KwaZulu-Natal 14-day Self-Drive Tour
This is an extremely exciting tour of this province of South Africa and affords you the opportunity to experience Big 5 wildlife in Africa’s oldest game park, a boat cruise up Africa’s largest estuarine river system laden with crocs and hippos, a majestic mountain range to explore, stunning white sand beaches fringing the warm Indian Ocean, and historical battle sites as British and Zulu took to arms towards the end of the 19th Century.
Furthermore, culturally you will experience the life of the Zulu people, South Africa’s largest tribal group, the flavors and smells of Indian traders in Durban, and the incredibly beautiful arts and crafts of the local people. To round off, you will be treated to some phenomenal cuisine, ranging from traditional Zulu food to western style gourmet restaurants, and offered some of the country’s rich array of locally produced wines and beers. This is a truly wholesome tour, leisurely paced and, mostly importantly, exceptionally well organized and arranged for your convenience. Do come and enjoy this enriching South Africa experience.
Day 1: Durban – City of Sun and Sea
On arrival at Durban International airport head straight for Avis Car Hire’s Preferred Customer counter to pick up your pre-booked saloon hire car which comes with unlimited mileage usage, air conditioning and maximum (100%) insurance cover. Drive to your 4 star hotel, the Edward, the grand old dame of Durban’s famous beach front establishments built in 1909 and exuding Victorian elegance. After lunch take a leisurely drive through the historic city of Durban or simply take a walk along the famous “Golden Mile”, Durban’s own Marine Parade.
motor car 4 Star hotel accommodation breakfast
Day 2: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Big 5 Game Park
After breakfast drive to Africa’s oldest Big Five game reserve, drive time approx two hours. Your pre-booked accommodation at the wonderful Hilltop Camp within the reserve’s boundaries is on a self catering basis. Self drive through the park to take in the marvelous natural attractions, hopefully seeing a few of the Big 5. The Park offers a wonderful restaurant and bar should you opt not to Barbeque under African skies.
game park guest lodge breakfast
Day 3: St Lucia Wetlands World Heritage Site
Depart on a pre-booked pre-dawn open safari vehicle game drive of approximately three hours before returning to Hilltop camp for breakfast. Leave mid morning for your 1 hour drive to the World Heritage site Isimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly St Lucia) where you check into your pre-booked three star Protea Hotel. Your pre-booked two hour boat safari departs from the local jetty mid afternoon for a truly memorable experience which will guarantee you close up views of hippo and crocs as well as numerous bird species. Fine restaurants will round off a memorable day.
3 hour game drive 3 star hotel 2 hour boat safari
Day 4: Shakaland Zulu Country
After your hotel breakfast you can laze around St Lucia before heading off to Shakaland near the town of Eshowe, a two hour drive to this interesting cultural village where you will have lunch. Your pre-booked two hour cultural tour kicks off late afternoon during which you will learn about the history of the Zulu people, their homesteads, how they make grass mats, beaded ornaments, traditional clothes and more. A visit to a traditional medicinal healer, a spiritualist, as well as the sharing of a gourd of traditional beer with the homestead chief is all part of the experience. A magnificent buffet dinner full of Zulu treats then awaits you ahead of an unforgettable, moving Zulu dance program to round off your evening. Tonight you bed down in your luxurious Zulu bee-hive style chalet at Shakaland.
breakfast 2 hour Zulu culture tour traditional Zulu dinner 3 Star Zulu bee-hive chalet/hut
Day 5: Anglo-Zulu Battle Route – Isandlwana
After a hearty breakfast your Zulu dawn kicks off with the second part of your culture tour, finishing late morning. A leisurely 2 hour drive though the heart of Zululand’s rolling hills brings you to the iconic Anglo-Zulu battle sites of Isandlwana and Rorke’s drift. This afternoon you join a highly experienced guide who will relive with you the dramatic and tragic events of 1879 when virtually the entire British troop force of 1,200 men, milling in the area with the aim of deposing the Zulu king Cetswayo, are surprise attacked at camp resulting is nearly all dead. Spend the evening at a wonderful guest lodge.
Breakfast 2 hour Zulu culture tour guest lodge
Day 6: Anglo-Zulu Battle Route – Rorke’s Drift
After breakfast you depart for Rorke’s Drift, the last outpost of Isandlwana’s survivors. Here 139 British troops, mostly evacuees from Isandlwana, fortified themselves in the hospital mission station at Rorke’s Drift. Here they held fort while around 4,500 Zulu warriors attacked the fortress over several hours. Relive the drama that resulted in Queen Victoria awarding 10 Victoria Crosses for bravery. Overnight at your comfortable 3 Star friendly guest lodge.
breakfast guest lodge
Day 7 Drakensberg Mountains – Cathedral Peak
After breakfast a beautiful two and a half hour drive takes you to the foothills of the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains. En route stop off at a candle factory and rug maker before climbing through traditional African farm lands to reach your fabulous three star Cathedral Peak hotel. Afternoon at leisure either at the swimming pool with fabulous views, or play badminton or volleyball in the age old gardens or simply take a leisurely stroll along one of many well signposted walks. A magnificent meal awaits you in the grand old dining room of this historic hotel.
breakfast 3 star Cathedral peak hotel buffet dinner
Day 8: Drakensberg Mountains – Cathedral Peak
Today is at your leisure to soak in the mountain atmosphere. You can request a lunch pack and head off on a walk into the magnificent beauty of this mountain range, or simply take in the fresh air, read a book and relax at the bar with a sunset martini. Dinner is again included.
Day 9: Midlands – Nottingham Road
A two hour drive gets you onto the Midlands Meander route where you will spend the next two days relaxing in the warm atmosphere of this popular route with its array of arts and crafts shops, restaurants, pubs and natural scenery. Starting at Mooi River you head for Nottingham Road and casually “meander” down to the town of Howick by late afternoon where you check into your 3* guest lodge for the night.
breakfast guest lodge
Day 10: Midlands – Howick Falls
After breakfast start the day with a visit to the Howick Falls. You can also take in additional monuments, potteries, galleries, farms and spas that you may have missed the day before. Depart early afternoon for a two hour drive to the beautiful beach holiday hamlet of Ramsgate. A fabulous drive lies in store as you hug the stunning coastal stretch that lies south of Durban and dotted with traditional Zulu homesteads and sugar cane fields. Arrive at your luxury beach fronting apartment, after which an array of fine restaurants will round off a memorable day.
Day 11: Beach and Sun in Ramsgate
Today you are free to simply soak up the run on this internationally recognized Blue Flag beach or stroll along the endless line of coves offering up rock pools, tidal pools and generally beautiful scenery.
Day 12: Beach and Sun in Ramsgate
More of the same today, grab your beach mat, umbrella, bat and ball and set off for another great day on the beach. Additional recreational activities abound in the area for additional fun including deep sea fishing trips and whale watching safaris. The choice is yours.
Day 13 Durban – Marine Experience
After breakfast you can take a leisurely drive to Durban. Spend lunch at one of the fabulous restaurants at Ushaka Marine World before exploring the brilliant layout of this marine centre including the third largest aquarium in the world and seal and dolphin exhibitions. Alternatively, don a diving bubble and go diving with the sharks. Either way this will be a fun day. Evening at your leisure at your Edward hotel.
Day 14: Durban – Durban Shopping
After breakfast jump on a cab or drive yourself to the Indian market in downtown Durban, a truly exhilarating experience as the flavors, aromas and sights of South Africa’s large Indian population fill your senses. Last minute gift shopping opportunities abound. After lunch set course for Durban International airport where you will deliver your car back to Avis and set course for your homeward journey. Bon Voyage!