Zululand to the Dramatic Escarpment
Enjoy a six day self drive tour from Durban to Johannesburg. You will travel through KwaZulu-Natal exploring the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, on your way to one of the most romantic Safari destinations. Enjoy the Big Seven Safari experience at one of South Africa's leading safari Lodges.
Travel through rolling valleys and green pastures through the Ezulwini Valley to overnight in Swaziland, before you make your way to the Kruger National Park. Here you will experience an exhilarating and true wilderness Safari, before travelling through the dramatic escarpment along one of the most beautiful scenic drives in South Africa.
Collect your hired car from Durban Airport and set off on your exciting discovery of Kwazulu Natal, Swaziland and Mpumelanga. Travel to St. Lucia where you will find the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Its wide variety of ecosystems and natural habitats provides for an astounding diversity of species in natural settings. Enjoy a river cruise on the Estuary and be witness to an abundance of wildlife and sheer beauty of the area. This is the only place in the world where one can find "hippopotamuses, crocodiles and sharks sharing the same waters." Travel past Hluhluwe to overnight at Thanda Private Game Reserve: Africa's most romantic Safari destination. Situated 23 kilometers north of Hluhluwe in Zululand South Africa, Thanda Private Game Reserve is a celebration of the Zulu people and their rich cultural tapestry. Located in the heart of the Elephant Coast, Thanda offers guests the Big Seven safari experience, encasing the illustrious Big Five within its 7800 hectare borders. Its close proximity to the Indian Ocean ensures a balmy climate throughout the year. Thanda meaning love in Zulu, embraces the philosophy 'for the love of nature, wildlife and dear ones' which pervades all facets of the five star lodge. The only private game reserve to hold exclusive membership with The Leading Hotels of the World, Thanda's superlative facilities include a decadent main lodge and award-winning wellness centre. In 2008, Thanda was awarded 'Africa's Leading Luxury Lodge' and 'South Africa's Leading Safari Lodge' at The World Travel Awards.
Accommodation is in one of the 9 luxury bush villas, each with their own private infinity pool, sala (thatched outdoor day bed area), boma, lounge, fireplace and full bathroom with both inside and outside showers, or embrace nature at the non-electrified
Should the urge arise to venture beyond your private retreat, the public areas at the lodge include a library business centre, finely stocked wine cellar and cigar bar as well as a choice between romantic dining venues. There are many secret pleasures that await you at Thanda! In the coolness of the night, dine on tender delicacies to the echoing sounds of triumphant creatures feasting. Thanda is proud to offer its guests a variety of dining venues to enhance the African safari experience. The drama of the boma, in front of the setting sun and behind the flames of a roaring fire is an image synonymous with the safari experience, but only one of the dining options offered. Take heed of your body and mind's desire for inner peace and close your eyes as life's daily stresses vanish beneath skilful hands. Thanda's world-class spa facility invites you to attune your senses against the panorama of the African bush offering hot and cold kniepp therapy pools, a reflexology pool and outdoor sala treatment area. Designed exclusively for Thanda, the Signature Treatments draw inspiration from Zulu traditional medicine, restoring inner balance through the gently persuasive powers of African maize meal, crushed papaya and shea butter. Experience the impassioned energy of performative culture at its very best as the fires of the past resurrect the innate rhythms that consummate the Zulu Kingdom. Vula Zulu is a celebration of Zulu culture at its most colourful; a revival of the ancient art of story-telling through the pulsations of the human body.
Set off in a Northerly direction as you head towards Swaziland. Travel through prevailing rolling valleys and green pastures, through the Ezulwini Valley to overnight in Mbabane at the Royal Swazi Spa a colonial hotel, offering a certain graciousness while still embracing the tradition and culture of Swaziland. Visit the exciting arts and crafts markets in the area and enjoy the picturesque nature of the Valley.
Re-enter South Africa, travelling to the Malelane Gate. Make your way to Lukimbi Safari Lodge. A luxurious safari lodge situated in the southern section of the Kruger National Park. The lodge has exclusive use of 15 000 hectares of prime bushveld, no other vehicles are permitted. The Lodge offers matchless comfort of 16 luxury suites overlooking the Lwakahle River, a favourite drinking place for elephants and buffalo. The adjacent plains are host to a wide variety of antelope. Lukimbi offers an exciting and true wilderness experience with game drives and bush walks being the highlights. Raised walkways lead you to your spacious suite, combining luxury and modern African decor with stunning river views. The ultra luxurious executive Giant Eagle Owl Suite and King Cheetah Suite also have a private pool, dining room and second bathroom. Enjoy an afternoon game drive where you can follow the Big 5 off road in careful, controlled circumstances.You are able to get really close to the animals and experience truly fantastic photographic opportunities. A highlight of late afternoon drives is the time spent at sundowner time. This is the moment to appreciate the magnificence of an African sunset, whilst sipping sundowner drinks. Lukimbi is the place to enjoy wonderful walks, because it is so large and unspoiled. It is quite a different xperience to see animals on foot and always very exciting. The walks offer the opportunity to look at and learn about the smaller things and just to appreciate the special smell of the African bush, listening to the calls of the many species of birds. Walks are generally taken after breakfast and guests are always accompanied by an armed Ranger.
All suites are air-conditioned, have fans, safes, mini bars, as well as tea and coffee facilities. Private decks leading out towards the river provide the ideal place to relax or enjoy bird spotting and game viewing in peace and tranquility.
After an early morning Game drive and breakfast travel to the Lone Creek Waterfalls near Sabie. Enjoy a walk through an indigenous forest to the bottom of the Falls. Make your way to Lone Creek River Lodge where you will spend the night.
The 5-Star Lodge is embraced by majestic mountains and evergreen forests. Lone Creek River Lodge is situated in the picturesque country town of Sabie. The Lodge offers comfortable and luxurious accommodation in the heart of the Drakensberg Escarpment.
Make it an early start as you set off to explore the Panorama Route on the way back to Johannesburg. The Panorama Route is one of the most beautiful and popular scenic drives in South Africa. It leads through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg. The most spectacular stretch is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at "Bourkes Luck Potholes" and ends at the "Three Rondavels." The Potholes are impressive rock formations that were shaped millions of years ago by erosion. Travel via Lydenburg back to Johannesburg. This journey will take approximately eight hours. Return your hired vehicle to the airport.