6 Night Self Drive KwaZulu-Natal

Package #2 Priced From R16 780

Per Person Sharing

  • 2 NIGHTS RHINO RIDGE SAFARI LODGE
    Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park
  • 2 KOSI FOREST LODGE
    iSimangaliso Wetland Park
  • 2 NIGHTS THONGA BEACH LODGE
    iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Thonga-Maps-Update_V3-02

INCLUDES:

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
2 nights accommodation Bush Suite, upgradeable to Bush Villa or Honeymoon Villa. All meals, teas and coffees, 2 safari drives per day.

Kosi Forest Lodge
2 nights accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner, teas and coffees, canoeing on Kosi Lake system, walk in raffia forest.

Thonga Beach Lodge
2 nights Forest View Room upgradeable to Ocean View or Deluxe Ocean View, meals, teas and coffees, use of snorkeling equipment, guided walks, cultural tours, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya and three times a week guided nightly turtle walks.

EXCLUDES:

Excludes park fees, drinks, laundry, gratuities and items of a personal nature, 4×4 transfer to Kosi Forest Lodge, Thonga Beach Lodge and nightly turtle walks (in season).

Thonga Beach Lodge
Spa treatments, SCUBA diving, open ocean experience, dive equipment hire and vehicle driven turtle tracking tours.

Kosi Forest Lodge
Motorised boat trip on Kosi Lakes system & 4×4 day trip to Kosi Bay Mouth. 4×4 turtle tours.

Rhino Ridge
Spa treatments and day trips out of the park.

 

NOTES:

Extra days can be added at either lodge and other Isibindi Africa Lodges may be added to this itinerary.

Contact [email protected] for your tailor-made package.

Honeymoon Add On
All packages can be upgraded to a honeymoon package (see rates sheet for cost).

Includes
Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Sparkling wine, private dinner, chocolates and spa treatment.

Kosi Forest Lodge
Romantic aromatherapy bath with crystals, lamps, sparkling wine and romantic dinner.

Thonga Beach Lodge
Sparkling wine on arrival, private dinner, private dune picnic, back and shoulder massage for both partners.

Night 1 Itinerary

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park

Rhino Ridge Lodge - Isibindi Africa - Imfolozi Game Reserve

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated within easy driving distance of both King Shaka International Airport in Durban or Richard’s Bay Airport; on the western boundary of Africa’s oldest proclaimed Game Reserve Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, Northern KwaZulu-Natal. Set in a 96 000 hectare park Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge enables guests to enjoy 4 star luxury at a private lodge for the first time within the park, offering spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of the Big 5.

On arrival at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge you will be offered a refreshing drink and welcomed by our 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 we will be waiting to serve you high tea on the verandah at the main lodge which offers spectacular views over the reserve. Here you will meet your guide who will prepare you for your first safari experience offering some useful pointers about the “do’s and dont’s” 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 whereafter 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. 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.

Night 2 Itinerary

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park

Photograph of rhino by Jason Kipling, Ranger, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

After an early morning wake-up, fresh coffee, tea and rusks (a South Africa tradition!), everybody departs with the guides for an early morning game drive. Be sure to have a jacket and scarf as it can get really chilly on the open 4×4 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 experience. Our guides will share their wealth of “bush culture’’ – the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects, birds, the medicinal uses of plants and local folk lore as well as looking for the ever fascinating Big 5!

When you return to the lodge you will sit down to enjoy a hearty brunch. Now it is time for you to relax and imbibe the natural beauty of Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. You may wish to spend your day being pampered in our spa, or do a few laps at the pool or simply relax in the privacy of your room enjoying the endless views from your private balcony.

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.

Night's 3 & 4 Itinerary

Kosi Forest Lodge
iSimangaliso Wetland Park

game lodges in South Africa

After an early morning game drive and brunch it will be time to bid farewell to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge and wind your way out of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park back to the main road travelling north to the vibrant African town of Manguzi. For those of you travelling in a 2×4 vehicle you will be met in Manguzi by a member of staff from Kosi Forest Lodge who will transfer you to the lodge in an open 4×4 vehicle. This is a quick 20 minute crossing but always be sure to keep a warm jacket and hat for these trips.

Kosi Forest Lodge is situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. This 16-bed wilderness lodge offers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats. The Kosi Lakes are a series of interconnected lakes which stretch over some 18km. The best way to see the system is by boat. The full day excursion leaves shortly after breakfast and travels through the lake system and estuarine waterways. The guides stop along the way and explain the traditional fishing traps and the traditions the Tsonga community have to live in balance with the lake system. A picnic lunch is served once you reach the end of the lakes and then you visit Bhanga Nek beach for a swim.

Kosi Forest Lodge guests are accommodated in thatched Forest Rooms, on raised wooden decks, hidden in the sand forest. All beds have mosquito nets. The unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand, has been noted by many guests as one of the highlights of their stay.

On arrival you will be shown to your room and given time to unpack before embarking on your first activity. You will return to the lodge and freshen up before coming through to the lodge to enjoy a sumptuous dinner.

When you wake up in the morning the rooms are surrounded by beautiful sand forests which are a haven for prolific bird life. You will be welcomed by a flask of boiling water and the weather report for the day – so you can decide what you want to experience that day. You will join the Kosi team at the lodge for a hearty breakfast before leaving on your activity.

The highlight for many at Kosi Forest Lodge is the canoe trip on the Kosi Lakes. The best time for this activity is in the early morning and lasts for 2 hours. Guides escort you by canoe along the Sihadla channel where the bird life is very rewarding and the scenery peaceful and breathtaking.

You will return for a delicious lunch and a siesta before embarking on your afternoon activity.

In the afternoon you can enjoy a walk through magnificent raffia palms – the tallest in the world! Home to the palm-nut vulture and pel’s fishing owl, the area can be explored by birders at their leisure.

When you return from your afternoon activity you will have time to freshen up before coming through to enjoy a delicious meal on either the main deck or in the boma. The lodge is charming and the pathways and eating venues are lit by lanterns that create a warm atmosphere to enjoy the sounds of the night.

Nights 5 & 6 Itinerary

Thonga Beach Lodge
Isimangaliso Wetland Park

Luxury Dive Resorts - Diving At Thonga

After your breakfast and morning activity you will check out of Kosi Forest Lodge and return to the pickup point at Manguzi.  You will continue south to the Coastal Forest Reserve and continue along the sand road to the Coastal Cashew Factory where you will be met by a Thonga Beach Lodge representative and transferred to the lodge. The total transfer time from lodge to lodge is approximately 2 hours.

On arrival you will be shown to your room and given time to unpack and relax before coming through for some lunch before an afternoon activity. After enjoying one of the many activities hosted at Thonga you will have time to freshen up before coming through for a delicious meal under the stars.

Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the Isimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, an internationally recognized 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. It’s clear, warm waters offer superb snorkeling and fantastic offshore SCUBA diving.

Thatched en-suite eco-sensitive rooms have been carefully constructed in the coastal dune forest to ensure minimum impact on the environment and maximum guest privacy. Each room has a double vanity, indoor shower, mini bar, air conditioning, ceiling fan and mosquito net. Deluxe Rooms and Family Rooms have baths, and the Deluxe Rooms have outdoor showers.

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 on the beach deck.

SCUBA diving at Mabibi is phenomenal. Our professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran. For those who don’t dive, we 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 snorkeling. 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 the end of February (for the laying from November to January and hatchlings from end of December to end February.) Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process and data collected from the turtle drives are submitted to the Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring Programme.

Dinners at Thonga are enjoyed on the deck under the magnificent sky listening to the sea just metres away.

END OF ARRANGEMENTS

After breakfast you will check out of Thonga Beach Lodge and be returned to Coastal Cashews where you will continue with your itinerary.

ABOUT THE LODGES

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge - main deck. Photograph by Guy Upfold.

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only 4-star private lodge in the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, providing guests with exclusive luxury and outstanding service within South Africa’s oldest national park. Each luxury room or villa is stylishly decorated and includes a spacious bedroom with impressive views from the bathroom, outdoor shower and patio deck. From each cleverly-designed space, you can watch the wildlife below, uninterrupted in their natural habitat as they have been for decades in this protected area.

Along with limited game viewing at the lodge and on morning and evening game drives, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offers a host of authentic Africa experiences – from wild bush walks to traditional Zulu homestays and rejuvenating spa treatments. In keeping with the Isibindi ethos, Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is a joint venture between the National Empowerment Fund and the local Mphembeni community who own the land on which the lodge is built. People from the community have been trained to work in various departments and now constitute 97% of the lodge staff. Please visit the website for more information: www.rhinoridge.co.za.

kosi-forest-lodge

Kosi Forest Lodge

Kosi Forest Lodge is a haven of crisp, cool comfort in the sand forests and you will find that treading gently is a natural way of life in this soft sand forest. Glamping at its best, here you live amongst the trees, surrounded by birdsong. The perfect combination of thatch, canvas and wood, what sets these forest rooms apart is their unique bathrooms with an outdoor shower and deep, wide bath under a leafy canopy. Oil lamps are lit along the forest paths and in your outdoor bathroom, creating a warm glow and connection with the ancient past of this unspoilt land.

The gentle local staff are anxious to please and love to show off the beauty of this pristine part of the earth, be it gliding through a still river in a canoe, birdwatching, or taking you snorkeling at the Kosi Bay river mouth. They are only too delighted to pack you a generous picnic lunch or organise a private, candle-lit dinner under the stars at the open firepit. Enjoy your favourite sundowner drink at the pool which overlooks Lake Shengeza, where hippos grunt and fish eagles call.

The lodge is situated in a protected part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, famed for its diverse birdlife which includes forest, grassland and coastal birds. Palm-nut vulture and Pel’s fishing owl are local delights. As you walk lightly on this beautiful part of our earth, you too will become the gentlest version of yourself. Please visit the website for more information: www.kosiforestlodge.co.za

Bush & Beach Getaways

Thonga Beach Lodge

Every now and again something special comes along… like Thonga Beach Lodge, the unspoilt gem of KwaZulu-Natal’s Maputaland coast. Situated in South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Thonga Beach Lodge is mere metres away from the sparkling Indian Ocean. Beneath the breakers lies a treasure trove of marine life, from vivid reef fish to schools of dolphins, and even turtles returning to the beach to lay their eggs. Thonga’s 12 thatched eco-sensitive rooms are positioned for maximum privacy and minimal environmental impact. The rooms are built on raised platforms among the indigenous forest and undulating dunes with expansive glass windows and doors to let in the ocean breeze and sounds.

Make your journey all the more memorable when you enjoy close encounters with nature. Indulge in a spa treatment; track mother turtles laying their eggs; explore the reefs beneath with a snorkel or SCUBA dive; or go on a guided forest walk. Feel assured that you’re travelling with purpose, discovering and helping to preserve one of the last undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Please visit the website for more information: www.thongabeachlodge.co.za.

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