Leopard in Kruger Park

South Africa Walking Safari to Kruger & Zululand

Tour Length14 days
Priced from pps $1992 R27901 £1507 1690 A$2633 C$2544 NZ$2927 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Hiking Tour

  • Max. Group Size 12 Travellers
  • Starts & ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Accommodation Lodge & Camping Combo
  • Transport Microbus / Small Overland Vehicle
  • Wildlife Big 5, Elephant, Exceptional Birding, Leopards, Lions, Rhino & More
  •  See Departure Dates

2018 Itinerary Overview 2017 Info

A great 14 day Tour of South Africa with an emphasis on walking and hiking in scenic areas of South Africa, exploring the highlights of the Kruger and Zululand areas.

The South Africa Walking Safari combines challenging, moderate and leisurely hikes, starting off on the Panoramic Route followed by a private reserve in Greater Kruger and Kruger National Park where we go in search of Africa's Big Five and more.

It's then off to Swaziland and onwards to the Kwazulu-Natal region where we visit Mhkuze, Hluhluwe Game Reserve, the Battlefields of Zululand and the Drakensberg Mountains.

This exciting, diverse and affordable Walking Safari ends back in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Responsible Travel Note

During this trip you are likely to come across activities that encourage tourists to participate in lion, elephant or other wildlife interaction. This includes walking with lions, riding elephants and any other tourist operation putting travellers in close contact with animals that would normally live wild and separate from human contact.

We absolutely do not encourage or endorse this type of wildlife interaction operation. For more information on why this is not good for Africa's wild animals, please see our detailed blog post on the subject.

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Full 2018 Itinerary 2017 Info

Day 1: Mpumalanga - South Africa

This South Africa Walking Safari begins with a tour briefing at 06:30 am in Johannesburg and then we head east into the Mpumalanga Province.

In the afternoon we visit the gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest and stop at the God's Window viewpoint overlooking the Lowveld. From here we will take a leisurely stroll to Mac Mac Pools, before making our way to our accommodation near the escarpment. We stay in en-suite chalets for the night, at a lodge with a pool, bar, restaurant and telephone.

  • Lunch / Dinner
  • Overnight: Lodge, en-suite, swimming pool, bar, restaurant
  • Includes: Entry to Gods Window, Mac Mac Falls
  • Walk: Mac Mac Falls, 2-3 km (leisurely)
  • Travel: 400 km, about 6 hours excluding stops

Day 2 - 3: Blyde River Canyon & Greater Kruger - South Africa

On day two, the morning is spent exploring the Blyde River Canyon, one of the most scenic areas of South Africa. We set off on a moderate hike that takes us down the rim of the canyon, offering scenic views of the Three Rondavels and the Blyde River. Blyde River Canyon is the second largest canyon in Africa, after the Fish River Canyon. It is quite possibly the greenest canyon on earth, due to its dense subtropical vegetation.

Then after lunch, we take an afternoon game drive in a private game reserve of Greater Kruger Park, going in search of the Big Five and other wildlife. Our game drive lasts into the night when we use spotlights to find nocturnal animals and birds. We return to our tented camp to soak up the atmosphere around the campfire.

Day three begins with an early morning game walk in the private reserve, with a local game ranger. Walking in the bush is a thrilling experience as we may encounter large mammals at any time. The game walk is also the best way to see the details of the bush up close, seeing animal tracks and signs of life, as well as smaller creatures and plants as we explore.

In the evenings we relax around the campfire before retiring to our twin-share Meru tents with en-suite bathrooms. We are immersed in nature at the tented camp which is located in the Big Five Balule Private Game Reserve, forming part of Greater Kruger.

  • Breakfast (x2) / Lunch (x2) / Dinner (x 2)
  • Overnight: Tented lodge in Meru style tents with en-suite bathrooms
  • Includes: Entry to Blyde River Canyon, private game reserve, game walks (x 2), game drives (x 2)
  • Walk: Blyde River Canyon, 3.5 hr walk (moderate) / Big 5 Game Walk, 3-4 hr with ranger (leisurely)
  • Travel: 140 km, about 2 hours excluding stops

Day 4: Kruger National Park - South Africa

Today we make our way into Kruger National Park, where we spend the day game viewing. We drive south through the wilderness, going in search of an abundance of wildlife, including the Big Five - lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant. Look out for giraffes, zebras, hippos, antelopes, wild dogs, hyenas and much more, along with a rich diversity of birds. Our professional safari guides will impart their extensive knowledge of the ecology, fauna and flora in the area, on our game drive in the bush.

We stay in en-suite tents in Kruger Park at a national park's camp with a swimming pool, restaurant and telephone. Night game drives in Kruger Park, with spotlights, are available at own expense.

  • Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Overnight: National Park Camp, en-suite tents, Swimming pool, restaurant and telephone
  • Includes: Entry to Kruger National Park, afternoon and morning game drives in tour vehicle
  • Walk: Big 5 Game Walk, 3-4 hr with ranger (leisurely)
  • Travel: 240 km, about 3.5 hours and 3-hour game drive

Day 5 - 6: Malalotja Nature Reserve - Kingdom of Swaziland

On day 5 of the South Africa Walking Safari, we enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and travel through a fertile fruit farming area, on our way up into the scenic mountains of Swaziland.

We embark on a challenging 4 to 6-hour hike through this rarely-visited, remote mountainous reserve. On the following day we travel through Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland and take the opportunity to visit the craft and medicinal markets, which reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Swazi people.

We spend two nights on the edge of the Malalotja Nature Reserve in chalets with en-suite bathrooms.

  • Breakfast (x 2) / Lunch (x 2) / Dinner (x 2)
  • Overnight: Chalets, en-suite (x 2)
  • Includes: Entry to Malalotja Nature Reserve, morning Game drive on day 5
  • Walk: Malalotja Waterfall Hike, 4 - 6 hr, (challenging)
  • Travel: 200 km, about 3 hours plus 2-3 hour drive from Kruger

Day 7 - 8: Zululand Game Reserves - South Africa

Crossing back into South Africa, we head for Zululand in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. En route we enjoy a game drive in Mhkuze Game Reserve and visit a secluded game hide before we arrive at our tented lodge on a private game reserve.

The following morning we visit Hluhluwe Game reserve which is important for its rhino conservation status. We then visit a traditional Zulu village.

In the afternoon, our guide will take you for a walk in the lodge conservancy where you will be shown some of the more than 540 bird species that call this area home. You will also track the shy and illusive Nyala antelope through the riverine vegetation of the Msinene River.

  • Breakfast (x 2) / Lunch (x 2) / Dinner (x 2)
  • Overnight: Tented Lodge, en-suite
  • Includes: Entry to Hluhluwe Game Reserve
  • Walk: Msinene River Walk, 2 - 3 hr (gentle)
  • Travel: 380 km, about 5.5 hours excluding border crossing and stops

Day 9 - 10: Zulu Battlefields - South Africa

Leaving the coast behind, we head inland through the hills and valleys of Zululand to Dundee town. This area is known for its fascinating history of warfare and the many battles fought between the Zulus, British and Dutch Boers. We visit the Talana Museum, which is a mine of information about the area and then spend the rest of the day relaxing, in preparation for our challenging hike tomorrow.

On Day 10 we visit the Islandlwana battlefield before we undertake a challenging, but exciting, 4 to 5 hour hike, retracing the footsteps of two British fugitives through the undulating hills of Zululand to the Buffalo River. After our hike, we visit Rourke's Drift, made famous by the film 'Zulu'. Then it's back to our lodge with a pool, restaurant, telephone and free WiFi access, for a relaxing evening. We stay in twin-share chalets with en-suite bathrooms.

  • Breakfast / Lunch (x 2)
  • Overnight: Lodge, en-suite twin-share, swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone
  • Includes: Rourkes Drift, Islandwana Battlefields, Entry to Talana Museum
  • Walk: Fugitives Drift Trail, 4 - 5 hr (challenging)
  • Travel: 310 km, about 4.5 hours excluding stops

Day 11 - 12: Royal Natal National Park, Drakensberg - South Africa

Today we head for the majestic Drakensberg or Ukhahlamba "Barrier of Spears" Mountains.

We stay in en-suite chalets with twin or double rooms, at the base of the mountain range, some 1600 metres above sea level. This afternoon there is free time to rest before our moderate, full day hike, on the mountain trails. We may cool off with invigorating dips in the clear mountain streams of the Royal Natal National Park.

The brisk mountain air is a refreshing companion to the beautiful views, as we relax at our lodge.

  • Breakfast (x 2)/ Lunch (x2) / Dinner (x 2)
  • Overnight: Chalets, en-suite twin or double
  • Includes: Entry to Royal Natal National Park
  • Walk: Tugela Walk, 5.5 hr (moderate)
  • Travel: 180 km, about 2.5 hours excluding stops

Day 13: Drakensberg - South Africa

After an early breakfast, we make our way to Witsieshoek, at the base of the impressive Sentinel Peak. We start our challenging hike at the end of a rough gravel road. Our hike includes a short chain ladder section to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre and the magnificent Tugela Falls, the highest waterfall in Africa.

At a height of 3000 metres, the views over KwaZulu-Natal are incredible. We then descend to our lodge at 2300 metres overlooking the Mont-Aux-Sources mountain range. We overnight in twin- share bungalows with en-suite bathrooms, at this lodge up in the mountains.

  • Breakfast / Lunch
  • Overnight: Bungalow, en-suite twin
  • Includes: Entry to Sentinel Peak mountain walk
  • Walk: Amphitheatre Walk, 5 - 6 hr with section of chain ladders (challenging)
  • Travel: 120 km, about 2 hours excluding stops

Day 14: Johannesburg - South Africa

The days starts at a leisurely pace as we prepare to make our way back to Johannesburg. This fabulous walking tour ends back in Johannesburg at approximately 17:00 when we part ways.

  • Breakfast / Lunch
  • Travel: 360 km, about 5 hours excluding stops
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+Where does the tour go to?
+Included in the Tour Price
  • 13 nights in hotels, chalets & guest houses
  • Entrance fees
  • Transport in minibus / safari truck
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Professional guide
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Flight & Airport Taxes.
  • Meals where indicated.
  • Drinks & Bottled Water.
  • Personal Travel Insurance.
  • Optional Activities.
  • Items of a Personal Nature.
+Departure Dates

For guaranteed departure dates contact African Budget Safaris.

All other tour dates require a minimum of 4 people to guarantee departures.

Scheduled Tour Departures
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