KwaZulu-Natal
Safaris & Wildlife Activities

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Our most recommended KwaZulu-Natal Safaris & Wildlife Activities

St Lucia: Hippo and Crocodile Cruise on a 15-Seat Vessel

1. St Lucia: Hippo and Crocodile Cruise on a 15-Seat Vessel

Witness hippos, Nile crocodiles, and hundreds of bird species onboard a cruise departing from St Lucia. This two-hour safari gets you up close to the residents of the estuary. Discover St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of the largest Estuarine systems in Africa. Travel aboard an exclusive 15-seater vessel with experienced and knowledgable skippers and rangers onboard. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and furnish you with some incredible facts and information on the area.

From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

2. From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

After pickup from your accommodations, your guide will take you on a safari drive in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. You'll have the chance to see many animals in their natural habitat including elephants, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, chameleons and if you're lucky, perhaps a leopard. Then head to the beach for 2 hours of snorkeling and discover over 50 different species of fish. If you're not a keen snorkeler, you can enjoy the beach on your own or go for a little birdwatching walk on the forest dunes of Cape Vidal with another guide. Your tour is conducted in a laid-back, yet professional manner and includes breakfast and a delicious African braai (barbeque) lunch.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

3. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

Experience the rolling hills of the Savannah grasslands and a magical African sunrise. Sit back and relax while your ranger takes you to the best areas within the park. With trained eyes and years of experience, your ranger will undoubtedly deliver some magnificent sightings. Learn more about this fascinating park and the incredible history of when King Shaka used the lower Umfolozi as his personal hunting grounds or how the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park single-handedly saved the rhinos from near extinction. The park is home not only to the African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) but also includes cheetahs, wild dogs, and many more. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at one of the numerous scenic picnic areas within the park. The tour concludes with a drop off at the Nyalazi Gate or alternatively, drop off back at your accommodation in St. Lucia.

Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

4. 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

5. 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.

Sani Pass Private Tour

6. Sani Pass Private Tour

The day begins with an early morning collection in a 4×4 vehicle and travels towards the Sani Pass. Enjoy the luxury of having your own private vehicle, which allows for more space and comfort as you travel along the bumpy roads, and the freedom to decide where you’d like to go. As the altitude increases, the road becomes narrower and more treacherous, and all signs of human habitation disappear, leaving you alone in the glory of the majestic mountains. Stop and take photos at your leisure, and enjoy a selection of hot and cold beverages and freshly baked snacks as you absorb the breathtaking views. Nearing the top of the pass at 2876 m, head through border control and towards the desolate Lesotho Highlands. Visit a private homestead and immerse yourself in the local community. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of this small family. Then take a walk to learn the stories of the shepherds within their own stone dwellings. Finally, enjoy a refreshing beer at the highest pub in Southern Africa on the return journey before relaxing in the 4×4 as you marvel at more stunning scenic views.

St. Lucia: Cape Vidal Snorkeling Adventure

7. St. Lucia: Cape Vidal Snorkeling Adventure

Meet your friendly instructors in Cape Vidal, just an hour drive through iSimangaliso Wetland Park from St. Lucia. The park is a protected area that runs along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Provice, and is home to an abundance of hippos, crocodiles, penguins, flamingos, elephants, giraffes, and leopards, spanning across the various landscapes. The adventure begins with a safety briefing on the beach and time to get kitted out with all the snorkel gear. Next, head into the water for a 1 to 1.5-hour exploration of Cape Vidal’s underwater world. Follow your instructor as you go in search of marine life, with the opportunity to see stingrays, octopus, butterfly fish, sturgeon fish, and many more. By the end of the trip, you will have spotted around 50 different species of fish. Back on dry land, warm up with a cup of tea, coffee, or hot chocolate as you page through the fascinating fish ID book to point out what you have seen.

From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

8. From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

Get picked up from your hotel in St. Lucia and travel to the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, a huge protected area along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. The park’s centerpiece is the vast Lake St. Lucia, home to a large number of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. Elephants, giraffes, and leopards inhabit the grasslands and forests of the nearby Western Shores and Charters Creek areas. To the north, Sodwana Bay is known for its colorful coral reefs. Upon arrival, gear up and set off on an exciting three-hour drive through the park's many ecosystems. Keep an eye out for the wide variety of species that call iSimangaliso home. As the sun begins to set, your guide will take you to the perfect spot to appreciate the African sunset. When darkness falls, take on the challenge of spotting chameleons and other nocturnal species, all of which are more active after nightfall. Get dropped off back at your accommodation in St Lucia.

iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

9. iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

After meeting your guide at the St Lucia Crocodile Centre, you'll begin your 2.5-hour tour of the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a sprawling collection of stunningly-preserved natural ecosystems that span over 1,200 square miles; the park is centered around the vast Lake St Lucia, where you’ll have the change to see hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. After learning about crocodile breeding, feeding, anatomy, general ecology, and distribution, you’ll head off across trails through the game park with your expert ecologist guide. Take in information about the park’s famous residents, like blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, and waterbuck.  Continuing into the wilderness, become one with nature as you walk through picturesque trails. Common animal sightings include the red and grey duiker, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, and on very special occasions, leopard and hyena. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the starting point, having been enriched by the beauty of South Africa’s diverse ecosystems.

Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 55 reviews

Had a truly amazing experience and even though we had a quiet drive in the morning we got to learn so much about the local bird and plant life. In the afternoon, the snorkeling was great especially as a first timer. A fantastic adventure in a beautiful part of the country I'll definitely recommend to anyone.

An excellent day out - our guide Spi was great - he shared a lot of information with us and was an excellent host who really took great care of us, and esp our two children. The game viewing was great, the snorkelling very good but certainly it was all made better by an excellent guide, Spi.

Extra half-day safari. We also did the kriger park but we saw fewer animals than in Hululuwe!

Great experience. Many animals and a top guide with lots of interesting anecdotes!

Delightful morning trip with good commentary past numerous hippos and birds.