Explore Southern Africa, travelling from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth in a Luxury Adventure Vehicle, offering extra comfort and style for a small group of 12 guests.
On this Small Group Southern Africa Adventure, you visit top wildlife, scenic and cultural highlights in South Africa, as well as the small Kingdom of Swaziland and mountainous Lesotho. This route has been carefully designed to incorporate the most unique and worthwhile destinations of the region, including well-curated lodge accommodation and activities along the way.
An authentic overland journey to the unforgettable mountains, beaches, game-rich savannahs and other gems of Southern Africa!
This morning our overland safari departs from Johannesburg, the commercial capital of South Africa. We travel eastwards into the Mpumalanga Lowveld - the leading safari region in the country, home to numerous top game reserves.
Entering Kruger National Park, we head to our first lodge, located inside the world-renowned game park. Those who booked the optional sunset game drive, embark on this exciting activity late this afternoon. An excellent time to venture into the African bush, many animals are at their most active around dusk. After sundowners in the bush we return to the tented lodge where dinner and a cosy campfire await.
Accommodation is in permanent walk-in tents with en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning and deck areas, offering a comfortable and authentic stay.
Please note: Booking is essential for the optional sundowner game drive and is to be arranged with your guide at the beginning of the day.
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.
A full day of 4x4 game viewing in Kruger National Park! One of the best game parks in Africa, Kruger is famous for its world-class game viewing and conservation practices.
Kruger incorporates 19 485 km² of untamed wilderness, hosting a staggering variety and abundance of animals, insects, plants, reptiles, amphibians, fish and birds.
Our open 4x4 vehicle game drive (Activity Package item) takes us in search of the fascinating lifeforms found in Kruger, from tiny bee-eaters and geckos to hulking hippos and the largest antelopes in the world, eland. The Big Five of Africa - lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo, are often spotted in Kruger Park. With about 147 mammal and 114 reptile species present, there are plenty of animals to be seen today!
Later this afternoon you have another chance to embark on the optional sunset game drive with sundowners in Kruger - the perfect way to end a rewarding day in the African bush.
Please note: For those not opting for the Activity Package, game drives are conducted in the enclosed tour vehicle and not an open 4x4 vehicle.
On the morning of day three, we are up early for an optional game walk in Kruger Park. For those joining the bush walk, we set off bright and early on foot with an expert guide. This is a thrilling way to experience the bush, with the constant possibility of coming face-to-face with wildlife, including large game, on foot.
Those not walking, get to sleep in and take it easy at the camp. Later we travel to the Panorama Route, one of the most scenic parts of South Africa. Winding along the edge of the Drakensberg Escarpment and into Blyde River Canyon, we marvel at the stunning scenery of the Panorama Route.
Along the way we stop at the unusual rock formations of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the viewpoint overlooking Blyde River Canyon and the distinctive Three Rondavels mountains. Not to be missed, we stop at God’s Window to admire the panoramic views over the deep canyon, waterfalls and rock formations, with the Lowveld stretching out more than 900 metres below.
Returning from the beautiful Panorama Route, we settle down for a peaceful evening at our comfortable lodge inside Kruger Park.
We are up early for coffee and rusks at our lodge in the bush, before setting off into Kruger Park. We drive to the southern border of the park in our air-conditioned 4x4 tour vehicle, game viewing as we proceed.
From Kruger we drive to the landlocked country of Swaziland. The Kingdom of Swaziland is one of the smallest countries in Africa and one of the last total monarchies in existence today.
After checking in at our lodge at the foot of Mount Emlembe, the highest mountain in Swaziland, we visit the town of Bulembu. At the mining museum we discover more about the difficult history and hopeful future of this remote place. The people of Swaziland are known for their friendliness towards visitors and their strong cultural traditions and customs.
Day five sees us cross the border back into South Africa and drive through the KwaZulu-Natal Province to the sunny Indian Ocean coastline.
The small town of St Lucia is our next overnight stop, located on the fringes of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, formerly the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park. This World Heritage Site covers 220km's (137 miles) of the Zululand coast, incorporating five overlapping ecosystems which host an incredibly high diversity of flora and fauna.
This evening we get a taste of Zulu culture, discovering a bit about the traditions and customs of the Zulu people. Known as the Zulu Kingdom, KwaZulu-Natal is the historical and modern heartland of the Zulu tribe, the largest ethnic group in South Africa.
Begin the day with a 4x4 game drive in the prestigious Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of South Africa's premier safari destinations. Hluhulwe-Imfolozi is renowned for its successful white rhino conservation program that played a major role in saving rhinos from extinction in the 1980s. It is also the oldest protected area in Africa!
On our game drive in Hluhulwe-Imfolozi we may encounter the Big Five, including black and white rhinos. Lions, buffalos and elephants are sighted regularly but leopards are elusive big cats, sighted less frequently. Keep your eyes open for endangered African wild dogs, cheetahs and an array of antelope species.
After our rewarding game drive in Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Reserve, we retrace our steps to the lodge and spend some time resting and relaxing. Then, we enjoy an afternoon boat cruise on the beautiful St Lucia Estuary. The boat cruise is ideal for bird watching as this extensive estuarine system attracts over 500 species of birds. The hippo population is massive and crocodiles are numerous, so we are sure to spot these massive creatures along with other animals.
On day seven, we travel south to Durban, a major port city and favourite beach holiday destination on the East Coast of South Africa.
In the afternoon you are free to go to the beach and soak up the sunshine, swim in the warm Indian Ocean and explore the beachfront.
Durban has a unique mix of cultural and historical influences coming through in the local cuisine and architecture with strong Indian, English, Afrikaans and Zulu elements. Tonight we eat out at a local restaurant (own expense) - the perfect opportunity to sample the spicy Indian flavours of Durban or tasty fresh seafood.
Durban has a laid-back beach atmosphere and today we ease into the day at a slow pace. Head to the sandy beach nearby for a stroll or dunk in the ocean.
Later we set off for the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the tallest range in South Africa. In the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands we stop at Howick Falls to view the spectacular 95 metre (310 feet) tall waterfall on the Umgeni River. We also stop at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, where a steel sculpture and exhibition centre have been erected to mark the place where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. This is where Mandela's 27 year imprisonment started, after which he went on to become the first president of democratic South Africa.
The idyllic Champagne Valley in Central Drakensberg is our final destination for the day. For the next two nights we stay in the heart of the impressive Drakensberg Mountains, soaking up the picturesque scenery and fresh mountain air.
You will soon understand why the mountains are named Drakensberg, which means 'dragon mountain' in Afrikaans. The Zulu name uKhahlamba is equally apt, meaning 'barrier of spears'.
Wake up in the lofty Drakensberg Mountains, surrounded by unspoilt nature. Today we explore the scenic uKhahlamba-Drakensberg National Park.
A local guide leads us into the mountains on a hike this morning, taking us to see some ancient San (bushmen) rock art. The semi-nomadic San were the first inhabitants of Southern Africa, an ingenious and unique indigenous tribe of hunter-gatherers.
The Drakensberg is famous for its beautiful hiking trails, offering plenty of walks to choose from today. The hiking activities of the day are arranged to suit your fitness levels and can be done at your own pace.
Hop back into the luxury overland vehicle for our journey over a stunning mountain pass and into the Maluti Mountains. Stop to see rare vultures up close, at a vulture centre along the way to Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Driving through the towering sandstone cliffs of the national park, we see the golden and ochre hues that its name denotes.
From the north-eastern Free State we cross into our next African country - Lesotho. This small landlocked country is one of the highest in the world, falling entirely above 1000 metres (3281 feet) in altitude, hence the moniker - 'Kingdom in the Sky'.
In the afternoon we pass the capital city of Maseru, proceeding up into the mountains of Lesotho where our next lodge is located.
This morning we head into the hills of Lesotho on foot. Our short hike ends at a rural village where we stop to mingle with the locals and see what life is like here. Many of the Sotho people still follow traditional practices and old customs, making for an interesting cultural encounter. We are bound to see locals wearing traditional straw hats and colourful blankets, as well as the round huts typical of Lesotho.
This afternoon you have the option of taking a pony trek in the mountains (own expense). The Kingdom of Lesotho is famous for its hardy Basotho ponies and pony trekking is a must in these parts!
Time to leave the mountains behind, journeying onto the flat plains of the Great Karoo region of South Africa. Our drive takes us across the deserted, open landscapes of the Karoo, covering much of the central plateau of South Africa, measuring about 400 000km². Crossing the Gariep River, we travel through expansive farmlands and succulent-rich open landscapes to the historic Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet.
This afternoon we take a guided tour of the 'Gem of the Karoo' as Graaff-Reinet is known. Our local guide shows us the sights of the fourth oldest town in South Africa, including many of the over 200 historical buildings. After exploring the quaint town of Graaff-Reinet we visit a nearby geological wonder, the Valley of Desolation. End the day with sundowners at a viewpoint overlooking the sheer cliffs and dolerite columns of the unique valley, the town of Graaff-Reinet and the plains of Camdeboo National Park.
Today we continue south-east through the semi-desert Karoo to Addo Elephant National Park.
Covering about 1 640 km² of land and marine ecosystems Addo Park is the third largest national park in South Africa. Addo is best-known for its massive elephant population, hosting one of the highest concentrations of elephants on the continent.
Arriving at the national park we set off on a game drive in search of the diversity of inhabitants found here. The reserve incorporates five biomes, protecting a wide range of species, amongst them, the flightless dung beetle unique to the region. Addo Park is home to the Big Seven, which consists of the Big Five of Africa (lion, rhino, buffalo, leopard and elephant), in addition to great white sharks and southern right whales. We may also encounter hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, zebras, eland, red hartebeest, kudu and other antelopes.
On our last night we stay over at a country estate near Addo Elephant National Park.
After breakfast on the final morning of our Small Group Safari Adventure, you are transferred to the coastal city of Port Elizabeth. Arriving in Port Elizabeth you are dropped off at the selected post-tour hotel, bringing our Southern African Safari to a close.
This itinerary has been written with the Activity Package excursions included. If you wish to participate in all of the activities listed, then you will need to purchase the Activity Package.
This Kruger, Swaziland & Lesotho Safari is conducted in a state-of-the-art 4x4 overland vehicle. The custom built luxury vehicle comfortably accommodates a maximum of 12 guests. These specially designed vehicles provide extra space and amenities, offering a more luxurious safari experience with all the adventure, but in added style and comfort.
Features include an onboard toilet and a water filtration system for purified drinking water throughout the journey. The vehicle has reclining leather seats that rotate 180 degrees and lock into your preferred position (for example, window or front facing). Each seat has overhead air-conditioning vents that can be independently operated for individual control of air flow and temperature.
Every seat also features a USB port panel for charging your electronic devices and there is a reading light above each seat. Each seat has a safety deposit unit with individual key code access, for storing your passports, phones and smaller valuables.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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