KwaZulu-Natal Delights

From Durban to Durban
  • South Africa
  • Wildlife and Nature
  • Safari Tours
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Tour Description

Embark on a captivating journey through the pristine wonders of Hluhluwe, Isimangaliso, Kosi, and Thonga Beach.  This extraordinary tour combines the breathtaking beauty of the rhino-rich Hluhluwe region with the unique ecosystems of Isimangaliso Wetland Park, enter a magical water world of lakes, Raphia forests and the home of the only fruit-eating vulture in the world of Kosi, and the coastal paradise of Thonga Beach.  Each accommodation offers a unique and immersive experience.

Your adventure begins at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in Hluhluwe, where you'll experience thrilling game drives in search of the iconic Big Five and, in particular, the endangered rhinoceros. Immerse yourself in the captivating landscapes of rolling hills, ancient forests, and open savannahs, all teeming with an incredible array of wildlife.

Venture into Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses a mosaic of ecosystems. Explore the wetlands, estuaries, and coastal dunes, encountering an abundance of birdlife, hippos, crocodiles, and other fascinating creatures.

Conclude your tour in the coastal paradise of Thonga Beach, a slice of heaven nestled between the azure waters of the Indian Ocean and the lush coastal dune forests. Here, you'll find yourself immersed in a haven of serenity and natural beauty. Relax on the pristine beaches, feel the soft sand between your toes, and listen to the rhythmic lullaby of the ocean waves. Snorkel or dive into the clear turquoise waters to discover the vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs that lie just beneath the surface.

Want to see more of South Africa?  This tour combines perfectly with Cape Town, Winelands and Kruger.  Talk to us to curate your ultimate South Africa adventure today!

Viva's Best Bits...

Immerse yourself in an otherworldly experience as you stroll along the winding trails amidst the majestic forest of towering Raphia palm trees in Kosi Bay. You will be transported to a bygone era, invoking a sense of stepping into the Jurassic age.

Thonga Beach is a haven of untouched natural beauty and vibrant Marine Life. With its white sandy shores, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush coastal dune forests, it offers a picturesque and idyllic setting that feels like a slice of paradise.

World Heritage Site Isimangaliso Wetland Park is known for its incredible biodiversity - from wetlands and coastal dunes to lakes and savannahs. As home to abundant wildlife and unique landscapes, the opportunity for exploration are endless!

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
Durban Hluhluwe-iMfolozi

On arrival, you will be met and transferred to Hluhluwe to Rhino Ridge situated in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. (approx 3 hours)

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park which is home to the 'Big 5' and is best known for its hugely successful rhino conservation. The 4-star lodge commands majestic views over the reserve, offering guests the opportunity to explore via safari drives and walks. Guests can relax in a fabulous day spa or work out in the 11m lap pool after enjoying excellent cuisine.

Gather your partner, family and friends and journey to the kingdom of spectacular sunsets and big blue skies. This dramatic setting begs a sophisticated interpretation of authentic luxury. Light, colours and textures play meaningfully between inside and out. Your time is your own, relax in our leisure areas, restore in the spa, warm yourself around the campfire at night or put your feet up in our plentiful chill spaces around the pool on a hot Zululand day. Your journey has begun...

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is proud to be associated with the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and its historical success story of rhino conservation in Southern Africa. We are honoured to call the “home of the rhino” our home too. We are the first luxury safari lodge to be established within this world-renowned Big 5 game reserve which is also home to thriving populations of African wild dogs, lion, elephant and multitudes of other species.

This afternoon enjoy a game drive in the reserve before dinner.

Overnight at Rhino Safari Lodge including Full board and scheduled activities

Day 2
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve

Depart on an early morning game drive in the reserve.

There are few things more iconically African than setting out at dawn in an open game viewing vehicle and watching the crimson sun creep over the horizon as a herd of majestic elephants ambles across the dusty road in front of you. These are the experiences and unique wildlife encounters that we take utmost pleasure in providing for our guests on our safari drives in the spectacular Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve, a vast haven for protected species such as rhino, elephant, leopard and wild dog.

Breakfast will be enjoyed on the return.

Guests can choose to do an Optional Bush Walk at the lodge (own account)

Enjoy some time at leisure at the lodge before your included lunch and afternoon game drive.

Overnight at Rhino Safari Lodge including Full board and scheduled activities

Day 3
Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Depart on an early morning game drive in the reserve at Rhino Ridge returning to the lodge for breakfast.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to your lodge (approx 3hrs45)

Kosi Forest Lodge is an intimate 20 bed lodge tucked into the sand forests on the banks of the Kosi Lakes. The lodge is surrounded by untold biodiversity and beauty of Isimangaliso Wetlands Park that you simply have to see for yourself. There is limited electricity, and candlelight gives the lodge a warm, romantic ambience reminiscent of wild African adventures of long ago The thatched bush suites are carefully positioned to provide guests with privacy and an intimacy with the peaceful surroundings. The romantic open-air en-suite bathrooms are unique. Guests can relax at the pool with unsurpassed views of Lake Shengeza or explore the waterways by guided canoe and boat trips, forest walks, excellent birding, and snorkelling.

Enter a magical waterworld of lakes, Raphia forests and the home of the only fruit-eating vulture in the world. Feel the soft white sand between your toes and the shade of the peaceful forests, listen to the call of the fish eagle, embrace the warm welcome from our staff and know that you have left the stress of your busy life behind. There are very few truly unspoilt places left in the world.

Included activities you can choose to do are Guided canoe trips and a walk in the Raphia Forest.

Walk in the Raphia Forest
Otherworldly” describes the feeling of walking the meandering pathways among the forest of giant Raphia palm trees in Kosi Bay. As you wander through scenery befitting the Jurassic age, listen out for the tell-tale calls of the abundant birdlife and perhaps catch a glimpse of the rare Palm-nut Vulture. This is a truly unique experience not to be missed.

Enjoy early morning or late afternoon guided walks through the magical forest with our experienced and passionate local guides who will delight in showing you all that this pristine natural area has to offer as well as explaining the many intriguing facts and uses of the Raphia palm tree.

Guided Canoe Trip:
Our guided canoe trips are a firm favourite with guests, time and time again. There are few things as peaceful and yet exciting as gliding over mirror-smooth waters with only the sound of your paddle splashes adding to the symphony of melodious bird calls reverberating through the trees. A canoe trip is an opportunity to savour being truly connected with the natural beauty of the wetlands around you.

Overnight at Kosi Forest Lodge including Full board and Raphia Forest Walk and Guided Canoe Trip

Day 4
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Enjoy your included activities.

Other optional activities you available for a supplement include:

Snorkeling at Kosi Mouth, Lake Boat Trip, Fishing or Turtle Tracking (seasonal)

A highlight would be Turtle Tracking either at Kosi Forest or Thonga Beach Lodge | 15 November – 15 January |

Turtle tracking is an adventurous night-time activity that offers the possibility of witnessing a truly miraculous event as female turtles exit the ocean in search of suitable nesting sites to lay their precious eggs thereby ensuring the ongoing survival of their species.

Only on offer in season from 15 November to 15 January, our guests have the privilege of seeing mother turtles as they return to the beach to lay their eggs – often the same beach where they began life as a hatchling. This is an exciting nocturnal expedition that involves a 4×4 drive to the beach where the evening walk commences, climbing over the sand dunes and combing the beach – all in the hopes of discovering a female turtle heaving herself out of the water and up the beach above the tidal zone to find her ideal nesting site. She then digs a hole with her flippers and enters into a hormone-induced trance while she lays her eggs before covering them over and lolloping back to the ocean. This activity is not suitable for children under the age of eight years.

Overnight at Kosi Forest Lodge including Full board

Day 5
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Enjoy breakfast at the lodge.

Afterwards depart for Thonga Beach Lodge where guests will spend the following 3 nights relaxing on the pristine beaches. You will be transferred on a 4 x 4 from Kosi Forest Lodge to Thonga. (2 hour transfer)

This intimate, luxury lodge nestled in the dunes of the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, KwaZulu-Natal, in the iSimangaliso World Heritage Park. An ideal place to discover one of the most unspoilt wilderness beaches left on the African continent.The beauty of Thonga is its remoteness, accessible by 4WD vehicle only. Activities include birding, forest walks, snorkelling and scuba diving, kayaking, and turtle tracking November to December.

Lazing on the beach in the protected world heritage site Isimangaliso Park lies South Africa's premier beach Lodge. With no development 100 miles up or 60 miles down the beach, this is a beach and marine wilderness sanctuary unrivalled. 12 luxurious thatched rooms (a few with private pools) are discreetly nestled into the dune forest overlooking Mabibi beach.

Wake slowly to the sound of waves, deciding if rock pool snorkeling or an open ocean experience or simply lying on our beach deck sampling our gin platter is the best plan for the day. Playing in paradise. Perhaps a sundowner with hippo's grunting at Lake Sibaya in the afternoon. South Africa's biggest freshwater lake.

Conservation is our passion and our purpose. We make it our mission to give our guests the opportunity to reconnect with the natural world. The reefs right in front of the lodge are world-class, and reveal a colourful, enchanting world of diverse oceanic life, including dolphins and turtles. Thonga Beach Lodge is also privileged and proud of its involvement in protecting the loggerhead and leatherback turtles Isibindi Africa's group chef Carl leads an innovative culinary team that is the source of much acclaim, not only for their sumptuous cuisine which will delight your palate while nourishing your body, but also for the ethical and sustainable philosophy which underpins how everything is sourced and prepared behind the scenes.

Included activities:
Guided snorkelling, guided walks, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya as well as cultural tours to Mabibi Community.

Overnight at Thonga Beach Lodge including Full Board and selected activities

Day 6-7
iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

Enjoy your included and optional activities

Optional activities you can do for a supplement include:
Scuba Diving
Turtle Tracking – if not done at Kosi Forest Lodge
Ocean Experience

Turtle Tracking at Thonga
We are fortunate to have been awarded a rare concession which allows us to operate one turtle drive each night during the turtle season (November – February). The turtle drive takes place around low tide and can last up to 4 hours. There is a significant cost linked to the concession and hence this drive is charged as an extra activity, unlike the turtle walk which can be undertaken at any time. The concession fee helps iSimangaliso Wetland Park to conduct invaluable turtle research and protection programmes which are fundamental to the success of turtle conservation.

Ocean Experience
This adventure activity offers guests a rare opportunity to experience the variety of marine life that lives along the Elephant Coast. An exciting launch through the surf, in front of the lodge, takes you beyond the breakers where you spend approximately an hour experiencing the beauty of the ocean and enjoying the scenery of our beautiful coastline, where dolphins and whales swim freely.

We like to think of our Open Ocean Experience as an “ocean safari” or “game drive on the sea”. Depending on sea conditions guests may have the opportunity of snorkeling off one of our shallow reefs. If mother nature decides to give you a special treat you may see bottlenose or spinner dolphins, manta rays and giant sea turtles. What makes the trip so special, is that we are the only operator launching this far north, so our reefs are in pristine condition and it is just our boat out at sea.

Overnight at Thonga Beach Lodge including Full Board and selected activities

Day 8
iSimangaliso World Heritage Park Durban

Enjoy breakfast at the lodge.

Afterward transfer to the pick up point with a 4 x 4 from where guests will continue on a road transfer to King Shaka Airport for your onward flight.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 7 nights accommodation as specified
  • Included Copy 20 Meals as specified
  • Included Copy 7 Any Drinks
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers as specified
  • Included Copy 20 Park Entrance fees and Tourism levies
  • Included Copy 7 Porterage, insurance, gratuities and any items of a personal nature.


  • Included A magical Raphia Forest Walk, home to the only fruit-eating vultures in the world
  • Included Marvel at the raw beauty of Hluhluwe as you traverse the rugged terrain in search for Big 5
  • Included Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty by canoe in the wetlands
  • Included Explore the azure waters and birding life of Southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake
  • Included Experience Cultural tours to Mabibi Community while staying at Thonga
  • Included Watch an iconic sunset over Southern Africa’s largest freshwater lake, home to an array of wildlife
  • Included Mabibi beach is famous for its snorkeling, float in shallow turquoise waters in our snorkeling reef
Click here for dates & prices

8 days

Price from

$3,056 USD

Per person, sharing

based on low season

Daily, on request