This itinerary is diverse and original, stretching from sub-tropical forests endless sandy beaches. Many the activities available: game drives, walking safaris, canoeing and excursions by 4×4. You will be exploring the swamps and the sub-tropical forests of the Mkhuze Game Reserve, the beaches and the lagoons of the Elephants Coast, the bushy hills of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve.
4×4: the 9 last km to get to Kosi Forest Lodge are made of snaky sand tracks through local Tsonga villages. Kosi mouth is about 1 hour drive from the Lodge, mainly on gravel roads and sand tracks through the Raffia forest in the end. To reach Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve or Sodwana Bay, one can drive along Lake Sibaya on narrow sand tracks through the coastal forest.
Canoe: an easy and pleasant excursion (included) from the Kosi Forest Lodge. You will be paddling on the gentle waters in the middle of the Raffia forest, home to hippos, crocodiles, vultures and the majestic African Fish Eagle.
Hiking: in the Raffia forest (from the Kosi Forest Lodge), or in the ghostly Fig forest in the Mkhuze Game Reserve.
Natal Shark Board: from Durban, leave at dawn on board of Natal Shark Board’s boat to monitor the shark nets off the city beaches. This was a pioneer and controversial project. One hand, shark attacks dropped dramatically; on the other, the nets can occasionally kill also other sea creatures, like turtles and dolphins.
Snorkeling: in the Kosi mouth, where you can spot schools of colorful fishes who join the lagoon with the high tide. You can still find some small reefs in the lagoon.
Durban: the Miami of Africa, with its vibe and the beautiful skyline along the ocean. The starting and ending point of this trip.
Hluhluwe-Imfolozozi: a magnificent reserve with a hilly landscape, perennial rivers and sub-tropical forest. Home to the big 5, though the icon of the reserve is by all means the Rhinoceros. A great conservation project, a successful story who paved the way to many others in Africa.
Kosi Mouth: stunning lagoons where the fresh water of the lakes meet the Indian Ocean, with only a strip of sand in between. The water temperature is very pleasant even in winter, while in summers can be boiling! Be careful to protect yourself by the right sun lotion, especially when snorkeling. We have seen even black people changing the skin on their back after a very short while!
uMkhuze Game Reserve: beautiful game reserve, part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, now honored by the “big 5” status, following the reintroduction of lions. However, truth be told, the scarcity of roads doesn’t help with animals spotting, especially with regard to the large predators. Better to wait patiently at one of the hides of the reserve, strategicamente posizionati vicino. Mkhuze is a real haven for birdwatching, particularly in the summer months (November-March).
Pick-up of your vehicle at King Shaka International Airport of Durban and transfer to you accommodation. Dinner at leisure. (guesthouse)
Don’t miss the opportunity to join the boat of the Natal Shark Board, out on the sea to monitor the shark net. After breakfast, drive to uMkhuze Game Reserve, in northern Kwa-Zulu Natal. Safari in the afternoon. Accommodation at the Mantuma restcamp. (safari tent, B / D)
Full-day spent exploring this beautiful game reserve, with its swamps, dams and sub-tropical forest. We will stop at some hides in search of birds and all wildlife coming to drink. Besides birdwatching, which is really great, Mkhuze enjoys a good population of white rhinos. At the reception, you can book a walk into the Fog forest. Though the focus is on the trees and the environment, you can bump anytime into a herd of rhinos or elephants. This is why you will be escorted by an armed ranger. And don’t forget this is now a big 5 reserve! (safari tent, B / L / D)
We leave Mkhuze to Kosi Bay. Just a few km before the border with Mozambique, we will turn on a gravel road and finally on sand tracks through the Raffia forest, to reach the stunning Kosi Mouth. We will spend the day by the lagoon, to relax on the beach, swim, snorkel or walk along the endless sandy beach overlooked by dunes covered by the coastal forest. Overnight at the Kosi Forest Lodge, the best accommodation of the area. (lodge, B / L / D)
A full-day excursion by boat to the beach of Bhanga Nek, where we will have our pic-nic lunch. Return to the lodge in time for dinner. (lodge, B / L / D)
During the days at Kosi Bay, we will also have the chance to explore the Raffia forest on foot or by canoe.
Safari in the main world rhino sanctuary, a success story in wildlife conservation. Accommodation in bungalow at the restcamp or in a bushlodge (min 4 pax), set in secluded wilderness areas. A zulu guide will be available for morning walks in the bush. The reserve is home to all big 5 and other large predators like the spotted hyena, the cheetah and the wild dog. Beautiful and diverse landscapes, with valleys, green hills and perennial rivers. (bushlodge, B / L / D)
Enjoy your brunch when back from the morning game drive, then check-out and departure to the King Shaka International Airport of Durban.