You will be met on arrival at OR Tambo Airport and assisted to the domestic departures for your flight to Durban. You will receive a welcome pack with detailed directions, maps and general information on the places you will be visiting. On arrival at King Shaka Airport you will collect your rental vehicle and self drive to your hotel. The Riverside Hotel is ideally located above the Umgeni River in Durban North, and enjoy easy access to Durban City and a short drive from the Northern Freeway, which leads to Umhlanga Rocks and the Dolphin Coast.
This morning you will drive to the Drakensberg. The Sani Pass Hotel is nestled in the beautiful Mkhomazana valley at the foot of Sani Pass and is famous for its warm hospitality and breathtaking views of the Drakensberg. The hotel is situated about 220km from Durban.
Day at leisure. Make the very exciting trip into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. From the rocky foothills of the Sani Valley the rugged Sani Pass climbs a further 1000m high into the Drakensberg. It crosses the border into Lesotho at 2873m above sea level. The hotel enjoys direct access to the bordering Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site. Explore this paradise of cascading waterfalls, walking trails, Trout-filled streams and some of the finest San Rock Art in the country. Several walking trails are marked, leading to waterfalls, Bushman Paintings (only with a guide) and enchanting bathing spots. These vary in length from 1 hour to full-day walks.
This morning, after a leisurely breakfast you will drive to Mount Isandlwana. Isandlwana Lodge is situated on one of the most remarkable historic sites in Southern Africa and it overlooks the Isandlwana battlefield. The Lodge is carved into the iNyoni Rock formation on top of which the Zulu commander stood during the battle of Isandlwana on January 22, 1879 and enjoys unparalleled views across the valley from the crisp early light of dawn through to the splendor of the African sunset.
Day at leisure. A stay at Isandlwana Lodge is more than a peaceful getaway for during your stay you will be able to re-live the history of both the Anglo-Zulu and the Anglo-Boer wars as well as experience the vibrant culture of the Zulu people. You may walk through the Isandlwana Historic Reserve where you will see various birds and game such as Impala and Zebra. In certain parts, you may find cairns (piles of white stones) which mark mass graves of British soldiers who fought and died at Isandlwana.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you depart on your drive to Zululand Tree Lodge situated in the Ubizane Wildlife Reserve, adjacent to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve. Ubizane Reserve Boasts 1500 hectares with over 450 species of bird life as well as a wide variety of game including, White Rhino, Giraffe, Wildebeest, and most species of Antelope that can be viewed on open land rovers. The occasional leopard, wild dog and Hyena are also spotted. Nocturnal animals include serval, side striped Jackals, bushbabys, honey badgers, porcupine and occasionally a python. Trips are done daily to the big five HluHluwe/ Imfolozi game reserve which are renowned for its great Rhino spotting, elephants, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard and a great variety of other species. Hluhluwe game reserve is one of the oldest game reserves in South Africa and boasts a huge 97000 hectares.
Days at leisure. At Zululand Tree Lodge game viewing in open game viewing vehicles is usually reserved for the early mornings and late afternoons when the animals become more active after sheltering in the shade of the bush during the heat of the day. Those looking to get really close to nature can embark on foot with a trained game ranger to see the wonders of the African bush close up. The foot safaris are ideal for all and give guests the opportunity of truly experiencing the African bush. For novice and experienced horseman the horseback safaris add a whole new dimension to game viewing. The wildlife seem totally at ease with the horses and guests have an opportunity of getting close up to the game.
After a leisurely breakfast you will depart on your drive to Makakatana Bay Lodge, situated within the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park World Heritage Site. The Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park World Heritage Site is one of the few natural wonders left on earth where there are un-spoilt wilderness beaches, vast wetlands and game reserves all combined into one reserve. The lodge is set in dune forest that bursts out over a wetland onto the banks of the lake. Hippo and other wildlife often wander through the lodge, underneath the walkways.
Day at leisure. The expanse of unspoilt beaches, estuary and wilderness reserves provide an undeniable attraction to lovers of wild life. There are many Safaris offered, including afternoon drives into the Wetlands seeking out hippo, crocodile and other wildlife such as rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and elephant, not to mention the birdlife!
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before departing on your drive to Rocktail Bay Lodge, located in the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve. Here, between Kosi Bay and Sodwana Bay lies an area that is wild, without any development and Rocktail Bay lies in the centre. Situated offshore from Rocktail Bay is the Maputaland Marine Reserve, which offers additional sanctuary for wildlife, engendering extraordinary diving and snorkeling with exciting encounters with huge shoals of fish, dolphins and whales. The secluded lodge is situated meters from the Indian Ocean in the coastal forest, just behind the first row of forested dunes. It offers perhaps the most private beach experience in South Africa on 40 kilometers of unspoilt, undeveloped and pristine coastline.
Days at leisure. The highlight here is the miles and miles of pristine and undeveloped coastline. In addition to simply sunning yourself on the clean golden beaches, a variety of guided activities are available. The Indian Ocean is ideal for snorkeling in search of tropical fish (flippers and snorkels may be borrowed at the lodge), while surf and fly fishing is among the best on the east coast. Nature walks through the coastal forest and grasslands, or drives in open 4×4 vehicles to Black Rock and other localities will enthrall naturalists and photographers. The reefs off Rocktail Bay have never before been commercially dived they are young fringing reefs harboring surprisingly healthy and diverse coral communities & marine life. There are numerous pristine reefs featuring large pinnacles, ledges, drop-offs & swim through’s.
Depart early morning on your four to five hour drive back to Durban.
Drop off your rental vehicle at the airport and depart on your connecting homebound flight.
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