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KwaZulu-Natal National parks

Our most recommended KwaZulu-Natal National parks

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

1. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

Experience the rolling hills of the Savannah grasslands and a magical African sunrise. Sit back and relax while your ranger takes you to the best areas within the park. With trained eyes and years of experience, your ranger will undoubtedly deliver some magnificent sightings. Learn more about this fascinating park and the incredible history of when King Shaka used the lower Umfolozi as his personal hunting grounds or how the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park single-handedly saved the rhinos from near extinction. The park is home not only to the African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) but also includes cheetahs, wild dogs, and many more. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at one of the numerous scenic picnic areas within the park. The tour concludes with a drop off at the Nyalazi Gate or alternatively, drop off back at your accommodation in St. Lucia.

St Lucia: Hippo and Crocodile Cruise on a 15-Seat Vessel

2. St Lucia: Hippo and Crocodile Cruise on a 15-Seat Vessel

Witness hippos, Nile crocodiles, and hundreds of bird species onboard a cruise departing from St Lucia. This two-hour safari gets you up close to the residents of the estuary. Discover St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of the largest Estuarine systems in Africa. Travel aboard an exclusive 15-seater vessel with experienced and knowledgable skippers and rangers onboard. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and furnish you with some incredible facts and information on the area.

Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

3. Garden Route and Addo Elephant National Park: 6-Day Safari

Day 1: Cape Town – Hermanus – Cape Agulhas The tour departs from Cape Town and heads to Hermanus. Follow the scenic coastal road to Betty's Bay to see a colony of endangered African penguins. Spend the afternoon in the seaside resort town of Hermanus, famous for playing home to hundreds of Southern Right whales from July to November. The town also features many shops, restaurants, and markets. In the afternoon you'll drive on to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa, and the place where the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. Day 2:  Cape Agulhas – Oudtshoorn Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world, via scenic Route 62, South Africa’s longest wine route. Sample local wines before experiencing the subterranean beauty of the Cango Caves on a guided tour. Day 3:  Oudtshoorn – Knysna – Sedgefield After breakfast head over to Outeniqua Mountain Pass, where you'll explore Wilderness National Park by canoe. Enjoy a paddle up the Touw River through the indigenous forest, admiring the diverse local birds along the way. After about 40 minutes, leave your canoe behind for a 2-kilometer hike along a boardwalk that leads to rock pools and a lovely waterfall. Afterwards, head to the famous town of Knysna via the beautiful Garden Route Lake District. Visit the famous Knysna Heads viewing point, overlooking the Knysna estuary. Spend the late afternoon exploring the beaches of Sedgefield. Day 4: Sedgefield- Tsitsikamma - Addo After breakfast, head off to Tsitsikamma National Park. En route, you'll stop at Bloukrans Bridge, the world’s highest bungee jump bridge, standing at 216 meters tall. You'll spend the afternoon in Tsitsikamma National Park, which features a unique combination of indigenous forest and beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The park offers hikes of varying lengths including a walk across a suspension bridge, and swimming. In the late afternoon, depart the Garden Route for Addo. Day 5: Addo-Wilderness/Mossel Bay Spend the morning exploring Addo Elephant National Park. You'll get up to 2-3 hours to roam the 28,000-hectare national reserve, home to approximately 600 elephants and various other animals, including buffalo, lions, rhinos, warthogs and many more. After an exciting morning on safari, we drive back to the Garden Route where we overnight in Wilderness/Mossel Bay. Day 6: Wilderness –Mossel Bay - Cape Town After breakfast, stop in Mossel Bay to spend some time on the gorgeous beaches, hike the Cape St. Blaize trail along the seaside cliffs, and visit the famous Diaz Museum complex which commemorates the first known European exploration around the tip of Africa. The more adventurous can try a 10,000 foot tandem skydive or sandboarding on the longest dune in South Africa. Arrive back at Cape Town in the early evening.

From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

4. From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

After pickup from your accommodations, your guide will take you on a safari drive in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. You'll have the chance to see many animals in their natural habitat including elephants, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, chameleons and if you're lucky, perhaps a leopard. Then head to the beach for 2 hours of snorkeling and discover over 50 different species of fish. If you're not a keen snorkeler, you can enjoy the beach on your own or go for a little birdwatching walk on the forest dunes of Cape Vidal with another guide. Your tour is conducted in a laid-back, yet professional manner and includes breakfast and a delicious African braai (barbeque) lunch.

From Durban: Lesotho Highlights 4-Day Trip with Meals

5. From Durban: Lesotho Highlights 4-Day Trip with Meals

Itinerary Day 1: Depart at 08:00 from Durban and head to the aptly named town of Underberg under the Drakensberg mountains. In our guided 4wd vehicle in Underberg we proceed into Lesotho Via Sani Pass The Sani Pass climbs from 1500m to 2874m ASL. The famous switchbacks overlooking the South African valleys are spectacular. Go on a hike of the escarpment overlooking the Sani Pass or pony trek along the cliffs. Day 2: Climb further to the top of Black Mountain Pass at 3240m ASL. The remote villages of the Sani Top and Mokhotlong areas are some of the most remote villages in Lesotho. Get an inside look at the people living in this tough environment with a visit to a village. Picnic lunch is over a beautiful vista of the Senqu river, which becomes the Orange river in South Africa. An important river for several Southern African countries makes the perfect lunch stop. The route from Sani Top to Thaba Bosiu is often called the Roof of Africa route, we have already conquered the Sani Pass as well as Black Mountain Pass. After lunch we tackle Taeeng pass at 3225m and Motebong pass at 2820m. Along the way you will see Letseng Diamond mine–the world’s highest diamond mine and Afriski Moutain Resort and countless villages and other picturesque scenes. We will head to our overnight accommodation in Hlotse. Check-in at Bird Haven at approx. 18:00. Day 3: Breakfast at 07:00, departure at approx. 08:00-30. We backtrack slightly to visit a riverbed close to our overnight accommodation, where there is evidence of prehistoric life forms. If the river is in flood these ancient footprints are hidden to the world but usually the water levels are low enough for us to look at the Dinosaur Footprints We now leave the main road to Maseru and travel to the Kome Caves, home to modern cave-dwellers, these caves were originally inhabited by clans escaping the Lifqane wars and cannibalism. We make our way to Thaba Bosiu along the back roads which go through many rural villages. Thaba Bosiu is a cultural centre of utmost importance to Lesotho and its history. From Thaba Bosiu we drive into the capital city Maseru for lunch at approx. 13:00, this gives one a good understanding of modern-day city life in Lesotho and its mix with Lesotho’s strong culture. By 15:00, We head back into the highlands of Lesotho going through the Mantsa Pass to highland town of Semonkong. Check-in at Semonkong at approx. 17:30 Day 4: Breakfast at 7:30am Hike/4wd Drive to the Maletsunyane Falls Depart the Lesotho highlands via passes that enter South Africa at Qacha’s Nek. We snake our way through the last remote villages of Lesotho. We cross the Senqu river again–which we first saw on day 1 and then follow it along the Senqu river valleys toward the border town of Qachas Nek. Once back in South Africa we are normally in Matatiele around 13:00 for lunch. From Matatiele we skirt alongside the Drakensberg mountains and return to Underberg along scenic back roads, returning usually around 15:00-16:00

iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

6. iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

After meeting your guide at the St Lucia Crocodile Centre, you'll begin your 2.5-hour tour of the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a sprawling collection of stunningly-preserved natural ecosystems that span over 1,200 square miles; the park is centered around the vast Lake St Lucia, where you’ll have the change to see hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. After learning about crocodile breeding, feeding, anatomy, general ecology, and distribution, you’ll head off across trails through the game park with your expert ecologist guide. Take in information about the park’s famous residents, like blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, and waterbuck.  Continuing into the wilderness, become one with nature as you walk through picturesque trails. Common animal sightings include the red and grey duiker, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, and on very special occasions, leopard and hyena. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the starting point, having been enriched by the beauty of South Africa’s diverse ecosystems.

From Underberg: Sani Pass Day Tour

7. From Underberg: Sani Pass Day Tour

The Sani Pass is regarded by some as having the most spectacular views in South Africa. Originally a bridle path, it has become a ‘bucket list’ experience that is not to be missed. Walls of sandstone, cascading rivers, and hair-raising bends are just some of the highlights as your 4x4 vehicle takes you through the Barrier of Spears and into the Kingdom of Lesotho.  Visit a living Basotho village and meet its people for a true cultural experience. The highest pub in Africa welcomes you with a hearty lunch and refreshments before your journey back down the pass to Underberg. 

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

8. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

9. From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

This full-day tour from Durban takes you on safari in the wonderful Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. The park is famous for its highly successful white rhino conservation program and is now home to the largest population of white rhino in the world. On your full-day safari tour you will have many opportunities to encounter the amazing wildlife in their natural environment. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is home to 84 species of games, including the ‘Big Five’, and 425 different types of birds. See how many you can spot on your safari! The hilly terrain affords some of the most incredible views over the reserve. Enjoy lunch at the Hilltop Camp (or similar) and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

10. From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

Get picked up from your hotel in St. Lucia and travel to the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, a huge protected area along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. The park’s centerpiece is the vast Lake St. Lucia, home to a large number of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. Elephants, giraffes, and leopards inhabit the grasslands and forests of the nearby Western Shores and Charters Creek areas. To the north, Sodwana Bay is known for its colorful coral reefs. Upon arrival, gear up and set off on an exciting three-hour drive through the park's many ecosystems. Keep an eye out for the wide variety of species that call iSimangaliso home. As the sun begins to set, your guide will take you to the perfect spot to appreciate the African sunset. When darkness falls, take on the challenge of spotting chameleons and other nocturnal species, all of which are more active after nightfall. Get dropped off back at your accommodation in St Lucia.

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 19 reviews

Very good guide, great organization, perfect breakfast and impeccable lunch We loved this day full of amazing surprises we highly recommend Alexia

Our guide was brilliant and so informative. We got so close to many animals.

A very pleasant tour, full of activities and unique landscapes.

Great landscape, great guides and a great experience.

It was an amazing experience. Never to be forgotten