Bush & Boat Safari

This one-day safari tour includes a Half-Day Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park Safari and then a 2 Hr late afternoon Boat Safari on the St Lucia Estuary. Experience both the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Africa as well as South Africa's very first World Heritage site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, on this amazing Bush & Boat Safari Adventure. 

  • Safari Duration 6/7 Hours
  • Hippo Boat Cruise 2 Hours

Bush & Boat Safari - Overview

Included on the Big 5 Safari

  • Bush Breakfast
  • Coffee / Tea & Refreshments
  • All Conservation Levies
  • Conducted in an Open Game Drive Safari Vehicle
  • Blankets are available on all vehicles

Included on the 2 Hr Boat Cruise

  • Coffee / Tea

Trip Highlights on this Bush & Boat Safari

•Experience the oldest proclaimed Big 5 reserve in Africa, Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, 96000 hectares in total size.

•Explore South Africa’s first World Heritage Site by Boat, iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

•Learn about the Big 5 and the Isimangaliso Wetlands Park with your knowledgeable game ranger and local skipper. 

Departure Times & Destination

  • 5:00 am From St Lucia, travel time to park (45 min) or alternatively meet us at the Nyalazi Gate (Imfolozi Park) 6:00 am
  • 12:00 / 1:00 pm return to St Lucia 
  • Lunch at one of the many restaurants within St Lucia (own account)
  • Late Afternoon Sunset Hippo & Croc Boat Cruise on the St Lucia Estuary (2 Hrs)
  • Departing Daily
bush & boat safari

What to Bring Along

  • Light Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunblock
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera and if possible extra battery and memory card
  • On the Hippo Boat Cruise, you are more than welcome to bring drinks along


Bush & Boat Safari - Itinerary

Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve, Isimangaliso Wetlands Park, St Lucia / South Africa. It's an early departure at 5:00 am Board our 4*4 open game drive vehicle as we travel to the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve. (6-Hour Bush Safari in an Open Game Drive 4×4), travel time to the Park is approximately 45 minutes. Blankets are available on vehicles.

Once at the Umfolozi Game Reserve Gate (Nylazi gate), your personal guide will offer you some additional information and history regarding this splendid game reserve and then we set out on a safari in search of the big 5. With rolling hills and amazing scenery, your guide is sure to make this safari a memorable one.

Breakfast in the bush, piping hot coffee in hand while listening to the sounds of the African Bush (Full continental breakfast included). We travel to the southern section of the Umfolozi past Mpilla as this remains the best-suited area for witnessing Lions, Elephants, rhinos, and Cheetah not to mention the Wild Dogs that frequent this part of the reserve.

After an eventful morning, we travel back to St Lucia, Isimangaliso Wetlands Park ( A World Heritage Site since 1999) to board the Hippo & Croc Boat Safari in the afternoon, this 2-hour boat cruise gets us up close to the resident Hippos and Nile Crocodiles basking on the shores of the Estuary.

The total length of the Estuary is 85km and one of the largest in Africa. It is estimated that more than 800 Hippo’s and 1200 Crocodiles reside in the area. The birdlife in the area is magnificent with an amount of 450 species witnessed during the year. Hear the calls of African Fish Eagles, and watch newly born hippos display child-like tendencies.

The day ends with fond memories as your ranger bids you farewell.

family overnight safari package clients Bush & Boat Safari

We booked the half-day safari at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game park and the St. Lucia estuary boat tour as a package. We were picked up by our driver Mbeki at 5 am and taken to the game park where we had an awesome game drives with plenty of animal sightings and breakfast in the bush. It was a pleasant experience and we enjoyed it very much. In the afternoon we did a boat trip to watch hippos and crocodiles at the St Lucia estuary.

The guide Dennis was very knowledgeable and gave a very good insight into the animals. It's a great way to see a bit of everything if you've got limited time as we did. We highly recommend the company and the guides.


Bush & Boat Safari Hippos

Our tour guide Jacques took us on an amazing trip down the St Lucia river. We got up close with Hippos in their natural habitat and learned a lot about their habits in the wild. He was also very knowledgeable on many other marine animals and birds. Overall a great experience.


Bush & Boat Safari Professional & Well Organised

We have done two tours with Heritage Tours & Safaris - 2 h Hippo Tour and the full day Hluhluwe safari tour. Both tours where amazing.

We have seen many animals and got a good overview/description of the animals' behavior/living situation from the tour guides.

In general, the company staff and the tour guides were very professional and well organized.

Vessels/ Boats


All Bush & Boat Safaris are conducted aboard the 15 Seater Shoreline Vessels on the St Lucia Estuary. Our vessels offer the shallowest draft thus getting into the shallowest water on the estuary possible. This is incredibly advantages as one now has the opportunity in getting much closer to all of the wildlife while out on the Estuary. 

With ample space, comfortable seating and incredible skippers one is assured of a magnificent trip up the estuary. Please do make sure that you do not forget your Camera, extra memory cards and a light jacket if possible. Aboard Shoreline one is also allowed to bring a small cooler along.

Incredible views and amazing wildlife

Incredible views and amazing wildlife

At Heritage House Accommodation
at heritage house pool area

Need Accommodation?

Why not overnight At Heritage House in St Lucia? Centrally located in St Lucia, this 4-star bed and breakfast offers all of the needed amenities. You will be picked up directly from At Heritage House for the Big 5 Safari.

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