Southern Sun Elangeni

Durban

Days 1 - 4: Durban

Southern Sun Elangeni Location Map

With over 320 days of sunshine per year, Durban is a holidaymakers paradise. The 6 km 'Golden Mile' of beaches are packed with sun worshippers throughout the year, while the warm waters of the Indian Ocean entice swimmers, surfers and other water sport and diving enthusiasts.

For those looking for attractions away from the sand and sea, Durban offers a bustling cosmopolitan city with excellent restaurants, museums, live music and theatre. Durban is also home to the largest population of Indian descendents in South Africa, so it is not surprising, therefore, that the city is renowned for its aromatic spice markets and delicious curries - reputed to be some of the best in the world outside of India itself.

Some of the best diving in South Africa can be found at Aliwal Shoal, just 50 km south of Durban. Aliwal is voted as being one of the top 10 dive sites in the world.  Besides being able to dive and swim alongside the many tropical fish species and loggerhead turtles, the major attraction at Aliwal is the ragged tooth shark, or 'Raggy' as it is fondly known within the local dive community.  From July to November the ragged tooth sharks visit Aliwal Shoal in their annual migration from the Cape to the St Lucia Marine Reserve, and the docile nature of this species means that divers can get extremely close to the sharks without the need for a diving cage.

One of Durban's premier hotels, the Southern Sun Elangeni has breathtaking views of Durban's Golden Mile and warm Indian Ocean.

All the 734 air-conditioned rooms have sea views, and are furnished in a modern style. There are also 3 outdoor pools (one of which is heated), beauty salons, a spa and a gymnasium.

The hotel is home to several of Durban's most exciting restaurants and bars. Guests are presented with a wide range of dining options, from generous buffets to traditional Japanese and exotic curries. Visitors looking to experience glamour and stunning views of the Indian Ocean and vibrant cocktails head to Sky, the hotel's exclusive Durban venue at the top of the Maharani Tower.

Example Details For Southern Sun Elangeni

Nights: 4 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Standard Room
Includes: Breakfast is included.
 
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Southern Sun Elangeni Location.

Address

Southern Sun Elangeni,63 Snell Parade, North Beach, Durban

Directions

From King Shaka International Airport: drive towards the Outer Ring Road towards Durban. Drive through the Toll Road and join up with the N2. Follow the N2 until you reach the Umdloti Link/ Jabu Ngcobo Dr turnoff. Turn left at the turnoff and drive towards the Leo Boyd Highway and turn right onto the M4 towards Durban.

This will take you past the Sibaya Casino off-ramp. Keep travelling past Umhlanga Rocks turn-off, past La Lucia Mall turnoff. Continue past Durban Virginia Airport the Riverside Road turnoff and the Durban Country Club. The M4 becomes the Ruth First.

At the set of traffic lights, turn left into Sandile Thusi Road (Argyle Road). Turn right at the next set of traffic lights into Sylvester Ntuli Road (Brickhill Road). At the next set of traffic lights, turn left into Somtseu Road and continue over the next set of traffic lights and turn right into Snell Parade.

Go around the roundabout and Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani is on the right-hand side before the next roundabout.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests. There is an express check-in / check-out service available. Early check-in and late check-out is available on request.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome.

The rooms are all en-suite and include a TV with DSTV and selected channels, air conditioning, hair dryer, tea/coffee making facilities, a mini bar (stocked on request) and a safe.

There is complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms (500 MB per day).

Breakfast is served at Elangeni Tower in the Ocean Breeze Restaurant. To order breakfast in bed, just fill out the breakfast door hanger in your room and make sure it’s on the outside of your door before 02:00.

Accepted credit cards for any additional items on your room bill are American Express, Diners/Carte Blanche, JCV, MasterCard and Visa.

There are 3 outdoor pools, a beauty salon, a sauna and a gymnasium. Other hotel facilities include 24 hour room service, air-conditioning in public areas, concierge services, gift shop/newsstand, coffee shop, curio shop, laundry/valet, turndown service, wake-up calls, guest relations desk, doctor/dentist on call, and a hospitality lounge.

Both the Maharani Tower and Elangeni Tower feature a quiet area with an internet connected PC and printer should you need this service.

Pool towels are available at the concierge desk.

There is covered parking, which is charged at a daily rate - available on request.

The distance from the airport to the hotel is approximately 16 km.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

Days 5 - 7: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge Location Map

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated on the western boundary in the first private concession within Africa’s oldest proclaimed game reserve - the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.  Set in 96,000 hectares, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge enables guests to enjoy 4* luxury at a private lodge for the first time within the Park, offering spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big 5 territory.

The lodge offers both early morning and evening game drives. Game drive safaris are conducted in specially adapted open Land cruisers with professional guides. To preserve the wilderness no off-road driving is allowed. In addition to driving on the private concession the guides have unlimited access to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park as well.

A typical day would include an early start, a cup of fresh coffee or tea, rusks and muffins after which guests set out on their game drive. In the late afternoon after a delicious high tea, you can enjoy an evening game drive, winding down with sundowners, watching spectacular sunsets and spotting nocturnal creatures in the Park.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offers a choice of 4 types of accommodation - 2 Honeymoon Villas nestled in the indigenous bush with private plunge pools; 8 Luxury Bush Villas with expansive open plan bedrooms with lounge area, fireplace, mini bar, full bathroom and large viewing deck; 4 Safari Rooms with private shower room leading onto deck area; and 2 Safari Family Suites ideal for families travelling with children.   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-uMfolozi Park while at the same time giving each room maximum privacy.

Guests wanting to indulge themselves can make use of the beautiful spa facilities. A full range of spa and beauty therapies are offered by a team of dedicated professionals.  Rejuvenate the mind, body and soul while relaxing in tranquil surroundings offering spectacular views over the park.

Example Details For Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Nights: 3 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Safari Room
Includes: All meals; tea/coffee; the Conservation fee; and safari game drives are included. Each guest is also entitled to one of the following on an evening game drive - glass of wine, local beer, cider or soft drink. PLEASE NOTE: All other drinks, bush walks and Park fees are not included and are payable directly to the lodge.

Children under the age of 14 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve, and children of 14 and 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Guests over 65 years old wishing to join a guided walk are required to have a letter or certificate from their doctor confirming they are in good health and are physically fit to do the walk. More details available on request.

Please Note: As the animals are wild, it is not possible to guarantee what you will see during your safari.

 
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Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge Location.

Directions

From King Shaka International Airport to Nyalazi Gate: Follow the exit signs out of the airport and head north on the N2 Toll Road in the direction of Emhloti/KwaDakuza (formerly Stanger) towards Empangeni/Eshowe/Richards Bay. Please ensure you have cash for toll fees or a credit card.

After 184 km take exit 375 toward Mtubatuba/St Lucia/Nongoma.  Turn left onto R618 and travel for 24 km. Turn left at the sign for Hlulhuwe-Imfolozi Park. Please check in at the Park Office and present them with your Reservation Number. Please keep any paper work that they hand you as you will require this on exiting the Park.

There are then 2 routes through the Park to the lodge – the first is the preferred route which is slightly longer (31 km).

At the T junction turn right at the sign which shows Rhino Ridge 31 km. Continue past signs 1 (14.8 km), 2 (0.9 km) and 3 (4.1 km) - continue to Junction 7 (1 km) and turn left (this is a dirt road). Continue on this road for 4.4 km past Junction 6 where you will pass the road to Thiyeni hide. Shortly after this junction you will see a sign for Rhino Ridge. Turn right and follow the signs up to the lodge. On arrival at the lodge please drive down the cobbled driveway and park at the entrance.

Alternative route through the Park (22 km) - At the T junction turn right at the sign which shows Rhino Ridge 31 km. Drive 14.8 km to Junction 1 and turn left at the sign to Rhino Ridge. Continue for 3.2 km. At the next junction turn right at the sign to Rhino Ridge and continue for 3.6 km. At Junction 4 the road forks - keep left. Continue for 2.8 km to Junction 5 and turn left at the sign for Rhino Ridge. Go up the hill and after about 400 metres you will see a sign to the left for the lodge. Turn left at this sign and follow the signs to the lodge. On arrival at the lodge please drive down the cobbled driveway and park at the entrance.

Do not get out of your car until you reach the lodge. You may see some wildlife on your way - if you do, slow down and maintain a good distance. Do not drive off-road in any circumstances. Please drive with care in the Park as not only are there wild animals but the road is in poor condition with several potholes.

From Swaziland/N2 North: Follow the N2 to KwaZulu-Natal. Turn right onto P453/R22. Continue to follow P453 and then enter the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park at the Memorial Gate. Please check in at the Park Office and present them with your Reservation Number. Please keep any paper work that they hand you as you will require this on exiting the Park.

Follow the signs to Hilltop Camp. Pass Junctions 17, 19 and 18.  At Junction 28 keep left and DO NOT take the road up to Hilltop Camp. At Junction 12 keep left.  At Junction 7 turn right onto a gravel road.  Travel along this road and pass Junction 6 where you will pass the road to Thiyeni Hide. Shortly after this junction you will see a sign for Rhino Ridge.  Turn right and follow the signs to the lodge. On arrival at the lodge please drive down the cobbled driveway and park at the entrance.

If you have any problems en-route, please call the lodge on +27 (0) 71 331 8656 or their Emergency Number is +27 (0) 60 972 4810. It is NOT advisable to use GPS, but please refer to these directions instead.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 13:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome. Children under 6 are not allowed on adult game drives. Kiddies morning drives can be arranged for 3-6 year olds from 10:00 to midday. Children under the age of 14 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve, and children of 14 and 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

All rooms have an outside shower, air conditioning, fans, room safe, hair dryer, tea/coffee making facilities and mosquito nets.

There is an 11 metre infinity lap pool with a sundeck.

The lodge has a curio shop and a spa.

Wi-Fi is available but it can be intermittent and slow due to satellite connection. There is mobile/cell phone coverage.

Guests can also enjoy guided walks lasting 3-4 hours inside the Park in Big 5 territory. This is an additional cost, and payable directly to the lodge.

Guided gorge walks are also available. Suitable for children 10 years and older at an additional cost. These walks take place outside the Park where there is no risk of the Big 5. 

Visits into the local Mpembeni Community can be arranged at an additional cost, as well as visits to Sangoma.

Babysitting services can be arranged (additional cost).

A laundry service is available (additional cost).

Credit cards and cash are accepted at the lodge, but strictly NO debit cards.


Bush Walks / Walking Safaris

Children under the age of 14 years are not permitted on guided walks in the reserve, and children of 14 and 15 years of age must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.  Guests over 65 years old wishing to join a guided walk are required to have a letter or certificate from their doctor confirming they are in good health and are physically fit to do the walk.  A  guided walk can last a couple of hours and involve walking over uneven terrain that may contain dangerous wildlife in potentially high temperatures. Guests may need to move quickly and for a sustained period through rough bush terrain if instructed to do so by their guide.

Regardless of age or the provision of a doctors certificate, the final decision on whether a guest can join a guided walk remains with the guide and lodge manager.

Fugitives' Drift

The Battlefields

Days 8 - 9: The Battlefields

Fugitives' Drift Location Map

The Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal offer an incredible insight into the history of South Africa, and the best way to really appreciate this bloody and fiercely-fought history is to stay here and go on one of the mesmerising and theatrical tours of the key areas.

Fugitives' Drift, in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Battlefields, offers such tours that will move you to tears and stay in your memory forever. The morning tour to Isandlwana takes in the battlefield, where a contingent of 2,500 British soldiers were over-run and defeated within a few short hours by twenty thousand Zulu warriors. The afternoon tour to Rorke's Drift firstly visits the small museum, and then gives a theatrical account of the bravery of the 136 British soldiers who defended the mission station against over 4,000 Zulus and saved injured and dying comrades from the burning hospital.

Fugitives' Drift boasts 2 'camps' - The Lodge and The Guest House - set just 600m apart and offering a high standard of en-suite accommodation.

The Lodge is situated on the site of the original Rattray homestead, and the spacious, luxury en-suite suites here each have a private verandah with views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. Another feature of the Lodge is the beautiful, shady, and well established garden, which is home to many birds and the most spectacular large swimming pool, which is set on a secluded spur on the lip of the Buffalo River gorge.

The Guest House consists of 6 twin rooms, each with a private verandah offering sweeping views of the surrounding battlefields. The Guest House also has a charming sitting and dining room, an outside eating area, and a sparkling pool that overlooks the indigenous bushveld.

Example Details For Fugitives' Drift

Nights: 2 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Standard Room at The Guest House
Includes: All meals are included. The rate excludes any tours - rates are available on request.
 
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Fugitives' Drift Location.

Address

Fugitives' Drift,Rorke's Drift, Isandlwana / Rorke's Drift

Directions

Please do NOT make use of a GPS. It will take you on a circuitous route.

Please also note the gate at the entrance to the property is locked at 18:00. Please advise the lodge if you are likely to arrive later than this time, and they will make arrangements and keep the gate open.

From Johannesburg: Take the N3 towards Durban. Just before the Wilge Toll Plaza take the Villiers turn-off (R103) and head towards Warden. Take the R34 to Vrede, Memel and Newcastle. Go through Newcastle, turn right onto the Ladysmith road (N11). After 16 km take the R621 to Dannhauser, Hattingspruit and Dundee. In Dundee, take the R33 to Greytown. After 14 km turn left to Rorke's Drift, drive for 29 km. Go beyond Rorke's Drift for 2 km, turn left onto D31 signposted Fugitive's Drift. Go along this road for 7 km through the black gate until you see the Guest House and the Lodge.

From Durban: Take the N3 to Pietermaritzburg. Take the R33 to Greytown, and follow signs to Dundee. 10 km after Pomeroy take the turn-off to the right, signposted Elandskraal. At Elandskraal (which consists of a church and a trading store), turn left to Rorke's Drift. Go for about 14 km, and before you get to Rorke's Drift, turn right onto the D31. Follow directions above.

From Hluhluwe: From Empangeni take the R34 to Melmoth, then the R68 to Babanango and Nqutu. 40 km from Babanango, take the turn-off to the left, marked Isandlwana. Follow this road past the Isandlwana battlefield, then turn left onto the D30 and follow signs to Rorke's Drift. Turn left at the T-junction to Rorke's Drift. Go 2 km past Rorke's Drift, turn left into the D31, and follow directions above.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 10:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests. The main gate into the reserve is locked at 18:00, so if you are going to arrive later than this, PLEASE CALL AHEAD AS THERE IS NO CELL PHONE COVERAGE AROUND THE LODGE.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome. Children under 12 are not allowed on tours. Children under 7 years are not allowed into the dining/sitting room - separate meal times will be arranged at the convenience of the child and parent.

Both the Lodge and Guest House have spacious and luxurious en-suite cottages which all have private verandahs and broad views over the plains flanking the Buffalo River Gorge. The Lodge and Guest House both have swimming pools set in their colourful, well established gardens which are home to innumerable bird species.

Dress code is casual.

The tour for Isandlwana departs at 07:30, where you listen in the vehicle to a tape narrated by David Rattray explaining the background to the Anglo-Zulu War. There is a stop at 09:00 for a comfort break and to visit the museum at Isandlwana. The lecture on the battlefield begins at 09:45 until around 11:45, when tea, coffee and refreshments are served. The lecture takes place half way up the hill. Please let the lodge know before you set off if you have difficulty walking so that the lecturer can make an alternative plan. Another tape, this time describing the story of the survivors and events after the battle of Isandlwana is played en-route back to the Lodge or Guest House, returning for lunch at 13:00.

The Rorke's Drift tour departs at 15:00 (winter) or 15:15 (summer). Guests have time to look through the museum at Rorkeandrsquo;s Drift before the lecture begins at 16:00. There is very little walking involved. The lecture concludes around 18:00 and guests are then given the opportunity to look around the memorials and graveyard before returning to the Lodge or Guest House.

Other tours, horse riding and walks are available on request.

Montusi Mountain Lodge

The Drakensberg

Days 10 - 12: The Drakensberg

Montusi Mountain Lodge Location Map

Montusi Mountain Lodge offers genuine hospitality in the tranquillity of one of the most beautiful settings in Southern Africa. Space, comfort and peace are what you will find when you treat yourself to the natural splendour and peaceful, romantic ambiance of this Drakensberg haven.

Situated in the Kwazulu-Natal Drakensberg, halfway between Johannesburg and Durban, Montusi is one of the few destinations with a panoramic vista of the Drakensberg's most famous feature, the Amphitheatre escarpment.

The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful, and nature lovers will enjoy the many hiking and walking trails available for all levels of ability. There are easier walks through lush meadows and across clear streams, or more strenuous hikes up and across rugged mountain terrain.

In addition there are countless other activities including bird watching, horse riding and trout fishing (on a 'catch and release' basis). Golfers can visit the 9-hole Amphitheatre Golf Course at Hlalanathi just 8 km away. The lodge also has a tennis court and racquets/balls can be collected from the main reception for any budding Wimbledon champions in the making.

The main lodge consists of a large and beautifully thatched main lodge with reception, dining room, terrace, bar, lounge and massage room.

The swimming pool looks out at the escarpment and the surrounding rocks have provided inspiration for this unusual and beautifully crafted pool which makes it the guest's favourite place in summer.

The intimate restaurant (with a log fireplace) is renowned for sumptuous local cuisine with innovative menus.

The 16 individual free-standing suites offer guests privacy, are uniquely decorated with stunning views of the Amphitheatre Mountain. Suites have one or two bedrooms with a en-suite bathroom (bath and walk-in shower), a lounge, patio, gas operated fireplace and tea/coffee making facility.

Along side each suite there is a private covered carport for one vehicle.

Example Details For Montusi Mountain Lodge

Nights: 3 Nights
Adults: 2 Children: 0
Room: 1 x Mountain Suite
Includes: Breakfast and dinner are included.
 
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Montusi Mountain Lodge Location.

Address

Montusi Mountain Lodge,Royal Natal Area, Royal Natal

Directions

From Johannesburg: Follow the N3 to Harrismith, turn towards Bethlehem on the N5, travel 4km, turn left onto the R712, travel 8 km, turn left again onto the R74 toward Bergville. Travel 28 km, down the Oliviershoek pass, as the pass levels out, turn right towards the Northern Drakensberg. Follow signs to Alpine Heath and Montusi.

From Durban: Follow the N3 past Estcourt Ultra City. Turn left onto the R74. Travel through Winterton and Bergville. 30 km after Bergville, turn left towards the Northern Drakensberg. Follow signs to Alpine Heath and Montusi.

Check In / Check Out

Rooms may be occupied from 14:00 on the day of arrival and must please be vacated by 11:00 on the day of departure for the convenience of arriving guests.

General Information For Guests

Children of any age are welcome. Special meal times for children are arranged.

All rooms have a lounge area with TV and DVD player, a private patio, tea/coffee making facilities, including bar fridge for fresh milk, minibar (stocked on request), and a car port for one vehicle.

There is a swimming pool and a tennis court (tennis rackets and balls are available at no charge).

Mountain bikes can be hired from All Out Adventures just 4 km from Montusi.

Daily morning walks are offered on the 1,000 hectare estate with a guide who provides tea, coffee and cookies free of charge. Popular destinations are the top of Montusi Mountain, Bushman Cave (with paintings), Waterfall Cave and various streams and rock pools for summer swimming.

Guests can also safely hike the estate on their own using the Montusi Hiking Guide as well as at the uKhahlamba National Park (Royal Natal National Park) 15 km away, with the Tugela Gorge being the favourite.

On request, day hikes can be arranged to the top of the Amphitheatre, an experience you will never forget and do-able for all those of average fitness and unafraid of heights (the last ascent is via metal chain ladders).

The Northern Horse operates spectacular horse trails from the Montusi Estate. The stables are within easy walking distance from the lodge and all levels of rider are catered for. They specialize in customizing trails to suit the rider with everything from gentle strolls over flat fields to exhilarating descents into the river valleys and up the escarpments.

The nearest golf course is 8 km away at the nine-hole Amphitheatre Golf Course at Hlalanathi.

There are 2 dams on the property stocked with trout (and with a beautiful view). Fishing rods can be hired and flies are for sale. This 'Catch and Release' activity is strictly reserved for Montusi residents.