Bush, Beach & Battlefields Tour - 11 Days Ÿ Can be customised
A good all-round tour experience that takes in some of the best highlights South Africa has to offer: game viewing in the famous Kruger National Park by open vehicle safaris and night game drives, exploring the waterways of Isimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetlands World Heritage Site; enjoying pristine beaches with excellent scuba, snorkelling, whale and dolphin watching and seasonal turtle watching; absorbing the Zulu culture and impressive history of the KwaZulu-Natal battlefields.
* Bush, Beach & Battlefields Tour - 11 Days Highlights
- ∞Exploring Kruger National Park and private concession by open safari vehicle with expert guides
- ∞Excellent game viewing and birdwatching in a variety of biomes
- ∞Sundowners and night drives within Kruger
- ∞Loggerhead turtle walks and drives nights (seasonal)
- ∞Guided snorkellng and scuba diving in pristine, sub-tropical waters
- ∞Ocean boats for dolphin and whale watching (seasonal)
- ∞Exploring waterways of Kosi Lakes by canoe
- ∞Anglo-Zulu War Battlefields Tours
- ∞Zulu Homestead and cultural village tours
Day 1 – Day 3: Rhino Post, Kruger National Park
Arrive early afternoon at Rhino Post Safari Lodge and relax before you enjoy a delicious high tea, after which you’ll depart on your first game drive, exploring this 12,000 hectare private concession inside the Kruger National Park. Rhino Post is not far from Skukuza Rest Camp and it shares a boundary with Mala Mala in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. There are no fences and game can move freely within this game rich, diverse area.
Rhino Post is on the banks of a dry river bed and is made from natural local materials like stone, wood, thatch and canvas. The units are en-suite with a romantic outdoor shower. Raised walkways linking the units to the main lodge and animals often move about freely underneath.
Unlike in Kruger Park, Rhino Post game drives can extend into the evenings, stopping for sundowners along the way.
You’ll spend your days up early for coffee/tea and muffins before heading out on an early game drive. Then back to the lodge for a hearty brunch and some leisure time - swim, watch game come down to the waterhole, read some books or enjoy a siesta. After high tea, you’ll set out for the afternoon/evening game drive, returning to enjoy dinner under the stars and chat about the day’s events. An optional extra is to pre-arrange a picnic lunch so that you can spend the entire day out game viewing in one of the most diverse game-viewing areas on Earth!
Day 4: Reilly’s Rock, Swaziland
After breakfast, you’ll leave Rhino Post and drive south through Kruger Park, game driving all the way. Exiting the park, you’ll cross into Swaziland to Reilly’s Rock, an historic homestead situated on a hill within Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, not far from the capital, Mbabane. The lodge offers breath-taking views of the valley below and you’re likely to spot herds of wildebeest, impala, zebra and blesbok. It’s a tranquil space with lovely secluded gardens, ideal to rest before embarking on the next leg of your journey.
Day 5 - 6: Kosi Forest Lodge, Isimangaliso Wetland Park
Following an early breakfast, you’ll continue south through Swaziland, re-entering South Africa and passing Jozini Dam to the small town of Manguzi, where you’ll be met by a Kosi representative who will take you to Kosi Forest Lodge in a 4WD vehicle. This 16-bed wilderness lodge offers you the unique opportunity to explore this pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoe and boat. Birdlife is prolific and you’ll wake to their sounds of their calls. Armed with the daily weather report, you’ll be able to decide your day’s adventures over a hearty breakfast. One of the many highlights is the canoe trip on the lakes which is best in the early morning and lasts around two hours, taking in some of the beautiful, tranquil surrounds.
Returning to the lodge for a delicious lunch and siesta, you’ll set out later for your afternoon activity, for example, a walk through the magnificent Raffia Palms -the tallest in the world! If you’re lucky, you’ll spot the palm-nut vulture and Pel’s fishing owl.
When you get back to the lodge, you’ll have time to freshen-up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner either on the main deck or under the night skies. At night, the lodge and its pathways are lit by romantic lanterns (there’s no electricity) which adds to the charm of Kosi.
The Kosi Lakes are a series of interconnected lakes which stretch over some 18km. The best way to experience them is by boat. A full-day excursion takes you through its myriad estuarine waterways. Guides will stop to explain the traditional fishing traps and cultures of the local Tsonga community. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch on the beach and have time to swim in the warm, azure waters.
One of the most popular features of Kosi Forest Lodge are the quaint outdoor reed-enclosed bathrooms!
Days 7 - 8: Thonga Beach Lodge, Isimangaliso Wetland Park
After your morning activity, you’ll leave Kosi and be returned to Manguzi. Driving south for an hour will bring you to the Coastal Forest Reserve and Cashew Factory where you’ll be met by a Thonga representative, who’ll transfer you to Thonga Beach Lodge, another hour’s drive.
Thonga is set in the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the Isimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This hideaway lodge is perfect for exploring the unspoilt, undeveloped pristine beaches. There are tranquil swimming bays with sandy beaches and warm, semi-tropical waters; snorkelling reefs; coastal forests; sprawling grasslands and natural bushveld, lakes and river systems. There’s also superb off-shore scuba diving and you can do both refresher and full diving courses at the lodge (additional charge), as well as hire full scuba equipment.
The 12 suites are island-style with en-suite bathrooms and both indoor and outdoor showers. They sit gently on the surrounding coastal dunes with minimal impact on this eco-sensitive area.
You’ll spend the next few days enjoying sundowners and meals served on the shady deck; guided snorkelling; seasonal turtle drives and walks; kayaking; trips to Lake Sibaya; scuba diving - courses are offered and all levels are catered for: from beginners to experts; ocean boat trips for dolphin and whale watching; Tsonga cultural tours and forest walks. Or you can just simply relax and enjoy some of the superb spa treatments on offer.
Days 9 - 10: Isibindi Zulu Lodge, Battlefields, KwaZulu Natal
After an early breakfast, you’ll return to the collection point to start your journey to iSibindi Zulu Lodge. The trip will take most part of the day, especially if you do a detour via Hluhluwe-iMfolosi National Park.
You should arrive at iSibindi Zulu late afternoon, where you’ll enjoy a traditional welcome and home-cooked meal in the cosy farmhouse before retiring for the day.
The next day, you can choose to enjoy a Battlefields Tour to the Anglo-Zulu sites of Isandlwana & Rorke’s Drift with a local historian or be taken on a Zulu Homestead visit to enjoy an authentic Zulu cultural experience. Or you can simply relax at the lodge and go for a game walk or drive on the eco-reserve. If the weather is warm, you can take a picnic lunch to enjoy on the banks of the iSibindi River.
There’s abundant plains game (zebra, giraffe, wildebeest, many varieties of buck) on the reserve and morning and evening game drives are offered. As there are no large predators, it’s safe to take a walk through this scenic reserve.
There are only 6 units (12 beds) in this peaceful, bushveld retreat. The accommodation is modelled on traditional Zulu bee-hive huts and the area is rich with local Zulu culture. At night, you’ll enjoy drumming, singing and traditional dancing mixed with story-telling – often a profound experience.
Day 11: Tour ends
Sadly, after a hearty breakfast, it’s time to say farewell and continue on your travels; leaving with memories and new experiences and hopefully, new friendships that you’ll treasure for life.
This tour is based on self-drive between the lodges and will cost you between US$2100 and US$2420 per person sharing (based on exchange rates for March 2015) for the accommodation, meals and activities as specified. Road transfers can be arranged if necessary. Please talk to us about your particular preferences and which activities you'd like to include and we'll give you a comprehensive, fully detailed quotation. There are no hidden extras or unexpected surprises. Our quotations are surprisingly detailed and let you know exactly what's involved.
- ∞Rhino Post Safari Lodge – 3 nights’ accommodation, all meals, teas & coffees, 2 game drives daily
- ∞Reilly’s Rock - 1 night’s accommodation, dinner & breakfast only
- ∞Kosi Forest Lodge -2 nights’ accommodation, all meals, teas & coffees, guided walk in raffia forest, guided canoe trip, Kosi sunset experience.
- ∞Thonga Beach Lodge -2 nights’ accommodation in forest view room, all meals, teas & coffees, use of snorkelling equipment, guided walks, cultural tours, kayaking and sundowners on Lake Sibaya, nightly turtle walks (in season).
- ∞Isibindi Zulu Lodge - 2 nights’ accommodation, all meals, teas & coffees, one game walk or drive daily, Zulu Boma dinner
- xAll drinks at lodges
- xAny additional activities
- xThonga: spa treatments, scuba diving, Open Ocean experience, dive equipment hire, turtle tracking by vehicle.
- xKosi: full day boat trip, Kosi mouth trip.
- xIsibindi: Battlefield Tour, Homestead visit
- xItems of a personal nature
- xAll park fees
- x 4x4 transfers
- xTransport not specified