known as the Elephant Coast. Stroll along endless, empty beaches, relax on the sand or continue your wildlife watching with marine activities such as fishing, boat trips, snorkelling, scuba diving and turtle tracking. Don't miss the fresh seafood dishes served in this region, which combine local Mabini flavours with colonial influences.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Johannesburg & Transfer to Hluhluwe - Arriving in Johannesburg, you'll transfer to the domestic terminal for your connecting flight to Richard's Bay. Here, you'll be met by our representative and driven to your luxury safari lodge in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. Take rest in your room and go for your first safari (if you are in time for an evening game drive), then return to the lodge to enjoy a delicious dinner.|
|Day 2-4:||Explore Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park - Enjoy game drives as per the schedule (morning and evening) in open 4x4 vehicles. Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is the oldest game reserve in Southern Africa and home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo), plus other animals such as cheetah, African wild dog and nyala. The park is also a prime birding destination, home to 340 bird species. Between game drives, you can join a guided walk in the Big Five territory or other conservation areas with the legendary Nunu Jobe, a highly experienced ranger who also goes by the name of the "Rhino Whisperer." The lodge can provide you with the option of cultural visits to the local Mpembeni community, where youíll get the chance to learn more about the Zulu people and their way of life. You can also visit the Emdoneni Cat Centre (optional), where youíll have an opportunity to learn more about South Africa's wild cats.|
|Day 5:||Transfer to the Elephant Coast - Leave Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park after breakfast and transfer to your next accommodation, located on the unspoiled beach of Mabibi on the Maputuland Coast (also known as the Elephant Coast), part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. With tranquil bays and reefs for swimming and snorkelling, lush coastal forests, stunning freshwater lakes, golden sand dunes and an endless pristine beach, this is a truly idyllic location. You'll stay at a secluded eco-lodge that perfectly captures the essence of a Robinson Crusoe hideaway. Relax on the beach and enjoy great views from the deck of your thatched-roof hut. Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast and lunch, afternoon tea, plus a sumptuous three-course evening meal.|
|Day 6-8:||Explore the Elephant Coast - You have the option to enjoy activities such as whale and dolphin excursions, nocturnal guided scorpion and spider walks (available from March to October), horseback riding, guided bird watching trips and forest walks along with exceptional snorkelling and offshore scuba diving opportunities. At certain times of the year, guests can dive into the water and snorkel or swim with dolphins, whale sharks, manta rays and giant turtles. If youíre visiting during the summer months (October to March) youíll have an opportunity to join a turtle-hatching safari and witness hundreds of baby leatherback and loggerhead turtles scramble from the sandy beaches to the waterís edge. You may wish to join an optional, early morning guided kayaking trip at Lake Sibaya, where youíre likely to spot hippos and crocodiles. If early morning kayaking doesnít take your fancy, you can opt for sundowners on the shores of Lake Sibaya later in the day.|
|Day 9:||Depart from Johannesburg - Today, you'll be transferred back to the small airport at Richard's Bay after breakfast for your flight to Johannesburg, from which you can board your international flight home.|
5 Reviews of Kwazulu Natal safari and beach holiday, South Africa
Reviewed on 27 Nov 2019 by Amy Tatton-BrownThe most memorable part of the holiday was the safari. Read full review
Reviewed on 10 Aug 2019 by David SmithOur time at the flatdogs safari lodge was the most exciting part of the holiday. Read full review
Reviewed on 03 Jun 2019 by Ginny JacksonThe locations were stunning, the lodges stylish yet comfortable, the safari activities exciting, the staff was enthusiastic and the food scrumptious. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Mar 2019 by Rosemary MynorsBeautifully organised. Each place we stayed had a different feel to it. Read full review
Reviewed on 08 Jul 2018 by Jackie JamesThe most exciting part of the holiday was the day we spotted some African wild dogs trying to protect their kill from 2 hyena... It was amazing to see and hear the commotion and see the dogs defend their kill... We felt very privileged to witness this and will never forget the experience! Read full review
PlanetHluhluwe Game Reserve is the oldest reserve in Africa and has fought tirelessly to remain innovative with pioneering wildlife conservation schemes and avoiding human-wildlife conflict. The conservation bodies that protect the coastline and the surrounding iSangaliso wetlands are combining local and global knowledge to protect marine and wetland species. Your visit supports these initiatives by contributing income to the research and, having learned about their activities, you will doubtless be transformed into ardent ambassadors of their enriching work.
On the Elephant Coast, you might be lucky and coincide your visit with turtle nesting season. If this is the case, your guides will help you to observe this spine-tingling event from a respectful distance, ensuring you donít disturb the turtles.
With an abundant array of properties in the region we have focussed on selecting those that are most in line with our principles. These properties hire local staff and have the very best guides whilst being dedicated to sustainability and responsible tourism. Our team on the ground will be with you every step of the way to ensure you are comfortable, as well as to help you navigate these new environments with respect and understanding.
PeopleWhilst we are always trying to ensure our guests experience the best properties and destinations possible, our ethos about responsible travel is extremely important to us.
We have selected the properties on this itinerary with sustainable and responsible tourism in mind. In the KwaZulu Natal you will enjoy the region's food and wine whilst supporting local suppliers and traders. The hotels also make a huge effort to train and employ local staff.
We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture. In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their childrenís education in pursuit of this opportunity.
As a company we are founded in the roots of providing responsible and sustainable holidays. This means we seek to partner with local suppliers who provide fair wages, to use accommodation where community and environment are considered and to look at every opportunity for making our holidays as fair to local people and places as possible.