Southern Africa at its finest in an attraction packed 20-day overland tour. Take an adventure through three of the nation’s best wildlife parks; Kruger and Addo Elephant on safari game drives in pursuit of the Big Five. Appreciate the rich and diverse cultures of the Zulu, Swazi and the Basotho people of Lesotho. Head to the coast for rugged beaches and take in the spectacular Garden Route icons Tsitsikamma and Hermanus.
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve, MpumalangaDeparting from South Africa’s administrative city, Pretoria, we drive across the scenic Mpumalanga province and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery before heading to the Panorama Route where we view Blyde River Canyon. We make our way to Hazyview bordering Kruger. Fences between the National Park and surrounding private reserves were removed several years ago to form the Greater Kruger, an area of some 24000 sq km. Wildlife is free to roam the whole enormous area and it has become incredibly diverse in both fauna and flora. From the dwarf mongoose to the famed ‘Big Five’, almost every major African mammal is present. There is also prolific birdlife and over 330 varieties of trees. This evening we enjoy our first night under the African stars.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Private Kruger Safaris, Hazyview, MpumalangaWaking at sunrise, we eagerly wait for Park Rangers to open the park gates to let us enter the wilds of Kruger for an intense yet rewarding day of game tracking with our eagle-eyed guide at the wheel. Kruger is home to over 505 species of birds, 148 species of mammals and many reptiles which we enthusiastically search for during the morning and afternoon. The impressive atmosphere of the park enables you to understand why it is held in such high esteem amongst wildlife lovers from all over the world. We avoid the hot midday sun and enjoy the peacefulness the rest camp has to offer. There are many facilities available for game viewers such as restaurants, souvenir stores and swimming pools. We return to our camp in the late afternoon, happily exhausted and highly satisfied with the day’s events. For those wanting more game driving there may be the option of heading out on a night safari. Early evening, we all enjoy a lovely dinner gathered around the warm fire crackling in the stillness of night.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Private Kruger Safaris, Hazyview, MpumalangaAfter a light sunrise breakfast, we re-enter the Park in an open 4x4 safari vehicle for our second day’s game diving day. With cameras and binoculars on hand we spend the morning and afternoon winding along beaten tracks and marked routes encountering many species which are indigenous to this region. Kruger has over two million hectares of unrivalled diversity of ecosystems boasting an incredible concentration of wildlife and we hope to encounter some of these including the ‘Big 5’ - elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. We return to our camp during the late afternoon.* Kruger National Park is included in the Adventure Pass* For travellers not making use of the Adventure Pass, alternate optional activities may be available todayDuration: 1 dayStop At: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Ezulwini, Hhohho DistrictLeaving Hazyview, we travel south along the edge of the Kruger National Park, passing many farming towns and Shangaan settlements. After a short stop in Nelspruit, the road takes us through lush citrus farms before crossing the Crocodile River and into the Kingdom of Swaziland, a land-locked country snuggled between Mozambique and South Africa. Arriving at Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, our base for the next two nights is Swaziland’s oldest protected area located in the stunning Ezulwini Valley, 'Valley of Heavens’.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Ezulwini, Hhohho DistrictWaking to the sounds of grunting antelope and wild exotic birds, we enjoy breakfast soaking up the natural beauty of our surroundings. A short drive through the sanctuary brings us to the Royal Enclosure where we discover an abundance of history and culture about the last African monarchy-controlled country. A local Swazi guide walks us through a traditional village explaining many customs and rituals. After leisure time browsing street side markets and trying our hand bartering with crafters, we find our way back to the sanctuary for lunch. This afternoon we recommend you participate in some of the many activities offered in the sanctuary such as horseback trails, game drives, mountain bike riding, and guided walks or just enjoy some rejuvenating time-out sun tanning around the cool swimming pool with a good book. There are over forty species of animals found here including the exotic species such as Honey Badger, Dwarf Mongoose, Aardwolf, Striped Polecat and the more common including Hippo, Ostrich, Kudu, Zebra and Baboon. Enjoy cool sun downers and admiring the view overlooking the hippo pool while our crew prepares a delicious dinner.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Saint Lucia Estuary, St Lucia, KwaZulu-NatalLeaving this amazing sanctuary behind us, we travel south through the Swazi countryside before crossing the border and re-entering South Africa via the KwaZulu-Natal province. We head to the small coastal town of St Lucia, set amongst the wild beaches and a tropical estuary. This afternoon, we join the river cruise on the St. Lucia Lagoon viewing many Hippo pods, lazy crocodiles, and numerous bird species on the sandy banks, or cooling down in the water for a refreshing swim. After dinner, we have the opportunity to relax in the camp's gardens gazing up into the clear southern hemisphere sky, star watching.*St Lucia Estuary cruise is included in the Adventure PassDuration: 1 dayStop At: Umhlanga Main Beach, Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-NatalThis morning is yours at leisure to explore the town and the numerous shops and markets stalls or simply relax in the campsite’s stunning settings. We leave St Lucia mid-morning and drive through pine forests and sugar cane fields to one of Africa’s largest commercial ports, Durban. The afternoon is yours at leisure to enjoy what this city has on offer and a vibrant night life. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Umhlanga Main Beach, Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-NatalToday is a day of leisure to explore the beauty Durban has to offer. Head to the Durban beachfront, known as the Golden Mile and visit the colourful flea markets and the stretch of numerous quality restaurants with a view. A must is to try a delicious local dish, the Durban Curry. Visit uShaka Marine World, Africa’s biggest marine theme park boasting the largest collection of sharks in the Southern Hemisphere. You may choose to partake in scuba diving or find your thrill on the water slides. For the more adventurous, why not take a leap from the 'big swing' at the Moses Mabhida stadium which offers 360 degrees views of Durban.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Sani Pass, Underberg, KwaZulu-NatalToday we head inland and drive via Pietermaritzburg and the lush mountainous countryside to our camp for the next two nights at Sani Lodge. This magnificent place is situated at the foot of the Sani Pass, the gateway to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Once a mule track for trading blankets, clothing and maize meal for wool and mohair. This stunning pass is the only vehicle access road over the Drakensberg escarpment. This afternoon is yours at leisure to enjoy the spectacular views and the many amazing walking and hiking trails. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Sani Pass, Underberg, KwaZulu-NatalToday, we meet our local guides and join a guided tour of Lesotho via the spectacular gateway of the Sani Pass (2874 m). We travel in 4x4 vehicles through the rugged cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains listening to the tales of pioneering of the route, history of the area and the stunning wildlife that dot the sloping mountains. We drive further into Lesotho and visit a small household and a shearing shed in a Shepherds village. We experience a local way of life and depending on the season and shearing times, we may get to view an angora goat or a sheep been sheared by hand. Next on the list we ascend the Black Mountain, the second highest road pass in Lesotho rising 3240m for a picnic lunch overlooking the majestic views. After lunch we meet the shepherds of the area who spend the summer months tending to their flocks before taking a short walk to view Thabana Ntlenyana. Rising at 3482m, this is the highest point in Southern Africa. We return to our camp for the night stopping en-route for a beverage at the highest bar in Africa at the Sani Mountain Lodge. * Sani Pass excursion is included in the Adventure PassDuration: 1 dayStop At: Drakensberg Mountains, KwaZulu-NatalToday we take in some history and take a drive to the Battlefields. Soaked with the blood of thousands of British, Boer (Dutch-speaking farmers) and Zulu soldiers, the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal hold a deep-seated silence that speaks to the many lives lost here. We stop off at some of the historic sites. We retire to our lodge in the late afternoon where we can enjoy some table tennis, foosball, pool or chill in the nearby rock pool.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Royal Natal National Park, KwaZulu-NatalWe pack up our day packs ready to go and travel the short distance to the Royal Natal National Park entry gate. This leading KwaZulu-Natal reserve offers wonderfully scenic views, lofty mountains and waterfalls in a prime location within the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. There are many optional trails to explore on foot and on horseback with a comprehensive guidebook available for visitors. Walkers and hikers can enjoy short journeys which take about an hour, or longer excursions over a half or full day. This is a great way to explore the stunning picturesque surroundings at the foot of the Drakensberg, including the well-known Amphitheatre rock face. We also get to visit some ancient cave dwelling and witness bush rock art sights. Satisfied and with our muscles stretched for the day, we enjoy the stillness and crispy clean air of the Drakensberg over a wholesome dinner.Note: This day may alter to an alternative hiking trail due to poor visibility or severe weather conditionsDuration: 1 dayStop At: Malealea Lodge, Lesotho - Pony Trekking & MTBDeparting the Drakensberg this morning, we drive around the northern section of Lesotho re-entering at the Maseru Bridge Gate. We drive south over the rolling mountain ranges via the narrow passes to Malealea Lodge, high in the mountainside. Situated in the Mafeteng District of remote Western Lesotho, Malealea Lodge offers many optional activities to get to know the local culture amidst breath-taking scenery. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Malealea Lodge, Lesotho - Pony Trekking & MTBToday you have a free day to explore this beautiful mountainous country on the many optional activities on offer. Venture on a mountain bike into the mountains climbing and descending the narrow paths with spectacular views. Enjoy a hike at leisure and mingle with the local Basotho people as they tend to their day to day duties. But most of all, no visit to Lesotho would be complete without a pony trek. Trails traverse hair-raising narrow mountain tracks and visit some of Lesotho’s amazing waterfalls. You can explore Bushman paintings of the area and experience Basotho culture all on a day’s ride. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Mountain Zebra National Park, Cradock, Eastern CapeGetting an early start, we leave the Lesotho highlands and cross back into South Africa and through stunning diverse country to the Mountain Zebra National Park. At 284km², this park is home to over 700 animals including eland, cape buffalo, cheetah, lion, caracal, black rhino and the bat eared fox, not to be missed! However, the highlight of the park's mammalian fauna is the over 700 Cape mountain zebra after which the park is named. With a camera and binoculars at hand, we game drive in our overland truck in search for these animals en-route to our camp for the evening located inside the National Park. Duration: 1 dayStop At: Addo Elephant National Park, Addo Elephant National Park, Greater Addo, Eastern CapeToday, we drive to the Addo Elephant National Park where we spend the day exploring the park for some serious animal spotting. Addo can exclusively claim to be the only national park in the world to conserve the “Big 7” – the Big 5 as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay coast. This wonderful park is sanctuary to over 600 elephants, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species – so you are sure to spot many animals during your time here! After an enjoyable day’s safari, we make our way to our accommodation, which is situated a few metres from the beachfront just outside of Port Elizabeth.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Tsitsikamma National Park, Tsitsikamma National Park, Eastern CapeWe rise early and make our way over to the exciting adventures at Storms River within the Tsitsikamma forest. Tsitsikamma National Park is a multi-dimensional destination with dramatic coastal scenery, reefs, rivers, lush forest and delicate Fynbos. A hiking and birders paradise, this region forms the top section of the magnificent Garden Route National Park. It’s here you have the option to choose from a selection of optional activities depending on your energy and interests. From boat cruises and canoe trips to nature hikes and bird watching, the forest has something to offer for most visitors’ curiosity and exploration desires. Alternatively, visit the famous Bloukrans Bridge where you could be tempted to a jump off the highest bungee jump. Duration: 1 dayStop At: OudtshoornAfter breakfast we’re off to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. Oudtshoorn is the ostrich capital of the world with a number of farms based in the dry Karoo. This region is home to the spectacular Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, here we find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations. After exploring the caves, we enjoy the night in the old settlers’ town in the Karoo.* Cango Caves tour is included in the Adventure PassDuration: 1 dayStop At: Hermanus BackpackersRelaxed and revitalized from the wonderful Oudtshoorn hospitality, we board our vehicle and head south across the farmlands of the Cape to the coastal town of Hermanus, famous for its whale and dolphin sightings. En route we stop off at Cape Agulhas, the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, lying at the southernmost tip of Africa. Historically, the ‘Cape’ coastline has been recognised by sailors as extremely hazardous, notorious for winter storms with huge rogue waves reaching a spectacular height of 30 metres. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the coastline is littered with lonely ship wrecks. We visit the gigantic lighthouse built as early as 1848 before enjoying a lunch break. The afternoon is spent exploring Hermanus, a haven for the outdoor enthusiast! We spend the night enjoying the town’s atmosphere, inhaling the cool breeze.Duration: 1 dayStop At: Ashanti Lodge GardensA free morning in Hermanus gives us ample opportunity to join a whale watching tour or explore the town’s variety of shops and boardwalk on foot or visit the Old Harbour Open-Air Museum that is a provincial heritage site. This museum is unique as it is only one of two fishing harbours in the world that has been conserved intact and remnants of the vibrant fishing industry can be seen everywhere. The museum is the axis around which the fishing village of Hermanus was developed. We leave Hermanus before lunch and follow the rough coastal route taking a leisurely drive through small fishing towns. We visit a winery en route to Cape Town where we enjoy wine tasting. The tour draws to an end towards late afternoon at the foot of Table Mountain in the popular mother city of South Africa, Cape Town. Duration: 1 day