Explore South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho on this exciting accommodated overland tour. Visit the Panorama Route, game drive with the opportunity to see the Big 5 in Kruger and Addo Elephant National Park. Discover diverse cultures of the Swazi, Zulu and Basotho tribes, cruise the pristine waters of St Lucia, visit Durban's rugged beaches and discover the magical Garden Route.
Please note: This tour will depart from Pretoria in 2019, and will extend to a 20-day tour with an additional night in Durban.
Day 1. Pretoria to Hazyview Highlights. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Departing from Pretoria today, we drive across the main farming regions of Gauteng to the scenic vistas of the Panorama Route. It's then off to Hazyview, a quaint town bordering the Kruger National Park where we stay for the next few nights.
Day 2. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Rising early, we board our open 4x4 safari vehicles and make our way into the magnificent Kruger National Park. Home to over 505 species of birds and 148 species of mammals, we enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive, pausing in the heat of the day in search for the abundance of wildlife inhabiting the area. After a rewarding day, we retrace our steps back to our accommodation for the night.
Day 3. Kruger National Park Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.This morning, we re-enter the park for our second day’s game driving day. With cameras and binoculars on hand, we spend the morning and afternoon traversing the marked routes encountering many species. Kruger has over two million hectares of an unrivalled diversity of ecosystems boasting an incredible concentration of wildlife and we hope to encounter some of these including the ‘Big 5’ - elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. We return to our accommodation for the night and enjoy our last night around an open fire.
Day 4. Kruger to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland Highlights. Swaziland. Accommodation. Mlilwane.Leaving the Kruger area, we travel along the western edge of Kruger through various rural settlements before crossing the Crocodile River to the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Day 5. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Highlights. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland. Swaziland Village Tour, Mlilwane Rest Camp, Swaziland. Accommodation. Mlilwane.Waking to the sounds of nature in the midst of the reserve where antelope roam freely, we make the short drive to the Royal Enclosure for a culture experience. Here we take a guided tour of the area and learn about the country's culture and history of the monarchy. Returning back to Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve, the rest of the day is yours at leisure. Take part in some of the many activities offered in the sanctuary such as horseback trails, game drives, mountain bike riding, and guided walks or just enjoy some rejuvenating time-out with a good book overlooking the watering hole.
Day 6. Mlilwane to St. Lucia, South Africa Highlights. St Lucia River Cruise, South Africa. Accommodation. Monzi.This morning we travel through this magnificent country, crossing the border and re-entering South Africa via the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Day 7. St. Lucia to Durban Accommodation. Road Lodge, Umhlanga.After a relaxing morning, our journey takes us to the seaside city Durban, hosting one of the largest commercial ports in Africa and offers a vibrant nightlife, pristine beaches of which we can explore. Our accommodation is located to the north of the city, close to the long stretch of beaches.
Day 8. Durban Highlights. Durban City . Accommodation. Road Lodge, Umhlanga.Today is a free day to explore this delightful city. Head to the beachfront, known as the Golden Mile and visit the colourful flea markets and the stretch of numerous quality restaurants with a view. Should you wish to opt for a bit more adventure why not visit the uShaka Marine World, the largest marine theme park in Africa.
Day 9. Durban - Underberg Area Accommodation. Sani Lodge.After breakfast, we bid farewell to the beach and travel through the lush mountainous countryside to our accommodation for the next two nights at Sani Lodge just outside Underberg. This magnificent place bat-eared at the foot of the Sani Pass, the gateway to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. This afternoon is yours at leisure to enjoy the spectacular views and the many hiking and walking trails.
Day 10. Sani Pass Highlights. Sani Pass Excursion. Accommodation. Sani Lodge.This morning we meet our local guide and board a 4x4 vehicle for a tour of Lesotho via the dramatic Sani Pass. Traversing the mountains and rugged terrain we visit at small Basotho household and a shearing shed in a Shepherd's village and if the season is right, we may get to view an angora goat or sheep been sheared. From here we ascend the Black Mountain, rising to one of the highest points at 3482m stopping for a beverage at the highest bar in Africa before descending the pass back to our accommodation for the night.
Day 11. Underberg Area to Drakensberg Accommodation. Amphitheatre Lodge.We drive north with the magnificent 'Berg' to our left and take in some history as we drive through the southern part of South Africa's battlefields. With many battles fought between English and Boer (Dutch-speaking farmers), or Boer and the indigenous Zulu tribes - there are many points of interest and we stop off at a few to learn about the significance of these.
Day 12. Drakensberg Highlights. Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa. Accommodation. Amphitheatre Lodge.After breakfast, we pack our day bags and travel a short distance to the Royal National Park entry gate in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. There are many optional trails to explore by horse or on foot. Walkers and hikers can enjoy short journeys which take about an hour, or longer excursions over a half or full day. This is a great way to explore the impressive surroundings at the foot of the Drakensberg, including the well-known Amphitheatre rock face.
Day 13. Drakensberg to Malealea Accommodation. Malealea Lodge.After a nice break exploring the Drakensberg, we board our overland truck and journey around the northern section of Lesotho and re-enter the country at the Maseru Bridge Gate. Heading Southwest over mountainous terrain dotted with villages and narrow passes, we arrive at Malealea Lodge, in the Mafeteng District. This picturesquely located lodge hosts many optional activities such as pony treks and hiking.
Day 14. Malealea Highlights. Malealea Activities.Today, you have a free day to explore this beautiful country and enjoy the many optional activities on offer include hiking, mountain biking and bushman paintings tour. But most of all, no visit to Lesotho would be complete without a pony trek. Trails traverse hair-raising narrow mountain tracks through local Basotho villages and striking waterfalls.
Day 15. Malealea to Mountain Zebra National Park Highlights. Mountain Zebra NP. Accommodation. Mountain Zebra National Park.his morning, we leave the Lesotho highlands and cross back into South Africa to the Mountain Zebra National Park, situated on the northern slopes of the Bankberg mountain range near Cradock, in the Eastern Cape Midlands.
Day 16. Mountain Zebra National Park to Addo Elephant National Park to Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth Highlights. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth.Today we drive to Addo Elephant National Park, home to over 600 Elephants, lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard, antelope and more! Addo also claims to be the only national park to have the 'big 7' - the traditional big 5 along with the southern right whale and great white shark of Algoa Bay coast. We game drive in our overland truck in hope to get a glimpse of the diverse mammal and bird population of the area.
Day 17. Port Elizabeth to Storms River/Tsitsikamma National Park Highlights. Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Tube 'n Axe Lodge, Storms River.We leave Port Elizabeth area this morning and make our way to the Tsitsikamma Forest. This region is a multi-faceted destination and makes up the top section of the of the Garden Route National Park and contains rivers, reefs, dramatic coastlines and lush forest which we have the opportunity to explore in the afternoon.
Day 18. Storms River/ Tsitsikamma National Park to Oudtshoorn Highlights. Cango Caves, South Africa. Accommodation. Kleinplaas.Oudtshoorn nestles between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains, natural lagoons and the Indian Ocean, with the world-renowned forests encircling it like a protective mantle. We make our way to Oudtshoorn via the coastal route and the Outeniqua mountain pass. Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich capital of the world owing to the mass of Ostrich farms in the area. Also in this region are the Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well-known Swartberg Mountains, here we find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formation.
Day 19. Oudtshoorn to Hermanus Highlights. Cape Agulhas Light House, South Africa. Accommodation. Hermanus Backpackers.Relaxed and refreshed from the wonderful stay in the dry Karoo and the town of Oudtshoorn, we make our way to the coastal town of Hermanus, famous for its whale and dolphin sightings. En route we stop off at Cape Agulhas, the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, lying at the southernmost tip of Africa. The late afternoon is spent exploring Hermanus, a haven for the outdoor enthusiast! We spend the night enjoying the town’s atmosphere and nightlife.
Day 20. Hermanus to Cape Town Highlights. Cape Winelands, South Africa.In Hermanus, we have time this morning to explore the town's variety of shops and cafe's, visit the museum or join an optional whale based tour (in season). We then visit a winery on the outskirts of Cape Town where we participate in a wine tasting to sample the delicious flavours in the local wines. Our tour ends on arrival in the late afternoon in Cape Town.
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.
Twin share accommodation with facilities (19 nights) some may have a 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 and 4 x 4 safari vehicles.
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
19 nights twin share accommodation
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.