An excellent Budget Camping Safari into Lesotho and along the Garden Route of South Africa, starting in Durban and ending in Cape Town, South Africa.
From Durban, we travel into the Drakensberg Mountains where we enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Royal Natal National Park, before crossing into mountainous Lesotho to go hiking, visit a village and do optional pony trekking. From Lesotho, we drive to Graaff-Reinet in the arid Karoo of South Africa. In this remote inland region, we have sundowners in the Valley of Desolation.
Next, we go wildlife viewing in Addo Elephant National Park, before driving west along the scenic Garden Route of South Africa, where highlights include Tsitsikamma Park, Nature's Valley and Plettenberg Bay. Then we visit Cango Caves and drive via the Route 62 to the Cape Whale Coast where we explore Hermanus and Stony Point Nature Reserve. This memorable Durban to Cape Town via Lesotho Tour finishes with a taste of the Cape Winelands en route to Cape Town where our magical journey ends.
This Budget Lesotho & Garden Route Camping Safari sets off from Durban on the warm east coast of South Africa. The morning you meet up with your safari guides and fellow travellers and drive inland to the Drakensberg Mountains, leaving the stunning golden beaches of the KwaZulu-Natal coast behind.
Along the way, we stop at the place where Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected president of South Africa, was arrested in 1962. After visiting the monument built to commemorate the long struggle of this world-famous political icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner, we stop at Howick Falls and admire the views. From there, we continue our drive to the incredibly scenic Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park, previously known as the Royal Natal National Park.
The Drakensberg Mountain Range is the tallest in South Africa peaking at over 3000 metres and named after the mountains that look like dragons' backs. On day two your guide leads you on a hike in this mountainous area, where hiking is the most popular activity. The hike is selected to match your group's fitness levels and is done at a pace that suits you. We walk in the Royal Natal National Park, where we have the chance to see old San rock paintings with a local guide. Alternatively, you can enjoy optional outdoor activities, such as horse riding - an exciting way to explore the Drakensberg.
We camp (shared ablutions) at a resort with a swimming pool, bar, internet, laundry services and a shop.
An optional Activity Package is offered with this safari. The extra payment includes highly-recommended activities, considered as "essential activities" on the tour. This itinerary includes these activities. For those that can't afford all of these activities, there is the option of doing the basic safari without the Activity Package. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package. See the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
Next, we set off early for the beautiful drive into Lesotho, famous for its mountain scenery and pony trekking. We travel via scenic mountain passes, a vulture centre and the impressive landscapes of the Golden Gate National Park in South Africa. This afternoon we make our way up into the hills of Lesotho, passing the capital city of Maseru.
Day four begins with a hike in the mountains of Lesotho, soaking up the beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air. We hike to a village where we get to meet the local Basotho people and find out more about their way of life. The Basotho are known for their traditional straw hats, colourful textiles and hardy ponies.
This afternoon you have the chance to go pony trekking, high up in the hills (optional). On the pony trek, Lesotho villagers will guide you along secluded mountain trails with spectacular views. This landlocked country falls almost entirely above an altitude of 1000 metres. You can relax at the lodge and do more hiking this afternoon if pony trekking isn't for you. The rural mountains provide a scenic setting for taking a break from modern living.
We stay at a campsite with shared ablution facilities, at a mountain lodge with a bar.
This hot inland region, called the Karoo, is an open and flat terrain with sheep farms and a scattering of remote towns. Driving through the vast, dry plains of the Karoo we cross the Gariep (formerly Orange) River on our way to Graaff-Reinet.
This afternoon, we drive to the Valley of Desolation, only 14km's from Graaff Reinet. We end the day off with sundowners in the Valley of Desolation, watching the sun go down over the dramatic plains of Camdeboo and the distant town. In the winter months, we visit the Valley of Desolation early the following morning and spend this evening exploring the historic town of Graaff Reinet instead.
This morning you have the option of joining a local guide for a historical tour of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa (time allowing). Or you can take a stroll on your own and do some sightseeing in the town, which hosts one of the highest concentrations of monuments in the country. During winter we set off early on our sunrise excursion to the Valley of Desolation. Whether we visit at sunrise or sunset, the views are spectacular and the local flora and fauna fascinating.
From Graaff-Reinet we head to Addo Elephant National Park in the rugged Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. This unique, malaria-free game park is home to one of the world's densest concentrations of African elephants. Addo Elephant Park also boasts the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark), as the game park includes both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. This afternoon we set off on a game drive in Addo, in the overland truck.
We camp at a game lodge near Addo with shared ablution facilities, a bar, laundry services and internet.
This morning you have the option of visiting the seaside city of Port Elizabeth for some sightseeing or relaxing at the game lodge which is set on a small private game reserve, hosting various antelopes and small animals.
After lunch at camp, we set off into the game-rich Addo Elephant National Park to experience the African bush and search for wildlife in South Africa's third largest game park. The afternoon game drive in Addo Elephant National Park is conducted in our safari truck, which provides an elevated vantage for spotting wildlife and birds. We are sure to see elephants and all kinds of other creatures, from the flightless dung beetle to the regal lion.
Early this morning we set off west towards the beautiful Garden Route. Along the way, we stop at the world-famous surfing destination of Jeffrey's Bay, known as J'Bay. Then it is on to the Tsitsikamma area where we spend the next two nights.
Part of the larger Garden Route National Park, Tsitsikamma National Park is a diverse and scenic protected area, nestled between the Tsitsikamma Mountains and the Indian Ocean. The park stretches about 80km's along the coastline and includes a 5km belt of sea, making it one of the largest marine protected areas worldwide. In addition to the rich marine ecosystems protected by the national park, Tsitsikamma also features South Africa's endemic Fynbos biome, as well as indigenous forests. Between the marine habitats, Fynbos covered hills and forested ravines this park provides habitats for a diverse range of birds and animals.
On day nine we walk the first section of the Otter Trail, one of South Africa's top hiking trails. The trail begins at Storms River in the Tsitsikamma Park, following the rocky coastline. This challenging, but incredibly scenic hike takes us to a waterfall and back. We also visit the Big Tree of Tsitsikamma to see this incredible eight hundred-year-old yellowwood. Alternatively, you can take it easy on the morning of day nine; going for a swim in the sea, walking along the beach and in the indigenous forests, and crossing the Storm's River suspension bridge.
In the afternoon we embark on a tour called the Woodcutters Journey (included in the Activity Package). This interesting journey reveals more about the indigenous flora and fauna of this rich ecosystem, as well as the local history of the Tsitsikamma area. You also have the option of doing a treetop canopy tour (optional extra) to view the indigenous forests of Tsitsikamma from a zip-line up in the branches.
We camp at a resort near Tsitsikamma Park. Facilities here include a bar, internet, laundry and shared ablutions.
A short drive west brings us to the haven of Nature’s Valley, where you can unwind on the beach or go hiking along the coast.
Then we move on to the next Garden Route gem - the popular beach resort town of Plettenberg Bay, known for its stunning Blue Flag beaches. There are plenty of optional activities to enjoy in and around Plett, as locals call it. Your guide helps with planning and booking activities to ensure that you get the most out of today. The safari truck will travel between selected points of interest on a set schedule providing you with the freedom to join or leave activities as you choose.
At the end of the day, we meet up at a beach on Keurbooms Lagoon, just outside of Plettenberg Bay. Continuing along the Garden Route, we head to the charming coastal village of Wilderness where we overnight at a resort. Accommodation is in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms and facilities include a pool, bar, restaurant and internet.
In the morning our Budget Lesotho & Garden Route Tour travels inland, taking us over breathtaking mountain passes of the Outeniqua Mountains; which separate the coast from the semi-arid Klein (Small) Karoo region. Leaving the green belt along the ocean we make our way to Oudtshoorn, a historic Karoo town famed for the Cango Caves and the ostrich farms.
Arriving in the Oudtshoorn area we make our way to the Cango Caves. This underground cave network is made up of a grand complex of interconnected caverns and passageways. We take a tour of the caves to see the magnificent stalagmites and stalactites in the large limestone caves.
Our overnight stay in Oudtshoorn is at a resort campsite with a pool, internet, drinkable water and shared ablution facilities.
Today we drive along the well-known Route 62, passing through the barren Klein Karoo on our way to the Cape Whale Route. We stop to sample the homemade confectionaries and baked goods, and browse local arts and crafts, at one of the many quaint and unique farmstalls along the Route 62. One of our colourful stops is at a quirky bar, with an eye-catching name - Ronnie's Sex Shop - which is actually just a country pub.
Our next destination is the coastal town of Hermanus, the top whale watching hotspot in the country. Tonight we stay in en-suite rooms at a comfortable hotel overlooking the ocean. In the evening you are free to relax at the hotel or eat out with your fellow travel companions.
Start the day with a scenic stroll along the seaside boardwalk for some fresh air and whale watching in season. During whale watching season (July to November) southern right whales are commonly sighted off the coast here.
Leaving Hermanus we drive west along the Cape Whale Coast Route to Betty's Bay and the nearby Stony Point Nature Reserve. Visiting the Stony Point reserve we encounter one of the world's largest breeding colonies of African Penguins and endangered cormorant species. Next, we stop in at a wine farm in the Stellenbosch region of the famous Cape Winelands. Here you are treated to a Chocolate & Wine Tasting to sample the decadent delights of the Western Cape.
Then we make our way towards the iconic Table Mountain and Cape Town. Completing the last leg of our Overland Camping Tour through Southern Africa, our memorable journey ends in the beautiful city of Cape Town.
This southbound Durban to Cape Town via Lesotho Safari is also available in the reverse order as the Cape Town to Durban Safari via Lesotho starting in Cape Town and ending in Durban.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
More on this Discounted Tour
View all Discount Safaris & Specials