South Africa: Drakensberg & Zululand
SPECTACULAR WALKS AND WILDLIFE IN THE HEART OF THE RAINBOW NATION
Code: DKWHWPrint page
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Explore the mighty Drakensberg Mountains on foot with incredible views of Crystal Falls and Makhulamane Rock. Ignite your curiosity with a trip to the Anglo-Zulu battlefields, put yourself at the heart of nature on the Elephant Coast, and check out the hidden valleys of this extensive landscape steeped in ancient culture and precious rock art.
- Walking in the mighty Drakensberg mountains, know to Zulus as the ‘Barrier of Spears’
- Explore both the northern and central Drakensberg, including walks to Tugela Gorge and the Contour Path
- Visit the battlefields of Isandlwana & Rorke’s Drift with a specialist guide to bring the story of the battles to life
- Spot elephants, hippo, crocodile and bird life on a cruise on Lake Jozini and a guided bush walk
- Visit a Zulu village
- Stay in a collection of luxurious country lodges in spectacular locations
- Enjoy excellent South African cuisine and hospitality
A selection of mountain and game lodges with distinctive local character.
Ghost Mountain Inn - 2nts
A secluded retreat with a traditional colonial country house character. As well as modern well appointed rooms, there are a number of restaurants and a large bar. The fragrant gardens have watchtowers for viewing the wonderful bird-life as well as views towards Ghost Mountain.
Battlefields Country Lodge - 2nts
The Battlefields Country Lodge is a stone's throw from the hub and heartbeat of the battlefields, in a beautiful position with magnificent views of Zululand, rolling lawns and browsing wildlife.
Champagne Castle Hotel - 3nts
Our base in the central Drakensberg, an area of high peaks, lush valleys and a long settler history. The hotel offers dramatic views of the Drakensberg Escarpment and the 'Barrier of Spears', the magnificent amphitheatre of the Little Berg. With ample space in the restaurant, bar, lounges and spa for relaxing.
Cavern Resort - 3nts
In the northern Drakensberg we stay at the Cavern Resort, located on a private mountain reserve with great views of the river gorge below and across to the mountains. It has large rooms, sumptuous dining area and bar with a terrace.
On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.
Drakensberg & Zululand itinerary
Walks are part-day and full day with opportunities to walk direct from the hotels. Distances are from 1 to 11 miles (1.5-17.75km). Ascents range from virtually nil to 2,100 feet (630m) with some rough terrain and steep ascents. In the Drakensberg there are opportunities to do challenging hikes including the ascents to the spectacular Amphitheatre summit.
Day 1: Outward flight
Overnight flight from London to Durban via Johannesburg.
Days 2-3: Ghost Mountain
Morning arrival and drive up the Elephant Coast to the Ghost Mountain where we stay for 2 nights. This luxurious hotel is located in a lovely relaxing location in a traditional area, close to a number of game reserves and in the shadow of Ghost Mountain. Afternoon walk to Ghost Mountain, a sacred place for local tribes, which is said to be haunted.
The following day enjoy a morning game drive in the Mkuze reserve, a great place to see elephant, giraffe and possibly white rhino as well as lovely bird life. This afternoon we take a guided naturalist walk through the reserve’s Fig Forest.
Days 4-5: Zululand
Morning cruise on Lake Jozini, for wonderful scenery and hippo, crocodile and other wildlife as well as lovely tropical birds. Continue inland into the heart of Zululand (2 nights), through rolling countryside with small traditional villages.
In the company of an expert historian guide explore the Rorke’s Drift & Isandlwana battlefields of the Anglo Zulu wars, the haunting fields of Isandlwana and the famous siege at Rorke’s Drift. Your guide will bring to life the history, events and personal stories surrounding the battles in this area as we walk through where they took place.
Day 6-8: Drakensberg Mountains
A mroning drive across the countryside of KwaZulu-Natal, rich in history. The Drakensberg mountains come into view and we climb into the central part of the range (3 nights). An unbeatable location for walking and offering a splendid place to relax and enjoy the surroundings. This afternoon we take a walk to see San bushman paintings.
Enjoy two excellent full or part day walks in the stunning mountains. Walk options include the dramatic Rainbow Gorge or the popular Contour Path.
Days 9-12: Royal Natal National Park
Morning at leisure, followed by the short drive to the northern area of the main Drakensberg range and the Royal Natal National Park (3 nights), where it is easy to see why the Zulus named it the Barrier of Spears. We stay in the heart of the park.
We'll enjoy full day’s walking, with harder and easier options, in the stunning Tugela River gorge, through valleys of yellowwood trees and protea savannah, unusual geological formations with names like Devil’s Tooth and Toothpick and great mountain views.
The following day we enjoy a fantastic full day’s walk to the summit of the Amphitheatre, the symbol of the Drakensberg and close to the highest point in South Africa. Drive to a well marked trail with a zig-zag path leading onto an undulating contour path which then leads to the summit. A less challenging shorter walk in the area is available.
Day 12-13: To Johannesburg
Enjoy a relaxing final morning in the mountains. Afternoon drive to Johannesburg for our flight home (airport lounge entry included)
A full passport valid for at least one month after departing South Africa is required, with at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps.
Holders of EU passports and nationals of the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can stay in South Africa for up to 3 months without a visa. Other nationals should check with their nearest South African embassy for details of entry requirements.
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health:http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk www.traveldoctor.co.uk
Vaccines: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A & Tetanus vaccinations are recommended. Typhoid, rabies and hepatitis B vaccines are sometimes recommended too.
Holidays are scheduled for the South African summer when the weather will be warm. Some days can be quite hot, and you should experience plenty of sun. It is cooler in the evenings in the mountains and there is always the chance of rain. This can sometimes be in the form of heavy downpours, though they are often fairly brief and don’t affect the daily activities greatly. The lowland valley of KwaZulu Natal and down to the coast is generally hotter and more humid than the Drakensberg, and there can be some rainy days.
The South African currency is the rand. Banks are open Monday to Friday 9am to 3.30pm and Saturdays 9am to 11am and are the most convenient place for exchanging money. Credit cards are also a convenient way of obtaining money and Visa and Mastercard are all widely recognised. Cash machines are found in most towns. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.
Tips are included on this holiday.
For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.
Carl is a passionate South African and experienced travel guide who has travelled extensively throughout the country. Most of his work has been in the tourism industry, initially in various game reserves around South Africa as a field guide conducting guided experiences. After leaving the reserves Carl began work as a freelance tour guide specialising in Nature experiences in KwaZulu Natal. Most recently he has been involved in running volunteer based programmes aimed at rural developments and the upliftment of previously disadvantaged communities around South Africa.
Carls top 3 picks for South Africa are, Greater Kruger National park and its surrounds, he says "I'm definitely a little biased here after working in the area for many years". The Drakensberg for its sheer beauty and magnificent splendour and the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape which offers true rugged unspoilt coastline.
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Dates & Prices
Here at HF Holidays, we pride ourselves in offering a unique holiday full of experiences that you can’t find with anyone else. Find out what's included in this holiday.
|22 Sep 2018||
DKWHW - Drakensburg & Zululand
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|23 Sep 2018||DKWHW - Drakensberg & Zululand - Without Flights||10||£2,565.00||Book Now|
|27 Oct 2018||
DKWHW - Drakensburg & Zululand
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|28 Oct 2018||DKWHW - Drakensberg & Zululand - Without Flights||10||£2,565.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- 10 nights’ accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Full Board from lunch on day 2 to breakfast on departure
- A full programme of guided walks led by a local tour director and local guides
- All sightseeing and entrance fees
- Travel by air-conditioned coach/minivan
Other important information
- Single room: £320 (2018)
- Discounts available for groups
- No flight holidays start on day 2
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person