Zulu Warriors - Family Safari Holiday

Family fun and wildlife in the Rainbow Nation of South Africa







From $2,420 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Visit several game reserves, including Kruger National Park
  • Easy walks and relaxation time in the Drakensberg mountains
  • Cultural highlights include the Zulu village at Shakas Kraal
  • Enjoy a day at leisure on the beach north of Durban

Accessed through the city of Johannesburg, the spectacular and historically fascinating north-eastern corner of South Africa is also home to some of the world's finest game reserves. With a specialist guide and comfortable private transport, this family safari includes game drives in the world-famous Kruger National Park, but also spends time in less well-known, but equally impressive reserves, such as Edeni, Hlane and Mantega. A visit to the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre will allow us to get even closer to animals such as lion and leopard, before we continue our tour through the landlocked kingdom of Swaziland and out to the north Natal coast at St Lucia. Here, we take a boat trip on the estuary, walk amongst coastal dunes and visit a crocodile farm. Heading south towards Durban, we also visit Shaka's Kraal where we can gain an insight into the way of life of the Zulu people, before checking in at beach-side apartment for 2 nights, with the chance of some beach R&R. Journeying back towards Johannesburg, our final stop-off is at the accommodation in the Drakensberg, a haven of peace and tranquility in sight of the mighty escarpment. Easy hiking in the wonderful countryside around this accommodation provides a fitting end to this excellent family adventure.

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

Suitable for children from 6yrs old

This fantastic family adventure holiday in South Africa includes several long drives. It also includes a number of game drives, often on rough roads. It is a busy itinerary, with lots of sightseeing and interesting activities. There are only short elements of hiking and these are generally optional. Accommodation is in a mix of chalets, lodges, apartments, safari-style bush camps and campsites. All family members are expected to help with camp chores. During this holiday there are also a number of superb swimming opportunities. We request that all children are supervised by their parents during any swimming based activities.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at Johannesburg Airport in the morning. Drive to Graskop.
  • Passing Blyde River transfer to Edeni Reserve for game drive.
  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Drive to Kruger National Park.
  • Two game drives in Kruger National Park to see Big Five.
  • Morning game drive in Kruger. Transfer to Hlane game reserve in Swaziland.
  • Optional game walk. Transfer to Mantega a traditional Swazi village.
  • Transfer to the St Lucia wetlands on the coast.
  • Morning boat tour and afternoon crocodile farm visit.
  • Optional guided tour of Zulu village. Transfer to Natal north coast.
  • Free day at beach. Option to visit UShaka Marine World in Durban.
  • Drive to the Drakensberg. Exploration walk.
  • Full day walk in North Drakensberg. Optional adventure park, mountain biking or quad biking.
  • Departure day. Transfer to Johannesburg Airport.
Sun 20 Dec - Fri 01 Jan Code FSD /05/15/ Adult$2,420 Child$2,420 Status Available Book now
Sun 27 Dec - Fri 08 Jan Code FSD /06/15/ Adult$2,420 Child$2,420 Status Available Book now
Mon 28 Mar - Sat 09 Apr Code FSD /01/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 04 Apr - Sat 16 Apr Code FSD /02/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 25 Jul - Sat 06 Aug Code FSD /03/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 22 Aug - Sat 03 Sep Code FSD /04/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
Wed 21 Dec - Mon 02 Jan Code FSD /05/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
Sun 25 Dec - Fri 06 Jan Code FSD /06/16/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Guaranteed Book now
Mon 03 Apr - Sat 15 Apr Code FSD /01/17/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
Mon 10 Apr - Sat 22 Apr Code FSD /02/17/ Adult$2,260 Child$2,260 Status Available Book now
The dates shown are for the LAND ONLY itinerary, joining in Johannesburg, South Africa. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Johannesburg Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' and the 'Flights' sections in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at Johannesburg Airport in the morning. Drive to Graskop.

    Meet at Johannesburg Airport at breakfast time where we will meet with our guide. KE Land Only package services begin with the long drive to Mpumalanga and the small town of Graskop. En route we will travel via the Long Tom Pass and stop off to look at the cannon on the top. The pass was named after “The Long Tom”, silver cannons used in the Second Boer War and a commemorative cannon sits on top of the pass. The Long Tom Pass was once a treacherous journey of steep hairpin bends and hair-raising drops and was originally the route followed by pioneer wagon drivers transporting goods from Mozambique to Lyndenburg. We’ll also stop off for a picnic lunch at Lone Creek Falls, a 70m waterfall close to the town of Sabie. This is a great place for a swim in hot weather. We’ll also view the impressive Mac Mac falls before travelling on to Graskop, where we check into our accommodation at Mogodi Lodge. Accommodation will be in family chalets, each with 2 separate rooms, a shared bathroom and open plan lounge. Drive time today will be around 6 hours plus stopping time (450km).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals ld

  • Passing Blyde River transfer to Edeni Reserve for game drive.

    The magnificent Panorama Route drive in Mpumalanga is best-known for its cultural heritage and its dramatic landscapes. Today we will check out God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Blyde River, home to spectacular wildlife and birdlife and some of the best views in South Africa. We’ll then journey on via the Abel Erasmus Pass and the JG Strydom tunnels to Edeni Game Reserve. Edeni is home to the “Big Five” and is also one of the best locations to spot Africa’s most elusive large cat, the leopard. We will arrive in the afternoon with time to set up camp, freshen up and then take a game drive with a local guide through the reserve. During the trip we’ll stop for a Sundowner before switching on the spot lights on the vehicle and returning to camp for dinner round the camp fire. The campsite has a swimming pool, so there may be time for a quick dip if anyone wants to cool off in the pool. Drive time today will be approximately 3 hours plus stopping time (150km).
    Swimming: At campsite pool.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Drive to Kruger National Park.

    After breakfast we’ll visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre for a guided tour. The centre, established in 1991 is home to many wounded animals and the aim of the project is to contribute to the conservation of endangered species and the rehabilitation of injured and poisoned wildlife. Animals at the centre include lion, leopard, serval, lynx, honey badger, eagles, vultures and can include an array of baby animals depending on when we visit! After our tour we’ll drive into the Kruger National Park spotting for big game as we drive to our camp. We’ll overnight at a Kruger Park campsite, which has a swimming pool and small shop. Drive time 2 hours (150km) plus game drives in the park.
    Swimming: At campsite pool.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Two game drives in Kruger National Park to see Big Five.

    Today we’ll enjoy morning and late afternoon open vehicle game drives in the world-famous Kruger National Park. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of almost 20,000 square kilometres is unrivalled in terms of biodiversity and is a world leader in advanced environmental management policies. Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 113 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals, including the “Big Five” : lion, leopard, black rhino, elephant and Cape buffalo. Each of our game drives today will be for around 3 hours, giving us plenty of time to spot the “Big Five” and more! Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to see the animals, so we’ll take some out during the heat of the day to rest and chill out by the pool.
    Swimming: At campsite pool.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Morning game drive in Kruger. Transfer to Hlane game reserve in Swaziland.

    After a final morning game drive (3 hours approximately) in the Kruger, we’ll leave the park and cross the border into the Kingdom of Swaziland. Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa and is one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies. Bordered to the north, south and west by South Africa and to the east by Mozambique, the country is named after the 19th century king, Mswati II and is about the same size as Wales. Despite its small area, the country has a variety of landscape including mountains, savannah and rain forest. We’ll drive to the King of Swaziland’s traditional hunting reserve, now a game reserve - Hlane. In the afternoon we’ll set up camp and sit around the waterhole at sunset, looking out for rhino who come down to drink. Drivetime today will be 3 hours (280km) and we’ll enjoy a 3 hour drive in the Kruger in the morning.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Optional game walk. Transfer to Mantega a traditional Swazi village.

    In the morning there is the option to take a guided game walk through the reserve with a good chance of seeing rhino. Note that children must be aged 12 and up to take part in the game walk. Alternatively families can take a game drive or relax by the waterhole. After a late brunch we’ll drive to Mantega Nature Reserve where in the afternoon we’ll enjoy a guided tour through a traditional village. The Mantega Village is a mini-complex of 16 huts, each with its own specific purpose. Kraals (or byres) for cattle and goats, reed fences that serve as windbreaks and various other structures. With traditional artefacts on display, the village showcases many facets of the ancient Swazi way of life. This evening dinner will be taken in the restaurant and we will spend the night in traditional Swazi huts. Approx drive time 2 hours (130km).

    • Accommodation Traditional Hut

    • Meals bl

  • Transfer to the St Lucia wetlands on the coast.

    After an early start we drive through southern Swaziland before re-entering South Africa at the Lavumisa border. From here we drive to St Lucia, via the Pongolapoort Dam, the third largest in South Africa. We arrive in the afternoon in time to set up camp. Drive time around 5 hours (350km).

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Morning boat tour and afternoon crocodile farm visit.

    The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of 13 protected areas and is the largest estuarine system in Africa. The marine conditions in the estuary have resulted in a variety of landforms and ecosystems, including wide submarine canyons, sandy beaches, forested dunes and a mosaic of wetlands, grasslands, forests, lakes and savannah. As this is such an extensive area with a wide range of different habitat environments, animals of all sorts may be seen including hippos and crocodiles on the St Lucia estuary. Wildlife in the park also includes nesting turtles on the beaches, migrating whales, dolphins and sharks offshore and huge numbers of birds including pelicans, storks, herons and terns. In the morning we enjoy a boat tour on the St Lucia estuary and will be on the look-out for birdlife and wildlife with a good chance of seeing both. In the afternoon we will visit a crocodile farm which offers guests the opportunity to learn more about the estuary and one of the world’s most fascinating and misunderstood creatures. The farm interprets the Lake St Lucia system and the habits of the crocodile and serves as a centre for monitoring and research. Crocodiles are a protected species in Natal province. In the afternoon we’ll take a short walk through the sand dune forest before returning to our campsite for dinner in camp.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Meals bld

  • Optional guided tour of Zulu village. Transfer to Natal north coast.

    After breakfast at camp, we drive to 'Shaka’s Kraal' and enjoy an optional guided tour through his Zulu village. King Shaka was a great Zulu king and lived in this part of KwaZulu Natal in the nineteenth century. Shaka became king of the Zulus when he was about 30 years old and his warriors, the amabutho, were legendary. Their battle tactics were very successful and included the famous 'horns of the buffalo' fighting formation - it was very simple, the warriors formed the 'horns' encircling their enemy while the 'head' took on the main weight of the attack. Shaka led the growth of the fearsome Zulu people from a small clan into a significant local power. The Zulu are the largest ethnic group in South Africa and are known for their beautiful brightly coloured beadwork and basketry. We’ll have the chance to feel the pulsating rhythm of mysterious and magical Africa as we re-live the excitement in this authentic re-creation of the 'Great Kraal'! After lunch we’ll continue to the Natal north coast which will be our base for the next two nights. We will stay in holiday apartments with separate bedrooms, bathroom, open plan lounge and kitchen. Allocations will depend on family size, with some families sharing. Drive time approximately 4 hours (300km).

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Meals b

  • Free day at beach. Option to visit UShaka Marine World in Durban.

    Today is free to spend at the beach. Alternatively the tour leader will be available to drive anyone who wants more action to nearby uShaka Marine World in Durban. UShaka is a world class marine entertainment park spanning 15 hectares of prime beach front at the end of Durban’s “Golden Mile”. There is a salt water aquarium, dolphin stadium, Sea World “behind the scenes” tours, beach activities and Wet’n’Wild World! Entry to the marine world is not included, but transport will be provided.

    • Accommodation Apartment

    • Meals b

  • Drive to the Drakensberg. Exploration walk.

    We depart the apartments after breakfast and head inland, via Durban and Pietermaritzberg, crossing the South African Highveld before reaching the town of Bergville close to the Drakensberg Mountains. Rising above 3000m on the western edge of KwaZulu Natal, the rugged escarpment is known by the Zulus as “uKhahlamba” – barrier of spears. The escarpment stretches for almost 200kms and forms the border between South Africa and Lesotho. Arriving at our comfortable accommodation in the afternoon, we should have time for a short walk to explore the area. Drive time today will be around 5 hours (400km).

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Full day walk in North Drakensberg. Optional adventure park, mountain biking or quad biking.

    We have a full day for walking in the nearby Royal Natal National Park, at the foot of the dramatic Drakensberg escarpment. The park was founded in 1916 and contains some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa. The main feature is the Amphitheatre, a rock wall 5kms in length and 1000m in height that forms part of the escarpment and most famously was the backdrop to the battle scenes in the film “Zulu” starring Michael Caine. Five rivers rise at the top of the escarpment, most dramatically the Tugela River which plummets 948m and is the world’s second highest waterfall. Today we can choose to walk the Tugela gorge to visit the foot of the falls or try shorter walks to nearby Tiger Falls and the cascades where there is a lovely swimming spot and we can also see some bushmen paintings. For those who have extra adrenaline, it’s possible to visit (optional, entrance fees payable locally) a local adventure centre, All Out Adventures where you can try mountain biking, paintballing, quad bike tours or Go Ape style treetop adventures.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Transfer to Johannesburg Airport.

    After a leisurely breakfast and the chance of a short stroll, we drive back to Johannesburg Airport in time for a late afternoon check-in. KE land only package services end on arrival at the airport. Drive time will be approximately 6 hours (500km).

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • A professional local guide and driver
  • Single timed Johannesburg Airport transfers on the first and last day
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Entry fees to the various parks and reserve areas

  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for local staff
  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan
  • Entrance fees for optional excursions
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc

During this trip the group will spend 6 nights in chalets, lodges and apartments and 6 nights camping. The group will spend 1 night in family chalets at Mpumalanga (each with bedrooms, bathroom and lounge), 1 night in Swazi-style huts at Mantega Village (family-share with shared ablutions), 2 nights in holiday apartments on the North Natal Coast (each apartment has separate sleeping and living areas with shared bathroom) and 2 nights in comfortable cottage accommodation at the Berghouse Cottages in the Drakensberg (each cottage has separate sleeping and living areas with shared bathroom). Whilst camping there will be 1 night at Edeni Game Reserve, 2 nights in Kruger National Park, 1 night at Hlane Campsite in Swaziland and 2 nights camping in St Lucia Reserve. Camping will be in 2-person tents and campsites will have communal facilities.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All breakfasts plus 10 lunches and 9 dinners are included in the trip price (see the daily itinerary above for details of which meals are included). The group will take the included meals together either in camp or at local cafes and restaurants. While staying on the North Natal Coast only breakfast is included so families can take advantage of the free days. There are many restaurants to choose from, and you should allow approximately £10 per person for lunches and £15 per person for dinners.

Food throughout the trip will mostly be prepared by the guides, although everyone is expected to lend a hand! This is usually a fun and sociable time. Breakfast will be cereals and yoghurt, with coffee, tea, toast and the occasional cooked breakfast. Lunch will typically be picnic style - cold meats, cheese, salads, bread, rolls and fruit. Dinner will be potjies (traditional stews), braais (barbecue), stir fries and pasta. Very often cooking will be on an open fire. Fresh produce will be used wherever possible and fruit squash, tea and coffee will be served with breakfast and dinner.

The group will rendezvous at the airport in Johannesburg. Within the Land Only cost of this holiday, we have arranged for a single timed group transfer from Johannesburg Airport to Graskop on arrival. The local guide will meet the group at the airport for the long drive to Graskop. At the end of the trip there will be a single timed group transfer to Johannesburg Airport on the final day of the trip itinerary. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.

The group will be accompanied by a local English-speaking professional guide from arrival on day 1 to departure on day 13. During the tour the group will travel by minivan driven by a professional driver.

We estimate that a total of around £200 per person (or equivalent in euros/dollars) should be allowed for personal spending including the above-mentioned meals. This amount should also be sufficient to cover miscellaneous expenses, including any departure tax, and approximately £30 per family member for tips to local staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs or undertake any additional activities or excursions, you should budget accordingly (credit cards can be useful in this respect). Also, if you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks or beer, you should make an allowance for this. You can choose to take your money in pounds Sterling, dollars, euros or in South African Rand. There will be the opportunity to change money into local currency on arrival at Johannesburg Airport. Additionally, you will be able to get currency from bank ATMs in many of the towns that we will visit. Credit cards are often accepted but if you intend to bring your travel money with you, we recommend that you bring this in the form of cash rather than travellers cheques, since this will be much less time consuming to exchange and generally attracts a better rate. Sterling, US Dollars and Euros are readily exchanged.

In South Africa it is usual to tip staff including your local guide and driver if you are happy with the services provided. We suggest you co-ordinate these tips as a group and as a rough guide we recommend each group member contributes around £30 per family member. The exact amount should be determined by the group and the guide will give advice on the appropriate levels.

There is no weight limit on this trip other than that imposed by your international carrier (normally 20kg). However, we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one trek bag and one small daypack per person.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum. The packed weight of each family member’s trek bag during the trip should be no more than 15 kgs.

You must bring the following items:

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated down to 5⁰C)
  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals for camp
  • Trekking trousers (trekking pants)
  • Socks
  • Spare laces
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Thermal base layer shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirt with collar (for sun protection)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Swimwear
  • Sunhat with wide brim
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Daypack c.20 to 30 litres (depending on how much of the kids' stuff you need to carry)
  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (2 pint) x2
  • Several strong plastic bags to keep items separate and dry
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE trek bag)
  • Headtorch / headlamp with spare batteries
  • Basic First Aid Kit – Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Immodium), painkillers, plasters (band-aids), and blister treatment, Insect repellent (DEET), antihistamine cream and tablets, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Travel clothes
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Pocket-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)
  • Camera, media, spare batteries


  • *A foam camping mattress is provided for the camping nights


For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa South Africa

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays. You must have 2 blank pages in your passport.

Travelling with children under 18yrs

Parents travelling with children under 18 years will be asked to show the child’s full unabridged birth certificate and where one parent is accompanying, proof of parental or legal authority. Please note that they are very strict and they do not accept photocopies of birth certificates. For further details please see the South Africa High Commission in your country. For the UK http://southafricahouseuk.com/visas/vis_forcit.html

NOTE: This is also required if you are transiting through South Africa (e.g. Johannesburg).

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:


As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Your Child’s Health Abroad. Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications). Travel With Children. Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet). South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland – Lonely Planet. The Rough Guide to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

There are good, detailed maps of the Drakensberg region available at a scale of 1:50 000. These are published by Kwa-Zulu Natal Wildlife. The maps are available directly from: www.kznwildlife.com

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