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Bush, Beach & Lakes

From $1,239/pp

From $1,239/pp

Durban, South Africa

Trip Length

7 days

Availability

All year round

Bush, Beach & Lakes

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated within a 3.5hr drive from King Shaka International Airport Durban and a lhr 30min drive from Richards Bay Airport. It is situated on the western boundary of Africa's oldest proclaimed Game Reserve Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, Northern KwaZulu Natal. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge within the park. With its four star accommodation, guests are offered spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big 5 territory. Kosi Forest Lodge guests are accommodated in thatched bedrooms, on raised wooden decks, hidden in the sand forest. All beds have mosquito nets. The unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand, has been noted by many guests as one of the highlights of their stay. Each room has an indoor shower as well to cater for the less adventurous. Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the iSimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, an internationally recognised World Heritage Site. With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. It's clear warm waters offer superb snorkelling and fantastic offshore SCUBA diving.

Description

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is situated within a 3.5hr drive from King Shaka International Airport Durban and a lhr 30min drive from Richards Bay Airport. It is situated on the western boundary of Africa's oldest proclaimed Game Reserve Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, Northern KwaZulu Natal. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge within the park. With its four star accommodation, guests are offered spectacular scenery and excellent safari opportunities within the heart of Big 5 territory. Kosi Forest Lodge guests are accommodated in thatched bedrooms, on raised wooden decks, hidden in the sand forest. All beds have mosquito nets. The unique open-air, reed enclosed bathrooms with the bath and shower sunk into white forest sand, has been noted by many guests as one of the highlights of their stay. Each room has an indoor shower as well to cater for the less adventurous. Thonga Beach Lodge is set on the secluded Mabibi Bay, in the heart of the iSimangaliso (formerly Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park, an internationally recognised World Heritage Site. With direct access onto the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast, this lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. Mabibi is a magical place of tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and exquisite sandy beaches. It's clear warm waters offer superb snorkelling and fantastic offshore SCUBA diving.

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to your safari

On arrival at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge you will be greeted by a refreshing drink and welcomed by our friendly team who will give you a short orientation of the lodge and its facilities, before showing you to your accommodation. After a quick refresh we will be waiting to serve you high tea on the verandah at the main lodge, which offers spectacular views over the entire reserve.

Here you will meet your guide who will prepare you for your first safari experience, offering some useful pointers about the 'do's and don'ts' of the bush. By now you will be eager to board your safari vehicle to explore the magnificent hills and valleys of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.

At sunset your guide will take you to a special spot to enjoy drinks and snacks, after which you will travel into the night looking for nocturnal creatures like leopards, owls and jackals. When you get back to the lodge you will be given time to freshen up for dinner and then enjoy superb cuisine either on the dining deck or in the restaurant. Sit around the fire late into the night discussing the day's sightings and legendary tales of Africa, all against a back drop of a million stars.

Explore the magnificent hills and valleys of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.

Activities

  • Game Drive

Accommodation

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Day 2

Safari Explorer

After an early morning wake-up call, fresh coffee, tea and rusks (a South African Tradition!), everybody departs with the guides for an early morning game drive. Be sure to have a jacket and scarf as it can get really chilly on the open 4x4 vehicle. Sunscreen, hats and sunglasses will also be needed for later in the day. Nothing is predictable in the bush; therefore each safari offers a potentially new and unique experience.

Our guides will share their wealth of bush experience which involves the identification of animals, trees, grasses, insects and birds. The medicinal uses of plants and local folklore is also discussed as well as looking for the ever fascinating Big 5! When you return to the lodge you will enjoy a hearty brunch. Now it is time for you to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge. You may wish to spend your day being pampered at our spa, do a few laps at the pool or simply relax in the privacy of your room enjoying the endless views from your private balcony.

Additional activities include guided bush walks (children 14 years & older only) in the national park with highly skilled armed trails rangers who not only ensure your safety at all times but impart their intimate knowledge of the bush and the wild animals most notably the white rhino for which this park is most famous. Visits to the local Zulu community with which the lodge works very closely can also be arranged. Bush walks are charged at an additional cost payable at the lodge.

Make sure you are back in time for high tea and the evening game drive. Hopefully this time you will spot all those other animals still on your bucket list. On returning to the lodge you will have time to freshen up before coming through for a delicious dinner.

Allow our guides to share their wealth of bush experience with you on one of your exciting game drives.

Activities

  • Morning Game Drive
  • Evening Game Drive

Optional Activities

  • Spa Treatments
  • Guided Bush Walks
  • Visit To The Local Zulu Community

Accommodation

Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

Day 3

Wetland Adventure

After an early morning game drive and brunch it will be time to bid fare well to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge and wind your way out of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park back to the main road travelling north to the vibrant African town of Manguzi. For those of you travelling in a 2x4 vehicle you will be met in Manguzi by a member of staff from Kosi Forest Lodge who will transfer you to the lodge in an open 4x4 vehicle. This is a quick 20 minute crossing but always be sure to keep a warm jacket and hat for these trips.

Kosi Forest Lodge is situated in the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve which is part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park proclaimed a Unesco World Heritage site. This 20-bed wilderness lodge offers the unique opportunity of exploring a pristine wetland environment by vehicle, guided canoes and boats. The Kosi Lakes are a series of interconnected lakes which stretch over some 18km. The best way to see the system is by boat. The full day excursion leaves shortly after breakfast and travels through the lake system and estuarine waterways. The guides stop along the way and explain the traditional fishing traps and the traditions of the Tsonga community, who live in balance with the lake system. A picnic lunch is served on the banks of the scenic lakeside. After your meal you will continue on to Bhanga Nek beach where you can enjoy one last swim before heading back to the lodge.

On arrival, you will be shown your bush suite and given time to unpack before embarking on your first activity. You will return to the lodge with time to freshen up before coming through to the dining deck to enjoy dinner under the stars.

Travel through the lake system and estuarine waterways of the magnificent Kosi Lakes.

Activities

  • Boat Trip Along The Kosi Lakes
  • A Picnic Lunch

Accommodation

Kosi Forest Lodge

Day 4

Bird Watchers Dream

The dawn chorus of hundreds of birds who live in the sand forest awaken you. You will join the Kosi team at the lodge for a hearty breakfast before leaving on your activity.

The highlight for many at Kosi Forest Lodge is the canoeing trip on the Kosi Lakes. The best time for this activity is in the early morning and lasts for approximately 2 hours. Guides escort you by canoe along the Sihadla channel where the bird life is very rewarding and the scenery peaceful and breath taking. You will return for a delicious lunch and a siesta before embarking on your afternoon activity.

In the afternoon, you can enjoy a walk through magnificent Raffia Palms - the tallest in the world! Home to the Palm Nut Vulture and Pel's Fishing Owl, the area can be explored by birders at their leisure. When you return from your afternoon activity you will have time to freshen up before coming through to enjoy a delicious meal on either the main deck or in the Boma. The lodge is charming and as the pathways and dining areas are lit by lanterns and create a warm atmosphere to enjoy the sounds of the night.

Be escorted by canoe along the Sihadla channel, where the bird life is rewarding and the scenery breath taking.

Activities

  • Canoeing Trip On Kosi Lakes
  • Walk Through Raffia Palms

Accommodation

Kosi Forest Lodge

Day 5-6

Meal under the stars

After your breakfast and morning activity you will check out of Kosi Forest Lodge and return to the pick up point at Manguzi. You will continue South to the Coastal Forest Reserve and continue along the sand road to the Coastal Cashew Factory where you will be met by a Thonga Beach Representative and transferred via an open 4x4 vehicle to the lodge. The total transfer time from lodge to lodge is approximately 2 hours.

On arrival, you will be welcomed with a refreshing drink and given a brief orientation of the lodge before being shown to your room and given time to unpack and relax before coming through for lunch. After enjoying one of the many activities hosted at Thonga, you will have time to freshen up and enjoy a cocktail at the bar before settling down for a delicious meal under the stars.

Activities at Thonga Beach Lodge include SCUBA diving, Open Ocean experiences, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya, guided snorkelling, seasonal turtle drives/walks, Tsonga Cultural tours and forest walks. Whether you are a walker or a diver, take advantage of the wealth of activities that await you in this beautiful hideaway, or simply relax with a Spa treatment of on the beach deck.

SCUBA diving at Mabibi is phenomenal. Our professional lodge diving team can accommodate enthusiasts, from the beginner to the veteran. For those who don't dive, we have an Open Ocean Experience. An exciting launch through the surf in front of the lodge takes you beyond the breakers to a world of dolphins, whales and many other creatures. The warm Indian Ocean supports a myriad of fish and marine life.

Guests can sometimes swim with dolphins or whale sharks, or snorkel with Manta rays and giant turtles. In summer there are nocturnal walks and drives along the beach in search of pre-historic turtles laying their eggs. Witness the culmination of an incredible journey as giant Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs in carefully prepared nests.

Turtle tracking is offered in the evening from November to end of February. The turtles lay their eggs from November to February. Hatchlings arrive from end December to end February. Every precaution is taken to ensure these magnificent creatures are not disturbed during the laying process and data collected from the turtle drives is submitted to the Ezemvelo Turtle Monitoring program.

Whether you are a walker or a diver, take advantage of the wealth of activities that await you in this beautiful hideaway!

Activities

  • Scuba Diving
  • Open Ocean Experiences
  • Kayaking & Sundowners At Lake Sibaya
  • Tsonga Cultural Tours
  • Forest Walks

Optional Activities

  • Guided Snorkelling
  • Seasonal Turtle Drives Or Walks
  • Spa Treatments

Accommodation

Thonga Beach Lodge

Day 7

Goodbyes

After breakfast you will check out of Thonga Beach Lodge and be transferred in a 4x4 vehicle (1hr transfer) to the 4x4 pickup point from which you will continue your onward journey.

What's Included

Accommodation

  • 2 Nights' Accommodation at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in a Safari room, upgradeable to Bush Villa or Honeymoon Villa
  • 2 Nights' Accommodation at Kosi Forest Lodge
  • 2 Nights' Accommodation at Thonga Beach Lodge in a Forest view room, upgradeable to Ocean View or Deluxe Ocean View Room *Upgrades are subject to availability

Ground Transport

This is a self drive option

  • Rentals can be arranged on request

Exclusions

Park Fees, any drinks not specified, laundry, gratuities and any items of a personal nature

Optional Extras

  • RHINO RIDGE SAFARI LODGE: Spa treatments and guided safari walks.
  • KOSI FOREST LODGE: Motorised boat trip on Kosi Lakes System, 4x4 day trip to Kosi Bay Mouth, 4x4 turtle tours, 4x4 transfers from pick up point.
  • THONGA BEACH LODGE: Spa treatments, SCUBA diving, Open Ocean Experience, dive equipment hire, 4x4 transfers and vehicle driven turtle tracking tours in season (Nov - Feb)

Honeymoon Options

All packages can be upgraded to a Honeymoon Package

Flights

All International/Domestic flights and visas are excluded.

  • Flights can be arranged on request

Meals

All Meals

Bonus Inclusions

  • RHINO RIDGE SAFARI LODGE: Morning and afternoon game drives.
  • KOSI FOREST LODGE: Canoeing on Lake System, walk in Raffia forest.
  • THONGA BEACH LODGE: Use of snorkelling equipment, guided walks, cultural tours, kayaking and sundowners at Lake Sibaya. Nightly turtle walks 3 times a week (Nov - Feb)

Extra Days

Extra days can be added at any of the lodges mentioned or at any other Isibindi Africa Lodges

Created by
Johnothan Dean Sanders

I am open to everything and trying new things. From food, to extreme and challenging adventures, I’ll be up for it! I love mysterious places, blue oceans and the true African "Braai" with people and music in the air. I like to fully submerse myself in other cultures and customs.

Traveling for me is freeing. It’s allowing myself to be moulded, shaped, transformed by a place that isn’t my home. It’s seeing that the world is so limitless, so inviting, beyond what you’ve always known. It teaches you about yourself. Your strengths, your limits, your patience, your compassion, your love for others, your openness, your confidence and your connectedness with what’s around you.

Travel With Me Africa is a fully registered one click travel agency based in South Africa, Pretoria. Our forward vision is to strive to become an outstanding entity in travel based corporate and retail service, capable of demanding unconditional response from the targeted niche. We are committed to take our achievements to the next level and travel with our clients with memorable, unique and no regrets experience.

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