Travel along the scenic Panorama Route of South Africa, to explore Kruger National Park and see the Big Five of Africa on game drives. In Swaziland, visit the Mlilwane Nature Reserve admiring this scenic wild area on foot.
Cross back into South Africa to visit the diverse Isimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park and go game viewing in the prestigious Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve. Stop in the coastal city of Durban and travel inland to the Royal Natal National Park, part of the towering Drakensberg Escarpment.
Drive into mountainous Lesotho where we go hiking, optional pony trekking and visit a local village. Then drive down to Graaff-Reinet in the arid heart of the quiet Small Karoo and visit the dramatic Valley of Desolation. Lastly, spot game in Addo Elephant National Park, before driving to Port Elizabeth, where this excellent Kruger Park, Swaziland & Lesotho Safari comes to an end.
Touchdown in Johannesburg where our journey through Southern Africa begins. We leave the big city, traveling into the Mpumalanga Province - the top safari region in South Africa.
Our first lodge is located in a private wildlife concession inside Kruger National Park. In the late afternoon, you have the chance to embark on an optional sunset game drive in private concession, which needs to be booked in advance (your guide can assist you on departure this morning).
We stay in permanent tented-rooms with en-suite bathrooms. This evening your guide tells you more about the safari adventure ahead as we relax around the campfire.
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 get up early and make our way into the world-famous Kruger Park for an unforgettable day of game viewing. Entering the vast Kruger Park the game viewing adventure begins right away. Kruger National Park is home to Africa's Big Five, as well as a multitude of other African animals, both small and large. This is South Africa's premier national park, famous for its superb game viewing and progressive conservation practices.
Our truck offers an elevated vantage for seeing over other vehicles and the bush, providing excellent opportunities for spotting and photographing as many of the wild animals in Kruger Park as possible. If you have opted for the Activity Package then you take a 4x4 game drive in an open safari vehicle instead, immersing yourself in the wilderness that is Kruger National Park.
In the late afternoon, you can set off on a sunset game drive as an optional extra.
On day three you have the option of venturing into the bush on foot for a guided game walk (optional extra) or you can sleep in a little.
Then, we visit the Panorama Route, driving into one of the most scenic parts of South Africa. Traveling along the Panorama Route we stop to admire the spectacular views from God's Window, looking out over the Lowveld to the distant mountains along the Mozambique border. We also stop to view Bourke’s Luck Potholes - peculiar rock features created by water erosion over decades. Our drive takes us along Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest vegetated canyons in the world.
From the scenic splendors of the Panorama Route, we return to our safari lodge in Kruger.
This morning we head back into the legendary Kruger National Park looking out for wildlife as we head south through the bush. Leaving Kruger we cross into the small, landlocked country of Swaziland, encompassing a diversity of terrains, from the Lowveld to towering mountains.
We head to the Nyonyane Mountains in the northwest region of Swaziland, where Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is located. This beautiful reserve lies in the "Valley of Heaven" or Ezulwini Valley and is known for its idyllic setting. Covering 4 560 hectares of open grassland plains and towering mountains, this is the oldest protected area in Swaziland.
In Mlilwane we take our time to tune into nature, soaking up the fresh mountain air and scenery.
Day five starts off with a nature walk in the scenic Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Your safari guide takes you for a walk on the Nature Trail and tells you more about the local environment and history as you go.
Later on, we head to the Esijeni community for a guided tour of the village (included in Activity Package). A local guide conducts the two-hour guided walk through the village introducing you to Swazi culture. This interactive tour offers a chance to participate in some of the day-to-day activities of life in the village, from grinding maize to carrying water. This afternoon is free for optional activities, relaxing in nature and exploring Mlilwane further. Go hiking or mountain biking or join a game drive, the choice is yours.
This morning we are off to the East Coast of Africa, bidding farewell to Swaziland. We drive back into South Africa heading to St Lucia at iSimangaliso Wetland Park, near the Mozambique border. Isimangaliso was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in South Africa when it was still known as the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park. The area is a heritage site given the high biodiversity it protects, including threatened and endemic species, across its range of habitats.
This evening we are treated to a cultural experience, gaining insight into the local Zulu people, their traditions and language.
Today we head to nearby Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for a morning game drive 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 KwaZulu-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 of the Big Five occur. After our morning of bird watching and game viewing in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, we drive back to St Lucia.
Later this afternoon we embark on a relaxing sunset boat cruise on the lagoon for some bird and hippo viewing in the scenic iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
On day eight we travel further south along the beautiful east coast of South Africa to the city of Durban. We pause for a short walk along the promenade in Durban, a popular seaside holiday destination. Then we leave behind the golden beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, travelling inland to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, formerly Royal Natal National Park, located in the unbelievably scenic Drakensberg Escarpment.
En route we stop to visit the historic attraction of the Mandela Capture Site where a statue of world-famous Nelson Mandela, or Madiba, marks the place of his arrest in 1962. After visiting the site where Mandela's 27-year long imprisonment first began, we drive to Howick Falls to marvel at the beauty of nature.
We spend day nine 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. In the morning your guide takes you on a hike in Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park where we have the chance to meet with local guides and view San rock paintings.
There are plenty of walks to choose from, with options suited to different levels of fitness and activity, so you can set your own pace. Alternatively, you can enjoy other optional outdoor activities, such as horse riding, or simply unwind in the scenic Drakensberg Mountains.
Next, we take an inspiring drive into Lesotho, travelling via spectacular mountain passes, a vulture centre and the impressive landscapes of the Golden Gate National Park in South Africa. Bypassing the capital of Maseru, this afternoon we arrive at our campsite in the hills of Lesotho, famous for its mountain scenery and pony trekking.
Known as 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.
Day 11 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. This afternoon you have the chance to go pony trekking, high up in the hills (optional). On the pony trek, Lesotho villagers will guide you along secluded mountain trails with breathtaking views.
We stay in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms (hot showers) at a lodge with a bar.
This hot inland region, called the Karoo, is an open and flat terrain with sheep farms and a scattering of remote towns. Driving through the vast, dry plains of the Karoo we cross the Gariep (formerly Orange) River on our way to Graaff-Reinet.
Later this afternoon, we head to the Valley of Desolation, 14km's from Graaff Reinet, for sundowners. Soak up the spectacular views of the Camdeboo plains at sunset and take a closer look at the unique flora and fauna of this scenic area. In the winter months, we will visit the Valley of Desolation early the next morning (day 13) and spend this evening exploring the historic town of Graaff Reinet instead.
On the morning of day 13, you can join a local guide for a historical tour of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa (time allowing). Or spend some time sightseeing in the town, which hosts one of the highest concentrations of monuments in the country. During winter we set off early on our sunrise excursion to the Valley of Desolation.
Next, we head to Addo Elephant National Park in the rugged Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. This unique, malaria-free game park is home to one of the world's densest concentrations of African elephants. Addo Elephant Park also boasts the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark), as the game park includes both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. This afternoon we embark on a game drive in our safari truck, searching out the plentiful wildlife of Addo Park. Game viewing in our elevated safari truck in Addo provides the perfect opportunity to take some great photos of Africa’s big game and other wildlife and birds.
We stay in permanent tents at a game lodge in the Sundays River Valley, near Addo. Facilities include a bar, laundry services, hot showers, and internet.
This morning we make our way to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth, in Algoa Bay. Our Kruger to Swazi & Lesotho Safari ends with drop-off at the Port Elizabeth Airport for your onward flight, or at a pre-selected lodge.
This southbound Kruger Park, Swaziland & Lesotho Safari is also available in the reverse order, starting in Port Elizabeth and ending in Johannesburg as the Budget Lesotho, Swaziland & Kruger Park Safari travelling north.
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.