Here at Holden Safaris we’re always looking for that ‘exclusive’ off the beaten path safari to offer our curious and discerning clients, and our latest exciting itinerary is in the province of Kwazulu Natal.
Our staff recently visited the province of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, which stretches along the warm Indian Ocean from Port Edward in the south to Swaziland and Mozambique in the north. (See the white area on the map above.) There’s an abundance of attractions in this province, including a Unesco World Heritage Park with stunning natural beauty and the richest concentration of San Bushman rock art found in caves in Kwazulu Natal.
Most safaris focus on the seeing the Big 5, but we include exclusive conservation, historical, cultural and community activities you won’t find in brochures with large groups leaving on set departure dates. Our clients want flexibility to see and do what they want, as well as discover and learn from on-site experts and private guides. This is what we provide during our custom safaris.
Here are some examples of the extra activities we offer on our Kwazulu Natal itinerary:
- A visit at Thula Thula game reserve and elephant interaction at Bayete Zulu Game Reserve where you’ll learn about wildlife conservation, and anti-poaching projects going on right now to protect endangered rhinos and elephants. At Bayete, you’ll get to feed the elephants, touch the tusks and ears and feel its tongue. (see photo below)
- A historical adventure of the 62 battles that took place in this part of South Africa, with our expert storyteller.
- A cultural visit by invitation to a traditional Zulu family where you get to experience their daily life.
- A community activity where you’ll visit the local Zulu community and share interesting insight into the Zulu culture and its fascinating customs, beliefs and traditions.
Elephant and Rhino Conservation:
- Visit Thula Thula and learn about elephant and rhino conservation and anti-poaching projects. Author and conservationist, Lawrence Anthony, rescued a group of nine elephants that escaped their enclosure and were about to be shot after wreaking havoc across KwaZulu-Natal. Anthony tried to communicate with the matriarch of the herd through the tone of his voice and body language. He eventually rescued them and brought them to Thula Thula game reserve. He became known as the “Elephant whisperer” and wrote a book about his elephants. I was fortunate to see them on our trip, and took some photos, (see the one above which I took during our staff visit in May, 2017.)
- Visit Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Reserve and meet conservationists, game capture experts and wildlife researchers to learn of the amazing work being done to preserve our wildlife and to create a harmonious synergy between local communities and the wildlife.
History: Drive on Zululand’s Route 66, and learn from our expert storytellers and guides about the tribal wars of the early 1800s, the Voortrekker-Zulu War of 1838, the Anglo-Zulu War of 1878 and the Bhambatha Rebellion of 1906.
- Also find out more about the great battles of Isandlwana and the defence of Rorkes Drift, the capture of Winston Churchill, and the battle of Spioenkop. We’ve selected a fantastic guide and storyteller for you on this tour.
Community and Culture:
- You will visit a local Zulu community and learn about the Zulu culture and its fascinating customs, beliefs and traditions.
- You’ll receive an invitation to a traditional homestead and have the rare opportunity to witness the daily routines and lifestyle of a rural Zulu family.
- We’ve arranged for you to spend time with the highly respected sangoma (witch doctor) who will explain the wonders of Zulu ancestry and their spiritual beliefs.
- You’ll also have a quick stop at Mbhedula Craft Market where the beautiful handiwork of 43 Zulu crafters is showcased.
- You’ll experience a Black Rhino tracking on foot at Phinda private game reserve
- An amazing opportunity to spend a night under the stars at Phinda private game reserve.
- An optional add on activity is the Turtle Nesting Adventure. Nesting season Nov – Feb, subject to tides
- The visit to the Interaction with the elephants at Bayete, is also an optional add on activity.
Check out all the lodges on our 9 day itinerary by looking at our digital version here.
Phinda Private Game Reserve – KwaZulu-Natal (you’ll spend 4 nights at this beautiful lodge where you’ll get a chance to go on game drives.)
Unlike most other safari companies, Holden Safaris offers you the chance to pick your own vacation dates and not feel constricted by a brochure with preset departure dates.
As you can see, we also like to get to know you and help you “build” your own safari based on your wishes. If you don’t know what you want to do or see, our team of experts on Africa, can assist you in all aspects. Just ask us. Leave a comment on this blog site, or call our office at 949-720-1042, or toll free at 800-690-8728.
So what do you think of our brand new off the beaten path safari?
I’m also curious to read your comments on our new Kwazulu Natal itinerary, and I promise to answer them.
Sonia Marsh (Author and Blogger.)