Your holiday to South Africa sees you journey north along the eastern coast. Begin by the waters of the Indian Ocean in Umhlanga, a resort town where you can cage dive by day and sip a beachside cocktail by night. Drive north to the Natal Midlands region where the crowned eagle flies overhead and green hills appear to roll on forever. End your trip in a game reserve full of the “Big Five” and enough rare species to have you pawing at the entry gates for more as you leave.
KwaZulu Natal Midlands
Manyoni Private Game Reserve
Umhlanga is a festive resort on the outskirts of Durban with perfect beaches hugging the Indian Ocean. Begin your trip in the water enjoying sports such as kite surfing, snorkelling, and deep sea fishing. Hit the trail to see wilderness retreats such as Umhlanga and Lagoon Beachwood Mangroves. Spend the afternoon exploring these coastal forests. You may even spot a vervet monkey. In the evening, kick back at a beach bar with a cocktail in hand before a world-class dinner—lobster anyone?
2. KwaZulu Natal Midlands
A beautiful region of rivers, lakes, and waterfalls, KwaZulu-Natal Midlands is also blessed with green pastures, hills, and forests. Hike north and enjoy the mountains in a serene setting. Spend an afternoon trout fishing or pop into a local town for a dash of culture at one of several art galleries, pottery stores, and craft shops. If you’re feeling adventurous, The Karkloof Nature Reserve is nearby, an unspoilt area of the Natal Midlands, where you can explore a waterfall and local wildlife.
3. Northern Drakensberg
Next you’re off to the hiking region of Northern Drakensberg. It’s easy to see why so many come to enjoy outdoor activities in this mountainous setting. Move towards the sky as you climb cliff faces via chain ladders. Visit Tugela Falls and watch as water falls 900 metres over five levels. Mountain bike or horse ride in this popular region as you come closer to flora and wildlife such as troops of chacma baboons
4. Drakensberg Amphitheatre
The Drakensberg Amphitheatre stretches over three miles and rises to 1,220 metres. This impressive cliff face is excellent for hiking, and sighting wildlife such as the rock hyrax. Move through the region on the lookout for the cape vulture as it circles the sky looking for prey. A zipline, quad bike tour, or free-fall, all hit the thrill-seeker spot in this nature haven.
5. Manyoni Private Game Reserve
End your time in the heart of Zululand at the Manyoni Private Game Reserve, a region rich with safari wildlife. Spread over 23,000 hectares, the park has reintroduced endangered species such as the African cheetah to the reserve. Of course, the “Big Five” will be a touring highlight, but don’t forget to keep an eye out for the rare painted wolf as you cruise across the savanna on your game drive.
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