- Trip Outline
A 4WD escapade through a beautiful and diverse rainbow nation, we visit many magical nature reserves, 3 kingdoms, 3 countries. We traverse the Swazi, Zulu, and Lesotho Kingdoms all with a rich cultural heritage; we camp along the warm Indian Ocean. In the Kruger National Park, we go on long game drives looking for the Big 5 and learning about all the fauna and flora of this amazing place.
DAY 1, 25 November, South Africa, GRASKOP (Lodge -LD)
After a meet and greet at the Johannesburg International Airport we start with the highlands meander and continue onto the panorama route with few regions of the world that can match the extreme beauty of the escarpment and the Lowveld. Mpumalanga is where mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls, and forests characterize the landscape.
We visit God's Window, Bourke’s luck potholes, and The Three Rondavels in the Blyde River Canyon (3rd largest canyon in the world) before staying in a lodge on the edge of the escarpment. For the more adventurous there is an opportunity to do a gorge swing over the edge of the escarpment.
DAYs 2-3, 26&27 November, South Africa, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (camping 2xB 2xL 2xD)
This is one of the most famous wildlife parks in the world. It has the greatest variety of animals of any park in Africa, including the Big Five as well as cheetah, giraffe, hippo, and many species of antelope and small game. The parks’ census includes 147 mammals, 507 birds, 114 reptiles, and 336 different trees. The campsites are excellent and the infrastructure is well kept with hot showers. Early morning starts ensure the best results for spotting lions, giraffe, and the mighty elephant.
DAY 5; 6 & 7. The 29, 30 November & 1 December, Mozambique, INHAMBANE (Holiday House, BLD)
Today is a long drive day through coastal towns and markets with intermitted stops. Our campsite is set just meters away from the bountiful ocean. Local fishermen pass us with the daily catch.
Set amongst many coconut trees, Tofu has a local market with many colourful paintings and curios in this vibrant village. This is a great place to meet the friendly locals and catch up on daily news. Dhow rides, snorkeling, scuba diving (own expense), and swimming in the warm ocean are some of the activities that are available.
DAY 4&8, 28 November 2 December, Mozambique, BILENE (Camping, BLD)
Bilene, also known as Praia do Bilene, is a town in southern Mozambique, northeast of Maputo. It is known as a beach resort, lying on the Mozambique Channel. Noted for its calm and clear lagoon, the Uembje Lagoon gives way to the pounding Indian Ocean behind tall dunes. It is also where the president has his holiday home!
DAY 9&10, 3&4 December, Swaziland, HLANE NATURE RESERVE, SWAZILAND (Camping, BLD)
After a cultural visit and traditional dance at Mantenga Nature Reserve, we make our way to the beautiful Hlane NP. Once the royal hunting grounds, it now serves as one of Africa’s best places to see white rhino on foot. The next morning we follow a local guide outside of our vehicles in the thrilling experience that gives us a chance of tracking and listening for the variety of smaller animals and birds which is often passed by on game drives.
DAY 11, 12&13, 5, 6&7 December, South Africa, KOSI BAY (Lodge, BLD)
Our accommodation is set between the trees of these spectacular dune forests where we can kick off our shoes and walk around in the white sand. Kosi Bay Nature Reserve covers a region of fertile estuary, mangroves, dune forest, and lakes which we explore. We visit Bunga Neck and the Kosi Bay river mouth to watch the local fisherman in the estuary, with their traditional fish kraals. We visit some lakes edge and enjoy a picnic in the park. We could also charter a boat for sunset on the lakes. (Own expense)
DAY 14, 8 December, South Africa, ST. LUCIA (Lodge, BL-)
This is an awesome opportunity to spot wildlife like the famous Rhino and Hippo along the Estuary and Ocean Reserve on a boat cruise and self-game drive. We will take a walk along the beach to see the colorful and interesting rock pools, that trap many of the little sea creatures. – Tonight we enjoy a meal out a local restaurant [own expense].
DAY 15, 9 December, South Africa, DURBAN (Lodge, B--)
Durban is a sophisticated cosmopolitan city of over three million people - a city where east meets west - a city beneath which beats the pulse of Africa - a city known as the home of Africa's best-managed, busiest port. Durban’s beachfront rates as one of the most beautiful and people-friendly in the world. We will enjoy a city tour through this interesting capital of KwaZulu Natal. Ushakaland, the Soccer Stadium, and Durban Harbor are some of the sites we will visit –lunch and dinner out a local restaurant [own expense]
DAY 16, 10 December, South Africa, SANI PASS (camping B, L, D)
We will touch Lesotho and drive up the famous Sani Pass to visit the highest Pub in Africa with an outstanding view over the South African Sani Pass valley. We will camp, and depending on the weather, either at the top or bottom of the mountain.
DAY 17, 18&19, 11, 12&13 November, South Africa, ROYAL NATIONAL PARK (camping, BLD)
Rising up to 3,482 meters, referred to as ‘barrier of spears’, Drakensberg is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa. The mountains are home to some spectacular fauna and flora including forest, scrub, and fynbos and the birdlife make up 37% of all non-marine bird species in Southern Africa.
Caves are easily found and many have rock paintings of the Bushmen which date back to 40,000 years ago. We have 2 days to explore Waterfalls, Cascades pools, Bushmen paintings, and the rural Zulu Culture.
DAY 20, 14 December, South Africa, Johannesburg, TOUR ENDS (B - -)
After a relaxing morning and a big breakfast, we will travel back to Johannesburg. We arrive there at about 15:00 pm.