This budget Southern African Safari explores some of the best game parks in South Africa, as well as visiting the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland.
Scenic and game viewing highlights on this 6 Day Budget Kruger, Swaziland & KwaZulu-Natal Lodge Safari include:
An affordable accommodated adventure from Johannesburg to Durban - ideal for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts!
This Southern African Lodge Safari departs from the dynamic city of Johannesburg between 06h00 and 08h00 when you are collected from your pre-tour accommodation. First, you are transferred to our lodge close to OR Tambo Airport in a minibus, joining other guests and proceeding from there in a larger bus. Those spending the pre-tour night at our lodge board the larger bus directly at about 08h00 for 08h15.
Leaving the OR Tambo lodge, we drive through to the Nelspruit Airport (KMIA), arriving between 12h00 and 13h00. From KMIA you will travel with your tour group in an air-conditioned minibus to Kruger Park. We travel northeast through the open grasslands of the Mpumalanga Highveld, before descending the mountainous Drakensberg Escarpment. Continuing into the flat savannah region of the Lowveld we head to Kruger National Park and make our way to Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp, located inside the game park.
Arriving at Berg-en-Dal between 15h00 and 16h00 we embark on our first rewarding game viewing drive in Kruger!
We set off in our open-sided safari vehicle that provides the best visibility of the bush and its inhabitants. All game drives on this tour are conducted in open 4x4 safari vehicles, adapted for game viewing in the African wilderness.
Back at Berg-en-Dal you can pop in at the shop or explore this large rest camp and its numerous facilities, including a walking trail and large swimming pool. This evening we tuck into a well-prepared three-course dinner, usually a traditional South African meal, served al fresco in our own dining area. Enjoy complimentary South African wine with dinner or feel free to bring your own drinks from the park's shop. After dinner, we relax around the crackling campfire and share tales of the bush at our private dining area.
In the rare case that Berg-en-Dal is fully booked, we stay at either Skukuza or Pretoriuskop rest camps. When you enquire about the tour we will inform you if an alternative to Berg-en-Dal rest camp is to be used.
We get an early morning start on day two, as the cool early morning hours are one of the best times to spot wildlife in the bush. Begin the day with a cup of tea or coffee and some rusks (traditional dry tea biscuits), before we embark on our early morning game drive. The time of departure for the game drive varies according to the seasons and the opening times of the park gates.
Heading into Kruger Park we go in search of the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) and other wildlife. Exploring the park for about three to four hours, we take the best possible routes for spotting wildlife. Your experienced safari guide is happy to share his or her extensive knowledge of Kruger with you on the game drives, providing insight into this famous wilderness area and its wildlife.
After our morning game drive, we have a hearty breakfast back at camp and depart for our next safari destination.
Leaving the vast Lowveld of Kruger Park behind we travel into the Kingdom of Swaziland, a small landlocked country, known for its scenic mountains. Along the way, we stop for lunch (own expense) continuing into the friendly land of the Swazi people. Tonight we stay over in one of Swaziland's Royal National Parks, belonging to the king of Swaziland. In the evening we relax around the fire, while your guide prepares dinner, served out under the starry African skies.
On day three we wake up a little later and have breakfast before travelling on. From the national park in Swaziland, we make our way back into South Africa, driving into the fertile KwaZulu-Natal province. Our drive takes us through changing scenery into the heart of Zululand, stopping en route for lunch (own expense).
Next stop, the world-renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the most prestigious game parks in Southern Africa and the oldest proclaimed game reserve in Africa. Formerly known as Hluhluwe–Umfolozi Game Reserve, this Big Five game park is best known for its pivotal role in rhino conservation. The highly successful rhino breeding program for black & white rhino at Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park helped bring rhinos back from the brink of extinction and today the park hosts the world's largest population of white rhinos.
In the afternoon we enter Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, taking a game drive on the way to our overnight camp. This evening at camp your guide prepares dinner, to be enjoyed out under the bright stars (weather allowing).
Today you can look forward to a full day of game viewing in the game-rich Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. Exploring one of the best game parks in South Africa, we go in search of Africa's Big Five, as well as the wide variety of other animals and birds found here.
This game park covers some 96 000 hectares of incredibly diverse wilderness, home to an abundance of large mammals including blue wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, hippo, jackal and endangered African Wild Dog. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi hosts numerous antelope species, including large numbers of impala, waterbuck, reedbuck, kudu, suni, bushbuck, steenbuck, duiker and eland. The reserve is also considered one of the best places in the world for viewing nyala antelopes, with their spiral horns. The game park is also inhabited by warthogs, crocodiles, bush pigs, baboons, monkeys and mongoose, as well as various tortoises, terrapins, snakes and lizards.
Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park is a birder's paradise, home to around 340 bird species including the bee-eater, barbet, heron, eagle, francolin and many more. The Hluhluwe River Flood Plain is one of the few areas in South Africa to host the Yellow-throated, Pink-throated and Orange-throated Longclaw bird species.
After dinner, we set off on a thrilling night game drive, one of the highlights of any wildlife safari in Africa. The night drive is conducted by an official KZN parks' guide and takes us in search of the more elusive nocturnal animals of Hluhluwe-Imfolozi.
On day five of this Kruger, Swaziland & KwaZulu-Natal Safari, we embark on one more exciting game drive in Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park and have breakfast, before hitting the road again.
Next, we travel to the KwaZulu-Natal coast of South Africa, heading to the beautiful iSimangaliso Wetland Park, one of Africa's finest coastal and wetland areas. The former Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park protects the largest estuarine system in South Africa and was the country's first World Heritage Site, declared for its outstanding natural beauty and exceptional diversity of species.
This unique 332 000 hectare wilderness area contains eight ecosystems, four Ramsar sites, three major lakes, 526 bird species, 700-year-old fishing traditions and 25 000-year-old coastal dunes that are among the world's highest.
The staggering diversity of relatively untouched habitats include the bulk of the South Africa's swamp forests, coral reefs, sandy beaches, coastal dunes, woodlands, lake systems, and extensive reed and papyrus wetlands, which provide critical habitats for an incredible diversity of Africa's animal, bird and marine species. South Africa's third largest park, iSimangaliso is home to huge populations of hippos and crocodiles, Giant Leatherback turtles, black rhino, leopards, amphibians, flamingos and many more.
Arriving at St Lucia village, we set off on a Hippo & Crocodile Boat Cruise, exploring the St Lucia Estuary. The two-hour boat cruise offers fantastic photographic opportunities of the scenic estuary and its inhabitants, including plenty of crocodiles, hippos and bird species. Returning to the village we have lunch at one of the local restaurants (own expense), before making our way south to the Dolphin Coast area.
Tonight we stay in en suite rooms along the Dolphin Coast, known for its lovely beaches and the bottlenose dolphins spotted here. This evening we enjoy dinner beside the Indian Ocean, listening to the sound of crashing waves.
Our last day on safari starts with breakfast, followed by free time for you to explore the Dolphin Coast. Stroll along the pretty beaches or take a swim in the warm Indian Ocean waters.
Then, it's time to bid farewell to our seaside haven, travelling south to Durban. We travel in a closed, air conditioned tour vehicle, stopping for lunch (own expense) en route. Our last scenic drive brings us to the King Shaka International Airport in Durban at about 16h00, where our Southern African wildlife adventure ends.
We recommend that guests stay in Durban overnight if possible, as we cannot guarantee our arrival time in Durban on the last day of the safari. Guests flying out of King Shaka Airport are requested not to book flights departing in the late afternoon and early evening.
This Kruger, Swaziland & KwaZulu-Natal Lodge Safari can easily be combined with longer Kruger Park Safaris or other Budget South African Safaris, upon request.
Please note that we offer convenient pre tour lodge accommodation for before the Lodge Safari, which can be added to your tour booking upon request. The 4-star lodge accommodation is located 10-15 minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg. For information on Pre-Tour Lodge Rates follow the link
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