Help with choosing which areas to visit

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Oct 12th, 2015, 08:27 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Help with choosing which areas to visit

We have travelled SA on numerous occasions over the years as my sister lives there, and have visited, the Cape, done the Garden Route, and taken safari lodges both private, KNP and Madekwe . We have also done all the beautiful areas near JoBurg, the Drakensberg's, Pilgrims Rest etc.This year we would like to visit a different area and are thinking about KwaZulu Natal area, We have a week free in our plans to do this and would fly to either Durban or Richards Bay before taking up a hire car to travel back to Vereeniging via a stop off at Rorkes Drift. We have been reading all the wonderful reports on here and now we have so much to think about!
We definitely want to stay in Rorkes Drift and see the battlefields so how long do you think we should stay, is 2 night too little? We are also undecided about Durban or St Lucia and how long we would need here? We shall be ending our stay in SA at Lower Sabie for 5 nights to unwind as we absolutely love it there, but we have been reading everyone's views on Hluhluwe and that looks amazing also. So please if anyone can help with these questions we would be forever grateful.
1. How many nights in Rorkes Drift
2. Do we stay in Durban or St Lucia and how long would we need in these areas
3. As we are visiting KNP should we also stay at Hluhluwe
Trevhse is offline  
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Oct 12th, 2015, 08:45 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I love St Lucia and I think you should definitely give it a try. We spent 3 nights, 2 days and that was just barely enough. We had time to visit the iSimangaliso Wetland Park one day and the other we took a estuary cruise and wandered a bit about the town and had lunch at the ski boat club. We then spent 4 nights at Mpila camp in Imfolozi which I cannot recommend highly enough. The tents are great and the camp is unfenced so all sorts of animals come wandering by. Hyenas a couple meters from the braai every night which was a bit un-nerving at first but a great experience. It is totally different than Kruger, hard to compare. In any case, there is no such thing as too much safari to me.

Sorry never been to Durban or Rorkes Drift so can't comment on that.
kellyee21 is offline  
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Oct 12th, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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A thumbs up for Lodge Afrique in St. Lucia, beautiful small hotel on a quiet street just a few blocks from restaurants etc. And another thumbs up for the ski boat club, great food in an outdoor setting where you can hear the hippos in the river.

We also love Lower Sabie and were a bit disappointed in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi and Ismangaliso wetlands but it may have been the time of year. Late September, had too much wind to enjoy the beach, animals were too few and far between compared to Kruger.

We drove up to Tembe for 2 nights, then through Swaziland for a night then on to LS. Interesting, but too much driving for us and too many potholes.
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Oct 12th, 2015, 07:47 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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I am in total agreement with kelly and I've never experienced too much safari, either.

KZN is my favorite part of SA! St Lucia is so much fun - kayak with hippos, horseback on the beach and with zebra, top 10 snorkel/scuba, beach, game drives to Cape Vidal, night game drives, whale watching in season. So much more. Love it. Want to retire there!

We also love Zululand Rhino Reserve - they are doing excellent work "protecting endangered spaces for endangered species". We did a rhino conservation project there that may have been our best day ever. We stay at Rhino River Lodge, which is ridiculously affordable for a full service, big five lodge. They just released wild dogs at ZRR - I can't wait to go back to see them! It is a very relaxed and friendly place. We also visited Tembe - they are a community owned reserve, which is very important to me to support. Great value, very nice people. They recently renovated, so it is nicer than when we were there, and it was great then!

If you visit Hluhluwe-imFolozi, do game drives in the southern part of the park. We had a great time - somehow got in the middle of a rhino joust! It was so fun. We stayed at Hilltop, but will likely stay at Mpila next time. We also spent a day in Mkuze - I wish we had had more time there. So pleasant. Lots of birds, but they had just in the weeks before we arrived, released lions. I think everyone was hunkered down. Lots of great reviews - it's a very different experience than Kruger or HIP.

We've driven through Swaziland twice between Kruger and KZN. For us it was easiest to stay in Mbabane so we could leave after the morning game drive and not drive at night. We used the Royal Swazi or Lugogo Sun. Very nice with golf, spa, casino and nice restaurants. Inexpensive if you get a special - sign up for their free membership. The border crossings were easy and they've upgraded a few to make it a pleasant experience. Yes, the road between Kruger and Swaziland was bad, but not so bad I wouldn't do it again. Same with the road from Swaziland to around Jozini where you pick up the N2. But that was last year - I'm sure the potholes moved! We do find that there are lots of children and livestock on secondary roads, so be careful and avoid driving at night if possible.

I too, can't help with Durban or Rourkes Drift. I have a friend who owns a b&b outside Durban - the Bally High Guest House. Mary Ann is a lovely woman.

Have fun. I could spend weeks (or a retirement lifetime) in KZN. Enjoy. You're going to love it!!
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Oct 13th, 2015, 01:35 AM
  #5
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Join Date: Oct 2015
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Thanks everyone it all looks so amazing I want to try it all out. Hubby is now talking about a visit to Victoria Falls so am looking at this as well. It's a good job we go back to SA every two years to get everything in.
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Oct 14th, 2015, 09:00 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 9
These are some attraction of KwaZulu Natal you can visit- Mitchell park zoo, Howick Falls, Suncoast Casino, Willard beach, Aliwal shoal, Oribi Gorage, Sardine run.
I hope you enjoy...
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