13 days from £1755pp plus international flights.
If you want a fun, diverse South African holiday without travelling for days, KwaZulu Natal is the place to come. Mountains, beaches, Zulu culture, wildlife and history all within this great area.
This is a self-drive holiday through KwaZulu Natal in the east of South Africa. Why is this such a good area to come to? Because KwaZulu Natal has a little bit of many aspects of South Africa within its boundaries.
We've kept this holiday un-rushed, with plenty time at each place for you to really enjoy what you're come to see. And the accommodation is all very good quality too, so not only will your activities and experiences be memorable, so hopefully so will your lodges and food.
Some of the time you will be doing things on your own, but at other times you'll be joining others at the lodges on tours of safaris for example. So this trip also has a good combination of time for yourself and time spent with others if you want.
Hike the Drakensbergs, explore the San rock paintings, surprise yourself by being interested in the Battlefields history (and you WILL be - everyone is when these knowledgeable guides start their stories!), go on exciting game drives to spot elephants and lions, get an insight into the Zulu culture, and finally ... chill out by the beach.
This really will be a memorable and exciting holiday!
We will meet you on arrival at Johannesburg airport and help you through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be shown to the vehicle rental collection office to collect your hire car.
Your destination today is Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse in Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. It's a stunning situation and you have 2 full days to enjoy this gorgeous area.
Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse is found in one of the best kept secret areas of the Drakensberg Mountains, the picturesque Kamberg Valley. This region is known for its trout fishing, splendid mountain views, its heritage flora sites, San rock art, clear streams and waterfalls. Explore at your leisure, afterwards returning to the welcoming farmhouse and enjoying a delicious dinner.
Another full day in the Drakensberg to enjoy the stunning scenery. The Drakensberg Mountains curve around the border between KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho. They are the highest mountains in southern Africa, with Thabana Ntlenyana at 3,482 metres. There is some excellent walking and hiking in this area.
Today you drive on to the Battlefields. This area encompasses the towns of Colenso, Ladysmith, Dundee and Vryheid, where the Boers fought the British and the British fought the Zulus in a series of bloody conflicts.
You are staying at a famous place called Fugitive's Drift. The Guest House is comfortable and you'll discover that it is a historic property.
From your lodge you can take guided tours of the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. Walk in the footsteps of famous military strategists - Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha, with the help of a knowledgeable guide who talks about each battle, debating the strategies used, the numbers who perished and the medals and rewards won by the brave.
The Lodge also offers walks of various durations with Zulu guides for the longer walks, fishing and horse riding.
Travel to Zululand on the northern coast of KwaZulu-Natal. This region is home to one of Africa's most proud and once most feared tribes under the rule of the legendary King Shaka.
You are staying for 3 nights at Thanda Tented Camp. From here you can enjoy a variety of activities. Perhaps start this afternoon with a game drive?
A full day at leisure. Thanda Tented Camp offers morning and evening game drives in open 4x4 vehicles, guided bush walks, bush breakfasts and dinners. Other activities that can be arranged here are horse riding on the beach, diving and snorkelling and whale watching (seasonal).
Amongst the facilities here is a spa, run by Africology, offering a range of treatments, allowing guests to relax and unwind between game drives. There is also an infinity pool and an outdoor boma.
Today you drive to Rocktail Beach Camp on the secluded and unspoiled northern reaches of the iSimangaliso (St Lucia) Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site on the coastline of Maputaland. The lodge is set away from the actual beach which is accessed via an intriguing 20-minute walk through the protected dune forest. You will spend the next 4 nights here. Time to chill by the beach!
There are some of the highest vegetated sand-dunes in the world here, as well as eco-sensitive wetlands and sandy beaches where the loggerhead and leatherback turtles come to lay their eggs. Birdlife is also excellent here.
So you are in a truly gorgeous wilderness area and you have plenty of time to very little apart from enjoy it!
You have two more days at leisure here. From the camp you have access to almost 40km of beaches, fringing the Maputaland Marine Reserve, making for the most extraordinary diving and snorkelling. You could also spend time at the nearby Lake Sibaya. In this strictly controlled environment, you are privileged to know that you are one of the elite few visitors to this sanctuary. Alternatively relax at the camp, enjoying ocean views from the viewing deck.
This morning you sadly depart from Rocktail Beach Camp and drive to Richards Bay where you drop off your hire car. We can arrange either homebound or onward flights from here for you.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1755 (ex. international flights)
Accommodation on a twin share basis; group B hire car from Johannesburg on day 1 to Richards Bay on day 13; meals as specified (7 nights breakfast and dinner, 4 nights full board, 1 breakfast); two game drives a day at Thanda Tented Camp.
International flights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse, Fugitives' Drift Guest House and Rocktail Beach Camp; items of a personal nature; tips.
Getting there: This holiday starts in Johannesburg and ends at Richards Bay. Return flights from the UK start from around £850, depending on season and availability.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made South Africa holiday. We can arrange this for you at any time you like, and you can tweak this in any way you like. The price shown here is a low season price based on travelling in July and August.
Comfortable en-suite accommodation owned by the Rattray family, near Rorke's Drift in the Battlefields area.
Rocktail Beach Camp is set on the unspoilt, secluded KwaZulu Natal coastline within iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Thanda Tented Safari Camp is located in a private game reserve and offers an authentic safari experience with excellent game viewing opportunities.
How this holiday helps
This is a trip of stunning mountain scenery, amazing wildlife, incredible cultural fascination, and dramatic beaches. Its diversity is matched by the myriad of ways it gives back to the land, its people, and wildlife.
From backing the conservation of rhinos, elephants and turtles, to supporting development projects in poor rural communities, and encouraging the reconciliation between the peoples of South Africa, this exciting and varied trip brings diverse and important benefits to KwaZulu Natal. Whilst there, you might not see or hear much about the projects that the money from your holiday will be helping (unless you show an interest), but rest assured Rocktail Beach Camp, Thanda Tented Camp and Fugitive’s Drift all do their part for their region.
Find the best time to visit South Africa
Time: GMT +2 hours
Flight time: There are daily flights from Europe to Johannesburg (about 10 ½ hours direct) and Cape Town (about 11 hours). There is also a good network of domestic flights connecting all main towns.
Language: English is South Africa's main administrative language and is widely spoken. There are also 11 official tribal languages.
Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders.
Health: No vaccinations are compulsory. Malaria is found in certain areas (mainly Kruger and the east coast towards Mozambique), but not throughout the country.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499