Old Jan 2nd, 2006, 08:16 PM
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We have now booked our Zambia safari (thanks to Rocco) for mid-May 2006, and are looking for an extension from June 1 to June 7 or 8 that would include warm water, beaches and some fishing possibly. We were planning on Zanzibar but the air and land connections etc, would have meant losing nearly 3 days to air travel and overnighting just for connecting flights, leaving us only 4 days to enjoy the area. We have 7 days before our flight from JNB to LA, and we were thinking maybe of either flying to Durban and then renting a car to drive the KwaZulu coast, stopping at beach B&Bs or resorts if the prices were reasonable, seeing the St. Lucia area, etc., then flying back to Johannesburg. Alternatively, the drive from JNB to the coast doesn't seem much longer than from St. Lucia to Durban, so maybe renting the car in JNB and driving from there would be good? We don't really need more than 3 days of beach time, if the scenery and B&B's driving from JNB are good. Drakenberg (sp?) area also looks gorgeous, but I don't know if it would be on the way. I read a couple of posts from 2004 but any current information and ideas would be really appreciated. Sorry for the lengthy post. Thanks for your help,
stamiya is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 02:32 AM
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The KZN coast is certainly beautiful and if you're anything like me and would get bored actually just sitting on the beach the whole time there are the wonderful St Lucia wetlands (an extensive area) to explore.

Another option is to look into Wilderness Safari's Rocktail Bay which looks absolutely wonderful. We were torn between it and Ndumo and chose Ndumo in the end, which we don't regret one bit but have heard nothing but good things about Rocktail Bay.

You could also look into Mozambique which I've read has some spectacular beaches at very good prices. I've not been myself though and don't know about flight connections etc.

Kavey is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Mozambique is gorgeous... try Benguerra Lodge, my parents just spent 5 nights there and haven't stopped raving about it! There are direct flights daily from JHB to Vilanculos. The other lodge is marlin Lodge both are on Benguerra Island so you really feel quite remote! Mozambique though definately isn't cheap... Both Lodges practise Tag and release for fishing as do those in Natal.

Natal is also amazing - Thonga Beach Lodge for serious luxury combined with the Kosi Bay forest lodge make a fab combo see That said though it is a hard choice between those and Rocktail Bay ... Look at the Wilderness safaris website for more info on Rocktail Bay.

Hope this helps!
mistypopper is offline  
Old Jan 4th, 2006, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the replies. Have you driven to this area? Is there a lot to see between St. Lucia and Johannesburg? Any experience with B&B's in this area? Rocktail Bay does look good, but we might want to do a little sightseeing on the way to and from a few days there.
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Old Jan 4th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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We drove from JNB to Durban, stopping at Ngala Private Game Reserve, Mkhaya Game Reserve in Swaziland, St. Lucia Wetlands and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. I highly suggest it!
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Old Jan 4th, 2006, 08:14 PM
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thanks, Biggskd - Did you stay at any B&B's along the way or just the game parks? We will be coming off of a safari in Zambia, so not so much interested in more game parks. Where did you stay in St. Lucia? Did you have a guidebook for the area or just wing it? As you can see, I'm kind of desperate for information
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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We stayed along the coast north of Durban (Shaka's Rocks), safaried in Imfoloze, and spent a night in St. Lucia, as part of our honeymoon.

We're not big beach people, and as it turned out it was a bit windy for the beach (sea was too rough) but we found more than enough to do in the area, and really enjoyed it.

In St. Lucia, I would highly recommend a B&B called African Ambiance ( - beautiful place, nice owners, very friendly atmosphere. St. Lucia itself is kind of a typical tropical resort tourist town, although with the addition of piles of hippos! It would be a nice place to just relax and hang out if that's what you're looking for.

While we were there, we viewed hippos (we actually didn't take a boat tour, because you can literally see bunches a few yards away from the bridge in town, but the boat tours are supposed to be fun) and went to the Crocodile Center (doesn't take long). We spent a day driving to Cape Vidal, where we hiked along the beach to the magnificant sand dunes and cavorted in the beautiful, crystal blue water. The beach is beautiful if you're just looking to lounge on the sand. On the road between St. Lucia and Cape Vidal, we saw rhinos all over along the side of the road. (ironically, much closer than we'd seen after a week in Imfoloze, the top rhino park in the world!)

As for the KZN coast, we enjoyed some of the Zulu sights (such as the Shaka Zulu exhibits in KwaDukuza (Stanger), and really enjoyed the views and art shopping in the Valley of 1000 hills.

Sigh, typing this makes me want to go back!! Have a wonderful time!!
DoctorCarrie is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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Stamiya, I just posted our (self-drive) itinerary on another thread:

To sum up:

Flew into Durban and went straight to Imfolozi for 2 nights, then Hluhluwe for one night. Then on to Avalone Guest House in St Lucia for 3 nights - this was built in to our trip to give us some kick back time as we'd preceded the Durban arrival with 2.5 weeks in Cape Town and the Garden Route. We did tour the local area a bit whilst there. After that we went on to 2 nights at Ndumo, 2 at Ithala and 4 in Kruger before driving to Jo'burg and our onward flight.
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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I spent 5 nights at Rocktail- It was wonderful and VERY relaxing.... You might want to do Hluhluwe first, it is about a 2-3 hour drive on dirt to get there. Rocktail was quite romantic(too bad I was there with my sister-LOL), and the beach went on forever. I would highly reccommend!! Suzi
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Old Feb 14th, 2006, 09:13 PM
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thanks so much for all your information and recommendations. We looked at Rocktail, and it's beautiful, but we want to be in St. Lucia since we'll have just come in from 12 days in camps and want to be able to go to a different restaurant every night! We will be checking out the Avalone and African Ambiance websites, and the drive up to Cape Vidal sounds wonderful! I'm really getting excited - only 3 months to go!
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Old Feb 15th, 2006, 07:05 AM
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The hostess at Avalone, Monica, was the warmest and most helpful and lovely B&B hostess we encountered in our 5 week stay in South Africa - and we met some wonderful hosts.

She doesn't own the property, the owners live in Europe, but runs it for them full time and lives on the premises.
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