Rising early this morning you will enter the Kruger National Park to enjoy a full-day of game viewing in open 4X4 vehicles. The abundance of wildlife presents you with opportunities for excellent sightings and Kruger is also home to the famed members of Africa’s ‘Big Five’. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species. Your activity package offers the added excitement of experiencing the park from an open-sided 4X4 vehicle. This evening there is a second opportunity for the optional Sundowner drive (at own expense). (BLD)
Included Highlight: Kruger National Park 4×4 game drive.
Day 3 - Kruger National Park
While those who elect to do the optional morning walk will have an earlier start (at own expense), you can 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 a day of scenic delights. You will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Panorama Route – Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window.
Day 4 - Eswatini (Swaziland)
Route: Nkambeni to Mlilwane – 270km
You start the day early with some coffee and traditional rusks before setting off through Kruger on your way to Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). Your truck offers an excellent platform for game viewing as you make your way south. You will exit the southern end of the park and travel the short distance to Eswatini (Swaziland) border, your route this afternoon winds through the mountains and forests of this landlocked kingdom. Your destination for today is the Ezulwini Valley just south of the capital Mbabane. (BLD)
Included Activity: Game drive as you exit Kruger National Park (in your Nomad vehicle).
Day 5 – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Endless hours of self-guided exploration within the small 4560ha Mlilwane sanctuary are possible due to the relative absence of dangerous game. This morning your guide will lead you out on a nature walk to explore the “Nature Trail“ which provides interpretation of historical and environmental information of the area. Later this morning, you embark on a 2-hour guided walk through the Esitjeni community, allowing you a glimpse of life on a day-to-day basis. This interactive experience could involve grinding maize, carrying water, building a wall or washing clothes in the steam. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Nature walk Mlilwane with Nomad Guide.
Optional Activity: Game drives, Cultural experience, mountain biking and hiking, Esijeni Cultural Tour.
Day 6 – St Lucia
Route: Mlilwane to St Lucia – 340km
Today you exit Eswatini (Swaziland) and return to South Africa, making your way to the town of St Lucia and continue south into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans. This evening you are treated to a cultural experience where you will learn more of the Zulu traditions and language. (BLD)
Activity Package: Game drive in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, St. Lucia boat cruise.
Day 7 - Hluhulwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve
You 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 your lodging for a siesta, you freshen up for an afternoon boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Game drive in Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park, St. Lucia boat cruise.
Day 8 - UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Route: St Lucia to Drakensberg – 460km
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 Drakensberg, meaning ‘dragon mountains’, these towering mountains will be your backdrop for the next two nights. On your way you make a short stop in Durban to stretch your legs before continuing to view the scenic Howick Falls and a visit to the nearby site that marked the capture of South Africa’s most famous man, Nelson Mandela. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Visit to the Mandela Capture Site, visit Howick Falls.
Day 9 - UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
You will set out this morning for a day of hiking to explore the mountains of the Drakensberg, along your way you will have the opportunity to view examples of San rock art with a local guide. While you’re encouraged to make the most of the day in mountains, there may be separate options offered depending on the activity level of the group. With a number of trails available every need is catered for, the most important aim is to ensure everyone enjoys this mountain paradise at their own pace. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Full day hike with your guide in Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park.
Day 10 - Malealea
Route: Drakensburg to Malealea – 450km
Your journey today begins with a mountain pass and an opportunity to visit a vulture restaurant where you can hope to view these fascinating birds. Your route winds its way through the magnificent cliffs off the Golden Gate National Park before you enter Lesotho in the afternoon, you will pass the capital city of Maseru as continue the climb to your base high amongst the mountain peaks. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Drive through Golden Gate.
Day 11 - Malealea
The clean air of the mountains accompanies you this morning as you explore the mountains on foot, your 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 surefootedness in the mountains and you have the opportunity of an optional pony trek this afternoon to experience this first-hand (at own expense). (BLD)
Included Highlight: Morning hike, Lesotho Village Visit.
Optional Activity: Pony trekking, additional Hiking options.
Day 12 - Graaff-Reinet
Route: Malealea to Graaff Reinet – 510km
Returning to South Africa, you will 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 you will leave behind. Your overnight stop is set in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in the country. You will cross the mighty Orange (Gariep) River today as you journey through the vast countryside of the Karoo. This afternoon, as part of your activity package you are joined by a local guide who will introduce you to the historical highlights of the town, ending with a 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. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Valley of Desolation sundowner.
Day 13 - Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
Route: Graaff Reinet to Addo Elephant National Park – 270km
Setting course for the coast once again, you will roll through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park and enjoy an afternoon game drive through the park. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in Addo National Park in the Nomad vehicle.
Day 14 - Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
This morning you will have the option to visit Port Elizabeth before returning to camp for lunch, this afternoon you make your second visit to Addo. 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 you will spend the afternoon in search of the animals. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in Addo National Park (in the Nomad vehicle).
Day 15 - Tsitsikamma National Park
Route: Addo area to Tsitsikamma – 190km
Setting out early this morning turning west to Tsitsikamma, where the wonders of the Garden Route await. You can 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. Your final destination is the Tsitsikamma region where you will set up for the next two nights. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Stop in the Surfing town of Jeffreys Bay.
Day 16 - Tsitsikamma National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning you set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Your hike along the Waterfall Trail sees you 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. You return after your hike and will have the chance to enjoy an optional activity of the Woodcutters Journey in the afternoon (own expense) – experiencing the uniqueness of the Tsitsikamma biome and learning about the history of the area and it’s indigenous fauna & flora. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Tsitsikamma National Park entrance including a hike with your guide.
Optional Activity: Woodcutters Journey Tour, Treetop Canopy Tour.
Day 17 - Oudtshoorn
Route: Tsitsikamma to Oudtshoorn – 220km
After a stop in the town of Knysna, you make your way inland, crossing the Outeniqua Mountains and descend to the town of Oudtshoorn. You will head to the famous Cango caves to enjoy a guided tour where you can marvel at the astonishing formations in these impressive limestone caves. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Morning Visit to Natures Valley, Cango Caves basic tour.
Day 18 - Barrydale
Route: Oudtshoorn to Barrydale – 185km
This morning you bid farewell to the Klein Karoo and you follow a section of the scenic Route 62, stopping to experience some of the many farm stalls on the way. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub! (BLD)
Included Highlight: Stop at Ronnie’s sex shop (a pub).
Day 19 - Stanford
Route: Barrydale to Stanford – 160km
After passing through some quaint Overberg villages, you will reach the De Hoop Nature Reserve where you will have time to walk and explore a small section of the reserve. After having stretched your legs, you will visit the southernmost tip of the African continent, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, Cape Agulhas. You will overnight in the town of Stanford. (BLD)
Included Highlight: Southern most tip of Africa – Cape Agulhas, De Hoop Nature Reserve walk, entrance to Cape Agulhas Lighthouse.
Day 20 - End of South African Explorer Luxury Tour
Route: Stanford to Cape Town – 160km
Made up of a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys, the Cape Whale Coast is a pristine stretch of the South African coastline which runs from the town of Rooiels for roughly 150km, to the east. Beginning early, you will have a short time to stroll along the boardwalk in Hermanus in search of the southern right whales that frequent the shores in the months of July to November. Next you stop at the largest breeding colony of the African Penguin, Stony Point Nature Reserve before travelling along the coast to a wine farm in the Stellenbosch region to sample some chocolates & wine. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in the city centre of Cape Town. (BL)
Included Highlight: Stony Point Penguin Colony visit, Wine tasting.