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KwaZulu-Natal Self-Drive

  • Tours & Safaris
  • KwaZulu-Natal Self-Drive

Highlights of this Safari

  • 100% wildlife-focussed; expert guides & diverse safari activities
  • Big 5 game viewing, superb birding & rare animals
  • En suite accommodation, private pools & verandas
  • Spa treatments, elephant interaction & bush dining



Comfort Level: V Value Packages
Start/End: Start at Richard's Bay & End at Richard's Bay
Countries: South Africa
Destinations: Hluhluwe Game Reserve, Zululand Rhino Reserve, Pongola Game Reserve


Days 1 – 2: Into Big 5 Country

Collect your hire car at Richard’s Bay Airport & drive to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. Your accommodation is Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, set in a private concession. Enjoy 2 nights on a full-board basis with game drives & guided walks.

Leaving the sub-tropical KwaZulu Natal coast behind as you drive inland from Richard’s Bay, the more familiar side of Africa emerges – thorny acacia trees and rocky outcrops in a landscape of busy grassland – big game country. Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge offers grand views of the area from its hill-top location in a private concession within the Hluhluwe Game Reserve. It makes the ideal base from which to maximise your time in South Africa’s oldest game reserve. Hluhluwe is home to the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino – and the local guides have the sharpest eyes. You’ll go out on early morning and late afternoon drives, returning to camp with a spotlight to pick out nocturnal animals on the move. Back at camp, the facilities range from a pool and sundeck to a spa and curio shop. Your generously sized suite is air-conditioned and also has a fireplace for chilly winter evenings.

Days 3 – 5: Elephants at Leopard Mountain

Drive a short distance to Leopard Mountain Lodge, located in a Rhino Reserve. Check in for 3 nights on a full-board basis with game drives & guided walks.

The Zululand Rhino Reserve is the setting for your next accommodation. Located just a few miles from Rhino Ridge Lodge, this reserve has made a name for itself as a haven for rare and elusive wildlife as well as more familiar animals. Not much however beats the jumbo-sized experience in store for guests at Leopard Mountain Lodge. You’ll have the chance to meet and greet elephants at a nearby sanctuary and learn their story. You can go on walking safaris to see their wild cousins too, and your guide will mix up game drives and short walks to show you the best of the reserve. Each of the lodge’s stone cottages comes with a private plunge pool and deck plus hammock and mini bar.

Days 6 – 8: Land & Water

Drive to White Elephant Safari Lodge in the Pongola Game Reserve for 3 nights on a full-board basis. Activities include game drives, walks, boat cruises & canoe safaris.

It’s a slightly longer drive this morning but still under an hour. You’ll check into White Elephant Safari Lodge and settle into your luxurious tented suite, complete with outdoor bathroom and comfortable chairs on the veranda. Set in the teeming Pongola Game Reserve, the lodge lies next to a lake and here you’ll have the opportunity to add water-based game viewing to your safari activities – a great chance to see hippos, crocodiles and even bathing elephants. Game drives and walks supplement the experience and you can also explore the lake by canoe and even try your hand at fishing.

Day 9: The Journey Ends

Drive back to Richard’s Bay Airport to return your car & connect with your onward travel arrangements.

After breakfast you’ll make your way back to the main road. It’s a 2-hour drive back to Richard’s Bay Airport where you’ll return the car and catch your onward flight.

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Hands-on Expertise

  • We’re based in Africa
  • Consultants Travel in Africa
  • Knowledgeable team
  • Expect great customer service

Accredited & Bonded

  • SATSA – Bonded Membership (2061)
  • Travel Save Compliant Certificate
  • Fully Independent & Owner Run
  • Travel Support from Start to Finish


Walter has always been an excellent communicator and has supported us fully

We have been to Africa for 24 of the last 27 years so know a bit about what is involved. Walter has arranged the details for the last couple of years, and has done a superb job. He is always quick to respond and comes up with answers immediately……..no evasive tactics, always head-on!

Roger (UK)
Best trip I have ever been on. Highly recommend.

Would highly recommend. Safari online asked questions when booking and were efficient and knew exactly what we were looking for in terms of accommodation and animals were wanted to see. Gave advice on a few little extras with no pressure, which we did and am very grateful which make trip even more exciting. Would definitely recommend booking with them.

An incredibly well organised tour with no hassles whatsoever.

Safari Online understood our needs and was able to present us with sensible options to choose from. It was evident that this tour operator has knowledgable and experienced agents who can arrange a seemless tour. We were provided with a professional online itinary which was comprehensive and easy to use, knew exactely what to expect, and encountered no stumble blocks along the way.

Gwen (AU)
Professional, patient, efficient and responsive. Met all our travel needs and requirements spot on

Communication was excellent – I asked A LOT of questions and did a ton of research myself and Walter was extremely patient with me and very responsive. he was straight forward and extremely professional. Tour itself was excellent – an incredible experience and one never to be forgotten. Everything was spot on.

Professional, quick and top of the edge service!!!

From the very first contact we’re very happy about the respond time and quality of information from safari-online.com. Based on the received first tailor-made quote, which is a weblink with all the details about the flights, photos of the lodges etc. we knew that this is “our” partner for this trip. Our expectations were excelled!!!

Lukas (Germany)
Very helpful good suggestions for holiday ideas always available for questions good organising

Excellent service and they supplied good suggestions for our holiday they also organised all internal flights and arranged check in for us so we had no worries while on holiday. We have had a most memorable holiday staying at wonderful places thanks to Sabrina and Safari Online. Would recommend Safari Online to organise your holiday.

Lorraine (UK)
It was a safari of a lifetime and exceeded all of our expectations!

Our mom grew up in Central and South Africa so we had visited the continent many times. My sister and I wanted to take our teens and husbands to Africa to experience the magic. We had a limited budget but big and specific expectations and by some miracle Walter was able to manage both.

Heather (USA)
Safari Online made our fantastic family holiday dream come true!!

Safari Online have been nothing but professional and incredible from the time we made our first enquiry to the last day of our stunning holiday. Nothing was too much trouble for Walter. We are now starting to plan our next family Safari for 2019. Guess who we will be booking with??? Safari Online we hope you are ready!!!!!

Penni (AU)
Karina was absolutely instrumental to our safari success.

Our experience with Safari Online was excellent. After becoming very frustrated trying to search for a safari destination on our own, we turned to Karina for help and she was a lifesaver.  We had an amazing safari adventure at the lodge–the experience of a lifetime–and are so grateful for her help. We literally couldn’t have done it without her!

Chris (USA)
Safari Online were extremely efficient and absolutely charming to work with.

Our 28-day itinerary took us to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana. A magnificent and unforgettable adventure. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently from the flights, transfers, rides, connections, etc. Absolutely wonderful! Can’t thank them enough!

Ann and Mario (Canada)