Gazing across the vineyard's breathtaking panorama with a refreshing local wine in hand, we reflect on our thrilling journey, encounters with Africa's mighty beasts, great parades of elephants crossing our path, spectacular sunsets, beautiful ocean views, the majestic mountains. Nobody forgets this magical country.
From Johannesburg we follow the Panorama Route to the Kruger National Park. Kruger offers one of the best wildlife experiences in Southern Africa, and is home to Africa's ‘Big Five'. We'll have a series of game drives here before travelling on to the tiny country yet mighty Kingdom of Swaziland which encapsulates the best of Southern Africa. Here we'll enjoy beautiful landscapes and a culture rich in tribal traditions.
Next stop is KwaZulu Natal, where we take a game drive in Hluhluwe National Park and a boat cruise in the St Lucia wetlands. We are likely to see crocodiles and hippos as well as some wonderful birdlife. From the African bush we travel to the dramatic and majestic Drakensberg Mountains, providing the most scenic setting for some walks in the Cathedral Peak National Park.
After a short stay in Durban, we fly to Port Elizabeth and discover the Eastern Cape including Addo Elephant National Park to see great herds of elephants. Straddling the Eastern and Western Cape and a highlight on the Garden Route is Tsitsikamma, we'll enjoy great walks here before continuing along the Garden Route to Plettenberg Bay and its pristine beaches. The distances are much shorter now so the next two days allow us to visit Oudtshoorn, where the red sandy earth contrasts the rugged coast. We'll visit an Ostrich Farm and the Cango Caves. Our last stop is Stellenbosch in the beautiful winelands, where we can relax, enjoy the local wines and reflect on a magical journey.
We travel in an overland truck throughout providing an element of comfort while being robust enough to cope with the African terrain.
Depart London Heathrow and fly to Johannesburg(South Africa).
On arrival in Johannesburg Airport we will travel by road to our hotel in Johannesburg. We will have time to relax or wander into the city with our tour leader.
Today we travel 250 miles, taking in the Panorama Route, as we head towards Kruger National Park. We will be staying in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga province, and our camp is only 2 miles from Numbi Gate access point to Kruger National Park. If we arrive in good time, we will have the opportunity to take an optional sunset game drive.
We have a full day game drive in Kruger National Park. The park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld,this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. And it's home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Today we expect to tick off some of the Big 5, we may even be lucky enough to see them all!
We start with a morning game drive in Kruger National Park, before travelling 180 miles by road to the tiny kingdom of Swaziland. Encapsulating the best of Southern Africa in a nutshell, Swaziland is rich in culture, traditions, wildlife and beautiful untouched nature. Here we will stay in Mlilwane, enjoying the opportunity to camp in the beautiful Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the Ezulwini Valley also known as “ Valley of Heaven”.
This morning we will choose from either a guided game walk or a birding walk in Milwane Sanctuary, these will take around 2.5 hours and will be taken at a leisurely pace to allow us to stop and encounter wildlife. This afternoon we will cover 250 miles, travelling back into South Africa to St Lucia in the Kwazulu Natal region. St Lucia forms part of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and its estuary has one of the highest concentrations of hippos and crocodiles in southern Africa, a great place for close but safe encounters with these magnificent creatures. This region is also rich in Zulu culture and we will enjoy a Zulu experience with the locals.
We go in search of African wildlife once again with a game drive in Hluhluwe National Park. Home of the‘Save the Rhino Campaign’ hopefully we can spot rhinoceros (both black and white), as well as buffalo, elephant, lion and leopard - as well to learn about the smaller players in the eco-system. This afternoon we will take a boat trip on the Isimangaliso/Lake St Lucia Wetland Park’, a ‘UNESCO’ ‘World Heritage Site’, offering us excellent bird watching and the opportunity to see hippopotamus and crocodiles.
Today we will be travelling the 300 miles to the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains. This is a long drive, but we will be taking regular stops and you will be rewarded with the most wonderful panoramic views as we approach the Drakenberg Mountain area. On arrival we will relax in our excellent accommodation in the heart of Cathedral Peak National Park.
We will take a walk with our local guide in the Cathedral Peak National Park, there are so many wonderful walks to choose from and our local guide will select the one that best suits both the group and the current local conditions, to ensure you get the most out of your day.
Today we travel to Durban, 180 miles by road.Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and enjoys great importance due to its industry and extensive port. (Thanks to the subtropical climate and the long stretches of beautiful beaches.) An orientation tour of the city will allow you to see a good mix of old and new, East and West with a touch of Africa. We will drive along the Golden Mile promenade where numerous hotels and restaurants are situated. And we will also visit the Victoria Market. At the end of the tour we will be dropped at the Botanical Gardens where you can spend the remainder your afternoon.
This morning we fly from Durban Airport to Port Elisabeth. From Port Elisabeth Airport we drive to Addo Elephant Park. The park stretches from Darlington Lake, across the Zuurberg Mountains, through dense valley bushveld to the lush green indigenous forests at Woody Cape. Almost everything is here: five of the world’s seven biomes;the “Big Seven” (elephant, rhinoceros (both black and white) lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark), the unique flightless dung beetle and the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere. It also protects the world's largest Cape Gannet breeding population on Bird Island. This evening we will take an introductory sunset game drive.
We enjoy a half-day game drive in Addo Elephant Park, and take the afternoon to relax at our lodge,or take one of the various bush walks available from the hotel.
This morning we take our final game drive in Addo Elephant Park, before travelling 31 miles to Tsitsikamma National Park. Described as “The Garden of the Garden Route” and “The place of much water” and you can see why. Its garden would be the beautiful protected indigenous forest that is home to centuries old trees placed between the mountains and the sea; its “much water” would come from the ancient rivers that have cut tremendous gorges as they carve their way down to the sea. We will take a walk to discover the park's beautiful nature or choose to partake in an optional activity.
After breakfast we will discover one of the most spectacular beaches in the Tsitsikamma National Park.
Today we visit Natures Valley, situated between the Salt River, the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the Groot River lagoon. Next we travel 31 miles to Plettenberg Bay, spending the afternoon at yet another scenic beach at Keursboom Beach.
Our next stop is Oudtshoorn, we travel the very scenic journey by road (125 miles). Situated between the Outeniqua Mountains to the south and the imposing Swartberg Mountains to the north. Not only the wonderful mountain panoramas attract visitors, this is also the "ostrich capital of the world", and we will visit a local Ostrich Farm (the following day) as well as the Cango Caves. The caves are the most popular attraction in the area and rightly so, as they are really quite impressive.
We visit an Ostrich Farm, before travelling 250 miles to the beautiful winelands. We stay in Stellenbosch, situated along the banks of the Eerste River. It is the second oldest settlement in the province after Cape Town, and is one of the most beautiful towns in the Winelands. There are plenty of wine estates to discover here, these varieties are best known for their quality of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with the climate in particular favours. And what a way to end a magical tour, sipping wine with a beautiful backdrop, sunshine (more than likely) and in good company.
before we head to Cape Town Airport, we will enjoy cheese and wine tasting at Fairview Wine Estate, before continuing on to Cape Town for a city tour and finally the airport.
Arrive London Heathrow.
See where this holiday travels to.