Beach, Bush & Culture

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Duration

17 day tour – This tour runs the whole year, just give us your dates and we will make it happen.

Price

€2450 per person sharing
€240 extra for your own room

Group sizes

Min - 1 per group
Max - 12 per group

Pick up & Drop off

Pick up: OR Tambo Int Airport
Drop off: OR Tambo Int Airport

Physical Rating 4/5

On this tour we will be doing some moderate hikes around the Blyde Canyon, Swaziland and the Drakensberg Mountains.

Highlights

Blyde River Canyon, Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Kosi Bay, Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, St Lucia, Durban, Drakensberg Mountains, Soweto

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Itinerary

Day 1 – Johannesburg & Soweto:
In the morning you will be taken to the Apartheid Museum, then you will continue to the famous township of Soweto, with its Orlando towers, the Hector Pieterson Museum and Mandela’s house in the bustling Vilikazi street. The only street in the world to have held two winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. We will have lunch in a typical local shebeen (African word for bar) for some local food!
We will then continue to visit Kliptown Youth Center, where you will learn about the different programs that help the townships children to get a better education and to achieve their dreams. After this whole Soweto experience, we will be heading for our hotel.

Driving distance: N/A
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Own expense
Included activities: Soweto tour, Mandela’s house, Apartheid Museum
Optional activities: N/A

Days 2 – 3 – 4 Kruger National Park:
On this day we will drive towards the Kruger National park, our biggest national park here in South Africa, 20,000sq km and home to a huge variety of animals including the Big 5.
We will head towards our accommodation outside the park where we will be staying for three nights. Hoping to find the most amazing and elusive animals of the African bush, we will be spending the next two days doing game drives and game walks.

Driving distance: 430 km for the day
Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Kruger National Park fees and 4×4 morning & afternoon Game drives
Optional activities: N/A

Day 5 – Swaziland:
We will leave Kruger National Park to make our way towards the Kingdom of Swaziland where your first contact with the Swazi people will be at the Ngwenya Glass factory, which is the only glass factory in the country. We will continue making our way through the Kingdom towards our restaurant for lunch which is next to a local craft market and candle factory mostly known for its Swazi Candles. After our meal you will be able to glance at the Swazi crafts and then learn about the making of these beautiful candles, before heading towards our accommodation inside the Mlilwane Game Reserve, the first reserve ever established in Swaziland, where we will be sleeping in a traditional Swazi hut. Before the end of the day we will take a short walk in the reserve if the weather permits, before enjoying a nice traditional dinner.

Driving distance: 260 km for the day
Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Ngwenya glass factory, Swazi Candles
Optional activities: N/A

Day 6 – Swaziland:
Today we get in touch with the local people by visiting a typical Swazi village. We will spend the whole morning learning from the Swazi people, their traditions and how they live day by day. After our lunch, we will head back towards Mlilwane Game Reserve to do one of the many walks on the reserve, a perfect time to enjoy the landscape that surround us and to enjoy viewing some of the animals that roam free in the reserve.

Driving distance: 80 km for the day
Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Visit of a Swazi Village, Afternoon Game walk
Optional activities: N/A

Day 7 – 8 – 9 Kosi Bay:
On this day we will leave behind the Kingdom of Swaziland to head back to South Africa. This will be our first glance at the South African eastern shores. After settling in into our accommodation you will have the time to relax at the lodge. On day 8 a full beach day at the famous Kosi Mouth beach will be waiting for us, where you will be able to admire the region of the Indian Ocean coming into the tidal lagoon and the forest dunes. A 4×4 will take you to inside the Kosi Bay Reserve until you reach the beautiful shores. You will get the morning to relax and do some snorkeling before the locals show you how to spear fish in the lagoon, followed by a picnic lunch. You can then continue to relax by the beach before heading back to the lodge in the late afternoon.
We will also get the opportunity to visit one of the local villages in the area which is dominated by the Zulu tribe. We get to know their ways and custom before returning to our accommodation.

Driving distance: 300 km for the day
Breakfast:
Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Kosi Bay Reserve entry fees, Snorkeling and Culture Village
Optional activities: Turtle nesting excursion at night with a local guide – November to January is the peak season for sightings.

Days 10 – 11 Hluhluwe – Imfolozi:
We leave the eastern shores to make our way to the oldest game reserve in South Africa. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve was created in 1895, making it the first reserve ever created in Africa and the second in the world after Yellowstone. Today the reserve with its 96000ha is responsible for breeding black and white rhinos so that they can be released into other parks across Africa, hoping to raise their numbers. We will enter the reserve form the northeast side with our vehicle and drive until we reach our accommodation. You will have an afternoon 4×4 game drive.

On day 11 we will do a morning game walk with a local ranger, this amazing experience will give you the feeling of being even closer to nature. Enjoy the hot hours of the day to relax, before leaving on a 4×4 afternoon game drive.

Driving distance: 230 km for the day
Breakfast:
Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Entry fees to Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve, 4×4 Game drives and Game walk
Optional activities: 
N/A

Days 12 – 13 St. Lucia:
Upon our arrival, you will be taken to the activity center where you will be able to book your optional activities for the following day. Afterwards you will be able to enjoy a free afternoon, either by walking in town, or relaxing by the pool or simply organizing a trip with your guide to go to the beach.

Driving distance: 100 km for the day
Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Own expense
Dinner: Own expense
Included activities: Morning game drive on a 4×4
Optional activities: Check SHAKABARKER activity list

Day 14 – Durban:
We leave the peace and calm of St Lucia to head towards the city of Durban which is the third largest city in South Africa and the first city in the world to have the biggest population of Indians outside of India. We will first do a city tour, and explore one of the many Indian markets before having lunch in a local restaurant.
After checking into our hotel you will have some free time to explore the Golden Mile next to the shores of the Indian Ocean, with its souvenir stands and local life. You can either enjoy the beach, or organize a trip to Ushaka Marine World and visit the biggest aquarium in the Southern Hemisphere and its stunning water park.

Driving distance: 280 km for the day
Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Own expense
Dinner: Own expense
Included activities: Indian Market, City tour
Optional activities: Ushaka Marine World

Days 15 – 16 Drakensberg:
We leave the eastern shores to dive into the spectacular mountain range of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg. Separating Lesotho from South Africa, this is the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, peaking at 3475m above sea level and stretching for more than 1000km. In Zulu the mountains are known as uKhahlamba meaning barrier of spears. Because of its range of plant life and the richest collection of San rock paintings in Africa, it has been declared a World Heritage Site.

After getting comfortable at our lodge, we will depart for a nice afternoon walk around the area where Bushman paintings, dating back almost 2000 years can be seen.
On day 16 we will take the whole day to walk towards the second highest waterfall in the world, Tugela falls, falling from 948m in the Royal Natal Park. We will carry our packed lunch and have it in a picnic style while gazing at the amazing scenery. Our walk will be a total of 15 km. After our nice adventure in the mountains we return to the lodge, where you will have time to relax before enjoying a nice dinner.

Driving distance: 340 km for the day
Meals: Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Included
Dinner: Included
Included activities: Entry fees to Royal Natal Park, Afternoon walk, Tugela Falls hike
Optional activities: N/A

Day 17 – Johannesburg:
On our last day together we will head back towards civilization, to Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg.
Checkin into our hotel and rest of the day for free before having our last dinner together as a group.

Driving distance: 390 km for the day
Meals: Breakfast: Included
Lunch: Own expense
Dinner: Own expense
Included activities: N/A
Optional activities: N/A

Included & Not Included

Tour include:
3 – 4 Star accommodation
All camping material
Meals shown on itinerary
All activities shown on the itinerary
All entry fees to the parks
Vehicle, toll gates and fuel
Professional guide/driver
Pick up and drop off at airport/hotel
Flights shown on the itinerary

Tour don’t include:
International flights
Some own expense meals
Entry visas for Botswana and Zimbabwe
Optional activities
Souvenirs
Gratuities
Drinks
Travel insurance
Airport taxes

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