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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 $1,120 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 Thonga 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 Drakensberg 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: Thonga Beach Lodge
Meals Included: Full Board including some activities

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

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

DAY 12: WILD COAST
Accommodation: Thonga 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.

Three Tree Hill Lodge

Drakensberg & Battlefields

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

Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

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

Thonga Beach Lodge

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 5

- Stunning Remote Beach Lodge
- Protected Snorkelling from the beach
- Diving & Marine Safaris
- Big Beachs & Warm Seas

Lalaria Lodge

Durban Coast

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 504 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • Hi Lisa,

    The safari trip was excellent! The stay, the food and the people were all very nice. We were happy to have Ryan and Stanley as our game drive guides they brought us up close to the animals and Ryan gave very good information throughout.

    Would definitely recommend to friends who are interested in safaris :)

    Also, thanks much for your help, particularly keeping the room for my Brother and his wife they’ve enjoyed the safari very much too!

    Best regards,
    Woan Chyi

    MissingWoan Chyi L reviewing Cape Town & Kruger Safari on 16 October 2019

  • We had a fantastic time and all the arrangements worked perfectly.
    We were very impressed with the quality and service levels of all 4 locations visited and it was truly a holiday of a lifetime.
    Thank you to you and to Lisa for giving us this experience.
    Particular highlights for us – really the whole experience, but of particular impact:
    Breathtaking scenery at Cathedral Peak Hotel
    Rhino Ridge game drives incredible, thanks to guide (we had their head guide, Hala, who’s knowledge, enthusiasm, kindness, interaction, ability to spot wildlife was out of this world)
    Luxury of Rhino Ridge (shower, food, views, service)
    Immersion in nature, torch lit meal on last night and beach trip at Kosi Forest Lodge
    Level of service, quality of food throughout

    MissingCatherine F reviewing South Africa Safari, Beach and Wetlands on 04 September 2019

  • We had a fantastic time. Thank you and it went smoothly in the main except for British Airways!

    The trip had the right degree of luxury and relaxation (for me) and adventure (all of us).

    A few points:
    Driving directions to Umlunghi Lodge were slightly wrong. The driving directions should read at the 4th roundabout take the first exit and turn right over the railway. We loved it there. Anton, Bianca and her son and Harriet were very informative and entertaining. The snake talk and handling, night walks and seeing scorpions and the walk in the bush and "bumping" into a giraffe were really special. The kayak trip to Makuzi pan that the lodge organised was good and Tomaz was very informative and kept a respectful distance from the hippos.3 nights was plenty.

    Rhino River Lodge game reserve was incredibly luxurious and we felt very looked after. The lion siting in camp the day we arrived sent an extra frisson of excitement down our spines. It was easy to forget there were predators that could attack us with all that luxury. The staff and guides (Karl) were knowledgeable and invested in their set up. We saw rhinos with baby, cheetahs with young, porcupine, Genet, wildebeast, Impala, Lion with young, buffalo, a puff adder, ostrich, zebra and giraffes. 4 nights was also plenty.
    They all served great food but I felt Ghost Mountain Inn topped the lot. The variety was amazing. We arrived at 10.30 but could not get into our room until 2 ish. The service was not so personal I guess because it is larger (far more than 50 rooms). We had been a bit spoilt at Rhino River! My daughter and I had some treatments at the Spa and loved it. We also went on a large boat trip on Jonzi and had a closer encounter with a large bull hippo and also a hike up Ghost Mountain with Patrick who was very informative and passionate about his people and his country. Isaac the other guide there took us on the boat trip and pointed out the sugar cane harvest on the way. he was very informative also.

    Lastly, Lalaria Lodge was fabulous and we all piled into the surf of the Indian Ocean. There was hardly anyone on the beach. It was "too cold" according to the landlady. The view from her terrace was of the ocean and whales breaching in the distance. I could have sat there all day. She very kindly provided us with a Scrabble board of her own for us to play. We took a Microlight ride from Ballito over the coastline in the hope of seeing whales and dolphins but no luck. If we had stayed longer we might have gone on a boat trip from Durban. We had a meal at a restaurant called Mozambique which was great fun with vast portions, plenty of carbs and fresh seafood!

    The value of the Rand to the Pound was excellent and therefore we felt that we got excellent value which also played a large part!

    MissingKatrina P reviewing South Africa Bush & Beach Safari For Families on 02 September 2019

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Speak to a specialist

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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.

Superb value safari and beach holiday, combining Big Five in South Africa and an all-inclusive oceanfront resort in idyllic Mauritius.

Tailor-made Classic 10 days

Adults from $2,790 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,450 per person economy class from London

Families from $2,074 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 $1,450 per person economy class from London

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

Tailor-made Classic 1 week

Adults from $2,049 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,055 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,343 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 $1,055 per person economy class from London

Excellent Value Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari Self Drive Holiday using excellent value guesthouses and lodges

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Adults from $2,196 pp plus flights

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

Flights are typically an additional $1,186 per person economy class from London

Families from $1,508 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 $1,186 per person economy class from London

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