Self-drive South Africa's KwaZulu Natal

11 days
Rated by 1 Travellers
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Experience 11 fantastic days as you thoroughly explore South Africa's KwaZulu Natal province - the itinerary includes the Drakensberg Mountains, the KZN Battlefields, the Maputaland Coastal Reserve and the extraordinary Phinda Resource Reserve.

Begin your self-drive journey at the base of the famous and iconic Drakensberg Mountains as you relax at Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse. Enjoy Cleopatra's famously delicious gourmet cuisine and the chance to explore the Drakensberg Mountains on foot or horseback.

Continue north into the historic and culturally rich Battlefields region and spend two nights at Fugitives' Drift. You'll learn all about the famous colonial battles of the area such as Isandwlana and Rourke's Drift and you'll also explore the Buffalo River for birds and spot giraffe and zebra in the local game reserve.

Next, drive yourself to the sub-tropical KZN coast and Rocktail Camp. Enjoy a few days of relaxation as you rest on white sandy beaches, go snorkelling in the clear Indian Ocean, or cool off in the camp's swimming pool.

Finish off your adventure with a Big 5 safari in the Phinda Resource Reserve, one of South Africa's most exclusive and diverse conservation areas.


  • Tour Duration: 11 Days

Accommodations Visited

Day to day


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Days 1-2: Delight your palate at Cleopatra

Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Detailed breakdown

Days 1-2: Delight your palate at Cleopatra | 2 Nights

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Drakensberg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Fly from Johannesburg to Durban, pick up your hire car and drive yourself to the scenic foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and The Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse.

Enjoy two nights in this charming and cosy accommodation, situated next to the Giants Castle Nature Reserve. Take a hike or go horseback riding in this dramatic mountain region and keep your eyes peeled if you're a birder: the area is a good birdwatching destination.

There'll be plenty of time to relax at the farmhouse: settle into a hammock in the garden with a book or take a cooking class - Cleopatra is well-known for excellent cuisine and award-winning chefs.

Days 3-4: Hear the stories of the Battlefields | 2 Nights

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KwaZulu-Natal, Battlefields, South Africa

Drive to northern KwaZulu Natal and into the evocative Battlefields Region - your accommodation is the simple yet elegant Fugitives' Drift Lodge. Set on a hillside, the lodge has stunning views of the Buffalo River Gorge and the plains beyond.

Re-live the past during a tour of the local battlefields: events from the Anglo-Zulu War are narrated to you in gripping, emotional detail. Hear the famous story of Rorke's Drift, as you stand on the very ground where the fierce battle took place.

You'll also get a chance to explore the nearby Buffalo River where the birdlife is particularly good and a variety of animals such as giraffe and zebra have been reintroduced into a local nature reserve.

Days 5-7: Snorkel in the Indian Ocean | 3 Nights

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KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Today you'll head to Rocktail Camp, a tranquil lodge on a remote beach tucked away in the Maputaland Coastal Forest Reserve.

Explore the marine reserve on diving and snorkelling excursions - you'll even have the chance to spot turtles, sharks and manta rays besides all the other colourful fish. Back on dry land you can relax and socialise with the other guests by the large swimming pool or embark on a trip to Black Rock, a 60-foot fossilised sand dune.

Days 8-10: Exploring the stunning Phinda Reserve | 3 Nights

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KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal Safaris, South Africa

Make your way after breakfast on the coast to the stunningly scenic Phinda Forest Lodge, located in the extraordinary Phinda Resource Reserve. Set off on exciting game drives in an open-sided 4x4 safari vehicle and an experienced ranger - it's a reserve packed with wildlife and you have a good chance of spotting Africa's Big 5 as well as many other classic African animals.

You can also go on guided nature walks and learn about local folklore and the traditional uses of indigenous plants. The walks are led by an armed ranger and tracker who will help you identify animal spoor and rare birds. Birders should also note that Phinda is one of South Africa's top bird watching destinations.

Day 11: End your adventure in Durban

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Say goodbye to the Phinda Game Reserve after one final safari activity and drive down the coast to Durban. Your tour ends once you drop off your hire car at the airport.

Inclusions tick icon


  • 11 days car rental
  • Flight from Johannesburg to Durban
Exclusions tick icon


  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


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Dates Price
2019-10-01 — 2019-11-15 $4,265
2019-11-16 — 2019-12-31 $4,320
2020-02-16 — 2020-04-01 $4,405
2020-04-02 — 2020-05-17 $4,405
2020-05-18 — 2020-07-02 $4,035
2020-07-03 — 2020-08-17 $4,035
2020-08-18 — 2020-10-02 $4,510
2020-10-03 — 2020-11-17 $4,570
Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently. Please treat all pricing as a guide only:
  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice.
  • Single supplements may apply.
  • Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.