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KKwaZulu-Natal is the ideal location for a two week self-drive holiday in South Africa. This particular province offers a range of experiences – from hiking through the spectacular Drakensberg Mountains to learning about the Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu battles. There are also a range of national parks and private game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal for those clients whishing to add on a safari element to their trip.
Day 1: Depart UK/Ireland for your flight to Durban. There are direct flight options from London. Alternatively, connect via the Middle East or Johannesburg.
Day 2: Book your client a hire car which can be collected from the airport after landing. South Africa has the largest population of people of Indian descent, outside of India and this is evident in the spices used in local cuisine throughout the country. We recommend having lunch at House of Curries in Durban to sample some outstanding bunny chow (a local traditional dish of hollowed bread loafs filled with curry), before heading to the hotel to check in.
Day 3: Check out after breakfast and drive for 90 minutes to an area known as The Midlands which is not only famous for it’s undeniable beauty, but also as the Nelson Mandela Capture Site which is the spot where Nelson Mandela was captured in 1962, before commencing what would be 27 years imprisonment. Today, the site has an internationally recognised sculpture as tribute to Nelson Mandela and a visitors center which are both definitely worth a visit to. Check in to your hotel before taking your car and exploring the quirky coffee shops and galleries found within this area.
DDays 4 – 6: Depart after breakfast and drive to the Drakensberg – there are various accommodation options in this area and the length of drive will depend on which part of the Drakensberg you book your clients to stay in. Your clients can then check in and have lunch at their hotel. Book at least one activity per day for your clients’ time in the Drakensberg – the mountains are a paradise for active holidaymakers who are spoilt with a mix of hiking trails, zip-lining, horse-back safaris, canoeing, white water rafting and abseiling, whilst the more relaxed adventurer can enjoy fishing, golf, birding or an easier walk through the mountains.
DDays 7 – 8: Leave after an early breakfast for a four drive to the Battlefields. This area is particularly well known as the site of the Anglo-Boer and Anglo-Zulu battles. Take an afternoon tour of the Isandlwala battlefield where the Zulus scored one of his most famous victories, then tour Rorke’s Drift battlefield the next morning. Tours take about three hours and are guided by passionate local historians who roll back the centuries with vivid storytelling and expert knowledge.
DDay 9: Depart the Battlefields and head to the national park or private game reserve. We would recommend stays at Thanda or Phinda reserves as these are fully guided safari options. Arrive in time for lunch before checking in and enjoying your first afternoon game drive.
Days 10 – 11: Your safari experience is led by expert rangers who have spent many years learning and studying the various wildlife, birdlife and nature in the bush. Traditionally game drives are offered twice a day and last about three hours each. The safari schedule can be tiring, but all within reason – most predators are nocturnal and hunt their prey during the night, therefore most of the activities are scheduled during these hours in order to see the wildlife when they are most active. Dinners in the evenings are often enjoyed under the stars around a campfire, where guests discuss their wildlife highlights of the day.
A typical day on safari:
04h30 – 05h00 – Wake up call
05h30 – 08h30 – Coffee followed by morning game drive
09h00 – 10h00 – Breakfast at the lodge
13h00 – Lunch
15h00 – Tea before afternoon game drive
15h30 – 18h30 – Afternoon /evening game drive
19h00 – 21h00 – Dinner
DDays 12 – 14: Enjoy one last morning game drive and then drive back to Durban for a couple of days relaxation before heading back to the UK/Ireland. Look to book stays at either the coastal towns of Ballito or Umhlanga Rocks. Leave your clients free time on these last few days, an opportunity to relax before the holiday comes to a close.
Day 15: Head home – your client will likely need to return their car full of fuel at the airport, so ensure that they are aware of this.
DDownload the itinerary here.