The unique “Rainbow Nation”; in Southern Africa. A melting pot of culture wildlife and wonderful scenery. South Africa’s historic emergence from the Apartheid era has created a country with wonderful spirit. With eleven national languages and many more cultures. South Africa’s wildlife destinations rival the best in the world, with the Kruger National Park being a must for all visitors along with Mkuzi Game reserve and Addo Elephant National Park. The Zulu and the Xhosa cultures portray an intense history of survival and exploration of the country before the arrival of the Dutch Settlers.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL– The best time to travel to South Africa depends on the individuals, for safari enthusiast the best time to travel is between May and October. The temperatures are cooler or mild during the day but might get cold at night. It is our dry season. Along the Cape including the Garden Route, the best time to visit is between September and April, less rain and calm wind. It is warm. But, South Africa can be visited all year round and one will enjoy the warm weather and the beautiful landscape.
KWAZULU NATAL – is a area rich in diversity. In the Maputaland region you find the St. Lucia Wetland Park, an area rich in wildlife and beauty. Sodwana Bay boasts spectacular coral reefs superb for diving and snorkeling. The Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserves offer the chance to see the rare white rhino as well as many other species of wildlife. There are numerous Zulul villages offering crafts, traditional Zulu dance programs and the opportunity to mix and mingle amongst the Zulu tribe. For history enthusiasts a stay in the heart of Zululand with a guided tour to the battlegrounds of the Zulu, British and Boer wars is a must. The scenic Drakensberg mountains offer adventure activities such as hiking, biking and fishing. KwaZulu Natal is a perfect haven for birders.
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK – The Kruger has more species of wildlife than any other reserve in Africa. Famous for the “big five” experience being elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino as well as over 460 different species of bird.
MPUMALANGA – The province bordering the southern Kruger National Park is known as Mpumalanga. The landscape of the Mpumalanga is made up of panoramic mountain passes, river canyons, waterfalls and steep mountains. Some of the most spectacular sights include God’s Window, the Blyde River Canyon (3rd largest in the world), and the old gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest.
B=Breakfast L=Lunch D=Dinner
DAY 1&2 ISANDLWANE BATTLEFIELDS
The tour gets underway from Johannesburg heading to Dundee in KwaZulu Natal where some of the historic battles fought. On the 22nd January 1879, the Zulu warriors locked heads with the British settlers eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand. The Zulu impi (warriors) under the leadership of King Cetshwayo conquered the British. That day marked the birth of the Battle of Isandlwana. We visit the Battle of Isandlwane, Rockers Drift sites and Tulana Museum before returning to the lodge and have some free time in the afternoon. DB&B
DAY 3 PIETERMARITZBURG
Bhambatha ka Manciza Zondi led the protest to oppose the introduction of the £1 poll tax on top of the existing hut and dog taxes in 1906. The Zulus began killing their white-colored animals and destroying all European-made tools, Whites realized that the uprising was imminent. More than 7000 British troops were called to suppress the Zulus, the violent rebellion started, and 4000 rebels lost their lives. We visit the Bhambatha Memorial and continue driving to Howick and visit Nelson Mandela Capture Site. In Pietermaritzburg, we visit the old prison where Mahatma Gandhi detained for protesting the racial discrimination of Indians in South Africa. DB&B
Day 4&5 DURBAN
Durban is the second largest city in South Africa with the busiest harbor in the continent. The city known as South Africa´s playground, it has warm weather all year round and friendly people. We visit Umkhumbane known as Cator Manor, the Victoria Market, Kwamuhle Museum, and Moses Mabhida Stadium. The next day is free, lay around the swimming pool or walk along the beach and taste the Indian dishes. B&B
DAY 6 SHAKALAND (ESHOWE)
Queen Nandi Ka Bebhe the daughter of the Chief Bhebhe from the small village of Eshowe, later became the “queen” of the Zulus and gave birth to a son who later became the king, Shaka. Shaka Zulu showed his leadership skills as a young boy and at the age of 29 he took over as a Zulu king and formed one of the strongest warriors in history. We learn more about the origin of the dominating Zulu tribe during our stay at Shakaland. We have a Zulu dance in the evening where we will learn about the traditional courtship and how the Zulu dance was invented. DB&B
DAY 7&8 ISIMANGALISO WETLAND PARK
Isimangaliso (place of wonders) Wetland Park is Africa´s largest estuary with a very rich biodiversity and unique ecosystems. We have a sunset boat cruise on arrival and have a half day drive through the park visiting the Cape Vidal while the guide provides more information about the park. The rest of the day is free. Walk through the town and visit the vast craft market which has a lot of locally made handcrafted souvenirs. Hippos are often spotted grazing through the lodges in the mornings and in the evenings, be cautious. B&B
DAY 9 MLILWANE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY (SWAZILAND)
We drive towards Hluhluwe and make a stop in one of the villages. Nompondo village is 12 kilometers outside of Hluhluwe town and the village offers the real experience of the local people lifestyle. We have a short cultural tour and visit one of the local schools. We make a stop in Hluhluwe town before driving to Swaziland. We cross to Swaziland and drive through the small villages and reach our lodge just before the sunset. Walk around the lodge, the game (antelopes, zebras, and warthogs) are roaming freely through the lodge. DB&B
DAY 10&11 KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
The day starts with an early breakfast while enjoying the birds viewing over the pond along the restaurant deck. We leave Mlilwane just after breakfast driving towards the border. We Stamp out of Swaziland and re-enter South Africa in Mpumalanga province. Our next stop is the southern part of Greater Kruger in Manyeleti Private Game Reserve. We have more chances of spotting the famous Big 5 while learning about the park, we have a sunset game drive and one morning game drive. Night safaris are only arranged and conducted by the lodge. DBL
DAY 12 PANORAMA ROUTE
We have an early breakfast, do a short game drive towards the exit heading to the high veld region, Blyde River Canyon. The third largest canyon in the world offers spectacular views of the landscape with its famous Three rondavels. There are few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the Lowveld and escarpment. We have a day visit to the canyon, God’s window, Mac Mac Falls and Booker’s Luck Potholes. Our lodge is right at the edge of the escarpment near Graskop town. DB&B
DAY 13 JOHANNESBURG
We leave Blyde River Canyon after breakfast heading to Johannesburg. We drive through the famous Panorama route with beautiful scenic views. We drop off client’s late afternoon at the OR Tambo airport for departures. Tour ends at 16:00. B&B.
TOUR DEPARTS: Johannesburg – TOUR END: Johannesburg
PLACES AND LODGES
Dundee – The Lapha Guesthouse x 2 nights
Pietermarizburg – Imperial Hotel x 1 night
Durban – The Waterfront hotel x 2 nights
Eshowe – Shakaland Hotel x 1 night
St Lucia – Lodge Afrique x 2 nights
Swaziland – Mlilwane Sanctuary x 1 night
Greater Kruger – Khokha Moya tented camp x 2 nights
Blyde River Canyon – Mogodi lodge x 1 night
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