We hope that this example holiday will give you give some inspiration to help you begin to plan your own dream holiday to Africa.
The next couple of pages show a summary of the itinerary, followed by a detailed page on each destination.
Important travel information for visitors to South Africa is included at the back of this document.
All the holidays we offer to our clients are tailor-made so we can adjust this trip to fit in with your travel dates, interests, preferred accommodation...and of course your budget.
All our travel consultants have extensive knowledge of travel throughout Southern and East Africa, and our strong relationships with suppliers mean that our rates to you will always be competitive.
Let us take the hard work out of planning your trip: you can get in touch either by giving us a call on +44 (0) 1932 428380, completing the Enquiry Form on our website or emailing us at email@example.com.
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The Travel Butlers Team
Holiday Title: KwaZulu-Natal Nature Explorer
Holiday Destination: Holiday to South Africa for 12 nights
Passengers: 2 Adults
*Excludes international flights from your home country - please ask us if you would like us to include these for you.
ABTOT provides protection for your booking as set out in Section 6 of our booking conditions.
Holiday Title: KwaZulu-Natal Nature Explorer
Passengers: 2 Adults
Arrive into Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport. Go through Immigration, collect your luggage and clear Customs, then make your way to the Europcar Rental office. Complete the necessary paperwork - you will need to present your driving licence, passport and credit card. The keys to your hire car will then be handed over to you.
13 Day Car Rental: Group C Compact Sedan - Toyota Corolla Quest Manual or similar (Classic Plus Cover GPS PACKAGE)
Drive to The Drakensberg (approx 400 km / 4 h 30 mins). Nestled in the unspoiled surroundings of the Drakensberg mountain range (a World Heritage Site) lies Cathedral Peak Hotel, one of South Africa's premier resort hotels.
Drive to Durban (approx 285 km / 3 h 30 mins). Undoubtedly the brightest star on Durban's Golden Mile, the Southern Sun Elangeni is a Durban beachfront landmark favoured by holidaymakers.
Your next destination is Kosi Forest Lodge. There are very few truly unspoilt places left in the world, but the area surrounding Kosi Forest Lodge is one of them. To reach this amazing destination, drive into KwaNgwanase (also called Manguzi or Kosi Bay) and look out for the Total Garage on your left handside. Once you arrive at this service station, a Kosi representative will meet you there and drive you to a secure car parking area not far away. The trip to the lodge from here will be approximately 30 minutes in an open 4x4 vehicle. PLEASE PRE-BOOK WHICH PICK UP TIME YOU REQUIRE - EITHER 12:00 OR 16:00.
Kosi Forest Lodge is set in a beautiful sand forest on the banks of Lake Shengeza in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. When you stay at Kosi Forest Lodge, you're almost guaranteed to see the pod of resident hippos that live in Lake Shengeza. The lodge's swimming pool overlooks the lake, so you can while away the afternoon watching the resident pod of hippos safely below. At sunset, the hefty hippos can be seen ambling out of the water onto the shore in search of food. Gliding in a canoe through the waters will get you close up to some of the most beautiful birds the continent has to offer. Whatever activity you choose to do here, you can't help but feel a close connection to nature.
St Lucia Wetland Park
You will be transferred back to the secure car park at Manguzi where you will collect your hire car and drive to Ghost Mountain Lodge.
Ghost Mountain Inn is a wonderful place to just relax for a few days. Enjoy a sundowner from the top of the Lebombo cliffs watching the sunset across the valley and mountains in the distance, or watch elephants swimming from a boat cruise on nearby Lake Jozini. Those who prefer to just relax can do this in the indigenous gardens, around the pool or in the spa. The sound of birdsong will never be far away.
Set off after a leisurely breakfast for the drive to Thanda Private Game Reserve (approx 50 km / 45 mins). Thanda offers an authentically South African wildlife experience, including close-up encounters with Africa's magnificent Big 5. Each of the luxury safari tents has a private sun deck set in the bush and flickering lanterns guide your way at night.
Thanda Private Game Reserve
Nestled amongst the beautiful Drakensberg Mountain range lies Cathedral Peak Hotel. Since the hotel first opened to guests in 1939, the hotel has been renowned for its warm hospitality and exceptional service.
Guests staying here can enjoy unrivalled access to the magnificent Drakensberg mountain range. Daily guided hikes (including walks to Bushman paintings and beautiful waterfalls) range from gentle riverside ambles suitable for the whole family to the challenging hike and climb to the summit of Cathedral Peak itself. Bird-spotting enthusiasts can tick off some of the 121 resident species recorded.
The immaculate 9 hole golf course situated on the property offers alternate tees for an 18 hole game, and the club house has a terrace with panoramic views of the mountains.
Horse riding is another activity, and the spectacular trails are suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced.
For those into fishing, the hotel has two bass and one trout dam - making this a perfect fishing getaway. A state of the art gym and steam room, tennis and squash courts, quad biking and mountain biking trails, a climbing tower, a dedicated games room, children's playground and 3 swimming pool areas are ideal for those looking for some additional activity or to keep the children amused.
The Standard and Superior Rooms are situated in the beautiful hotel gardens with views of the surrounding foothills from the private veranda. Some of these rooms are interleading, making them ideal for families.
The Honeymoon Suites are set apart from the rest of the hotel in tranquil and secluded gardens and face the Drakensberg mountains. Private verandas have loungers and breaktaking mountain views.
The Presidential Suite is the ultimate in luxury accommodation and guests staying here are provided with a golf cart for their exclusive use for the duration of their stay.
|Room:||1 x Standard Room|
|Includes:||Al meals and afternoon tea are included.|
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.
|Room:||1 x Standard Room Elangeni|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Kosi Forest Lodge is located in a private nature reserve in a tranquil sand forest alongside one of the lakes in the Kosi Lakes system, an unspoilt wilderness area which forms part of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park (also now known as the iSimangaliso Wetland Park), an internationally recognised World Heritage Site.
The 11,000 hectare, 30 km long nature reserve is a tropical paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, swamp and coastal forests that is home to about 250 species of bird. Activities here include guided canoeing on the lakes, walks through the ancient Raffia Forest, boat trips to explore the unique system of lakes and channels where you may spot hippo, crocodile, and rare birds like the Pels Fishing Owl and Palm Nut Vulture, and exceptional snorkelling in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Another additional activity is to join a 4x4 excursion to Kosi Bay Mouth to view ancient Thonga Fish Traps.
A massive Zulu Podberry tree is the focal point of the main lodge with the lounge, dining room and bar all opening onto a large wooden deck around the tree.
Kosi Forest Lodge takes full advantage of Maputuland's sultry weather with most meals served alfresco - on the deck or under large Albizia trees. Candles light the area at night giving it a warm, romantic ambience reminiscent of wild African adventures of long ago.
The rooms are constructed of wood, thatch and canvas, each positioned to give total privacy. They are comfortably furnished with mosquito nets and fans. A unique feature of each room is the romantic outside boma bathroom with bath and shower set in soft white sand under the forest canopy.
There are also 2 family rooms which consist of 2 bedrooms connected by an outdoor passage of approximately 2 metres long.
A swimming pool, built into the deck at the lake's edge is a wonderful way to spend a few relaxing hours in the sunshine, while watching hippos and flamingoes in the lake.
|Room:||1 x Forest Room|
|Includes:||All meals; tea/coffee; a guided canoe trip, guided walk in the Raffia Forest, the Isibindi Foundation Levy; and the Conservation fee are included.
Children under the age of 8 years are not permitted on canoeing trips and children under the age of 4 are not permitted on boat trips on the lake.
At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain, 300 km north of Durban, lies the privately owned 4* Ghost Mountain Inn, a perfect setting for taking time out to relax and experience the charms of Africa in comfort and style. This intimate and beautiful hotel is the ideal location from which to explore the array of wildlife and coastal reserves in Maputaland and the Elephant Coast.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of wildlife and the scenic splendors of this rich and diverse region during game drives or guided forest walks in the nearby Mkhuze Big 5 Game Reserve, or join a boat cruise on Lake Jozini and view elephants swimming or even fish for a tiger fish. The area is also a bird watcher's paradise, and birding walks can be arranged. Night game drives in the Manyoni Private Game Reserve are another highlight.
The more active can work out in the small gym, take a scenic hike up Ghost Mountain and be rewarded with the outstanding views of the Lebombo Mountain Range and the plains beyond, or the culturally curious can visit a Zulu homestead and meet the locals.
Alternatively just take time out to relax and be pampered with skin and body treatments at the spa or simply enjoy the two swimming pools and glorious indigenous gardens.
Relax in one of the 74 tastefully appointed en-suite bedrooms or suites, all set within the gardens. Guests can choose from one of 4 suites, or a Mountain View Room, a Garden Room, a Superior Room or a Standard Room, depending on budget. Four of the Standard Rooms are interleading, making these an ideal choice for families travelling with children.
Meals are either served in the dining room, outdoors on the terrace or under the stars in the traditional boma.
|Room:||1 x Standard Room|
|Includes:||Breakfast is included.|
Thanda Private Game Reserve is situated approximately 300 km north of Durban, and invites you to experience ultimate luxury and world-class service. A full suite of animal species, including the Big 5, which roamed the area in the past have been reintroduced to the 14,000 hectare reserve..
An early morning or late afternoon safari is the best time to look for the Big Five. Led by experts of the African bush, you’ll see an incredible range of animals, including cheetahs, hyaenas, giraffes, warthogs and abundant bird and plant life.
A guided walk through the bush is a completely thrilling experience of the wilderness and all its inhabitants. Thanda’s guides and trackers will share their extensive knowledge and animal tracking ability with you, as well as ancient Zulu stories of the wild.
Thanda Tented Camp offers an authentic safari adventure. Set in the middle of the bush, your safari experience is enhanced by flickering firelight and lanterns guiding your way at night. This is bush living as nature intended - open and inviting with unparalleled closeness to the bush, its sights, smells and sounds.
The main area includes a large rim-flow pool, atmospheric Hemingway-style lounge and dining area featuring authentic African artworks. Guests can dine on an exquisite variation of Western and traditional Zulu cuisine, and can choose to have their meals in the dining tent or around the boma fire.
The wellness centre offers a variety of therapies and beauty treatments to ease the effects of life's daily stresses on your body and mind. Qualified health and skin care therapists will ensure that your soothing full body aromatherapy massage or healing reflexology, to name just a few, will aid you to unwind and relax.
Situated on the slope of a hill, and with spectacular views of the reserve, each of the 14 luxury tents at Thanda Safari Tented Camp has a viewing deck and a spacious bathroom with a shower.
In addition, the romantic Jabula Tent is a beautifully spacious very private tent and is ideal for honeymooners and families. The tent features a kingsize bed and separate lounge, an en-suite bathroom, outdoor shower, splash pool and spectacular views of the reserve.
|Room:||1 x Luxury Tent|
|Includes:||All meals; Conservation Levy; and game drives are included. PLEASE NOTE: Bush walks are an additional cost.
Please Note: As the animals are wild, it is not possible to guarantee what you will see during your safari.
Additional requirements and restrictions may apply for travel during the Covid-19 pandemic. Travel Butlers aim to highlight these requirements to affected clients, however the onus remains with the traveller to ensure they are aware of any requirements and restrictions that will apply to their own trip.
For up-to-date travel information from the UK government, please check:
UK Government Advice: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/south-africa
It is expected that these rules will be lifted and that the entry requirements will revert to normal as soon as the government of South Africa deems it safe to do so.
Normally, holders of the following passports do not require a visa to enter South Africa when travelling as a tourist for stays up to 90 days: United Kingdom; United States of America; Canada; Australia; Ireland; Belgium; Netherlands; Italy; France; Germany; Spain, Switzerland.
If you are a passport holder from another country, please contact your local South Africa High Commission or Embassy for up-to-date visa requirements, as citizens of certain countries (including New Zealand) are required to obtain visas before travelling. Please note that if you are applying to the Embassy for your visa, some visas can take a long time to be processed so please do take this into consideration, as it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct visa in place before you travel. The government will launch its new eVisa (Electronic Visa) system in March 2022. The system will simplify international visitors’ visa applications to South Africa.
Children under 18 years of age who require a visa to enter South Africa may be required to provide additional information when applying for the visa including an unabridged birth certificate and affidavit if travelling with only one parent. There are also additional rules for unaccompanied minors and/or South African children - details available on request or via the SA Department of Home Affairs at http://www.dha.gov.za.
Please note that anyone travelling to South Africa should have a valid return ticket and a valid passport. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 30 days from the date of exit from South Africa. However, some immigration officials still request that a passport should have at least 6 months validity from the date of entry to South Africa so to avoid problems on arrival, we advise that your passport meets this requirement instead. The passport must also have sufficient pages for entry/exit stamps - AT LEAST 2 BLANK PAGES.
South Africa has implemented biometric capturing at all ports of entry. This may result in some delays at land borders so you should allow additional time for border crossings.
PLEASE NOTE: Countries can change their entry requirements at any time. Travel Butlers try to ensure that the information displayed here is correct, but the onus remains with the traveller to verify the information with the relevant High Commission or Embassy and ensure that they can comply with the applicable entry requirements.
You are advised to contact your doctor or clinic around 4-8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations and to get their professional medical advice regarding travel to South Africa.
To help avoid heatstroke, drink plenty of bottled water/fluids, and keep out of the midday sun.
Tap water is purified and safe to drink in major cities and towns, however, we do advise that you do not drink the water in more remote places such as the camps in the National Parks - the water may be safe to drink, but it simply is not worth the risk, as bottled water is widely available.
Whatever you do, do not drink water from any river lake without firstly purifying the water. Always take water with you when you go on a hike, and have a bottle in the car on a long journey to avoid dehydration.
There is a risk of malaria in and around the Kruger National Park/Mpumalanga Province, the Limpopo (Northern) Province, and the north-eastern part of KwaZulu-Natal - check with your doctor about suitable antimalarial tablets. Try to avoid mosquito bites wherever possible - wear loose long-sleeved clothing and trousers, and use a repellent on clothing and exposed skin.
There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa, so a yellow fever vaccination is NOT required for travellers whose sole destination is South Africa. However, in accordance with International Health Reguations, South Africa requires all travellers over one year of age arriving from a yellow fever risk country, or having been in transit longer than 12 hours at the airport of such a country, to have a yellow fever certificate. These countries include Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda but it is up to the traveller to check the full list via http://www.who.int/ith/2015-ith-annex1.pdf?ua=1.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 10177 and ask for an ambulance.
The 11 official languages are Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, Pedi, English, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda and Ndebele. Whilst many visitors will hear at least a couple of the tribal languages during the course of their stay, it is possible to travel extensively and comfortably with just English as a language.
The South African society is quite liberal, as gay marriage was legalised in 2006 nationwide and everyone’s rights are protected under the constitution. In some more rural areas, however, the local people may not be quite as liberal thinking, so whilst everyone is of course entitled to their own sexual preferences and gender identity, we would advise all clients of the LGBT+ community to refrain from public displays of affection (including kissing and holding hands) and to be as discrete as possible about their relationship if travelling to a rural/remote area.
Travel Butlers have nearly 20 years of experience booking travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean for our clients from all around the world. In this time we have supported clients through disruptions caused by numerous unexpected events including natural disasters, localised disease outbreaks and airline cancellations. Nobody can be certain exactly what will happen in the future with the current Covid-19 pandemic, however Travel Butlers can offer you peace of mind and flexibility to ensure that you feel confident booking a holiday with us.
Our team are specialists in travel to Africa and the Indian Ocean, and we are constantly monitoring the changing situation regarding travel to the region. If your trip cannot go ahead due to specific travel restrictions related to Covid-19 then we will get in touch to offer you the choice of the following:
The specific Covid-19 travel restrictions are defined as follows:
We would not normally be able to confirm that your trip cannot proceed due to travel restrictions until a couple of weeks before the start of your trip, however should you want to look at postponing or altering your trip before then we would aim to be as flexible as possible in accommodating this.
If we confirm that your trip is unable to proceed due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, then we will not charge you an amendment fee if you choose to postpone your trip or move it to another destination. We may need to adjust the cost of your trip to reflect the new dates, particularly if those coincide with a more expensive season of travel or higher grade of accommodation. Equally, if the cost of your postponed trip is less, we will reduce the cost accordingly.
You should still take out travel insurance that includes Covid-19 to cover you in the event that your trip can go ahead but you are unable to travel due to illness or a change in your personal circumstances. If there are no travel restrictions in place that mean your trip could not go ahead but you need to cancel due to illness or a change in your personal circumstances then our normal terms and conditions would apply. You should ensure that your travel insurance provides adequate cover for cancelling due to illness, including Covid-19, and you may be able to make a claim against your travel insurance depending on the cover offered by your policy.
We offer 24/7 telephone assistance to all our clients whilst they are away, and also have partners in each country that are able to assist with any PCR tests or other issues that might arise during your trip.
If you fall ill whilst you are away, or if your trip is disrupted due to Covid-19 whilst you are travelling, then our experienced team will be on hand to assist you in whatever way you need. You would need to pay any additional costs incurred due to illness or travel disruption whilst you are away, however you may be able reclaim these expenses on your travel insurance depending on the cover offered by your policy. Travel Butlers will be able to assist by providing supporting documentation for your claim.
All of the holidays we sell are 100% financially protected through our ATOL and ABTOT bonding so your money is in safe hands when you book a Travel Butlers holiday. Furthermore, our business is well positioned to navigate through the challenges which the travel industry is currently facing.
Please read our Terms and Conditions for more information.
You can now get insurance that offers cover for disruption related to Covid-19, and these policies could include cover for:
Not all policies offer this kind of cover, not necessarily even all policies from the same provider, so you should ensure you check the policy details carefully before buying your insurance.
You can read more about choosing suitable travel insurance in the FCDO guide to travel insurance.