The KwaZulu Natal Adventure self-drive holiday incorporates some of the major highlights of KwaZulu Natal: game-viewing in Thanda Game Reserve and in the Isimangoliso Reserve close to the St Lucia wetlands; relaxing on the Indian Ocean beaches, touring the Natal Battlefields, and walking or scenic touring in the Drakensberg mountains.

It’s an enjoyable mixture of discovery and gourmet delights amidst breathtaking scenery. It’s ideally suited to the South African winter and spring months when the climate is warm, sunny and dry. It uses Premier to Luxury accommodation throughout. You may like to extend this self drive tour with a few days in Cape Town?

You begin with the Drakensberg mountains. The “berg” offers everything, from serious hiking to gentle rambles beside crystal streams and through wooded glades. Other delights are its ancient San rock paintings at Giants Castle and Kamberg, the world-class Drakensberg Boys Choir and the arts and craft studios. Next you head to the Natal battlefields where we recommend the fascinating guided tours to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Then its off to enjoy 3 nights in a private game lodge on safari before enjoying some time on a pristine beach in Coastal Maputaland. Your final stay is at Serene Estate close to the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park (St Lucia)

KwaZulu Natal Adventure at a Glance:

3 nights Cathedral Peak Hotel DBB, Drakensberg Mountains
2 nights Fugitives Drift Guesthouse FB, Natal Battlefields
3 nights Thanda Tented Camp FBG, Thanda Game Reserve
3 nights Thonga Beach Lodge FBA, Coastal Maputaland
2 night, Serene Estate, St Lucia Wetlands

See Day by Day
Day 1

Arrive & drive to Drakensberg, 3 nights Cathedral Peak Hotel, DBB

On arrival in Durban, you collect your rental car and drive to the Drakensberg mountains for a three night stay at the lovely Cathedral Peak Hotel. The Drakensberg area is named after the jagged teeth of the mythical beast that locals believe must surely inhabit such an awesome mountain range. The “berg” offers everything, from serious hiking to gentle rambles beside crystal streams and through wooded glades. Other delights are its ancient San rock paintings at Giants Castle and Kamberg, the world-class Drakensberg Boys Choir and the arts and craft studios.

The Cathedral Peak Hotel is a classic mountain resort hotel with stunning panoramic views – indeed we consider it one of the best locations in the Drakensberg. It runs like a well-oiled machine, with a range of guided activities on offer – hiking, horse-riding, golf and a host of sporting activities.


Accommodation: Cathedral Peak Hotel
Located in: Drakensberg Mountains - KwaZulu Natal - South Africa

Day 4

2 nights Battlefields, Fugitives Drift Guesthouse, DBB

Today you travel to the Natal Battlefields, a collective name for an area of rolling cattle country in rural Zululand where many of the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer battles were fought – an enduring story of courage and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and tragedy. We strongly recommend the fascinating guided tours to Isandlwana in the morning and Rorke’s Drift in the afternoon (not included at this stage).

Fugitives Drift Guesthouse is the second lodge on the Fugitives Drift estate, set a short distance from the Lodge. It is located within a 4000-acre Natural Heritage site, close to Rorke’s Drift at the heart of the Natal Battlefields of South Africa. Guests come to the Battlefields to learn about the Anglo Zulu wars and the fascinating battle of Islandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Fugitives Drift was the home of the late David Rattray, an immensely powerful storyteller and historian who was passionate about the Zulu history of this special part of KwaZulu Natal. His remarkable legacy is continued by his son and other guides who have continued in this fine tradition of storytelling. Fugitives Drift Guesthouse offers superb historical tours of the Battlefield sites (at extra cost) usually with a visit to Isandlwana in the morning and Rorke’s Drift in the afternoon.


Accommodation: Fugitives’ Drift Guest House
Located in: KwaZulu Natal - Natal Battlefields - South Africa

Day 6

3 nights Thanda Game Reserve, Full Board & Game drives

Today you drive north to Zululand for your two night stay at Thanda Game Reserve.

Thanda Tented Camp does not compromise on luxury or service and offers rugged refinement and an authentic safari experience. Perched on a hill, it offers fifteen spacious and well-appointed tents, decorated in a colonial style with four poster beds, teak furniture and campaign chairs. The honeymoon tent is very special – fully air-conditioned with a bedroom and separate lounge area. The highlight is the outdoor shower and Jacuzzi with its view spanning over the whole reserve. Thanda Tented Camp has an intimate dining tent, a particularly charming outdoor sitting area on a raised platform with glorious panoramic bush views, as well as a swimming pool to cool off on warm days. Full Board & Game Drives

Alternative option: Rhino Ridge Tented Lodge in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Lodge


Accommodation: Thanda Tented Camp
Located in: KwaZulu Natal - KwaZulu Natal Game Lodges - South Africa

Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Located in: KwaZulu Natal - KwaZulu Natal Game Lodges - South Africa

Day 9

3 nights Mabibi beach on the Maputaland coast, Full Board & Activities

Today you travel up the coast to Maputaland to Thonga Beach Lodge. You leave your rental car at the secure collection point and are transferred down to the beach by 4×4 vehicle. The Kosi Bay coastal reserve is an unspoilt wilderness region of pristine golden beaches backed by forested dunes and captivating freshwater lakes. This truly is a magical area, untouched by large-scale tourism.

Thonga Beach Lodge is a luxurious yet relaxed coastal lodge at secluded Mabibi Bay. It’s a magical place of tranquil swimming bays, sandy beaches, snorkelling reefs, coastal forest and shimmering lakes. The lodge, nestling high in the canopy of the dune forest, offers panoramic ocean views. Eco-friendly suites are decorated in a chic “Robinson Crusoe” style. As well as swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving, enjoy bird-watching, sundowner cruises and guided kayaking trips on Lake Sibaya or a treatment in their bush spa. Turtle tracking is a highlight for summer visitors. (3 hours, 210km).


Accommodation: Thonga Beach Lodge
Located in: Isimangaliso & Coastal Maputaland - KwaZulu Natal - South Africa

Day 12

2 nights St Lucia Wetlands area, B&B

Today you return to the collection point to be re-united with your rental car and you drive south  to Serene Estate to stay for 2 nights in St Lucia. There are plenty of activities at St Lucia – we strongly recommend the boat cruise on the St Lucia wetlands, self-guide or guided game drives in the game reserve,  bush walks and of course a final swim in the Indian Ocean perhaps at the beautiful Cape Vidal.


Accommodation: Serene Estate
Located in: Isimangaliso & Coastal Maputaland - KwaZulu Natal - South Africa

Day 14

Return your rental car at Durban’s King Shaka Airport


View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
Includes:
Meals and accommodation as shown in text, Group C car rental with unlimited kilometres and supercover insurance. Upgrades to larger vehicles easily arranged.
Excludes:
International & domestic flights, visas, items of a personal nature, meals not specified.
Best time to go:
April to October (or November to February for turtle breeding, but then it is very hot)
Health requirements:
Anti-malarial precautions recommended for northern KwaZulu Natal.
Notes:
To round off your holiday, why not add on a few nights in Cape Town?
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