KwaZulu Natal & Swaziland (Luxury)
The province of KwaZulu Natal is a microcosm of South Africa, containing a snapshot of many of the country’s greatest attractions. Wildlife, yes, it has it in spades. Beaches? Absolutely. Mountains, wetlands, savannah, African markets, historic battlefields… it’s got them all. And now the province is much more easily accessible, with a new direct flight from London to Durban. This tour uses a selection of gorgeous boutique hotels so that you can explore during the day and retire in comfort at night.
Enjoy the famous Oyster Box Hotel
Crocs & hippos in iSimangaliso
Spot the Big Five on safari
White water rafting in Swaziland
Zip-line adventure in Malolotja
Relax at Thonga Beach Lodge
15 days from £3,250 pp
Plus international flights from £800
A two-week luxury holiday for a family of four usually costs from £13,000 plus flights
The exact price of your tour will vary depending on a wide range of factors, particularly whether you choose to self-drive or be accompanied by a chauffeur guide. Also, there is a huge range of accommodation in South Africa, from inexpensive B&Bs to very luxurious tented safari camps so the costs vary hugely as a result. Generally the longer you spend on safari, and the more exclusive the reserve, the higher the price will be.
Other factors include how many of you there are, what level of hotels you want to stay in and whether you stay in one large family room or have children and adults in separate rooms.
As a guideline, a two-week self-drive holiday for a family of four to South Africa will usually start from around £10,500 (excluding international flights) based on mid-range accommodation and including car hire and activities.
If you would like to spend longer on safari, or base yourselves in one of the completely fabulous but more expensive safari lodges in the north for part of your tour, the price will start from around £13,000 for a two week holiday and may easily rise to more than £16,000 (excluding flights). In all cases we can match our accommodation suggestions to your budget.
Note that we like our tours to be accessible to as wide a range of people as possible so if you are travelling on a tight budget, please let us know and we may be able to suggest ways to bring the price down closer to £8,500 for a two week holiday for a family of four.
All prices exclude international flights. These start from £850 per person but can be considerably more, particularly at Christmas. We will be very happy to provide a flight quote for you from your nearest airport. Please ask us for details.
Flights are available for booking approximately 11 months in advance. If travelling during UK school holidays we suggest that you book your flights as far in advance as possible to get the best fares. Prices will rise considerably the closer to departure that you book.
We don’t impose any age limits on our tours. Some activities in South Africa have a minimum age but we will only suggest activities and itineraries that will suit your own particular family.
Rest assured that you have 100% financial protection if you book with Stubborn Mule Travel. This is guaranteed through our membership of the Travel Trust Association (membership number Q0176) and our ATOL membership (number T7608). Further details can be found on our Financial Protection page.
All you need to do is let us know a few key details about you and your family and we will do the rest. After a chat to understand more about you, we will produce an itinerary as a starting point and you can review this as many times as you need to until we get it just right
KwaZulu Natal & Swaziland (Luxury) day-to-day itinerary
When you arrive at the airport you will pick up your rental vehicle and drive to your hotel, the beautiful Oyster Box on the Indian Ocean Shore just north of Durban. (If you would prefer not to self-drive we can arrange for you to have a driver instead).
This afternoon, if you can tear the kids away from the beach and the pool, head into Durban to breathe in the exotic aromas of the lively Indian markets or wander along the waterfront.
Day 2 Durban – Makakatana
After breakfast, a 3-hour drive brings you to the lush wetland reserve of iSimangaliso, a World Heritage Site. You have three nights in the remote Makakatana Lodge, right on the banks of Lake St Lucia. The Nature Reserve covers an area of sweeping beaches, great fertile estuaries, mangrove forests and lakes and is home to a wide selection of wildlife.
This afternoon head out this afternoon on your first game drive, taking to an open sided vehicle to search for giraffe and zebra. In the evening return to the lodge for a campfire and dinner by oil lamp under the stars.
Days 3-4 Makakatana
You have two full days at the lodge. All meals and activities are included so you can choose from boat rides, snorkelling, swimming, fishing, bird watching and hiking trails. A cruise across Lake St. Lucia will be a particular highlight, the waters full of hippo. In the early morning you might see one of these huge beasts lumbering along the lake shore in the dawn light.
On another day, dip your toes in the warm Indian Ocean at one of the most pristine coastlines in South Africa. If you are lucky, you might see a breaching whale or a pod of dolphins playing in the sea.
Day 5 Makakatana – Swaziland
Head inland to the tiny country of Swaziland, recently re-named Eswatini. Your base is Summerfields, a wonderful boutique hotel set in expansive gardens with easy access to Swaziland’s attractions. Amongst hot competition, it also has (in our opinion) the benefit of some of the most delicious food in Southern Africa.
Read More Day 6 Swaziland The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the pool. Day 7 Swaziland This afternoon, you can either relax at the lodge or take a game drive in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. This was the first of Swaziland’s wildlife refuges and is a haven for endangered species. It is home to four of the Big 5 including black rhino and there are also excellent chances of spotting white rhino, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo and crocodile. Day 8 Swaziland – Mkuze This afternoon you can either head out on a game drive in the nearby Mkuze Reserve or have some time to enjoy the pool and extensive gardens. Day 9 Mkuze Day 10 Mkuze – Thonga Beach Days 11-13 Thonga Beach If you would like a bit more action, you can take an early morning kayak on Lake Sibaya in search of crocodile or a guided walk through the coastal forest. Day 14 Thonga Beach – Durban Day 15 Durban
An exciting morning of white water rafting, heading out onto the river in two person inflatable rafts for a few hours of high adrenaline. Prepare for a soaking! (For families with younger children, we can suggest an alternative activity).
Another morning of excitement as you head into the pristine mountain wilderness of Malolotja Nature Reserve for a zip-line experience. The course is set within fantastically dramatic scenery with striking rock formations, vast vertical cliffs and lush forest beyond. Whizz across the canyon from one platform to the next, cross a 50m suspension bridge over the Majolomba River and keep your eyes peeled for game.
A short drive takes you to Mkuze, in Northern Zululand, where you will spend two nights.
A full day game drive in the Mkuze Game Reserve, a wonderfully picturesque wilderness that is home to the Big Five. The scenery here is stunning as the reserve is spread across the lower slopes of the Lebombo Mountains. Rolling acacia savannah is home to a multitude of plains game with giraffe and zebra ambling past endless antelope. Dense riverine forest offers sightings of large herds of elephant and families of lion prowl across the landscape.
If you are still feeling active, perhaps rise early for a hike through the fig forest and across the Mkuze River. If not, then just head straight to the beach. Your destination is Thonga Beach, one of South Africa’s last unspoilt wilderness beaches. Staying in traditional thatched rooms looking straight out over the ocean, let the children run wild along the deserted shore.
Three blissful days to relax. The pristine beach stretches for miles in each direction and is perfect for lazy morning or sunset walks. Take a swim in the ocean, search for shells or play in the sand dunes. There is excellent snorkelling right from the beach and from November to February you may be lucky enough to see turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs.
After a leisurely breakfast, return to Durban for your final night. Head into town for some last minute shopping or savour your last ocean views.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Day 6 Swaziland
The afternoon is free to relax and enjoy the pool.
Day 7 Swaziland
This afternoon, you can either relax at the lodge or take a game drive in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. This was the first of Swaziland’s wildlife refuges and is a haven for endangered species. It is home to four of the Big 5 including black rhino and there are also excellent chances of spotting white rhino, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, hippo and crocodile.
Day 8 Swaziland – Mkuze
This afternoon you can either head out on a game drive in the nearby Mkuze Reserve or have some time to enjoy the pool and extensive gardens.
Day 9 Mkuze
Day 10 Mkuze – Thonga Beach
Days 11-13 Thonga Beach
If you would like a bit more action, you can take an early morning kayak on Lake Sibaya in search of crocodile or a guided walk through the coastal forest.
Day 14 Thonga Beach – Durban
Day 15 Durban
Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.
South Africa in pictures
Why choose us?
- Unparalleled family travel experience
- Specialist knowledge across three continents
- Hand-picked local partners
- Every holiday is tailor-made for you
- 100% financial protection
- 24hr emergency contact number
We are members of the Travel Trust Association, a trade association of Travel Agents, Tour Operators and Travel Organisers that operate trust accounts in order to provide financial protection for the consumer. Membership number Q0176.