Enjoy a scenic drive from Richards Bay to Thanda Private Game Reserve, home to the Big 5. The integration of South Africa's best climate and rich bush land has made Thanda Private Game Reserve the top award-winning safari destination in South Africa.
Special Note: Any guests travelling with Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) or CPAP breathing machines should read further below for airline stipulations with regards to bringing this equipment on tour.
Program details and the number of game drives are subject to change depending on flight details:
Disembark in Richards Bay and meet your English-speaking representative will accompany you on the road transfer to Thanda Private Game Reserve. The travel time approximately 2.5 hours.
Thanda is a spectacular private game reserve set in 14,000 hectares of Big 5 indigenous bush. Its tented Camp offers an authentic safari adventure with 15 luxury safari tents in an evocative bush setting, enhanced by flickering firelight and lanterns guiding your way at night. This is bush living as nature intended: open and inviting with unparalleled closeness to the bush, its sights, smells and sounds. Each of the tents has a private sun deck and en-suite canvas bathrooms. The shared areas include a large rim-flow pool, a spa tent, atmospheric Hemingway-style lounge and dining area featuring authentic African artworks.
On arrival at the main entrance gate, you will be met by game rangers who will transfer you to your lodge in 4-wheel drive open vehicles.
Gather for afternoon tea before departing on an afternoon game drive. Sundowners and light snacks will be served at a clearing in the bush following your game drive with the possibility of viewing several nocturnal wildlife species.
Return to the lodge to freshen up before dinner is served.
The day begins with an early-morning wakeup call, followed by tea, coffee and biscuits in the lounge. This too is an ideal time for wildlife viewing. As before, you will head into the bush in an open-topped 4x4 vehicle, accompanied by knowledgeable rangers and trackers who are skilled at pointing out the various animals.
Following your game drive, you will return to the lodge for breakfast, followed by leisure time throughout the day to perhaps take a nap, maybe relax on the expansive deck overlooking the watering hole or take part in one of the many optional activities that they offer.
Optional activities may include guided bush walks and cultural excursions to neighboring Zulu villages where you can visit families in their traditional homesteads and perhaps take part in community projects and celebrations. Perhaps spend some time with their specialist rhino monitors and conservation team or exploring beyond the reserve on a guided boat tour to experience hippos and crocodiles in the nearby iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site. (additional expenses may be applicable and space can only be reserved at the lodge).
Lunch and afternoon tea are included before meeting for your evening game drive.
Following the game drive, sundowners and light snacks will be served at a clearing in the bush, where you might see nocturnal wildlife. In time, you will return to the main lodge for dinner and to spend the evening.
After an early morning wake-up call, set out on one last morning game drive, followed by breakfast at the lodge.
Return to the lodge for breakfast, followed by check-out formalities. Thereafter transfer to the main entrance where you will board a vehicle for your road transfer to Durban’s King Shaka International airport. The travelling time is approximately 4.5 hours (a packed lunch will be provided for the journey).
Arrive at Durban’s airport and check-in for your flight to Port Elizabeth.
Upon arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, collect your luggage before transferring to the Port Elizabeth harbour where you will re-embark the ship.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. This program is subject to flight confirmations that are beyond our control. All program details, including timings and any flights indicated below, are approximate and are given here for general reference purposes and are subject to change. Direct flights are never guaranteed. Final itineraries with the most up to date details will be provided by the Shore Excursion Team once you board the ship. Please review your final itinerary carefully for any amendments.
11:30am Disembark in Richards Bay and transfer the Thanda Private Game Reserve
2:00pm Upon arrival at the lodge, check-in
Afternoon tea will be served, guests will be shown to their rooms
16:00 Afternoon game drive
19:00 Return to the lodge
19:30 Dinner is served at the lodge
Overnight at the Thanda Tented Safari Camp
5:00am Early wake-up call
Gather in the living area for tea, coffee and biscuits
6:00am Early morning game drive
9:00am Breakfast at the lodge
Free time at leisure
2:00pm Afternoon tea will be served on the patio
4:00pm Afternoon game drive
7:00pm Guests return to the lodge
7:30pm Dinner is served at the lodge
Overnight at the Thanda Tented Safari Camp
DAY 3 – timings and a game drive on this day are dependent on actual flight times once assigned, below is a sample itinerary
6:00am Early breakfast at the lodge followed by time to gather belongings and check-out formalities
7:00am Transfer to the main entrance gate
7:30am Transfer to Durban’s King Shaka International Airport (lunch box included)
12:00pm Arrive at the airport and check-in for your flight to Port Elizabeth
1:25pm Flight to Port Elizabeth (flight details TBA and subject to change)
2:55pm Arrive in Port Elizabeth, collect luggage before meeting a local guide for your transfer to the harbor
4:00 Approximate arrival time of arrival at the Port Elizabeth Harbor
South Africa’s seasons are the reverse of those in the northern hemisphere. Midwinter is June and midsummer is December and January. The climate varies from region to region but is generally mild throughout the year. Expect it to be hot during the day and much cooler in the evenings. On average - 25°C / 77°F
What to Bring:
Sunhat, sunblock, camera, chargers, binoculars, something warm as the mornings and evenings may be cool
ZAR (credit cards accepted)
South Africa’s electrical system is 220/230 volts A/C 50 cycles. Most hotels and lodges have hair dryers and plug adaptors in the bedrooms.
If you bring electric appliances, take along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs.
Outlets in South Africa require a three-pronged adapter plug with 3 round prongs.
Adapters can be brought from home as not all will be provided.
Be aware, however, that overnight recharging may not be possible where generator use restricts the availability of electricity.
On the flight guests are permitted to check-in 1 piece of luggage at a maximum of 23 kg (50 lbs.) and maximum dimension of 158 cm (62 inches).
Hand luggage cannot exceed 3 kg (7 lbs).
Carriage of Portable Oxygen Concentrators (POC) or CPAP breathing machines on internal flights per airline regulations (subject to change as each airline has their own regulations)
- Guests must obtain a Doctor’s Certificate mentioning their medical condition and the need to carry this equipment with them on their flights.
- The certificate should have attached a picture of the equipment with its description/specifications especially with regards to the type of batteries used (lithium/dry or any other type)
- These documents need to be sent to the Shore Excursion Team via Reservations at NCL at least one month prior to travel so that our local operator can begin the notification process with the airline(s).
- Failure to comply with the above regulations may result in a denial of this equipment at the airport for which NCL nor our local ground operator be responsible for.
Documents and Visa Requirements:
Guests must bring their passport with them
Please consultant the embassy to obtain the latest visa regulations for your nationality
VERY IMPORTANT – The name on your cruise booking, passport and any visas if required, must all be exactly the same for flight ticket purchase for this program otherwise guests may be denied travel by flight. Please ensure that all documents are identical in spelling to the names provided for your cruise reservation including first, middle and last name. Manifests generated by the cruise line must match your travel documents.
- The contents and order of activities in this program are subject to change by the lodge management without prior notice, due to the prevailing weather conditions and movement of dangerous wildlife on the reserve
- During early morning game drives in open vehicles it can be a little cool. We recommend that guests take along a windbreaker or jacket
- Please note that the game drive vehicles traverse over uneven terrain and that the game-drives can be “bumpy”. This tour is therefore not recommended for guests with back & neck problems
- Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed
- Children under 5 years of age are not permitted
- This program is not fully guided. Local representatives will assist you with your transfers however, the program at the lodge is run solely and at the discretion by the lodge staff.
Program Includes for guests
- 2 nights at Thanda Tented Camp (Luxury Tent) including accommodation, game drives, all meals and local beverages during meals and afternoon game drive.
- Limited drinks package, soft drinks available all day, house wines and local spirits and beers on evening game drives, pre-dinner and at dinner
- Transport in a luxury air-conditioned coach with A/C and PA system
- 1 x lunch box on Day 3
- Qualified English-speaking tour guide to accompany on transfers to/from the lodge
- Porterage for maximum 1 piece of luggage per person
- 1 x 500 ml bottle of mineral water per person on transfers
- Economy class flight per the itinerary
We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards. If you are not notified of any changes before your sailing, then you will be staying at the lodge listed in the program.
Program Excludes for guests:
- Any other meals not listed above
- All other drinks including Champagne and premium brand spirits and liquor
- Gratuities for drivers, guides, game rangers, trackers and lodge staff
- Personal expenses such as telephone calls, curio shop purchases and laundry
- Overweight or excess luggage fees on the flight
- Any other discounts or promos offered by NCL including but not limited to Latitude and Free at Sea discounts
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies, and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include inclines, cobblestones, sand and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing, hats, sunglasses, and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.
All land programs are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Programs falling under the minimum number of required participants are subject to cancellation. Pricing listed is also subject to change to meet unexpected cost increases for transportation, land arrangements or currency fluctuations. Not combinable with any other discounts or promos including but not limited to Latitude and Free at Sea discounts.
Once purchased, pricing is guaranteed and not subject to change. Mid-cruise overland programs must be purchased no later than 60 days prior to your sail date. Cancellations made within 60 days or less prior to the sail date are subject to 100% cancellation penalty.