Safaris in KwaZulu Natal

Set along the warm Indian Ocean waters of South Africa’s east coast, KwaZulu Natal is a haven of natural splendour and a world class safari destination. Home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites the area is comprised of the vast mountain ranges of the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg through to the lakes and wetlands of the expansive iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia. The Drakensberg escarpment rises 3000m above sea level and boasts more rivers than any comparable area in the country. The northern coast is world-renowned for remarkable scuba diving while the Big 5 (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard, and buffalo) reside in the plains of Zululand. KwaZulu Natal safaris are renowned for their highly populated game reverse and diverse landscapes and vegetation.

 

With nearly one hundred protected areas it is no wonder that the Kingdom of the Zulu offers diverse ecosystems spanning savannah lands, wild bushveld, beaches, alpine and marine riches, waterfalls, and riverine gorges. This makes for a great variety of wildlife and bird species as well as water-loving animals including hippo and crocodile. KwaZulu Natal holds a proud cultural heritage with private game reserves placing extremely high value on conservation efforts and community upliftment. Rhino conservation has been of specific interest in the region. When you’re not in search of wildlife on a Big 5 game drive, or getting involved in community and conservation initiatives, this is the perfect location to head to the beautiful coast, surf, fish, hike, or soak up the warmth of the African sun. KwaZulu Natal safaris offer an abundance of activities and as well ad warm climates throughout the year.

Malaria:

KwaZulu Natal is a malaria-free area.

Location:

KwaZulu Natal lies on South Africa’s warm east coast.

Getting there:

By Road

The reserves are a 2- to 4-hour drive from Durban, 1 to 2 hours from Richards Bay, or a 5- to 7-hour drive from Johannesburg with most routes along the N2 highway.

 

Flying

Fly from all major centres in South Africa to Durban’s international airport. Flights on selected airlines are available to Richards Bay. Private charters from any location in South Africa can be arranged to selected reserves airstrips.

 

Flight Duration

  • Cape Town to Durban: 2 hours
  • Johannesburg to Durban: 70 minutes

Wildlife:

Private game reserves place a high priority on conservation efforts and community upliftment with rhino conservation of specific interest in the region.

Spectacular Big 5 encounters, crocodile sightings, and turtle tours in season. Further, you will see giraffe, zebra, varieties of intriguing antelope, hippo, warthog, and hyena to name but a few.

Highlights:

  • KwaZulu Natal is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Mountain Range and iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia.
  • The northern coast is world-renowned for remarkable scuba diving.
  • Guests near St Lucia can enjoy water activities in the ocean and lakes including fishing, boat safaris, and kayaking.
  • Zulu cultural tours.

Reason to go:

  • Incredible year-round climate for beach and bush combination tours.
  • Unique eco experiences and conservation initiatives.
  • Ideal for families, honeymooners, and adventurists as well as conservation activists and keen photographers.
  • Incredible natural scenery and diverse landscapes.
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Phinda - Mountain Lodge

  • From : R8265/night

Ideal for families, Phinda Mountain Lodge is set on a hilltop with wraparound reserve views. The lodge caters to a maximum of 50 guests with 16 suites, 3 family cottages (interleading suites) and 1 family suite. Communal areas include a massage sala, state-of-the-art gym, interactive kitchen with pizza oven, and bar… . Each suite features expansive glass windows, exclusive-use plunge pools and private decks making for breath-taking scenery.

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Thanda - Tented Camp

  • From : R4393/night

Thanda’s 14 luxury en-suite tents each boast their own viewing deck with reserve views, indoor shower and double vanity. Selected tents also feature a bathtub and alfresco shower. The Honeymoon Tent comprises a private lounge area, en-suite bedroom with bathtub, indoor and outdoor showers and an exclusive… use splash pool with magnificent views. Communal areas include a rim-flow pool, lounge, tented spa and romantic boma for candlelight dinners under starry skies.

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Manyoni - Leopard Mountain Lodge

  • From : R4995/night

With 8 luxury suites, the award-winning 5-star lodge prides itself on personalized service and attention to detail. A mix of stone, thatch, and timber materials create an opulent organic setting with an on-site Africology Spa. Each suite boasts unbelievable views from a private viewing deck and exclusive-use plunge pool…. Additional features include alfresco showers, hammocks, air-conditioning, a double vanity, minibar, tea station, and sofa. Children 12 years and older welcome.

Nambiti Plains

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Nambiti - Nambiti Plains

  • From : R4500/night

Enjoy spectacular views over the resident watering hole from the lodge, relax at the pool with a cocktail and dine on 5-star cuisine while on an eco-chic getaway at Nambiti Plains. Stylish thatched suites each boast a timber veranda with beautiful scenery, outdoor seating and floor-to-ceiling windows… . Suites feature free-standing stone bathtubs, a double vanity, showers, air conditioning, mosquito netting, bathrobes, a coffee station, minibar, and Wi-Fi. Children 8 years and older welcome.

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Manyoni - Bayete Zulu Private

  • From : R4500

Bayete Private offers a completely exclusive getaway in a sheltered fever tree forest for 6 guests. Three luxurious en-suite chalets feature private verandas with waterhole views. Chalets also include a free-standing bath, alfresco shower, air-conditioning, fan, and safe. The open-plan main area features a lounge… , cozy fireplace, library, expansive garden, and dining room with meals prepared by a private lodge chef. Extra beds for small children on request.

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Phinda - Forest Lodge

  • From : R8980/night

Cozy luxury cabins are set within 1000 hectares of unique dry sand forest, at one of the world’s first eco-designed luxury safari lodges. Sixteen enchanting suites boast floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto the forest in a fairy-tale setting. Communal areas include a rim-flow swimming pool and spacious deck… with views over a small waterhole. Suites feature air-conditioning, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, a mini-bar, bathtub, shower, and private timber decks.

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Manyoni - Rhino Sands Safari Camp

  • From : R6900/night

The entirety of the eco-friendly Rhino Sands luxury tented camp is set under canvas erected on timber platforms in a riverine forest. Designed with the environment in mind, electricity is solar-generated, meals are seasonal using organic produce and amenities are biodegradable. Hosting a combined… total of 8 guests, each luxury tented suite features a private plunge pool, viewing deck, lounge, outdoor shower, fans, and mosquito nets. Children 13 years and older welcome.

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Thanda - Villa Izulu

  • From : R47824/night

Villa Izulu is an exclusive luxury villa accommodating 10 guests in 5 luxury suites each with a bathtub, shower, and double vanity. Bedrooms are furnished with air-conditioning, mosquito nets, and a minibar. The villa has an outdoor heated swimming pool, expansive deck overlooking a waterhole… , private boma for dining, library, garden, and games room. The villa comes with a private chef, dedicated ranger and use of a private safari vehicle on game drives.

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Nambiti - Nambiti Hills

  • From : R4300/night

Nambiti Hills 5-star safari lodge is home to 9 luxury suites of which one is a grand honeymoon unit. Open-plan suites feature private verandas with gorgeous views, large stone bathtubs, mosquito netting, air conditioning, heating, a minibar, and coffee station.
A beautiful infinity pool looks… over vast plains, while the open-plan communal lounge leads onto a terrace with valley views. The lodge’s wine cellar boasts a selection of vintages to accompany superb cuisine.

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Homestead - Phinda

  • From : R115000/night

The Homestead private villa offers 4 en-suite rooms with an additional children’s room available on request hosting a maximum of 8 adults and 4 children in 2 bunk beds.
Luxurious air-conditioned units each feature an indoor and outdoor shower, bathtub, ceiling fans, and Wi-Fi. The villa boasts… a beautiful rim-flow swimming pool, interactive kitchen, massage sala, gym, timber deck and comes inclusive of your very own chef, butler, ranger, and tracker.

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Nambiti - Cheetah Ridge

  • From : R2730/night

Cheetah Ridge features ten chic en-suite units each overlooking a private watering hole for spectacular all-day game viewing. Units are luxuriously equipped with a bathtub, shower, double vanity, cozy fireplace, air conditioning, ceiling fan, coffee station, and refrigerator. The family suite comprises a private lounge… joining 2 en-suite bedrooms. The beautiful main lodge area further boasts an exclusive game hide, second watering hole, large garden, pool, boma, and outdoor lounge area.

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Thanda - Safari Lodge

  • From : R8215/night

The award-winning Thanda Safari Lodge comprises 9 luxury bush villas with a communal lounge area, expansive deck, library overlooking a waterhole, on-site spa, wine cellar and cigar bar. Luxury thatch suites each boast a private splash pool, viewing deck and indoor lounge with a double-sided fireplace…. Large bathrooms have both indoor and outdoor showers, a double vanity, and a bathtub. Air-conditioning, fans, a mini-bar, Wi-Fi, mosquito nets, and children’s activities are all included.

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Rock Lodge - Phinda

  • From : R11400/night

Tucked on the edge of a cliff face, Phinda Rock Lodge is set overlooking the expansive game reserve. Natural tones and organic materials make for 6 luxurious contemporary suites with incredible views from each private deck and rim-flow pool. Suites feature air-conditioning, ceiling fans, Wi-Fi, a min-bar, bathtubs… and 4 of the 6 units offer an outdoor shower for extraordinary bathing experience. Children 12 years and older welcome.

Can't Find What You Looking For?

Visiting such a diverse country necessitates some expertise to determine which area, lodge and transport will suit you best. Whether you are a family, couple or traveling solo, we’ll guide you to the perfect place for an incredible safari experience

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