KwaZulu-Natal Birdwatching

Our most recommended KwaZulu-Natal Birdwatching

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.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

2. 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.

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

3. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi: Big 5 Full or Half-Day Safari

Experience the rolling hills of the Savannah grasslands and a magical African sunrise. Sit back and relax while your ranger takes you to the best areas within the park. With trained eyes and years of experience, your ranger will undoubtedly deliver some magnificent sightings. Learn more about this fascinating park and the incredible history of when King Shaka used the lower Umfolozi as his personal hunting grounds or how the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park single-handedly saved the rhinos from near extinction. The park is home not only to the African Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo) but also includes cheetahs, wild dogs, and many more. Enjoy breakfast and lunch at one of the numerous scenic picnic areas within the park. The tour concludes with a drop off at the Nyalazi Gate or alternatively, drop off back at your accommodation in St. Lucia.

From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

4. From St Lucia: Cape Vidal Full-Day Snorkeling Safari

After pickup from your accommodations, your guide will take you on a safari drive in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. You'll have the chance to see many animals in their natural habitat including elephants, hippos, rhinos, hyenas, buffalos, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, chameleons and if you're lucky, perhaps a leopard. Then head to the beach for 2 hours of snorkeling and discover over 50 different species of fish. If you're not a keen snorkeler, you can enjoy the beach on your own or go for a little birdwatching walk on the forest dunes of Cape Vidal with another guide. Your tour is conducted in a laid-back, yet professional manner and includes breakfast and a delicious African braai (barbeque) lunch.

From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

5. From St. Lucia: iSimangaliso Sunset Safari

Get picked up from your hotel in St. Lucia and travel to the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, a huge protected area along the coast of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province. The park’s centerpiece is the vast Lake St. Lucia, home to a large number of hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. Elephants, giraffes, and leopards inhabit the grasslands and forests of the nearby Western Shores and Charters Creek areas. To the north, Sodwana Bay is known for its colorful coral reefs. Upon arrival, gear up and set off on an exciting three-hour drive through the park's many ecosystems. Keep an eye out for the wide variety of species that call iSimangaliso home. As the sun begins to set, your guide will take you to the perfect spot to appreciate the African sunset. When darkness falls, take on the challenge of spotting chameleons and other nocturnal species, all of which are more active after nightfall. Get dropped off back at your accommodation in St Lucia.

iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

6. iSimangaliso: Guided Walking Safari

After meeting your guide at the St Lucia Crocodile Centre, you'll begin your 2.5-hour tour of the famous iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a sprawling collection of stunningly-preserved natural ecosystems that span over 1,200 square miles; the park is centered around the vast Lake St Lucia, where you’ll have the change to see hippos, crocodiles, pelicans, and flamingos. After learning about crocodile breeding, feeding, anatomy, general ecology, and distribution, you’ll head off across trails through the game park with your expert ecologist guide. Take in information about the park’s famous residents, like blue wildebeest, zebra, impala, and waterbuck.  Continuing into the wilderness, become one with nature as you walk through picturesque trails. Common animal sightings include the red and grey duiker, waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, and on very special occasions, leopard and hyena. Afterwards, you’ll head back to the starting point, having been enriched by the beauty of South Africa’s diverse ecosystems.

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 Imfolozi Safari & iSimangaliso Tour

8. 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.

From Durban: Full-Day Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park Tour

9. 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.

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

10. 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.

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 23 reviews

What an enjoyable experience! The music was a bit loud, but the skipper was funny, taught us so much and made the 30 minutes fantastic. I definitely recommend this ride if you want a quick adventure with the fam ❤️

The boat accommodated about 14 in total. It was such a wonderful experience. Nice music and we learned a lot from the guide offered by the boat driver

We enjoyed our 30 minutes in a boat with nice music and the friendliest captain who told us to feel free change positions and take pictures as we want

The experience was beautiful. Mind blowing especially for our 8 year old. The drive was quite nice and friendly.

The experience was awesome, we enjoyed each and every moment of our ride. We will be doing it again.