Accommodation: Rustic bush suite, luxury en-suite room, ocean view room
Destinations: Johannesburg, Kruger Park South, Durban, Johannesburg
Activities: Walking safaris, birding, game drives, snorkeling, kayaking
When in South Africa, do as the South Africans do - go on safari! Learn about the Kruger's fauna and flora on walking safaris and experience exhilarating wildlife encounters in safari vehicles, and laze on the sun-kissed beaches of KwaZulu-Natal.
This classic tour of the bush and beach has something for every type of traveller. Celebrate romance at the luxury lodges, in private dining options and optional spa treatments, or participate in adrenaline-pumping adventure activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.
Depart from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and head towards Skukuza Airport in the southern part of the Kruger National Park for your stay at Rhino Post Safari Lodge. Adventure awaits at this canvas safari camp nestled on the banks of the Mutlumuvi River as free-roaming wildlife move between the Mala Mala Game Reserve and the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Relax in the comfort of the camp's facilities, which include a swimming pool, a shaded patio with views of the active waterhole and a wine cellar. Evenings can be spent lounging by the fireplace, reminiscing on the day's events.
Days will start with an early wakeup call and a fresh cup of coffee or tea, and will be spent admiring the unfiltered beauty of the wild in game drives and walking safaris. All safari activities are escorted by trained and experienced guides and trackers who will broaden your insight of the bush. Lunch is served in the dining room that is shaded by Tamboti trees. Late afternoons enjoy a high tea before embarking on the evening game viewing activity.
Evening game drives are a special benefit you receive at this lodge, as you navigate through the empty paths of the Kruger for sightings of the nocturnal wildlife. Back at the lodge, you will enjoy a warm and delicious meal and post-dinner drinks before retiring for the night. For a spectacular night under the stars, enquire about the optional sleepout, in which you will enjoy an overnight stay in the wild on a raised platform that overlooks the waterhole.
Situated in a private concession within the Kruger National Park, Plains Camp overlooks the vast plains and an active waterhole. Settle in, then set out on a discovery of the camp's boundaries and beyond in a guided walking safari. The 3 - 4 hour walk is the opportune time to encounter the smaller facets of the bush - from flora, to insects, to small mammals and a variety of birds.
Alternatively, a game drive in a specialized safari vehicle will lead you to exhilarating sightings of the larger mammal species, such as zebra, elephant, giraffe and many others. Back at the lodge, indulge in sundowners before enjoying a unique indoor or outdoor seating for a delicious dinner. Afterwards, spend some time around a campfire as you reminisce on your safari adventures. An early night's rest would be a good idea as tomorrow will be a day of adventure.
A wakeup call and a hot drink will signal the start of your day. An early morning walking safari will last for about 3 hours and end in a scrumptious brunch. Depart from the lodge in a road transfer to Nelspruit, where you will board a flight from the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to Durban Airport. Upon landing, you will be met by a representative and transported to Fairmont Zimbali Lodge on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast.
This part of the Indian Ocean coast is known for its large populations of bottlenose dolphins, hence its name - the Dolphin Coast. The lodge is nestled in a coastal forest reserve, promising breathtaking views and a tranquil ambience. Whether you prefer to unwind in the lodge's many facilities, or explore the areas surrounding the lodge, your day in the forest is sure to leave you feeling rejuvenated. Swim, play tennis or a round of golf, relax by the beach or lake, enjoy walks and bird and butterfly watching, and be pampered by optional spa treatments.
Activities offered nearby include mountain biking, guided forest walks, cultural tours, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing tours, as well as dolphin cruises. After a day of adventure, return to the lodge for supper which is offered in an option of restaurants. Try traditional South African cuisine or opt for a classic international dish before enjoying post-dinner drinks by the fireplace or outside by the pool.
A 3 hour self-drive will take you to Thonga Beach Lodge on Mabibi Beach in KwaZulu-Natal for a 4 night stay in a thatched suite. Mabibi is the ideal location for scuba diving, a highly recommended activity. A comprehensive range of scuba diving courses are offered at the lodge, for both beginners and advanced divers. Explore the coral reefs and the abundant display of fish in the Indian Ocean.
Other ocean-based activities include snorkeling and boat rides that offer an opportunity to swim with dolphins, whales, manta rays and the great whale sharks. Guided walks along the coastal dune forests will appeal to keen photographers and birdwatchers. Cultural visits to the Tsonga homesteads will take you into the daily lives of the locals, while turtle tracking allows for exciting wildlife encounters.
Evening beach walks between November and February will allow you an up-close view of the endangered Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles. A visit to Lake Sibaya, Southern Africa's largest freshwater lake, will grant you encounters with the diversity of fauna and flora via guided walks or kayaking excursions. Catch and release fishing is allowed on the Maputaland coastline, and optional deep sea fishing trips can be arranged by the lodge. For a tranquil pampering session, choose from a selection of optional spa treatments. Evenings can be spent at your own leisure, after enjoying a freshly prepared dinner.