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KwaZulu Natal holidays - close up of  a vulture and jackal in the Drakensberg Mountains

Hluhluwe Safari + Kosi Bay + Thonga Beach


SRG12R
12 NIGHTS
FROM £2,195
International flights quoted separately
If you want an authentic eco lodge, combine a Big-5 safari in Hluhluwe with a visit to the lakes of Kosi Bay in far northern Zululand, where your luxury tent is lit by paraffin lamps and where you can bathe in complete privacy outdoors. Complete your holiday relaxing on pristine Thonga Beach, where you can see hippos and crocodiles in Lake Sibaya and snorkel from the beach.
Beach Safari Zululand Kosi Bay Photo Thonga Beach Hluhluwe Durban
• 
Drakensberg Mountains
• 
Bushman Paintings
• 
Durban North Coast
• 
Hluhluwe Safari
• 
Big Five Game Drives
• 
Kosi Bay
• 
Kayaking
• 
Thonga Beach
• 
Snorkelling & Diving
• 
Lake Sibaya
• 
Drakensberg Mountains
• 
Bushman Paintings
• 
Durban North Coast
• 
Hluhluwe Safari
• 
Big Five Game Drives
• 
Kosi Bay
• 
Kayaking
• 
Thonga Beach
• 
Snorkelling & Diving
• 
Lake Sibaya
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred 4-hours through the farmlands of the Free State to the spectacular uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains, recognised as a World Heritage site for its vast collection of San Bushmen rock art paintings.
 
Known locally as the Barrier of Spears the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains forms the backbone of Southern Africa, running all the way down from the Great Rift Valley.
 
Check into your mountain resort in this area of unspoilt natural beauty.
Days 2 To 3
At leisure to relax in the Drakensberg Mountains and enjoy the facilities of your resort, with superlative scenery and fresh mountain air making it ideal for walking holidays at any level of fitness. Your hotel will organise guided walks each day – typically one short walk and one long walk, or a walk to a Bushman painting.
  
The mountains also offer an outstanding location for bird watching – particularly raptors, but also sunbirds, waxbills and the numerous other species found in the grasslands, riverine scrub and natural forests.
  
Your hotel has a swimming pool and offers many activities in or near the resort including golf, horse riding in the mountains, fly fishing for trout, tennis, lawn bowls, badminton, mountain biking, table tennis, darts and pool.
Day 4
Enjoy the beauty of the Natal Midlands on your 3-hours transfer to your beach hotel on the Durban North Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches and reliably warm holiday weather all year round.
 
Travel to the harbour city of Durban and continue along the North Coast. Check into your hotel and relax in lush sub-tropical surroundings on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
Day 5
Today we recommend an optional tour of the highlights of Durban.
 
We start with a visit to uShaka Marine World, situated in the old harbour area that is being extensively re-developed. You will have the opportunity of viewing large indigenous sharks of the Indian Ocean and a wide variety of other marine animals - including turtles, dolphins, seals and penguins. Here there are snorkelling ponds with over 5,000 fish.
 
In the afternoon we drive along Durban beachfront, with its colourful markets, to Moses Mabhida Stadium which was built for the 2010 World Cup. This stadium has a cable car (40 stories high), which offers wonderful views of Durban and its coastline.
 
Our day finishes with a visit to the Sharks Board in Umhlanga, for an audio-visual presentation and shark disection (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday only).
Day 6
This morning enjoy the beauty of rural Zululand, renowned for its outstanding beaches, mountains, history and wildlife as you transfer 3-hours to Hluhluwe Game Reserve.
  
After checking into your lodge, enjoy a thrilling open top game drive with a lodge ranger. Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe - as well as several of the Big Five - before dinner.
Day 7
Today is devoted to game viewing in Hluhluwe National Park.
 
Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, and enjoy a thrilling open-top game drive in the famous Hluhluwe National Park, which saved the rhino from extinction. One of South Africa’s most beautiful game parks, Hluhluwe is home to all the Big 5 - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - as well as the subcontinent’s largest population of endangered rhino. Hope to see many interesting species before returning to your lodge.
   
The rest of the day is free to relax at your lodge or enjoy bird watching, before setting out again in the late afternoon for another game drive. Hope to see giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals. With over 300 different bird species, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed.
  
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
  
Note: children < 6 are not allowed on open top game drives
 
Day 8
After some final early morning game viewing, transfer 2-hours to your lodge pick-up point, with a 30-minute transfer in an open-top 4x4 vehicle through local villages to Kosi Bay Nature Reserve.
  
Check in to your luxury Kosi Bay tented lodge set in an indigenous coastal sand forest, with each unit having complete privacy and intimacy with your surroundings – including only paraffin lamps in the bedrooms and an open-air bathroom! Later relax by the campfire before enjoying dinner on the outdoor deck under the stars!
Day 9
Relax at your lodge which is situated near Kosi Bay - a series of four interleading fresh water lakes, that lead into the sea at the Kosi Bay River Mouth in far northern KwaZulu Natal near the border with Mozambique.
 
Kosi Bay forms part of the St Lucia Wetlands, which has been declared a World Heritage Site because of its importance as one of the world’s greatest marine wilderness areas. It is home to over 600 species of birds as well as hippos, crocodiles, loggerhead and leatherback turtles (which lay their eggs on the beaches from November to January) and many other fragile marine species.
 
Activities at the lodge centre around canoeing and boat rides on the lake (both combined with walking to the lake through the coastal forest); fishing on the lakes; bird watching; snorkelling at Kosi Bay River Mouth where local fisherman still use ancient fishing traps; and excursions to Thembe Elephant Park. From November to January, also an evening Marine Trail to see the remarkable spectacle of the egg laying and hatching of loggerhead and leatherback turtles.
Day 10
Transfer 1.5-hours on an open-top 4x4 vehicle through the coastal reserve to remote and unspoilt Thonga Beach in the heart of the protected iSimangaliso St Lucia Wetlands.
  
Check into your beach lodge concealed in a canopy of indigenous coastal forest on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean and relax in subtropical surroundings, where monkeys and antelope roam free.
Days 11 To 12
Thonga Beach is a remote and unspoilt beach destination, with miles of untouched warm Indian Ocean beaches inhabited only by the loggerhead and leatherback turtles, which return to lay their eggs on the beaches from November to January each year.
 
With its wonderfully warm climate and outstanding snorkelling, spend lazy days by the swimming pool or on the beach surrounded by the highest naturally vegetated sand dunes in the world. Enjoy long walks on the beach, pamper yourself at the spa or enjoy a sundowner drives to Lake Sibaya where you may see hippos and crocodiles as well as abundant bird life.
 
Scuba Divers can explore the underwater treasures of the warm Mozambique Reef, the southern-most coral reef in the world, with canyons and caves teeming with a huge variety of marine life including over 1,200 species of fish, turtles, bottle-nosed dolphins, moray eels, ribbon tail rays, mantas, butterfly fish, angelfish, sharks, migrating whales (April to July) and whale sharks (January to February).
 
Other optional activities include an Ocean Safari to search for dolphins and Deep Sea Fishing.
Day 13
Transfer 1-hour through the coastal reserve on an open-top 4x4 vehicle to the pick-up point.
 
Connect with your 3-hour transfer to Richards Bay Airport for your flight home.
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