If you have a budding botanist or wildlife enthusiast in your family, then this action packed holiday is a perfect fit. The itinerary is designed to involve and absorb kids and young people in environmental awareness without making it a formal learning experience.
Children and adults can take part in an action packed programme such as tracking, orientation, bush survival skills, anti-poaching methods and spear-fishing. Big-5 game drives, rural village excursions and interaction with elephants and crocodiles are also high on the agenda. You stay at two locations - Amangwane Camp near the Indian Ocean and Umkhumbi Lodge in the Hluhluwe area.
At Amangwane you sleep in comfortable reed huts, and at Umkhumbi Lodge enjoy a two-bedroom family chalet. This is a fabulous holiday for kids of all ages, who love the out doors and revel in learning new skills and knowledge.
Day 1 Depart from London on overnight flight to Durban via Dubai.
Day 2 On arrival late afternoon, you will be transferred to to Umkhumbi Lodge for a 6-night stay in a two bedroom family chalet, all meals included. Umkhumbi Lodge is a family owned lodge in the game rich Hluhluwe area, surrounded by wildlife reserves, endless sandy beaches and the richly varied ecosystems of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. This afternoon you will have time to settle in, be briefed on the planned activities for the next few days and even get a chance for a quick dip in the pool. The tropical climate of KwaZulu-Natal often means day time temperatures reach 18-23 *C in May – October. Gather late afternoon to enjoy the sunset around the campfire before dinner.
Day 3 In line with the FGASA (Field Guides Association of South Africa) Level 1 syllabus, a professional facilitator introduces you to basic conservation and ecology principles. This is a hands on experience with a 3-4 hour interpretive walk through the property and the neighbouring Khuleni Game Park. A guide will point out tracks and other signs of the wild, which will bring the marvelous delicate balance of eco-system to life. On the walk you are likely to encounter wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, nyala, red duiker, grey duiker and the rare, shy Suni. An afternoon walk focus on noctural creatures such as bush-babies, chameleons, scorpions, owls or mongoose.
Day 4 The coastal town of St Lucia is a short drive away and the departure point for a 2 hour boat trip through the St Lucia Estuary, looking out for hippo and crocodile in the estuarine system. UNESCO world heritage site status was granted because of the unique interlinking lake systems and diverse ecology of the iSimangaliso. After the boat trip have lunch before continuing on a guided walk then returning to the lodge for dinner.
Day 5 Spend a full day in the reserve and combine a game drive with short walks whilst you put your recently acquired ‘bush’ knowledge to practice. Spot many of Africa’s iconic species (species in the park include Elephant, Rhino, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra, Lion, Wild dogs – and many more) This park is a conservation success story, world renowned for its rhino conservation and pioneering game-capture techniques.
Day 6 Visit a rural, modern Zulu village in the morning, stops include a local school, a beer hall, homestead and if time and interest permits, a traditional healer. Lunch at Ilala Weavers with the opportunity to purchase local crafts. Kids love creepy crawlies and today they should be in their element hearing about snakes, scorpions, spiders and other venomous species of South Africa. Not just seeing the species but understanding they rarely attack without provocation and what to do in an emergency.
Day 7 The elephant is a facsinating animal and this morning you will have an up close experience with three, getting to grips with conservation strategies that help protect these gentle giants and their eco-systems.
Day 8 Road transfer north to Kosi Bay for a 3-night stay at Amangwane Camp which is a joint community venture with only ten rustic, en suite reed chalets with canvas roofs.
Day 9 See the traditional and sustainable Thonga fish traps in action and spend the afternoon snorkeling and kayaking on the lakes of Kosi Bay. From November to February, turtles nesting can be seen on the coastline. Should you require another safari fix, trips to Tembe Elephant Park can be booked locally, as well as day trips into Mozambique for ocean excursions.
Day 11 Return to Durban airport by road for the late afternoon flight to London via Dubai.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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