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KwaZulu Natal Beaches

KwaZulu Natal Beaches

The Drakensberg Mountains

The Drakensberg Mountains

Battlefields

Battlefields

Gandhi, Churchill, Shaka and General Botha
Game Reserves

Game Reserves

KwaZulu-Natal is a province of great diversity, offering some of South Africa’s most unique holiday experiences; from the high Drakensberg Mountain range in the west through rolling grasslands to the tropical coastal lowlands.

KwaZulu-Natal Holiday

The province is known for its outstanding scenery, world heritage sites, the culture of the Zulu people, beautiful beaches and spectacular safari options.

KwaZulu Natal is a world in one province. Known as the Kingdom of the Zulu, KwaZulu Natal is a melting pot of African, European and Indian cultures. This province boasts two World Heritage Sites, the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and the majestic uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.

You cannot think of visiting KwaZulu-Natal without taking in the majesty and splendour of the Drakensberg Mountains. These exquisite mountains are a World Heritage Site offering walks, hikes and adventure activities.

This mountainous terrain gives way to the rolling hills of the midlands where you can indulge in the treats of the famous Midlands Meander. This tourism route features almost 200 destinations, focused around the arts, crafts and cultures of this region

The Battlefields area in the northern KwaZulu-Natal was the site of many of South Africa’s most significant battles of the last 200 years. This is where Voortrekker, the British and Zulu clashed.

For superb coastal resources, visit Maputaland, with its Greater St Lucia (Isimangaliso) Wetland Park, the country’s third-largest wildlife sanctuary and a magnificent World Heritage Site. This internationally-renowned park boasts a spectacular coastline, the second-highest vegetated sea-dunes on earth, and pods of hippo, crocodile and elephant.

Famous for its rhino management programme KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has earned a reputation for wildlife conservation and management. The province is renowned for its diversity of wildlife and reserves encompassing a variety of ecosystems. Sand forests, woodland, savannah, bushveld, and wetlands.


• The Central Berg is the most attractive part of the Drakensberg range. The central region includes the grand Giant’s Castle Peak. Midway between Cathedral and Cathkin Peaks is the Ndedema Gorge where there are some fine san Rock Paintings
• Not to be outdone, the Northern Drakensberg, also a World Heritage site, is famous for the scenic Royal National Park and features the picturesque Tugela Falls, the magnificent Amphitheatre, Sentinel, Eastern Buttress and Mont-aux-Sources, the summit of which can be reached via a 100-rung chain ladder
• KwaZulu-Natal’s cultural heritage includes the San (Bushmen), with tens of thousands of San rock paintings to be seen in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg mountains
• There are a myriad of Battlefield sites, historical towns and museums that can be visited, including the best-known battlefield sites of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift
• Visit one of the numerous wildlife parks (both national and private game reserves), including the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park and the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserves
• U Shaka Marine World in Durban is a wonderful marine centre
• Maputaland offers the sub-continent’s only breeding ground for the giant leatherback turtles, which can be seen at night
• Could anything be more romantic than a walk on pristine beaches, flanked by some of the world’s most beautiful dune forests on the one hand, and the deepest aquamarine ocean on the other?
• No visit to the Drakensberg is complete without a 4×4 drive up the highest road pass in Africa. For your efforts, you’ll be rewarded with its breath-taking scenery; You’ll have your passport stamped as you enter the Kingdom of Lesotho and lunch can be enjoyed at the highest pub in Africa
• Thrilling marine experiences include boat-based whale-watching; diving or snorkelling spectacular coral reefs and colourful underwater life in the Coastal Forest, Sodwana Bay or Cape Vidal sections of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (St Lucia Wetland Park)
• Boat cruises on Lake St Lucia estuary to view some of the park’s 800 hippos, over 2 000 crocodiles and prolific waterfowl
• Kayaking on Lake St Lucia or Lake Sibaya
• Horse ride on St Lucia’s beaches and the Eastern Shores
• Learn in gripping detail of the bravery and mobility of the Zulu army that defeated the British, on the Day of the Dead Moon. Listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 100 British soldiers were attacked by 4,000 Zulu warriors, winning more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history
• A Big Five Safari experience is a must and a highlight of any visit to South Africa

• Kwazulu-Natal is an all-year round destination. The winter months of May through to September offer the best value for money. Winter months are cold by night, warm by day and dry
• Kwazulu-Natal enjoys summer rainfall, October through to March, with high humidity
• The best time to enjoy a safari is in the winter months, June to September, when grasses are short, and animals need to visit watering holes
• Malaria is found only on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal and is not much of a risk in the winter months. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas
• Ideal destination when combing with the Western Cape or Mpumalanga or as a twin centre with one of the Indian Ocean Islands

Meet our experts

Born and raised in Cape Town, Mike has been tailoring luxury holidays to Southern Africa for more than 25 years so there’s not much about South Africa he doesn’t know and love.
Mike TompkinsOwner
<span lang=”EN-GB”>Born in Cape Town Brian can not only give you a local’s point of view, but with his wealth of experience in the travel industry, he can show you more than just the touristy side to Southern Africa. </span>
Brian TompkinsSales Director
Now in my fifteenth year of guiding private tours around Cape Town, I specialise in private, tailor-made tours of Cape Town, with special emphasis on the history of South Africa and the wine region.
Lesley CoxWestern Cape Tour Guide
In the tourism industry since 2001, her passion is South African history and culture. She spends most of her free time exploring new and unusual wine farms, thus allowing her to accommodate guests on various levels of interest.
Janice DavidsWestern Cape Tour Guide
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Ben Warren
Ben Warren
21:42 08 Nov 18
Cape Tours arranged our honeymoon to South Africa and Mauritius. Right from the start they came up with a great itinerary with flexibility on timings and put together a great package for us. The accommodation was all excellent and we had a fantastic time every day for the two weeks we were away. Would highly recommend and we will be coming back for future holidays to Africa!read more
Jeff Morgans
Jeff Morgans
17:28 14 Oct 18
I cannot recommend Cape Tours highly enough. We have now had two holidays in South Africa and Mike has made all the arrangements for us. Both times he has given us advice to iterate to an itinerary which suits us and then he has made all of the arrangements. All of the hotels have been fantastic - and somehow Mike has managed to get us some of the best rooms within the hotels. I also appreciate the advice we get on what to do and where to visit during our holidays. And all at a very competitive price.This year we started with a safari in Kichaka Game Reserve before travelling across Route 62 to Paternoster on the West Coast. The spring flowers around the West Cost National Park were something really special! We then travelled on to Franschhoek (just the most fabulous village in the Winelands) before finishing off in Hermanus. We will return - no doubt will the help and advice of Cape Tours...read more
Kate Bancroft
Kate Bancroft
16:57 28 Sep 18
Thank you Cape Tours ?Our 4th trip with you guys and you never fail to deliver. Namibia was fantastic, it exceeded all our expectations. The accommodation you picked for us was great (Little Ongava.... my goodness, what a treat), the scenery spectacular, and the locals incredibly friendly. It’s the best wildlife viewing I’ve ever had and the guides were all brilliant and we will never forget the Dunes, magical and so very different to anywhere we’ve travelled before. We will definitely go back, loved every minute.Thank you and let’s get booking for 2019/20 ?Kate and Paulread more
David Mitchell
David Mitchell
11:03 29 Jul 18
I started travelling with Mike and Cape Tours to Africa in 2015 and since then my family and I have visited on four occasions and I am just planning a fifth for 2018. On reflection and in hindsight, we left visiting Africa 15 years too late! I originally spoke to Mike by chance making an inquiry to visit South Africa because I couldn't make the logistics work for a return trip to Canada that I was already in the process of planning. My family and I were always historically nervous about visiting Africa due to a perception that personal safety was still an issue; we couldn't have been any further from the truth! Our first trip included a safari at Shamwari Game Reserve followed by a tour of the Garden Route down to Cape Town stopping off at Plettenberg Bay, Wilderness, Oudtshoorn and Hermanus. This is a truly beautiful area of South Africa delivering a memorable experience with some fantastic boutique hotels such as Tsala Treetop Lodge. In fact, we found our #1 boutique hotel in Hermanus, Birkenhead House, which is the only hotel we've travelled several hundred miles out of our way to re-visit on our return to Africa when we visited a second time to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Mpumalanga (Hazeyview), Kruger National Park (Lion Plains at Sabi Sands and Motswari at Timbavati Game Reserve) ending back in Hermanus. We should have flow straight from Johannesburg to London but instead went down to Cape Town for three nights because this hotel simply is the best! Our last safari with Cape Tours was a six-night visit to Moremi Games Reserve and Savute Game Reserve (shown on the Nat Geo documentary "Savage Kingdom") in Botswania. Mike gave us the courage and confidence to travel Africa and we've never looked back. We have also been to Rwanda to see the Gorillas and Tanzania and Zanzibar but with another operator; the only reason being that I had a credit balance with them that I needed to use from a previously cancelled holiday. But again, it was Mike's motivation that made this happen - each time we travel to Africa we are getting bolder. Mike is currently working on a nine-day safari to Tanzania where we are considering a re-visit to Tarangire Game Reserve plus Namiri Plains and Selous. From the outset, Mike and Cape Tours have worked closely with me to match budget against requirements. I can be a right pain in getting Mike to consider lots of tailor-made options to amend base itineraries Cape Tours plans and Mike is always helpful, informative and flexible. I have found Cape Tours to be extremely competitive against the larger tour operators and in so far as they can continue to achieve price-competitiveness Cape Tours will always be my first port of call. Their level of service is second to none and, more importantly, the intimacy delivered through a smaller more personable operator builds confidence, trust and loyalty. The quality of all trips we have travelled is second to none, as can be evidenced through the photos attached to this review. In the short term, I have no inclination or motivation to stop visiting Africa and will continue to use Mike and Cape Tours as my preferred tour partner. I am so confident in their ability that at every opportunity I reference Cape Tours, and Mike specifically, as the `go-to' operator for both newbies and experienced travellers of Africa. Accommodation, arrangements, reserves and all associated arrangements are always clearly thought through and planned with excellent literature and guides to ensure you always stay on the right track. This level of hand-holding is well received when you first start to travel a continent that can be otherwise daunting to navigate. We look forward to my next trip with Cape Tours in summer 2018 if not before.read more
Kevin Robson
Kevin Robson
07:39 08 Jun 18
Once again, Mike and his team at Cape Tours came through with seamless arrangements and bookings relating to our recent three centre holiday in South Africa. I needed to undertake business in Jo'burg initially and follow this up with a holiday to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. We flew from Newcastle to Amsterdam to Jo'burg and were transferred to the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton. A car was delivered to the hotel a few days later as arranged and we drove to Nelspruit to stay at the Loerie's Call Guest house. This is an excellent five star boutique hotel with fantastic service, superb rooms and a great restaurant (Try the Warthog - it is nothing like pork and you will never want to eat steak again after trying it). From there we drove through the Kruger Park and stayed at our selected camp for eight nights prior to returning to Sandton (same hotel) for two nights before our transfers picked us up to take us back to the airport for the return flights. Everything was fantastic throughout. This was about the fourth time we have used Cape Tours to visit South Africa and I can wholeheartedly recommend them either for a package that they have prepared or a bespoke holiday where the Client specifies the requirements. Great service, excellent arrangements, full support if required, quality accommodation, good prices and friendly advice when required. Use them. I won't go anywhere else when booking to go to Southern Africa.read more
Gary Rogerson
Gary Rogerson
16:43 11 Apr 18
This was our 10th visit to South Africa organised by Mike and his team and each time we have had the most amazing holiday with faultless organisation and planning of our trip.Thanks again to Mike,we will be booking again very soonGary and Sharon Rogerson
Nikki Mott
Nikki Mott
16:50 02 Nov 17
Booked with Cape Tours for a trip to South Africa and Mauritius. They couldn't have been more helpful. They were helpful in recommending suitable hotels for our needs and budget and we had a great experience, both on Safari at Kruger National Park and in Cape Town, which I absolutely loved. All the transfers and hotel bookings were managed very smoothly and I would definitely use them again if we're lucky enough to travel back to South Africa.read more
Dianne Baxendine
Dianne Baxendine
17:54 30 Oct 17
I have previously been on South African trips organised by Cape Tours and wanted to go again with my two 17 year old nieces. As always Mike and the team tailored the trip perfectly to our needs. Our 4 day stay at Cape Town was at the Waterfront apartments which was perfect for all we wanted to do and felt very safe for the girls to have a bit of independence too. We stayed for 3 days at Ashbourne Country Escape near the Kruger Park. Mike had advised we could book a game drive while there and indeed we could with a great guide and a very acceptable price - arranged by the staff at Ashbourne. We loved the individual cottages and suites and the girls said it was the nicest place they had ever stayed! The car hire was very smooth and we got great advice on the best flights for us and it all fitted extremely well with our budget.I would not hesitate to recommend Cape Tours for anyone planning a South African holiday -whatever your desired itinerary they will advise you really well to the last detail Thank you so much all at Cape Toursread more
sara yearley
sara yearley
18:19 16 Oct 17
First time in South Africa and loved it! Cape Tours planned everything perfectly. If I could change one thing we would have liked one more night at the safari lodge and one less in The Protea, Knysna.
vanessa watts
vanessa watts
20:22 23 Jul 17
July 2017.We have just returned from our first trip to South Africa and it was fabulous. We don't usually book our holidays through a tour operator but since this was our first trip to South Africa we decided we needed some 'professional' advice. After many hours trawling through various travel websites we chose Cape tours as they seemed experienced and offered a very 'bespoke' service. We were not disappointed. Mike and Brian were very knowledgeable and it was all about what we wanted to experience at our budget. We are a family of 6 so our budget was quite tight but they were very patient and flexible with our needs and were happy to offer more choices when we couldn't make up our minds. There was none of that 'pushy' selling at all and it was all about the best they could achieve for us within our budget without compromising too much on the quality. We finally settled on Cape town and the garden route with a 2 night safari. What a trip!We have stayed in the best accommodation we have ever had at truly remarkable prices. The only regret is we couldn't stay longer.The Gondwana safari was absolutely perfect -stay near the main lodge/restaurant if your budget allows as this saves a lot of time for meals when you get there as some of the lodges are a 20 minute drive away. And if you want to have a spa treatment , book before you go. The Views hotel in Wilderness is the best boutique hotel I have ever stayed in and a real treat . The views of the sea, sunrise and sunset from the sea-facing room were definitely worth the extra cost.There is such a lot to do there, we barely had time to relax but have come home enriched with memories and planning to go back again in the future. Thank you Cape tours!read more
John Teasdale
John Teasdale
19:33 19 Jul 17
Our first trip to South Africa was really a compromise because we were "iffy" about a trip to New Zealand in 2011! Four trips later, all to different regions, and one further one, just finalised, to Namibia next year (2018), all with Cape Tours and we have absolutely no regrets. Our last trip in Autumn 2015 included the wonderful West Coast, the dramatic Cederberg and the unforgettable Gansbaai. In fact we are totally sold on Southern Africa and the variety of experiences and landscape it has to offer. In no small part we are certain this is due to the wonderful planning and sensitive support we have received from Mike and his team at Cape Tours. Each trip has created a wonderful memory, largely because Mike has teased out exactly what we were looking for from each holiday. He has then trawled his vast pool of knowledge both in terms of activities and accommodation in order to create something very special at a keenly competitive price for the budget and quality agreed. At all times we have really felt the team has had our best interests at heart. We can't speak too highly of them.Sue & John T.read more
Catherine Lister
Catherine Lister
09:28 11 Jul 17
We have enjoyed 5 tremendously exciting and enjoyable holidays to South Africa and look forward eagerly to our next visit in the near future. The astonishing variety of experiences on offer in such a diverse and vibrant country is an obvious draw but why go for a sixth visit? Quite simply it is the exceptional service we have received from Mike and his team at Cape Tours. We deliberately chose a smaller company with an intimate knowledge of South Africa and were immediately delighted by the professional, courteous and reliable responses we have received in all our communications. We will probably be perceived as ‘demanding clients’ in that we have consistently subjected Mike to a barrage of questions and requests for advice, all of which have been handled calmly, sensitively and successfully. The result has been a range of astonishingly stimulating experiences, absolutely first class accommodation options, stays in less familiar but utterly fascinating locations and an astute balance between rest and activity. Mike’s personal knowledge and recommendations have extended to restaurant recommendations, lists of ‘must do’s’, detailed and meticulous knowledge of the various accommodation options in specific areas and even overcoming our perennial holiday headache of reliable car hire. All this at remarkably competitive prices for such a high quality overall product. We would not hesitate to recommend Mike and Cape Tours to prospective visitors to South Africa and quite honestly to provide some highlights would simply undermine the totality of our experience. We have enjoyed everywhere, everything and to a remarkable extent, everybody we have met. Many thanks to Mike and the team.Malcolm and Cath Listerread more
Kelly Crawford
Kelly Crawford
13:25 05 Jul 17
I cannot recommend Cape Tours enough. Brian and Mike have been so helpful in planning our honeymoon in South Africa. We did several tweaks to tailor it to our budget and time constraints and the end result could not have been more perfect. We had multi cities including a car rental and internal flights. The logistics were thoughtful and considered so that we never felt stressed. The chosen accommodation was gorgeous in every location. They even provided us with directions, tips and recommendations. Every detail was thought out and as we were so busy planning a wedding, this was hugely helpful. This is the first time I've used a tour operator and I'm so happy we did!! Thank you!!read more
Keith Green
Keith Green
18:05 28 Jun 17
As I frequent traveller to Southern Africa I would not take a trip without the backing of Cape Tours. This is a completely reliable and trustworthy travel company who have never let me down. They only book quality accommodation, reliable hire cars and reputable airlines. They are completely flexible, allowing you to arrange a trip to your exact requirements. Then, whilst on holiday, local help is only a phone call away. I cannot recommend Cape Tours highly enough.read more
Alastair Wainwright
Alastair Wainwright
16:12 23 Jul 15
Cape Tours organised our honeymoon which included a week in Cape Town, a week on safari at a private game reserve near the Kruger and a week in Mauritius.Mike and Brian completely understood what we were looking for in our trip and delivered perfectly! The choice of hotels was excellent as was their advice and tips.Most importantly, we put the same itinerary to several travel agents and Cape Tours were the cheapest by around £1500!read more
Lesley Breckenridge
Lesley Breckenridge
09:02 03 May 15
I wanted to thank you for all your help with arranging our holiday. It turned out to be perfect. We had a brilliant time, but unfortunately the big fish eluded us 🙁 Everything went to plan & all the drivers were brilliant, the hotels were superb and we can highly recommend them if you were thinking of sending anyone there. We were so thrilled with all of the holiday and would most definitely recommend your services to anyone who was thinking of going on a holiday like ours. Thank you for a brilliant time 🙂read more
Debbie Green
Debbie Green
19:55 28 Apr 15
This is the tenth year we have booked trips to Southern Africa with Cape Tours. They offer a comprehensive service allowing their clients to select flights, arrange car hire (with prepared routes if wanted) and arrange accommodation to suit your individual tastes. Their website is clear and informative, but if you have specific requests, Mike and his team will endeavour to fulfil these for you in a friendly and timely manner. On the one occasion we had a minor difficulty with our hire car, their SA office was only a phone call away and everything was sorted quickly and efficiently.read more
Sheelagh Walker
Sheelagh Walker
15:25 28 Apr 15
We booked a tour in November 2010 and Cape Tours set us up with a wonderful two weeks in South Africa. We loved Kruger and all the other stops we requested, and finally ending at the Waterfront in Capetown where we had an absolute ball! Cape Tours listened to our brief and delivered the holiday of a lifetime. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.Thanks Mike!read more
Angela Jarvis
Angela Jarvis
11:29 28 Apr 15
We used Cape Tours for our Honeymoon in 2012. The whole experience was fantastic, the hotels and Safari accommodation were amazing and made our Honeymoon the memorable experience we wanted it to be. The bespoke package was completely tailored to us and I love the fact that they let us pick the airline for the long haul so we could qualify for air miles!I would definitely recommend them as they took all of the stress out of organising the trip and it was excellent value for money. One of our internal flights got pulled late on but they quickly arranged an alternative and sent a credit for the added cost to our Hotel in Cape Town.South Africa is a wonderful country, one I look forward to visiting again and I wouldn't even consider using any other firm to book my trip. So what are waiting for, go ahead and book it!Thanks read more
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Preferred KwaZulu Natal Accommodation

Thonga Beach Lodge

LOCATION: Maputuland Set above a secluded bay, Thonga Beach Lodge is nestled into beautiful coastal dune forest with sweeping views

Oyster Box Hotel

LOCATION: Umhlanga The Oyster Box, like its famous lighthouse, once again acts as a beacon of exceptional hospitality, luxurious accommodation

Fugitives Drift Lodge

LOCATION: Isandlwana Fugitives’ Drift is renowned for its battlefield tours to all the Zulu War and Anglo-Boer War battle sites

Cleopatra Mountain Farmhouse

LOCATION: Drakensberg Mountains Cleopatra Mountain Farm House, in the Drakensberg mountains of KwaZulu Natal, is a luxury gourmet retreat tucked