Culture, Coast & Safari

This trip is perfect for those looking to combine a bit of everything! After a day in the city of Durban, you will embark on a safari expedition to KwaZulu-Natal, home to the Zulu tribe for close on 200 years, founded by the famed - and feared - King Shaka. It is rich in Zulu culture and history, and the many game reserves that are found there occupy what was once Royal Hunting Grounds. Diverse in scenery, it marries water and land safari activities, from the estuarine lake system of Isimangaliso (a World Heritage Site) to the broader expanses of Lake Jozini and the marine reserves along the coast. On a range of various adventures, you will enjoy wildlife encounters, game drive and incredible experiences, before ending your trip with a rejuvenating escape the pristine paradise of Mozambique. The perfect ending to your Africa getaway!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg Arrival - Durban

Johannesburg Arrival - Durban
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Accommodation: Teremok Marine

Welcome to South Africa! Upon arrival at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, you will be met at the door of your aircraft by a local guide, holding a sign with your name on it. They will assist you through immigration, baggage collection and customs, before showing you to your onward international flight to Durban.

Upon arrival at King Shaka Airport, you will be transferred via private car to your local accommodation. Drive time is around 25 minutes to your accommodations located in Durban’s upmarket suburb of Umhlanga. (This service is on private basis.)

Durban

Durban's beautiful coast line and sandy beaches paired with it's subtropical climate makes it a great destination on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. The city provides visitors with a unique set of experiences that go from the beach and into the heart of Durban’s diverse culture, urban lifestyle and scenic diversity. The city of Durban is also a great location to enjoy the surrounding natural beauties.

Day 2: Durban - iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Durban - iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Half Day City Tour
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: Makakatana Bay Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Half Day City Tour

Today, you will experience South Africa’s third-largest city on a private exploration. Your day begins with a visit to one of the prime viewpoints in one of the oldest suburbs of this once British colony where you will get your bearings. Next, you will then head into the city center to explore one of the oldest and most culturally diverse areas.

With Durban having the largest Indian community outside of India, it’s no surprise that they have played a huge role in the character and architecture of the city and the narrow lanes and arcades around Grey Street are a vibrant collection of trading stores featuring colourful fabric, beads and homewares. The newer African immigrant populations have also established businesses with Ghanaian, Mozambican and Nigerian shops sitting alongside their local counterparts. A visit to the Victoria Street Market with its spices, arts and crafts as well as the nearby traditional herbal market will overwhelm the senses and it’s a great way to interact with the locals and practice your bartering skills.

Finally, you will end with a drive along the famous ‘Golden Mile’ where the locals flock to make use of the safe swimming beaches and the promenade, which stretches from the harbour to the mouth of the Umgeni River, passing the famous World Cup soccer stadium en-route. (This service is on a private basis.)

After visiting the highlights of Durban, you will depart the city to embark on your wild safari! You'll be met by your driver at your hotel in the afternoon who will then transfer you to the Makakatana Bay Lodge, surrounded by vast stretches of the wilderness and the wetlands. The drive will take approximately 2.5 hours. (This service is on a private basis.)

After you’ve settled into your room, your experienced guides will take you on an afternoon game drive (dependent on time of arrival) before enjoying a delicious dinner and an evening under the African stars.

Day 3: iSimangaliso Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lodge Activities
  • Accommodation: Makakatana Bay Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Lodge Activities

Makakatana Bay Lodge is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, one of the few natural wonders left on earth.T he conservation area was a 35,000 hectare lake with a 1km strip of land surrounding the lake. At a later stage other conservation areas were added. In 1999 UNESCO declared the lake and adjacent coastal areas a world heritage site. The 328,000 hectare reserve was South Africa’s first world heritage site and encompasses 5 five major ecological zones. Makakatana Bay Lodge remains the only privately owned lodge situated within this World Heritage Site.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park is home to vibrant wildlife in the game reserve, within Lake St. Lucia’s estuary and the glorious coastal beaches on the eastern shores of the park. Your stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge is designed around exploring this amazing sanctuary on an open game drive vehicle, on the private pontoon boat, and with your feet in the warm Indian Ocean. A typical day on safari, you will cruise along the narrows of Lake St. Lucia allowing you to experience the wildlife from a totally new perspective. Watch the resident hippo perform, set your binoculars on the reed birds, and enjoy the gentle breeze as you learn about the lake from the expert guides. Before your day ends, embark on one last spectacular night drive looking at the stars and searching for the leopard, hyena, porcupine and other nocturnal animals.

Your fully inclusive stay includes all meals, local brands drinks, morning game drive on day of departure (5am -8am), afternoon game drive on day of arrival and activities including game drives, boat trips and beach safaris.

Day 4: iSimangaliso Wetland Park - Pongola Game Reserve

iSimangaliso Wetland Park - Pongola Game Reserve
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: White Elephant Safari Lodge
  • Meals: B, D

Following an incredible time in the wetlands, you will be picked up by your driver for a transfer to the White Elephant Safari Lodge. The lodge is renown for their conservation practices as well as being excelusively located directly in the Pongola game reserve. Journey time of approximately 1.5 hours.

Upon arrival at the exclusive camp, you can make yourself at home and start enjoying the variety of iconic wildlife experiences. Adventure awaits! (This service is on a private basis.)

Day 5: Pongola Game Reserve

Pongola Game Reserve
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lodge Activities
  • Accommodation: White Elephant Safari Lodge
  • Meals: B, D

Lodge Activities

At the foot of the majestic Lebombo Mountains and the shimmering waters of Lake Jozini, you will find a special destination called White Elephant. It is a place with magic and soul inspired by a dream and created with passion. Located in the southern region of the 10,000-hectare Pongola Game Reserve in north eastern Zululand, the intimate lodge is set along the shores of Lake Jozini, White Elephant Safari Lodge overlooks the lake and savannah woodland and beyond to the western escarpment of the Lebombo Mountains.

Pongola Game Reserve, the first proclaimed game reserve in Africa, is host to four of the ‘Big 5’ species. Wildlife includes buffalo, elephant, rhino, leopard, hyena, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, 12 different antelope species, over 350 bird species and an interesting array of smaller mammal and insect life. Activities available at White Elephant Safari Lodge include guided morning and afternoon game drives, guided bush walks, elephanting, black rhino tracking, bird watching, fishing (catch and release), boating and canoeing. Elephanting is a unique activity offered at White Elephant Lodge offering an educational experience and an opportunity to spend time with the resident elephant researcher (prior notice is required to ensure her availability).

Your fully inclusive stay includes late breakfast, dinner, tea/coffee, activity drinks, afternoon high tea, juices, and 2 eco-activities per day (game drive, guided walk, boat cruise, tiger fishing, guided elephanting, black rhino tracking or canoeing - depending on weather conditions).

Day 6: Pongola Game Reserve - Phinda Private Game Reserve

Pongola Game Reserve - Phinda Private Game Reserve
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Internal Transfer
  • Accommodation: &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

We hope you thoroughly enjoyed your time chasing the wildlife on the private reserve! From here you'll head to a real gem in the jungle known as &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge. A true Luxury Eco lodge, you will explore both the forest and the grassland ecosystems of Africa in a truly exquisite lodge. Transfer time is approximately 1.5 hours. (This service is on a private basis.)

Days 7 - 8: Phinda Private Game Reserve

Phinda Private Game Reserve
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lodge Activities
  • Accommodation: &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Lodge Activities

Located in the Phinda Private Game Reserve, Phinda Forest Lodge is hidden within dense sand forests that overlook pristine natural bush. &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is renowned for its exceptional sightings of the elusive cheetah and the rare black rhino, as well as the Big Five. There is also a number of resident lion prides lurking in the area. The local rangers will do their best to ensure as many sightings as possible. Professionally trained guides will cater the experiences to learn your personal wildlife preferences and will do their best to see that your top requests are met. Whether it is tracking a particular species, or spending more time observing each sighting and getting to know the habits of the animals, the goal is for each guest to get the most out of their safari experience.

Adventure activities at Phinda Forest Lodge will include morning game drives, afternoon game drives and nature walks. Your fully inclusive rate covers all meals, local brand drinks, scheduled safari activities, 1 hour nature walk accompanied by experienced armed trackers (although subject to availability) and laundry services.

Day 9: Phinda Private Game Reserve - Vilanculos

Phinda Private Game Reserve - Vilanculos
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfers
  • Transportation (Air): Domestic Flight
  • Transportation (Air): International Flight
  • Accommodation: Santorini Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D
Domestic Flight
Zulu Nyala Airstrip - Kruger Mpumalanga
Flight #: Airlink SA8960
Departs: 10:00 AM
Arrives: 11:05 AM
International Flight
Kruger Mpumalanga - Vilanculos
Flight #: Airlink SA8258
Departs: 11:45 AM
Arrives: 12:55 PM

Following a truly wild and rugged experience in Africa thus far, the time has come to finish your safari circuit with a luxurious beach side getaway. Savor one last breakfast in the forest before being transferred by car to the Zulu Nyala airstrip for your flight to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport. From Mpumalanga, you will connect to your flight to Vilanculos, Mozambique.

Upon landing in Vilanculos, you will be greeted by a local representative and transferred to your beachside lodge. Nestled above the red cliffs of Kingfisher Bay in Vilanculos, Santorinis’ unfurling view of the archipelago islands and curling mainland in the distance is unsurpassable. Once you have checked in, don't waste any time enjoying your beautiful paradise setting!

Days 10 - 12: Vilanculos

Vilanculos
Daily Summary
  • Tour: Lodge Activities
  • Accommodation: Santorini Lodge
  • Meals: B, L, D

Lodge Activities

Villa Santorini is one of the most magnificent Mozambique private villas in Vilankulo. This Grecian-style lodge in all its dazzling whiteness, sits majestically on a private beach and offers a luxurious escape from reality. Spend your days basking in the beauty of your surroundings or taking full advantage of the the luxurious property.

Your fully inclusive stay covers all meals, local brand drinks, non-motorized activities, a guided tour of Vilankulo town & markets, a snorkeling trip with a scenic picnic lunch or a sunset cruise with refreshments and canapes, local airport transfers, Wi-Fi and laundry services. The activities at the resort include kayaks, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling from the beach, sand boarding, beach volleyball and beach cricket.

* Park fees of $15.00 per adult and $7.00 per child will be charged for each boat trip into the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. Payable locally and subject to change without prior warning

Day 13: Vilanculos Departure

Vilanculos Departure
Daily Summary
  • Transportation: Airport Transfer
  • Transportation (Air): International Flight
  • Meals: B
International Flight
Vilanculos - OR Tambo
Flight #: South African SA 8263
Departs: 1:25 PM
Arrives: 3:10 PM

It especially won't be easy to say goodbye to this pristine paradise, let alone Africa, in general. Although unfortunately, your journey must come to an end. However, you will be leaving with unforgettable memories and the experience of a lifetime! After checking out of your lodge, you will be transferred Vilanculos Airport for your flight to Johannesburg. (This service is on a private basis.)


Upon landing in the OR Tambo Airport, you will connect with your onward departure flight. We hope you had an incredible trip and we wish you safe and pleasant travels onward!

Accommodation

Teremok Marine

Teremok Marine

Serene, sophisticated and luxurious, Teremok Marine lies in a park-like setting in Durban’s upmarket suburb of Umhlanga. Eight individually designed suites are stylishly appointed and enjoy unique themes from the whimsical and romantic, to modern chic. Each suite has its own character, fragrance and mood, with details such as four-poster beds, sea views, a pastel palette or the heated colors of Africa. Some have crystal, ribbon and embroidered velvet embellishments adding a dash of glamour and romance. Exquisite central spaces invite guests to unwind, whether beside the fireplace, in a hammock, or soaking in the pool. Sumptuous breakfasts are enjoyed in the dining room, and a host of restaurants are a short drive away.

Makakatana Bay Lodge

Makakatana Bay Lodge

Surrounded by vast stretches of the wilderness and the wetlands of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, the Makakatana Bay Lodge is a luxury property in a spectacular destination. 8 spacious suites look out into dune forests, bush or vlei. Private viewing decks invite guests to soak up the tranquillity of the region, whilst keeping an eye out for the small animals which wander around. Makakatana décor is contemporary and makes use of natural woods, neutral colour and fibres which skilfully enhance the surrounds. The traditional main lodge, hidden within cool dune forests provides beautiful spaces for socialising, and includes a pool and bar on the lake edge and an outdoor dining area for candlelit meals.

White Elephant Safari Lodge

White Elephant Safari Lodge

White Elephant Safari Lodge captures the history and romance of a bygone era. The deep verandah, sweeping views and tranquil setting provide the venue for a unique African experience. Eight luxurious tented units provide a secluded retreat with classic colonial décor and sophisticated simplicity capturing the history and romance of a bygone era. With floor-to-ceiling tented flaps in the front and back, guests are immersed in the smells, sights and sounds of the African bush. Each tent is en-suite with a ball-and-claw bath, double vanity and detached outdoor bush shower; includes a fan and heater, pure cotton linen, minibar, tea and coffee facilities and a private veranda. A restored colonial homestead with lovely wide verandas is the heart of the communal areas. Here meals are served in the dining room, garden, on the veranda or wooden deck alongside the swimming pool. The lodge also offers secure parking and internet connectivity.

&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge

&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge

Phinda Forest Lodge is one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury lodges. Termed “Zulu Zen” the 16 suites are built on raised stilts, the glass and wood construction blending with contemporary décor and minimalist design. The rooms invite the forest within, fusing nature and luxury, while the surrounding trees create a sense of privacy and romance. Absorb the tranquility from private decks or watch for the small antelope at home in this biosphere. The lodge’s central areas include attractive spaces for socializing in style, and a shaded deck with panoramic views over the plains. Enjoy meals in the boma, under the star-studded skies and soak in the refreshing pool, between exciting safari excursions.

Santorini Lodge

Santorini Lodge

This stunning seaside Greek-villa style property, 20 minutes north of Vilanculos, boasts unparalleled views of seas and pristine shores from its elevated position. Lush coastal vegetation provides a sense of privacy and a colour contrast to ocean blues and white sands. An elegant ambiance flows throughout communal and private living spaces and a range of light, fresh accommodation is available. The 5-room villa (exclusive or individual use) sleeps 10 adults (or 8 adults & 6 children) and has private balconies and breath-taking outlooks. The main area’s large double doors open out to a pool and al fresco dining space. Upstairs salas boast exquisite sea vistas where guests can take advantage of gentle breezes. Superb meals may be shared in a social environment, or in idyllic, more personal settings. Honeymooners and families will love the two-bedroom Chapel Villa, which stands on its own, set apart from the main building. Nestled in the hillside, close to the main villa, is the luxurious treatment spa, Spa Na Colina.

Pricing and Details

Starting from $ 6,535 per person

*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.

Price Includes

  • Full support before, during & after your trip
  • Meals as mentioned
  • Accommodation as mentioned
  • Tours/activities as mentioned
  • Transport as mentioned

Price Excludes

  • International & domestic flights
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Entrance visas when applicable
  • Other services not mentioned
  • Tips and gratuities to guides, drivers
  • Taxes and fees

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