Join this adventure tour to some of Southern Africa's best adventure attractions. Search for wildlife in National Parks such as Kruger, Chobe, Matobo, Addo and Etosha. Travel the waterways of the Okavango Delta and Chobe River and 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.
Please note: This tour will depart and end in Pretoria in 2019 – please contact Acacia for departure hotel details.
Day 1. Pretoria to Kruger National Park Highlights. Blyde River Canyon, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Departing from Pretoria, we drive across the scenic Mpumalanga province and enjoy the spectacular mountain scenery of the Blyde River Canyon en route to Hazyview, bordering Kruger. This evening we enjoy our first night under the African stars.
Day 2. Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Waking at sunrise, we eagerly wait for Park Rangers to open the park gates to let us enter the wilds of Kruger for an intense yet rewarding day of game tracking with our eagle eyed guide at the wheel. Fences between the National Park and surrounding private reserves were removed several years ago to form the Greater Kruger, an area of some 24000 sq km. Wildlife is free to roam the whole enormous area and it has become incredibly diverse in both fauna and flora. From the dwarf mongoose to the famed ‘Big Five’, almost every major African mammal is present. There is also prolific birdlife and over 330 varieties of trees. Spend the day seeking out the different species and seeing the natural wildlife interactions.
Day 3. Kruger National Park Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Waking early, we re-enter the Park in an open 4x4 safari vehicle for our second day’s game diving day. With cameras and binoculars on hand we spend the morning and afternoon winding along beaten tracks and marked routes encountering many species which are indigenous to this region including the ‘Big 5’ - elephant, rhino, leopard, lion and buffalo. We return to our accommodation during the late afternoon.
Day 4. Kruger to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland Accommodation. Mlilwane.Today we head south from Hazyview, passing many farming towns and Shangaan settlements before crossing the Crocodile River and into the Kingdom of Swaziland, a land-locked country snuggled between Mozambique and South Africa. We head to the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary, our base for the next two nights. It is Swaziland’s oldest protected area located in the stunning Ezulwini Valley, 'Valley of Heavens’.
Day 5. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Highlights. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Swaziland. Swaziland Village Tour, Mlilwane Rest Camp, Swaziland. Accommodation. Mlilwane.This morning we take a short drive through the sanctuary to the Royal Enclosure where we discover an abundance of history and culture about this last monarchy controlled country. A local Swazi guide walks us through a traditional village explaining many customs and rituals.
Day 6. Swaziland - Hluhluwe Game Reserve - St Lucia, South Africa Highlights. St Lucia River Cruise, South Africa. Accommodation. Monzi.Moving on, 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 and 8. St Lucia - Durban Accommodation. Road Lodge, Umhlanga.Relaxed from a free morning, it's off to Durban one of Africa’s largest commercial ports where you have the opportunity to explore the stunning beaches and a vibrant nightlife of the city.
Day 9. Durban – Underberg Area Accommodation. Sani Lodge.With the beach at our back, we head inland and drive the lush mountainous countryside to our accommodation for the next two nights at Sani Lodge. This magnificent place is situated at the foot of the Sani Pass, the gateway to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Once a mule track for trading blankets, clothing and maize meal for wool and mohair. This stunning pass is the only vehicle access road over the Drakensbuerg escarpment. This afternoon is yours at leisure to enjoy the spectacular views and the many walking trails.
Day 10. Underberg Area – Sani Pass Highlights. Sani Pass Excursion. Accommodation. Sani Lodge.This morning, we join a guided tour of Lesotho via the spectacular gateway of the Sani Pass (2874 m). We travel in 4x4 vehicles through the rugged cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountains and further into Lesotho and visit a small household and a shepherd village. Experience a local way of life and depending on the season and shearing times, we may get to view an angora goat or a sheep been sheared by hand.
Day 11. Underberg Area – Battlefields - Drakensburg Highlights. Battlefields - South Africa. Accommodation. Amphitheatre Lodge.Today we drive to the Battlefields and take in some history of the area. Soaked with the blood of thousands of British, Boer (Dutch-speaking farmers) and Zulu soldiers, the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal hold a deep-seated silence that speaks to the many lives lost here. We retire to our bush lodge in the late afternoon where we suggest an early night in preparation for a day of hiking tomorrow.
Day 13. Drakensberg – Malealea Accommodation. Malealea Lodge.Departing the Drakensberg this morning, we drive around the northern section of Lesotho re-entering at the Maseru Bridge Gate. We drive south over the rolling mountain ranges via the narrow passes to Malealea Lodge, high in the mountainside. Situated in the Mafeteng District of remote Western Lesotho, Malealea Lodge offers many optional activities to get to know the local culture amidst breath-taking scenery.
Day 14. Malealea Highlights. Malealea Activities. Accommodation. Malealea Lodge.Today you have a free day to explore this beautiful mountainous country on the many optional activities on offer.
Day 15. Malealea to Mountain Zebra National Park Highlights. Mountain Zebra NP. Accommodation. Mountain Zebra National Park.Getting an early start, we leave the Lesotho highlands and cross back into South Africa to the Mountain Zebra National Park. At 284km², this park is home to over 700 animals including eland, cape buffalo, cheetah, lion, caracal, black rhino and the bat eared fox, not to be missed! However, the highlight of the park's mammalian fauna is the over 700 Cape mountain zebra after which the park is named. With a camera and binoculars at hand, we game drive in our overland truck in search for these animals en-route to our accommodation nestled inside the National Park.
Day 17. Mountain Zebra National Park – Addo Elephant National Park - Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth Highlights. Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth.Today, we drive out of the Mountain Zebra National Park and make our way to our next stop - Addo Elephant National Park. With a population of 600 elephants, as well as lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species – you are sure to spot many animals during your game drive in our overland truck.
Day 17. Willow's Resort, Port Elizabeth – Knysna / Tsitsikamma Forest Highlights. Knysna, South Africa. Accommodation. Island Vibe Travellers Lodge.We make our way over to the exciting adventures within the Tsitsikamma forest. Tsitsikamma National Park is a multi-dimensional destination with dramatic coastal scenery, reefs, rivers, lush forest and delicate Fynbos. On entry, you have various options to choose from - boat cruises and canoe trips to nature hikes and bird watching.
Day 18. Knysna - Oudtshoorn Highlights. Cango Caves, South Africa. Accommodation. Kleinplaas.In Knysna nature literally knocks on your front door as the town nestles between the impressive Outeniqua Mountains, natural lagoons, and the Indian Ocean. After breakfast, we continue to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo, known as the ostrich capital of the world. Here we visit the spectacular Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system with dripstone caverns. After exploring the caves, we enjoy the night in the old settlers’ town in the Karoo.
Day 19. Oudtshoorn – Hermanus Highlights. Hermanus, South Africa. Accommodation. Hermanus Backpackers.Relaxed and revitalized from the wonderful Oudtshoorn hospitality, we board our vehicle and head south across the farmlands of the Cape to Cape Agulhas, the place where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet, lying at the southernmost tip of Africa. After a photo stop at the lighthouse built as early as 1848, we head to the coastal town of Hermanus, famous for its whale (seasonal) and dolphin sightings.
Day 20. Hermanus – Cape Town Highlights. Cape Winelands, South Africa. Accommodation. Ashanti Lodge, Gardens, Cape Town.A free morning in Hermanus gives us ample opportunity to join a whale watching tour (seasonal) or explore the town’s variety of shops and the coastal boardwalk on foot. We leave Hermanus before lunch and follow the rough coastal route taking a leisurely drive through small fishing towns.
Day 21. Cape Town Highlights. Cape Town, South Africa. Accommodation. Ashanti Lodge, Gardens, Cape Town.Over the next two days, enjoy the many sights of South Africa’s mother city. No group activities are arranged in Cape Town, this is time for you to spend at leisure taking in the sights and sounds of Africa’s most beautiful city.
Day 22. Cape Town – Cederberg Area, South Africa Highlights. Cederberg, South Africa. Accommodation. Highlanders Camp, Cederberg.We pick up our overland journey with a fresh truck and crew, but before we leave the city we tour the Cape Flats, one of Cape Town’s intriguing townships, and visit some of the local community projects in the area.
Day 23. Cederberg Area – Gariep (Orange) River Highlights. Orange (Gariep) River, Namibia. Accommodation. Felix Unite.Continuing north, we make our way through semi-arid plains of Namaqualand to the Namibian frontier and if we are lucky, ( between August to September) we may get to view the spectacular flower carpet exploding with color that lights up the lands after the winter rains and hosts a whopping 4000 + plant species with approx 40% epidemic to the area.
Day 24. Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon, Namibia Highlights. Fish River Canyon, Namibia. Accommodation. Canon Roadhouse, Fish River Canyon.This morning we have the opportunity to try the optional canoe safari to marvel the view of this arid area, or simply to relax on the river’s edge. After a leisure morning, we travel a short distance further to the majestic Fish River Canyon, one of Africa’s natural wonders. At some 500m deep and 160km long this is often referred to as the second largest canyon in the world of which we explore on an afternoon walk along the rim.
Day 25. Fish River Canyon – Sesriem Area Highlights. Namib Naukluft Park, Namibia. Accommodation. Little Sossus Lodge, Namib Naukluft .After a night at the quirky Canyon Roadhouse, we continue north to the Sesriem Area, the gateway to the Namib Naukluft National Park. This magnificent park contains part of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft mountains and hosts the world’s oldest desert and highest sand dunes.
Day 26. Namib Naukluft National Park – Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region Highlights. Dune 45, Namib Naukluft National Park, Namibia. Sesriem Canyon, Namibia. Sossusvlei, Namibia. Accommodation. Sossus On Foot Camp, Khomas Region.This morning we enter the National Park to trek to the top of famous Dune 45 for spectacular views over the sea of sand. After a well-earned breakfast, we continue deeper into the park for a short shuttle ride and nature walk to ‘Dead Vlei’, amidst the giant sand dunes – a real glimpse of Namibia’s unspoiled natural environment.
Day 29. Swakopmund to Spitzkoppe Highlights. Spitzkoppe, Namibia. Accommodation. Spitzkoppe Community Camp.Leaving the cool Atlantic Ocean and the town of Swakopmund behind, we turn inland to the beautiful Damaraland region and explore Spitzkoppe. The giant boulder-like rock formations peak at approx 1800m above sea level and form a spectacular view.
Day 30. Spitzkoppe to Etosha Accommodation. Etosha National Park, Namibia.Leaving the breathtaking views of Spitzkoppe, we turn north and make our way to Etosha National Park, the greatest wildlife sanctuary in Namibia. At over 20,000 sq km, this magnificent park is home to over 114 mammal and 340 bird species and one of the best places to view almost all of Africa’s wildlife. During the dry season (May - October), the available waterholes attract animals and birds in their thousands, making it easy to pinpoint their whereabouts. We game drive in our overland truck travelling from one waterhole to another in search of these animals.
Day 31. Etosha National Park Highlights. Etosha National Park, Namibia. Accommodation. Etosha National Park, Namibia.Today, we enjoy a full day game driving in this magnificent animal kingdom - taking in the park’s main characteristic, a massive pan that covers 4731km² which is surrounded by large camel thorn trees mixed with Mopani trees. This diverse vegetation accounts for the abundance of wildlife that thrives in the park. Despite the dry nature of the terrain, the park sustains a wide variety of bird species including the Kori Bustard and birds of prey.
Day 32. Etosha to Windhoek Highlights. Windhoek, Namibia. Accommodation. Urban Camp, Windhoek.Rising early, we game drive out of the park and head south to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, which is located in a basin between the Khomas Highland, Auas and Eros Mountains. The city centre itself is characterised by a proliferation of German style buildings, a lasting reminder of Namibia's early colonial history. Take the opportunity to enjoy a night out to explore the city's nightlife and sample some of the local cuisines at one of the restaurants.
Day 33. Windhoek to Ghanzi, Botswana Highlights. Kalahari Bushman Walk, Botswana. Accommodation. Ghanzi Trailblazers, Ghanzi.Leaving Namibia's capital behind, we travel east to the border of Botswana. After completing formalities, we drive to Ghanzi. This part of Botswana is regarded as one of the best cattle ranging areas in the world, renowned for the high quality, free roaming beef it produces. It's here, in this midst of (seemingly) barren terrain we meet the San/Bushman and have a guided bush walk for a cultural experience and insight into these ancient people’s way of life.
Day 34. Ghanzi to Maun Highlights. Maun, Botswana. Accommodation. Sitatunga Camp, Maun.The name Maun is derived from the San word 'maung', which translates 'the place of short reeds'. Maun is the fifth largest settlement in Botswana. It is an eclectic mix of modern buildings such as shopping malls, banks, restaurants and native dwellings and a thriving tourist town famous for its donkey population and to a lesser extent, goats.
Day 35. Maun - Okavango Delta Highlights. Okavango Delta, Botswana. Accommodation. Elephant Bush Camp, Okavango Delta.Packed and ready, we board an open 4x4 truck and leave Maun for our excursion into the Okavango Delta, a natural wetland spreading over some 1,600,000ha of northern Botswana. After driving through village and mopane belts we arrive at the mokoro station on the waters edge.
Day 36. Okavango Delta - Maun Accommodation. Sitatunga Camp, Maun.Rising to the sounds of the resident wildlife coming to life, we have breakfast, pack up and take an easy paced mokoro ride out of the Okavango Delta back to the polers station and onto Maun, our overnight stop. We aim to get back to Maun around lunch time to allow for the opportunity to enjoy an optional scenic flight over this spectacular UNESCO world heritage site if you did nor have the opportunity to do this already. Alternatively, the afternoon can be spent at leisure at the pool and bar/restaurant.
Day 37. Maun – Elephant Sands, Nata Highlights. Elephant Sands, Nata, Botswana. Accommodation. Elephant Sands, Nata.Today, we make our way towards Nata travelling through the wide open wildlife corridor between the Nxai and the Makgadikgadi Pans. We stop off to see one of Africa’s most iconic trees - the Baobab. These trees grow in 32 African countries. They can live for up to 5,000 years, reach up to 30 metres high and up to an enormous 50 metres in circumference.
Day 39 - 40. Kasane – Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia Highlights. Livingstone Activities, Zambia. Victoria Falls - Mosi oa Tunya National Park, Zambia. Accommodation. The Zambezi Waterfront, Livingstone.This morning we board our open safari vehicles with camera and binoculars at hand and enter the Chobe National Park for a morning game drive where we have the opportunity to spot not only elephant that are so prolific in the park, but also lion, and different antelope species.
Day 41. Livingstone, Zambia - Bulawayo Highlights. Bulawayo. Accommodation. Burkes Paradise.Today, we cross the border into Zimbabwe and pass through the Victoria Falls town and on to Bulawayo, the second-largest city in Zimbabwe after the capital Harare. We stop over in town to stock up on supplies before heading to our accommodation in the leafy suburbs of Bulawayo.
Day 42. Matobos Highlights. Matobo National Park, Zimbabwe. Accommodation. Burkes Paradise.Today, we board our open 4x4 safari vehicles and drive a short distance to the Matobo National Park. The magnificent wind-sculptured Matobo Hills (boulders of granite) are the site of numerous Bushman paintings which holds a spiritual importance to the indigenous people here.
Day 43. Bulawayo – Tshipise, South Africa Highlights. Tshipise, South Africa. Accommodation. Forever Resorts, Tshipise.Leaving Bulawayo, we cross info South Africa and across the Limpopo River -the second largest river in South Africa, the first being the Orange (Gariep) River. The Limpopo also acts as a natural boundary between South Africa and its neighbours Botswana and Zimbabwe, before it flows through Mozambique to the Indian Ocean.
Day 44. Tshipise - Hazyview Highlights. Shangaan tribal dancing . Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.From Tshipise, we head to Hazyview, a small quaint town bordering Southern Africa’s premier game reserve, the Kruger National Park.
Day 45. Hazyview – Kruger National Park Highlights. Kruger National Park, South Africa. Accommodation. Hotel Numbi.Rising with the sun, we meet our local guides and board our open 4x4 safari vehicles and drive to the park entrance gate of the famed Kruger National Park. Home to over 505 species of birds, 148 species of mammals and many reptiles we game drive enthusiastically in search for these during the morning and afternoon.
Day 46. Hazyview - Greater Kruger - PretoriaToday, we pack up and head to South Africa's administrative hub, Pretoria where our tour ends on arrival in the bustling city.
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.
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 this part of Africa. Accommodation is usually available locally on arrival but you can also pre-book this with Acacia. There is a variety of activities and excursions in the Pretoria area you can arrange locally or with your Tour Leader.
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 (43 nights) twin share tents with sleeping bag, pillow and mattress (2 nights) some may be with 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.
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.
45 Breakfast, 35 Lunch, 35 Dinner
42 nights twin share accommodation, 1 night pre-erected tented camp (Delta); 2 nights bush camping at Spitzkoppe and Khomas Region (equipment supplied)
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.