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Durban

Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Our most recommended Durban Safaris & Wildlife Activities

Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

1. Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

2. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

3. St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

Enjoy an open game drive safari in South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start with pickup from St Lucia or Durban, and after a brief introduction, enter the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. While on safari, enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the park as you explore numerous loop roads, outcrops, and lookout points. With knowledgeable and experienced guides, discover an abundance of wildlife species in the park. Search for Africa's Big 5 game animals: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Spot other animals such as waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, giraffe, and hyena. Enjoy a stop at Cape Vidal, a protected bay and beach area. Take some time for snorkeling or swimming in the waters surrounding this resort destination, and enjoy some lunch on site. See the highest vegetative dunes on the African continent and enjoy plenty of scenic photo opportunities throughout the day.

Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

4. Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

Get up close with Africa's famous Big 5 on a safari tour of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Discover the different sides of the parks with one morning and one afternoon drive during which you will be provided with the high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multi-language guidebooks.  Start early at 5 am to catch the wildlife, especially predators, at their most active times which is dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve via Nyalazi Gate and explore the Imfolozi side of the reserve on a 3.5-hour morning game drive on our Hyundai H1 vehicle. The southern sector of the reserve is typified by its flat open plains and renowned for elephant and rhino sightings. Time for a spot of lunch at Hilltop Restaurant (at own cost). Enjoy your meal while taking in the panoramic views over the reserve and put those binoculars to test. After lunch, explore the northern sector of the reserve while keeping your eyes pealed for the highly endangered African Wild Dogs and Big Cats. Spend another 3.5-hours traversing the Hluhluwe side of the reserve. Around 4 pm we will start to make our way back to Durban. Your safari tour is in a Hyundai H1 Vehicle. This is not an open safari vehicle. It is a luxury van with large windows. The windows open wide enough for you to take pictures using amateur and professional cameras. All travelers will have access to our high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multilingual safari guide book, available in English, German & French. 

Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

5. Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site (UNESCO), and is considered South Africa's third-largest park with 280 kilometers of near-pristine coastline and 328,000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest populations of hippopotami in SA, an estimated 1,000 crocodiles and a wealth of plant, bird and animal life. Animals in the park include lions, African elephants, leopards, black and southern white rhino, and buffalo. In the ocean, there are whales, dolphins, and marine turtles, including the leatherback and loggerhead turtle. After the boat tour, travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in a closed vehicle in search of the diverse wildlife and Africa's Big 5, which include the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The reserve is set in the heart of Zululand, where these amazing animals roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895, this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98,000 hectares in size. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and varied. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world-renowned for its white rhino conservation efforts and its Centenary Capture Center which is setting improved standards for game capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop at Hilltop Camp restaurant giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. Afterwards, you will continue with your safari before leaving the park for Durban.

From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

6. From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

Go on the only tour from Durban that takes you into an authentic private game reserve where the number of vehicles at sightings is limited. Take 2 stunning game drives at 2 reserves and encounter Africa's magnificent wildlife up-close. Benefit from included hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as complimentary use of Zeiss binoculars and multilingual wildlife/nature guide books during the tour. Hit the road early with pickup from your hotel at around 5 AM as wildlife, especially predators, are most active around dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve at Nyalazi Gate and enjoy a 2.5-hour morning game drive in a Hyundai H1 vehicle. Please note, this is not an open safari 4x4, though you will get that experience later in the day. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is renowned for its White Rhino densities — after all, it saved the Southern White Rhino from extinction. Keep your Carl Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars on hand, as you never know what's around the corner. After your drive, stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp for a hearty meal with a stunning view. Lunch is at your own expense. Next, it's time to head into one of KwaZulu Natal’s premier private game reserves: Manyoni Private Game Reserve. This reserve only permits travelers staying at one of their luxury lodges to traverse the park, unless you’re with the local partner of course. Meet Manyoni’s most experienced ranger and jump into an authentic open safari 4x4. Then, embark on a 4-hour game drive through this pristine wilderness as you track down Africa’s iconic Big 5 and everything in between. Your ranger is passionate about the African bush and will help you understand the eco-system and the flora and fauna. As Manyoni is a private game reserve, rather than a national park, your expert ranger can go off-road and bring you more intimate sightings of big game. Depart the reserve at 4 PM for return to Durban.

Durban: City & PheZulu Cultural Village Tour

7. Durban: City & PheZulu Cultural Village Tour

The tour starts off in Durban where you will visit various attractions of the city including the famous Moses Mabhida Stadium, one of Africa's beautiful stadiums, the Golden Mile to see Durban's famous beaches, Victoria Street Market to see Durban's cuisines and exotic spices, Durban City Hall and more.   The tour leaves Durban and travels to the Valley of 1000 Hills, home of PheZulu Cultural and Safari Park. Visitors are taken into traditional beehive shaped thatched huts, where the various artifacts, beliefs and rituals of the Zulu people are explained, giving visitors an insight into the fascinating Zulu culture. The 50-minute Zulu dance show is impressive, with the dancers in their traditional garb, showing off their skills with grace, agility and humor. PheZulu also has a crocodile and snake park where guests will be taken on a guided tour by a knowledgeable local guide. You will learn interesting facts about crocodiles and snakes and have a hands-on experience with Cleo the Burmese python who weighs in at 42 kilograms. 

From Durban: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Overnight Safari w/ Transfer

8. From Durban: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Overnight Safari w/ Transfer

Wherever you are in the Zulu Kingdom you are no more than 3 hours from Africa’s iconic Big 5. That’s where we’re headed but not before we make a few experiential stops. The next 2 days are not just about land cruiser and game drives, it’s also about the sheer diversity of nature. Make the journey north to the only town in Southern Africa that is completely surrounded by water — St Lucia. Did you know hippopotamus roam the streets out here? Jump onboard your jetty for a leisurely and often surprising cruise through the estuary — home to several pods of hippopotamus and a good few crocodiles. After a hearty lunch take a drive further north to an exclusive Private Game Reserve renowned for their groundbreaking conservation work and rewarding game viewing. Embark on a 3 hour late afternoon game drive with an emphasis on big cats. Fingers crossed. Bright and early the following day your guide will whisk you away into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve [2nd oldest on the planet]. Enjoy a 6 hour game drive tracking Africa’s iconic Big 5 animals + other species such as giraffe, cheetah, wild dogs and more. Tuck into lunch before heading back to Durban.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

9. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi & Emdoneni Wild Cat Project Tour

The tour departs from Durban heading up the coast to northern KwaZulu-Natal. You will arrive at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi gate 2.5 hours after departing from Durban. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in search of the diverse wildlife and Big 5. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is set in the heart of Zululand where Africa’s Big 5 (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895 this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98 000 hectares. This tour is in a closed vehicle. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and diverse. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world renowned for its White Rhino conservation and its Centenary Capture Centre is setting exceptional standards for animal capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp (at own expense) giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. After lunch you will continue with your safari before leaving the park on route to Emdoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary. Emdoneni Cat Project offers a guided tour about South Africa’s endangered wild cat species. The aim of the Emdoneni Cat Project is to care for cheetahs, serval cats, African wildcats and caracal (lynx), that have been orphaned or injured in the wild and need care and rehabilitation. During the guided tour to the cat project, visitors can see some of these South Africa’s endangered cat species. After the tour, start the two hours journey back to Durban for drop-off.

St Lucia Boat Safari and Emdoneni Wild Cat Day Tour

10. St Lucia Boat Safari and Emdoneni Wild Cat Day Tour

The tour leaves from Durban and heads north of South Africa to Isimangaliso Wetlands Park- Greater St Lucia.The 332,000 hectare Isimangaliso Wetland Park was announced South Africa's first World Heritage Site in December 1999, while its name still remains as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. It received this prestigious status in recognition of the beauty of the landscape, its unique ecological processes and the exceptional diversity of species that the park protects. You will go on a 2-hour boat estuary tour where you will have a chance to be close to hippos, crocodiles and the famous fish eagle. After the trip you will take a leisurely walk along the estuary and see the beauty of the coastline area. From there you will go to the Emdoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary where you will have the opportunity to learn more about South Africa's wild cat species. You will be taken aback by the beauty of the caracal, enchanted by the very playful cerval and mesmerized by the speed and agility of the cheetah. The aim of the Emdoneni Wild Cat Sanctuary is to care for wild cats that have been orphaned or injured in the wild and are in need of care and rehabilitation. They also intend to breed successfully if possible and release the offspring back into their natural habitat.

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 43 reviews

I was really lucky to see so many animals thanks to my guide. Several families of elephants arriving in the park. It was Elephant Day! Morning in the savannah and end of the day in the estuary with hippos and crocodiles. Great ! Thanks f.

Friendly guard Nyandeni Bheki who drove us around, it was amazing, seeing those animals in the park was exciting. Thank you for good time.

Friendly & knowledgeable Skipper / Owner. Multiple whales doing full breaches, tail slapping & find extensions!

We were really lucky, the whole Geländerbus belonged to us! The guide was very friendly and nice.

It was fantastic experience. It was the best of the whole holiday