An outing to Phezulu Safari Park presents a handful of options for the first-time visitor to South Africa. From a game drive to a traditional Zulu village experience – and seeing some of the country's most fearsome reptiles – this is a great introduction to Africa.

Did you know?

Phezulu Safari Park is home to a 102-year-old Nile crocodile named Junior.

Set in the rolling hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Phezulu Safari Park is an all-in-one destination that offers visitors an appealing slice of Africa.

Depending on your preference, a day at Phezulu might include a 4x4 game drive, a traditional Zulu village experience, a live crocodile show, snake viewing and stopping off to enjoy the spectacular scenery at various vantage points.

The hour-long game drive takes in a region that is home to wildebeest, impala, bushbuck, duiker, bush pig, caracal, blesbok, zebra and giraffe. An added bonus is having a local sangoma (traditional African healer) sharing his knowledge of medicinal plants found in the area.

Knowledgeable guides conduct tours of the crocodile and snake park, where they educate visitors on the behaviour of these amazing reptiles. Don’t miss out on a chance to meet Cleo, a 3.2m Burmese python that weighs 42kg.

Snakes housed at Phezulu include endemic African rock pythons, the highly venomous green and black mambas, vine snakes, puff adders, spitting cobras, forest cobras, Egyptian cobras, bush snakes, night adders and some exotic specimens such as the anaconda and boa constrictor.

Get in to the rhythm of Africa at Phezulu village, home to the Gasa clan for the past three decades. Visitors are taken into traditional beehive-shaped thatched huts, where Zulu cultural beliefs and rituals are explained.

An explosive Zulu dancing show follows, with dancers in traditional skins demonstrating their agility and athleticism – a great photo opportunity.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Phezulu Safari Park
Tel: +27 (0)31 777 1000/1464

How to get here

From Durban take the N3 toward Pietermaritzburg. Go through the Mariannhill toll plaza. Take the Assagay/Shongweni/Hillcrest off ramp to the left. At the first stop street turn right into Kassier Road over the N3. At T-Junction turn left on to Old Main Road (R103). Phezulu Safari Park is approx. 7km down the road.

Best time to visit

Show times at Phezulu are at 10am, 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm daily.

Where to stay

Self-catering thatched cottages overlooking the Valley of a Thousand Hills sleep between two and six people.

What to eat

The Boma Restaurant offers a fairly wide menu that includes traditional meals such as isishebo (beef stew cooked in a cast-iron pot over a fire), ostrich burgers and bunny chow (curry served in a hollowed-out half loaf of bread).

Best buys

Many African curios, leather goods and trinkets are sold at Phezulu Safari Park.

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