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Coast river safari itinerary hero

Coast, River, and Safari Vacation

Inspirational safari and beach vacation to South Africa

This exploration of South Africa’s KwaZulu Natal province is a rare chance to discover the magic and wonder of unspoiled beaches, vast wetlands, and roaming wildlife in pristine game reserves. Add to this an unforgettable boat cruise to see hippos and crocodiles on Africa's largest marine estuary. Where else could you spot a breaching whale, a pod of dolphins, rhino, and hippo on one trip? It’s a beach and bush experience like no other.

After sunning yourself on the beach or at the pool of Durban’s ultra-luxurious Oyster Box Hotel, you will experience your Big 5 safari at Sungulwane Private Game Lodge. On thrilling game drives, expect exceptional wildlife viewing, with the area particularly known for its cheetah sightings. Your final stop is the Isimangaliso Wetland Park where you will stay in an idyllic coastal dune forest at Makakatana Bay Lodge. Explore this World Heritage Site on game drives, a boat cruise along the estuary of Lake St Lucia and a picnic and walk on the pristine and deserted coastline.

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Day by Day summary

  • Starts - Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Durban King Shaka
  • 3 nights - The Oyster Box Hotel, KwaZulu-Natal
  • 3 nights - Sungulwane Private Game Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal
  • 3 nights - Makakatana Bay Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal
  • Ends - Transfer to Durban King Shaka for your international flight home

At a glance

  • Country Icon South Africa
  • Nights Icon 9 Nights
  • Beach Icon Beach
  • Safari Icon Safari

Tailormade itineraries

Every Mahlatini trip is custom created to your exact travel wishes – no readymade tours or set departures. Get in touch with our experts to start creating your bespoke itinerary.

Guide Price

Low Season from {: 4800|toCurrency :} per person
High Season from {: 5000|toCurrency :} per person

Includes flights from JFK
Itinerary Details


Catch your overnight flight from JFK to Durban King Shaka

The oyster box hotel presidential suite bathroom 1280
The oyster box hotel cinema room 1280
The oyster box hotel clock library 1280
The oyster box hotel presidential suite bathroom 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 1 - 4

Arrive at King Shaka Airport in Durban, collect your hire car and drive the 15 min drive to your hotel in Umhlanga Rocks.

  • 3 nights
  • Star Created with Sketch. Iconic

The Oyster Box Hotel
Bed & Breakfast | Luxury Sea Facing Room
South Africa

The oyster box hotel penthouse main bedroom 1280
Sungulwane Pool
Sungulwane Lounge
Sungulwane Deck
Sungulwane Pool Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 4 - 7

Today you will drive north to your lodge on the Zuka Private Game Reserve.

  • 3 nights

Sungulwane Private Game Lodge
All Inclusive | Suite
South Africa

Sungulwane Room
Makakatana bay lodge picnic in the bush 1280
Makakatana bay lodge outside deck and lounge area 1280
Makakatana bay lodge boma dinner 1280
Makakatana bay lodge picnic in the bush 1280 Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Day 7 - 10

Drive today to your lodge in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park.

  • 3 nights

Makakatana Bay Lodge
All Inclusive | Luxury Suite
South Africa

Makakatana bay lodge bedroom suite 1280

Day 10

Today you will drive back to King Shaka Airport in Durban where you will return your hire car and catch your international flight home.

Make it yours

Tailormake this itinerary to your exact wishes

We've got you covered

Our trips are unashamedly high-end but always deliver excellent value for money. Our guide price covers the majority of trip costs upfront, on a per person basis, including international flights and all transfers.

Included icon


  • International flights as detailed
  • Meals and accommodation as detailed
  • Drinks (excluding premium brands) at Sungulwane and Makakatana
  • Twice daily scheduled safari activities 
  • National Park Fees
  • Group B Hire Car (Toyota Starlet or similar) + GPS
  • Carbon-offsetting with One Tree Planted
  • Conservation donation to Save the Rhino
  • Community projects contribution with Uthando
Not included icon


  • Entry visas and fees
  • Gratuities
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Any sightseeing activities mentioned
  • Petrol
  • Additional Driver’s Fee
  • Additional activities or options on offer at the lodge or camp
Indulge your passions


This sample trip offers countless adventures and activities to ensure lifetime memories are made. From unforgettable thrills to indulgent relaxation, choose those that appeal most and we will curate your perfect itinerary.

  • Big 5 Safari Icon Big 5 Safari
  • Birdwatching Icon Birdwatching
  • Boat Trip Icon Boat Trip
  • Guided Walking Safari Icon Guided Walking Safari
  • Night Drive Icon Night Drive
  • Ocean Safari Icon Ocean Safari
  • Cultural Experience Icon Cultural Experience
  • Wellness Spa Icon Wellness/Spa
Enriching encounters


Whether you want to tick off the Big Five or encounter specific safari species and sea creatures on your safari and coastal stay, our expert guides reveal the typical wildlife sightings to expect on this sample trip.

  • Zebra
  • White Rhino
    White Rhino
  • Spotted Hyena
    Spotted Hyena
  • Lion
  • Leopard
  • Kudu
  • Humpback Whale
    Humpback Whale
  • Hippo
  • Elephant
  • Crocodile
  • Cheetah
  • Bushbuck
  • Buffalo
  • Bottlenose Dolphin
    Bottlenose Dolphin
  • Black Rhino
    Black Rhino
  • Southern Giraffe
Sample Itineraries


From majestic wildlife to out of this world natural wonders, cultural melting pots and enchanting beaches, every bespoke Mahlatini journey is thrilling. Unsure where to visit? Whether it’s a bucket-list adventure, a milestone celebration or simply a much-needed escape, experience the joy with this inspiring selection of favorites.

  • Bespoke itineraries
  • Flights and transfers included
  • Best rates guaranteed

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explore more?

Our travel experts are ready to start creating your tailormade trip.