Our KwaZulu Natal Meander is a relaxed two-week South Africa self-drive holiday. The journey includes a stay at a stunning and award-wining (yet unpretentious) spa hotel in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands, walking in the Drakensberg Mountains and hearing moving accounts of heroism in the historical Battlefields around Spione Kop and Rorkes Drift. Along the Elephant Coast, enjoy a variety of safari experiences to get up close to the iconic wildlife, including embarking on game drives in Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Enjoy the peace and tranquillity of Rhino Ridge Lodge, before ending with a final two nights of sea views and convivial evenings at the rooftop bar of the luxurious Oyster Box Hotel.
Day 1 Depart from London Heathrow on your over night flight to Johannesburg.
Day 2 Arrive in Johannesburg and connect with onward flight to Durban. Collect your car hire and drive inland, approx 1.5 hours, to Fordoun Hotel and Spa, where you will spend the next two nights with bed and breakfast in a luxury room. Your highlight here is the peace and tranquility of staying in such a beautiful and vast setting.
Day 3 Fordoun is situated in the beautiful and scenic KwaZulu Natal midlands. Enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding country side and the Drakensberg Mountains in the distance. Your time here can be spent on a variety of different activities, including a visit to the local Sangoma/Inyanga (Herbalist), for a private consultation. As part of this unique experience the Sangoma uses herbs from his own garden and the Spiritual healing powers of his ancestors. He also offers guided tours of his herb garden and local rural Zulu village Fordoun is surrounded by the Midlands Meander a renowned tourist route, as well as two golfing gems. There is also the opportunity to go horse riding, mountain biking, hot air ballooning and clay pigeon shooting. If this is all too much then how about spending a day relaxing in the Fordoun Spa being pampered, there are a wide range of treatments on offer from massages to facials and manicures, most use their signature range of products.
Day 4 Leaving Fordoun behind travel northwards along winding scenic roads to the Cleopatra Hotel, in the Central Drakensberg. Two nights dinner, bed and breakfast in a standard room. This haven is tucked away in the Drakensburg mountain range. This area is famous for its rock art and hikes in the mountains. We have included dinner here as the restaurant has won many award for their food and it is not to be missed!
Day 5 The mountains offer some of the most beautiful hiking and climbing trails in Southern Africa and the hotel can organise guided hikes to waterfalls as well as some more adventurous and difficult hikes. Some of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of the area is by horse back or mountain bike, as well as appreciating the sheer beauty from above by either helicopter or micro-light. If you fancy a slower pace how about spending the morning trout fishing in the mountain lakes and streams.
Day 6 Leaving the spectacular Drakensberg behind you head to the famous battlefields of KwaZulu Natal. Here the Boers fought the British and the British fought the Zulus in a series of bloody conflicts. Here you will spend the night with dinner and breakfast included.
Day 7 Visitors to the area enhance their experience by walking in the footsteps of famous military strategists - Shaka, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha, with the help of a knowledgeable guide who talks about each battle, debating the strategies used, the numbers who perished and the medals and rewards won by the brave. Spend 2 nights with all meals included.
Day 8 The battles of Isandlwana, Rorkes Drift, Spioenkop, Blood River and Cetshwayo come alive in the guides stories, even though the only visible evidence is seen in national monuments and museums or at lone forts and small graveyards on these undulating landscapes ringed with rocky outcrops. It is highly recommended that you spend your free day here on a guided tour of the battle fields (Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana), the Lodge can organise this and uses enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides.
Day 9 Depart the battlefields for the drive to Ghost Mountain Inn. KwaZulu-Natal is home to one of Africa’s most proud and once most feared tribes under the rule of the legendary King Shaka. Visitors to the region are welcomed with wide smiles. At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain in Mkuze, in the heart of northern KwaZulu Natal lies the privately owned Ghost Mountain Inn, where you will spend the next two nights. Two nights bed and breakfast in a superior room.
Day 10 Set on five acres of indigenous garden Ghost Mountain Inn is the ideal location to explore the surrounding array of wildlife and coastal reserves. Take an ox wagon to a traditional Zulu village of bee-hive huts and experience warm Zulu hospitality, or attend a rural wedding ceremony, visit a sangoma (traditional healer) or take in the vibe of the taverns and shebeens. Arrange your game drive and boat cruise with the team at reception.
Day 11 Today you will make your way to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in the heart of the Hluhluwe National Park, where you will spend the next 2 nights with all meals and safari activities included.
Day 12 Hluhluwe is the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Southern Africa with excellent birding and home to the Big 5. As the name would suggest, many of South Africa's Rhino Population are in this reserve. This includes the elusive Black Rhino, although we cannot guarantee you will see one, this is where you will have a really good chance of a sighting!
Day 13 Depart Rhino Ridge Safari driving to your final destination at The Oyster Box. This luxurious and elegant hotel is situated in the upmarket village of Umhlanga. Set literally a step away from the beach, with private swimming pool and sub-tropical gardens. Somewhere for you to relax and unwind before you return home. Stay two nights bed and breakfast
Day 14 With the Indian Ocean on your door step you will be happy to go for a dip in the warm water here. Activities in this area includes some lovely nature trails, surfing, scuba diving, whale watching and dolphin viewing as well as plenty of restaurants and markets. There are also many golf courses nearby should this be on your list of things to do.
Day 15 Drive to Durban Airport and return hire car. Depart on the flight to Johannesburg. Depart Johannesburg on the overnight flight to London Heathrow.
Day 16 Artrive in London
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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