ISimangaliso Wetland Park (St. Lucia), Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve & Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre

A premier overnight eco-tour that offers unbelievable contrasts of immense forest wildlife next to the ocean. Experience the diversity of KwaZulu-Natal's wildlife at the UNESCO world heritage site of ISimangaliso Wetland Park, the world-renowned Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve, and the safe haven of Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre. Remarkable game and bird viewing at reserves with abundant population of white rhino, leopard, the African Fish Eagle, and more. Up-close-and-personal encounters with cheetah, serval, and hippo. Seek out the nocturnal leopard, hyena, owls, and a thousand stars under clear night skies! Scroll down for full details.

Where do we go?

• Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is the premier game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. It is Africa's oldest conservation area, and is highly acclaimed for its remarkable save the rhino conservation project. This 96 000 hectare reserve is home to The Big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo) as well as cheetah, wild dog, hyena, and a wide variety of antelope, birds, reptiles and plants. The game drive runs through what was once the royal hunting grounds of the Zulu King Shaka.

• ISimangaliso Wetland Park / Lake St. Lucia (2-hour boat cruise)

The miracle and wonder of ISimangaliso Wetland Park made it South Africa's first world heritage site. While on a 2-hour cruise on the estuary system, there will be close encounter(s) with hippo, and possibly crocodile. The park's birdlife is incredibly abundant and includes the African fish eagle. Lake St. Lucia is surrounded by reserves on either side – giraffe and elephant sightings on the banks are not uncommon.

• St. Lucia Town

St. Lucia is a small holiday town in the middle of 3 wildlife reserves. With only one main road, wildlife sightings in the town of St. Lucia are common-place.

• Eastern & Western Shores Game Reserves (Night Drive in an open vehicle)

The Eastern and Western Shores of Lake St. Lucia are a remarkable display of nature's contrasting beauty. Feel the sea breeze, smell the coast, and experience immensely diverse forest wildlife behind the sand dunes. This "island" is utterly and beautifully surrounded by wildlife reserves, the ocean, and the estuary. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers biodiversity, scenery, and boardwalks that are world-renowned. Rehabilitated wildlands and timber plantations form part of the identity of a diverse story of nature's survival. Sharing the reserve with immensely diverse species of land animals, birdlife, and marine life are the tsessebe antelope in the wildlands of the west, and KwaZulu-Natal's highest concentration of leopard in the forest lined east, known as the Cape Vidal. The night drive offers a memorable atmosphere with the chance to spot the nocturnal leopard as well as owls and hyena.

• Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre

Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre is a rare and ethical opportunity to get up-close-and-personal with the African wild cat, serval, caracal and cheetah. The rehab centre makes remarkable contributions to the conservation of these revered cat species. Emdoneni provides a safe haven to cat species injured or orphaned in the wild. The project prides itself on a history of successful release.

• St. Lucia Community Market

St. Lucia Community Market is a beautiful thatched market in the holiday town of St. Lucia. There is a wide selection of African curios as well as locally produced fresh fruit and nuts available. It's an opportunity to support sustainable tourism and to enjoy the magic of the local community.

• Zamimpilo Community Market

Zamimpilo Community Market is sustainable tourism at its best. It's an impressive market of more than 100 stalls, and it's run with creative efficiency to provide a seamless experience where you can access hand-made African arts and crafts. It's an ideal souvenir stop and an opportunity to support local communities. You can taste seasonal fruit and vegetable, and hear first-hand stories of how the art is created.

Is this the tour for me?

  • Yes, I have At Least 2 Full Days Available to tour (If you have less or more than 2 full days that's okay – check out our other options or talk to us!)
  • Yes, I want to visit a Big 5 Game Reserve
  • Yes, I want to Experience a Bit of Everything:
    • Yes, I like Wildlife, Nature and Conservation
    • Yes, I want Up-close-and-personal Experiences with Wildlife
    • Yes, I want Rare Photo Opportunities of Myself with Wildlife
    • Yes, I want to Experience a Night Drive in the Wild in an open vehicle
    • Yes, I will enjoy a Boat Cruise (aboard a comfortable ferry) to view wetland wildlife
    • Yes, I'm interested in Star Gazing
    • Yes, I'm interested Birding
    • Yes, I'm interested in Photography
  • Yes, I'm interested in Local Arts and Crafts with Community Participation
  • Yes, I'd like to see or purchase Handmade African Souvenirs and support Sustainable Tourism

What did others say?

"We were privileged to watch three lions take shade under a tree on the riverbank opposite where we stopped for our picnic lunch.
Our guide cooked steaks to order & served up an absolute feast.
He was extremely organised & provided us with water, soft drinks & snacks to keep us going during the day.

Although it was very windy on our St. Lucia cruise we still saw lots of hippos,
some of them play fighting which was very interesting to watch.
We saw a good variety of birds including a Fish Eagle, Pied Kingfisher & Goliath Heron.

Our guide provided powerful binoculars for us to use throughout the day.
When he discovered that we were both keen photographers,
he made every effort to ensure that we both managed to get the photos that we wanted."

Read Our Tripadvisor Reviews

What's included in the tour package?

  • Pick up and drop off within the Durban metro area
  • Entrance fees
  • Transport in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Accommodation x1 night
    • Private Luxury Tent / Private Luxury Lodge
  • Breakfast x2 days
    • Morning coffee/tea & muffin
    • Continental breakfast
  • Lunch x2 days
    • Restaurant in holiday town of St. Lucia
    • Restaurant in Game Reserve
  • Dinner x1 night
    • Restaurant in Game Reserve / Traditional Braai (Barbeque) in Game Reserve
  • Limited Alcoholic Drinks
  • Bottled water
  • Local snacks
  • Use of binoculars
  • Fully attending experienced tour guide

How long will we need?

  • 2 days

What can I add on?

• Morning Guided Bush Walk at ISimangaliso Wetland Park

Add on a walking safari in the early hours for the magnificence of the sunrise and dew touched views, the animal tracks still fresh from the night before, and the chorus of the birdlife that this incredible eco-system attracts. While on foot in a world heritage site, view game like buck, zebra, and monkeys, on a private guided walk.

• Additional Night & Day

So when can we leave?

We look forward to our pre-planning chat, so we can build in your preferences and requirements into your itinerary.

Contact Us
Contact us for an obligation free Quotation.