KwaZulu-Natal - Drakensbergs and Wildlife Safari

Zebra
Sunset, iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Elephant in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
Drakensberg
Hippo in St. Lucia Estuary
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • FAQ
  • Dates
  • Explore!

This walking holiday in South Africa showcases the diverse landscapes and wildlife of the KwaZulu-Natal region with mountain hikes, bushland walks and wetland boat rides. Hike to a mountain cave, experience a walking game safari and follow coastal trails. Drakensberg Mountains - Walk in this beautiful region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site Hluhluwe - iMfolozi Reserve - Search for the Big Five on a walking safari and open vehicle game drive Saint Lucia - Explore the iSimangaliso Wetlands and see hippos roaming the streets!

Highlights
  • Hluhluwe - iMfolozi Reserve - Search for the Big Five on a walking safari and open vehicle game drive
  • Saint Lucia - Explore the iSimangaliso Wetlands and see hippos roaming the streets!
  • Drakensberg Mountains - Walk in this beautiful region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Why Book this Tour
This trip showcases the diverse landscapes and wildlife of KwaZulu-Natal, some of the best in South Africa.
Destinations
  • Drakensberg Mountains
  • Drakensberg
  • Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park
  • Africa
  • South Africa
Tour Types
  • Wildlife
  • Active
  • Adventure
  • Safaris
  • Scenic
  • Small Group
  • 50 plus
  • Couples
  • Singles
  • Birdwatching
  • Sightseeing
  • Trekking
  • Walking
  • Cultural
  • Foodie
  • History

Location: Durban

Arrive in Umhlanga, a coastal town between the International Airport and North Durban. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 7pm for the welcome meeting. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Umhlanga at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive at King Shaka International Airport (DUR) which is around 20 minutes' drive from the hotel. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up. If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to explore the area, including the nearby Umhlanga Rocks beach.

Accommodation: ,Guesthouse

Meals: ,No Meals,

Location: Drakensberg

Our first gentle walk begins near our hotel. Known as the Lagoon Walk, the path starts as a wooden boardwalk then cuts through a section of coastal forest down to the beach. As this is a nature trail many of the trees are labelled (look out for the 500 year old white stinkwood tree!) If you are lucky you may also catch glimpses of bushbuck, duiker and other small animals and birds that the forest is home to. On returning to our hotel we head by minibus towards the Drakensberg Mountains - approximately a three and a half hour drive. Our base for the next three nights is Sungubala, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Maloti- Drakensberg Park. Drakensberg is the world's oldest mountain range and derives its name from the Afrikaans word for 'Dragon Mountains'. After settling into our chalet style lodge accommodation we set out to start exploring the area, following the road to cross the steam we take the ascending path to Bush Buck Ridge to reach a natural pool. We follow this river back to the lodge. Today's morning five kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours, along a flat coastal path. The afternoon's five kilometre walk is expected to take around two hours with 220 metres of ascent and descent.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Drakensberg

Today we also have the opportunity to take two walks. This morning's walk takes us from the lodge following an ascending trail with a short steep zig zag section to the hilltop. Continuing through a grove of bottlebrush trees and indigenous forest to reach Echo Cave. We make our way back to the camp passing through a fern forest. In the afternoon we have a shorter walk from the lodge to Bishops Inkaba River. After a swim in the pool below the falls we walk back through the indigenous forest and descend on a fairly steep path to Jackal Hill. Today's morning 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours, with 220 metres of ascent and descent. This is a fairly steep trail but offers great views over the mountains. The afternoon's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around two to three hours with 140 metres of ascent and descent. There is a short steep zig zag section up to Rustlers Gap.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Drakensberg

Our walk today takes us along a trail from the lodge to cross Sunday Falls stream from which we reach the park boundary. Walking via Tiger Falls and down through the bush we make our way to Castle Rocks and Surprise Ridge. En route we have a picnic lunch while admiring the views. Today's 17 kilometre walk is expected to take around six to seven hours with 140 metres of ascent and descent.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Leaving the Drakensbergs behind we drive east through the towns of Ladysmith and Dundee, and stop at the battle site of Blood-River. Here we will learn about events that took place during the war between the Zulu and Voortrekker Boers, particularly the battle fought on this spot on 16th December 1838. Today 16th December is commemorated as the 'Day of Reconciliation'. Later we drive approximately another two and a half hours to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve. This Big Five game reserve - historically the hunting ground of past Zulu kings, are Africa's oldest national parks. As we drive to our lodge within the park we hope to be lucky and spot some game en route. For the next two nights we stay in chalets, these are simply furnished and built in a traditional style with brick structures under a thatch roof. Here the group can enjoy great views over the park and a traditional braai (Barbecue).

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Waking up early to the sounds of the bush we spend today finding out more about the magnificent animals that call this park home. In group of a maximum of eight visitors we join the wardens for a walking safari, looking for tracks and signs of animals and if we are lucking a sighting of the famous Big Five: lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino. This afternoon you can travel further into the park, through the dry grassland and woodland, on an optional game drive in an open vehicle. This reserve is at the forefront of conservation and is credited with saving the black and white rhino, whose future is still uncertain, from certain extinction. Today's walking safari is approximately seven kilometres and takes one and a half to two hours through uneven dry terrain.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Saint Lucia

Today we have another early morning game drive in an open vehicle, hoping to see new animals. Late morning we drive towards the coast and Saint Lucia, a small coastal town famous for its river crocodiles and hippos. The afternoon is free to explore the area. Local optional excursions include an estuary cruise, and a night game drive in the nearby wetland reserve. Be aware of the hippos that can wander the streets of Saint Lucia (an extraordinary sight) especially at night and do not approach them.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Saint Lucia

This morning we take a boat ride through iSimangaliso Wetland Park looking for animals such as reedbuck, buffalo and monkeys, and the 526 bird species that live here. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a World Heritage Site and the third largest protected area in South Africa, with different ecosystems: swamps, lakes, beach, coral reef, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests, grasslands uniquely existing side by side. Diembarking from the boat we explore the park on foot follwoing bush trails back to St. Lucia village. After lunch there is the option to visit Cape Vidal where you can walk along the coast to Mission Rocks or spend the afternoon swimming or snorkelling in the Indian Ocean. Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around three hours.

Accommodation: Lodge

Location: Durban

Early this morning we travel south along the coast to Mtunzini. Here we walk along the Siayay coastal dune forest trail, if we are lucky we may see bushbuck and red, grey, blue duiker. We also follow a board walk through Raphia Palm Forest, a swamp forest rich with palms, where we may see Palmnut vultures. Our last walk covers five kilometres over mainly flat terrain and takes approximately one hour. After lunch at a local restaurant we continue to King Shaka International Airport (DUR) where the trip ends at 2.30pm. The earliest your flight can depart is 5pm.

Included
  • Accommodation
  • Fully Guided
  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)
  • Meals – Half Board
    -Breakfast: 8 Lunch: 3 Dinner: 5
  • Game Drives on Safari

Not Included
  • Country Entry Visas
    -
  • Tipping and Gratuities
    -
  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day
    -

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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12-Nov-2021
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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27-May-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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16-Sep-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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07-Oct-2022
8 Nights
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Dates Price Single Availability
11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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11-Nov-2022
8 Nights
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Touring with Explore

Explore have been creating award-winning adventures for over 35 years and are experts when it comes to unique travel experiences.

Their small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981 and today, Explore are one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 600 trips to more than 130 countries. At Explore, they are passionate about travel and have developed a wide range of unique activities and experiences which gives their customers an unforgettable adventure with a team of award-winning Explore leaders .

With Explore, you'll get to see your destination from a whole new perspective that takes you away from the typical well-trodden tourist track. You'll have the chance to meet, dine and stay with local people, rest in authentic accommodation with other like-minded explorers and travel to must-see destinations with a unique Explore twist.

From family trips to holidays for solo travellers; cycling tours to wildlife safaris; trekking on mountains or exploring miles of scenic coastline; self-guided holidays or small group trips; there is something for every kind of traveller with Explore. They will provide their expert knowledge, exciting itineraries and outstanding service as part of their sustainable travel experiences which take you under the skin of the country you're visiting for the adventure of a lifetime.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Explore!

8 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Start:Durban
Finish:King Shaka International Airport (DUR)
Group size:4 - 16
Suitable for: Adult
Accommodation:Standard
Physical rating:Low, Medium, Moderate
Meals:Breakfast: 9 Lunch: 3 Dinner: 4
Diets:Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour operated in: English
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