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South Africa: Wildlife, Wetlands and Waves incl air

Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,869

Go on a game safari to see the best of South Africa’s east coastline. Search for nocturnal predators like leopards and owls in Hluhluwe iMfolozi National Park, snorkel alongside thousands of fish at the reefs of Mabibi Bay, and watch hippos and flamingos on the banks of Lake St. Lucia all while enjoying the accommodations of luxury safari lodges.


This 10-day safari vacation takes you to South Africa’s east coast to explore untouched waterways and scenic game reserves from the comforts of luxury safari lodges.

Connecting from Durban, you’ll head to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, cusped on the western border of Hluhluwe iMfolozi National Park. During your time at this luxury lodge, you’ll embark on daily safaris in search of the Big Five as well as nighttime drives to spot nocturnal predators like leopards, owls, and jackals in the midst of the hunt. At the lodge, you’ll stay in one of 16 rooms, enjoying either the comforts of a family-friendly safari room, a luxury bush villa with its own fireplace or the luxurious seclusion of the honeymoon villa with its own private plunge pool. Whether you’re enjoying high tea on the verandah overlooking the wildlife of the park, relaxing with a massage in the spa, or going for bushwalks in the company of seasoned guides, you’ll enjoy the best of park life at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge.

After traversing Hluhluwe iMfolozi National Park, head northeast to Thong Beach Lodge, which is wedged between the Indian Ocean and Lake Sibaya, one of Africa’s largest freshwater lakes. Located within the pristine iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thong Beach Lodge offers access to one of the few untouched strips of African coastline left on the continent. Stay in one of 12 bush suites with ocean or forest views and spend your days exploring the ocean, taking advantage of the seclusion of Mabibi Bay and its wealth of diving sites. Snorkel through its reefs, looking for some of the 1,200 fish species that call the water home. If diving isn’t for you, take an Open Ocean Experience where you can search for dolphins, whales, and sharks from the safety of an ocean vessel.

After exploring Mabibi Bay, head south to Lake St. Lucia and Makakatana Bay Lodge. Stay in one of five pristine rooms, watching warthogs and bush babies from your private viewing deck, refreshing with an outdoor shower, or cooling down in an air-conditioned room after a hot day. Spend your time at the lodge spotting hippos, crocodiles, or exotic birds like pelicans, flamingos, and storks in the waters of the lake. At night, dine beneath the stairs in the open-air dining room. End your South African vacation with a safari down the shoreline in search of elephants and giraffes before returning to Durban to catch your flight home.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices From:
US$ 3,869

Itinerary View Trip Map View Trip Special

Day 1

Depart North America

Depart from North America on your flight to Durban, South Africa.

Day 2

In Transit to Durban

Day 3

Arrive Durban

You will be met upon your arrival at Durban's King Shaka International Airport, located on the Dolphin Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal province, by a Goway representative and transferred to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. The history of this area is that King Shaka ordered the construction of several, royal settlements during the consolidation of his Zulu empire - It was the King's mother, Princess Nandi who declared fondness for the Dolphin Coast's natural beauty, sweet drinking water and lush grazing, plus its close proximity to the traders, with whom the King had already established a working relationship. Elephant tusks, animal skins, meat and sea-salt were exchanged for cloth, beads and other trinkets.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated on the western boundary of Africa's oldest proclaimed Game Reserve, Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, Northern KwaZulu Natal a 3hr drive from King Shaka International Airport. It is the only private lodge within the park. With its four star accommodation, guests are offered spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big 5 territory.

On arrival at the lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing drink and welcomed by a friendly team who will give you a short orientation of the lodge and its facilities before showing you to your accommodation. After a quick refresh, you will be waiting to serve you high tea on the veranda at the main lodge which offers spectacular views over the entire reserve. You will now meet your guide who will prepare you for your first safari experience, and offer some useful pointers about the 'do's and don'ts' of the bush. By now you will be eager to board your safari vehicle to explore the magnificent hills and valleys of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. At sunset your guide will take you to a special spot to enjoy drinks and snacks where after you will travel into the night looking for nocturnal creatures like leopards, owls and jackals. When you get back to the lodge you will be given time to freshen up for dinner and then enjoy superb cuisine on the dining deck or in the restaurant. Sit around the fire late into the night discussing the day's sightings and legendary tales of Africa against a backdrop of a million stars and the sounds of the jackals in the distance.

Meal Plan Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge



    Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge situated inside the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, therefore in addition to driving on their private concession within the park they also have unlimited access to the greater Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park where you have the opportunity to spot ...

    Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge situated inside the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, therefore in addition to driving on their private concession within the park they also have unlimited access to the greater Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park where you have the opportunity to spot the Big 5. The rooms have been carefully positioned high up on a ridge to take full advantage of the spectacular views over the hills and valleys of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park while at the same time giving each room maximum privacy. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge accommodates a maximum of 36 guests in 4 different room types.

    Facilities

    • Air Conditioning
    • Spa
    • Wedding venue

    More Details

Day 4

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

After an early morning wake-up, fresh coffee, tea and rusks (a South African tradition!), you will depart with a guide for an early morning safari drive. Be sure to have a jacket and scarf as it can get really chilly on the open 4x4 vehicle. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses will also be needed for later in the day. Nothing is predictable in the bush, therefore each safari offers a potentially new and unique experience. Your guide will share his/her wealth of bush experience which involves the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects and birds. The medicinal uses of plants and local folk lore are also discussed, all the while looking for the ever fascinating Big 5 (Lion, buffalo, leopard, rhino and elephant). When you return to the lodge you will be greeted by a hearty brunch. Now it is time for you to relax amid the natural beauty of the Lodge. The Spa at Rhino Ridge has a philosophy of delivering treatments that are holistic, eco-friendly and aimed at rejuvenating your mind body and soul. The Eco-Treats boast an African theme and offers everything from a Queen Nandi Facial to an Induna Massage. Let them pamper you while relaxing in style overlooking the undulating hills of Zululand. Rejuvenate mind, body and soul in this tranquil bush retreat. Be sure to be back in time for high tea and the evening game drive. Hopefully this time you will spot all those other animals still on your bucket list. On returning to the lodge you will have time to freshen up before coming through for a delicious dinner.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration0 Days
Day 5

Transfer to iSimangaliso Wetland Park

After your breakfast and morning activity you will check out of Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge and your transfer will take you to Thonga Beach Lodge the total transfer time from lodge to lodge is approximately 3.5 hours. On arrival, you will be welcomed with a refreshing drink and given a brief orientation of the lodge before being shown to your room and given time to unpack and relax before coming through for lunch. Why not join your guide for an afternoon sundowner at South Africa's largest fresh water lake, Lake Sibaya? On returning to the lodge you will have time to freshen up before settling down for a delicious meal under the stars.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration3 Nights
Accommodation

Thonga Beach Lodge

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Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Thonga Beach Lodge



    Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the pristine shores of the Maputuland coast, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This 24-bed luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the most unspoilt wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of coastal ...

    Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the pristine shores of the Maputuland coast, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This 24-bed luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the most unspoilt wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Its crystal clear, warm waters offer South Africa's best snorkelling and fantastic off-shore scuba diving.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Chapel/Shrine
    • Free WiFi
    • Internet Access
    • Non Smoking Property
    • Parking
    • Pool (s)
    • Restaurant
    • Safety Deposit Box
    • Snorkelling
    • Spa

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Day 6

Thonga Beach Lodge

Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, an internationally recognised World Heritage Site. With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkeling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. Activities at Thonga Beach Lodge include SCUBA diving, Open Ocean experiences, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya, guided snorkeling, seasonal turtle drives/walks, Tsonga Cultural tours and forest walks. Whether you are a walker or a diver, take advantage of the wealth of activities that await you in this beautiful hideaway, or simply relax with a Spa treatment or on the beach deck. SCUBA diving at Mabibi is phenomenal. A professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran.

For those who don't dive, they have an Open Ocean Experience. An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales and other creatures. The warm Indian Ocean supports a myriad of fish and marine life. Guests can sometimes swim with dolphins or whale sharks, or snorkel with Manta rays and giant turtles. In summer there are nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of pre-historic turtles laying their eggs. Witness the culmination of an incredible journey as giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests. Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from November to end of February. The turtles lay their eggs from November to January. Hatchlings arrive from end December to end of February. Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process and data collected from the turtle drives is submitted to the Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring program.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Thonga Beach Lodge

Spend another day enjoying Thonga Beach Lodge.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Transfer to Makakatana Bay Lodge

After breakfast you will check out of Thonga Beach Lodge and your transfer will take you to Makakatana Bay Lodge. The drive is 3 hours. Makakatana Bay Lodge is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park a World Heritage Site, one of the few natural wonders left on earth. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife.Your stay at Makakatana Bay Lodge is designed around exploring this amazing sanctuary on an open Safari vehicle and private pontoon boat. On arrival at the lodge you will be greeted with a refreshing drink and welcomed by the team who will give you a short orientation of the lodge and its facilities before showing you to your accommodation. After you've settled into your room, experienced guides will take you on an afternoon drive looking at the stars and searching for leopard, hyena, porcupine and other nocturnal animals. On return you will be invited to dine under the African stars. Fall asleep to the sounds of bush babies crying and hippo's grunting on the open savannah.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration2 Nights
Accommodation

Makakatana Bay Lodge

More Info

Location View map
  • starstarstarstar

    Makakatana Bay Lodge



    Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately-owned and owner-managed game lodge within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, and is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia, one of the few natural wonders left on earth. Experience unspoiled beaches, vast wetlands, game drives ...

    Makakatana Bay Lodge is the only privately-owned and owner-managed game lodge within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park World Heritage Site, and is set on the banks of Lake St Lucia, one of the few natural wonders left on earth. Experience unspoiled beaches, vast wetlands, game drives around our game reserve, and an unforgettable boat cruise on the estuary. Our goal is to show off this unique and pristine wilderness gem, the perfect addition to a typical safari holiday.

    The main lodge is the heart of Makakatana, a communal area with personal service designed for relaxation and comfort. All game drives leave from the main lodge, and all meals are served on either the raised deck wrapping around the lodge, or at the 'boma' alongside. The lodge has a bar, a nearby wine cellar (affectionately called the 'old crab house') and a nearby private bush pool on the edge of Lake St Lucia.

    Facilities

    • Bar
    • Boma
    • Ensuite Bathrooms
    • Outdoor Pool
    • Wine Cellar

    More Details

Day 9

Makakatana Bay Lodge

An early breakfast is served at the Lodge after which you will depart to embark on a 2.5 hour boat trip on Lake St Lucia Estuary. This is an exclusive opportunity to explore the wetland narrows. The cruise along the narrows of Lake St. Lucia is a firm favorite, allowing you to experience the wildlife from a totally new perspective. Watch the resident hippo perform, crocodiles laze on the banks or set your binoculars on the reed birds, with 526 bird species recorded throughout the Park. Wetlands are renowned for huge numbers of water birds such as flocks of pelicans, storks and flamingos congregating alongside specials such as Pink throated Longclaws, Pygmy Geese and Lesser Jacanas. Enjoy the gentle breeze as you learn about the lake from expert guides.

After the boat trip you will be taken on a picnic lunch and then a drive on-route back to the Lodge to spend the late afternoon relaxing at the pool or in your room, waiting for the elements of nature to present themselves to you. The lodge is unfenced and animals regularly come and eat on the vegetation around the rooms.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Transfer to Durban

On the day of departure there is an early morning drive that goes out to explore more of the Wetlands. Experienced guides will spend time looking for animals that frequent the Western shores including the elephants and giraffe. Check out is after breakfast. Your transfer will collect you at 11.00am for your 2.5 hour drive back to King Shaka International Airport, Durban.

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information

DEPARTURES AND PRICES:

US DEPARTURES
Date

From:
New York
US$

1 Sep - 31 Oct '17 $ 3,869
1 - 30 Nov '17 $ 3,869
11 Jan - 31 Mar '18 $ 3,869
1 - 30 Apr '18 $ 3,869
Add $55 from Chicago and Bostson, $85 fom Houston, $120 from Los Angeles, $140 from San Francisco and $165 from Dallas

 

CANADIAN DEPARTURES
Date

From:
Toronto on British Airways
CA$

1 Sep - 31 Oct'17 $ 4,779
1 - 30 Nov'17 $ 4,659
11 Jan - 31 Mar'18 $ 4,659
Add $50 from Montreal and $300 from Vancouver or Calgary

 

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • International Airfare on Emirates Airlines including airport taxes,
  • All transfers
  • 2 Nights at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge including all meals and 2 game drives per day and a complimentary 30 minute back, neck and shoulder massage
  • 3 Nights at Thonga Beach Lodge including all meals, guided walks, kayaking, cultural tours to Mabibi and use of snorkelling equipment and a complimentary foot massage
  • 2 Nights at Makakatana Bay Lodge including all meals, local drinks, and activities (game drives, boat cruises and a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine on arrival)

PRICE EXCLUDES:

Travel insurance, items of a personal nature and drinks. Limited seats, subject to availability

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from", per person, based on twin share and include international airfare from the cities mentioned above, and all taxes. For departures from other cities, please inquire. Subject to availability.

TB THOMPSODUR17CO: SAWWW17
31 Mar 2018
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