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Home > The South African Experience

The South African Experience

The South African Experience tour is a journey to meet those who make South Africa the so called rainbow nation! From the township of Soweto to the mountains of Lesotho, from the Drakensberg to the Zululand, and from the Swaziland to the Kruger Park, this tour crosses three countries to meet the peoples who live at the southern tip of Africa.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Soweto
  • Day 2: Johannesburg - Malealea
  • Day 3: Malealea
  • Day 4: Malealea - Golden Gate Highlands National Park
  • Day 5: Golden Gate Highlands National Park - Champagne Valley
  • Day 6: Champagne Valley - Durban
  • Day 7: Durban - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park - Hluhluwe - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park
  • Day 8: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park
  • Day 9: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park - St Lucia
  • Day 10: St Lucia - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Day 11: Ezulwini Valley - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Day 12: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - Kruger National Park
  • Day 13: Kruger National Park
  • Day 14: Kruger National Park - Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Soweto

Reception and assistance at Johannesburg International airport by our representative.



Cycling tour to discover the famous township of Soweto with a local guide.


You go through Vilakazi Street where the houses of the two peace nobel prices Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu are, pass the Hector Pieterson Museum and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the township sharing a beer "made in Soweto" in a real Shebeen. An experience not to be missed to understand South Africa. Tour duration: 2 hours. Includes a typical lunch in Soweto.




Overnight stay at Dakalo B&B.
Included : reception with english-speaking guide, car rental, lunch (no drinks), excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 2: Johannesburg - Malealea

Drive to the Kingdom of Lesotho. Estimated travel time: 6h30.
The Kingdom of Lesotho is landlocked in South Africa. Its size is about that of Belgium, and its borders are almost entirely natural. The entire country is over 1400 m altitude. Thabana-Ntlenyana (3482 m) is the highest peak in Southern Africa.
From the border, a 2 hours drive will take you to the Malealea Valley which is advertised by a sign: "Take a break and look at the gateway to paradise".


Overnight stay at Malealea Lodge.

Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 3: Malealea

In the quiet valley of Malealea, time seems to stand still. The favorite mode of transportation of the Basotho people: the donkey.

Suggested activities to book directly on site:
- guided walks (we recommend a walk of 3 hours in the canyon Pitseng up to 3 natural pools),
- horseback riding,
- visit of a traditional Basotho village with the school, meeting with a sangoma (healer of the village).
In the evening, a choir and a musical group formed by young people of the village will share some Basotho music with you.


Overnight stay at Malealea Lodge.

Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 4: Malealea - Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Drive to the Golden Gate Highlands national park. Estimated travel time: 4h30.
Upon arrival to the park which owes its name with golden reflections that appear under the effect of sunlight on its sandstone rocks, there is a possibility of going for a walk to spot the wildlife of the park: zebra, eland, wildebeest, springbok and over a hundred species of birds.


Overnight stay at Basotho Cultural Village Camp.

Included : car rental, room (without breakfast)

Day 5: Golden Gate Highlands National Park - Champagne Valley

Drive to the Champagne Castle Valley in the mountains of the Central Drakensberg. Estimated travel time: 2h30.

Champagne Castle is the second highest peak in South Africa. On Wednesdays, you can attend a performance of the renowned Drakensberg Boys Choir. The choir sings both classics and South African songs. There is also a possibility to take a walk in the Monks Cowl nature reserve.


Overnight stay with garden view at Ardmore Guest Farm.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 6: Champagne Valley - Durban

Drive to the city of Durban along the Indian Ocean, Africa's largest working harbour. Estimated travel time: 3 hours.

Suggestions:

- Visit of the Ushaka Sea World, one of the largest aquariums in the world that allow visitors to see several species of sharks,
- A ride in a rickshaw on the Golden Mile (Durban beachfront),
- Victoria Indian market,
- Visit of important buildings such as Durban City Hall and the Cathedral.



Overnight stay at The Benjamin Boutique Hotel.
Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 7: Durban - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park - Hluhluwe - Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Drive northwards to the Zululand until you reach the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi National Park. Estimated travel time: 3 hours.


Guided cultural tour to the Zulu village of Nompondo. Visit of an elementary school or high school, stop at the village shop, meeting with members of the community and visit of traditional houses. Duration: 2 hours.


Overnight stay at Hilltop Camp.

Included : car rental, excursion (shared), room & breakfast

Day 8: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Day dedicated to a safari in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park to spot the famous Big Five (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard).


Overnight stay at Hilltop Camp.

Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 9: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park - St Lucia

Road to the St Lucia estuary. Estimated travel time: 1 hour.

This estuary is a World Heritage UNESCO site established for the protection of a unique ecosystem: more than 300 bird species have been recorded there, including the osprey, and 12 species of herons, who live in harmony with hippos and crocodiles in the largest salt water lake in Africa.


Departure for a cruise on the St Lucia estuary to observe the great diversity of birds in the park. The estuary is also home to many crocodiles and hippos that you will closely observe from the boat. Tour length: 2h.


Overnight stay at St Lucia Wetlands Guesthouse.


Included : car rental, cruise, room & breakfast

Day 10: St Lucia - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Drive to the smallest country of the southern hemispher: Swaziland. Estimated travel time: 4h30.
Road to the Mlilwane reserve, oldest animal conservation area in the country.


Overnight stay at Beehive Villages in a traditional Swazi hut in the Mlilwane Nature Reserve.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 11: Ezulwini Valley - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Day at leisure to discover the Ezulwini Valley which extends between the kingdom's capital Mbabane and the main economic center of the country Manzini. A visit of Ezulwini is an immersion in the Swazi culture with its handicraft centers, cultural markets and villages.

We suggest you to go to the Mantenga Cultural Village where you can visit a typical village and attend a show with traditional songs and dances.

Do not miss the Mlilwane Reserve where you can explore the wildlife by foot, mountain bike, horseback or with your car on the tracks of zebra, impala, wildebeest, hippos, rhinos ...



Overnight stay at Beehive Villages in a traditional Swazi hut in the Mlilwane Nature Reserve.


Included : car rental, room & breakfast

Day 12: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - Kruger National Park

Drive to one of the largest wildlife parks in Africa, the Kruger Park! Estimated travel time: 5h.


You cross the border between Swaziland and South Africa at Jeppe's Reef in the north of Swaziland.



On the road to the border, we suggest you to visit the Ngwenya glass factory and the Piggs Peak craft center.



You reach one of the entrance gates on the south side of the Kruger park and start a safari with your own car until your restcamp.




Overnight stay at Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp.

Included : car rental, room (without breakfast)

Day 13: Kruger National Park

Day at leisure to enjoy a self-drive safari to explore the parc and the wildlife it has to offer.

Undoubtedly the best way to experience the Kruger Park is behind your own steering weel. A Kruger Park self-drive safari gives you the freedom to plan for your own interests and move at your own pace. The southern part of the park along the Sabie and Crocodile River is rich in water and has a lot of game viewing opportunities. Here you can see the best of African flora and fauna such as Lions, Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, and Buffalos often referred as the Big Five, but there are plenty of others to see as well. Driving around the Sabie River will always result in seeing some interesting animals. The vegetation around the Sabie River can be very dense forest and thicket and it gets a little bit more open driving down south to the Crocodile River. To maximise the Kruger experience one must consciously slow down and breath deeply.

4x4 game drives and walking safaris are optional and can be booked directly in the park.


Overnight stay at Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp.

Included : car rental, room (without breakfast)

Day 14: Kruger National Park - Johannesburg OR Tambo Airport

Way back to Johannesburg where you return your rental car to the airport.
Estimated travel time: 6h.


Included : car rental

Dakalo Bed & Breakfast   Soweto

Level : 1*
Included : room & breakfast

Malealea Lodge   Malealea

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Basotho Cultural Village Camp   Golden Gate Highlands National Park

Level : 2*
Included : room (without breakfast)

In the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, the Basotho Cultural Village camp offers comfortable accommodation with kitchen, barbecue and beautiful views of the park.

Ardmore Guest Farm   Champagne Valley

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

The Benjamin Boutique Hotel   Durban

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Hilltop Camp   Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

This camp is located on top of a wooded hill in the heart of the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi National Park. The camp has 49 rustic cottages with 2 beds, or 4 beds in 2 separate bedrooms, a veranda overlooking the bush, and kitchenette. Simple but spacious and pleasant, the rooms have a bathroom (with a bath and a shower in the chalet for 4 people) and a TV. The main building includes a reception area, restaurant, bar and lounge. Facilities at the camp: store, gas station and swimming pool.

St Lucia Wetlands Guesthouse   St Lucia

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

St Lucia Wetlands Guest House offers 6 comfortable charming rooms in a peaceful setting, just few minutes from iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the beach. The hosts are always happy to assist and advise guests on activities to explore the site. For a moment of relaxation, a pool is available.

Beehive Villages   Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

Beehive Villages are traditional Swazi huts installed in the Mlilwane Nature Reserve. It is not uncommon to receive a visit from a zebra or a warthog at the door of your hut! Several activities are proposed to discover the site and it's incredible panoramas. hippos and crocodiles can be observed from one of the restaurant tables that serves specialties and local food.

Berg-en-Dal Rest Camp   Kruger National Park

Level : 2*
Included : room (without breakfast)

Berg-en-Dal camp is located in the southwest part of the Kruger National Park near the Malelane gate. Consisting of 23 family cottages and 69 bungalows, the camp has a restaurant and a cafeteria offering a magnificent view of the Matjulu waterpoint.

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