This Budget Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari travels north from Durban to the wetlands of iSimangaliso Wetland Park (formerly Greater St Lucia Park) - a wildlife reserve like none other. Experience local Zulu culture, go game viewing in the prestigious Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and embark on a sunset boat cruise on the beautiful iSimangaliso estuary.
Then, cross into Swaziland to explore the scenic Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary on walks and cultural excursions, as well as optional game drives, mountain biking trips and more. Crossing back into South Africa, head to the world-famous Kruger National Park for game drives in search of Africa's Big Five and an abundance of other wild animals. Visit the Panorama Route to see the scenic highlights and enjoy more wildlife watching in Kruger before travelling to Johannesburg where we wrap-up our affordable St Lucia, Swaziland & Kruger Accommodated Safari.
Our Accommodated Overland Safari gets off to a leisurely start, leaving you free to explore Durban this morning. Visit the Ushaka Marine World or soak up the sunshine on one of the sandy beaches.
Later you meet up with your tour guide and crew. Then we depart from Durban travelling north along the east coast of South Africa into Zululand. We head to St Lucia, a small town near the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. This natural area was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be declared in South Africa.
This evening we experience Zulu culture - sampling the local Ilala Palm beer unique to this region, learning some basics of the Zulu language and finding out more about Zulu traditions. Tonight we stay in twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms in St Lucia town.
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.
Day two kicks off with a thrilling morning game drive in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, famous for its rhino conservation and hippos.
Hluhluwe and Imfolozi together make up one of KwaZulu-Natal's best game reserves, home to one of the largest white rhino populations in the world. The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve is KwaZulu-Natal's only government managed park that hosts Africa's Big Five. This game reserve is the oldest nature conservation area in Africa, providing a haven for diverse animal and bird species since 1895.
We explore the rolling hills of this prestigious game reserve in open 4x4 safari vehicles, looking out for the Big Five, especially rhinos. After wildlife viewing in Hluhluwe–Imfolozi we return to our lodge in St Lucia for a rest.
In the late afternoon, we enjoy a relaxing boat cruise on the St. Lucia lagoon, the best way to spot the range of wildlife here, including hippos and rich birdlife. Encompassing extremely varied habitats, from Indian Ocean beaches, dunes, coral reefs and estuaries to woods, swamps, forests and open grasslands. This wide range of terrains provides habitat for a rich medley of animal, marine, bird and plant species, including endemic and threatened species.
On day three we get up early for our journey into Swaziland. Next up, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the oldest game park in Swaziland, covering about 46km² (4560 hectares) of beautiful wilderness.
Soak up the heavenly landscapes, from the grassy plains to Nyonyane Mountain, or set off on one of the optional activities. Options include game drives, Swazi cultural experiences, mountain biking and hiking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
The big carnivores of Africa are absent from Mlilwane, which makes the sanctuary ideal for walking safaris and mountain biking. Exploring Mlilwane on foot is a great way to get up close to nature and see the smaller creatures and birds up close. There are plenty of walking trails for exploring this remote sanctuary in the Ezulwini Valley, or 'the Valley of Heaven'.
Today 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 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 of your own - hiking, mountain biking or game viewing in the hills of Swaziland.
Day five sees us leaving Swaziland and heading back into South Africa. Along the way, we may stop to visit a craft market in Swaziland, which is known for its exceptional local arts and crafts.
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 stop is a safari camp inside a private concession area, within Kruger National Park.
On day six, 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 St Lucia, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari comes to an end.
Most tour groups book an extra night at the post-safari lodge which offers a traditional braai (barbecue). The optional dinner can be booked through your guide on the previous day (day seven).
This northbound Budget Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari is also available in the reverse order, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Durban as the Kruger Park, Swaziland & St Lucia Safari - South.
These Accommodated 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.
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