This Wildlife Explorer is a shorter version of the Wildlife Expedition (SCMD), excluding one night in a private reserve, making it more affordable, but still almost 4 days of wildlife viewing including the boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! The scenery includes the Panorama Route, Swaziland and the Zululand forests and lakes.
DAY 1. Gauteng – Panoramic Route (wildlife safari)
This wildlife safari takes us via Middelburg and Dullstroom to the Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We visit scenic areas such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to see this unique trick of nature is worth the experience), Lisbon Falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle before a short visit to Pilgrim’s Rest, an early gold mining town declared a National Monument. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the last century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. Overnight Ligna Lodge.
DAY 2. Panoramic Route – Kruger National Park
After an early breakfast, we do a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to see the Lone Creek Falls. Then we follow a scenic route to Hazyview and enter the Kruger National Park. We spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. We overnight in the reserve in chalets in one of the rest camps.
DAY 3. Kruger National Park – Swaziland
After an early rise depart on an open vehicle safari and breakfast afterwards on a deck overlooking the Sabie River. You spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland for a visit to the Ngwenya glass factory where all the items are hand made from recycled glass. After a drive through the capital, Mababane, continue to Mhlambanyatsi where we overnight in the mountains at Forester’s Arms.
DAY 4. Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve
This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley 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. Continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and swing south on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland and enter Zululand to travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on an exiting open vehicle safari continuing into the evening. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight. Overnight Zulu Nyala Game Lodge.
DAY 5. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban
After an early breakfast, we travel to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in this Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. We travel to the village of St Lucia. 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 other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca, where our tour ends.
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5 Day Wildlife Explorer (Code: SCDG) – Durban to Johannesburg