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Durban Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Durban Safaris & wildlife activities

Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

1. Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

This tour will take you on an unforgettable trip around Durban. Durban Harbor is the biggest and busiest harbor in the southern hemisphere. The harbor tours are especially educational for kids, as the boat takes them to points of interest in Africa’s largest harbor and shows them the route through which ships enter the harbor, discharge cargo, and exit. The skipper will teach the passengers about the port and its operation. If the weather conditions are favourable, the boat may go further out from the shore. The skipper is in close contact with the passengers and will give you a comprehensive guided tour. The trip will either take you down the Maydon Wharf Channel or to the City and Cor Container terminal.

Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

2. Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

Spend a day touring Durban from a vantage point on the Indian Ocean. Check out the sights and look out for pods of dolphins along the route. Pass by enormous container and cruise ships at the port. See the beautiful beachfront from a new perspective out on the water, and Wilson's Wharf; a lovely hidden gem filled with restaurants and entertainment. Enjoy protection from the sun with a semi-covered boat so you can see the sights comfortably.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

3. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

4. From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

This full-day tour from Durban takes you on safari in the wonderful Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa. The park is famous for its highly successful white rhino conservation program and is now home to the largest population of white rhino in the world. On your full-day safari tour you will have many opportunities to encounter the amazing wildlife in their natural environment. Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park is home to 84 species of games, including the ‘Big Five’, and 425 different types of birds. See how many you can spot on your safari! The hilly terrain affords some of the most incredible views over the reserve. Enjoy lunch at the Hilltop Camp (or similar) and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

5. Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

6. St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

Enjoy an open game drive safari in South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start with pickup from St Lucia or Durban, and after a brief introduction, enter the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. While on safari, enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the park as you explore numerous loop roads, outcrops, and lookout points. With knowledgeable and experienced guides, discover an abundance of wildlife species in the park. Search for Africa's Big 5 game animals: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Spot other animals such as waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, giraffe, and hyena. Enjoy a stop at Cape Vidal, a protected bay and beach area. Take some time for snorkeling or swimming in the waters surrounding this resort destination, and enjoy some lunch on site. See the highest vegetative dunes on the African continent and enjoy plenty of scenic photo opportunities throughout the day.

From Durban: Safari & PheZulu Village Day Tour

7. From Durban: Safari & PheZulu Village Day Tour

Start your day-long safari with a visit to the Natal Lion Park, home to lions, African and Asian elephants as well as rhinos. Then, visit the wildlife conservancy of Tala Private Game Reserve in the hills. Make your final stop at the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Reptile Park. Be driven around Natal Lion Park by your guide in search of elephants before entering the lion’s enclosure to marvel at the pride of lions. Enjoy the excitement of being so close to the king of the beasts and admire their size and beauty. Next, head to Tala Private Game Reserve that hosts a diverse selection of wildlife over 3000 hectares of land. This sanctuary is home to over 370 bird species and wildlife such as rhinos, giraffes, hippos, and elands, to name a few of the bigger mammals. Drive around the park in a closed vehicle to observe the wildlife. Listen as your guide sheds light on the wildlife ecosystem and shares interesting facts about the animals at the Tala Private Game Reserve. Then, make a stop at the Valley of a Thousand Hills to enjoy a glimpse of local Zulu culture and dancing at Phezulu Cultural Village. To conclude the tour, visit the Reptile Park where qualified park guides will intrigue you with interesting facts about the resident crocodiles and snakes.

Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

8. Durban: Hluhluwe Big 5 Safari with Pro Zeiss Binoculars

Get up close with Africa's famous Big 5 on a safari tour of the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Discover the different sides of the parks with one morning and one afternoon drive during which you will be provided with the high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multi-language guidebooks.  Start early at 5 am to catch the wildlife, especially predators, at their most active times which is dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve via Nyalazi Gate and explore the Imfolozi side of the reserve on a 3.5-hour morning game drive on our Hyundai H1 vehicle. The southern sector of the reserve is typified by its flat open plains and renowned for elephant and rhino sightings. Time for a spot of lunch at Hilltop Restaurant (at own cost). Enjoy your meal while taking in the panoramic views over the reserve and put those binoculars to test. After lunch, explore the northern sector of the reserve while keeping your eyes pealed for the highly endangered African Wild Dogs and Big Cats. Spend another 3.5-hours traversing the Hluhluwe side of the reserve. Around 4 pm we will start to make our way back to Durban. Your safari tour is in a Hyundai H1 Vehicle. This is not an open safari vehicle. It is a luxury van with large windows. The windows open wide enough for you to take pictures using amateur and professional cameras. All travelers will have access to our high-end Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars and multilingual safari guide book, available in English, German & French. 

From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

9. From Durban: Wildlife Lovers Big 5 Safari at 2 Game Reserves

Go on the only tour from Durban that takes you into an authentic private game reserve where the number of vehicles at sightings is limited. Take 2 stunning game drives at 2 reserves and encounter Africa's magnificent wildlife up-close. Benefit from included hotel pickup and drop-off, as well as complimentary use of Zeiss binoculars and multilingual wildlife/nature guide books during the tour. Hit the road early with pickup from your hotel at around 5 AM as wildlife, especially predators, are most active around dawn and dusk. Enter the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve at Nyalazi Gate and enjoy a 2.5-hour morning game drive in a Hyundai H1 vehicle. Please note, this is not an open safari 4x4, though you will get that experience later in the day. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is renowned for its White Rhino densities — after all, it saved the Southern White Rhino from extinction. Keep your Carl Zeiss Terra ED 8x42 binoculars on hand, as you never know what's around the corner. After your drive, stop for lunch at Hilltop Camp for a hearty meal with a stunning view. Lunch is at your own expense. Next, it's time to head into one of KwaZulu Natal’s premier private game reserves: Manyoni Private Game Reserve. This reserve only permits travelers staying at one of their luxury lodges to traverse the park, unless you’re with the local partner of course. Meet Manyoni’s most experienced ranger and jump into an authentic open safari 4x4. Then, embark on a 4-hour game drive through this pristine wilderness as you track down Africa’s iconic Big 5 and everything in between. Your ranger is passionate about the African bush and will help you understand the eco-system and the flora and fauna. As Manyoni is a private game reserve, rather than a national park, your expert ranger can go off-road and bring you more intimate sightings of big game. Depart the reserve at 4 PM for return to Durban.

Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

10. Durban: Hluhluwe Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

Previously known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, iSimangaliso Wetlands Park was declared South Africa's first Natural World Heritage Site (UNESCO), and is considered South Africa's third-largest park with 280 kilometers of near-pristine coastline and 328,000 hectares of magnificent scenery. The protected area is home to one of the largest populations of hippopotami in SA, an estimated 1,000 crocodiles and a wealth of plant, bird and animal life. Animals in the park include lions, African elephants, leopards, black and southern white rhino, and buffalo. In the ocean, there are whales, dolphins, and marine turtles, including the leatherback and loggerhead turtle. After the boat tour, travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve. Your experienced guide will show you around the park in a closed vehicle in search of the diverse wildlife and Africa's Big 5, which include the lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros. The reserve is set in the heart of Zululand, where these amazing animals roam the flourishing savannah. Established in 1895, this is the oldest park in South Africa and is 98,000 hectares in size. The Park contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is characterized by hilly topography. The list of animals at the park is long and varied. Hluhluwe, the northern section of the park, is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Imfolozi Game Reserve is situated in the southern section of the park. Today, the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is world-renowned for its white rhino conservation efforts and its Centenary Capture Center which is setting improved standards for game capture and sustainable utilization in Africa. Your guide will stop at Hilltop Camp restaurant giving you time to refuel and relax. The restaurant is situated at the top of the hill and gives visitors the chance to enjoy the scenery of the camp and surrounding areas. Afterwards, you will continue with your safari before leaving the park for Durban.

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 43 reviews

Value for money, great experience and tour guide was very helpful and friendly. Loved the whole experience. We were a bit late but they contacted us and waited until we arrived

I had a great experience although I was scared in the beginning. I got used to it and it was enjoyable

The person who took us on the cruise was friendly and taught us a lot about the sea and boats.

Was nice experience just wish we can have a say on choose the boats for our selves

Area is a bit dodgy. But the boat ride and the guide was absolutely fantastic!