Durban
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended Durban Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

1. Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

2. St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

Enjoy an open game drive safari in South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start with pickup from St Lucia or Durban, and after a brief introduction, enter the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. While on safari, enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the park as you explore numerous loop roads, outcrops, and lookout points. With knowledgeable and experienced guides, discover an abundance of wildlife species in the park. Search for Africa's Big 5 game animals: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Spot other animals such as waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, giraffe, and hyena. Enjoy a stop at Cape Vidal, a protected bay and beach area. Take some time for snorkeling or swimming in the waters surrounding this resort destination, and enjoy some lunch on site. See the highest vegetative dunes on the African continent and enjoy plenty of scenic photo opportunities throughout the day.

Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

3. Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site (UNESCO), and is considered South Africa's third-largest park with 280 kilometers of near-pristine coastline and 328,000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest populations of hippopotami in SA, an estimated 1,000 crocodiles and a wealth of plant, bird and animal life. Animals in the park include lions, African elephants, leopards, black and southern white rhino, and buffalo. In the ocean, there are whales, dolphins, and marine turtles, including the leatherback and loggerhead turtle. After the boat tour, travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in a closed vehicle in search of the diverse wildlife and Africa's Big 5, which include the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The reserve is set in the heart of Zululand, where these amazing animals roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895, this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98,000 hectares in size. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and varied. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world-renowned for its white rhino conservation efforts and its Centenary Capture Center which is setting improved standards for game capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop at Hilltop Camp restaurant giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. Afterwards, you will continue with your safari before leaving the park for Durban.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

4. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

5. From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

This full-day tour from Durban takes you on safari in the wonderful Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. The park is famous for its highly successful white rhino conservation program and is now home to the largest population of white rhino in the world. On your full-day safari tour you will have many opportunities to encounter the amazing wildlife in their natural environment. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is home to 84 species of games, including the ‘Big Five’, and 425 different types of birds. See how many you can spot on your safari! The hilly terrain affords some of the most incredible views over the reserve. Enjoy lunch at the Hilltop Camp (or similar) and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

6. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

The tour departs from Durban heading up the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. You will arrive at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi gate 2.5 hours after departing from Durban. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in search of the diverse wildlife and Big 5. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is set in the heart of Zululand where Africa’s Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895 this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98 000 hectares. This tour is in a closed vehicle. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and diverse. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world renowned for its White Rhino conservation and its Centenary Capture Centre is setting exceptional standards for animal capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp (at own expense) giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. After lunch you will continue with your safari before leaving the park on route to Emdoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary. Emdoneni Cat Project offers a guided tour about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. The aim of the Emdoneni Cat Project is to care for cheetahs, serval cats, African wildcats and caracal (lynx), that have been orphaned or injured in the wild and need care and rehabilitation. During the guided tour to the cat project, visitors can see some of these South Africa’s endangered cat species. After the tour, start the two hours journey back to Durban for drop-off.

Durban: Phezulu Cultural Village & Reptile Park Tour

7. Durban: Phezulu Cultural Village & Reptile Park Tour

The tour leaves Durban and travels to the Valley of 1000 Hills, home of PheZulu Cultural and Safari Park. Visitors are taken into traditional beehive shaped thatched huts, where the various artifacts, beliefs and rituals of the Zulu people are explained, giving visitors an insight into the fascinating Zulu culture. The 50-minute Zulu dancing show is impressive with the dancers in their traditional garb, showing off their skills with grace, agility and humor. PheZulu also has a Crocodile and Snake park where guests will be taken on a guided tour by a knowledgeable local guide. They will learn interesting facts about crocodiles and snakes and have a hands-on experience with Cleo the Burmese python who weighs in at 42 kilograms.

From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

8. From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

Go on the only tour from Durban that takes you into an authentic private game reserve where the number of vehicles at sightings is limited. Take 2 stunning game drives at 2 reserves and encounter Africa's magnificent wildlife up-close. Benefit from included hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as complimentary use of Zeiss binoculars and multilingual wildlife/nature guide books during the tour. Hit the road early with pickup from your hotel at around 5 AM as wildlife, especially predators, are most active around dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve at Nyalazi Gate and enjoy a 2.5-hour morning game drive in a Hyundai H1 vehicle. Please note, this is not an open safari 4x4, though you will get that experience later in the day. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is renowned for its White Rhino densities — after all, it saved the Southern White Rhino from extinction. Keep your Carl Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars on hand, as you never know what's around the corner. After your drive, stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp for a hearty meal with a stunning view. Lunch is at your own expense. Next, it's time to head into one of KwaZulu Natal’s premier private game reserves: Manyoni Private Game Reserve. This reserve only permits travelers staying at one of their luxury lodges to traverse the park, unless you’re with the local partner of course. Meet Manyoni’s most experienced ranger and jump into an authentic open safari 4x4. Then, embark on a 4-hour game drive through this pristine wilderness as you track down Africa’s iconic Big 5 and everything in between. Your ranger is passionate about the African bush and will help you understand the eco-system and the flora and fauna. As Manyoni is a private game reserve, rather than a national park, your expert ranger can go off-road and bring you more intimate sightings of big game. Depart the reserve at 4 PM for return to Durban.

From Durban: Safari & PheZulu Village Day Tour

9. From Durban: Safari & PheZulu Village Day Tour

Start your day-long safari with a visit to the Natal Lion Park, home to lions, African and Asian elephants as well as rhinos. Then, visit the wildlife conservancy of Tala Private Game Reserve in the hills. Make your final stop at the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Reptile Park. Be driven around Natal Lion Park by your guide in search of elephants before entering the lion’s enclosure to marvel at the pride of lions. Enjoy the excitement of being so close to the king of the beasts and admire their size and beauty. Next, head to Tala Private Game Reserve that hosts a diverse selection of wildlife over 3000 hectares of land. This sanctuary is home to over 370 bird species and wildlife such as rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and elands, to name a few of the bigger mammals. Drive around the park in a closed vehicle to observe the wildlife. Listen as your guide sheds light on the wildlife ecosystem and shares interesting facts about the animals at the Tala Private Game Reserve. Then, make a stop at the Valley of a Thousand Hills to enjoy a glimpse of local Zulu culture and dancing at Phezulu Cultural Village. To conclude the tour, visit the Reptile Park where qualified park guides will intrigue you with interesting facts about the resident crocodiles and snakes.

From Durban: St. Lucia Wetlands Boat Ride

10. From Durban: St. Lucia Wetlands Boat Ride

The tour departs from Durban heading northward along the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. The first stop is the town of St Lucia and the estuary inside the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. There you will board a river boat for a 2 hours guided tour of the estuary. The local guide will inform you of the reserves history and its incredible wildlife. Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site and is considered South Africa's third largest park with 280km of near pristine coastline and 328 000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest population of hippopotami in SA, an estimated 1000 crocodiles as well as a wealth of plant, bird and animal life. The park was proclaimed a world heritage site because of the rich biodiversity, unique ecosystems and natural beauty occurring in a relatively small area. Animals occurring on the park include, lion, African elephant, leopard, black and southern white rhino, buffalo and in the ocean, whales, dolphins, and marine turtles including the leatherback and loggerhead turtle.

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 43 reviews

Due to pandemic, Zulu dance was not available however local tour offered us a replacement activity for that. Zulu dance will be available after heritage day of 2020.

Friendly guard Nyandeni Bheki who drove us around, it was amazing, seeing those animals in the park was exciting. Thank you for good time.

We saw lots of white and black rhinos, which we came for. Our guide was very friendly and knew the park very well

Friendly & knowledgeable Skipper / Owner. Multiple whales doing full breaches, tail slapping & find extensions!

We were really lucky, the whole Geländerbus belonged to us! The guide was very friendly and nice.