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Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

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Reigate, Surrey
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Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

We are an English family ,(teenagers age 13 and 17) considering a week stay in KZN, following two weeks voluntary work in Cape Town this August. We would like advice over where to go / stay to combine game viewing, ? st lucia / beach (if warm enough?) and possibly zulu or swazi experiences. We will be flying in and out of Durban and hiring a car from there.

Thanks for any advice

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1. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

No visit to KZN is complete without a stay at Fugitives Drift, experiencing the full drama of the Zulu wars. It's an easy 3 - 4 hours drive from Durban. 2 nights will suffice although 3 is perfect.

Edited: 09 February 2010, 06:43
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2. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

A highly recommended safari destination in northern KZN, is Phinda Private Game Reserve (about 2 hours' drive from St Lucia). Phinda has a variety of lodges to choose form, with Mountain and Forest lodges being the most affordable. Both these lodges are excellent! Phinda Mountain has a special offer valid for travel in August, where up to 2 children younger than 16 can stay for free, so your 13 yr old would get a free safari!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Shelly Beach, South...
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3. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Hi Surrey,

KZN is a varied and wonderful provice with loads to see and do.

As you only have a week, here is my suggested itinery with 2 teenagers.

Spent the first night in Durban and have a day at Uskaka Marine world,

then head inland to the battlefields for a couple of nights, from there cut across to the North Coast to do some wonderful game veiwing and a boat trip up the estuary at St Lucia to see the crocs and Hippos.

Then travel back along the coastal route, down to the South Coast, Shelly Beach area for your last couple of days of beach relaxation. The South Coast is a wonderful beach destintion with many varied sandy beaches, (including 4 with blue flag status) and warm sea temperatures, even in August.

Spend a day visiting Oribi Gorge where your teenagers can experience the thrill of the worlds highest gorge swing.

From here it's an easy one and a half hours drive back to Durban airport to catch your flight home.

Pickering, United...
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4. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

You could also throw in a canopy tour on a huge zip wire. lasts a couple of hours!


Beaches are wonderful and in August a bit like Reigate in terms of weather (could be a tee shirt could be a jumper!). Water is reliably tolerable (probably like Reigate at its warmest) but sometimes the waves are huge (good surfing and lessons are available on the beach just in front of Ushaka).

Reigate, Surrey
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5. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Thanks for all the advice; a couple more questions:

would teenagers really find the battlefields interesting? or is it more of an adult thing?

Phinda ia bit outside the budget unfortunately

I have read good reviews of Bonamanzi , as a base for st lucia and hluhluwe; and wondered if several days there might be an option?

also wondered about staying in a zulu village and what might be recommended there?

thanks for any more help

Stanley, Falkland...
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6. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Have they watched "Zulu"? What did they think of it?

I think they might also 'enjoy' experiencing a school. And they will make a HUGE impact if they take some useful stuff along, as well as the ever-popular footballs. It IS World Cup year - footballs to Africa! You can even get them in South African colours.....


see also Kate Humble's www.stuffyourrucksack.com

Reigate, Surrey
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7. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Thanks Peter. We will be working in a school on the cape flats for two weeks before we go to KZN; and yes, we did it last year and took lots of well received football kit etc!

I will may get them to watch Zulu! Thanks for advice

Port Elizabeth
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8. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Bonamanzi is a great place as a base. I have only ever camped there, so I cant give you the low-down on the accommodations. I know the have a range of accommodation: camping, a backpackers, "tree-houses" and then Lalapanzi which is their best accommodations. There are 2 small swimming pool areas. The main one at Lalapanzi and another one for the campers etc.

Bonamazi is perfect for a visit to Hluhluwe. It is also possible to drive from there down the N2 and enter at the Imfolozi Gate. You will just have to get up 1/2 ealier than you would for Hluhluwe.

Bonamanzi is on its on game reserve - 4000 hectares - 10000 acres. There are 2 hides that you can walk to. They are great for animals (mostly antelope) and birds.

Bonamazi is a prime, prime, prime birding location for specials like Lemon-Breasted Canary, African Broadbill, Grey Waxbill, Narina Trogon, Black Coucal (which I haven't seen), Green Malkoa, Blue-Mantled Fly Catcher etc. etc. etc. My 2 best lifers there were Southern Banded Snake Eagle and Green Sandpiper. My most impressive sight was the huge flock off pelicans taking off on the guided flood plain drive.

You can easily spend 4 full days (5 nights) there.

1. A day to do Hluhluwe

2. A day spent around Bonamanzi, going to the hides, having a swim or 2 and maybe doing a guided walk (or a non-guided one) or a guided drive or a horse trail or having a bush braai.

3. A day to do Imfolozi

4. A day at False Bay / St Lucia. False Bay is very close, but find out about the level of the water and whether it is worth going. KwaZulu-Natal was having a drought, but I think they have had a lot of rain this summer.


PS. Bonamazi has changed hands since I was last there.

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9. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

Also look i n to Thula Thula Game Lodge and visit the Emdoneni Cheetah and wild cat Sanctuary. Can also stay in Hluhluwe/Imfolozi reserve and camp at Mpila tented camp and self drive and arrange guided tours.

Canoe on the estuary and do Kosi Bay Turtle Tracking (seasonal) few hrs from St Lucia. Also horse riding trails on the beach. Beaches are secluded and untouched, best places for snorkelling are Cape Vidal. Some diving companies will offer tours over the border to Mozambique to swim with dolphins.


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10. Re: Advice over itinerary for 1 week in KZN

We stayed in the Umfolozi tented camp (self catering) a couple of years ago - it was really great fun - tents are fully equipped with en suite shower and loo. Basic kitchen - fridge and utensils - raised walkway between tents. Hyenas visited at night! Umfolozi and Hluhluwe now one big reserve so you can spend time in both.

Have also stayed in the Bona Manzi Tree Houses - quite a few years ago - lots of fun then. Had a report about them recently - a little bit run down? Anyone stayed there in the last year or so?