South Africa: Off the beaten track Kwazulu-Natal Safari

Off the beaten track: Kwazulu-Natal Safari

  • Day 1 : Umhlanga
  • Days 2–3 : iSimangaliso Wetlands Park
  • Days 4–7 : Phinda Private Game Reserve
  • Price From : $4,047
  • Duration : 6 Nights
  • Best Months : Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov
  • Countries : South Africa

This trip begins in the stunning seaside town of Umhlanga, opposite the iconic red-and-white lighthouse! You’ll continue on to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Phinda Game Reserve, for game drives, bush walks, boat trips, and more.

With direct flights from London to Durban the adventure begins at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. Situated opposite the town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse, this seafront property offers comfortable accommodation, high standards of service, and direct access onto the beach! After one night there, you’ll travel to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Here you’ll stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge, which has a lovely location on the banks of Lake St Lucia. Lastly, you’ll head to Phinda Private Game Reserve, for three nights at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge. This is a stunning property, featuring breathtaking views over the reserve as far as the Lebombo Mountains!

Umhlanga is one of our favourite gateway towns into safari country, featuring not only the famous lighthouse but also a pier and a long promenade. During your time in iSimangaliso, you can enjoy vehicle safaris and river cruises. And Phinda provides great game viewing in a wildlife-rich region, via game drives, bush walks, and, for November/December visitors, turtle nesting tours!

All Of Our Holidays Are Tailor Made

The prices below are per person, and please note that the prices are approximate. Please contact us for accurate costings for the time of year you are considering for your holiday. There are multiple season changes across the year and numerous room categories that can change the price of any trip.

From approx $4,047 in low season

To approx $4,356 in high season

Prices include all internal flights, transfers, reserve fees, accommodation, and meals as specified in the day-to-day itinerary. Prices exclude international flights, tipping, visa, and any meals not included.

This trip begins in the stunning seaside town of Umhlanga, opposite the iconic red-and-white lighthouse! You’ll continue on to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Phinda Game Reserve, for game drives, bush walks, boat trips, and more.

With direct flights from London to Durban the adventure begins at The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga. Situated opposite the town’s iconic red-and-white lighthouse, this seafront property offers comfortable accommodation, high standards of service, and direct access onto the beach! After one night there, you’ll travel to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Here you’ll stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge, which has a lovely location on the banks of Lake St Lucia. Lastly, you’ll head to Phinda Private Game Reserve, for three nights at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge. This is a stunning property, featuring breathtaking views over the reserve as far as the Lebombo Mountains!

Umhlanga is one of our favourite gateway towns into safari country, featuring not only the famous lighthouse but also a pier and a long promenade. During your time in iSimangaliso, you can enjoy vehicle safaris and river cruises. And Phinda provides great game viewing in a wildlife-rich region, via game drives, bush walks, and, for November/December visitors, turtle nesting tours!

Day 1 Umhlanga

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On the first day of your adventure, you’ll touch down at King Shaka International Airport in Durban. Having been met off your plane, you’ll be privately transferred by road to the seaside town of Umhlanga, approximately 16 kilometres away, for your stay at The Oyster Box Hotel. This is a very elegant seafront property, with spectacular views over the Indian Ocean! Communal spaces include a number of relaxing lounges, first-class restaurants, tropical gardens, two swimming pools, and a spa. Your accommodation will be a Classic Garden Facing Room, featuring individually controlled air conditioning, flatscreen satellite television, and a well-stocked mini-bar. Oyster Box offers direct beach access and is conveniently close to Umhlanga’s pier and promenade, both overlooked by the town’s vibrant lighthouse!

Board basis and activities:
B&B accommodation, including mineral water, teas and coffees, fresh fruit and flowers, a selection of books and magazines, and high-speed Wi-Fi. Beach equipment such as parasols, beach bags, bats, balls, and suntan lotion is available from Reception. Guests hoping to dine at The Grill Room restaurant or to visit the spa are advised to book in advance due to limited capacity.

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Days 2–3 iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

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Following your night at The Oyster Box, you’ll be driven from Umhlanga to iSimangaliso Wetland Park in a private SUV – usually this journey takes just over 2 hours. Your home while in iSimangaliso will be Makakatana Bay Lodge, a very comfortable property on the banks of Lake St Lucia. You’ll stay in a Standard Room, which features air conditioning, wildlife artwork, and a private veranda where you can watch out for the local bush babies and birdlife! The communal timber structure contains pleasant lounge and dining areas, both flowing out onto a wraparound deck. With a traditional boma in the grounds, as well as a lakeside swimming pool and a wine cellar that was once used as a crab store, Makakatana is a characterful base from which to explore iSimangaliso. Some of the area’s reserves boast all Big Five species, in addition to numerous smaller predators and herbivores. If you venture out to the coast, you might spot whales and dolphins!

Board basis and activities:
Full-board accommodation, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, afternoon game drive on day of arrival (arrive 3pm for 3:30/4pm), morning game drive on day of departure (5am–8am), guide/driver meal, signature guide, bicycle ride to Khula Village.

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Days 4–7 Phinda Private Game Reserve

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On Day 4, you’ll privately transfer by road to Phinda Private Game Reserve. Here, you’ll stay at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge. Set high above the reserve, this stylish property provides uninterrupted vistas from its U-shaped communal building and all guest accommodation. Comfortable lounge and dining areas extend onto numerous decks from which to marvel at the scenery below. With 24 suites, Mountain Lodge is Phinda’s largest property, but through its superb service standards it maintains an exclusive feel. Each suite includes an outdoor shower and a private plunge pool! A number of classic safari activities are available, providing opportunities to see a wealth of wildlife. Lion, black and white rhino, cheetah, and nyala are just a few highlights – and if you travel here during November/December, you can take part in a turtle nesting adventure!

Board basis and activities:
Full-board accommodation, including all meals, a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, scheduled safari activities, 1-hour nature walk in the company of experienced trackers (subject to availability), transfers between the lodge and the local airstrip, and a laundry service. Turtle nesting adventure is not available on 24–25 and 30–31 December and is subject to tides.

On the final day of your trip, you’ll transfer from Phinda Mountain Lodge to the local airstrip, arriving at Johannesburg’s O. R. Tambo International Airport in time for your flight/s home.

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