South Africa special tour with Swaziland
- South Africa
Welcome to South Africa, really a world in one country. This tailormade tour and vacation, including a bit of Swaziland, will show you around this beautiful country, allowing you to taste great food and world class wine, meet friendly people and diverse cultures, and enjoy wilderness experiences!Read more
Welcome to South Africa, really a world in one country. This tailormade tour and vacation, including a bit of Swaziland, will show you around this beautiful country, allowing you to taste great food and world class wine, meet friendly people and diverse cultures, and enjoy wilderness experiences!
Our local travel experts will make sure you have everything that you need and more to make this African journey one in a lifetime. This tailormade vacation will not only leave you with incredible memories, but will also assist in growing your connection with nature, people and our natural environment.
Few countries in the world can rival South Africa for its biodiversity and cultural mixture and our local experts will show you all the South African highlights:
Arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and meet your representative/guide with a bottle of water. Depart to the nation’s capital, Pretoria, where we visit the Union Buildings, acting as the seat of the Government of South Africa and also the place where Nelson Mandela lay in State for three days after passing away in 2013. It also saw the inauguration of Mandela as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. A nine metre high statue of Mandela was erected here after his passing. Enjoy wonderful views of Pretoria.
If arrival is in the evening, we will not visit the Union Buildings and will drive straight to the restaurant for dinner and then on to the accommodation. Head to the East of the city and our gueshouse for the night, It is a short drive to our dinner destination: Bistrot Boer’geoisie for some delicious traditional Afrikaner cuisine and great atmosphere. Enjoy post dinner drinks at Capital Craft – one of Pretoria’s main waterholes. (Total distance:100 km, Approx. travel time: 2,5 hours). No meals included.
After breakfast, we pack our bags and head North. Once we reach Polokwane, the capital of the Limpopo Province, we turn due East. We pass the interesting Turfloop area with its typical rural settlements. Lunch is take-away along the road (own expense). We soon arrive at the Sunland Baobab - the Biggest Baobab in world - according to the land owners. And also the biggest tree in South Africa - with a bar inside. Dinner is served around the fire after which a drink inside the baobab tree is at the order of the day. (Total distance: 400 km; Approx. travel time: 6 hours). Breakfast and dinner included.
After breakfast and a farewell to the giant tree, we depart in the direction of Phalaborwa. Once we have passed through Tzaneen, Letsitele and Gravelotte, we are finally in the Big 5 area. Our first stop is at the Amarula Lapa where we learn more about the process of producing this local cream liqueur made from the fruit of the Marula tree. Of course you will also taste it!
After a light lunch at the Amarula Lapa, we head over to our accommodation a mere 100 metres from the famous Kruger National Park’s Phalaborwa Gate. After settling in and relaxing, we drive the short distance down to the Olifants River, lying to the South of town where we embark on an afternoon/sunset boat cruise. The southern bank of the Olifants River forms part of the Balule Nature Reserve, hosting the Big 5 and having open boundaries with the Kruger National Park. There is a lot of wildlife to be seen from the deck of the boat to go along with your sundowner drink.
On returning to solid ground, we enjoy a traditional braai (barbeque) meal at the restaurant right on the river’s edge. (Total distance: 150 km; Approx. travel time: 2 hours). Full board.
Wake up early this morning to depart on our 30 km cycle inside the Kruger National Park. This is a unique way to experience this vast piece of African wilderness. You will receive your mountain bikes and helmets at the gate and after a safety and information briefing, depart with your two armed guides on this epic adventure. The chance is very good that you will meet some big game along the four hour cycle. On arriving back at the gate, walk the 100 metre back to the hotel for a scrumptious and well-deserved breakfast. After breakfast (brunch), enjoy some time to relax in your comfortable room or around the swimming pool.
Later in the afternoon, we again meet the guides who will take us on a late afternoon game drive inside the Kruger National Park to Letaba Rest Camp. Here we enjoy dinner (drinks and dessert own expense) in the restaurant overlooking the Letaba River, before we head back to Phalaborwa on a night drive. This is great way to experience the wilderness at night and hopefully catch a glimpse of the elusive nocturnal predators. (Total distance: 60 km; Approx. travel time: 1 hour). Coffee and muffins in the morning, brunch and dinner included.
From Phalaborwa we travel through Hoedspruit and up the Abel Erasmus Pass to reach the well-known Panorama Route. We stop to visit the Bourke’s Luck Potholes (natural potholes formed where the Blyde and Treur Rivers meet) and the Three Rondavels Viewpoint (Blyde River Canyon – said to be the third biggest canyon in the world). Then we descend again from the Highveld to the Lowveld and the difference in vegetation and climate is clear to experience. We drop to an average of 500 metres above sea level and immediately start encountering private game reserves along the road.
We enjoy a picnic lunch at the Bourke’s Luck potholes. Once down the escarpment, we make our way back to the Kruger Park. This time to the game rich areas around Satara and Skukuza. We enter the park at Orpen Gate and drive the short distance to your overnight camp. Check into our accommodation before enjoying dinner around the fire prepared by the guide. (Total distance: 350 km; Total travel time: 5 hours). Full board.
We have another early morning wakeup as we depart when the gate opens in order to get the best out of the good early morning game viewing weather. We game drive all the way down to Skukuza, the Kruger National Park’s main camp, while stopping at Satara rest camp and Tshokwane Picnic site along the way. We will enjoy a picnic breakfast at Satara and lunch at Tshokwane.
The area between Satara and Skukuza, especially along the Sabie River, is well-known as one of the wildlife hotspots in the park. On arriving at Skukuza, we check into our accommodation before enjoying dinner around the fire. Enjoy this evening around the fire in this traditional South African bush escape. (Total distance: 150 km; Total travel time: 6 hours). Full board.
Our destination today is the spectacular Malkerns Valley in the small independent country of Swaziland. The Kingdom of Swaziland is located between South Africa and Mozambique. Depart early in order to make the most of the early morning. We drive a further two hours on the way out of the Kruger Park in the hope to catch a last glimpse of especially the endangered black and white rhino’s that abound in the South of the park.
Head for the border of Swaziland at Jeppe’s Reef. After all the border formalities, we drive into the small country heading to Ngwenya and their famous glass factory. Here we stop briefly to witness the making of beautiful glass art and ornaments. From here we drive through the capital, Mbabane, before arriving in the afternoon in the Malkerns Valley at your lodge.
Enjoy farm-fresh meals at Malandela’s Restaurant and mingle with the locals at the friendly pub. Relax by the pool and eander through vibrant Botanical Gardens. View the fantastical work of local artists at House On Fire Gallery and visit the Gone Rural workshop where indigenous women create fashion stylish home products from natural and recycled materials. Dinner is served at the lodge. (Total distance: 250 km; Approx. travel time: 7 hours). Full board.
After breakfast we travel South and exit Swaziland at Golela Borderpost. From here it is another two and a half hour drive to the Memorial Gate at the Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Game Reserve. Once inside the reserve, we head in the direction of Hilltop Camp where we will enjoy a late lunch combined with stunning views of the Zululand valleys below us.
Hluhluwe-Mfolozi Nature Reserve is important as a rhino stronghold and also the place where rhino’s were brought back from the brink of extinction in the 1960’s. We continue our game drive through Hluhluwe and in the late afternoon, after a fruitful drive, we leave via the Mfolozi section on the way to Mtubatuba and the town of St Lucia. The town lies on the edge of the St Lucia Estuary, which forms an integral part of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). On the other side of the town the warm water of the Indian Ocean laps the wide beach. This is a wonderfully wild town where hippo’s are often seen wandering around the gardens at night.
Dinner will be served at your guest house. (Total distance: 420 km; Approx. travel time: 8 hours). Full board.
After a delicious breakfast served by the guest house, we head into the Isimangaliso Wetland Park to discover the coastal sandveld forest and beautiful beach at Cape Vidal. Be sure to bring your swimwear and sun block. After a walk in the forest and a stroll on the beach or swim in the waves, we enjoy lunch. In the afternoon, we head back to St Lucia for our boat cruise on the estuary. The estuary has one of the highest concentrations of birds in South Africa as well as the highest concentration of hippos and crocodiles in the country.
Dinner is at a local restaurant in town (own expense). (Total distance: 90 km; Approx. travel time: 1 hour). Breakfast and lunch included.
From St Lucia we head inland and upwards. Leaving the Indian Ocean behind, we climb through the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to reach the Drakensberg at 1 800 metres above sea level. Your mountain lodge lies on the south-eastern edge of the Free State Province and just past the sprawling town of Phuthaditjaba – stronghold of the Sesotho nation. Our road becomes a narrow track leading up the mountain and views of the Amphitheatre in the Northern Drakensberg is only surpassed by the fresh air and friendly and helpful staff.
Witsieshoek is a community owned lodge high in the Drakensberg Mountain - Ukuhlamba World Heritage Site (multitude of San/Bushmen rock paintings found in the caves and overhangs and the uniqueness of the environment gave rise to its World Heritage Site status) - South Africa’s highest range at above 3 000 m above sea level. We will arrive in time to walk a short distance in the chilly later afternoon wind to view the spectacular sunset over the mountains. Back at the lodge, make yourself comfortable around the log fire or in the cosy bar before dinner.
Today will be spent hiking. After a hearty breakfast we take a short drive further up the mountain to the Sentinal Peak car park. Here we leave the vehicle behind, sign the register and start our day hike. This route from Witsieshoek is the easiest way to access the top of the Drakensberg mountain, as well as the Tugela Falls (the second highest single drop waterfall in the world).
As we hike further up, the views become even more spectacular. After three hours of walking, we reach the chain ladder. This is our key to the top of the mountain. Once up the chain ladder, we have a short walk to the top of the Tugela Falls and the Amphitheatre. The scene that unfolds in front of us is one of absolute natural splendour. Green valleys, clouds, streams and sky. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the falls before we head back to the vehicle.
(Total distance: 450 km, Approx. travel time: 7 hours). Full board included on both days.
Today we travel back to the Gauteng Province. We stop in the quaint little town of Clarens. Here you can taste some locally brewed beer before we drive out of town to Cafe Moulin - set on a beautiful farm just outside the Golden Gate National Park. We reach the airport in Johannesburg in time for our domestic flight to Port Elizabeth on the Garden Route.
On arriving in the Friendly City, we immediately head out to the Garden Route National Park. We reach Storms River which forms part of the Tsitsikamma (“place of water”) section of the Garden Route National Park. Dinner tonight is own expense in the restaurant.
Morning walk to the mouth of the Storms River. Spend the rest of the day relaxing on the sheltered beach, or just staring at the mesmerising waves as they crash onto the rocks. Optional walk in the afternoon on the world famous Otter Hiking Trail. Optional activity during the day is a kayak and tubing combo along the coastline and the Storms River – this is great fun in a beautiful setting. (Total distance: 350 km & 120 km; Approx. travel time: 7 hours). Full board.
After two relaxing days at Storms River, we head for the coastal town of Knysna. But first, we stop at the Bloukrans River Bridge, where the world’s highest commercial bungy jump is located (210 m).
The road we take past Plettenburg Bay to Knysna is extremely beautiful. Knysna is known as Oyster Town. But apart from this delicacy, it is situated on the Knysna Estuary, with a lot to see and do in terms of adventure. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant on the water (own expense) and an afternoon cruise on the estuary. Optional activities include kayak, mountain bike in the forest and bungee jump at the world’s highest commercial site in the world, Bloukrans Bridge. (Total distance: 120 km; Approx. travel time: 2 hours). Breakfast and dinner included.
From Knysna, we drive the gorgeous Lakes District road to the town of George from where we head inland. Once across the Outeniqua Pass that connects the coastal area with the dry interior, you will immediately experience the change in climate.
We pass the town of Oudtshoorn (the Ostrich capital of the world), where we stop briefly at an ostrich farm before heading out ino the Little Karoo (a semi-desert area that covers a big part of South Africa). We drive the well known Route 62 and have lunch at the enigmatic Ronnie’s Sex Shop along the way.
We arrive in McGregor in the afternoon. McGregor is a typical small village in rural South Africa. Here we enjoy a private tasting of boutique wines. Dinner is a continuation of the wine tasting as this night becomes a festival of good food and wine. (Total distance: 400 km; Approx. travel time: 7 hours). Full board.
After a relaxed breakfast in the small village of McGregor, we take to the road once more. This time the Mother City, Cape Town, is our destination. But first, we make a couple of stops on the way to experience more of the very best of South Africa’s wine farms and their produce. These include farms in the beautiful Franschhoek and Paarl valleys.
We arrive at our accommodation in the afternoon and settle in before we head out for dinner at the V&A Waterfront. Our programme over the next three days will depend on the weather. The reason: we cannot go up to Table Mountain if the weather is bad. It can change quickly and therefore the mornings are best. We will make the call early in the morning and then plan our day. We will do the following activities:
(Optional activities: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Robben Island Museum, former prison of Nelson Mandela, Clifton and Camps Bay beaches, City tour, Day at leisure). Dinner on Day 17 is at your own expense.
After breakfast, transfer to Cape Town International Airport in time for your flights back home. If you prefer, you can book a couple of extra day’s in Cape Town. There is always a lot more to see and do in this cosmopolitan city. Only breakfast included.