South Africa: Drakensberg & Zululand

SPECTACULAR WALKS AND WILDLIFE IN THE HEART OF THE RAINBOW NATION

Code: DKWHW

Print page

Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • History
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Medium
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £1,998.00 - 10 to 11 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Download trip notes

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.

Holiday highlights:

  • 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

Price includes

  • 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
  • Tips

In pictures...

Accommodation

A selection of mountain and game lodges with distinctive local character.

 Ghost-Mountain-Inn in South Africa

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 in South Africa

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 in South Africa

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 in South Africa

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. 

Itinerary

Drakensberg & Zululand itinerary

Download trip notes

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.

Two girafes in a South African game reserveDays 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.

Scenery of the Wintershoek MountainsDays 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.

Contour path at Cathedral PeakDay 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.

Drakensberg mountainsDays 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)

General Information

Passport
A full passport valid for at least one month after departing South Africa is required, with at least 2 blank pages for entry stamps.

Visa
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.

Health advice
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.

Climate
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.

Money
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.

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.

Leaders

Trevor Boulle

Trevor, our local South African leader, lives in Durban and leads most of our South African holidays, both The Cape & Garden Route, and Drakensberg & Zululand.

He has been involved in tourism for over 16 years, initially as a tour operator and for the last ten years as a full time tourist guide. Trevor has a strong passion for history, culture, hiking and the great outdoors, all of which South Africa has in abundance.

Leading our HF Holidays’ groups on their holidays in South Africa allows Trevor the opportunity to share his deep warmth and knowledge of the land and its people. A wicked and sometimes dry sense of humour is utilised at opportune moments to convey this message!

For him, the most endearing legacy of one of our holidays is to witness the group bonding and to see strong friendships being nurtured and forged. To be an integral part of this process he feels is very special indeed.

Trevor’s feedback from our groups is consistently, excellent, excellent, excellent. Here are just a few examples of what our guests say about him:

“Trevor was one of the best HF leaders I have experienced. His knowledge/enthusiasm and care was second to none. He must be one of your best ambassadors”

“Trevor is exceptional in all respects”

“Trevor made a huge contribution to the whole group’s enjoyment of the holiday” 

Trevor is leading  11 November 2017 Cape & Garden Route tours, and 21 September 2017, 26 October 2017 Drakensberg & Zululand tours

Jamie Keenan

Hailing from a family with a keen conservation and wildlife interest, Jamie’s compelling curiosity and inquisitive nature was continuously stirred and stimulated as a young boy and he opted to follow a path in Nature Conservation.

It only seemed fitting to complete his practical year living in the Kruger National Park. To broaden his horizons and gain some ‘worldly experience’, he donned his backpack and travelled through Europe and North Africa for a year.

He held a position as a field guide at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape and has led overland expeditions through Southern Africa, for several years.

Jamie is now lucky enough to live back in Cape Town where he is a private guide and also enjoys regular trips to the pristine wildlife areas of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.

Jamie will be leading 07 September 2017, 12 October 2017 Cape & Garden Route tours. 

Reviews

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
21 Sep 2017 DKWHW - Drakensburg & Zululand
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 21 Sep 2017, 7:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 22 Sep 2017, 10:05 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Durban Louis Botha International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 2 Oct 2017, 7:20 p.m.
  • Arrive: 3 Oct 2017, 5:30 a.m.
  • Depart from: Johannesburg Jan Smuts International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
11 £2,659.00 £2,658.00 Holiday Guaranteed to run Book Now
22 Sep 2017 DKWHW - Drakensberg & Zululand - Without Flights 10 £1,999.00 £1,998.00 Holiday Guaranteed to run Book Now
22 Sep 2018 DKWHW - Drakensburg & Zululand
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 22 Sep 2018, 7:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 23 Sep 2018, 11:35 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Durban Louis Botha International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 3 Oct 2018, 7:20 p.m.
  • Arrive: 4 Oct 2018, 5:30 a.m.
  • Depart from: Johannesburg Jan Smuts International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
11 £3,365.00 £3,365.00 Book Now
23 Sep 2018 DKWHW - Drakensberg & Zululand - Without Flights 10 £2,565.00 £2,565.00 Book Now
27 Oct 2018 DKWHW - Drakensburg & Zululand
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 27 Oct 2018, 7:05 p.m.
  • Arrive: 28 Oct 2018, 11:35 a.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Durban Louis Botha International

Flight - Return

BRITISH AIRWAYS

  • Depart: 7 Nov 2018, 7:20 p.m.
  • Arrive: 8 Nov 2018, 5:30 a.m.
  • Depart from: Johannesburg Jan Smuts International
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
11 £3,365.00 £3,365.00 Book Now
28 Oct 2018 DKWHW - Drakensberg & Zululand - Without Flights 10 £2,565.00 £2,565.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £240 (2017) £320 (2018)
  • Discounts available for groups
  • No flight holidays start on day 2
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.