This Budget Accommodated Safari starts in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth and ends in vibrant Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari begins with game viewing in Addo Elephant Park before we visit Graaff-Reinet and the Valley of Desolation in the Karoo. Then we travel into the small mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho where you can go pony trekking or hike in the hills. From Lesotho, it's off to South Africa's Drakensberg Mountains and on to coastal St Lucia via Durban. Next, we drive north to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park in KwaZulu-Natal. From there we cross into Swaziland to enjoy mother nature in scenic Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
Then we go game viewing South Africa's premier wildlife reserve - Kruger National Park, home to Africa's Big Five. On our way back to Johannesburg we drive via the Panoramic Route to take in the last spectacular scenery before our Southern African journey comes to an end.
This Budget Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari departs from the coastal city of Port Elizabeth heading north into the rugged Eastern Cape. We make our way to a private game farm near Addo Elephant National Park for our first overnight stay.
Addo Elephant Park is the third largest national park in South Africa, home to one of the densest populations of African elephants in the world. This afternoon we embark on a game drive in Addo Park in our safari truck. This massive game park also boasts the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark) as the game park includes both land and marine habitats.
We stay in permanent tents at a lodge with a bar, laundry services, hot showers and internet.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
On day two we travel to Graaff Reinet in the semi-arid Great Karoo region of South Africa. The Karoo is known for its expansive, flat landscapes with sprawling sheep farms and a scattering of remote, small towns. Time allowing you explore Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, on foot this afternoon. This small Karoo town has one of the highest concentrations of monuments in the country.
Later this afternoon we drive to the nearby Valley of Desolation for sundowners. We head to a lookout point from where we admire the breathtaking views of the dramatic landscapes and the historic town as the sun goes down. In the winter months, the excursion to the Valley of Desolation takes place the following morning instead.
On day three our Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Overland Safari leaves South Africa behind, journeying into Lesotho, the 'Kingdom in the Sky'. Lesotho is one of the highest countries in the world, with the entire country lying over 1000m above sea level.
The next day begins with a hike in the mountains of Lesotho, soaking up the beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air. We hike to a village where we get to meet the local Basotho people and find out more about their way of life. The Basotho are known for their traditional straw hats, colourful textiles and hardy ponies. You have the chance to go pony trekking in the hills (optional) this afternoon. On the pony trek, Lesotho villagers will guide you along secluded mountain trails with breathtaking views.
We stay in en-suite rooms at a lodge with a bar on day three and four.
On day five, we return to South Africa where we drive to the mountainous uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, formerly called Royal Natal National Park. Along the way, we pass through the impressive landscapes of the Golden Gate National Park.
Day six is set aside for exploring mountain paths and enjoying the beauty of the towering Drakensberg Mountains. The Drakensberg Mountains are South Africa’s highest peaks, also widely considered the most beautiful.
On the morning of day six, we set off on a hike in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park, where we have the chance to meet with local guides and see San (Bushman) rock paintings. There are plenty of walking trails to choose from so you can enjoy nature at your own pace today. Alternatively, you can enjoy optional outdoor activities or simply unwind in the scenic Drakensberg Mountains.
Our accommodation is in en-suites rooms at a resort with a pool, bar, internet and laundry services.
Today our Budget Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari takes us through some amazing scenery on our way down to the KwaZulu-Natal Coast of South Africa. En route we visit the monument that marks the place where Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president, was arrested in 1962. After visiting the site where this famous Nobel Peace Prize laureate was taken as a political prisoner, we stop to admire Howick Falls and enjoy the views.
In the late afternoon, we arrive in Durban, South Africa’s largest port city - a vibrant urban centre of diverse cultures, best known for its surfing scene and sandy beaches. Pausing in Durban, there is time to stretch your legs on a short walk along the beachfront promenade. Then we leave the city, travelling north into Zululand along the east coast of South Africa. We head to the town of St Lucia where we spend the next two nights.
This evening we experience Zulu culture - sampling the local Ilala Palm beer unique to this region, learning a few Zulu language basics and finding out more about Zulu traditions.
Today we drive to nearby Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for a morning game drive (included in Activity Package) in this wildlife-rich wilderness area. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is famous for its rhino conservation successes, hosting one of the world's largest white rhino populations. Hluhluwe and Imfolozi together make up one of Kwa-Zulu Natal's best game parks - the oldest game reserve in Africa.
We take a game drive in open 4x4 vehicles exploring the only state-run park in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where all Big Five occur. After our morning of bird watching and game viewing in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, we drive back to our lodge in St Lucia.
After a short rest, we embark on a sunset boat cruise (included in Activity Package) on the iSimangaliso lagoon for some excellent bird and hippo watching! Isimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be declared in South Africa. This World Heritage Site is extremely varied and includes habitats of lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands together supporting an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life.
Next, we cross into Swaziland to explore the beautiful Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the oldest game reserve in Swaziland. Covering 4 560 hectares of open grassland plains and towering mountains this wildlife refuge is a scenic delight. Soak up the beautiful scenery of Ezulwini Valley - 'the Valley of Heaven', or embark on one of the optional activities.
Options include game drives, Swazi cultural experiences, mountain biking and hiking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Walking and cycling are popular activities here as there are no large predators and a variety of trails and self-guided hikes. Exploring Mlilwane on foot is a great way to get up close to nature and see the smaller creatures and birds up close.
This morning begins with a nature walk in scenic Mlilwane. Your guide leads you on a walk along the Nature Trail sharing insights about the history and natural environment of this area as you explore.
Later we visit the Esijeni community with a local guide (included in the Activity Package). Walking through the village offers a chance to meet the locals and get a glimpse into their lives and culture. You may get to grind some maize, help carry water, build something or see how locals wash clothes in the stream. Alternatively, you can set off on an optional adventure activity of your choice- hiking, mountain biking or game viewing in the hills of Swaziland.
Day 11 sees us leaving Swaziland and heading back into South Africa.
Crossing the border back into South Africa, we drive north through the Mpumalanga Province to Kruger National Park. The world-famous Kruger Park covers almost two million hectares (19485km²) of untamed bushveld in north-eastern South Africa. This is one of Africa's best game parks, renowned not only for its sizeable populations of Africa's Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo) but for the spectacular array of other wild animals, reptiles, insects and birds.
We spend the remainder of the day wildlife viewing in the massive Kruger National Park en route to our safari camp. Today's game viewing is done in the overland truck which provides an elevated vantage for seeing over the bush and taking photos. Keep an eye out for predators including cheetahs, wild dogs and hyenas, and prey, such as springbok, kudus and bushbuck as we drive. Other inhabitants commonly sighted include hippos, impalas, zebras, giraffes and warthogs to name just a few.
Our next base is a safari camp inside a private concession area, within Kruger National Park.
On day 12, you can join an optional game walk in the reserve early in the morning. After the bush walk, we set off on a trip to the Panorama Route.
The Panorama Route takes us along the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg Mountains, where the plateau gives way to the Lowveld of Mpumalanga. We visit several of the scenic highlights of the Panorama Route, admiring the spectacular views of Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. Viewpoints include Bourke's Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God's Window.
Later this afternoon we head back to our safari camp in Kruger Park.
Today the Activity Package includes a full-day game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle in Kruger National Park - one of the world’s most famous nature conservation areas. Exploring the reserve in an open 4x4 brings you close to nature allowing you to view and photograph the animals and birds without windows between you, immersing you in the bush.
Travellers who opted not to take the Activity Package will explore Kruger in the overland vehicle with your tour guide. Later this afternoon there is an opportunity to embark on an optional sunset game drive with sundowners.
We spend a final morning game viewing in Kruger National Park on our way out of the protected area. Leaving the African bushveld behind we drive to Johannesburg, the economic capital of South Africa. Arriving in Johannesburg late this afternoon our Budget Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari comes to an end.
Tonight, after the tour, most groups choose to enjoy a traditional braai (barbecue) together at the post-safari lodge, in celebration of their journey through Southern Africa.
This northbound Budget Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari is also available in the reverse order, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Port Elizabeth as the Kruger Park, Swaziland & Lesotho Safari travelling south.
These Accommodated Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Safaris are also available as Camping Safaris - for more details please contact African Budget Safaris.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.