This trip will bring you the best of KwaZulu-Natal’s natural beauty over 12 unforgettable nights. Get lost amongst the idyllic meadows and babbling brooks of the Drakensberg Mountains, indulge in some sun-drenching on the beaches of Durban, explore the coastal forests and lagoons of the St. Lucia Wetlands and get away from it all on Ghost Mountain. Finally, end your trip on a real high by setting off on a Big 5 safari every morning and afternoon. If you need a break and you’re eager to get back to nature, this is the perfect trip for you.
Just 250 km from Durban and 400 km from Johannesburg, you begin your holiday with a few days stay at the famous Cathedral Peak Hotel is easily accessible to its many visitors. Since the hotel first opened to guests in 1939, the hotel has succeeded in offering warm hospitality, combined with exceptional service and value for money. There is an abundance of activities at Cathedral Peak Hotel to suit both young and old.
Then it's off to Durban. With over 320 days of sunshine per year, Durban is a holidaymakers' paradise. The 6 km 'Golden Mile' of beaches are packed with sun worshippers throughout the year, while the warm waters of the Indian Ocean entice swimmers, surfers, diversand other watersport enthusiasts.
Your next stop is the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which was listed as South Africa's first World Heritage Site in December 1999 in recognition of its natural beauty and unique global values. The Park contains 3 lake systems, 8 ecosystems, 700 year old fishing traditions, swamp forests, Africa's largest estuarine system, 526 bird species and 25,000 year-old coastal dunes.
At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain near Mkuze lies the privately owned Ghost Mountain Inn. Those who prefer the relaxing sound of birdsong and the warmth of the African sun will find their respite at the poolside within the glorious gardens here.
Finally, the Thanda Private Game Reserve offers 14,000 hectares to explore. You’ll see diverse wildlife including cheetah, hyena, warthog and the occasional wild dog, as well as abundant bird and plant life. Thanda Tented Camp, with its grand tents offers a truly relaxed and authentic safari experience.
Make your way into the Arrivals Hall at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport and find 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.
13 Day Car Rental: Group C: Toyota Corolla 1.6 or similar (on Super Cover)
Drive to The Drakensberg (approx 400 km / 4 h 30 mins). Nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensberg mountain range (a World Heritage Site) lies Cathedral Peak Hotel, one of South Africa's premier resort hotels.
Drive into KwaNgwanase (Manguzi or Kosi Bay) and look out for the Total Garage on your left handside. Once you arrive at this service station, a Kosi representative will meet you there and drive you to a secure car parking area not far away. The trip to the lodge from here will be approximately 30 minutes in an open 4x4 vehicle. PLEASE PRE-BOOK WHICH PICK UP TIME YOU REQUIRE - EITHER 12:00 OR 16:00.
Drive into KwaNgwanase - allow about 5 hours from Durban - 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 1600 promptly. Kosi Forest Lodge offers the opportunity to explore by guided canoe, take boat trips onto the lake or go on forest walks, or enjoy a day excursion to nearby coastal beaches.
You will be transferred back to the secure car park at Manguzi where you will collect your hire car and drive to Ghost Mountain Lodge.
Ghost Mountain Inn is a wonderful place to just relax for a few days. Enjoy a sundowner from the top of the Lebombo cliffs watching the sunset across the valley and mountains in the distance, or watch elephants swimming from a boat cruise on nearby Lake Jozini. Those who prefer the relaxing sound of birdsong and the warmth of the African sun will find their respite at the poolside within the glorious gardens.
Set off after a leisurely breakfast for the drive to Thanda Private Game Reserve (approx 50 km / 45 mins). Thanda offers an authentically South African wildlife experience, including close-up encounters with Africa's magnificent Big 5.