Southern African Explorer (46 Days)

Tour Code 21SAE46. Adventure Camping Tours
46 days from
$4'925 USD
Plus 810 USD optional Adventure Pass
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Group Size: Average 14, Maximum 24. Age Group: 18+

Explore the best of Southern Africa on this amazing adventure safari

On this adventure tour, you will be able to visit some of Southern Africa's best adventure attractions. Search for wildlife in National parks such as Kruger, Matobo, Addo and Etosha, travel the waterways of the Okavango Delta and Chobe River, visit the mountainous Lesotho and the fascinating Kingdom of Swaziland. Find magical adventure along the coast, mountains, desert, dunes, waterfalls, bush and more in this incredible all-encompassing holiday.

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Day 1. Pretoria to Kruger National Park Highlights. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa. God's Window, South Africa.

We leave Pretoria today making our way across the Mpumalanga Province then making our way to the Panorama Route and God's Window. Enjoy the view out over the Blyde River Canyon and its fascinating rock formations and majestic views. We continue to Hazyview which borders Kruger where we spend our first night.

Day 2. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Today we spend our time exploring the Kruger National Park with its abundant wildlife, birds and reptiles. Try and spot the lions in the bushveld, the giraffe towering over the trees and the zebra herds as they graze on the African savanna. Kruger is home to many reptiles, 148 mammals and over 500 bird species, providing a lot to search for.

We spend the morning and afternoon exploring in our open 4x4's with a resident guide to ensure you get to see all the best sights.

Day 3. Kruger National Park

Our second day exploring Kruger let's us get to the parts of the park we've not yet discovered so see animals we've missed off our 'big 5' bucket list including elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino.

As far as wildlife goes, Kruger has abundant variety and offers the visitor the opportunity to see animals in their natural surroundings and habitats.

Day 4. Kruger to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland (Eswatini) Highlights. Swaziland (Eswatini).

Leaving Hazyview, we head south and travel along the edge of Kruger to Nelspruit before we cross the Crocodile River and enter the Kingdom of Swaziland. A small landlocked country nestled between South Africa and Mozambique, Swaziland (Eswatini) is a picturesque and interesting country to see.

We arrive at Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary where we spend the next two nights, marvelling the beauty of the area and partaking in the many optional activities.

Day 5. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Highlights. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland (Eswatini). Swaziland Village Tour, Mlilwane Rest Camp, Swaziland.

After breakfast we take a short drive through the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary to the Royal Enclosure where we learn about the great history and culture of this country. We visit a traditional village with our Swazi guide who shows us the customs and rituals here.

We have the afternoon free to experience some of the optional activities available here which include walks, bike rides, horse riding or simply relaxing at camp.

Day 6. Swaziland (Eswatini) to St Lucia, South Africa Highlights. St Lucia River Cruise, South Africa.

We depart Swaziland (Eswatini) and cross the border and re-enter South Africa. Travelling to the coastal town of St Lucia, we take an afternoon river cruise viewing the crocodiles, hippos and birdlife on the river banks of the great St Lucia Estuary. Forming the southern part of the massive Isimangaliso Wetland National Park, this area has an immensely rich wetland ecosystem that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 7 and 8 . St. Lucia to Durban Highlights. Durban City .

After a morning at leisure, we make our way to Durban, one of Africa's biggest commercial ports on the Indian Ocean coast and spend the night just north of the city at Umhlanga.

The following day, explore the beauty Durban has to offer. Head to the Durban beachfront and visit the colourful flea markets and the stretch of numerous quality restaurants with a view of the ocean. 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.

Day 9. Durban to Underberg Area

Leaving Durban we travel via Pietermaritzburg on to the foot of the mighty Drakensberg. The Sani Pass is the only vehicle access road over the Drakensberg escarpment.

This afternoon we have some free time to enjoy the stunning views and optional activities available.

Day 10. Sani Pass Highlights. Sani Pass Excursion.

We meet our local guides who will take us onto the Sani Pass in their 4x4 Safari vehicles. Winding our way up the steep pass, we head into Lesotho where we visit a small household and shepherd village to see the local Basotho way of life. On our way back to our camp we stop off for a drink in Africa's highest bar at the Sani Mountain Lodge.

Day 11. Underberg Area to Drakensberg Highlights. Battlefields, South Africa.

Travelling through the smaller towns at the base of the berg, we make our way to the historic battlefields where our journey takes to where some of these epic battles that took place.

This evening we set up camp at the northern berg and prepare for our day out tomorrow.

Day 12. Drakensberg Highlights. Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa.

Today we make the short trip to the Royal National Park entry gate where we can enjoy the scenic views, mountains and waterfalls whilst taking on a selection short or long hikes.

For those wanting to really stretch their legs, there are a variety of hiking options. Whether you prefer to spend the day out discovering the nooks and crannies of the Drakensberg or prefer a more leisurely stroll to simply enjoy the views, there is ample to enjoy today!

Day 13. Drakensberg to Malealea

Leaving Drakensberg we drive around the northern section on Lesotho and re-enter it at the Maseru Bridge Gate. Once back in Lesotho we make our way to the Malealea Lodge in the Mafeteng District where we stay for the night high in the mountains.

Day 14. Malealea Highlights. Malealea Activities.

Today is a free day to explore Lesotho or take on the optional activities available including the popular pony treks that can take you down mountain tracks, to waterfalls and bushman paintings.

Day 15. Malealea to Mountain Zebra National Park Highlights. Mountain Zebra NP.

We leave the highlands of Lesotho today and cross back into South Africa, making our way to the Mountain Zebra National Park. Situated near Cradock in the Eastern Cape, this national park was originally proclaimed in 1937 to save the dwindling Cape mountain zebra population. Now, at over 28 000 hectares, the park has protected over 700 zebra as well as wildlife such as endangered black rhino, wildebeest, buffalo, caracal, lion and the cheetah. Entering the park gates, we enjoy a game drive to our campsite nestled 12km from the entrance.

Day 16. Mountain Zebra National Park to Addo Elephant National Park Highlights. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa.

Departing Mountain Zebra National Park, we drive to Addo Elephant National Park, the park can claim to be the only National Park in the world with the 'Big 7' with the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay Coast as well as the traditional 'big 5'.

We game drive in our truck this afternoon and seek out not only the elephants this park is so well known for, but also lion, antelope and even the little protected dung beetles.

Day 17. Addo Elephant to Tsitsikamma Forest to Plettenberg Bay Highlights. Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa.

Today we leave Addo and make our way to the Tsitsikamma National Park. Inside the park, there are various activities you can enjoy like hiking, canoeing, bird watching, boat cruises and more. On our way to our camp for the night, we stop off at the famous Bloukrans Bridge, where you can jump off the worlds highest bridge bungee.

In the late afternoon we make our way to the seaside town of Plettenberg Bay where after checking in, we have the evening to explore the town.

Day 18. Plettenberg Bay to Oudtshoorn Highlights. Cango Caves, South Africa. Oudtshoorn, Ostrich Farm, South Africa.

After a hearty breakfast we make our way to Oudtshoorn via the majestic Outeniqua Pass. Known as the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn is in the Klein Karoo in between the Swartberg and Outeniqua mountains. We explore the Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system.

Day 19. Oudtshoorn to Hermanus Highlights. Cape Agulhas Light House, South Africa. Hermanus, South Africa.

Leaving Oudtshoorn we travel south to the coastal town of Hermanus, a popular spot for dolphin and whale sightings. On our way to Hermanus we stop off at Cape Agulhas, where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet.

We cover a lot of ground today, from the barren Karoo across to the coastal belt where wheat farms and later wine farms start to dominate the rolling hills and landscape before we get to the Fynbos rich coastal belt.

Day 20. Hermanus to Cape Town Highlights. Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Winelands, South Africa. Hermanus, South Africa.

We have the morning to explore the town, visiting its shops and open air museum or join a whale watching tour. Hermanus is well known as one of the best land based whale watch sites in the world, and if travelling from June to November, we hope to catch a glimpse of the Southern Right Whales that seek refuge in the calmer waters here. Continuing on our journey, we depart Hermanus and stop off at winery on the outskirts of Cape Town to enjoy some wine tasting. We then make our way to the mother city at the foot of table mountain, Cape Town.

Day 21. Cape Town Highlights. Cape Town, South Africa.

You have the next two days at leisure to go and explore this beautiful city. Visit the Boulders Beach penguins, Muizenberg and Hout Bay or see the city and Table Bay from the heights of the iconic Table Mountain.

There are beaches, shops, museums and many activities on offer. Your lodge will have information on these and more.

Day 22. Cape Town to Cederberg Area Highlights. Cederberg, South Africa. Township Tour Cape Town, South Africa.

Before we leave Cape Town today we take a tour of the Khayelitsha in the Cape Flats, one of the cities townships. We get to visit some of the community projects before we continue our journey to the Cederberg.

Travelling north through the Western Cape coastal belt we make our way to our camp overlooking Olifants River and the grand Cederberg Mountain Range.

Day 23. Cederberg Area to Gariep (Orange) River Highlights. Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia.

Travelling further north through the arid Namaqualand, we may catch a glimpse of the flowers if travelling in August or September. We arrive to our camp on the South African side of the Gariep (Orange) River in the late afternoon, just in time to enjoy a scenic sunset over the surrounding Richterveld and River.

Day 24. Gariep (Orange) River to Fish River Canyon, Namibia Highlights. Fish River Canyon, Namibia.

This morning we have the opportunity to see the Richtersveld from the water on an optional canoe trip.

In the late morning we leave our grassy camp and head to the border to Namibia. Once we have crossed over to Namibia we make the short journey to Fish River Canyon, at 500m deep and 160km long its one of Africa's natural wonders and the second largest canyon in the world.

Watch as the sun's rays move over the various layers of stone formed by both tectonic movements and erosion over millions of years marking distinct layers all the way into the base of the Canyon.

Day 25. Fish River Canyon to Sesriem Area Highlights. Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia.

We make our way to the Sesriem Area today, our gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park. We drive over the Tsaris Pass as we make our way from the higher plateau to the Namib Naukluft National Park area.

Day 26. Namib Naukluft National Park to Khomas Region Highlights. Dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Sesriem Canyon, Namibia. Sossusvlei, Namibia.

Rising early, we make our way to the National Park entry gate. Once inside, our first stop is at Dune 45. At 170m high, we take in the sweeping views from the top after a rewarding climb.

After a hearty breakfast, we continue further into the park and take a short shuttle ride to Sossusvlei for our nature walk to Deadvlei. These former 'wetlands' still harbour life despite the harsh desert conditions and are simply incredible to see.

Our final stop is at the smaller Sesriem Canyon before making our way via Namibia's smallest town Solitaire to our camp for the night.

Day 27. Khomas Region to Swakopmund Highlights. Swakopmund, Namibia. The Tropic of Capricorn.

We leave our bush camp and make our way to the Atlantic coast where we will spend the next two nights. On our way to Swakopmund, we cross the Tropic of Capricorn, stopping for a photo opportunity. In Swakopmund, you have the afternoon free to enjoy some of the optional activities available or to explore this seaside town.

Day 28. Swakopmund Highlights. Swakopmund, Namibia.

Today is a free day to explore Swakopmund or take part in some of its optional activities like Sandboarding, Quad Biking, Skydiving and more.

Spend the day on the beach, exploring the different cafe's and shops or on adrenaline daring activities.

Day 29. Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe Highlights. Spitzkoppe, Namibia.

We leave the coast today and make our way to the Damaraland region and Spitzkoppe - majestic granite boulder mountains rising out of a seemingly flat plain. Enjoy a guided tour at Spitzkoppe viewing the ancient bushman paintings and the rock formations that peak around 1800m above sea level.

Tonight we have the opportunity to sleep out under the African stary night.

Day 30. Spitzkoppe to Etosha

Rising to the beauty of the sunlight making its way over the red-hued Spitskoppe, we enjoy our breakfast with the dramatic views before continuing north to Namibia's premier game park - Etosha.

Etosha covers over 20,000 km sq in size and is dominated by a large central salt pan. We game drive to our camp located inside the park where we have the opportunity to sit at the camp's floodlit watering hole to watch the resident wildlife venturing in to drink.

Day 31. Etosha National Park Highlights. Etosha National Park, Namibia.

Rising early, we board our adventure vehicle and head into the park for a full day's game drive. This park is home to over 114 mammals and 340 bird species including rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard and the desert antelope species like Springbok and Oryx.

Our drive takes us via the various water points where we hope to see the animals congregate and interact as they come to drink. We also drive to the pan to see the vast flat area - which is so large it can be seen from outer space!

Day 32. Etosha to Windhoek Highlights. Windhoek, Namibia.

We depart Etosha on a final game drive and make our way south to the capital of Namibia, Windhoek. It is a small capital compared to most capital cities in the world with a population of approximately two hundred thousand people.

This evening we have the opportunity to explore the city on a night on the town!

Day 33. Windhoek to Omaheke Region Highlights. Kalahari Bushman Walk, Omaheke Region, Namibia.

Today we bid farewell to the city and head east via Gobabis to the great Kalahari Desert.

Our camp this evening lies in close proximity of the Botswana border and is home to a tribe of San Bushman. We embark a guided bush walk with this ancient tribe for a cultural experience. Listen tight... how they survived in this barren terrain will surprise you.

Day 34. Omaheke Region, Namibia to Maun, Botswana Highlights. Maun, Botswana.

Today we bid farewell to the beauty of Namibia as we head east to Botswana. Once border formalities are completed, we drive on the northern edge of the great Kalahari Desert to Maun, Botswana's fifth largest town. Maun is a rapidly developing town and the gateway to the Okavango Delta, if we have time on arrival in Maun there is the opportunity for an optional scenic flight over the delta.

This evening we prepare for our nature excursion into the Delta.

Day 35. Maun - Okavango Delta Highlights. Okavango Delta, Botswana.

With much excitement, we board our open 4x4 transfer truck and depart Maun for the open wilderness of the Okavango Delta. Driving the sandy tracks through the bordering concession areas, we first see some of the traditional homesteads of the local Basotho people along the way. As we near the wilder areas, the homesteads dwindle and are replaced with a belt of mopane trees.

Arriving at the poling station, we meet our local guides where we transfer our gear to the small boats and are taken to our tented camp for the evening by mokoro (dugout canoe).

The afternoon is spent at leisure while we wait out the heat of the day before heading out on foot to explore!

Day 36. Okavango Delta - Maun

After an evening of listening to wildlife hoot, whistle and bark, we rise for a last short walk this morning before travelling back to the polers station in our mokoros.

We meet our 4x4 vehicle to take us back to Maun for the night.

This afternoon (weather permitting) there is an opportunity to see the Delta from above on a scenic flight. Alternatively, spend the afternoon enjoying the refreshing swimming pool.

Day 37. Maun to Elephant Sands Highlights. Elephant Sands, Nata, Botswana.

Leaving Maun, we make our way through the open wildlife corridor between the Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans. Our camp at Elephant Sands has no fences allowing wildlife to roam freely, so expect to see nature up close during our stay here.

Day 38. Elephant Sands to Kasane Highlights. Chobe Fish Eagle Cruise, Botswana. Chobe National Park, Botswana.

Today we travel to the northern corner of Botswana and Chobe National Park. The Chobe River runs through the national park so we take a Fish Eagle Cruise in the afternoon giving us the opportunity to see hippo, crocodile, elephants and birdlife on the banks of the river.

Teeming with wildlife, the Chobe River is a life giver in an otherwise dry area. With an abundance of interesting and quirky bird life and wildlife to see, there is never a dull moment on the Fish Eagle Cruise.

Day 39. Kasane to Livingstone, Zambia Highlights. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia.

This morning we head into the Chobe National Park in an open 4x4 safari vehicle with a resident guide. We aim to spot some of the wildlife that can be found inside the park including elephant, buffalo, hippo, lion, giraffe, antelope and the prolific birdlife.

After our game drive, we leave Kasane and make the interesting ferry crossing into Zambia, and continue to the town of Livingstone. This afternoon we visit one of Africa's natural wonders, 'Victoria Falls' - a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the natural wonders of the world.

Day 40. Livingstone Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia.

Today is a free day to explore Livingstone or enjoy some of the optional activities available - bungee jump, abseil, village tour, gorge swing, jet boat, canoe ride, sunset cruise, white water rafting, helicopter/microlight flights and more.

Alternatively relax at the pool or enjoy the stunning views over the Zambezi from the viewing deck with a good book and a delicious beverage.

Day 41. Livingstone to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

We cross from Zambia into Zimbabwe using the iconic rail bridge with a view of the Victoria Falls. Once border formalities are completed, we drive through the town of Victoria Falls and head south-east skirting the Hwange National Park area on our way to Bulawayo.

One of Zimbabwe's iconic cities, Bulawayo is steeped in colonial history. Enjoy the jacaranda lined streets and colonial atmosphere.

Day 42. Matobo National Park Highlights. Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe.

Today we make our way into Matobo National Park and meet our local guides for the day. We are taken on a nature drive around the park as well as a wilderness walk where we hope to see these prehistoric-looking animals up close and personal.

The Matobo National Park has the highest concentration of Rhino in Africa and offers a uniquely scenic terrain with massive boulder mountain ranges fringing the area.

There is an option to upgrade to a full day excursion should you wish to include the cultural part of the park with a visit to the Rhodes memorial.

Day 43. Bulawayo to Tshipise, South Africa Highlights. Tshipise, South Africa.

Crossing into South Africa via the busy Beitbridge border, we cross the Limpopo river and continue to the town of Tshipise and our camp at Forever Resorts.

Tshipise is home to natural hot springs and offers a variety of pools to enjoy.

Day 44. Tshipise to Hazyview Highlights. Shangaan Cultural Evening.

Leaving Tshipise we journey further south to the world famous Kruger National Park, home to the 'big 5' with over 24,000 sq km to roam.

Our camp is located a short distance from the Phabeni gate of central Kruger. Tonight we enjoy a cultural interaction with Shangaan tribal dance and singing.

Day 45. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Rising early we meet our local guides and get on the open 4x4 game drivers to head into the Kruger National Park.

Kruger is home to over 148 species of mammal including the famed Big Five; and an abundance of birdlife with over 500 species. We look out for lion, leopard, cheetah, rhino, elephant, buffalo and many more 'must see' animals. See how they interact at the water holes and rivers, and marvel at their life in their natural habitat.

After a full day of excitement we return back to our camp for our last night together on tour.

Day 46. Hazyview to Pretoria

We leave Kruger this morning and make our way to Pretoria, South Africa's administrative hub where our tour ends.

Suggested Pre-Tour Accommodation.

Court Classique Suite Hotel

Court Classique Suite Hotel is set among the embassy buildings in suburban Arcadia, Pretoria. This 3-storey building is 3.9 km from the city centre allowing easy access to restaurants, cinemas shops and cultural attractions. It's also 6.5 km from the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. Court Classique Suite Hotel offers single and double ensuite rooms, free WiFi, a restaurant, swimming pool, a spa room and wine cellar.

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Suggested Post-Tour Accommodation.
Court Classique Suite Hotel

Court Classique Suite Hotel is set among the embassy buildings in suburban Arcadia, Pretoria. This 3-storey building is 3.9 km from the city centre allowing easy access to restaurants, cinemas shops and cultural attractions. It's also 6.5 km from the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. Court Classique Suite Hotel offers single and double ensuite rooms, free WiFi, a restaurant, swimming pool, a spa room and wine cellar.

* Suggested pre and post tour accommodation can be booked together with your tour. Please enquire at the time of booking.

Additional Info

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.

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, mokoro (dugout canoe), 4x4 safari vehicle and river boat.

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.

45 Breakfast, 35 Lunch, 35 Dinner

35 nights camping in 2-person dome tents, 5 nights dorm, 2 nights tourist class hotel, 2 nights huts with shared facilities, 1 night tented camp

Fully equipped safari vehicle
Camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
All ground transportation
Sleeping mattress
Meals as indicated
Services of two crew

Included Highlights:
God’s window
Bourkes Luck Pot Holes
2 days, Kruger NP, Game Drives *
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Royal Enclosure/ Swaziland Village
St Lucia Boat Cruise *
Sani pass excursion *
Royal National Park
Drakensberg Mountains
Mountain Zebra National Park
Addo Elephant NP, Game Drives
Garden Route
Cango Caves, Visit*
Cape Agulhas
Wine Tasting
Cape Town Township Tour*
Sesriem Canyon
Sossusvlei shuttle & guided walk*
Dune 45
Spitzkoppe, Bushman Paintings
Etosha NP, Game Drives
Kalahari Bushman Walk
Okavango Delta Wilderness Excursion, Mokoro/Walking Safari*
Chobe NP, Fish Eagle Boat Cruise*
Chobe NP Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide*
Mosi Oa Tunya NP, Victoria Falls Visit
Matobo National Park, Open Vehicle Game Drive and Wilderness Walk with Resident Guide*
Kruger NP, Full Day Open Vehicle Game Drive with Resident Guide
Shangaan Cultural Evening

*Highlights are included in the Adventure Pass
Adventure Pass Activities and Excursions (optional)
Travel insurance
Departure taxes
Airport transfers
Sleeping bag
Optional activities
Drinks, tips
Items of a personal nature

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Adventure Pass

Every adventure 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.

810 USD or 810 USD (If prepaid)

This pass is an optional add-on for this tour.

The Adventure Pass for this tour includes

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