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final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Leigh-on Sea...
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final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

this is the result of weeks of research for our trip in February 2015, does the itinery look feasible (times and distances taken from web)?

Suggestions for eating and drinking stops always welcome together with any suggestions that will enhance our time spent in KwaZulu..

SUNDAY –

arrive Durban from UK via Jo'burg or Dubai . Stay in Ballito overnight near beach and restaurants - suggestions please .

MONDAY –drive Ballito to St. Lucia 197km (2hr. 10mins ) considering stopping off at Shakaland near Eshowe for a 3 hour tour including lunch , Zulu culture etc.

Ballito to Shakaland – 99km (1.1/4hrs. )

Shakaland to St. Lucia – 150km (2hrs)

TUESDAY -St Lucia . We plan to visit Hluhluwe-Umfolozi (lunch at Hilltop) , take an estuary boat trip, visit Cape Vidal and Isimangaliso Wetlands.

Looking for suggestion for the route to and from Hluhluwe e.g. which gates to enter/exit .

WEDNESDAY –St Lucia

THURS – St Lucia

FRIDAY – Drive to Dundee , longest drive of the tour ,308km (4.1/4 hrs) . Try to visit Talana museum in Dundee before doing Battlefields tour next day . Suggestions for a break for lunch/coffee please, not just a service station .

SATURDAY – take a private Battlefields tour , Blood River, Rorke's Drift , Isandlwana .

SUNDAY- visit Talana if time did not allow on Friday . Drive to Royal Natal Park to see Amphitheater (174km 2.1/2 hr), possibly lunch at Mount Aux Sources Hotel to view the Amphitheatre .

has anyone visited the Eskom Power Station ?

Continue a little more further South , location not yet decided - suggestions please . We prefer to be able to eat out in the evenings rather than being confined to isolated accommodation.

MONDAY – Enter another part of the Drakensberg Park, (R600 looks like the easiest access) , After lunch , hopefully with mountain views , tour some of the Midlands Meander .

TUESDAY- Meander to Umhlanga , visiting Howick Falls and Mandela’s capture site on the way

WEDNESDAY- Umhlanga

THURSDAY – Umhlanga

FRIDAY- Umhlanga

visit Ushaka , Sharks Board, Durban town centre, Valley of 1000 Hills and chill out on beach .

SATURDAY – fly to UK .

whilst I have done a lot of research on the Internet and studied maps etc. ,nothing beats the input of those of you who have either visited KwaZulu or live there. Our last 2 trips to the Western Cape have been perfect thanks for all of TA contributions on accommodation, places to eat and visit many of which would have been missed without your inside knowledge.

Thanks in advance .

SUNDAY- arrive home

Zulu Safaris
Day Trips, Safaris, City Tours, Nature & Wildlife Tours, Sightseeing Tours
Howick, South Africa
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817 posts
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1. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

First impression - your first Tuesday plan of Hluhluwe, boat trip, Cape Vidal AND the Isimangaliso doesn't allow much time to "stop and smell the coffee".

Neither does your second Friday of Ushaka, Shark's Board, Durban, and the Vo1000Hills.

There's only about 12 hours of daylight, very little twilight, and none of your travelling should be when it's dark.

I think you need to spread it out a bit or thin it down somewhat.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

We stayed at the Coco de Mer in Ballito, a boutique hotel with lovely zen like gardens, very nice, not right on the beach but opposite side of the road. Re St Lucia, I assume you mean to include all those activities whilst you are staying in St Lucia and not all on the one day as suggested above. HU game reserve alone is worth a full day. The nearest gate to enter Hluluwe Umfolozi from St Lucia is Nyalazi Gate. I suggest doing the Sontuli loop on the western side of Umfolozi, to see grazing game such as rhino, others too. It would be useful to buy the Honeyguide Map of Zululand Reserves at reception there, before you start your tour of the park. You can exit an the top end of Hluhluwe at Memorial Gate and drive N2 back down to St Lucia or exit at the Nyalazi gate again, after doing a big loop of both parks.

Re Dundee - The Talana Museum has a restaurant Miners Rest in the grounds, why not eat there during your visit. You might want to consider an overnight in the Midlands, this would give you more time to visit the sights and enjoy the meander so, maybe one less night in Umhlanga. Oh I now see your other later post. I have now answered this first post so what I say might now not be relevant re the Midlands. We stayed in the Sthn Drakensbergs which is not relevant to your query. Best in one post as Racing Rog suggests. KZN is well worth visiting, do allow yourself time to enjoy its offerings.

London, United...
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3. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Nice but hectic schedule! I also agree about cutting time in Umhlanga - in fact I wouldn't visit it at all - the suburbs further north are quieter, less poncey and with less of the electric fence, prison-like feel that is so alien to us Brits.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Good advice from all above. Definitely allow a full day minimum for Hluhluwe / Umfolozi and as Nooee suggests the “Maps of the Zululand and Maputaland Reserves “is worth every cent of the R45. It also has other information particularly relevant to you as it includes Isimangaliso Wetland Park and Lake St Lucia. It became my bible on my last 2 trips as I visited most of the Reserves mentioned in that booklet. I second Nooee’s Sontuli loop suggestion for rhino viewing (Umfolozi) and will add in the Seme lookout and/ or Mnqabatheki (Hluhluwe) for scenic views, bit different to Hilltop. Allow 2 hours for Talana Museum and a lunch break there would be nice. Looks like a great trip.

Northampton, United...
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5. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Hello and as always great advise above. Don't rush Imfolozi-Huhluwe and try to get to the Nyalazi gate around first light. If you have not driven in the park before you could join an organised game drive. Or for lunch take a picnic and eat at the Sontuli Loop picnic site. Then when you exit drive up the tar road though Hluhluwe and exit via memorial gate. When visiting Cape Vidal there is the eastern shores drive and in December the western shores were opened to the public. In the Berg most places are a little isolated, not many towns with pubs and restaurants like the beech fronts. Take a look at Cathedral Peak Hotel and the KZNW resorts at Didima & Giants Castle. As mentioned avoid driving after dark mainly because of pedestrians & livestock on the roads.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

Leigh-on Sea...
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6. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

thankyou all for your fast response.

Racing Rog

the trips on Tuesday and Friday will not be taken on those specific days but spread over the 3 days in both St. Lucia and Umhlanga .

Nooee

Coco de Mer is on our list of places to stay for the first night ,but as usual I need to email all the accommodations regarding accessibility. My husband has poor balance following a stroke, so the shower must be 'walk in 'and anything more than 3 steps must have handrails BOTH sides. A lift is also helpful. All this can be a problem in SA as it is not geared up for the disabled as we are in Europe. Can you recall how easy Coco was to get around and did the rooms have balconies large enough to sit out on?

thanks also for details of Hluhluwe-Umfolozi

ThanD

we chose Umhlangha as we are taking my daughter and husband (30-32) who like to go out at night (cocktails etc) . It seems on paper to be a suitable place, can you suggest anywhere further North that is more than a small village, or even South of Durban. They love Camps Bay in Cape Town, it is right up their street

London, United...
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7. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Hi I'm in the same age range as your daughter and her husband. Camps Bay is also my favourite place on earth! I personally prefer Ballito which is fairly busy and Salt Rock which is quiet apart from a couple of bars and restaurants.

I can't remember the name of the place I went to, but there is a nice bar overlooking the beach at Ballito. There are some nice bars and restaurants in Umhlanga, but the area felt security obsessed compared with Camps Bay or indeed KZN's Salt Rock/Ballito. There is also an uber-trendiness that I did not warm to personally.

Leigh-on Sea...
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8. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Ballito was our other choice but as we fancy staying at The Oyster Box we didn't make it our first choice. I think I will dig into it a bit more before booking accommodation.

I know what you mean about security. We stayed 3 nights in Constantia last time , the whole area seemed to have more fortifications than Camp Bastion. At our guest house , as well as electric gates to enter the property grounds to park, all the exit doors also had electric locks!

Northampton, United...
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9. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Hello and take look at Hotel Izulu in Ballito. Its upmarket, rooms on the ground floor, great food, lovely garden with pool. A very tropical feeling and a 5 minute drive from the beach. My in-laws and some friends have had there honeymoons at the Oyster Box and a friend recently spent 5 nights in Umhlanga and loved it!.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: final itinery- can anyone enhance it .

Gem

If I recall our room had a large bathroom but don’t remember handrails. We used the stairs to go to our room so I don’t know if it had a lift. Our garden facing room had only a small balcony. The sea facing rooms might be configured differently. We stayed only 1 night after 26 hours of travelling, we just wanted a safe nice hotel bed for the night as opposed to a holiday stay. I think I might have mentioned this place to you before and stated best to contact the hotels with those queries. I liked Ballito had a nice feel to it but the Oyster Box certainly looks great.

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