18 Day South African Explorer

The Details

Type: Accommodated Accommodated
Start: Johannesburg South Africa
Length: 14 - 28 Days
End: Cape Town South Africa
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Large (>12 People)
Countries: South Africa

Tour Dates

2020
  • 2020
  • 2021
July
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From EURO 2145 pp
(Excl. local payment )
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Overview

18 Day South African Explorer

The 18 Day South African Explorer is a haven of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, diverse cultures and first world norms, all topped with a healthy and invigorating climate. These qualities make it an adventure destination not to be missed. A country virtually the size of Europe with over 3000 kilometres of unspoiled coastline, boasting climatic differences from searing hot desert to snow-capped peaks, and varied cultures from the original Bushman to the most Western of ways. We visit the highlights, but leave the beaten track to explore the great outdoors and visit a variety of African eco-systems. Overnight stops are all at comfortable Lodges, in pristine reserves, high in the mountains, or on the beach, always in truly unique surroundings. The tour is enjoyed by those with a flexible attitude and adventurous mentality.

Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply. Departures guaranteed with minimum of 2 – 4 people.

INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS:

• “Big Five” game walk
• Open vehicle game drive
• Game reserves/national parks
• Kruger National Park
• Zululand Game Reserve
• Drakensberg Mountains
• Swaziland Kingdom
• Cape wine farm and wine tasting
• African culture
• Garden Route
• Coastal hike
• Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, Cape Point
• Table Mountain hike
• Unspoiled beaches
• San rock art
• Nelson Mandela memorial

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

• Sea kayaking
• Bungee jump
• Basotho pony ride
• Robben Island
• Forest mountain bike
• Knysna boat trip

Tour Price for 2020: €2145 (no local payment)

Please note prices are subject to change

***Price is per person sharing. Excludes single supplement and any additional activities or meals not set out in the itinerary

*** Please note that the itinerary may deviate from the one set out, please request itinerary for your selected tour dates

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Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: JHB – BUSH LODGE

Distance: 490 km

Departing from the Greenfire Johannesburg Lodge at 06h30, we set off on the scenic road to the east of the country where we encounter beautiful natural scenery and many wild animals in natural parks and game reserves.

 

Lunch is enjoyed in the historic town of Dullstroom, Africa’s premier fly-fishing area before we wind our way down the Drakensberg escarpment. The road is filled with picturesque beauty, from mountain passes to the Acacia trees scattered across the African bushveld.

 

The next two nights we get cosy at our well-appointed GREENFIRE BUSH LODGE, situated in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park, where animals roam freely and unrestricted. This privately owned reserve allows us the freedom to explore the wilderness in search of a variety of animals in open game drive vehicles, day and night.

The tented lodge casually blends into the bush and offers crisp comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding wilderness, including a water hole frequented by a variety of animals. Retire to bed with a symphony of sounds from the animal kingdom.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic Drive down to the Lowveld Region

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Bush Lodge - twin-bedded en suite tented units

Meals

Meals:

Dinner (Lunch own account)

DAY 2: Bush Lodge

Distance: 20 km (game drive)

After a peaceful nights rest we start with an early riser light breakfast of fresh coffee and rusks (a traditional South African biscuit), before embarking on our morning experience within this Big 5 area.

 

Guided by a qualified guide/Ranger we explore the wilderness, with heightened senses, always on the lookout for an animal encounter while discovering the smaller treasures often hidden from the eye.

Before the heat of the day sets in, we return to the lodge for a scrumptious brunch, after which it’s time to relax around the lodge and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. A nearby waterhole in front of the camp attracts a variety of wildlife that come to quench their thirst, displaying the pecking order ever so present. Unwind with a refreshing drink and game viewing from the swimming pool or from your deck.

With the heat subsiding in the late afternoon an open game drive is in order, which develops into an extensive night drive in search of nocturnal animals.

As dusk approaches we pull over and enjoy a sun-downer drink or two, while watching the magnificent sunset over the African bushveld.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Exclusive Private Bush Lodge, Morning guided walk in Big 5 area, Afternoon Game drive / Night drive

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Bush Lodge - twin-bedded en suite tented units

Meals

Meals:

Brunch, Dinner

DAY 3: Panorama Route – Hazyview

Distance: 195 km

Rising with the African sun, a hearty breakfast is enjoyed, before setting off to explore the highlights of the Panorama Route, famous for many natural wonders and viewing points. First stop will be to view the impressive Blyde River Canyon – the world’s largest “green canyon”, then on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes where abundant gold was discovered and finally the breath-taking God’s Window. (Weather Permitting)

An own expense lunch is enjoyed giving guests the opportunity to meet the locals.

Mid-afternoon we make our way to the tranquil GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, a log cabin built spectacularly on stilts in the indigenous forest on the banks of the impressive Sabie River or “Fearful” river as dubbed by the locals.

Time permitting, guests are able to do a nature walk on the property and the adjoining coffee farm and enjoy the mysterious forest. We spend two nights here.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Panorama Route: God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, 3 Rondavels, Kowyns Pass

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Hazyview

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Dinner (Lunch at own account)

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Gorge swing

DAY 4: Kruger National Park

Distance: +- 160 km

Waking with the birds, we depart the lodge at sunrise and travel a short distance to enter a different area of the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing.

 

Driving slowly through this iconic National park the size of Israel or Wales we search for the many animals that inhabit this area.

From the high vantage point and comfort of our well-equipped vehicle, our expert guide will take time to explain the behaviour of the many animals we see in this fascinating environment.

Most of the day will be spent game viewing, while stopping at various designated sites to stretch our legs and to enjoy an own expense lunch at one of the rest camps in the park.

Late this afternoon we exit the park and return to the comfort of our GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Southern section of Kruger National Park: Full Day Game Drive

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Hazyview - Log cabin

Meals

Meals:

Packed Breakfast Snacks, Dinner

DAY 5: eSWATINi - SWAZILAND

Distance: 290 km

Departing after breakfast we pass through the provincial capital Nelspruit, before leaving South Africa and crossing the border into the Kingdom of eSwatini formerly known as Swaziland, a small landlocked country, rich in culture and natural beauty.

Our journey today takes us into an area of spectacular natural beauty and past numerous traditional homesteads and vast fields of sugar cane.

We spend some time exploring this small country before arriving at our accommodation for the night. Clients spend time at leisure before enjoying a locally cooked meal.

 

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Swaziland: Scenic Drive

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Forester’s Arms

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: ST LUCIA

Distance: 370 km

Today we follow winding roads south through the Swazi countryside, before crossing back into South Africa late morning. After completing the border formalities, we enter Zululand, a part of modern-day KwaZulu-Natal, and home to South Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Zulu people. Formed in the early 1800’s into the most powerful regional empire by King Shaka Zulu, the Zulus influenced a large part of southern Africa.

Once back in South Africa our journey continues to the coastal town of St Lucia, home to hundreds of hippo, crocodile and bird species that live in the adjoining wetlands.

This afternoon we launch on a boat and cruise on the estuary to explore a part of the wetlands in search of the fascinating wildlife found here.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive through Swaziland, St Lucia boat cruise

Accommodation

Accommodation:

St Lucia

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7 – 8: Drakensberg

Distance: 390 km on Day 7

We rise before the sun and depart to the oldest National Park in Africa – Hluhluwe Imfolozi, a beautiful park with hilly topography and a multitude of animals, renowned for its conservation efforts.

 

Following the morning game drive we depart the park and continue travelling through the rolling hills of Kwa-Zulu Natal, an area famous for various battles between the Boers and Zulus, British and Zulus and the Boers and British.

This afternoon we reach the majestic Drakensberg mountain range that reaches 3400m, known to the Zulus as “The Barrier of Spears”.

On reaching the foothills, we transfer to a 4×4 vehicle, for an exciting drive on mountain tracks (or walk), to the GREENFIRE LODGE DRAKENSBERG, located high up on the slopes of the mountain, with a perfect view of the iconic Drakensberg Amphitheatre.

We spend two nights here, in cozy log cabins surrounded by breath-taking views, and will have a day of hiking, exploring, and simply enjoying the wonders of this national heritage site. A walk to the San rock art gallery is well worth the effort. Horse riding is also available.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Hluhluwe Imfolozi, Drakensberg World Heritage Site, San rock art, Drakensberg hike, Vulture colony

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Drakensberg

Meals

Meals:

Day 7 & 8: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Horse riding, Fishing, walks

DAY 9: DOLPHIN COAST

Distance: 300 km

After a relaxed breakfast our exploration continues towards the sleepy little Indian Ocean town Umdloti and our accommodation for the night.

The GREENFIRE LODGE DOLPHIN COAST is located literally on the beach, with the sound of the waves pounding relentlessly at a calming rhythm. Time at leisure is spent soaking up the sun, kick off your shoes, enjoying the beach and welcoming warm ocean, or stroll through the village.

Dinner tonight is own expense at one of the restaurants in town.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive, Indian Ocean, Beach

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Dolphin Coast

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own account)

DAY 10 – 11: WILD COAST

Distance: 380 km on Day 11

Setting off early, we pass through the outskirts of Durban this morning, and follow the coast south towards one of the exciting, off-the-beaten-track, highlights of the tour – The Wild Coast.

 

Having formerly been an independent homeland, there has been little development in this area, resulting in endless unspoiled beaches, natural estuaries, rolling grassland, and a tapestry of traditional Xhosa villages.

This region also draws many a traveller to witness the annual Sardine run, one of the largest marine-life migrations on earth.

We spend two nights at a remote GREENFIRE LODGE, with a full day exploring this rugged, but stunningly beautiful, area. Hike along this stretch of coastline and tackle some of the best hiking routes in the country.

Guests will also have time to relax on the secluded beach in front of the lodge, or to go and swim at a nearby waterfall.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic drive to the Wild Coast, Private beach, Waterfall walk, Hike along the coast

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Wild Coast

Meals

Meals:

DAY 10 & 11: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12: FRONTIER COUNTRY

Distance: 534 km

Leaving the lush coastal forests behind, our journey will take us into what is known as the “Frontier Country”, a region that was settled in the 1820’s by European immigrants and that was host to many frontier wars. The road is defined by scattered hills and deep valleys with distant glimpses of the ocean. We cover some distance today and spend the night in comfortable accommodation overlooking the city of Grahamstown.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic Drive in Frontier Country

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Mountain View Manor

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13: ADDO ELEPHANT PARK

Distance: 100 km

This morning we drive a stones throws distance to the renowned Addo Elephant National Park located on the popular garden route. We enjoy a game drive in the park from the high vantage point if our vehicle.

This diverse Wildlife Reserve is the 3rd largest in South Africa and home to more than 600 of Africa’s silent giants.

 

We get comfortable with a late afternoon picnic before making our way to our nearby accommodation

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Addo Elephant National Park, Game drive in park

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Addo

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14: GARDEN ROUTE

Distance: 300 km 

We continue our journey along the spectacular Garden Route, with glistering rivers, lakes and ancient forests.

Our first stop will be at the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park where we will enjoy a walk along the rugged coast and over the suspension bridge spanning the Storms River.

Traveling further we then pass through Plettenberg Bay before arriving in the vibrant town of Knysna, with indigenous forests, fynbos and lakes, making this little gem a natural Garden of Eden.

Late afternoon, we have time to explore this quaint town and enjoy an own expense meal, at one of the many boutique restaurants

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Tsitsikamma National Park, Hike in Tsitsikamma,

Accommodation

Accommodation:

The Rex

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch,

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Optional Activities: Local dining experience, Boat cruise, Bridge bungee jump, Mountain biking

DAY 15: CAPE AGULHAS

Distance: 380 km

Departing from Knysna we follow the scenic route through several coastal towns and make our way to Cape Agulhas – the most southern tip of the African continent. We enjoy a short walk down to the beach at this truly unique destination and official meeting point of the cold Atlantic and warm Indian oceans.

Picnic style lunch is enjoyed by all with the crisp clean ocean breeze, before leaving this treasure and retiring to our accommodation.

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Cape Agulhas

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Agulhas

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 16 – 18: CAPE TOWN

Distance: 280 km on Day 16

A relaxed morning drive takes us on the “Whale Route” through Hermanus – known across the world for whale watching, and then around the Hottentots Holland Mountains to Betty’s Bay where we visit a small colony of Penguins.

 

This afternoon we follow one of the most scenic routes in the country along the edge of False Bay making our way towards the “Mother City”, Cape Town.

Mid-afternoon we arrive at the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN, located in Sea Point and our home for the next two nights. The lodge is conveniently located close to award winning restaurants, galleries, vibrant night life and the ocean promenade.

 

Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, rich in culture, award winning wines, world class restaurants, fashion and people from all walks of life.

We take a scenic drive to Hout Bay passing Long Beach, through the winding roads of Constantia to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens situated at the foot of Table Mountain, a truly spectacular display of nature’s beauty.

Finishing our memorable South Africa tour, our last day we hike up Table Mountain –one of the 7 wonders of the world to enjoy the panoramic views from this iconic mountain.

The tour ends at 16h00 on Day 18.

If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).

 

Hightlights

Hightlights:

Scenic Drive through Cape Town, Table Mountain hike, Coastal roads

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Greenfire Lodge Cape Town

Meals

Meals:

DAY 16 - 18: Breakfast (Lunch, Dinner own account)

Optional Extras

Optional Extras:

Shark Cage Dive, Parasailing, Boat Cruises, Scuba Dive, etc.

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