South Africa Self Drive Holiday

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  • This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of African, Asian and European cultures. 

    Spend your days: discovering the gourmet restaurants, impressive art and nightlife scenes and fine beaches of Cape Town; enjoying a typical local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browsing the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sampling some of the world’s finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotted around the picturesque Cape Winelands.

  • Due to its rich and turbulent history there are plenty of historical attractions to explore including the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. 

    Above all else, South Africa’s attraction lies in its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world famous Kruger National Park. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.

The Itinerary

  • Day 1 - Departs London Heathrow 

    Overnight flight to South Africa 

    Day 2-3:  Cathedral Peak Hotel, Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains 

    An imposing wall of rock that rises to 3000m, creating untold inspiring views and hikes. Known to the Zulus as the Barrier of Spears and to the first European settlers as the Dragon’s Mountains. The Ukhahlamba Drakensberg is 1 of 8 South Africa’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, uniquely being on for both its significance as a natural resource and for the heritage of the San Paintings. For 1000s of years they hosted the San people and they in turn left their record on the walls on numerous sandstone caves.

    Today most of the Drakenberg is protected as a National Park and it is a major attraction for the lover of the outdoors.

    Overnight: Cathedral Peak Hotel 

    Set in a World Heritage Site, this renowned 4-Star family hotel offers luxurious accommodation, superb cuisine and warm hospitality. A host of activities include golf, horse riding, helicopter flips, quad and mountain bikes, and FREE daily guided walks with unrivalled access to the Drakensberg Mountains. Facilities include a cocktail bar with magnificent mountain views, Vitality Centre, custom children’s dining-room, babysitters, a fully-equipped modern conference venue hosting up to 200 people and a charming stone-and-thatch chapel seating 120 guests.

    Cathedral Peak

    Forming the zenith of the Cathedral range, Cathedral Peak towers at just over 3000 metres and is one of the country’s most magnificent viewpoints, with vistas stretching across the crests and valleys of the Drakensberg Mountains. A return hike to the summit of the mountain takes approximately seven hours and is a challenging climb – so be sure to take plenty of water and all-weather gear – but the scenery en route and the panoramas from the top are unforgettably beautiful. Cathedral Peak is also a popular rock climbing site and there are numerous examples of San rock art in the surrounding area.

    Day 4-6:  Fugitives Drift Guest House, KwaZulu Natal Battlefields 

    KZN is steeped in history and literally littered with battlefields from the struggles of the Zulu Civil Wars, their clashes with the Boers and the British and the two wars that South Africa’s white tribes fought against one another. The most well known and well visited sites are those where the legendary Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift took place on the same day, lodging the Zulus firmly in the league of great warrior nations. Not far from these battlefields are the famous Anglo-Boer War fields of Spioenkop and Colenso and the Siege of Ladysmith which drew characters like Winston Churchill, Louis Botha and Mohandas Gandhi into the same arena.

    Overnight: Fugitives Drift Guest House   

    The Zulu War of 1879 is famous throughout the English-speaking world for the great battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. The spectacular Fugitives’ Drift property, a Natural Heritage Site, overlooks both Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift, and includes the site where Lts. Melvill and Coghill lost their lives attempting to save the Queen’s Colour of the 1/24th.

    Led by the finest guides in South Africa, thought-provoking and often emotionally charged tours are conducted daily to Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Walks and horserides through the reserve to view abundant game and birdlife are offered. In its original state The Guest House was the home of Mr Johan Potgieter and his family.

    Mr Pot’s house has been turned into the most charming sitting and dining room. It also has an outside eating area which has a stunning view across a plain with Isandlwana in the distance. The Guest House boasts a sparkling pool that overlooks Isandlwana and the indigenous bushveld.

    Battle of Isandlwana (1879)

    Isandlwana is the battle that made the Zulus into arguably the most famous tribe in Africa. Armed with spears and hide shields they managed to take the British camp at Isandlwana almost wiping out the entire British force. Today this is an extremely evocative place to visit and as the wind moves through the grass it is easy for your mind to imagine thousands of Zulus doing likewise.

    Battle of Rorke’s Drift (1879)

    Made famous by the 1960s film Zulu the Battle of Rorke’s Drift is a remarkable story of how 138 British Soldiers managed to hold off thousands of Zulu warriors through the night and in the process win themselves 11 Victoria Crosses – more than in any other single battle. The well preserved mission station which is now a museum is well worth the visit.

  • DAY 7 – 9: Ghost Mountain Inn, KwaZulu Natal Game Reserves

    These wonderful parks are renowned for their dramatic hilly countryside, diversity of flora and fauna, high standards of conservation and their invaluable contribution in saving the white rhino from extinction.

    At the foot of the legendary Ghost Mountain lies the privately owned 4 Star Ghost Mountain Inn, a perfect setting to experience the allure of Africa in stylish comfort. This intimate and beautiful hotel is in the heart of South Africa’s Zulu Kingdom and is the ideal location from which to explore the array of game and coastal reserves in Maputaland and the Elephant Coast.

    Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the abundance of wildlife and scenic splendours during game drives, cultural excursions, guided walks and boat cruises in the company of knowledgeable rangers of Ghost Mountain Safaris.  Tiger Fishing is arranged on Lake Jozini while birders can enjoy one of Southern Africa’s top birding destinations with over 450 species

    Back at the hotel, the spa offers a range of skin and body treatments and a gym and tennis court for the more actively-inclined. Those who prefer the relaxing sound of birdsong and the warmth of the African sun will find their respite at the poolside within the glorious gardens of Ghost Mountain Inn.  Unwind in your comfortable en-suite guestroom or take in the golden African sunset from your very own garden patio.  The Inn offers 23 Standard Rooms, 26 Executive Rooms and a spacious Suite.

    300km north of Durban, 400km south of Kruger Park and with easy access to Swaziland and Mozambique, the Ghost Mountain Inn offers the ideal base, with great comfort and renowned personal service, to explore this rich and diverse region.

    Day 10-12:   Thula Thula Private Game Lodge

    With its centuries of cultural and wildlife heritage, Thula Thula Private Game Lodge traces its origin back to the private hunting grounds of King Shaka, founder of the Zulu Empire. Thula Thula pays tribute to its rich history, taking its name from the Zulu word “thula”, meaning peace and tranquillity. Unique atmosphere, stylish décor, exclusive and personalised service makes Thula Thula a truly magnificent bush experience.

    Rediscover Nature in great style and true to the African safari camp of a past era at the Thula Thula luxury tented camp, where the peaceful essence of the African bush can be heard and felt. Exclusivity is assured with only 8 luxury tents, all with private viewing decks, mosquito nets, fans and luxurious en-suite bathroom with Victorian bath and outside shower in the luxury double tents. The 2 family tents offer space, luxury and comfort for parents and children and the generous en-suite bathroom has Victorian bath and open inside shower. View wildlife while sipping a cocktail from the swimming pool bar or relax in your hammock overlooking the Enseleni River.

    Thula Thula is home to a diverse African wildlife population; the re-introduction of a family herd of elephant in August 1999 marks the historic return of these great creatures to the area for the first time in 100 years. Thula Thula is situated 2 hours from Durban and six hours from Johannesburg.

    Day 13-14: Canelands Beach Club & Spa, KwaZulu Natal North Coast 

    Canelands is a luxurious and elegant 10 bedroom (all en-suite) beach club situated in the popular upmarket region of Salt Rock on KwaZulu Natal‘s North (Dolphin) Coast, South Africa. Set literally a step away from the beach with safe bathing offered by the many rock pools and coves that Salt Rock is renowned for, Canelands Beach Club is the ideal holiday and weekend getaway beach hotel.

    Just minutes from the major shopping centres of Ballito, less than 15 minutes for Durban’s new King Shaka International Airport and less than an hours drive from Durban City, there is little wonder why Canelands Beach Club has already become an icon of quality beach accommodation to those who have discovered this gem on the beach. Canelands caters for both leisure and business orientated guests.

    Onsite conferencing facilities allows for up to 40 delegates discussing that ever important new business venture.

    The Canelands Beach Club is a one-of-a-kind experience whether it is being served by beach butlers on the beach or having menus prepared daily by the chefs or be it enjoying a micro light flight or a horse ride along the coast, Canelands and its surrounds has so much to offer.

    In our experience…..when we travel to the Drakensberg Mountains it never fails to impress. The walks (for all standards of hikers) are interesting and offer breath taking views. The historians in the battlefields are truly amazing and bring the wars to life when they recite the tales.

    The wetlands area offers a completely different eco system and a different view to other areas on the coast of  South Africa. A little further south you may be lucky to see the sardine run which happens around June time normally.

     

Contact our expert team on 01444 225640 or email us via info@visionsofafrica.co.uk to discuss your ideal Africa safari holiday.
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