If you have nature-mad children, this 12 night holiday offers something a little different - a 4 night malaria-free safari including close up and personal Big 5 encounters, followed by time at 2 very different coastal resorts.
You begin your trip with the safari. Nambiti Hills, in the Big 5 Nambiti Game Reserve, is home to elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino, as well as over 30 other animal species. It is also rich in birdlife.
After your safari, you head to Kosi Forest Lodge, which is located in a private nature reserve in a tranquil sand forest alongside one of the lakes in the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. The 11,000 hectare, 30 km long nature reserve is a tropical paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, swamp and coastal forests, and activities include guided canoeing on the lakes, walks in the Raffia Forest, boat trips and snorkelling.
Finally, you end your holiday with a relaxing 5 night beach stay at the contemporary Southern Sun Elangeni which is located just a few minutes drive from the main beachfront in Durban. Whilst the mid-summer months of February and March are known for being extremely hot and humid, the rest of the year is milder, and the tropical sunny climate gives the city a constant 'feel-good' appeal.
For families, aside from the attraction of the beach and warm waters, a visit to uShaka Marine World is definitely for you. Spanning over 15 hectares of prime beach front, uShaka is Africa’s largest Marine Theme Park. Sea World has dolphin shows, seal shows, penguin presentations and shark dives, and Wet 'n' Wild is a fun freshwater world of slides and pools. Or for the braver kids, experience Durban's ultra-thrilling Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park, or head to Dangerous Creatures - an adventure that reptile enthusiasts won’t want to miss!
Arrive into Durban King Shaka International Airport. Go through Immigration, collect your luggage and clear Customs, then make your way into the Arrivals Hall and make your way to the Bidvest Car Rental office. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you.
8 Day Car Rental: Group O: Toyota Avanza 1.5 or similar - Manual Transmission (on Super Cover)
Drive to Nambiti Hills (approx 274 km / 3 h 10 mins). Nambiti Private Game Reserve is set on 22,000 magnificent acres of African bush. One of its major drawcards is that the reserve is situated in a malaria-free area, meaning that families don't have to take medication before visiting. This reserve is home to the Big 5 as well as cheetah, giraffe, hippo, hyena, impala, eland and zebra. At night in clear conditions, stargazing is truly a magical experience as the sky comes alive.
After your early morning game drive and breakfast check out and drive to KwaNgwanase (Manguzi or Kosi Bay) - allow about 5.5 hours - and drive through the town until you see the Total Garage on your left handside. Once you arrive at this service station, a Kosi representative will meet you here and take you to a secure car parking area where you will leave your car. The transfer to the lodge from here departs at 16:00 promptly.
Kosi Forest Lodge is set in a beautiful sand forest on the banks of Lake Shengeza in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. When you stay at Kosi Forest Lodge, you're almost guaranteed to see the pod of resident hippos that live in Lake Shengeza. The lodge's swimming pool overlooks the lake, so you can while away the afternoon watching the resident pod of hippos safely below. At sunset, the hefty hippos can be seen ambling out of the water onto the shore in search of food. Gliding in a canoe through the waters will get you close up to some of the most beautiful birds the continent has to offer. Whatever activity you choose to do here, you can't help but feel a close connection to nature.