Thursday, October 30, 2014

KwaZulu Natal Highlights - Undiscovered South Africa at Its best!



27 Jan – 08 Dec 2015 R 21, 692 (Single supp + R5, 006)

• UNESCO World Heritage Site – uKhahlambe Drakensberg Mountains
• Isandlwana, Rorke’s Drift & Fugitive’s Drift Battlefields
• UNESCO World Heritage Site – iSimangaliso Wetlands
• This tour departs on Tuesday from Durban at 09h00 ** See set departure dates below
• This tour departs with min 2, max 16 guests.

Set departures:

27 Jan 2015
10 Feb / 24 Feb 2015
10 Mar / 24 Mar 2015
14 Apr / 28 Apr 2015
12 May / 26 May 2015
09 Jun / 23 June 2015
14 Jul / 28 July 2015
11 Aug / 25 Aug 2015
08 Sep / 22 Sep 2015
13 Oct / 27 Oct 2015
10 Nov 2015
08 Dec 2015

Day 1- Tuesday Durban – Pietermartizburg – Drakensberg (D)

Depart the cosmopolitan city of Durban and travel inland to Pietermaritzburg, the administrative capital of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province. Pietermaritzburg, set amidst forested hills and the rolling countryside of the Natal-Midlands, is one of the best-preserved Victorian cities in the world. Enjoy a brief city tour, including drives past Publicity House which is opposite one of South Africa's best galleries - The Tatham Art Gallery. Stop outside the Legislative Building which typifies the colonial heritage of a past era. Visit the glorious St Peter's Cathedral and the charming lanes and byways of South Africa's largest pedestrianized heritage retail area - the Church Street Mall. In savouring the uniqueness of this area, one takes in the significance of this high character city and its captivating past. The Mahatma Gandhi statue is visited outside the Colonial Building - where he targeted many of his concerns about human rights issues.

Continue the journey through the midlands to Howick and the site where late former President Nelson Mandela was would later call 'the long walk to freedom'.The Natal Midlands is a beautiful region filled with stretches of farmland, charming little towns, a wonderful arts and crafts route and picturesque scenery bordering on the sublime. You would not be found to be at fault should you request that your guide take it easy on the drive to your accommodation which is considered to hold one of the finest locations in the entire Drakensberg range. Check into the hotel and enjoy some time at leisure before enjoying dinner.

Overnight Champagne Castle Hotel (standard room) or similar

Day 2- Wednesday Drakensberg (BD)

Today is dedicated to enjoying the magnificent scenery on offer in the Drakensberg, as well as discovering the cultural significance of this UNESCO World Heritage Site – the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. These mountains once offered shelter to the San people for thousands of years before being exterminated in clashes with the Zulus and white settlers. All they left behind was their story painted in the rock, in the shelters, the story of sacred animals and journeys to the spirit world. At Giant’s Castle we enjoy a 45-minute walk to the main caves for a short tour and interpretation of the paintings and artifacts on display in the museum. After the San experience, spend the remainder of the afternoon enjoying the facilities on offer at the hotel, including tennis courts, an animal farm, aviary, hiking trails, bowling green, swimming pool.

Overnight Champagne Castle Hotel (standard room) or similar

Day 3- Thursday Spioenkop – Dundee - Isandlwana (BD)

Enjoy a delicious breakfast followed by check-out formalities. Make your way to the summit of Spioenkop Mountain. Your guide shall recount and bring to life the Anglo-Boer 9-day battle in January 1900 – the third and bloodiest attempt by the British to relieve Ladysmith. Witnesses to this battle include Louis Botha (the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa), Winston Churchill and Mohandas Ghandi, then a stretcher bearer who later became the Mahatma. Continue to the town of Ladysmith, a town which made world headlines at the end of the 19th century when it was besieged for 118 days during the most crucial stage of the Anglo-Boer War. Its historic heritage is its main claim to fame, with many fascinating sites to discover. Visit the Seige Museum. A diorama excellently depicts Ladysmith and surroundings at the time of the Siege.Various artifacts, documents, uniforms, firearms etc. are on display. Travel via Dundee to your accommodation which is located in the heart of the battle sites between the English and the Zulus. Enjoy

Overnight Rorke’s Drift Hotel (standard room) or similar

Day 4- Friday Isandlwana – Rorke’s Drift – Fugitive’s Drift (BD)

Today is dedicated to the exploration of the famous battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal where many battles were fought than anywhere else in South Africa. Your guide shall recount the Anglo Zulu War battle of Isandlwana where 20 000 Zulu warriors wiped out almost an entire British regiment and their firepower within 2 1⁄2 hours. Continue to Fugitive’s Drift where the graves of Lieutenants Nevill Coghill, Teignmouth Melvill and others lie on the hillside overlooking the Mzinyathi (Buffalo) River. Visit Rorke’s Drift where British soldiers, outnumber 35 to 1, fought off 4000 Zulus for 12 hours. This battle saw 11 Victoria Crosses awarded – the highest number awarded to a Regiment in a single action. Return to the hotel for dinner.

Overnight Rorke’s Drift Hotel (standard room) or similar

Day 5- Saturday Battlefields – Hluhluwe (BLD)

After an early breakfast, travel across the various battle sites of KZN to Hluhluwe where you would end your Kwazulu Natal discovery with an African safari experience. Depending on your time of arrival, enjoy lunch followed by an afternoon open vehicle game drive which yields exciting game viewing opportunities. The highly qualified rangers have a wide knowledge of the rich bird and animal life of the region, as well as the indigenous trees and plants.

Return to the lodge for dinner.

Overnight Falaza Game Lodge & spa (tented suite) or similar

Day 6- Sunday Hluhluwe (BLD)

Start the day with an early morning game drive when the animals are at their busiest, before the harsh African sun beats down and they take shelter from the sweltering heat in shady areas. Return to the lodge for breakfast and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. Enjoy the facilities on offer at the lodge including the well-equipped Spa on the reserve (treatments to own account and subject to availability). We end the day with either another open vehicle game drive or embark on a leisurely sundowner cruise on the St Lucia wetlands – a world heritage site which affords glimpses of crocodiles and hippos as well as the prolific bird life along the river banks.

Overnight Falaza Game Lodge & spa (tented suite) or similar

Day 7 Monday Hluhluwe – Durban (B)

Embark on a final game drive followed by breakfast and check-out formalities. Travel via the Elephant coast back to Durban where the tour ends on arrival at your Durban based hotel or with drop-off at King Shaka International Airport for your onward flight arrangements.

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