|Guided Safaris is Independently Marketed by Far and Wild Safaris cc|
Durban to Durban
KwaZulu-Natal, South African
Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1: St. Lucia
This morning we collect you after breakfast from your overnight accommodation in Durban (or from the King Shaka International Airport) and travel along the Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, arriving in time for lunch in St. Lucia. We will check into our overnight accommodation and then visit the Eastern Shores of Lake St. Lucia, heading to Cape Vidal, game viewing all the while. After a visit to the beach we would continue the circular route for a game drive before returning to our lodge. Animals that may be seen here include kudu, reedbuck, zebra, waterbuck and other antelope species, black and white rhino, elephant and on the odd occasion, leopard.
We will overnight at Lidiko Lodge (or similar).
|iSimangaliso Wetland Park, St. Lucia|
|Lidiko Lodge, St. Lucia|
Day 2: St. Lucia – Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park
This morning we will board a boat for a two-hour cruise on the lake in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are guaranteed to see hippos, with a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and a vast array of birdlife.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has both one of the largest estuary systems in Africa and the continent's southernmost coral reefs. In granting it World Heritage status in 1999, the World Heritage Committee noted the park's "exceptional biodiversity, including some 521 bird species". Situated on the central Zululand coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the park is made up of 13 adjoining protected areas with a total size of 234 566 hectares. Its remarkable biodiversity is a result of the park's location between subtropical and tropical Africa, as well as its coastal setting. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has its origins in the St Lucia Game Reserve, declared in 1895 and made up of the large lake and its islands. St Lucia Park was proclaimed in 1939, containing land around the estuary and a strip of about one kilometre around most of the lake shore.
After our two-hour cruise on the lake and lunch we make our way directly to the “big 5” Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park where we spend one night at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in a chalet, each with its own private bathroom/washbasin and toilet. These chalets are also equipped with a fridge.
Upon entering the gates into the park, our game viewing commences immediately.
This evening we go on a sunset drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this reserve. This is to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the owls and nightjars.
Dinner is served after your return from the sunset drive.
Day 3: Hilltop CampToday will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon one of the predators returning to their day-time lair. Set in the heart of Zululand, this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and put in place the first conservation laws, where today the "big five" of African legend stalk the verdant savannah. Established in 1895, game viewing is the prime attraction.
|Hilltop Camp, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park|
Day 4: Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Park - Mkhuze
This morning we continue with another game drive in this park and enjoy lunch here.
After lunch we depart for the Ghost Mountain Inn in Mkuze where we overnight, arriving in the late afternoon. At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain lies the GhostMountain Inn, a perfect setting for taking time out to relax and experience the charms of Africa in comfort and style. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to enjoy.
Day 5 – Mkuze – Ithala Game Reserve
This morning after breakfast we make our way to the nearby Mkuze Game Reserve.
A place of great beauty and high contrasts, Mkhuze is renowned as a mecca for bird lovers, with more than 420 bird species on record. The reserve has an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its eastern boundary, to broad stretches of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. Mkhuze Game Reserve constitutes the north-western spur of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a recently declared World Heritage Site. Animals to be found in the reserve include black and white rhinoceros, elephant, giraffe, leopard, lion, buffalo, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring are cheetah, hyena and suni. Visitors may enjoy excellent animal and bird sightings from the hides in the reserve, especially during the dry months.
We then make our way to the Itala Game Reserve. This magnificent reserve, tumbling from the heights of the Ngotshe Mountains a thousand meters down into a deep valley, carved over the eons by the Phongolo River revealing the world's oldest rock formations, is a game viewers paradise. It is situated in the rugged, mountainous thornveld of northern KwaZulu-Natal, the reserve's multitude of habitats host a spectacular array of wildlife species. Its scenic beauty aside, Ithala's most characteristic feature is perhaps its astonishing geological diversity. Some of the oldest rock formations in the world are found here, dating back 3 000 million years. With a topographic profile varying from 400m above sea level in the north to 1 450m near Louwsberg in the south, Ithala's terrain extends over lowveld and densely vegetated riverine valleys to high-lying grassland plateaus, ridges and cliff faces.
|Ghost Mountain Inn, Mkuze|
|Ntshondwe Camp, Itala Game Reserve|