Travel into the Valley of Heaven in the scenic hills of Swaziland, where we take a guided bird watching, nature walk in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Then cross into rural Mozambique and drive to the capital, Maputo, before heading for the idyllic beaches of the east coast.
Visit seaside Inhambane before we explore beautiful Praia do Tofo, famous for its superb snorkelling and scuba diving, especially the whale shark and manta ray sightings. Drive north to coastal Vilanculos, from where we embark on a dhow sailing trip to the unspoilt Bazaruto Islands. Swim in warm Indian Ocean waters, eat fresh seafood, snorkel on the famous Two Mile Reef and walk along the white sand beaches of the Bazaruto Archipelago.
Returning to South Africa we set off on the game viewing adventure of a lifetime, exploring Kruger National Park - one of Africa's leading safari destinations. From Greater Kruger we travel through the Panorama Route, back to Johannesburg where this Southern African adventure began.
This Mozambique, Kruger & Swaziland Safari begins with a pre-tour meeting at 18:00 on day one. Meet your guide and fellow travellers at the lodge this evening and get ready for an exciting journey through Southern Africa.
Leaving the city behind we cross the border into the Kingdom of Swaziland, a small landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. One of only three monarchies in Africa, Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III.
We make our way into the scenic mountains of Swaziland, heading to Ezulwini Valley, meaning the 'Valley of Heaven'. Arriving in Lobamba this afternoon we set off to explore the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Ezulwini Valley, on a guided nature walk. The two and a half hour walk offers excellent bird watching opportunities, as well as being a great way to enjoy the fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery. We may spot some of the small animals found in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland's oldest protected area.
On day three we drive from Swaziland into Mozambique, travelling to the capital city, Maputo. Arriving in less-westernised Maputo we set off on an orientation walk to experience this bustling city with its mix of African, Arabic and European cultures. We stop in at a local market, and historical attractions such as Praca dea Independencia and Jamma Masjid Mosque.
After the city tour you are free to continue exploring the port city, visiting highlights such as the Cathedral of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao, the Casa de Ferro (Iron House), designed by architect Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame), and the botanical gardens, Jardim Tunduru.
Travel from the vibrant streets of Maputo to the seaside town of Inhambane, where colonial Portuguese days linger in the architecture and culture. From Inhambane we visit the nearby village of Praia do Tofo (or just Tofo), a hotspot for marine life and water sports.
First we drive around the charming old town of Inhambane to see local life and crumbling colonial buildings, before heading to the picturesque Tofo Beach.
This afternoon we unwind in Tofo where you can enjoy the warm Indian Ocean waters - swimming, snorkelling, surfing or scuba diving. The snorkelling Ocean Safari is ideal for spotting the whale sharks and manta rays that this part of Mozambique is famous for, as is diving.
Beach day! Spend the day relaxing on the beach and exploring the village of Tofo, browsing the crafts markets and tasting the delicious local seafood and spicy dishes.
Activities include surfing, with boards available for rental, as well as canoeing and water skiing. Tofo is most famous for its marine life, especially the giant rays and whale sharks, so be sure to go snorkelling or scuba diving. Travel back in time and mingle with the locals in Inhambane, where you can experience the crazy bustle of the main market.
Most of today is spent driving up north along the coast to Vilanculos, another famous beach destination. Vilanculos is the base for exploring the Bazaruto Islands, one of the largest marine protected areas in Africa.
End the day with a cool drink and a walk along the beach, after a long and scenic day on the road.
Today we go sailing in a traditional East African sailboat, known as a dhow. We sail to the idyllic islands of the Bazaruto National Park, stopping to explore Magaruque Island. Spend your time walking around the island, lazing on the beaches, swimming and snorkelling in the clear, warm waters. Snorkelling is a highlight here, as an array of colourful fish and other marine life can be spotted on the intact reefs of Bazaruto.
After a seafood lunch on the beach, we spend some time relaxing on the tropical island, before sailing back to the mainland on the dhow. The details of the dhow sailing trip vary slightly, depending on the weather and local conditions.
Tonight we tuck into a seafood dinner and camp on a beach in the Vilanculos area of Mozambique, sun-kissed and relaxed after our time on the stunning tropical islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago. We camp in tents with mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags, at a rustic camp with lights, showers, and basic toilets.
Another day on the pristine islands of the Bazaruto National Park, hopping between islands onboard the traditional dhow. We visit the Bazaruto Island where you can hike up the sand dunes to enjoy sweeping views over the islands and blue waters, perhaps even spotting dolphins.
There is also time for a swim and a snorkel before we sail (or motor) over the famous Two Mile Reef of the Bazaruto Archipelago. Here you have the chance to go snorkelling and see the abundance of marine animals and fish that make the pretty reef renowned.
On day nine we travel back south through the fields and coconut plantations of rural Mozambique, passing mango trees and cashew nut sellers along the road.
Our next lodge is situated near the coastal town of Xai-Xai, in a scenic area. Stroll along the beach and have a cold drink or local beer at the restaurant.
Today we head into Xai-Xai to explore the town and experience this hub of activity along the river and ocean. We visit the central market where fresh produce, fish and meats are sold, and stop at an open-air furniture workshop to see the local crafters practising their age-old trade under the cashew nut trees.
Browse the shops and enjoy lunch (own account) at a local restaurant, then you are free to spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on the beach, sightseeing in Xai-Xai or resting at the resort.
Day 11, time to return to the diverse and beautiful country of South Africa. Our next destination - the world-famous Kruger National Park. This massive protected area is one of Africa's finest game viewing destinations.
Spend the night at a rest camp in the national park, enjoying the wild surroundings and listening to the night sounds of wildlife and birds in the bush.
The whole of day 12 is spent game viewing in Kruger National Park, going in search of the rich diversity of animals and other creatures. We travel through the changing landscapes and vegetation zones in the tour vehicle
Keep an eye out for the Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino, along with an impressive diversity of large mammals such as hippos, zebras, giraffes, large antelopes, hyenas and cheetahs.
After exploring the wild bushveld and spotting all sorts of animals and birds we exit Kruger Park, via the Orpen Gate. This evening at the lodge, you can sit back and relax beside the campfire, enjoying a traditional dance performance by locals from the Shalati region. The safari lodge is located in the Manyeleti part of Greater Kruger, a less-visited area where you can soak up the peace of the remote African bush.
On the final day of our Mozambique, Kruger & Swaziland Safari we leave the wilderness behind, returning to the metropolis of Johannesburg. Our drive takes us via an incredibly scenic area of the Mpumalanga Province, known as the Panorama Route. Along the way, we stop to admire the spectacular views of the mountains, valleys, waterfalls and open plains below. We pause at the highlights of Blyde River Canyon, Bourke's Luck Potholes, and God's Window on the Panorama Route.
Arriving in Johannesburg this afternoon our Southern African adventure comes to a close.
We recommend spending some time exploring the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg after the tour, taking in the colourful cultures, historical attractions and more.
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