Durban is easy to get to, an hours flight from Joberg, 2 hours from Cape Town – or if you’re not keen to fly, you could always drive. Either which way you choose to get to Durban, you definitely should get to Durban. There’s not too many places that can offer the big 5 wildlife experience, the mountains and the ocean all within a mornings drive.
As tourism starts to recover from the past two nightmarish years, I’ve been getting more and more requests from enthusiastic visitors who want to include Durban in their South African travel plans. So I thought I’d put together a few blog posts on what to do over 3 days and more. And here goes.
Table of Contents
- A 3 Day wildlife safari to Hluhluwe Imfolozi and St Lucia.
- A day exploring the city of Durban followed by a night in the bush.
- Spend a day exploring Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana followed by a 2 day, big 5 safari experience.
- A Durban city tour followed by a day exploring Indian heritage and then head to Lesotho.
- Do a bit of whale watching, learn to surf and then go shark swimming.
- Visit Lesotho and then spend 2 days hiking in the Drakensberg Mountains.
- A gallery of some images taken on tours.
6 Suggested 3 Day Itineraries
3 Day wildlife safari at Hluhwlue Imfolozi Game Reserve and St Lucia
It’s my most popular tour, 3 days in the glorious Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve. At just 2,5 hours north of Durban (three if you count the breakfast stop) you’ll be in Africa’s oldest proclaimed game reserves.
The game reserve has plenty of animals, including the ever-sought after Big 5, and for most part of the year, is really quiet. Recently (end of Jan 2022) we spent 3 hours driving the roads without another vehicle in sight, no an uncommon experience.
The accommodation at the reserve is great and there’s a pool to dip into when the going gets a bit hot though you may have to share the pool with the baboons that also sometimes try to escape the heat.
On this tour you also get to visit St Lucia estuary situated in the iSimangaliso wetlands park. On offer is a two hour cruise spotting hippo and crocs and the amazing bird life.
Over 3 days this is an amazing and easy tour to enjoy; no wonder it’s so popular.
Enjoy a Durban city day tour followed by an overnight safari
Durban has an amazing history and is often referred to at the melting pot of South Africa. Home to South Africa’s largest population of Indian people in South Africa as well as the largest indigenous group (the Zulu) as well as Afrikaans and English speaking peoples, you get where the melting pot reference stems from.
Spend day one of your three days exploring the city with me on a day tour. I’ll take you to the largest outdoor pharmacy in South Africa, introduce you to the Indian heritage and give you an opportunity to enjoy a famed “bunny chow”.
On days 2 and 3 you’ll head into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve with me on an overnight tour and get to spend two days on a wildlife safari spotting some of Africa’s most impressive game from buffalo to elephant.
Rorkes Drift, Isandlwana and a Wildlife Safari Tour
The battle of Rorkes Drift and Isandlwana have become one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most popular sites to visit for enthusiasts of military history or even just the films “Zulu” and “Zulu Dawn”. I have on many occassions driven the 4 hour journey to the battlefields, completed the tour and then driven back.
Here’s a great idea, instead of heading back to Durban, head into the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve instead! From Rorkes Drift it’s just two hours to Cengeni gate, and then you’re in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve spotting animals all day long. Spend the night at Hilltop camp and return the next day – it’s perfect!
Liking what you see?
I have a number of pre-planned itineraries you can book, or if you would prefer, I can put together an itinerary that fits your budget and time. Simply use the convenient contact form on my contact page and send me a message and we can get started planning your visit right away.
Tour Durban, Indian heritage and Lesotho
Here’s a great option for those that have maybe done even safaris and instead want to explore more about the history and culture of the people of Durban.
On this 3 day itinerary we’ll start with a Durban city tour on day 1 and then follow that up with one of my favorite tours, a Indian heritage tour.
The Indians of Natal arrived in the 1860 as part of an Indentured Labour program. After completing there contracts on the sugar cane farms or the coal mines or other sites, they had the option to return home to India or remain in Durban. Many opted to remain.
On this Indian heritage tour you’ll get to visit Phoenix settlement where Mahamta Gandhi established his family, visit the township of KwaMashu and visit the Temple of Understanding as well as the 1860 museum. It’s an amazing day tour.
On day 3 you’ll have an opportunity to get a new stamp in your passport by visiting the country of Lesotho. I’ll pick you up and deliver you to the town of Underberg in the mountains where you’ll then transfer into 4×4 vehicles and head up the old donkey route in Lesotho. It’s an amazing experience and one worth booking.
Whale watching, surfing or SUP lessons and swimming with sharks
We here in Durban are fortunate to have the Indian ocean as our play ground. Warm temperatures, sunny skies, and a fairly protect bay and kilometers of shoreline means life here in Durban revolves around the ocean.
With your three days spare in Durban you could do something very unique by starting with a mornings trip out into the ocean to view the whales as they glide on past Durban. Around a 1000 Southern Right Whales make the journey from the colder Antarctic waters northwards to breed and give birth!
The following day you can book a surfing lesson and try your hand at riding the waves. Durban’s south beach is the perfect spot for “grommets” (beginner surfers) to test their legs thanks to the smaller surf). Experienced surfers can hire a board and explore the bigger surf along the northern beaches.
Oh course if surfing is not your thing, you can book a SUP lesson instead. Head onto into the ocean where the dolphin often keep the SUP’ers company, or head to the Ushaka aquariums nursery pools and paddle about as young ocean critters keep you company.
On day 3 you can get the blood really pumping and book a mornings dive with sharks at Aliwal Shoal some 45 minutes south of Durban. Free swim with the sharks or use the cage, what ever is best for you. Either which way, you’ll get to enjoy swimming with up to 7 different species of shark – pretty exciting right!
Visit Lesotho and then hike the Drakensberg Mountains
If you’re into the mountains, then this 3 day itinerary from Durban would be perfect for you!
On day 1 book a 4×4 tour into Lesotho. You’ll be leaving Durban early at 6am, but it’ll be so worth it. I’ll collect you and get you to the town of Underberg where the 4×4 vehicle will be waiting. Then after filling in some forms, it’s up to the top of Lesotho for you for an extra stamp in your passport. After returning, you’ll stay in a comfy B&B or hotel in Underberg.
On day 2 and 3 you’ll get to explore some of the amazing hiking trails of the Drakensberg. Your guide will be able to give you amazing insight into the history of the Berg and the people living there historically, as well as info in the flora and fauna. Oh and it wouldn’t be uncommon to come across troops of baboon, herds of Eland and other antelope.
There’s so much to do in Durban
As the heading says, there is much to do in Durban, and I’ve left out loads such as the Umgeni Bird Park, Monkeyland, hiking Krantzkloof, ziplining in Molweni, fly fishing the Berg streams and on and on and on.
If you’re ready to book your amazing 3 day tour to Durban, then get in touch with me using any of the methods below. Until next time, hamba kahle (go well)!