Trip idea / South Africa

Sea, Safari and Zulu Warriors

Family Holiday in South Africa

Take an alternative route through diverse and beautiful South Africa on a family self-drive adventure in KwaZulu Natal

The Lowdown

  • Best For

    Ages 12+ - there are some activities better suited to older kids.

  • When To Go

    This trip is suitable for any time of the year, but for the best chance of spotting whales, visit in October half term.

Spot the Big Five, learn about Zulu warriors on historical battlefields, and enjoy an Indian Ocean shifting with whales, turtles and dolphins.


Day 1: Overnight flight to Johannesburg

Day 2-4: Drive four hours to the Drakensberg Mountains and stay three nights at a family friendly lodge for hiking, biking and battleground tours.

Day 5-7: Journey by road for four hours into the heart of Zululand for three nights at a safari lodge.

Day 8-11: Head across to the Indian Ocean (three hours driving) and spend three days tracking turtles, scuba diving and kayaking at a laid-back beach lodge.

Day 12-13: Drive to Durban (approximately five hours) and spend two nights here before flying home.


    Fly into Johannesburg and leave urban life behind as you set off on your intrepid adventure through the mountains and savannahs of KwaZulu Natal. First stop is at Three Tree Hill lodge, surrounded by the impressive peaks of the northern Drakensberg Mountains. The owners who live here with their four children really know how to welcome families.

    The property is an outdoor playground with bike trails through the hills, horse-riding around the farm and picnics at the Magic Faraway Tree. The spacious two-bedroom family cottage even has its own sand pit under an acacia tree. Battlefield tours with the historian owner are a fascinating way to learn more about the Boer and Zulu wars.


    In the heart of Zululand lies Amakhosi Lodge, located in a private game reserve on the banks of the Mkuze River. Amakhosi is home to the Big Five, plus crocodile, hippo, 15 types of antelope and over 400 bird species.

    This is the place for bush walks and game drives through savannah, mountains and wetlands to get closer to the wildest animals on earth.

    Come back to the luxury lodge for a cool off at the pool, and as night falls like a blanket, gather around the campfire to share stories. With darkness comes other opportunities – head out for a unique frogging safari to spot tiny fluorescent amphibians at the watering hole.


    Now it’s time for your family to head eastwards towards the coast. At eco-sensitive Thonga Beach Lodge, you’ll find remote thatched casitas that sit amongst dunes and forest, and miles of empty, golden sands to be explored. It’s all about water based experiences here – rock pooling for marine life, scuba diving around whales and boat trips on Lake Sibaya. Activities have an educational slant too – you’ll see conservation efforts at turtle nests on the beach and possibly hatchlings heading to the sea; and you can visit a local school and learn more about the Tsonga way of life. Finish your trip with two days in vibrant Durban at the Oyster Bay Hotel to slowly assimilate you back into the real world before you head home.

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