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South Africa Mountains, Safari & Beach Family Holiday

One of our favourite trips in South Africa for the wonderful balance of walking and mountain biking amidst the great outdoors in the Drakensberg, world class, great value big five safari in Hluhluwe and snorkelling on the remote and stunning beaches on the wild KwaZulu Natal Coast. Staying at superb 4* lodges, full board throughout, with expert guided activities and plenty of time to relax midst beautiful natural surroundings.

Tailor-made 12 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,070 per person economy class from London

People love what we do
Tourdust is rated 5.0 out of 5 stars


…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

Missing Matthew McSweeney. See all Reviews

Itinerary

Overview

  • Self Drive Tailor-made holiday (transfers available if preferred)
  • 4 Nights Full Board at Three Tree Hill Lodge in the Drakensberg
  • Self guided walking trails and mountain biking trails
  • Guided horse back riding, game walks & battlefield tours available at extra cost
  • 4 Nights Safari at Rhino Ridge Lodge in Hluhlwe National Park
  • Morning and Afternoon Game Drives and Sundowners included
  • 4 Nights at Rocktail Beach Lodge including snorkelling and Lake Sibaya sundowners
  • See Hippos and Crocodiles on Lake Sibaya
  • Diving and Ocean Safaris available at extra cost
  • 1 Night at Lalaria Lodge before departure

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE DURBAN AND DRIVE TO DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS (2.5HRS)
Just a couple of hours drive inland from Durban lies the stunning Drakensberg Mountains, offering stunning scenery, walking, mountain biking, horse riding and the fascinating history of the Anglo Boer Wars. Three Tree Hill Lodge overlooks the Spioenkop Game Reserve set within the stunning backdrop of the Drakensberg Mountains of South Africa. This owner operated fair trade lodge is the perfect place to unwind amidst nature. In addition to independent activities, such as enjoying the nature trails and mountain biking on the farm, there are a number of excellent guided activities available from village visits to horse back riding to game walks and battle-field tours. The lodge itself has a pool and adventure play area.
Accommodation: Three Tree Hill Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board

DAY 2: DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
We recommend allowing a day to relax and unwind after your journey. You can enjoy the pool and self guided trails on the farm. Enjoy a picnic lunch and sun-downers at a beautiful look-out towards the Drakensberg Mountains & Spioenkop dam.
Accommodation: Three Tree Hill Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board

DAY 3: DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
Walks in the neighbouring Spioenkop Game Reserve can be arranged with the resident guides. These are more strenuous than the Nature Trails on the farm, as the route does not follow a set trail. Uneven, rocky, hilly terrain will be encountered and walks may last between 1.5 – 2 hours (12 and over, extra cost). Trail Rides can be arranged to suit the experience and pace of the riders. Inexperienced rides are approximately 30 – 45 minutes, while experienced rides 60 – 90 minutes. English-style saddles with snaffle bridles are used. Hard helmets are compulsory. These are provided. Rides are taken on the working cattle farm, adjacent to the game reserve, where game may be seen from time to time (extra cost)
Accommodation: Three Tree Hill Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board

DAY 4: DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
A range of half day and full day tours are available to the Battlefields (Battle of Spioenkop, Battle of Colenso & Churchill’s Capture, Ladysmith, Rorke's Drift) with expert guides - must be booked in advance (extra cost). Alternatively enjoy a truly authentic experience with one of the Three Trees staff members takes you to the nearby village (8km down the road) for a look into the lives of the Hambrook residents. Pop into the pre-school & visit someone’s home (Extra Charge). Alternatively there are a number of trips up into the high Drakensberg that can be taken independently, The Northern, Central and Cathedral Peak areas of the Ddrakensberg are all approximately 60km away by car.
Accommodation: Three Tree Hill Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board

DAY 5: DRIVE TO HLUHLUWE AREA FOR SAFARI. GAME DRIVE IN AFTERNOON (5.5HRS)
Up early to drive to the Hluhluwe area for your safari. Hluhluwe National Park and surrounding private conservancies are home to a number of super 3,4 and 5 star big five safari lodges. Aim to arrive as early as you can so you have time for refreshments before heading out for an afternoon game drive
Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including afternoon game drive

DAY 6: ON SAFARI
Each day on safari enjoy a wonderful routing of early morning game drives, languid afternoons, afternoon game drives, sun-downers and of course delicious meals all round.
Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including 2 game drives per day

DAY 7: ON SAFARI
Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including 2 game drives per day

DAY 8: ON SAFARI
Accommodation: Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including 2 game drives per day

DAY 9: DRIVE TO ST LUCIA ISIMANGALISO WILD COAST AREA (3HRS)
Enjoy four days of relaxation on a remote stretch of Coast with pristine beaches, warm water, world class snorkelling and diving and internationally important wetland and coastal forest areas. Run along the the lines of a safari lodge, activities include snorkelling and diving trips, seasonal turtles, whale and dolphin watching, canoeing and boat trips on Lake Sibaya (hippos and crocodiles) and nature walks. In addition to serious snorkelling and diving trips further afield, easier shore entry snorkelling is available in protected areas near the lodge.
Accommodation: Rocktail Beach Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including some activities

DAY 10: WILD COAST
Accommodation: Rocktail Beach Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including some activities

DAY 11: WILD COAST
Accommodation: Rocktail Beach Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including some activities

DAY 12: WILD COAST
Accommodation: Rocktail Beach Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including some activities

DAY 13: DRIVE TO DURBAN (5HRS). AFTERNOON AT LEISURE
After breakfast transfer to the Dolphin Coast for a relaxing stay at a small boutique guesthouse.
Accommodation: Lalaria Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast included

DAY 14: DEPART
Short drive to the airport for your overnight flight home
Meals Included: Breakfast included

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Fair-trade certified owner-operated lodge
- Spectacular views over Spioenkop
- Walking and Mountain Biking on site
- Close to battlefield sites

Rhino Ridge Lodge

KwaZulu-Natal

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- 4* 22 Bedroom Safari Lodge
- Within Hluhluwe National Park
- Big five
- Low malaria risk

Rocktail Beach Camp

KwaZulu-Natal

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Deserted sandy beaches
- Coastal forest safari accommodation
- Snorkelling

Lalaria Lodge

KwaZulu-Natal

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 2

- Owner-run guesthouse
- Swimming Pool
- Ocean Views
- Friendly Welcome

Details

Getting there

South African Airways, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have good regular connections from Johannesburg to Durban which work well with overnight flight from London to Johannesburg from £950-£1250.

In addition with Durban now being an international airport you are able to fly directly in from the Middle East and Emirates often have excellent offers.

Flight prices on this route are always cheaper booked in advance, particularly when flying during UK school holidays. If you are booking anything less than a month prior to departure expect to pay through Virgin and BA tend to offer flight sales around September and October, which are worth looking out for.

Please let us know your preferred departure airport and we would be pleased to quote for a flight inclusive ATOL protected package.

Price includes

Accommodation with meals as specified and car hire for the duration with comprehensive insurance and unlimited mileage

When is best?

This holiday is available all year round, although be warned that accommodation will book out early for the Christmas period.

October - March is summer in South Africa and is the best time to view turtles hatching. At this time of year, temperatures will be 30C and over with occasional rain.

April - September is winter, which means sunny days with temperatures up to 25C and no rain. The bush is less dense at this time of year, so wildlife spotting is best in June, July & August. Overnight temperatures can be chilly, so swimming pools will probably be a bit too cold to use (unless heated) and you would need warm layers especially for early morning game drives, when the wind chill can be considerable.

Sea temperatures are faiirly consistently warm year round.

Is it for me?

This itinerary is a self drive itinerary that would suit adventurous families. Driving is relatively simple, but does pass through some rural areas and would suit
In terms of comfort, accommodation is superb throughout and alternatives are available (both upgrade and downgrade) for all three locations in the itinerary.
If you are looking for a two centre holiday we should suggest combining the safari with the beach, which would make for a lovely 7-10 day itinerary.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 496 reviews

(4.96/5)

  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam Kearns reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

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Speak to a specialist

Our customers agree - a conversation with an expert makes for a better trip. Call us now or request a call back out of hours.

Call 855 686 7694 9am and 6pm GMT Monday to Friday

Or weekday evenings or Saturdays

Enquire

Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Fantastic value safari & beach combination in KwaZulu-Natal. Enjoy big 5 safari and relaxed beach time.

Tailor-made Classic 8 days

Adults from $2,048 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,125 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,453 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,125 per person economy class from London

The Classic Garden Route with a twist, using our favourite one-off owner operated B&Bs and Self Catering. Book early as availability is limited.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,191 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,085 per person economy class from London

Classic Garden Route holiday including our trademark Cape Town experience, E Cape Safari and Coast.

Tailor-made 2 weeks

Families from $2,344 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,022 per person economy class from London

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