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South Africa & Swaziland

South Africa & Swaziland Traverse

from $ 1959

Explore diverse game parks, trek the Drakensberg Mountains and experience the highlights of Swaziland

Trip Dates

  • 01.Jul. - 14.Jul.2017
  • 02.Sep. - 15.Sep.2017
  • 18.Nov. - 01.Dec.2017

Trip Dates

01.Jul. - 14.Jul.2017 closed
02.Sep. - 15.Sep.2017 available Book now
18.Nov. - 01.Dec.2017 available Book now

Trip Highlights

  • Experience the multitude of wildlife in the renowned Kruger area
  • Spend four days exploring the dramatic Drakensberg Mountains
  • Embark on game drives to spot exotic wildlife including the Big 5
  • Visit the UNESCO listed Lake St. Lucia
  • Discover the lush Kosi Bay by foot and boat
  • Camp under the stars in wilderness parks

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Johannesburg

Day 2 - Kruger National Park

Day 3 - Kruger National Park

Day 4 - Hlane Game Reserve

Day 5 - Mlilwane Nature Reserve

Day 6 - Kosi Bay

Day 7 - Kosi Bay

Day 8 - St. Lucia

Day 9 - St. Lucia wetlands

Day 10 - Drakensberg Mountains

Day 11 - Drakensberg Mountains

Day 12 - Drakensberg Mountains

Day 13 - Drakensberg Mountains

Day 14 - Trip ends Johannesburg

Green Is Good

  • The trip is operated using 'best practice' in terms of sustainable and responsible initiatives
  • Accommodations are selected on the merits of their environmental practices, location and for their charm
  • There is a strong sense of promoting cultural interaction and philanthropy

Sweat Level

MODERATE

Fitness is an important aspect of our trips, and the fitter you are the more easily you will adjust and enjoy yourself. The trip has been assigned a Sweat Level of ‘Moderate’. Trips with this grading include activities such as hiking, cycling, kayaking, canyoning and rock climbing for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and may spend a short amount of time at altitudes above 4000m in elevation. These activities involve carrying a day pack for their duration and a good level of fitness and health is required. In preparation of the trip, we recommend you engage in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three for four times a week for two to three months prior to departure. If you are embarking on a trekking trip, training in variable weather is also recommended.

When To Go

Southern Africa experiences a generally dry climate. In and around Johannesburg there is a rainy season from November to March. The dry season from April to October includes the winter, when rain is rare and the nights can be very cold. Days are usually clear, warm and sunny, while nights can get frosty in June and July. There are some days between June and August where snowfall can occur in higher areas of the Drakensberg.

Trip Inclusions

  • 7 nights rustic lodge, 6 nights camping on a twin share basis
  • 13 x breakfast, 12 x lunch, 9 x dinner
  • Entrance and park fees for activities included in itinerary
  • Group camping equipment
  • Local English speaking guide

Need help with flights?

For competitive airfares and stopover ideas to Johannesburg, contact our expert staff today to receive a detailed quote.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg

Today we begin the drive to Mpumalanga, heading towards Kruger National Park. After passing through the towns of Belfast and Dullstroom, enjoy a picnic lunch in Lydenburg. We then head over the Longtom pass and visit Mac Mac Falls before arriving in Grasskop and our lodge at the edge of the escarpment in the late afternoon.

Meals: L, D

Days 2 & 3: Kruger National Park

Take the panoramic route to Kruger National Park, stopping at God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon before descending the escarpment and entering the park. One of Africa's largest game reserves, Kruger is home to a high density of animals including the Big 5. Skukuza campsite will be our home for the next two nights as our time here is reserved for game drives and enjoying the evening atmosphere at camp.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Hlane Game Reserve

After an early breakfast we depart Skukuza and game drive to the Melalane gate. Leaving Kruger National Park around lunch time we cross the border to Swaziland and enter Hlane Game Reserve. Hlane, meaning 'wilderness', is the largest protected area in Swaziland, covering 30,000 hectacres of ground. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax at the waterhole or embark on an optional open game drive.

Meals: B, D

Day 5: Mlilwane Nature Reserve

In the early morning, enjoy a game drive with the hope of seeing rhinos in their natural habitat. After returning to camp for breakfast, we drive through rural Swaziland to the Mlilwane wildlife sanctuary, where the afternoon is free for you to explore the area on optional self-guided trails.

Meals: B, L, D

Days 6 & 7: Kosi Bay

Crossing back into South Africa, we head into the heart of Zululand, passing Pongolapoort Dam on the way. Our destination is Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, which covers a region of fertile estuaries, mangroves, dune forest and lakes, all waiting to be explored on foot. The next two days are reserved for walks through the dune forest, experiencing the fishing culture and swimming at the river mouth. For those that are interested, optional kayaking and snorkelling excursions can be arranged.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 8: St. Lucia

Leaving the Kosi Bay area we drive towards St. Lucia, stopping to visit a traditional village along the way. Here, we will learn more about the proud Zulu culture and have a chance to interact with the local people. It's then on to our base for the next two nights on the shores of Lake St. Lucia. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park's uniqueness lies in its remarkable condition of estuarine lakes, subtropical coastline, forests and wildlife. On arrival, enjoy a boat cruise on the lake.

Meals: B, L

Day 9: St. Lucia wetlands

It's another early start as we head to the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe game reserve, entering at the Umfolozi section. The day is spent on game drives in the area, stopping for lunch at one of the picnic sites. Return to our hotel in the early evening where the remainder of the day is spent at leisure.

Meals: B, L

Days 10 & 11: Drakensberg Mountains

Our next destination is the Drakensberg Moutains, a basalt escarpment forming the border between KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho and continuing into Free State. Aptly named Quuathlamba, or 'the barrier of spears' by the Zulu, the mountains' sheer, jagged escarpment is an example of stunning natural beauty. The next morning, our exploration of Royal Natal Park begins with the full day Tugela Gorge walk, one of the most spectacular in the park.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 12 & 13: Drakensberg Mountains

Leaving our campsite, we continue hiking through Royal Natal National Park, making our way up the escarpment via Gudu bush and past the Mahai Falls to our next lodge. The days here are spent hiking and enjoying the mountain scenery, including a visit to the Sentinel where we ascend the mountains using chain ladders. The view from the top is stunning, providing dramatic views of the surrounding landscape.

Meals: B, L

Day 14: Trip ends Johannesburg

After breakfast, we return to Johannesburg where the trip ends. For those flying today, transfers to the airport can be arranged.

Meals: B

Disclaimer

This itinerary may change at any time due to inclement weather, forces of nature and other circumstances beyond our control.

The Sweat Level

  • Moderate
Easy – these are pretty relaxed and are suitable for most fitness levels. Expect though to push a little outside of your comfort zone with the included activities, but they are not for lengthy durations.

Moderate - these will include cycling, walking, kayaking and other activities which will put a sweat on the brow. You should do some pre trip training like going to the gym, jogging, brisk walking or cycling at least 3 times weekly for months before you go to get your fitness level up.

Hardcore - these will include sustained walking or cycling over multiple days and that means you’ll need to get into a great fitness regime before your trip. The best preparation you can do is day walks or cycle trips one a fortnight that build your endurance fitness coupled with some hour long ‘cardio’ workouts up to 3 times a week, and continue this for 3 months before departure.

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