Garden Province of Kwazulunatal
A subtropical coastline of wildlife-rich estuaries, an interior of sweeping Tolkienesque mountains, immersion into the fascinating Zulu culture - South Africa’s Garden Province offers travel experiences by the bucketload. We’ll circumnavigate the region from Durban, with the chance to encounter the Big Five, learn about Zulu history from locals and spot migrating whales along the way.
13 nights from £3159pp
Call us on 01756 706505 (+44 1756 706505) to discuss this holiday
Plus, there’ll be a thrilling 4WD voyage into Lesotho (bring your passport), where you’ll enjoy lunch at the highest pub in Africa
The Garden Province of KwaZulu-Natal with Lesotho Itinerary
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your flight to Durban.
This morning we arrive into Durban and transfer along the coast to start your holiday in a beautiful, relaxing resort - the Selborne Golf Estate Hotel & Spa (4T) on the edge of the quaint resort of Pennington, or the Cutty Sark Hotel (4T), overlooking the beach in Scottburgh. There will be time to settle in before dinner this evening.
After a leisurely morning to explore your tranquil surroundings, enjoy an afternoon tour to the Oribi Gorge. This wonderfully scenic nature reserve of cliffs and forests is home to many antelope, leopards and baboons. Whilst enjoying spectacular views of the gorge, you will also see some of the innumerable birds here - there are five species of kingfisher and seven species of eagle alone.
A very beautiful drive takes us inland to the vast World Heritage Site of the southern Drakensberg. JRR Tolkien was raised here, and the dramatic scenery provided inspiration for his Lord of the Rings books. En route we have a unique opportunity to experience local life and hear local stories over a home cooked meal on a family-run dairy farm. We arrive in Underberg late afternoon, and check in to the Premier Resort Sani Pass (3T+), set within the amazing Drakensberg Mountains.
Travel in 4WD vehicles on an exciting adventure up the famous Sani Pass, zigzagging our way up into the clouds. The gravel track averages a gradient of 1:20, but can be as steep as 1:3. The tallest mountains in this vast wilderness mark the border of Lesotho and South Africa (your passport will be required when we cross the border). This independent state lies entirely above 1,000 metres in elevation and many villages can only be reached on foot or horseback. This adventure gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn about the Basotho people and lunch will be served at the highest pub in Africa, the House of Makhotso, sitting 2,876m above sea level, before descending back to the hotel.
Enjoy another scenic drive to Howick Falls, a 95-metre cascade named by the Zulu people as KwaNogqaza, meaning ‘Place of the Tall One’. There will be time here to take a lovely stroll, do a little craft shopping and enjoy a snack before we progress to Isandlwana. We stay at Isandlwana Lodge (3T+), built into the rock face overlooking the site of the famous battle between the British and the 24,000-strong Zulu army on 22 January 1879.
In 1879, over 15,000 British troops invaded the independent nation of Zululand in a series of battles known as the Anglo-Zulu War. The Zulu force far outnumbered the British but the persistent attacks took their toll. Today we learn about the battles of Isandlwana, where the Zulus took no prisoners, and Rorke’s Drift, the site of a hastily constructed fort where the British found revenge with rifles and bayonets - a site made notable in the 1964 film ‘Zulu’. Your expert guide will retell these great emotional encounters as you visit each site.
Leaving the battlefields behind, our tour leads us on to yet more amazing experiences. We’ll travel through Umfolozi Game Reserve looking out for wildlife, before we reach Amakhosi Private Game Reserve in northern KwaZulu-Natal, boasting a variety of ecosystems and subsequent wildlife. We check in at the Amakhosi Safari Lodge (4T) or similar, in time for high tea, and then enjoy our first game drive in search of the Big Five!
Two game drives today (one early morning) give you a great opportunity to see the magic of the African bushveld. The spectacular landscape takes in 6,000 hectares of rugged mountains and flourishing savannah, forest and wetlands. Perhaps you will experience a close encounter with a pride of lions and herds of elephants, or glimpse an elusive leopard; as well as spot a few of the 400 bird species that inhabit the trees and skies.
After an early morning game drive to watch the park wake with the sun, enjoy a relaxed breakfast and board our coach as our journey continues to the next World Heritage Site - St Lucia. The town sits on the edge of iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the largest protected wetland in southern Africa. It also marks the start of the Elephant Coast, named after the country’s largest herd of indigenous African elephants, which have roamed the forests for centuries. This incredible stretch of untamed land also supports the Big Five, most notably the white rhino which was saved from extinction here. We arrive late this afternoon and settle into the Elephant Lake Hotel (3T), on the shores of the St Lucia Estuary.
Take a morning to enjoy a walk through this lovely village, haggle over fresh produce and traditional Zulu crafts at the characterful market, and stroll along the idyllic beach and sand dunes. For the afternoon, an exciting boat cruise is planned to discover one of the largest estuaries in Africa. The vast St Lucia Estuary is home to the country’s largest population of crocodiles and hippos, plus bull sharks, fish, amphibians and wonderful birdlife.
Today is a free day to enjoy your incredible surroundings, with the option of an additional excursion to Cape Vidal. This offers a lovely game drive as well as a visit to the beautiful Cape Vidal beach. In the winter months you may see humpback whales as they migrate up the east coast of South Africa, while in summer, leatherback and loggerhead sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs.
We transfer to Durban airport for your return flight to the UK.
Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
- International and internal flights (when applicable)
- VIP door-to-door travel service
- Selected meals
- Excursions as noted
- Services of a Titan tour manager
- Airport/port taxes