SOUTH AFRICAN EXPLORER - 12 DAYS

Blyde River Canyon DamDAY 1 Johannesburg – Panoramic Route

Our first day on tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. After exploring this quaint old town, we continue to Sabie where we have a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to visit Lone Creek Falls.

DAY 2  Panoramic Route – Private Reserve

Elephant pushing.jpgWe travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such the Pinnacle, God’s Window, Lisbon Falls, Bourke's Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to this unique trick of nature is worth the effort), and the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We walk along the cliffs to really appreciate the breathtaking views.  Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve,  a part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This afternoon our encounter with Africa's wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting).

DAY 3  Private Reserve -  Kruger National Park

After an early morning open vehicle game drive, and conditions permitting, a hike on foot searching for the animals, we enjoy breakfast an then leave for the Kruger National Park. We spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. We overnight in chalets in one of the rest camps in the park.

pic5.jpgDAY 4  Kruger National Park – Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and have breakfast on a deck overlooking the Sabie River. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland. We travel via Piggs Peak through magnificent mountain scenery and visit the Ngwenya glass factory where all the products are hand made from recycled glass. We drive through Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland, before travelling to our overnight stop, the

DAY 5 Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Rhino and CalfValley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on another exiting open vehicle safaris continuing into the evening. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.  

DAY 6  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

Lake St LuciaAfter an early breakfast, we travel to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the "deep". After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.overnight.

DAY 7 Durban – South Coast – Wild Coast

oribi2.The drive from Durban along the South Coast takes you through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and some beautiful little beaches. We turn inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei, and traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streams. We travel via the Wild Coast and check into our hotel along the rugged Wild Coast.

DAY 8  Wild Coast

Wild Coast SeaWe travel to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum we travel further south to and towards the beach again. We travel to our lodge nestled in the middle of the beautiful Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooks the warm Indian Ocean. Overnight Crawfords Beach Lodge.

DAY 9  Wild Coast – Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth

AddoAfter breakfast overlooking the simmering Indian Ocean we depart and this morning's journey takes us to East London, the only river port in South Africa, and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Then travel along the coast and we enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. We visit Grahamstown. The small cathedral city is considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. At the Addo National Elephant Park game reserve we have an excellent chance of an encounter with these giants of the bush amongst other animals. This afternoon we reach Port Elizabeth, the fifth biggest city in the country, set on the shores of the Algoa Bay and also called the “Friendly City”.

Day 10 Garden Route – Knysna

We depart from Port Elizabeth, along the N2 national route to the Storms River Garden_Routewith the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley towering some one hundred and thirty-nine metres above the river. Our next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for “The place of much water”) stretching more than one hundred kilometers of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Now, truly in the famous Garden Route of the Cape, we traverse more magnificently scenic river valley passes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as 'The Heads'. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna offers shopping opportunities of unusual, locally made, art and craft, etc. Overnight at the Fish Eagle Lodge.

Day 11 Garden Route – Knysna – Oudtshoorn

Cango.jpgWe explore the lake areas, the Wilderness National Park and travel via the scenic Montagu Pass to Oudsthoorn also known as the 'Feather Capital' of the world, as by far the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world are found here. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa's foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Overnight at La Plume Guest Lodge.

Day 12  Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Cape Town

After an early start we visit to an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences, including ostrich racing. A ride on the back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. Our route to Mossel Bay takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains via Robinson's Pass. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree, and the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz in 1488. After an early lunch we travel via Swellendam to Cape Town where we arrive late afternoon.

 

 

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TOUR CODE: SC-04
Panorama, 3 rondavels
Duration 12 Days (Departing on Sundays)
What to bring Binoculars, Camera, Bird book, Insect repellent, Sunscreen
Departing from
Johannesburg
Pretoria
O R Tambo International Airport
Departure point All major hotels and guesthouse in Johannesburg, Sandton and Pretoria
Exclusions Lunches, dinner in Durban, costs of a personal nature
Inclusions Guided touring in our 8 seater vehicles, accommodation, breakfasts, dinners except in Durban, conservation fees, boat cruise, entrances, open vehicle safari's where mentioned,
Price from To find the price for your date of travel, kindly click on BOOK NOW, select your departure date and click on time slot. Then enter the number of people travelling to get the per person rate, the total and a deposit amount if available to book your tour.
Return point All major hotels and guesthouses in Cape Town
Destinations
Johannesburg
Panorama Route
Kruger National Park
Swaziland
Zululand
Coastal
Garden Route
Countrywide
Tour ends
Cape Town
What to wear Well worn-in neutral coloured cool clothes, Worn-in walking shoes, One set of warmer clothing with a jacket for the evening and morning safaris and during our winter months from May until August, Smart casual clothing for the evenings along the Garden Route.

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