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

Kruger Park + Swaziland + Zululand (self-drive)


SCL14M
14 NIGHTS
FROM £1,395
International flights + car hire quoted separately
Combine the wildlife & birds of the Kruger National Park and KwaZulu Natal on this amazing self drive holiday, travelling through the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland and Zululand. Visit Hluhluwe Game Reserve, famous for preserving the rhino, and St Lucia in the Isimangaliso Wetlands, a birding hot-spot, before relaxing on the warm beaches of the Durban North Coast.
Kruger Durban Self Drive Holiday Swaziland Hluhluwe St Lucia South Africa
• 
Blyde River Canyon
• 
Gods Window
• 
Kruger National Park
• 
Photo Safari
• 
Swaziland
• 
Hluhluwe uMfolozi
• 
St Lucia Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Ballito
• 
Durban
• 
Blyde River Canyon
• 
Gods Window
• 
Kruger National Park
• 
Photo Safari
• 
Swaziland
• 
Hluhluwe uMfolozi
• 
St Lucia Wetlands
• 
Birding
• 
Ballito
• 
Durban
Day 1
Arrive Mpumalanga Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel on the scenic Panorama Route.
  
Check into your hotel in this beautiful region.
Day 2
This morning we recommend driving to Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary to experience a very special close-up encounter with these gentle giants. There is also the option of riding an elephant, but this needs to be pre-booked.
 
Afternoon at leisure to relax at your lodge, or enjoy other optional activities on offer.
Day 3
This morning enjoy more of the splendour of the Drakensberg Panorama Route as you drive 3-hours through the green Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world. Enjoy the wonderful views from God's Window, view Mac Mac Falls and visit the unusual Bourkes Luck pot holes - cylindrical holes formed from the swirling waters of the Blyde and Treur Rivers.
 
If you arrive before 2pm, we suggest a visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where you have the unique opportunity of viewing wild lion, leopard, cheetah, eagles and vultures at close quarters. Animals found injured, poisoned or orphaned are given a second chance and released back into the wild (pay entrance fee locally).
 
Check into your lodge in this beautiful area.
Day 4
Today enter the world famous Kruger National Park.
 
Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe before you reach your rest camp.  
 
The Kruger National Park offers a choice of self-catering rest camps, each situated in a different section of the park with its own unique flora and fauna - e.g. Skukuza, Letaba, Olifants, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Satara and Berg-en-Dal. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable thatched game park bungalows, with each camp having a restaurant and a small shop. Check in, settle in and relax in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide (park fees payable locally on entrance).
Day 5
Today is devoted to self drive game viewing in the Kruger National Park. We recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (04h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day.
   
Explore this vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary that is the size of Wales, offering magnificent game viewing opportunities and the highest concentration of lion in the whole of Africa. Hope to see several of the Big Five today - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino - as well as many other species before returning to your rest camp for breakfast (or buy provisions at camp and cook breakfast at a picnic spot).
 
The rest of the morning is free to relax by the swimming pool or enjoy bird watching at camp, before setting out again at the time of your choice (usually the late afternoon) for another game drive. With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles in the Kruger National Park, you can hope to see cheetah, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and many other interesting animals. With over 500 different bird species including eagles, kingfishers, vultures and storks, 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.
Day 6
Today check out of your Kruger Rest Camp and enjoy a full day of game viewing, as you drive to your next rest camp, stopping at various water holes, picnic spots and dams along the way.
 
With its many differing habitats, the vast Kruger National Park offers superb game viewing and a wide variety of different species of wildlife (both large and small) as well as a wonderful display of bird life.
Day 7
Enjoy another full day exploring the magnificent wildlife and birds of the Kruger National Park in another region of this amazing game reserve, which boasts so many diverse habitats - each with its own flora & fauna.
 
Explore the many side roads, dams and waterholes to discover more of the wildlife riches of this national park.
Day 8
After some final game viewing in the Kruger National Park, today drive 6-hours into the small mountain kingdom of Swaziland.
 
Travel through beautiful mountains and gorges to the capital of Mbabane, where you can stop at a local candle or glass factory to watch craftsmen at work and visit the local marketplace, before continuing to your hotel.
Day 9
Today drive 4-hours south through the beautiful mountains of Swaziland to Hluhluwe Game Reserve in northern Zululand.
 
We continue to our safari lodge for 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 returning to your lodge for dinner.
Day 10
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 11
After some final early morning game viewing, we suggest an optional boat ride on Lake St Lucia estuary, where you can hope to see hippos and crocodiles. Forming part of the St Lucia Isimangaliso Wetlands, this area has been declared a World Heritage site because of its unique biodiversity and importance to marine conservation. With over 500 different bird species in the region, it also offers outstanding bird watching.
 
We also suggest stopping at an authentically reconstructed Zulu Village to learn more about Zulu life and culture, including their amazing beadwork (pay entrance fee locally). You can also meet a sangoma ("witchdoctor").
 
Then drive 3-hours to your hotel on the Durban North Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches and reliably warm weather. Check into your hotel on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
 
 
 
Check in, settle in and relax on the shores of the warm Indian Ocean.
Day 12
Today we recommend an optional tour to see the highlights of Durban.
 
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 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.
 
Your day finishes with a visit to the Sharks Board in Umhlanga, for an audio-visual presentation and shark disection (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday only).
Days 13 To 14
Relax on the warm golden beaches of the Durban North Coast.
 
Many optional activities are available such as a marine cruise to search for dolphins, turtles, sharks, whales (in season) and other fascinating sea life. Championship golf, horse riding and deep sea game fishing are also available.
Day 15
Drive to Durban Airport for your flight home.
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