Kwazulu Natal is a region of South Africa with a rich Zulu heritage, a mild year-round climate and the four B’s: bush, battlefields, berg (mountains) and beach. The landscape is among the most varied in the country, taking you from the lofty peaks of the Drakensberg to the rolling hills of the Midlands and Battlefields, and from coastal wetlands to the warm waters of the South Coast beaches. It’s sublime place for a self-drive holiday with reasonable driving distances, spectacular scenery and a wide range of activities. It’s a great option if you’re a returning visitor who has already done the classic South African tour of Cape Town, Garden Route and safari.
On this trip, you’ll explore the breathtaking beauty of the Drakensberg Mountains, take in the fascinating history of the Battlefields, experience a classic African safari in Nambiti Private Game Reserve and end off soaking up the sun on the balmy beaches of Umhlanga.
This tour is based around comfortable accommodation that is great value for money accommodation, each place having been personally visited by us to guarantee you’ll have a special experience that will feel high end but won’t cost the earth. There is an option to upgrade accommodation at any destination for an increased cost. This tour includes an Avis car rental with high clearance and full insurance cover.
On arrival at Johannesburg Airport, you'll collect your car and embark on a road trip to the Drakensberg, the oldest and highest mountain range in South Africa that tickles the sky at roughly 3400m. The escarpment is made up of steep river valleys, sandstone cliffs and protruding peaks that give the range its name, which in Afrikaans means "Mountains of Dragons", while the Zulu people call it uKhahlamba, or "Barrier of Spears.”
The Drakensberg region is all about the outdoors. Breathing in some of the freshest mountain air in the country, you'll want to break out those hiking boots and get outside. Don't fret if you're not an avid hiker - there are a variety of walks and hikes available, from easy strolls to scaling the summit of the popular Cathedral Peak.
With all that beauty on your doorstep it can be hard to know where to start, but some stand-out attractions include the thundering Tugela Falls, The Amphitheatre and the famous Sani Pass,which outdistances, outclimbs, and outperforms all it's competitors, making it the most iconic gravel pass in SA and the scene of many sporting event as well as hair raising Sunday afternoon drives.
The uKhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park is a World Heritage Site rich with ancient San rock art and herds of oribi, eland and reedbuck. You'll stay at Antbear Lodge, a cosy seven bedroom guest house in Giant's Castle where you can top off your busy days of exploring with a 3 course decadent dinner by candlelight.
Includes 3 nights accommodation with dinner, bed and breakfast
They say in order to fully understand the present, you must look to the past.The battles that were fought in the hills and valleys of northern KZN more than 120 years ago changed the course of South African history. Today, this region is known as the Battlefields, and there is a profound sense of history here that echoes the heroic and often tragic events of our nation's past. The Battlefields encompass more than 82 battle sites, museums, old fortifications and places of remembrance of clashes that threw the British, crippled the Boers and broke the mighty Zulu tribe.
We'll help you identify which sites to see and which guided tours to take, depending on where your interest lies. A couple of the most famous include Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana, sites of some of the most dramatic events in British military history which occurred during the Anglo-Zulu War in the 19th century. Spionkop was home to the bloody conflict of the Anglo-Boer War, while the Blood River heritage site near Dundee was the scene of the last stand of great Zulu chief Dingane before his band of 10 000 impi warriors was defeated by the Voortrekkers.
The way that these epic battles are presented today make them accessible and enjoyable to all, not just military historians and enthusiasts. While you're steeping yourself in a slice of South African history, you'll be staying at Nxala Ranch, a working farm with incredible views across grasslands teeming with plains game and birdlife,Tasty home cooked meals on the verandah will fuel you for your exciting days stepping back in time.
Includes 2 nights accommodation with dinner, bed and breakfast
From the magic of the mountains and the ancient history of the Battlefields, you’ll head next to that bucket list stop of all South African tours: the African safari. Nambiti Private Game Reserve is a short drive from the bustling town of Ladysmith and is the only reserve in the area that has the Big 5. The malaria-free park is also home to over 40 other species of game including cheetah, zebra, hippo, hyena, giraffe and eland.
The landscape is specific to the KZN area, with sprawling grasslands, woody savannah, riverine bush and thornveld. In addition to daily game drives, optional bush walks and relaxing on your lodge deck overlooking a busy waterhole, you can also try your hand at fishing for yellowtail in the Sundays River and seeing how many bird species you can check off your guidebook list.
Your safari stay will be in a luxury tent at Springbok Lodge, complete with your own viewing deck with chairs, a king-size bed and a private open air outdoor shower. At the end of a magical day of game viewing, you can pamper yourself with a hot bath or enjoy the rush of an outdoor shower under the starry African sky.
Includes 2 nights accommodation and all meals and activities
Cap off your KZN experience with sea, sand and sunshine in Umhlanga, a given as the region holds true to a mild climate throughout the year. Twenty minutes north of Durban, Umhlanga, with its iconic red and white lighthouse and extensive stretches of sand, is a favourite among locals. Expect high-rise luxury apartments blocks backing onto the sandy beaches and a vibrant social scene. Spend your day tanning and relaxing on one of the sun-kissed beaches and then dress up and head out for an evening at one of the many popular seaside eateries.
You'll stay at Tesorino B&B, a 5 bedroom haven on Umhlanga Rocks with a cool pool and tropical garden. It's the perfect place to relax and wind down from your epic trip of the sunshine province.
Includes 2 nights B&B accommodation
Leave behind only the best memories as you head home, hopefully to plan your next trip to Africa. Where can we take you?