The Rainbow Route is an overview tour of South Africa including neighboring Kingdom of Swaziland. The tour covers many highlights with a strong focus on the national parks. This diverse country is explored over great distances that may involve long days on the road, generally followed by a full day to experience the area. The fully accommodated tour offers a great value for money way to explore South Africa. Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply.
• Mpumalanga Panorama Route – sight seeing
• Kruger National Park – game drives
• Swaziland – mountain walks
• Zululand – game drives & cultural village
• Drakensberg Mountains – mountain walks
• Wild Coast – beach walks & Xhosa culture
• Addo – game drives
• Tsitsikamma – forest walks
• Hermanus – beaches and whales
• Cape Town – Cape Point & Table Mountain
Overnight 14 nights on safari we stay at small lodges and guest houses, with en suite facilities. 2 nights on the Wild Coast are in self-catering chalets where two bedrooms share a bathroom.
Meals 16 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 11 dinners are included. Of which 10 breakfasts & 5 dinners are provided by the lodges. The remaining included meals are provided by the crew, prepared at the vehicle and eaten around the campfire or in a boma or dining area.
NOTE prices are subject to change.
Tradition is strong in the Kingdom of Swaziland, with no better example than the use of traditional medicine & healers. We visit the traditional medicine and craft market in Mbabane for insight into the traditional beliefs of the Swazi people.
Our stay in Mkuzi Game Reserve not only supports the wildlife but also the local surrounding villages. Your tour funds are used to support the local Zulu villages which surround the Game Reserve. Our village visit and our local guide create employment and income for the villages increasing the importance of tourism and conservation. Community awareness and prosperity helps to reduce subsistence poaching.
*2020 2240 EURO payment per person sharing Excludes single supplement. However, if you are happy to share – no single supplement will apply.
Day 1 - 2: JOHANNESBURG to GREATER KRUGER
Distance/time: Day 1 620kms, ± 8 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing, breakfast & lunch
Departing from Johannesburg at 06:30am we head towards Mpumalanga where mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls & forests characterise the landscape. We enjoy the views from God’s Window before descending off the escarpment and heading to our game lodge on the border of the Greater Kruger NP.
The following morning, we are up early for a full day of game viewing in Kruger National Park. We will return to our lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy sunset over the Drakensberg Mountains, a swim in the pool and a hearty meal before falling asleep to the sounds of Africa.
Includes: Entrance to God’s Window & the Three Rondavels view point
Overnight: Makuwa Safari Lodge – twin room with en suite facilities.
DAY 1: Lunch, Dinner
DAY 2: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodge: Swimming pool. WiFi not available. 3G
Day 3: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Distance/time: 150kms, ± 2 hours + game drives
We stretch our legs on a short morning walk exploring the surrounding bush before we re-enter Kruger NP and head south. Kruger NP is the largest game reserve in South Africa, boasts the world’s greatest concentration of species, and has an amazing 16 different ecosystems. Exciting game drives provide us with excellent game viewing. Spot the “Big 5” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and many other animals in this true African wilderness.
Includes: Entrance to Kruger National Park, morning & afternoon game drives
Overnight: Kruger National Park Chalets or Tents – we stay in national parks board in en-suite chalets or permanent tents.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Optional Activities Night game drive in national parks open game viewing vehicle.
Chalets/Tents: Swimming pool, restaurant, and telephone. WiFi not available
Day 4: KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND
Distance/time: 200kms, ± 4 hours, excluding 2-3 hour morning drive out of Kruger, shopping stop in Malelane, Jeppes Reef border formalities & stops for sightseeing etc
Malolotja Nature Reserve in the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland is our next attraction. Renowned for a great variety of habitats from short grassland, to thick riverine scrub, bushveld and moist forest, we explore the reserve on foot to enjoy the fantastic mountain views. Relax around a campfire dinner and stay in mountain cabins for the night.
Includes: Entrance fees to Malalotja Nature Reserve
Overnight: Hawane Lodge – Chalet - twin bed en suite rooms.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodge: Swimming pool, restaurant & bar. WiFi available
Distance/time: 295kms, ± 6 hours, excluding border formalities
We visit a craft market near Mbabane which has a range of handmade crafts and a local witchdoctor stall! We re-enter South Africa and head to our lodge on a private game reserve situated on the Msinene Nature Reserve, where our local guide will lead us on a walk through bushveld and riverine vegetation of the Msinene River, bird watching and game tracking. Nyala, hippo and the elusive leopard are all found on the reserve. The next day we take a game drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, which is a safe haven for the embattled rhino, followed by a visit to a local Zulu village. Relax in the late afternoon with a cold drink while enjoying the views over the reserve from the lodge.
Includes: Entrance to Hluhluwe Game Reserve, morning game drive and afternoon Zulu village visit with local Zulu community guide
Overnight: Zululand Lodge, permanent tented lodge - Each permanent tented room is en suite, and raised on a wooden deck.
DAY 5 & 6: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - 8: DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
Distance/time: 500kms, ± 7 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch. The last 50km is a slow gravel road
The Drakensberg Mountains or “uKhahlamba” – the Barrier of Spears, is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous wonderland and world heritage site. From Mkhuze we move further south to the base of these mountains where we overnight for two nights in quaint cottages. We will spend time walking along beautiful mountain stream paths, or just enjoying the spectacular views.
Includes: Morning and afternoon hikes in the Drakensberg Mountains
Overnight: Lotheni chalets – 2 nights in Drakensberg we stay in the park chalets. Twin rooms with en-suite facilities
DAY 7 & 8: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Distance/time: 600kms, ± 8½ hours excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch – a long day!
En-route to the Wild Coast we visit Qunu, the home town of Nelson Mandela, and pay our respects to this great man. The Wild Coast remains a relatively untouched paradise with unspoilt stretches of dramatically beautiful coastline, open spaces and pristine forest areas. We stay overnight in Kei Mouth and the next day is free to explore the area, meet local villagers or go down to the beach.
Includes: Nelson Mandela Museum (note: museum is closed for renovations May17-Apr19) & scenic coastal walks
Overnight: Benmore Lodge – twin share rooms with 1 bathroom shared between two rooms.
DAY 9 & 10: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Optional Activities: Ocean fishing & village walks
Lodge: Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, bar, internet & telephone.
Day 11: ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK
Distance/time: 289kms, ± 4½ hours – a long day! Excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch + game drives
The Addo Elephant National Park was established in 1931 to protect the last 11 wild elephants from extermination. Today more than 600 elephants roam through the area. The park also offers excellent viewing of black rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as a host of other large and small mammals and over 400 species of birds in the greater park area.
Includes: Entrance fees to Addo Elephant National park, afternoon & morning game drive
Overnight: Addo National Park chalets - twin share chalet (or lodge tent) with en suite facilities. (Sandflats Guest Lodge may also be used subject to availability; these rooms are twin share en suite)
Breakfast, Dinner (Lunch own expense)
Optional Activities: Night game drives in national park open game viewing vehicles.
Lodge/Chalets: Swimming pool, restaurant, telephone & floodlit waterhole. WiFi not available
Day 12 - 13: KNYSNA / TSITSIKAMMA
Distance/time: 300kms, ± 4½ hours excluding stops for sightseeing
For two nights we will stay in a lodge resort in Knysna, which is nestled on a tranquil lagoon. We will take a day trip to the Storms River mouth where there are walks up the gorge and along the rocky coast. The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates 80km of spectacular sea and landscapes; a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys, coastal forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. There is also an option of the world’s highest bungi jump. Sample seafood at one of Knysna’ s great restaurants (own expense).
Includes: Entrance fees to Tsitsikamma National Park
Overnight: Lagoona Inn – twin rooms with en-suite bathroom. .
DAY 12: Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)
DAY 13: Breakfast (Lunch & Dinner own expense)
Optional Activities: whale watching & treetop canopy tour
Hotel: Swimming pool, lounge & telephone & restaurant.
Distance/time: 420kms, ± 6 hours excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch
Hermanus offers some of the best land based whale watching in the world. From June to November Southern Right whales come up from the southern oceans to calve and mate in the shallow waters around the Cape. In whale season we will take a walk along this beautiful coastline. In the summer months we will explore the flowering fynbos in Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Enjoy the evening meal out at a local restaurant (own expense).
Overnight: Chesham House - rooms are twin share rooms with en-suite facilities.
Breakfast, Lunch (Dinner own expense)
Optional Activities Whale watching by boat
Guest house: WiFi available in lounge
Distance/time: 150kms, ± 2 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing + 150kms full day Cape Peninsular tour on day 16
Cape Town is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, with the majestic Table Mountain providing its central focus. On our way into Cape Town, we visit Stellenbosch, South Africa’s renowned wine region, for wine tasting (own expense) and a cellar tour. The “mother city” has many attractions; we will visit the harbour at Hout Bay, visit Cape Point, enjoy the famous beaches and the V&A Waterfront. Optional visit to Robben Island (own expense). We sample the local fare at a variety of local restaurants (own expense).
Includes: Cellar tour, Entrance fees to Penguin colony & Cape Point National Park
Sweetest Guesthouses – Sweetest Guesthouses is a collection of individually decorated houses in a metropolitan area of Cape Town near the V&A Waterfront.. The Sunway group may be spread amongst any of the houses, within walking distance of each other, and the group breakfasts will be taken in the same house. Rooms are twin with en suite facilities. (Or similar guest house)
DAY 15 & 16: Breakfast (Lunch & Dinner own expense)
Optional Activities: Robben Island cruise, shark cage diving, seal colony visit.
Guest house: WiFi available
Day 17: CAPE TOWN - TOUR ENDS
In the morning we climb Table Mountain, offering panoramic views over Cape Town reaching out into the bay and Robben Island. Having explored the highlights of the Rainbow Nation we take a last look at Cape Town and catch up on curio shopping in the afternoon, before your tour ends at 18:00 at the guest house.