This adventure tour from Johannesburg to Durban meanders through the spectacular sceneries of South Africa and Swaziland, including breath-taking experiences such as game drives and Recreational dives on Protea Banks Reef.
Combine an African safari with our fantastic shark tour and the cultural explosion of Swaziland, and experience the best of South Africa’s land and sea. The Kruger National Park is one of the most renowned game parks in Africa and one can experience the wonder of seeing wild animals in their natural environment. After your search for the Big 5 animals of the land, you will cross the border into the colourful and vibrant Kingdom of Swaziland, a delight to behold. Next head down to Durban and dive the world famous Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. Your 10 dives will give you ample opportunity to immerse yourself in the underwater world of South Africa and it’s many shark, ray and dolphin species. This tour will leave tick a lot of boxes and leave you wanting more.
Our tours come with an "Optional Activity Package". You will need to purchase this package if you would like to partake in what we consider to be "essential activities" on our tours. The Activity Package has been written into the itinerary of the tour so please keep this in mind as if you don't book the package, the activities won't be included. We suggest that you prebook and prepay for your Activity Package to ensure availability.
Accommodated Day 01
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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. Although your tour ends upon arrival in Durban, this afternoon we have time to spend on the beaches of the golden mile.
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Please note that during the next few days (while we are visiting Protea Banks and Aliwal Shoal), the order of activities could change without prior notice and a degree of flexibility is needed. This is to allow for maximum dive opportunities and experiences based on conditions and weather. Please also note that should conditions prevent diving we will substitute an alternative activity.
Leaving the city of Durban behind us we make our way south along the dolphin coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal. About 2 hours north of Durban is the launch site for both Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks, home to some of the best Apex Predator shark diving. We arrive at the Dive House and settle in for our stay. This afternoon we will check all dive equipment, ensure the correct gear is allocated and have a dive briefing for the following days.
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Over the next three days we will have 5 dives on the Protea Banks Reef where we hope to see some of the worlds largest marine predators. During these three days you will also be offered a baited shark dive. Diving both North and South Pinnacles we will have the chance to collect Sand Tiger Shark teeth and explore caves, swim-throughs and tunnels. An optional Tiger and Bull Shark baited dive at Protea Banks will be offered during our stay. This dive takes place in open water, hanging in the blue whilst possible Tiger, Bull, Hammerhead and Oceanic Black-Tip sharks come in to investigate the scent trail around us. A full safety briefing and training session is included and this is a breathtaking experience.
Activity Package Protea Banks baited dive Day 10
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Today we will enjoy 1 Dive on the Protea Banks Reef, allowing for us to have the afternoon at Leisure and be fully rested for our 2 x Dives tomorrow.
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Today we will have our last 2 dives on the Protea Banks Reef, with this being our last chance to possibly see some of the world’s largest marine predators.
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The following two days we spend diving the equally famous Aliwal Shoal. Renowned for Raggie Tooth Sharks congregating in their hundreds, dolphins and the baited shark dive. Each morning we will travel the hour from our Dive House in Margate to the launch site for Aliwal Shoal. Over the two days we will do 3 recreational dives on the Aliwal Shoal, including the famous “Raggie Cave”. The optional baited shark dive is well worth it, with Oceanic Black-Tip Sharks gathering in large numbers and possibly Tiger Sharks investigating the bait.
Activity Package Aliwal Shoal Baited Dive Day 13
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Today will be our last diving day and also our last night in South Africa. Please make sure to make the most of your 1 Diving activity today as this will be the last chance to spot the Raggie Tooth Sharks.
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We travel this morning to the Durban airport where our tour ends upon arrival at the King Shaka International Airport.