A ‘world in one province’, KwaZulu-Natal is a dream region in South Africa for holidaymakers. This grand self-drive nature tour incorporates four secluded luxury hideaways well off the beaten track and featuring spectacular forests, unblemished coastal areas, Big Five wildlife territory and Zululand wilderness.

DAYS 01 – 03

Self-drive to Kosi Forest Lodge, making an early start because it’s about a 6h00 drive from Durban. A lodge representative will meet you at the town of Manguzi and transfer you in a 4×4 vehicle to the wonderful lodge set in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. This is a beautiful world of gleaming lakes, tropical forests and faraway beaches. Thatched rooms are tucked away in a sand forest and have romantic, reed-enclosed bathrooms open to starry night skies, the baths set in white forest sand. Enjoy fantastic guided nature activities: walks through wild palm forests, canoe and motorboat trips on the lakes and picnic-excursions to a remote and pristine beach. Dine close to nature, outdoors on the deck or in the boma, thereafter making your way to your room along lanternlit pathways. Kindly note that the lodge is not on mains electricity, using minimal battery power instead, adding to the romantic, close-to-nature atmosphere.

Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
The main deck at Kosi Forest Lodge, beneath a natural umbrella of trees.
kosi-forest-room-int-3
The rooms at Kosi Forest Lodge are secluded in a sand forest – enchanting hideaways!

Spend two nights at Kosi Forest Lodge

DAYS 03 – 05

After the morning activity in the Kosi Bay area you will be taken back to Manguzi. Self-drive from there to the Coastal Forest Reserve and Coastal Cashew Factory where you leave your vehicle. A lodge representative will transfer you to Thonga Beach Lodge, situated at remote Mabibi Bay in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site. (Travelling time between the two lodges is 2h15 by road.) The lodge is casually luxurious, the thatched rooms large and exquisite with views of either the ocean or forests.There are wonderful activities: swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving in warm waters (get tuition from the resident dive instructor), ocean adventures by boat to see whales and dolphins, coastal forest walks, kayaking on a lake, enjoying sandy white beaches, fishing, spider walks, and phenomenal turtle tours between November and February. Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are taken out on the deck under trees.

Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
Thonga Beach Lodge offers casual luxury just a few steps away from a long, uncrowded beach
Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
Thonga Beach Lodge is hidden away at Mabibi Bay on the Elephant Coast. Indigenous forests and warm waters create an idyllic holiday spot.

Spend two nights at Thonga Beach Lodge

DAYS 05 – 07

After breakfast you will be transferred back to Coastal Cashews to collect your vehicle and proceed towards Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park for your safari at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. (Travelling time between the two lodges is approximately 3h30.) Rhino Ridge is the only private lodge within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, offering luxury accommodation and a Big Five experience in spectacular wilderness surroundings. Enjoy high tea overlooking the reserve before setting off on a guided 4×4 safari. Sundowners take place at a special place in the wilderness, after which the drive continues until just after dark so that nocturnal animals may be seen. Safari drives happen early each morning – or one can opt for a guided walk instead (at an additional fee) – and again in the late afternoon / evening. Each safari is unique, revealing an entirely different kaleidoscope of wonders. Substantial brunches are served after the morning drives, high teas before the afternoon drives, and dinners on return. The lodge has a spa, swimming pool and viewing decks for relaxation.

Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
Two of the bush villas at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge have private plunge pools on their decks.
Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
Close-up elephant sighting at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge – just one of our many exciting wildlife sightings there.

Spend two nights at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

DAYS 07 – 09

Make an early departure for the drive to Isibindi Zulu Lodge (driving time about 5h20). On arrival, spend some time in your suite overlooking a rugged eco reserve before dinner.  The reserve is home to plains game and many types of birds. Guided nature drives are offered daily, and guests are also free to walk and picnic in the reserve. Day tours to the historic battlesites of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift are also an option. On one of the evenings at Isibindi guests are taken to a traditional Zulu village to enjoy local drumming, singing and dancing, and a traditional Zulu dinner in a boma.

Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
The Isibindi eco reserve is vast and beautiful.
Nature tour KwaZuluNatal with luxury accommodation
Traditional beehive-style huts at Isibindi Zulu Lodge provide secluded accommodation at the top of the reserve.

Spend two nights at Isibindi Zulu Lodge

Check out after breakfast and travel back to Durban (travelling time 4h30), or extend your trip to include a few days in the Drakensberg Mountains.

Mail us or call +27 21 797-7122. We will gladly tailor-make your tour of South Africa.