This affordable Natal, Mozambique & Kruger Park Cabin Safari departs from Johannesburg, travelling into KwaZulu-Natal for game viewing in Mkuzi and the prestigious Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Then we explore the shores of Kosi Bay and cross into the scenic Kingdom of Swaziland where we take a bush walk in Hlane Game Reserve.
Next, we drive across into Mozambique, stopping in Maputo before heading north to historic Inhambane and the sunny beaches of Praia de Barra. Turning south we visit Uembje lagoon where you can go snorkelling or kayaking. Lastly, it is off to the world-famous Kruger Park for game drives in search of Africa's Big Five and a multitude of other wildlife and birds.
Departing from Johannesburg in South Africa at 06:30am we travel through the Highveld into the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Province. Our first lodge is located on a private wildlife reserve, close to Hluhluwe Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. This lush, sub-tropical region is known as Zululand, the homeland of Zulu tribes. We stay in permanent tents with en suite bathrooms at the comfortable lodge bordering on Phinda Game Reserve.
On the morning of day two, we set off into the wildlife concession on a nature walk along Msineni River - our first introduction to the African bush. Later in the day we embark on an afternoon game drive in the Mkuzi Game Reserve, an important safe haven for the endangered black and white rhinos. Our game drive takes us to a waterhole to watch wildlife and birds, hopefully including rhinos.
On day three we head to the diverse Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the oldest nature reserve in Africa. This 96 000 ha wilderness area is world famous for its key role in white rhino conservation and hosts the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino). Our game drive takes us in search of these iconic mammals, along with an abundance of other animals, including cheetah, zebra, giraffe, blue wildebeest, jackal and numerous antelopes of all kinds.
After our game drive in Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park we visit a local Zulu village to find out about the rich culture and history of the Zulu nation, formed under the reign of King Shaka Zulu.
Next, we travel to the pristine coastal lake system of Kosi Bay in Maputaland. Kosi Bay Nature Reserve covers a region of fertile estuary, mangroves, dune forest and lakes, which we explore on foot. We also snorkel at Kosi Bay river mouth to spot marine life in the warm waters and watch the local fisherman in the estuary.
You have the option of visiting Bunga Neck to watch leatherback and loggerhead turtles laying eggs on the beaches at night (in season: November to January).
Accommodation is in twin-share permanent tents with en suite bathrooms.
On day six we drive across into the small, landlocked country of Swaziland, one of the last monarchies in Africa. We camp in Hlane Game Reserve, enjoying the beautiful African bushveld surroundings and watching for rhinos and other wildlife at the waterhole.
During our stay we embark on a bush walk with a local game ranger in Hlane Park. Learn about the local flora and fauna, as your guide shows you how to track wildlife and spot a variety of birds.
Accommodation is in chalets with en suite bathrooms.
Today we cross into Moçambique at the Namaacha border post and drive to Maputo, the country's capital.
Formerly known as Lourenço Marques - this old port city features a vibrant blend of Portuguese and African cultures.
This evening we enjoy some excellent seafood in a local restaurant (own expense), where you can sample the spicy flavours of Mozambique. Our overnight stay is in a guesthouse, with twin rooms and one bathroom shared between two rooms.
Arabic influences are strong in Inhambane dating back to when slaves, ivory, gold and spices were traded along the East Coast of Africa. Explore Inhambane, visiting the fresh produce market and its 200 year old cathedral, before continuing to Praia de Barra. Our accommodation here is in casitas with en suite bathrooms, situated on Barra beach.
Spend time lazing on the sandy beaches and swimming in the warm Indian Ocean or doing optional activities in and around Inhambane and Tofo do Praia. Dhow rides, snorkelling trips and scuba diving on coral reefs are available (own expense). Eat out at a local restaurant (own expense) on one of the nights here.
We turn south along the coast of Mozambique to the town of Bilene situated on the shores of the Uembje lagoon. The lagoon is 8km wide and 27km long with clear water and white, sandy beaches.
We spend the afternoon exploring the lagoon and swimming in the shallow, calm waters. You also have the option of going kayaking or snorkelling (own expense). Accommodation is in twin-room chalets with shared bathrooms at our lodge featuring a bar and restaurant.
Tonight we eat out at a local restaurant (own expense) overlooking the lagoon.
On day 12 we drive through the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park spanning across the border between Mozambique and South Africa.
Re-entering South Africa, our drive takes us into Kruger National Park, one of Africa's finest game parks. We explore this vast wilderness area covering over 19 400 km² on morning and afternoon game drives, sighting an array of wild animals and birds in the untamed bush.
Predator sightings include leopards, lions, African wild dogs, hyenas, cheetahs, crocodiles, jackals and more. Kruger is also home to a huge range of herbivores, from rhinos and buffalos to zebras, antelopes and giraffes. You also have the option of taking a night game drive (own expense) in an open safari vehicle with one of the rangers of the national park.
Accommodation is in chalets with en suite bathrooms at a national park's camp with a pool and restaurant.
After one more early morning game drive in Kruger Park, we return to Johannesburg. Arriving at about 18:00 in the evening our Natal, Mozambique & Kruger Park Cabin Safari ends at a selected hotel in Johannesburg. Alternatively, a free airport drop off at 17:00 can be arranged.
The fish traps at Kosi Bay mouth are cleared each day, by the local community. Only larger fish are caught as they cannot leave the estuary with the outgoing tide. This sustainable use of natural resources is a reminder to all of us of the simple ways that we can live in a more ecologically friendly manner.
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