Durban, Battlefields & KwaZulu Natal Discovery
14 day South Africa Multi-centre
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Holiday Highlights
  • 1 night at the amazing Oyster Box
  • Full Board at your game reserve
  • 14 Days compact car hire
Overview

Not only does this holiday offer luxury and relaxation, it also offers history and culture, making this the ideal choice for all travellers. Start your journey along the Golden Mile in Durban taking in the gorgeous coastline and some local shopping. After your 3 nights here start your drive to the Isandlwana lodge. Here you will experience breathtaking views, battlefields history and fine wine and gourmet food. You will spend 2 nights here before moving on to the next part of the journey.

Your next stop is Drakensberg where you will spend 2 nights at the Cathedral Peak. After your stay travel to the hluhluwe river lodge where you will get a FREE GAME DRIVE. Hluhluwe was the first game reserve in South Africa. It is rich in culture and was the breading place of the white rhino.

The next part of the journey takes you to Ballito which is home to the stunning property you will be staying at, The Fairmont Zimbali Lodge, a top rated hotel with stunning views. After your 3 nights here you will take the short journey for your final night of the trip. You will stay at The Oyster Box, a first class hotel full of charm and class. After your stay here drive back to the airport ready for your flight back to the UK.

What's Included
  • Return flights
  • 3 nights at 4*Southern Sun Elengani, including Bed & Breakfast.
  • 2 nights at Isandlwana lodge, including Breakfast, lunch & dinner.
  • 2 nights at Cathedral peak, including Bed & Breakfast
  • 2 nights at Hluhluwe river lodge, including Full board AND 1 FREE GAME DRIVE!!
  • 3 nights at 5* Fairmont Zimbali lodge, including bed & breakfast.
  • 1 nights at the Oyster Box, including bed & breakfast
  • 14 days Compact Car hire with fully inclusive insurance.
Itinerary

Below is a blog from one of our Senior Consultants who was lucky enough to experience this amazing Multi-centre. the blog is extremely detailed and covers all aspects of this incredible journey.

14 September 2013: KwaZulu Natal – Zulu Kingdom

As the spectre of apartheid shuffles of to the history books, South Africa has blossomed into a warm, hospitable tourist destination. With most tourists flocking to see the wildlife of the Kruger, or to enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Cape Town, another destination sits patiently waiting to be discovered. Flanked by the warm Indian Ocean and the soaring peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-Natal beckons visitors to discover its multi-cultural diversity.

From the UK, I flew, via a change of plane at Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport in to Durban. I picked up my car from outside the terminal building, a 4 x 4 was my vehicle of choice as I would be travelling on rough roads, and made my way to the scenic beauty of Umhlanga for an overnight stay. There are plenty of hotels to rest your plane weary head, but for me the majesty of the Oyster Box cannot be beaten. This hotel sits supremely above sweeping views of the Indian Ocean, overlooking the lighthouse and offers visitors a beach location in luxurious surroundings. No need to travel out, dine in the hotel, and enjoy an early night in your stylish room with its very welcoming comfy bed. And so, dear fellow traveller and explorer, I settled in to my ocean facing room, dined on the freshest salmon and slept deeply on the plumpest of pillows.

Onwards today, and my journey sees me travelling towards the world heritage site of the Greater St Lucia Wetlands. The St Lucia Wetlands offers you the chance to discover the largest marine estuary in Africa. I spent a night at the Thonga Beach Lodge and took the opportunity to discover more about the coastal wildlife, including the turtles that the wetlands support. It is a unique experience and the scenery is breath taking, which will be a feature of this amazingly beautiful region of South Africa. The Thonga Beach Lodge offers views of a completely unspoilt beach, and I spent a delightful hour on the ocean deck, just listening to the waves crashing on to the shore, who needs an MP3, when nature sounds this good? If I was staying longer I would have picked a sea view lodge, but my lodge was just as delightful, nestled discreetly in the forest, and very well appointed, with comfort and privacy very much in mind when designed.

From the wetlands, my journey took me into Hluhluwe Imfolozi, the oldest game reserve in Africa. The reserve was established in 1895, at a time when shooting wildlife was with a gun and not a digital camera! The reserve covers 231 square kilometres and although home to the big 5, is more widely recognised for its Rhino campaign. I booked a stay at the Hluhluwe River Lodge, which is tucked discreetly amongst a forest setting. I took time to relax on the sun deck of my thatched lodge after a busy game drive and dined under the stars. Utter bliss, as I sipped a sundowner, whilst enjoying sweeping views over St Lucia Lake. If preferred, you can travel straight here and leave out the overnight at Thonga Beach, but for me the coastal stay offers a different view on the diversity of the Wetlands.

Make sure you take a refreshment stop before the long journey to the Zulu Battlefields, as there are not many places to stop on the way; I know this from painful experience! Those, who share my love of history, will rejoice in walking in the footprints of Shaka, Winston Churchill, Gandhi and General Louis Botha. My Visit included tours of Isandlwana, Rorke's Drift, Spioenkop and Ladysmith. Accommodation is plentiful and of a good standard, from the beautifully located Isandlwana Lodge, or the historic and friendly Fugitives Drift. Taking in a tour organised by your accommodation, you can view the scene of the great battle of Isandlwana, but for me the most moving talk was at Rorke's Drift, famous from the film Zulu. I arrived in the evening with my fellow Fugitive's Drift guests, and took a seat in front of the hospital, as darkness fell; the scene was set, as our historian, David Rattray, portrayed a tale of a depleted army, trying to protect the hospital from the Zulu warriors. Each character is brought to life as you can see in front of you flames licking at the hospital as the men try to escape with the sick and injured, in the darkness you follow their footsteps to the culmination of the battle. Stirring stuff and very moving for everyone, who had the pleasure to listen, even the non-history lovers were transfixed by the tale of bravery of the men involved. Everyone was deep in thought around the open wood fire that evening as we sipped on Amarula, before retiring to our rooms for the night.

From the Battlefields, I drove through scenic countryside to the magnificent Drakensberg Mountain range, known locally as uKhahlamba (Barrier of Spears) or 'The Dragon Mountain' for the Dutch Voortrekkers. Make sure you spend 3 or 4 days in the region to discover for yourself the many outdoor pursuits offered in the area. I enjoyed a sunrise champagne helicopter flight above this mountain range, but take care, as going over the peaks does weird things to the tummy region! For walkers there are many paths to hike from a gentle amble, where you can enjoy a spot of bird watching to a more adventurous trek into the peaks. The history and rock paintings of the Sani people is worth exploring in more detail, and the region has preserved their history, and protecting the artwork meant the area was declared a world heritage site in 2000. There are many hotels to rest your weary head, from Cathedral Peak nestled in the jagged peaks of the mountain range, the foodie lovers destination of Cleopatra's Mountain Farmhouse to Montusi Mountain lodge in the Northern Drakensberg. I stayed at the Champagne Sports Resort, set in central Drakensberg, more of a conference and timeshare resort, however the setting is delicious and the cuisine superb. If you enjoy golf, then the championship golf course will be an enjoyable challenge. I preferred to try out the excellent beauty salon, with a soothing massage and manicure.

Onwards now as I journey back to Durban along the artists trail of the beautiful Midlands Meander. Covering the area between Pietermartzburg, Estcourt and Greytown, this area enjoys a rich history, including the arrival of the British colonialists in the 1850's. The meander stretches over 80km and the route was first suggested for touring in 1938, by a group of crafts people. Nowadays, there is the opportunity to stop, view and purchase pottery, leather goods, wood craft and weaving. Make sure you take time to purchase a unique piece to take home and remember this beautiful area, every time you dust. I resisted the large wooden giraffe and picked a rather nice pottery flower pot, which now houses the poinsettia every Christmas. Accommodation ranges from the quaint Granny Mouse Country House to the Wellness Resort of Fordoun, with its nod to the local eco-system. I picked the enchanting Granny Mouse Country House, as the location is delightful set in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains, which act as a backdrop. It's not surprising that this hotel is a popular choice for weddings. My Garden Room offered views out on to the delightful South African country garden, perfect for relaxing after a long drive.

After a restful stay in the Midlands it is time to drop the car of and explore the cosmopolitan city of Durban. Yes, it has its problems with crime and some areas around the port should be avoided, but the city has much more to offer the visitor. You could return to the elegant Oyster Box in Umhlanga, and re-indulge yourself in its colonial charm, or try Audacia Manor, another restored mansion in Durban' s Berea residential district, overlooking the Indian Ocean. If you prefer to be in the heart of Durban in a beachfront location, then there are several hotels along the golden mile, but a stand out and long time favourite is the Protea Hotel Edward. But, I preferred to return to the Oyster Box, with its peaceful atmosphere and lovely views. Hotel sorted, it is time to explore this vibrant city with its Indian influences, and the best place to explore this, is the spice market. Situated in Victoria Street, the air leading up to the door is filled with a spicy aroma, and tells of the delights within. With over 170 stalls, the noise and smell of spice and incense envelopes you and drags you along the aisles by the nose. There are several museums, and an art gallery and botanical gardens to explore; I also took time to visit uShaka Marine World, a theme park exploring the marine life of the region. After all that walking, relax by the beach with the famous pancakes or like me, try Bunny Chow, a curry/stew served in a loaf.

On my return overnight flight home, after being sprayed by insecticide by the airline, I had time to reminisce over my trip to KwaZulu-Natal. What would be the highlight of my trip? For me it will always be the talk at Rorke's Drift, memorable for the intensity of the lecture, given by the late David Rattray of Fugitives Drift.

And it is to David Rattray, that I dedicate this blog, someone who shared his love of the history of the area, and his passion for the local Zulu tribe.

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Price from
£1,939pp
Secure your holiday from only £100pp
Enquire now
Enquire about Durban, Battlefields & KwaZulu Natal Discovery
Please list all your holiday requirements in as much detail as possible. This could be the amount of passengers to your preferred dates and departure airport.
The Internet Traveller takes your privacy very seriously and you can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our privacy policy.
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