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St Lucia, Phinda, and Zulu Nyala trip?

St. George, Utah
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St Lucia, Phinda, and Zulu Nyala trip?

We (2 couples) won the Zulu charity auction and want to make the most of our trip to SA of course! We will be traveling the last week of August and first week of September.

Our plan so far:

Fly into JoBurg and stay one night to recover (saturday night)

Sunday: catch a flight to Richards bay, rent a car and drive to Zulu

Will be at Zulu from Sunday to Friday - 6 nights.

Tentative plan: Friday to the following Friday in Cape Town?

My question is this: I've seen many say that Zulu Nyala isn't big enough to keep you busy for the 6 days you'll be there. We plan to rent a car for this reason, so we can explore at our leisure and avoid the exorbitant fees that Zulu charges for their excursions (we'll do them ourselves). SO - should we plan to take DAY trip to St Lucia and Phinda, or stay additional days (after our 6 at Zulu) in either of those places? We don't want to be rushed at Zulu, but also not wanting to be bored either. We are willing to stay extra days on this side of the country if worth it! We haven't committed to anything in Cape Town yet, but want to spend some time there as it's said to be such an amazing city.

Edited: 07 June 2016, 12:53
Northampton, United...
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1. Re: St Lucia, Phinda, and Zulu Nyala trip?

Hello and I have not been to Zulu Nyala but I have spent time in that part of KZN. Its mid winter, warm by day cool by night, but excellent for game viewing. Yes take a day to St Lucia, take an estuary cruise and self drive the Eastern Shores to Cape Vidal and then the Western Shores on your way back. I would also spend at least a day in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi. You can self self drive but to get the best from the park, take snacks, lunch, drinks, and spend a whole day in the northern Hluhluwe section. You can get breakfast and lunch at Hilltop here. Then spend another day in the southern Imfolozi section and explore the roads and hides. I am not sure about August in the Cape, but there are plenty of private reserves in KZN plus there is Durban and the coastal towns that surround it. There is a lot of history and culture to add to the wildlife. Lastly its whale watching season and you could take an ocean safari out of St Lucia with Advantage Tours.

Mark - Owner - SafariKZN

Long Island, New...
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2. Re: St Lucia, Phinda, and Zulu Nyala trip?

The flights to Cape Town from Durban are cheap and quick. You can rent the car in RCB and return to Durban. Or fly to Durban instead of RCB - it's cheaper and not that far. But I'd go to Cape Town first if possible. Or skip it and go to Kruger. Safari will be the highlight and you can "recover" in CT instead of Joberg.

After 2-3 days at ZN you might need a break. No predators and pretty small. There are no day trips to Phinda. You have to stay there to visit unless ZN can arrange it. If they do, I would - it's a beautiful, diverse reserve.

Mkuze and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi are both public game reserves. You can do day trips to either/both. St Lucia is a fun town - I'd get there as much as possible. See www.stlucia.co.za for info. My favorite private reserves are Tembe Elephant Park and Rhino River Lodge in Zululand Rhino Reserve, but you need to stay there to visit (Tembe does have limited day passes for 4x4s). Both are affordable and both are great.

I would not stay 6 nights at ZN. It's at least an hour from SL and HiP. KwaZulu Natal is beautiful with lots to do - mountains, beaches, reserves, every water activity imaginable. "Worth it" is subjective. It's my favorite province.

3. Re: St Lucia, Phinda, and Zulu Nyala trip?

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