KwaZulu-Natal Explorer
A wide-ranging tour of KwaZulu-Natal aimed at walkers
From £3,395 per person for 16 nights

Satour, the former tourism body in South Africa, used the tag-line “A world in one country” to summarise what South Africa has to offer visitors. We would argue that the same can be said of KwaZulu Natal – there is tremendous variation in this province, ranging from the 3,000m heights of the Drakensberg mountains in the west, through fertile Midlands and the open savannah plains and bushveld of Zululand, to a lush, sub-tropical coastline in the east. Our holidays in KwaZulu Natal have walkers in mind, are tailor-made and very flexible; in this itinerary you can walk close to wildlife in the Spion Kop Nature Reserve, ascend to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre over 3 days, walk the Fugitives’ Trail from Isandlwana, enjoy riveting battlefields tours, explore the iMfolozi Game Reserve on foot and camp out, and enjoy game drives at a private safari lodge before relaxation on the Maputaland Coast or in Mozambique. 

SEQUENCE:   Spion Kop  ♦  Drakensberg Trek  ♦  Zulu War Battlefields  ♦  Walking Safari  ♦  Private Safari Lodge  ♦  Maputaland Coast

What's Included

  • All Accommodation with most meals
  • Guided nature walk and battlefield tour at Spion Kop
  • Fully supported and inclusive 3 day trek to the Drakensberg Amphitheatre (accommodated)
  • Tours of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
  • Guided Fugitives’ Trail
  • All safari activities
  • Car hire for the duration

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1 - Travel to KwaZulu-Natal

Land at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International and collect your hire car. Drive to Three Tree Hill Lodge at Spion Kop. Settle in and enjoy sundowners overlooking the Drakensberg escarpment.


Overnight at Three Tree Hill Lodge, on a fully board basis

DAY 2 - Tour of Spion Kop

Enjoy a guided morning tour of Spion Kop Battlefield; the tour is extremely moving and the site itself is very beautiful. Return for lunch, then relaxation or further activities at the lodge.


Overnight at Three Tree Hill Lodge, on a full board basis

DAY 3 - Guided walk in Spion Kop Nature Reserve, then travel to The Cavern

Enjoy an early morning walk in the Spion Kop Nature Reserve as part of your final morning at Three Tree Hill. After lunch, drive to The Cavern Hotel (1 hour) and meet your guide for the forthcoming trek.


Overnight at The Cavern, on a full board basis

DAY 4 - Commence 3 day Amphitheatre Trek in the Drakensberg

Day one of the Amphitheatre Trek involves ascending about 700m over 14kms to Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge.  This is a “slack-packer” trek meaning that you stay in fixed accommodation with all meals provided. You will need to carry a light pack with one change of clothes. For more detailed information on the trek, click HERE.


Overnight at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis with packed lunch

DAY 5 - Ascend to the top of the Amphitheatre (circa 3,000m amsl)

Enjoy a superb ascent to the top of the Amphitheatre, arguably the Drakensberg’s most iconic feature. You’ll need to climb steel ladders to gain the summit plateau, or climb a steep scree gully to avoid this feature. Views from the rim of the escarpment are spectacular. Retrace your steps afterwards.


Overnight at Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge, on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis with packed lunch

DAY 6 - Complete trek then drive to Fugitives' Drift

Descend from Witsieshoek into the Royal Natal National Park, ending at the park visitor centre – a lovely morning descent through montane grassland and cooling forest. You’ll be lifted back to your car at The Cavern. Drive to the Zulu War Battlefields during the afternoon. 


Overnight at Fugitives’ Drift Lodge (various comfort levels on offer) or an alternative, on a full board basis

DAY 7 - Tours of Isandlwana & Rorke's Drift

Enjoy a full day of guided tours of the Zulu war battlefields – Isandlwana in the morning, followed by Rorke’s Drift in the afternoon. Lunch will be taken back at the lodge.  These tours are riveting and simply unmissable, whether you are sparked by history or not.


Overnight at Fugitives’ Drift Lodge or an alternative, on a full board basis

DAY 8 - Walk the Fugitives' Trail

This (optional) extra day at the Zulu war battlefields is inserted to allow you to walk the Fugitives’ Trail. This trail marks the route taken by survivors fleeing from the British camp at Isandlwana following it’s destruction on the 22nd January, 1879. Many lost their lives as they retreated some 10 kilometres across difficult country to a fording point (“Drift”) on the Buffalo River, which has since become known as Fugitives’ Drift. You’ll cross the river here. Whitewashed cairns dotted along the route are a poignant reminder of what took place. A thought-provoking hike, but also a very beautiful one through sublime country, especially around the Buffalo River. The hike takes around 3.5 hours. Take lunch at the lodge then relax or pursue further activities.


Overnight at Fugitives’ Drift Lodge or an alternative, on a full board basis

DAY 9 - Drive to the iMfolozi Game Reserve

Depart the battlefields straight after breakfast and drive to Mpila Camp in the iMfolozi Reserve. The drive should take around 5 hours, the longest driving stage of this tour.  Mpila is a self-catering camp and you’ll need to stop at Mtubatuba to do a small shop. Detailed directions and instructions will be provided and everything will be straight-forward. Settle into your safari tent or chalet and enjoy a barbecue in camp.


Overnight at Mpila Camp on a self-catering basis

DAY 10 - Commence 2 night Wilderness Trail

Commence a 2 day, 2 night Wilderness Trail in the iMfolozi Reserve. You’ll have a leisurely start as you are asked to meet your ranger just before noon. Having driven down to Mndindini, the trail’s base camp, set out on foot across the White iMfolozi River and spend a couple of hours walking to a simple bush camp that’s been set up in the wilderness area.  This 30,000 Ha sector of the iMfolozi Reserve is a Big-5 wildlife area and has no man-made infrastructure or tracks. For more detail on what the trail entails, click HERE.


Overnight in dome tents out in the bush, fully catered.

DAY 11 - On the Wilderness Trail

As you will have left your mobile phone and watch in your car, you’ll gradually unwind over the course of this bush experience. Spend the day exploring this beautiful reserve gently on foot in the company of your guide and scout – the White Imfolozi River meanders steeply back and forth through the undulating terrain, punctuated by rocky kopjies which provide excellent viewpoints to aim for.  You’ll inevitably encounter wildlife along the way, discover evidence of small iron workings, examine and learn about the fora and fauna of the bush and their inter-connectivity. Enjoy the unique night time sounds of the bush as you gather around a fire and retire under canvas. 


Overnight in dome tents out in the bush, fully catered.

DAY 12 - Complete Wilderness Trail then drive to a private safari lodge

Enjoy a final morning walk through the iMfolozi Reserve before arriving back at Mndindini at around noon. Lunch is provided before you depart.


Head out of the iMfolozi and proceed to one of the private game reserves north of Hluhluwe: Phinda Private Game Reserve is top of the list – a beautiful reserve with varied habitats, excellent, consistently well run lodges and very good wildlife. If your budget is more limited, the Manyoni Reserve has a couple of very good lodges at different price levels. Wildlife is well-managed and you will likely see a lot here too.


Settle in to your chosen lodge at either Phinda and Manyoni and enjoy an afternoon safari drive.


Overnight at your chosen lodge at either Phinda or Manyoni, on a fully inclusive basis.

DAY 13 - Safari at either Phinda or Manyoni Private Games Reserve

Enjoy morning and afternoon safari activities at either Phinda or Manyoni Private Game Reserves and relax in the comfort of a private safari lodge.  Game drives are good to do having been out on foot for the duration of your time at Wilderness Trails. The focus is different and you’ll likely get closer to Big-5 animals when out in 4×4 game-viewing vehicles.


Overnight at your chosen lodge at either Phinda or Manyoni, on a fully inclusive basis.


Note that additional nights can be added easily

DAY 14 - Final morning safari then travel to the coast

Join a final morning game drive before brunch and departure from your safari lodge. Drive to either Thonga Beach Lodge on the Maputaland Coast (your car will remain in secure parking at Coastal Cashews and you’ll be lifted to the lodge in a 4×4), or head into southern Mozambique via the Kosi Bay Border Post (road transfers all the way from the safari lodge will be arranged if you are heading into Mozambique; your hire car will be collected). Suggested lodges in Mozambique are either White Pearl Resorts or Anvil Bay. 


Enjoy 3 nights of relaxation in one of these quiet ocean-facing locations – more can be added if you choose.


Overnight at your chosen coastal lodge on a full board basis, with activities.

DAY 15 - Relax on the coast in either Maputaland or Mozambique

Thonga Beach Lodge and the lodges in Southern Mozambique are all located in unspoiled locations on the Indian Ocean. Enjoy barefoot living, coastal walks, snorkelling, ocean experiences and diving, high standards of cuisine and complete relaxation.


Overnight at your chosen coastal lodge on a full board basis, with activities.

DAY 16 - Final full day on the coast

Enjoy a final day of relaxation on the Indian Ocean.


Overnight at your chosen coastal lodge on a full board basis, with activities.

DAY 17 - Departure

If you have been staying at Thonga Beach Lodge, you’ll take a 4×4 transfer back to your car at Coastal Cashews, then self-drive to either Richard’s Bay or Durban Airport for departure.


If you have been staying at one of the lodges in Mozambique you will be taken to Maputo International Airport, either by road or by air. Connect through to Johannesburg O. R. Tambo International.



Great itinerary ideas - the service, which included many discussions, felt very personal. A real highlight for us was the guided 3-day walk in the Drakensberg - a spectacular trail to the top of the Tugela Falls with a very experienced guide. Every stage of the journey was detailed, including driving instructions, country dossiers etc. and being so well informed allowed us to really enjoy Africa without having to worry about detail. A varied trip which we thoroughly enjoyed; we would recommend Angus highly and hope to revisit in the future - Many thanks!

Scroll to Top