This exclusive overland tour combines spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife and the diverse cultures of South Africa, a country that is well-known for its warm hospitality and spectacular natural beauty! Stay in well-appointed lodges whilst getting off the beaten track and exploring the great outdoors, as well as visiting colourful craft markets, quaint villages and more.
Travel over 3000 kilometers from open grasslands and snow-capped peaks to unspoilt beaches and rugged coastlines, experiencing a rich tapestry of cultures - Shangaan, Zulu, Swazi, Afrikaans, English and Xhosa, among others.
Highlights of the tour include: Big Five game walks and open vehicle game drives in top game reserves, including Kruger National Park; Breathtaking mountain scenery of the Drakensberg and Swaziland Kingdom and stunning beaches of the Dolphin and Wild Coast areas. Cultural and historical highlights include famous battlefields in Zululand, the Frontier Country of early settlers and the Nelson Mandela Museum. Also, discover the scenic Garden Route and highlights of the picturesque Western Cape, ending off on a high note with Cape Town and Table Mountain.
This South African Safari departs from a selected lodge in Johannesburg early on the morning of day one. Setting off from the bustling economic capital of the country we travel east into the scenic Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. We will have brunch in the historic town of Dullstroom, well known for trout fishing, before making our way down the Drakensberg Escarpment to the rural Lowveld.
We spend two nights in en suite tented-rooms at a comfortable bush lodge, with a splash pool. The tented lodge is situated in one of the private reserves of Greater Kruger National Park, offering superb views over the surrounding bush. The safari lodge is designed to blend in with its natural environment where animals roam freely. Dinner tonight is cooked over an open fire in true safari style.
Early this morning we ease into the day with coffee and rusks, before heading into the bush on our first adventure. Our first activity sees us venturing off into the bush on an exciting game walk with a expert guide and a tracker. The bush walk lasts for about three hours, giving us time to linger over the fascinating details of the bush, as well as looking out for game and birds.
Returning from our first bush adventure, we have a well-deserved late morning brunch at camp. Then there is time to rest and relax at the lodge, enjoying the natural surroundings, before our afternoon excursion.
In the late afternoon we embark on an open safari-vehicle game drive that lasts into the night. This thrilling night game drive takes us in search of nocturnal wildlife, that would otherwise be missed. After our night game drive we are treated to a traditional braai (South African style barbecue) back at camp. At the end of our first rewarding day of game viewing in South Africa we get to fall asleep to the wild sounds of the bush.
Our day starts with an early breakfast before we set off for the scenic Panorama Route. We drive along the impressive Blyde River Canyon stopping to admire the breathtaking views along the way. Then, on to Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window and the quaint forestry town of Graskop, where we stop for lunch (own expense).
Descending Kowyns Pass, we make our way to Hazyview and our charming lodge, perched on stilts in the indigenous forest on the edge of the Sabie River. We spend the next two nights at the leafy lodge, which serves as our base for exploring the world-famous Kruger Park.
At sunrise we drive the short distance to the southern sector of the Kruger National Park for a day of game viewing in the comfort of our well-equipped, elevated vehicle. Excellent game sightings can be expected on this full-day of game viewing in the vast Kruger Park, teeming with wildlife.
We will take breaks at rest areas and picnic spots to stretch our legs, have brunch and maybe purchase some mementos at one of the rest camps. As the day draws to a close we return to our lodge to relax before dinner at our lodge on stilts.
After our unforgettable wildlife experience in South Africa's flagship Kruger Park we travel south through the stunning scenery of the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland. Along the way we pass numerous rural homesteads and traditional curio markets, getting an idea of what rural life is like in Swaziland.
Then we cross back into South Africa, entering Zululand. This region of incredibly scenic landscapes and numerous game reserves, was once ruled by the revered warrior-king Shaka Zulu and remains a Zulu stronghold to this day.
For the next two nights we stay at a Zululand camp in this culturally rich and beautiful area. Our camp is tucked away in a sand forest on a private game reserve adjacent to the St. Lucia Wetlands, a World Heritage Site.
Enjoy a relaxed start to the day, starting with a leisurely breakfast. Depending on the seasonal animal activity, we will either game drive or game walk in one of the renowned game reserves of Natal. Wildlife sightings include a range of large mammals, including black and white rhinos, as well as a rich array of birds and plants.
Lunch today is a bush picnic in the untamed wilderness. After our game viewing adventures we return to our nearby lodge for dinner and an evening of relaxation.
Today we move inland, through the tranquil, rolling hills of KwaZulu Natal, where many historic battles have been waged. Zulus, Dutch settlers (Boers) and British colonials all fought here to preserve their heritage and secure land. We stop for lunch at one of the famous battlefields, and get to learn more about the complex and turbulent history of South Africa.
The rolling hills give way to the splendour of the Drakensberg mountain range and here, in the foothills, we transfer to a 4x4 vehicle and drive or walk along mountain tracks to our lofty Drakensberg Lodge.
We are here for two nights, staying in cosy log cabins in the scenic mountains. Spend day eight hiking - exploring and enjoying the wonders of this National Heritage Site on foot. It's worth the walk to the San Rock Art gallery to view the artworks created thousands of years ago.
Pony trekking is also available for those who would like to experience the hills on horseback.
We ease into day nine, taking a transfer or walk back down to our vehicle and then we're off to the Indian Ocean coastline.
We travel south through the lush Natal Midlands, an area dotted with arts and crafts shops, rich in history and culture, and host to some of South Africa's most prestigious schools. We stop for lunch (own expense), close to Nottingham Road, and then it's on to our seaside lodge. We spend two nights at the next lodge, located right on the beach with the sound of the crashing waves as a soundtrack. On one of the nights we are treated to a scrumptious fish braai (barbecue), easing you into beach-holiday mode.
Day 10 is yours to spend as you choose - head to the beach to soak up the sunshine and take a dip in the warm ocean, or explore the local village on foot and meet the friendly locals.
It's an early start today as we set off south, passing through the coastal city of Durban and on to the remote Wild Coast. We spend two nights at a secluded lodge in this rugged region of South Africa.
Under the Apartheid Regime this area was an independent homeland thus development has historically been limited here, leaving many natural areas untouched. We see some unspoilt beaches, natural estuaries, rolling grasslands and a tapestry of traditional Xhosa villages in the Wild Coast.
The whole of day 12 is dedicated to exploring this incredibly beautiful area - one of the most memorable highlights of this tour.
Today we pay tribute to one of South Africa's greatest icons, the first democratically elected president, Nelson Mandela. We visit Madiba's birthplace and the museum in Umtata dedicated to this Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Next, we travel through what is known as 'Frontier Country' - an area colonized by early British settlers in the 1820s. European settlers faced a hard life, farming in harsh terrain without experience, and participating in wars against the indigenous people, each trying to protect their land. We spend the night at a comfortable lodge on a hilltop overlooking the historical university town of Grahamstown, where the Settlers National Monument still stands in commemoration of the pioneering settlers.
Our first stop as we enter the Garden Route is the coastal Tsitsikamma National Park, a beautiful reserve where indigenous forests meet imposing cliffs and the wild coastline. From Tsitsikamma we cross the suspension bridge, spanning the Storms River, walking along the dramatic coast.
Then, we move on to the Bloukrans River Bridge, where the adventurous and brave can bungi from 216 metres at the world's highest commercial jump. Once everyone is safely back in our vehicle we move on through Plettenberg Bay to the popular town of Knysna, where our next lodge is located.
There is so much to do in this small town - ranging from kayaking trips on the lagoon or sea and mountain biking in the forest, to visiting a local township, relaxing on the beach and shopping, among other activities.
Today we head for Cape Town, the last destination on our diverse South African tour.
Our route to Cape Town takes us through the Garden Route's Lake District - a scenic stretch of estuaries, rivers and lakes between the open sea and towering mountains. From the Garden Route we make our way to the 'Whale Route' in Hermanus. During the whale watching season, from July to November, we may spot Southern Right Whales from the land.
Arriving in the picturesque city of Cape Town late in the afternoon, we check into our conveniently located lodge. We have two full days to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world, situated at the foot of the famous Table Mountain. Over the next two days we will visit some of the top attractions in and around Cape Town, known as the Mother City of South Africa. We explore the rugged Cape Point Nature Reserve on the tip of the Southern Peninsula, the seaside village of Hout Bay, the V&A Waterfront, beautiful sandy beaches and a wine farm.
We also hike up the iconic Table Mountain - a 'must' in Cape Town, enjoying sweeping views over the city, sea and surrounds.
This affordable South African tour ends at 16h00 on day 18, but clients can extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the lodge. If arranging an onward flight from Cape Town on the last day of this tour, please allow time for the airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).
If you wish to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated, please make arrangements with your guide earlier in the tour, as prior bookings are essential.
This tour is fully accommodated and all linen and towels are supplied. You will do a fair amount of walking, so please bring a small day pack. Seasonal malaria precautions may be necessary and can be purchased locally. Passports and visas are required for entry into Swaziland.
There are two shorter versions of this South African Safari available. Follow the link for tour prices.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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