20 Day South African Explorer Tour
The Best of South Africa and its neighbours
Country: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho
Enjoy a 20 day African adventure tour through South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho where you will enjoy a variety of adventures! Your adventure kicks off with a visit to Kruger National Park. Experience the thrill of being on safari, observing the big five as well as zebras, giraffe and rhinos in the largest game reserve in South Africa (Kruger is larger than some small countries in Europe).
Itinerary in short:
The sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window.
Your journey then winds through the rolling emerald hills of Swaziland and up to the highlands of Lesotho where you have the opportunity to go pony trekking.
Your game viewing experience continues in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and at Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered Rhinoceros.
After a relaxing day at the beach in Durban we roll through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park.
We continue with out tour to the Garden Route, a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and with an exciting menu of optional adventures.
Before we arrive in Cape Town we visit the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn.
Pricing & Details
Extend your time in Africa by combining this tour with our 20 day Cape Town to Victoria Falls tour to experience some of the ultimate highlights that Africa has to offer.
Crew: 2 Crew
Max Passengers: 20 Passengers Max
Vehicle: Adventure Truck
Duration: 20 Days 19 Nights
From / To: Johannesburg to Cape Town
Meals: 19 Breakfast 13 Lunch 16 Dinner
Countries: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho
Price: R21 750
Single Supplement: R1 660
Activity Package: R3 150
Green Seat: R220
Price: R28 850
Single Supplement: R4 350
Activity Package: R3 150
Green Seat: R220
Day 1: Greater Kruger National Park
Leaving the city of Johannesburg behind us we make our way east through the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Our journey today follows in the footsteps of the old trade-routes to the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. This afternoon there will be an opportunity to join an optional Sundowner Drive, booking is essential and your guide can assist on departure this morning.
*Please note that it is possible that your crew and truck will change today. Please report to the hotel reception to meet your crew for your 07:00 departure.
Day 2: Kruger National Park
Rising early this morning we enter the Kruger National Park to enjoy a full-day of game viewing. The abundance of wildlife presents us with opportunities for excellent sightings and the Kruger is also home to the famed members of Africa’s Big-5. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Our activity package offers the added excitement of experiencing the park from an open-sided 4×4 vehicle. This evening there is a second opportunity for the optional Sundowner Drive.
Day 3: Kruger National Park
While those who elect to do the optional morning walk will have an earlier start, we set out a little later today and travel the short distance to the Panorama Route. Strung along the escarpment that divides the central plateau and low-lying bushveld of the Kruger, the sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon.
Day 4: Kruger to Swaziland
We start the day early with some traditional coffee and rusks before setting off through Kruger on our way to Swaziland. Our truck offers an excellent platform for game viewing as we make our way south. We exit the southern end of the park and travel the short distance to Swaziland border, our route this afternoon winds through the mountains and forests of this landlocked kingdom. Our destination for today is the Ezulwini Valley just south of the capital Mbabane.
Day 5: Isimangaliso, Greater St Lucia
Situated in the Ezulwini Valley, which translates to “valley of heaven”, the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland’s oldest reserve and covers 4,560 hectares. As the reserve has no large predators we will enjoy a morning hiking amongst the game the roams the plains. Should you prefer there are a range of optional activities offered by the reserve and you could enjoy a game drive, mountain biking or a visit to the Chief’s traditional village. This afternoon we continue south into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans. This evening we are treated to a cultural experience where we will learn more of the Zulu traditions and language.
Day 6: Hluhluwe – Imfolozi Game Reserve
We set out early this morning for a game drive in the nearby Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered Rhinoceros. The reserve has played a critical role in the preservation of these endangered animals, both Black and White Rhinoceros occur in the park and many populations owe their ongoing existence to animals that have been raised here. While Rhinoceros are the most famous of the parks inhabitants, the park also provides a home to many other species, including the Big-5 that we all hope to see. Returning to our lodging for a siesta, we freshen up for an afternoon boat cruise on St Lucia estuary.
Day 7: Durban
Durban has long been the favourite holiday destination for South Africans, the golden mile with its warm seas and safe swimming beaches attracts visitors throughout the year. This afternoon we have time to spend on the beaches of the golden mile. Tonight we enjoy a dinner out and an opportunity to sample the Indian influenced dishes that have become a hallmark of Durban cuisine.
Day 8: UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
A lazy morning offers the chance for a final swim or stroll along the beach before we leave the coast behind us, our destination is the mountains of the Drakensberg. Running the length of the Kwazulu-Natal province, the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO recognised world heritage site. Whether you go by the Zulu name uKhahlamba, meaning ‘barrier of spears’, or the Afrikaans name Drakensberge, meaning ‘dragon mountains’, these towering mountains will be our backdrop for the next two nights. On our way we make a stop at the scenic Howick Falls and a visit to the nearby site that marked the capture of South Africa’s most famous man. In 1962, police waved down a car on a lonely stretch of road, they arrested Nelson Mandela who would go on to serve 27 years in prison before eventually becoming the president of South Africa in 1994.
Day 9: UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
We set out this morning for a day of hiking to explore the mountains of the Drakensberg, along our way we will have the opportunity to view examples of San rock art with a local guide. While we encourage everyone to make the most of the day in mountains, we may offer separate options depending on the activity level of the group. With a number of trails available we can ensure that we cater to every need, the most important aim is to ensure everyone enjoys this mountain paradise at their own pace.
Day 10: Lesotho – Malealea
Our journey today begins with a mountain pass and an opportunity to visit a Vulture restaurant where we hope to view these fascinating birds. Our route winds its way through the magnificent cliffs off the Golden Gate National Park before we enter Lesotho in the afternoon, we pass the capital city of Maseru as continue the climb to our base high amongst the mountain peaks.
Day 11: Lesotho – Malealea
The clean air of the mountains accompanies us this morning as we explore the mountains on foot, our hike concludes with a village visit and the opportunity to gain insight into the community that calls these mountains home. The Basotho are famous for their traditional hats, blankets, and their sturdy ponies. Basotho ponies are renowned for their sure-footed ness in the mountains and you have the opportunity of an optional pony trek this afternoon to experience this first-hand.
Day 12: South Africa – Graaff Reinet
Returning to South Africa, we descend the mountains and take aim across the Great Karoo. The semi-arid Karoo represents the heartland of rural South Africa and presents a stark contrast to the mountains we leave behind. Our overnight stop is set in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in the country. We cross the mighty Orange (Gariep) River today as we journey through the vast countryside of the Karoo. This evening you will have the opportunity to join an optional sundowner excursion to the Valley of Desolation, this unique valley offers a panoramic view over the town and the wide open plains stretching out below.
Day 13: Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
We are joined this morning by a local guide who will introduce us the historical highlights of Graaff-Reinet, with one of the highest concentrations of monuments the town offers a charming insight into the history of the land. Setting course for the coast once again, we roll through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park.
Day 14: Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
Famed for the elephants after which the park was named, recent expansion has seen Addo grow to become the third largest of South Africa’s National Parks. The unique vegetation of Addo supports a wide variety of wildlife and we will spend the afternoon in search of the animals that call Addo home.
Day 15: Tsitsikamma National Park
Setting out early this morning we game drive through the Addo National Park before turning west to Tsitsikamma, where the wonders of the Garden Route await. We make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay, most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. Our final destination is the Tsitiskamma region where we set up for the next two nights.
Day 16: Tsitsikamma National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail, this is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. For the adventurous the Waterfall Trail offers a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, an out and back trial we stop for a refreshing swim at the base of an icy Waterfall. For those who wish to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent forests an optional zip line tour through the canopy is offered this afternoon.
Day 17: Heart of the Garden Route
The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for an exploration of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this paradise. We end the afternoon on the beautiful beaches of the Keurbooms Lagoon. Today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you with a plan to get the most out the day, the truck will run a set schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs giving you the freedom to join or leave at the places of most interest to you. We celebrate our adventures with dinner out on the town this evening.
Day 18: Oudtshoorn
This morning the adventurous can join a number of optional activities on offer in the resort town of Plettenberg Bay, the winter months (July to November) offer some of the finest Whale Watching in the world and an ocean safari is not to be missed during these months. For those less inclined to adventure on the high seas, the morning can be spent at leisure on the beach or exploring this holiday town. This afternoon we cross the Outeniqua Mountains as we wind our way to the Klein Karoo, we end the day with a visit to the impressive formations of the Cango Caves, we join a guided tour as we venture underground into this sprawling network of limestone caves.
Day 19: Oudtshoorn to Paarl
Our first stop this morning is an Ostrich Farm where we undertake a guide tour to learn more about the world’s largest birds. Travelling through the valley of the Klein Karoo, we follow the winding tarmac of Route 62. Road trips in South Africa are an exploration of the rural highlights that dot the lesser known byways of the land, no journey would be complete without sampling the offerings of a “Padstal” along the way. These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub! Our day ends with a celebratory dinner out.
Day 20: Paarl – Cape Town
Cape Town is not only set in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, but offers a wide variety of attractions and highlights. We will gain a unique insight into the city when we join a local guide for a Cultural Tour. We Sample some of the fine Cape wines and spend some time exploring the town of Stellenbosch. To allow for Sundays and Public Holidays the order of events may be reversed today, the tour will however always end in Cape Town in the afternoon.