The Great Wildlife Expedition departs from Durban on Mondays and includes some of the most scenic areas in the country, but the main focus is on the almost 5 days of safari, both in two private reserves and the Kruger National Park. It also includes a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! The scenery also includes the Panorama Route, eSwathini (former Swaziland) mountains and the Zululand forests and lakes. The tour ends in Johannesburg in the afternoon of the sixth day.
DAY 1 St Lucia – Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park – Private Reserve (Wildlife safari and scenery)
Our first day on this wildlife safari and scenery tour takes us northwards towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand – home of the mighty Zulu nation and visit the village of St Lucia for a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in December 1999). Crocodiles, hippos, birds like the fish eagle and wildlife are in abundance. After lunch (optional) we travel to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, where the rhino was saved from extinction and home to the shy nyala and the Big Five. We exit the park early evening and drive to our private lodge for dinner and overnight at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge.
DAY 2 Swaziland
We join an early morning open vehicle safari to search for the African wildlife awakening. After breakfast, we head northwards and continue to Swaziland. We enter the Onverwacht border post and follow a scenic route via Nhlangano to Manzini, where crossing every hill leads to a new vista and in the Malkerns Valley we find excellent shopping opportunities. We visit Swazi Candles, where the locals hand-mould wax into a wide variety of colorful candles. The hand-craft market, a batik factory outlet, and other interesting shops are a delight for all our tourists. Forester’s Arms.
DAY 3 Kruger National Park
We visit the capital, Mbabane, in Swazi and the Ngwenya Glass factory. All the products are hand made from recycled glass. We continue through magnificent mountain scenery via Piggs Peak and leave Swaziland entering the Kruger National Park in the south. We complete the day with adventurous game viewing and overnight in chalets in a rest camp within the park.
DAY 4 Explore Kruger National Park – Private Reserve
Today we spend most of the morning in the Kruger private game reserve for check-in. We embark on an open vehicle game viewing drive, for the rest of the afternoon. At night we find nocturnal animals with high-powered spotligts for optimum viewing later at night. A sumptuous dinner under the stars in a “Boma” enclosure around a campfire (weather permitting) rounds the day off. Overnight Mohlabetsi Safari Lodge.
DAY 5 Panoramic Route
After an early morning open vehicle safari in the famous Kruger National Park and breakfast we depart from this paradise. We enter the escarpment of Mpumalanga via Abel Erasmus Pass. We stop at the Three Rondavels view site of the Blyde River Canyon and walk along the steep cliffs to enjoy a better view of the magnificent scenery. The next stop is Bourke’s Luck Potholes. A hike down the hill to view this unique trick of nature is worth the effort. Visits to Lisbon Falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle are rewarding experiences. Continue via Graskop to Sabie where we overnight at Ligna Lodge.
DAY 6 Panoramic Route – Johannesburg
We do a pleasant walk through the indigenous forest to visit Lone Creek Falls. At MacMac Falls, trails take you to the spot where the rush for alluvial gold started in 1873. Our “gold rush” culminates with a visit to Pilgrim’s Rest, a fine example of a gold mining town initially built in the 19th Century. Stroll through the town and experience this little town which is now a national monument. We continue via Robber’s Pass, Lydenburg and the well known Dullstroom and arrive late afternoon in Johannesburg,
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6 Day Great Wildlife Explorer (Code: SCMD) – Johannesburg to Durban