Family Safari, Sea and Mountains Adventure
For an active family with a love of the outdoors: a comprehensive, luxury adventure to South Africa's Kwazulu Natal province for safari, mountains and sea
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- All internal flights
- All private ground transfers
- All game drives and included activities at Phinda, Thonga and Qambathi
At a glance
This is a family adventure to South Africa that has it all, with no need for travelling great distances as safari, mountains and sea all sit within the tremendous KwaZulu Natal province.
Perfect for the active family with older children (12 years and up), we’ve set this trip solely in the ‘Kingdom of Zulus’ for a beautiful journey through ‘the Drakensberg experience route’. You get the region’s year round warm climate, the scenic beauty of the interior plains, Drakensburg Mountains and adrenaline-pumping activities such as zip lining, hiking, horse riding and even cave sleep outs.
Enjoy a Big Five, deluxe safari in the perfectly placed Phinda Game Reserve where you can track leopard and black rhino. Dive, snorkel and watch turtles hatch (in season) with five days relaxing on the Indian Ocean beaches of the northern Elephant Coast. We’ve selected only the best, family friendly accommodation options too.
Example Trip Itinerary
On arrival at Johannesburg airport you will be met airside by a Jacada representative as you enter the terminal building. You will be fast-tracked through immigration, assisted with baggage collection and assisted to your onward arrangements.
Flight from Johannesburg to Durban
Private transfer from Durban to Qambathi Mountain Lodge
Accommodation in Drakensberg Mountains
- Five suites
- Lounge and deck area
- Swimming Pool
- Boma Fire
A stylish boutique lodge set in the wild and tranquil Kamberg Valley of the Southern Drakensberg, Qambathi is a delightful place for those that demand something a little more contemporary. Owner run, the only five suites are furnished minimalistically but with a warm palette of hard woods sourced locally, inviting beds, with cosy rugs and throws strewn here and there. The temperatures can drop at night (and depending on what time of year you go) even in summer but there is underfloor heating and a constant output of hot chocolates and warm sherries from the kitchen. The small number of guests here together with a great team of staff makes your stay here both intimate and welcoming. The food is delicious with five course meals served in the evening, and plenty of interest-led local activities tailored to the seasons.
Spend your days in KwaZulu Natal's very scenic interior where many significant and epic battles took place between the Boers, Zulus and the British to shape the modern South Africa. Filled with wildlife reserves, the wonderful scenery of the Drakensburg Mountains' sweeping hills and wind-swept plains is a perfect place for walking, hiking, rock art and adventure activities. We can arrange for private, interest-led tours with expert local guides all tailored to your time and tastes.
Private transfer from Qambathi Mountain Lodge to Phinda Game Reserve
Accommodation in Phinda
- Six air-conditioned suites with private plunge pools and open fireplaces
- Butler service
- Outdoor dining deck
- Option for private dining in the bush
- In-room massages
When it comes to wildlife right at your front door, Phinda Vlei Lodge is incredible. From its location on the edge of a thick forest, overlooking a grassy vlei (meadow), guests at the lodge can spot game visiting the nearby watering hole every morning and evening. The lodge offers plenty of bush walks and game drives to spot the animals throughout the day, too. Wildlife spotters barely have to leave their suite to see zebra, flocks of birds, monkeys and warthog families that visit the vlei on a daily basis. Each of the suites has a private game viewing deck, so you can sip a good South African wine while you take in this amazing environment. Whether you prefer to dine solo or shooting the breeze with fellow guests, there’s an option for all at Phinda Vlei Lodge: private dining on your terrace can be arranged, or you can join others on the communal dining deck, and for evening drinks while swapping safari stories on colder nights, there’s an open fire in the sitting room to keep out the chill.
- 6 suites
- Plunge Pools
- Central lounge and dining room
- Internet Access
- In-room massage
A delightful Mali-styled lodge of stone and adobe, Phinda’s Rock Lodge is poised on the edge of the valley for spectacular views of Leopard Rock. Its six suites seem suspended over the wild valley below, and three of the rooms offer one of the most scenic shower experiences you’ll ever have, allowing you to gaze into the horizon or under the ever-bright African stars. Each en-suite private bungalow has been designed with solid wooden shutters opening out onto your own private viewing deck and plunge pool. Rock lodge also has a central dining room and inviting lounge that takes full advantage of the bird’s eye view of the many animals below in the bushveld, not to mention prime position for some captivating African sunsets over the Lebombo Mountains. Sunrise is reserved for an outing up Leopards Rock, which should definitely inquire about.
- Sole-use villa with four cottages (which can also be booked separately)
- 4WD safari vehicles
- Swimming pool
- Boma for al fresco meals
- Personalised service, from rangers to a private chef
In the west of the Phinda reserve, Zuka Lodge has only four thatched cottages, which can be privately booked, making it an excellent lodge for families or groups of up to eight. The cottages can be booked separately, too, which still allows for an intimate experience of the Phinda reserve. Set right next to a watering hole, the lodge is the perfect place from which to spot the wildlife of the reserve, which includes cheetahs (recently reintroduced to the region), lions, leopards, rhinos (black and white), and nyala antelopes. The benefits of hiring Zuka Lodge privately are the range of personalised, flexible services that are offered to guests. A private chef and butler will see to your needs onsite, while rangers can take you on the trips you want to do, when you want to do them. Back at the lodge, after a day exploring the reserve on foot or in a 4WD vehicle, you can soak up the sunshine by the pool, or head back to your cottage to relax in your private sitting area. If you’re feeling sociable, there is a communal area with an open fire pit for dining and sun-downers.
- 16 stilted suites
- Personal Bar and Private Verandah
- In-room massage
- Internet access
- Rim flow Swimming Pool
- Safari Shop
Nestled in one of Phinda’s very special dry sand forests are 16 eco-sensitive, stilted suites. Fusing ethnic Zulu style and Zen concepts, each suite is a minimalist combination of glass, glossy wood floors, rich tactile fabrics and Zulu artwork. Every suite has its own viewing deck for spying on the local wildlife or kicking back with a book. The lodge also boasts a rim flow swimming pool to escape to in the heat and humidity of the day, whilst enjoying its panoramic views over the surrounding plains. Along with cheetah, lion and leopard are tracked on the reserve on a daily basis and guests have a high likelihood of encountering these magnificent animals. Another success story at &Beyond Phinda is that of both the white and the more endangered black rhino. Brought back from the brink of extinction, both the grass easting white rhino and the shrub grazing black rhino are doing well at the reserve. While the white rhino favours water holes and wallows, the black rhino indulges its inquisitive nature in constant solitary rambles.
- 25 suites (with private plunge pools and viewing decks)
- 2 Family suites
- Safari Shop
Wonderfully balanced on the mountainside of the ancient Ubombo hills, Phinda’s Mountain Lodge enjoys phenomenal views of Zululand bushveld amidst some stellar styling and design. Centred around an al-fresco courtyard, its 25 split-level suites all have their own sitting area, spacious veranda with plunge pool and outdoor shower, all for a pleasing degree of seclusion. The style is a chic and modern one with traditional twists and throwbacks, which effectively play out the spectacular vistas and a warm feeling of exclusiveness. Enjoy the company and stories of the other guests in the comfort of the communal lounge or in the light of its authentic outdoor boma (where this particular lodge is known to serve its incredible bush banquets). The Mountain Lodge is the best place for families at Phinda, and all guests are greeted by a warm contingent of welcoming staff.
This 'Big Five' reserve encompasses seven distinct habitats, including the rare dry sand forest, which is a preferred habitat of the leopard. The rocky hillside, wooded and floodplain landscape provides ever changing scenery and the chance to see the rarer species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino. Phinda has the highest concentration of privately owned Nyala antelope in the world and with only six remote lodges sharing the reserve, the game experience is personal and exclusive. The reserve offers one of Africa’s finest game viewing experiences and thrilling safari activities which include game drives, nature walks, riverboat cruises, canoe trips and White Rhino tracking.
The Elephant Coast
Private transfer from Phinda Reserve to Thonga Beach Lodge
Accommodation in The Elephant Coast
- Five Sea View Rooms & Suites
- Seven Forest View Rooms
- 2 swimming pools (1 extra deep for scuba-diving instruction)
- Sea Spa
- Diving School & Centre
- Private plunge pools at certain suites
Set on the pristine shores of the Maputaland coast inside iSimangaliso Wetland Park, this luxury lodge is the ideal place to discover one of the last unspoilt and undeveloped wilderness beaches left on the African continent. With tranquil swimming bays and snorkelling reefs, coastal forests, grasslands, bush, shimmering lakes and an endless sandy beach, you won’t be disappointed by it’s beauty. The clear, warm waters offer superb snorkelling and fantastic offshore scuba diving. Accommodation is in 12 “Robinson Crusoe-chic” rooms. The thatched en-suite rooms have been carefully constructed in the coastal dune forest to ensure minimum impact on the environment whilst still ensuring maximum guest comfort. Each 50 m2 room has a double vanity, stone bath, indoor shower, separate toilet, bar fridge, ceiling fan, mosquito net, private balcony. All rooms are air-conditioned. Two Deluxe Sea View double rooms have panoramic sea views & private plunge pools; three Sea View twin rooms have limited sea views whilst seven Forest View twin rooms are set within the dune forest. The lounge, nestled high in the canopy of the dune forest, offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. Alternatively enjoy sundowners in the bar lounge or on the cool deck under the Coastal Milkwood trees. *** Please note that Thonga is an eco friendly lodge in a Inside iSimangaliso Wetland Park- a World Heritage site and is built into an extremely sensitive Milkwood Forest. In order to preserve the natural vegetation, Thonga are not permitted to cut down any of these trees and as a result, over the years this forest has grown and now some Sea view rooms do not have a full 180 degree sea view.
Sitting on the wild and pristine beaches of the Elephant Coast, enjoy your days here at the very comfortable Thonga Beach Lodge however you like: relaxing in this unspoilt coastal wilderness, to plenty of water-based activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking and fishing to choose from. Don't forget there's bird watching, turtle tracking (in season), guided walks and various cultural excursions to fill your time and entertain many interests too.
Enjoy a couple of hours snorkelling the shallow reefs spotting sub tropical fish with one the lodge's expert guides.
Enjoy a scuba diving tour with the lodge's excellent guides to dive sites where there are over 1250 species of fish.
Arrive into Cape Town International Airport where you will be met by your Jacada Private Guide and taken to your hotel for check-in.
Day's at leisure to enjoy the magnificent sites that this cosmopolitan city has to offer. If you wish we can arrange for you to have a private guide and driver to take you to see the various art galleries, museums, shopping areas, beaches or Winelands surrounding Cape Town.
Bordering a beautiful beach, all part of the unposilt Maputaland Coast, staying at Thonga you are ideally placed for some great walks along this coastline.
Private transfer from Thonga Beach Lodge to Richards Bay airport
Flight from Richard's Bay airport to Johannesburg
Get in Touch
Family Safari, Sea and Mountains Adventure
How We Work
We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.