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A comprehensive camping tour of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. This tour starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Drive into the heart of the Cape Winelands and onwards to Oudtshoorn and Cango Caves in the Small Karoo. Head to the scenic Garden Route to explore Plettenberg Bay, Nature’s Valley and Tsitsikamma National Park. Then, go game viewing in Addo Elephant National Park and visit historic Graaff Reinet and the Valley of Desolation in the Karoo, before we travel into the mountains of Lesotho for hiking and optional pony trekking. Next, we experience the Royal Natal National Park and the city of Durban. We then journey to iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park, before crossing into Swaziland to soak up the scenery in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
From Swaziland, it's off to South Africa's premier game reserve, Kruger National Park, for superb game viewing. After Kruger, we drive along the Panoramic Route to Johannesburg, where our South African Safari of a lifetime comes to an end.
This Southern African Camping Safari starts in Cape Town, where you have the option of doing a cultural tour (included in the Activity Package). If you choose to do the cultural tour, you will set off from the city at 08h00 in smaller tour vehicles with a private tour company.
This tour goes to the historic District Six part of the city and informal settlements for a glimpse into the dynamic culture and hard realities of township life in South Africa. After the cultural tour you return to the city to meet up with the rest of the group and your guides.
Departing from beautiful Cape Town we travel to a scenic wine farm near Stellenbosch, where you have the option of sampling fine wines and cheeses produced locally (included in the Activity Package). Then we continue to the charming town of Stellenbosch for lunch (own account) at one of the excellent restaurants in this historic town. After lunch you can walk around Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa.
In the evening, your guide can take you to a restaurant near the hotel for an optional dinner out. We overnight in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms at a hotel in the Cape Winelands, enjoying the pool, bar and internet facilities.
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.
On day two of our Southern Africa overland adventure, we drive inland along the famous Route 62 towards Oudtshoorn. Our drive takes us into the sparsely populated, semi-arid Small Karoo - inland of the coastal Garden Route. If time permits we stop in at a quirky pub, with the eye-catching name; Ronnie's Sex Shop. The Route 62 is famous for its quaint farm stalls, local wines and its arts and crafts.
Arriving in the Oudtshoorn area, we visit an ostrich farm for a quick tour. Oudtshoorn is famous for its abundance of ostriches and is the best place in the country to see the world's largest birds.
We camp at a resort in Oudtshoorn with facilities including a pool, shared ablutions and internet.
This morning we visit the Cango Caves, taking a guided tour of the elaborate underground cave system (included in Activity Package). The Cango Caves are some of the most impressive limestone caverns and the different formations are quite astonishing. After our subterranean excursion, we return to the coast traversing the scenic Outeniqua Mountains en route to the much-loved Garden Route.
We head to Plettenberg Bay, one of the top beach holiday destinations on the Garden Route. This evening you can eat out in Plettenberg Bay and tonight we stay near the town. Our accommodation is in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms and facilities include a pool, bar, restaurant and internet.
Spend day four enjoying optional outdoor and adventure activities, or lazing on the beautiful beaches of Plett, as Plettenberg is known locally. Your guide can help you organise activities and the safari truck moves between selected points on a set schedule to enable you to move between highlights. You can go to Nature’s Valley this afternoon to hike along the coast and relax on the unspoilt beaches - enjoying the peace of this scenic hideaway. Later in the afternoon, a short drive takes us to the Storms River near Bloukrans Bridge, further along the renowned Garden Route.
On day five we explore the scenic coastal region of Tsitsikamma National Park. One of South Africa’s natural treasures, the Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates rich marine ecosystems, lush indigenous forests and fynbos-covered hills. While in Tsitsikamma we walk the first stretch of the Otter Trail, one of the most famous hiking trails in the country. Alternatively you can walk along the boardwalks at Storms River Mouth, crossing the suspension bridge along the way.
In the afternoon you are free to join optional adventure activities, including a treetop canopy tour on a zip-line through the forest. Adventure-seekers can bungee jump off the 216m high Bloukraans Bridge (the highest commercial bungee jump in the world) for a full-on adrenalin rush.
On night four and five we camp at a Tsitsikamma hotel or inn, featuring a bar, internet, shared ablutions and laundry services.
Our journey through South Africa continues along the Garden Route and into the rustic Eastern Cape Province. Along the way we stop off in Jeffreys Bay, one of the top surfing spots in Africa. Visit the surfing museum, take a quick surf or sit back and watch the waves with a cup of coffee.
Then we head to a private game farm near Addo Elephant National Park, which is home to one of the densest populations of African elephants in the world. In the afternoon we embark on a game drive in Addo Park in our safari truck. This massive game park also boasts the ‘Big Seven’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark) as the game park includes both land and marine habitats.
For the next two nights we camp at a lodge with shared ablution facilities, internet, laundry services and a bar.
This morning we set off into the game-rich Addo Elephant Park on foot, to experience the bush and see African wildlife. Walking in the rugged bush is an exhilarating experience as we may come across Africa’s big game, along with other creatures, at any moment.
In the afternoon we embark on a game drive in Addo Elephant National Park, exploring the bush in our safari truck. The truck provides an elevated vantage for scanning the bush for wildlife and birds.
On day eight we travel to Graaff Reinet in the semi-arid Karoo. The Karoo is known for its expansive, flat landscapes with big sheep farms and a scattering of remote towns.
Time allowing you can join an optional historical tour of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa, this afternoon. Alternatively, take a walk around the town on your own to do some sightseeing. This small Karoo town has one of the highest concentrations of monuments in the country.
Later this afternoon we drive to the nearby Valley of Desolation to enjoy sundowners and admire the breathtaking views of the dramatic landscapes and the historic town.
Today we leave South Africa, crossing the Gariep (Orange) River and entering mountainous Lesotho, known as the Kingdom in the Sky. Lesotho is one of the highest countries in the world, with the entire country lying over 1000m above sea level.
Day 10 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. You have the chance to go pony trekking in the hills (optional) this afternoon. On the pony trek, Lesotho villagers will guide you along secluded mountain trails with breathtaking views.
We camp at a mountain lodge with shared ablution facilities and a bar on day nine and ten.
On day 11, we return to South Africa, staying in the mountains where we visit the Royal Natal (Ukhahlamba Drakensberg) National Park. Along the way we pause at a vulture centre and drive through the impressive landscapes of the Golden Gate National Park in South Africa.
We spend the next day exploring mountain paths and enjoying the beauty the towering Drakensberg Mountains. The Drakensberg Mountains are South Africa’s highest peaks, also widely considered the most beautiful.
On the morning of day 12 we set off on a hike in the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg National Park, where we have the chance to meet with local guides and view San rock paintings. Alternatively, you can enjoy optional outdoor activities or simply unwind in the scenic Drakensberg Mountains.
Our campsite, with shared ablution facilities, is at a resort with a pool, bar, internet and laundry services.
Our Southern African journey takes us through some amazing scenery on our way down to the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Along the way we stop at the monument that marks the place where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. After visiting the site where this famous Nobel Peace Prize laureate and political icon was taken as a political prisoner, we stop to admire Howick Falls and enjoy the views.
In the late afternoon we enter the bustling city of Durban, South Africa’s largest port and well-known surfing destination. This evening you can go out for a meal at one of the excellent Indian restaurants and sample the lively nightlife of Durban. We stay in en-suite rooms at a hotel in Durban tonight.
Day 14 gets off to a leisurely start, leaving you free to explore Durban, visit Ushaka Marine World and enjoy the sunshine and sandy beaches.
Departing from Durban in the afternoon, we travel north along the east coast of South Africa making our way into Zululand, to the Isimangaliso Wetland Park this afternoon. Formerly known as the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, this natural area was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site to be declared in South Africa.
This evening we experience Zulu culture - sampling the local Ilala Palm beer unique to this region, learning a few Zulu language basics and finding out more about Zulu traditions. For the next two nights we stay in twin rooms with en-suite bathrooms in this scenic natural area.
Today we drive to nearby Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for a morning game drive (included in Activity Package) in this wildlife-rich wilderness area. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve is famous for its rhino conservation successes, hosting one of the world's largest white rhino populations. Hluhluwe and Imfolozi together make up one of Kwa-Zulu Natal's best game parks - the oldest game reserve in Africa.
We take a game drive in open 4x4 vehicles exploring the only state-run park in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where all Big Five occur. After our morning of bird watching and game viewing in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, we drive back to Isimangaliso.
After a short rest we enjoy a sunset boat cruise (included in Activity Package) on the iSimangaliso lagoon for some excellent bird and hippo watching! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is extremely varied and includes habitats of: lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands together supporting an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life.
Next we cross into Swaziland to explore the beautiful Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, the oldest reserve in Swaziland.
Covering 4 560 hectares of open grassland plains and towering mountains this wildlife refuge is a scenic delight. Soak up the beautiful scenery of Ezulwini Valley - 'the Valley of Heaven', or embark on one of the optional activities.
Options include game drives, Swazi cultural experiences, mountain biking and hiking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Walking is a popular activity here as there are no large predators and there variety of self-guided hikes to get up close to the local flora and fauna - a fascinating way to explore nature.
We overnight near Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, at a campsite with shared ablution facilities.
Day 17 begins with a scenic walk in nature, setting off into Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary on foot to appreciate the fauna and flora up close. Heading back into South Africa, we stop to visit a craft market before leaving Swaziland, which is known for its exceptional local arts and crafts.
Crossing the border back into South Africa this afternoon, we drive north through the scenic Mpumalanga Province to Kruger National Park. The world-famous Kruger Park, covers almost two million hectares (19485km²) of untamed bushveld in north-eastern South Africa. This is one of Africa's best game parks, renowned not only for its sizeable populations of the Big Five of Africa (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo) but for the spectacular array of other wild animals, reptiles, insects and birds.
We spend the next two days on safari in the massive Kruger National Park going in search of predators, such as cheetahs, wild dogs and hyenas, and prey, such as springbok, kudus and bushbuck. Other inhabitants commonly sighted include hippos, impalas, zebras, giraffes and warthogs to name just a few.
Going on game drives in the safari truck provides an elevated vantage that helps you to see over the bush and take photos of the surroundings and wild creatures encountered.
Today we get up early and make our way into South Africa's premier national park, Kruger Park, for a rewarding day of game viewing.
If you have opted for the Activity Package then you take a full-day game drive in an open 4x4 safari vehicle in Kruger National Park - one of the world’s most famous nature conservation areas. Exploring the reserve in an open 4x4 brings you close to nature allowing you to view and photograph the animals and birds without windows between you, immersing you in the bush. Travellers who did not take the Activity Package explore Kruger in the safari vehicle with your tour guide.
Later this afternoon there is an opportunity to embark on an optional sundowner game drive.
On our final day, we travel along one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, the Panorama Route, stopping for breathtaking views at Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. This South African Safari Adventure ends on arrival in Johannesburg, but most groups choose to enjoy an optional dinner together. Our post-tour lodge offers a traditional braai (barbecue) which can be booked through your guide the previous day.
This northbound Southern African Safari is also available in the reverse order, starting in Johannesburg and ending in Cape Town, check out the South African Safari Southbound and as an accommodated tour - Cape Town to Kruger Accommodated Overland.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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