Country & Coastal Touring

Durban Safari

Elephant behind a bush on a Durban safari tour to Hluluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Most people coming out to South Africa are on their way to the Kruger National Park and Cape Town, and that’s great, both places are fantastic to visit. Few though, know about how amazing Durban can be, and fewer still know about the great many opportunities there are around Durban to get out and enjoy a Durban Safari tour.

So why would you choose Durban for a safari tour as opposed to other places? Well there are a number of good reasons which I’ll list and expand on and hopefully by the end I’ll have convinced you why Durban is a good place to base yourself for a visit to South Africa.

King Shaka International Airport

First off, getting into Durban is as easy as pie. The King Shaka International airport is just 20 min north of Durban, and there are plenty shuttles, transfer services, taxi’s and even Uber to get you around. And since the airport is situated north of the city, in the same direction as the majority of game reserve, it means that we can collect you direct from your airport and make our way to a safari. Of course it would be great if you could spend a few days in Durban, enjoying a Durban city tour or perhaps even a Zulu cultural tour as well.

The City of Durban

Durban is a great place to base yourself of preparing for a Durban Safari. It’s modern with all the amenities including the largest shopping complex in the southern hemisphere, the Gateway Theater of Shopping. The weather is pretty damn good all year round, with mid-winter temperatures starting off at a cool 11 degrees celcius and reaching 24 celcius by midday. Of course summer is a bit warmer, but we all have air conditioners. And if that’s not enough, the sparkling blue Indian Ocean is a welcome relief for the heat (and perfectly safe to swim in).

Durban from Overhead
Durban from Overhead

There are more hotels than you can shake a stick at, loads of Bed and Breakfasts, a thriving AirBNB community and plenty of backpackers to choose from – pretty much anything a seasoned or virgin traveler could ask for. Of course you don’t have to stay in the city, some of the neighborhoods around Durban such as Umhlanga and the Valley of 1000 Hills offer just as good accommodation.

The Safari Parks Around Durban

The are a number of amazing safari parks around Durban where you can enjoy a Durban Safari tour. Whether south, west of north of Durban, 30 minutes, an hour to a few hours, they are all easily accessible and will leave you with memories and experiences that will have you returning over and over again.

White Rhino at water hole at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa
White Rhino at Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa

There are too many to list on this blog post along, so have a read up on some of the parks that we visit regularly.

The majority of the game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal are big 5 reserves and offer a large range of other animals species. On top of that, iSimangaliso offers seasonal whaling tours and turtle tours. For those looking for a little more excitement, south of Durban you can go swimming with sharks!

Further west of Durban is the Drakensberg / Ukhuhlanga Mountains. Here are are a number of reserves that although may not have the big 5, do have other species, the the views are astounding!

Getting to the Game Reserves of KwaZulu Natal for a Durban Safari

Getting to some of the game reserves further north can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Obviously if you book one of our safari tours then that wont be an issue for you. Otherwise you can hire a vehicle and drive (remember we drive on the left!) or arrange for a transfer (costly but reliable).

Zebra at a waterhole in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve
Zebra at a waterhole in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve

Depending on the day of week you travel, there are some shuttle services that make the run. The easiest is probably to ask the park you’re staying at to recommend someone. Your best bet though is too simply book a tour with us and let us take the hassle out of your trip.

Malaria Risk

Most of the game reserves in and around Durban have zero malaria risk. As you travel northwards that will change. The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve (one we travel to most often) is low risk, meaning that taking basic precautions such as wearing long sleeves at night or sleeping under a mosquito net is all you need do. Game reserves further north may have a slightly higher risk and of course medication may be necessary. But on the whole, it is a low malaria risk area. Of course you should always follow the advice of a physician.

One Day Durban Safari Tours

Durban is close enough to 2 reserves to enjoy a full day Durban safari. Just 60 min west of Durban is Tala Game Reserve. This small but packed reserve is a great place to spend a morning, there’s no predators but there’s many different animal species.

Blue Wildebeest at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on a Durban Safari Tour
Blue Wildebeest at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on a Durban Safari Tour

The Hluhluwe Imfolozi is another place that is great for a Durban safari day tour. Just 3 hours north of Durban and home to the Big 5 means it’s easy to get to, throw in a lunch time barbecue in the park and you’ve got a fantastic experience to remember! St Lucia is also a great place for a day tour, there’s probably no other place in South Africa where quite so many hippo’s can be seen.

2 Day Durban Safari Tour

With a bit more time to spare, an overnight safari tour from Durban is always a good idea. More time int he the bush means a better chance of seeing not only big animals, but the smaller creatures as well.

3 Day Safari Tours from Durban

More time means more experiences. On 3 days game reserves a bit further out can be visited including for example, Nambiti Game Reserve or Mkuze Game Reserve.  Of course you can even do say, 2 days in a game reserve and then one day visiting a Zulu culture experience, it’s up to you.

Cheetah at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on a Durban Safari
Cheetah at the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on a Durban Safari
  • Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve – includes a St Lucia estuary cruise and visit of a Cheetah Project and elephant experience.
  • St Lucia Estuary tour – spend a day and night in St Lucia before heading to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.
  • Nambiti – these amazing 4 and 5 star lodges are astounding places to visit, luxury and the African bush rolled into one, what more could one ask for!

5 Day and Extended Durban Safari Packages

We do offer other packages, a 5 day package, KwaZulu-Natal tour as well as a 7 day package. Not yet published but coming soon are our Kruger to Durban packages and our Kruger, Swaziland and Durban packages. Though if you can’t wait, just send us an email and we’ll send you the details. There’s so much that Durban has to offer, that you should definitely consider adding a few days to your travel itinerary. And even if you don’t book one of our tours, we’ll still happily give advice when asked.

Elephant eating on a Durban safari tour
Elephant eating on a Durban safari tour

Booking a Durban Safari Tour

If want to book a Durban Safari tour, simply get in touch with us using one of the methods below or the convenient contact form; let us know what your travel dates are and how many there are in your group and we’ll do the rest.

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