From bush to beach; explore South Africa's Panorama Route through Mpumalanga on this South African overland tour, including safari game drives with the opportunity to see the Big 5 in Kruger and Addo National Park. Discover diverse cultures of Swazi, Zulu and Basotho, cruise in St Lucia, visit Durban's rugged beaches, and discover Garden Route icons Knysna, Tsitsikamma and Hermanus.
Day 1. Pretoria to Hazyview Highlights. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa.Heading out from the city we take the road to Mpumalanga Province and the bushveld town of Hazyview. Along the way, we stop off at various points of interest on the famed Panorama Route where you'll soon see why this scenic area was named so.
Day 2-3. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa.This morning we wake early and back our gear onto the 4x4 game viewing vehicles, meet our resident guides and head for the wilds of the Kruger National Park. The day is spent exploring this magnificent wildlife reserve in search of not only the Big 5, but also the many other interesting and exciting wildlife to see.
Day 4. Hazyview to Mlilwane, Swaziland Highlights. Swaziland.Travelling south we continue our overland tour, heading to the Kingdom of Swaziland where, after border formalities, we travel over the hilly countryside to our camp in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland’s oldest protected area located in the stunning Ezulwini Valley, 'Valley of Heavens’.
Day 5. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Highlights. Swaziland Village Tour, Mlilwane Rest Camp, Swaziland.A short drive through the Mliwane Wildlife Sanctuary brings us to the Royal Enclosure where we discover an abundance of history and culture about this 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.
Day 6. Mlilwane to St Lucia, South Africa Highlights. St Lucia River Cruise, South Africa.Leaving 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.
Day 7. St Lucia to DurbanThis 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 from stunning beaches and a vibrant night life.
Day 8. Durban Highlights. Durban City .Today is a free day to explore Durban. 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 over the city.
Day 9. Durban to Underberg AreaAfter a leisurely morning, we head inland and drive to the Southern Drakensberg and the small settlement of Underberg. Nestled in the hills and valleys at the foot of the Drakensberg Mountains, we spend the evening at our camp preparing for our Sani Pass tour tomorrow.
Day 10. Sani Pass Highlights. Sani Pass Excursion.Today, we meet our local guides and join a guided tour of Lesotho via the spectacular gateway of the Sani Pass (2874 m). Travelling in 4x4 vehicles through the rugged cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains we'll enjoy tales of the history and sights of the area. We drive further into Lesotho and visit a small household and a shearing shed in Shepherd's village. Next, on the list, we ascend the Black Mountain, the second highest road pass in Lesotho, 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 3482m, this is the highest point in Southern Africa.
Day 11. Underberg to Northern Drakensberg via Battlefields Highlights. Battlefields - South Africa.We continue on our journey at the foot of the great 'Dragon Mountain' and travel to the Battlefields of KwaZulu Natal. We visit sites of the infamous wars between the British, Boers and Zulu's that took place here. In the late afternoon, we make our way to our camp in the northern Drakensberg Mountains where we spend the night enjoying the fresh mountain air once more.
Day 12. Drakensberg Highlights. Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa.We wake to the sight of the mountains and after a tasty breakfast, we make our way to the Royal Natal National Park.
Day 13. Drakensberg to Malealea, LesothoDriving through the Golden Gate National Park, part of the Drakensberg, we make our way into the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho where we base ourselves for the next 2 nights. Located high in the mountains, Malealea is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounds and get to know the local Basotho culture.
Day 14. Malealea Highlights. Malealea Activities.Today is free to explore! Take a pony trek and travel the traditional way along the mountain tracks on the sure-footed ponies, or alternatively stretch your legs and head out on foot on a guided hike of the area or grab a bicycle and explore the open scenes, villages and countryside.
Day 15. Malealea to Mountain Zebra National Park, South Africa Highlights. Mountain Zebra NP.We bid farewell to the mountain kingdom and wind our way back down to South Africa's Karoo and to the Mountain Zebra National Park. Home to over 700 species of animals including rhino, bat-eared fox, eland, lion, cheetah and buffalo, this magnificent park hosts over 700 mountain zebra's of which the park's name derives from. We game drive in our overland truck in search for these magnificent animals en-route to our camp for the evening located inside the park.
Day 16. Mountain Zebra National Park to Addo to Port Elizabeth Highlights. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.We wake early and drive to the Addo Elephant National Park. 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 a sanctuary to over 600 elephants, lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena and leopard, as well as 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 camp on the coast just outside of Port Elizabeth.
Day 17. Port Elizabeth to Storms River via Tsitsikamma National Park Highlights. Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa.We travel along the coastline to the picturesque Tsitsikamma in the Garden Route National Park. Explore the winding walkways and views from the suspension bridge or head out on a short hike on the first steps of the famed Otter Trail. Alternatively just sit and enjoy the ocean views, fresh salty air and the relaxing scenery.
Day 18. Storms River to Oudtshoorn Highlights. Cango Caves, South Africa.After a morning at leisure, we make our way to Oudtshoorn where we head to the underground world of the Cango Caves - Africa's largest show cave system. Marvel at the underground formations that have taken thousands of years to form.
Day 19. Oudtshoorn to Hermanus Area Highlights. Cape Agulhas Light House, South Africa.From the Ostrich capital we continue on our journey this time heading to Africa's southern-most tip at Cape Agulhus. This is also where the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans meet.
Day 20. Hermanus to Cape Town Highlights. Cape Winelands, South Africa.To wrap up our overland safari tour through South Africa, we head along the scenic coastal road, passing through the smaller Overberg towns and stop off for some wine tasting along the way.
Situated in the heart of Pretoria's diplomatic district, this hotel offers twin/double en-suite rooms, a fully stocked restaurant/bar and a swimming pool for those chilled days.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain and in walking distances to the city centre, Ashanti Lodge Backpackers in Gardens is your gateway to Cape Town. This gorgeous Victorian Mansion offers backpacker dormitories to single, double and twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Chill next to the stunning pool, join the party in the legendary Kumasi Café/Bar with its cool cocktails, tasty food and fabulous mountain views or go explore the city's highlights close by.
* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.
PRE TOUR ACCOMMODATION:
This tour departs Pretoria early on day 1; we strongly recommend therefore that you plan to arrive the day before departure to overcome any jet-lag and acclimatise to Africa. We would be happy to book pre-tour accommodation for you – please call or email us (or speak to your agent) with your arrival details and accommodation requirements. However please book early to avoid disappointment and the risk of having to find more expensive (or less convenient) lodgings.
If time allows, we also suggest planning a night or two extra (after your tour) to make the most of Cape Town and the surrounding area.
ACTIVITIES & EXCURSIONS:
These are optional activities that are booked during your holiday and paid directly to the provider while on tour. These options offer a variety of experiences and allow you the freedom to decide what activities you would like to do.
We use 2-person dome tents with fly sheets, sewn-in groundsheets, zip-up insect screens and foam mattresses. We mainly use campsites, which usually have reasonable wash and shower facilities, electricity points and sometimes even a small shop, bar or swimming pool.
24-seater, self-contained, custom-built safari truck with on-board tables, plug sockets, freezer, water tank, library, I-pod jack, safety features and 70-litre individual lockers, 4x4 safari vehicle.
GAME PARK VISITS:
In order to maximise the quality of game driving and to comply with local authority rulings, some of our National Park visits and game viewing is carried out using services provided by local African ground handlers. As well as enhancing our experience using local guides and smaller vehicles it also allows us to contribute at a ‘grassroots’ level to local economies from which local people benefit.
This is a participation tour and your help will be needed in assisting with the various day to day duties, such as shopping, cooking and keeping the truck tidy (usually on a rota basis). But don’t worry it’s not all hard work and it’s a great way to meet the local people and get to know your fellow travellers. Your contribution benefits the success of the tour - most people find the greater their involvement, the greater their enjoyment of the whole trip. Our accommodated tour option travels together with the camping counterpart.
19 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 16 Dinners
16 nights twin share camping in dome tents, 2 night twin share room (Durban), 1 night dorm (Hermanus)
Every Overland tour has an Adventure Pass which is paid to your tour leader in Africa at the beginning of the tour (or pre-paid by arrangement prior to your tour). This is separate and in addition to the Tour Price, and covers selected park entries, activities and excursions along the way where payment goes directly to the supplier to ensure local suppliers benefit directly from the income.
This pass is an optional add-on for this tour.