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Countrywide Tours

An Impressive Array of Countrywide South Africa Tours

Southern Circle Tours & Safaris offer a countrywide array of South Africa tours packaged to meet every preference.

THE 8 DAY TOUCH OF WILDLIFE AND SCENERY GUIDED TOUR

DAY 1  Cape Town – Hermanus – Swellendam – Mossel Bay

Depart from Cape Town at around 09h00 and drive eastwards via the beautiful coastal route between Gordon’s Bay and Hermanus, a seaside holiday town (Hermanus is the best place in the World to spot Whales from land – July to Dec). After lunch we drive on to Mossel Bay. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree and the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias in 1488.

DAY 2 Mossel Bay – Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves – Ostrich Farm.

We travel over the Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo to visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some unique experiences including ostrich racing. A ride on a back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. We visit the Cango caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Visit Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here.

DAY 3 Oudtshoorn – Cango Wildlife Ranch – Garden Route – Knysna

After breakfast we visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients, an endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. Then depart for George and Wilderness National Park. We skirt around the lakes with stops at scenic viewpoints to Knysna. The town is situated on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as the “Heads”. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the lakelands and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc. We join a sundowner cruise on the lagoon.

DAY 4  Knysna – Plettenberg Bay – Tsitsikamma National Park – Port Elizabeth

We explore Knysna and travel further via Plettenberg Bay for a short visit. Then we traverse through magnificently scenic river valley passes. We visit the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for ‘The place of much water” stretching over 100 km of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Our next stop is Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley towering some 139 m above the river. The final part of our journey takes us past a few coastal holiday villages to Port Elizabeth, also called the ‘Friendly City’.

DAY 5 Port Elizabeth – Johannesburg – Panoramic Route

An early rise and breakfast before you are transferred to the local airport at 07h30 for your 08h45 flight to Johannesburg. On arrival you are met and the tour continues from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. After exploring this quaint old town, we continue to Sabie where we have a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to visit Lone Creek Falls.

DAY 6  Panoramic Route – Private Reserve

We travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such the Pinnacle, God’s Window, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to this unique trick of nature is worth the effort), and the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We walk along the cliffs to really appreciate the breathtaking views.  Then we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel and enter the famous Kruger National Park where our encounter with Africa’s wildlife commences. We Arrive at our camp for overnight.

DAY 7  Kruger National Park

 Today is completely devoted to game viewing as we search for the ‘Big Five’ amongst other animals. We arrive back at our camp at sunset for dinner and overnight. Some may want to do a night drive in an open game viewing vehicle utilising high powered spotlights to find the nocturnal animals (optional).

DAY 8 Kruger National Park – Johannesburg

We rise early for a game drive and have breakfast on a deck overlooking the Sabie River. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve. Early afternoon we exit this amazing haven of wild Africa and return to Johannesburg arriving early evening.

THE 10 DAY TASTE OF SOUTH AFRICA  TOUR

DAY 1  Johannesburg – Dullstroom – Panoramic Route – Sabie

You are collected from the O R Tambo International Airport outside Johannesburg at around 09h15 to start your tour. We travel from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Lydenburg to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. We continue to Sabie.

DAY 2 Panoramic Route – Private Game Reserve

We visit Lone Creek Falls and travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such as God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, and some of the spectacular waterfalls in the area. Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting).

DAY 3 Private Game Reserve – Kruger National Park

After an early morning safari, conditions permitting a search for the wild on foot, and breakfast we enter the Kruger National Park and spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent.

DAY 4   Kruger National Park  – Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and return for breakfast in the camp. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart in the afternoon for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland. We visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory, and travel via Mbabane, the capital city of Swaziland to our hotel in the mountains at Mhlambanyatsi.

DAY 5 Swaziland – Zululand – Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and Big Bend with its large sugar plantations to the South African border. We are now getting closer to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi game reserve, where we spend most of the afternoon looking for animals in this Big Five Reserve that became world-renowned for saving the rhino from extinction. Late afternoon we check in at Zulu Nyala Game Lodge.

DAY 6  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – Lake St Lucia  – Durban

After an early breakfast we do our final game drive before travelling to the village of St Lucia. Here we join a boat cruise of the famous Lake St Lucia, a paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your tour south Africa guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable Southern Circle tours South Africa experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.

DAY 7    Durban

Durban is an intriguing cultural blend of East, West and Africa, which with its endless summer climate, effervescent and lukewarm ocean lined with golden beaches, offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere all year round. Our tour of this bustling metropolis, often called the cultural ‘melting pot’ of South Africa, includes a drive through the sports corridor with its impressive sporting facilities to the Blue Lagoon area on the Umgeni River where you get a panoramic view of the whole bay of Durban. Then past the so-called Apartheid Beaches, the Marine Parade (Golden Mile) where you will see the rickshaws, en route to the impressive developments at the new Point Waterfront area. We drive past the busiest harbour in Africa and various historical monuments, and then through the city centre where the second railway station, the City Hall and the Post Office buildings each have a story to tell. We stop at the Indian Market where you get a glimpse into the Indian culture and bargain for souvenirs and spices. Our last visit is to the Botanical Gardens. You have the option of being dropped off at the end of the tour at the Ushaka Marine world with its world-class aquarium, and many shops and restaurants.  Return to your hotel with our bus or spend the rest of the afternoon here and take a taxi back to the hotel.

DAY 8 Durban – Port Elizabeth – Garden Route – Plettenberg Bay/Knysna

An early transfer to the local airport for a flight to Port Elizabeth where our tour begins.
We depart from Port Elizabeth, also called the ‘Friendly City’ along the N2 national route to the Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley, towering 139 m above the river. Our next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for “The place of much water”) stretching over 100 km of wild and rocky coastline, characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Now, truly in the famous Garden Route of the Cape, we traverse more magnificently scenic river valley passes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea, guarded by two promontories known as the ‘Heads’. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.

DAY 9  Garden Route – George – Oudtshoorn

We explore the lake areas, the Wilderness National Park and travel via the scenic Outeniqua Pass to Oudsthoorn, also known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world, as by far the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world are found here. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprises an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.

DAY 10 Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Cape Town

After an early start we visit an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences, including ostrich racing. Our route to Mossel Bay takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains via the Robinson’s Pass. Here we visit arguably the oldest Post Office in Africa, the Post Office Tree, and the site of the first landfall made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488. After an early lunch we travel to Swellendam, Grabouw and over the Sir Lowry’s Pass to Cape Town where we arrive late afternoon.

A TASTE OF SOUTH AFRICA – 11 DAYS

DAY 1 Johannesburg – Dullstroom – Panoramic Route – Sabie

Our first day on tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Lydenburg to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. We continue to Sabie.

DAY 2  Panoramic Route – Private Game Reserve

 We visit Lone Creek Falls and travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such as God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, and some of the spectacular waterfalls in the area. Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting).

DAY 3 Private Game Reserve – Kruger National Park

After an early morning hike, searching for the wild on foot, and breakfast we enter the Kruger National Park and spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent.

DAY 4 Kruger National Park  – Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and return for breakfast in the camp. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart in the afternoon for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland. We visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory, and travel via Mbabane, the capital city of Swaziland to our hotel in the mountains at Mhlambanyatsi.

DAY 5 Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on another exiting open vehicle safaris continuing into the evening. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.

DAY 6 Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

After an early breakfast, we travel to HluhluweImfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.

DAY 7 Durban

Durban is an intriguing cultural blend of East, West and Africa, which with its endless summer climate, effervescent and lukewarm ocean lined with golden beaches, offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere all yearround. Our tour includes a drive through the sports corridor with its impressive sporting facilities, the Marine Parade (Golden Mile) en route to the impressive developments at the new Point Waterfront area. We drive past the busiest harbour in Africa and through the city centre. We stop at the Indian Market where you get a glimpse into the Indian culture and bargain for souvenirs and spices. Our last visit is to the Botanical Gardens. You have the option of being dropped off at the end of the tour at the Ushaka Marine world with its world-class aquarium, and many shops and restaurants.  Return to your hotel with our bus or spend the rest of the afternoon here and take a taxi back to the hotel.

Day 8  Port Elizabeth – Garden Route – Plettenberg Bay/Knysna

An early transfer to the local airport for a flight to Port Elizabeth. From here we continue to our  first stop at Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley towering some 139 metres above the river. We visit the Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for ‘The place of much water’ stretching over 100 kilometres of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Then we traverse through magnificently scenic river valley passes to Plettenberg Bay for a short visit. Continue to Knysna. We join a sundowners cruise on the lagoon. Overnight at Fish Eagle Lodge.

Day 9  Knysna – George – Oudtshoorn

Spend the morning in Knysna visiting the “Heads” etc. Knysna also offers shopping opportunities of unusual locally made art and craft, etc.  This afternoon we experience some of the most magical views on the Garden Route and Wilderness National Park and scenic viewpoints along the way. We travel over the Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo where we visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch and Valley of Ancients, an endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. Then travel to our accommodation on a working ostrich farm.

Day 10 Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay

We travel over the Outeniqua Mountains to the Little Karoo to visit an Ostrich Show Farm for some unique experiences including ostrich racing. A ride on a back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprises an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Visit Oudtshoorn, also called the “Feather capital” of the world, as over ninety percent of the world’s ostrich farms are found here. Continue to Mossel Bay for overnight.

Day 11 Mossel Bay – Hermanus – Cape Town

We visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree and the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias in 1488.  Continue to Hermanus, the best place in the World to spot Whales from land – (July to Dec). After lunch depart for Cape Town via the beautiful coastal route between Hermanus and Gordon’s Bay, arriving late afternoon.

CLASSICAL SOUTH AFRICAN HIGHLIGHTS – 11 DAYS

DAY 01   Gauteng – Panoramic Route

Our first day on tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Ohrigstad to the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We travel further to marvel at scenic areas such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to see this unique trick of nature is worth the experience), Lisbon Falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle before a short visit to Pilgrim’s Rest, an early gold mining town declared a National Monument. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the last century and hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains.

DAY 02 Panoramic Route – Kruger National Park

After an early breakfast, we do a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to see the Lone Creek Falls. Then we follow a scenic route to Hazyview and enter the Kruger National Park. We spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. We overnight in the reserve in chalets in one of the rest camps.

DAY 03  Kruger National Park – Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and return for breakfast in the camp. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart in the afternoon for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland for a visit to the Ngwenya glass factory where all the items are hand made from recycled glass. We drive through the capital, Mababane, and continue to Mhlambanyatsi where we overnight in the mountains at

DAY 04 Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on another exiting open vehicle safaris continuing into the evening. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.  

DAY 05 Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

After an early breakfast, we travel to HluhluweImfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.

DAY 06 Durban

Durban is an intriguing cultural blend of East, West and Africa, which with its endless summer climate, effervescent and lukewarm ocean lined with golden beaches, offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere all year round. Our tour of this bustling metropolis boasting the busiest port in Africa and often called the cultural ‘melting pot’ of South Africa, includes a drive past the so-called Apartheid Beaches, the Golden Mile, the impressive developments at the new Point Waterfront area, and the city centre. We stop at the Indian Market where you can bargain for souvenirs and spices. Our last visit is to the Botanical Gardens. You have the option of being dropped off at the end of the tour at the Ushaka Marine world with its world-class aquarium, and many shops and restaurants. Return to your hotel with our bus or spend the rest of the afternoon here and take a taxi back to the hotel.

DAY 07  Durban – Drakensberg – Sani Pass

Drive inland to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief city tour. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin, and see the waiting room where, in the silence of the night, he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance. Visit the Church of the Vow that was built as a result of the Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus in 1838. Continue to Howick where we visit the 100m high Falls, and stop at the monument erected on the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1961 . Continue through an area of gentle pastoral beauty called the Natal Midlands. We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. Then further through Underberg, a picturesque little village situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. Our hotel is in the lap of the mountain with peaks towering up to 3400m above sea level. The afternoon is at your leisure to participate in some of the organised hikes into the mountain or explore the area on your own. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel.

DAY 08 Drakensberg/ Sani Pass – Lesotho – Durban

After breakfast we set off to Sani Pass, named after the primitive people who lived in the area millennia ago, on a four-wheel drive with hair raising bends and breath-taking views to the top of the mountain. Lunch is served at the top in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho some 3000m above sea level. We return early afternoon, change vehicles and drive back to Durban.

DAY 09 Durban – Port Elizabeth – Tsitsikamma National Park – Knysna

An early flight to Port Elizabeth and join the Garden Route tour.  Enter the Garden Route at the Paul Sauer bridge over the Storms River.  Visit the Big Tree (600 year old Outeniqua yellow wood tree) in an indigenous forest and a scenic walk to the hanging bridge over the Storms River mouth in the Tsitsikamma National Park.  Travel through winding mountain passes and indigenous forests via Nature’s Valley to Knysna on South Africa’s only beach lake.  Visit the famous Heads, two promontories linking the lake to the ocean.

DAY 10 Garden Route – George – Oudtshoorn

Explore the many unique shopping opportunities in Knysna and drive past the Wilderness lakelands, via the historic town of George and the majestic Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn in the semi desert area of the Small Karoo.  This town is known as the “Feather Capital of the World” because of the many ostrich farms in the district.  Visit an ostrich farm and one of South Africa’s natural wonders, the Cango Caves.

DAY 11  Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Cape Town

Drive through the scenic Robinson’s Pass to Mossel Bay, where the Portuguese seafarer Bartholomeu Dias was the first European to set foot on South African soil.  Visit the so-called Post Office Tree and the Dias Museum which houses a replica of the caravelle used by Dias on his first visit.  Stop at Swellendam with its many historic buildings, and finally look down on Cape Town from Sir Lowry’s Pass.  The tour ends in Cape Town late afternoon.

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPLORER – 12 DAYS

DAY 1 Johannesburg – Panoramic Route

Our first day on the panoramic routetour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Robber’s Pass to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains. After exploring this quaint old town, we continue to Sabie where we have a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to visit Lone Creek Falls.

DAY 2  Panoramic Route – Private Reserve

We travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such the Pinnacle, God’s Window, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to this unique trick of nature is worth the effort), and the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We walk along the cliffs to really appreciate the breathtaking views.  Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve, a part of the Greater Kruger National Park. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting).

DAY 3  Private Reserve –  Kruger National Park

After an early morning open vehicle game drive, and conditions permitting, a hike on foot searching for the animals, we enjoy breakfast an then leave for the Kruger National Park. We spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. We overnight in chalets in one of the rest camps in the park.

DAY 4  Kruger National Park – Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and have breakfast on a deck overlooking the Sabie River. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland. We travel via Piggs Peak through magnificent mountain scenery and visit the Ngwenya glass factory where all the products are hand made from recycled glass. We drive through Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland, before travelling to our overnight stop, the

DAY 5 Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on another exiting open vehicle safaris continuing into the evening. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.

DAY 6  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

After an early breakfast, we travel to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.

DAY 7 Durban – South Coast – Wild Coast

The drive from Durban along the South Coast takes you through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and some beautiful little beaches. We turn inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei, and traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streamsWe travel via the Wild Coast and check into our hotel along the rugged Wild Coast.

DAY 8  Wild Coast

We travel to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum we travel further south to and towards the beach again. We travel to our lodge nestled in the middle of the beautiful Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooks the warm Indian Ocean.Overnight Crawfords Beach Lodge.

DAY 9  Wild Coast – Addo Elephant National Park – Port Elizabeth

After breakfast overlooking the simmering Indian Ocean we depart and this morning’s journey takes us to East London, the only river port in South Africa, and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Then travel along the coast and we enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. We visit Grahamstown. The small cathedral city is considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. At the Addo National Elephant Park game reserve we have an excellent chance of an encounter with these giants of the bush amongst other animals. This afternoon we reach Port Elizabeth, the fifth biggest city in the country, set on the shores of the Algoa Bay and also called the “Friendly City”.

Day 10 Garden Route – Knysna

We depart from Port Elizabeth, along the N2 national route to the Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley towering some one hundred and thirty-nine metres above the river. Our next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for “The place of much water”) stretching more than one hundred kilometers of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Now, truly in the famous Garden Route of the Cape, we traverse more magnificently scenic river valley passes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as ‘The Heads’. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna offers shopping opportunities of unusual, locally made, art and craft, etc. Overnight at the Fish Eagle Lodge.

Day 11 Garden Route – Knysna – Oudtshoorn

We explore the lake areas, the Wilderness National Park and travel via the scenic Montagu Pass to Oudsthoorn also known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world, as by far the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world are found here. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. Overnight at La Plume Guest Lodge.

Day 12  Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Cape Town

After an early start we visit to an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences, including ostrich racing. A ride on the back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. Our route to Mossel Bay takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains via Robinson’s Pass. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree, and the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Diaz in 1488. After an early lunch we travel via Swellendam to Cape Town where we arrive late afternoon.

 WILDLIFE, SCENERY AND FLOWERS – 13 DAYS

DAY 1 Gauteng – Panoramic Route

Our first day on tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Ohrigstad to the magnificent Three Rondavels view site at the Blyde River Canyon. We travel further to marvel at scenic areas such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes (a walk down the hill to see this unique trick of nature is worth the experience), Lisbon Falls, God’s Window and the Pinnacle before a short visit to Pilgrim’s Rest, an early gold mining town declared a National Monument. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the last century and hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains.

DAY 2  Panoramic Route – Kruger National Park

After an early breakfast, we do a pleasant walk through indigenous forest to see the Lone Creek Falls. Then we follow a scenic route to Hazyview and enter the Kruger National Park. We spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent. We overnight in the reserve in chalets in one of the rest camps.

DAY 3  Kruger National Park – Swaziland

We rise early for a breakfast on a deck overlooking the Sabieriver. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland for a visit to the Ngwenya glass factory where all the items are hand made from recycled glass. We drive through the capital, Mababane, and continue to Mhlambanyatsi where we overnight in the mountains at

DAY 4  Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on an exiting open vehicle safari for a close encounter with Africa’s wildlife. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.  

DAY 5 Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

After an early breakfast, we travel to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca, where our tour ends. Overnight City Lodge Umhlanga.

DAY 6  Durban – Pietermaritzburg – Drakenberg Mountains

Drive inland to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief city tour. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin, and see the waiting room where, in the silence of the night, he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance.  Visit the Church of the Vow that was built as a result of the Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus in 1838. Continue to Howick where we visit the 100m high Falls, and stop at the monument erected on the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. Continue through an area of gentle pastoral beauty called the Natal Midlands. We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. We enter the Weenen Game Reserve for an afternoon of game viewing. We have a good chance of seeing, amongst others, white rhino, giraffe and zebra. Afterwards we stop at the place where Winston Churchill was arrested by the Boers during the Anglo-Boer War. Then we travel to our hotel from where you can enjoy magnificent views while enjoying sundowners. Overnight Mont Aux Sources Hotel.

DAY 7   Drakensberg Mountains – Bloemfontein

After breakfast, we visit the Royal Natal National Park. We have magnificent views of the Amphitheatre as we take a short walk to the Cascades Falls and we may be joined by a baboon. We might even be joined by the odd baboon with the same idea. Mid-morning we commence our drive via the Oliviershoek Pass, with beautiful views onto the Sterkfontein Dam, to the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Through the ages water has modelled the sandstone into spectacular formations, and has interacted with iron oxides to produce a brilliant range of yellows, oranges and reds. On our way we may encounter red hartebeest, black wildebeest, zebra and springbuck.  Our next stop is the quaint town of Clarence that lies beneath high sandstone hills, known for its art shops and restaurants. The route to Bloemfontein leads through vast maize fields. Bloemfontein originated at a spring which, at various times, was a source of water for the ancient San people, Sotho farmers and Settlers exploring the inland from the then Cape Colony.

Bloemfontein is the capital of Free State Province and the judicial capital of South Africa. Overnight in Bloemfontein. 

DAY 8 Bloemfontein – Kimberley

This morning we drive through the city with its many historic buildings, and visit the National Women’s Memorial and War Museum, commemorating the Anglo-Boer War.  Then we leave for Kimberley, the world’s diamond capital, a modern city with broad, tree lined streets and attractive parks and gardens. During the world’s greatest diamond rush, hordes converged on the region and dug the world’s biggest manmade hole in search of diamonds. On our city tour we visit the impressive and very interesting Big Hole Museum, where history comes to life. Overnight in Kimberley.

DAY 9  Kimberley – Kahalari Desert – Upington – Augrabies Falls

We travel further westwards towards the Kalahari Desert. We drive past sites where prospecting for diamonds, with primitive tools is still a way of life for some of the local people. Further north, we see the rich iron deposits in the Sishen mining area, before we turn west again towards Upington, a town established around a Dutch Reformed Church mission station. All South Africa’s dried sultanas are processed here for export to the rest of the world. The town lies next to the majestic Orange River and the lush green vineyards and palm trees stand out as an oasis in the lunar like landscape. The route along the river through Keimoes and Kakamas with their water canals and ancient water wheels that are still in use, provide good opportunities to sample some of the locally produced dates and dried fruit. We reach Augrabies Falls, the fifth largest in the world, before sunset to provide great photo opportunies. Walks to the edge of the falls and along the edge of the ravine, are rewarding. Augrabies in San means “the place of great noise). We overnight in the reserve where hyrax will probably give you a curious look while you enjoy your sundowners. Overnight Augrabies Falls.

DAY 10  Augrabies Falls – Springbok

After breakfast we do a game drive in the Augrabies Falls National Park and visit one of the greatest of all gorges cut through granite by the mighty Orange River. springbok, klipspringer, suricate (meerkat), etc. roam the semi-desert landscape. Then we commence on the pencil straight road to the West Coast. The vast expanses of space and silence, drought, and blazing sunshine on the arid landscape, have kept this mineral rich region sparsely populated. This was the home of the San (Bushmen) and now only a few remaining families live in remote areas. We turn off the highway to Pella on the Namibian border.  This delightful mission station boasts a magnificent cathedral built by two priests from plans in an encyclopaedia, and is one of two places in the country where dates are produced commercially on a large scale. We overnight in the town of Springbok. Springbok is the capital of Namaqualand and was established as a result of the copper mines in the area. 

DAY 11 Springbok – Goegap Nature Reserve – Namaqua National Park – Lamberts Bay

Breakfast provides a good start to the day, and we visit the Goegap Nature Reserve right on the doorstep of the town. Springbok and Gemsbuck (Oryx) are frequently seen here. The reserve is also known for its indigenous flora, especially succulents. Depending on the rainfall, from August to October this area turns into an exquisite display of colourful flowers. Now we drive south through Namaqualand. Flowers are prolific here during the flower season (August to September) transforming the area into brilliant colours from one horizon to the other. In season, we visit the Namaqua National Park to view this spectacle. We continue past Garies, Van Rhynsdorp and Vredendal with its many vineyards, and reach the coast a little further west – we have made it across the subcontinent!  What a welcome sight the Atlantic Ocean is! We skirt along the coastline with brilliant white sandy beaches and the flat, cold seas. The Sishen iron ore railway line runs parallel to the road and we may see the world’s longest train passing us. Lamberts Bay, also known as the Rock Lobster Capital of South Africa, is our overnight stop and you have the rest of the afternoon at leisure to do penguin and bird watching. Joined to the mainland by a pier, Bird Island is one of only six breeding colonies of the Cape gannet in the world, while large numbers of Cape cormorants and a small population of African penguins also breed on the island.

Day 12 Lamberts Bay – St Helena  –Saldanha – West Coast National Park – Cape Town.

After a hearty breakfast, we travel southwards past Elands Bay and Baboon Point, where a short walk into the mountain takes us to well hidden, but also well-preserved Bushman paintings on the rock-face of an overhanging cliff. We continue to Velddrif, situated at the mouth of the Berg River. Pelicans and flamingos are often seen here. White rocks and a cobalt sea greet us driving along the coastline to St Helena Bay.  We stop at the site where one of the Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama’s men was involved in a brawl with a group of Khoikhoi (Hottentots) in 1497. This was the first clash on the shores of Southern Africa between Europeans and Africans. St Helena Bay is the only place on the West Coast where the sun rises in the east. Here fisheries, fishing vessels, dolphins and luxurious homes exist side by side. We visit a few small fishing villages such as Stompneus Bay and Paternoster, renowned for the rock lobster found here. Then further to Saldanha, the largest natural bay in South Africa and the country’s iron ore export harbour. We visit Langebaan Lagoon and surrounding area, which comprise the West Coast National Park. This park is internationally recognised as one of the world’s great wetlands. In summer, some sixty thousand birds populate this park. Ostriches will curiously look at us through the fynbos (fine bush), and if we are lucky, we may even see zebra and small antelope. In spring, this is also a flower paradise. We continue southwards to Cape Town and are greeted with some magic views of Table Mountain in the distance. The experience ends in Cape Town.

THE GRAND SOUTH AFRICAN – 19 DAYS

DAY 1 Johannesburg – Dullstroom – Sabie – Panoramic Route

Our first day on tour takes us from Johannesburg via Middelburg, Dullstroom and Lydenburg to Pilgrim´s Rest, the early gold mining town turned into a living museum. Rich deposits of alluvial gold were found here at the end of the 19th century, hence the existence of the town deep in the mountains.

DAY 2 Panoramic Route – Private Game Reserve

We visit Lone Creek Falls and travel via Graskop to marvel at scenic areas such God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, and some of the spectacular waterfalls in the area. Finally we descend to the Lowveld via Abel Erasmus pass and the Strijdom Tunnel to arrive at Mohlabetsi in the Balule private game reserve. This afternoon our encounter with Africa’s wildlife begins as we travel on an open vehicle to search for the game. Enjoy a great dinner under the stars tonight (weather permitting).

DAY 3  Private Game Reserve – Kruger National Park

After an early morning safari and if conditions permit, searching for the wild on foot, and breakfast we enter the Kruger National Park and spend the rest of day in this magnificent reserve around 2 million ha in extent.

DAY 4   Kruger National Park  –  Swaziland

We rise early for a game drive and breakfast on a deck overlooking the Sabie River. We spend the rest of the morning in the reserve and depart for the mountain Kingdom of Swaziland. We visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and travel via Mbabane, the capital of Swaziland, to  our hotel in the mountains at Mhlambanyatsi.

DAY 5   Swaziland – Zululand – Private Reserve

This morning we have an early breakfast and then visit Swazi Candles in the Malkerns Valley where we watch the locals hand-moulding wax into a variety of interesting shapes.  On this site there is also a market where the locals sell their craft, as well as other shops where you can buy items like batik, hand-woven cloth, colourful handbags, etc. We then continue along the Ezulwini Valley towards Manzini, the country’s industrial centre, and then swing south towards Nhlangano on a scenic route where crossing every hill opens up a new vista. We exit Swaziland at the Onverwacht border post. We enter Zululand and travel southwards to Hluhluwe and arrive at our private lodge for check-in. Then we embark on another exiting open vehicle safari. We return for a well-deserved dinner and overnight.

DAY 6  Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park – St Lucia (iSimangaliso) – Durban

After an early breakfast, we travel to HluhluweImfolozi Reserve and enter the reserve for another two hours of great viewing in the Big Five Reserve where the white rhino was saved from extinction. From her we travel to the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. After this unforgettable experience we travel to Durban, South Africa’s holiday Mecca.

DAY 7   Durban – Natal Midlands – Drakensberg Mountains.

Drive inland to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief city tour. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin, and see the waiting room where, in the silence of the night, he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance.  Visit the Church of the Vow that was built as a result of the Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus in 1838. Continue to Howick where we visit the 100m high Falls, and stop at the monument erected on the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. Continue through an area of gentle pastoral beauty called the Natal Midlands. We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. We stop at the place where the Boers arrested Winston Churchill during the Anglo-Boer War. Afterwards we enter the Spionkop Game Reserve for where we have a good chnace of seeing, amongst others, white rhino, giraffe and zebra.Then we travel to our hotel from where you can enjoy magnificent views while enjoying sundowners.

DAY 8  Drakensberg Mountains

After breakfast we travel through QwaQwa, a former homeland, and watch the locals busy with their daily chores in this remote land. Visit Golden Gate National Park with amazing views of the black Basalt and golden sandstone cliffs which gave its name to the park. Visit a cultural village with demonstrations of their culture and return late afternoon to your hotel.

DAY 9  Drakensberg Mountains – Giant’s Castle

We depart after breakfast and drive to the Giant’s Castle area for an easy walk to some of the country’s best preserved ancient rock paintings. We have a peek into the mystical existence of these strange little people who became extinct at the beginning of the previous century. This afternoon we have time to take some hikes into the mountains. The scenery and views are magnificent!

DAY 10  Giant’s Castle – Southern Drakensberg Mountains

Today we travel along these magnificent mountains and enjoy the views. Visit some quaint art and craft shops in the upper Midlands Meander – many artistic people fled the hectic pace of the big cities and made their new homes in this very beautiful area. There is no limit to inspiration here if inspiration comes from natural beauty! Then we travel to Underberg, a picturesque little village situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. Our hotel is in the lap of the mountain with peaks towering over 3000m (10 000 ft) above sea level.

DAY 11  Sani Pass –  Durban

After breakfast we set off to Sani Pass, named after the primitive people who lived in the area millennia ago, on a four-wheel drive with hair raising bends and breathtaking views to the top of the mountain. Lunch is served at the top in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho some 3000m above sea level. We return early afternoon, change vehicles and drive back to Durban.

DAY 12   Durban

Durban is an intriguing cultural blend of East, West and Africa, which with its endless summer climate, effervescent and lukewarm ocean lined with golden beaches, offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere all year round. Our tour of this bustling metropolis boasting the busiest port in Africa and often called the cultural ‘melting pot’ of South Africa, includes a drive past the so-called Apartheid Beaches, the Golden Mile, the impressive developments at the new Point Waterfront area, and the city centre. We stop at the Indian Market where you can bargain for souvenirs and spices. Our last visit is to the Botanical Gardens. You have the option of being dropped off at the end of the tour at the Ushaka Marine world with its world-class aquarium, and many shops and restaurants.  Return to your hotel with our bus or spend the rest of the afternoon here and take a taxi back to the hotel.

DAY 13   Durban

A free day in Durban to enjoy last minute shopping or the warm sunny beaches.

DAY 14   Durban – South Coast – Wild Coast

The drive from Durban along the South Coast takes you through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and some beautiful little beaches. We enter the Eastern Cape at the former homeland of Transkei and work our way to the Wild Coast – a rugged and deserted coast line with exceptional beauty – and arrive at our hotel for overnight. We explore the beach and some amazing scenic sites.

DAY 15   Wild Coast – Mthatha –  East London

Before breakfast we enjoy another breathtaking walk. Then breakfast and travel via Port St Johns to Mthatha, the capital of the former homeland. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum we travel further south and then to the beach.

DAY 16  East London – Addo Elephant Park – Port Elizabeth

This morning’s journey is to East London, the only river port in South Africa, and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938 and then along the coast and we enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. We arrive at Grahamstown. The small cathedral city is considered the art capital of South Africa and is steeped in history. At the Addo National Elephant Park game reserve we have an excellent chance of an encounter with these giants of the bush amongst other animals. This afternoon we reach Port Elizabeth, the fifth biggest city in the country, set on the shores of the Algoa Bay and also called the “Friendly City”.

DAY 17   Port Elizabeth – Garden Route

We depart from Port Elizabeth, along the N2 national route to the Storms River with the impressive Paul Sauer Bridge across the valley towering some 139 m above the river. Our next stop is at Tsitsikamma National Park (Khoisan for “The place of much water”) stretching more than 100 km of wild and rocky coastline characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forests along the river valleys. Now, truly in the famous Garden Route of the Cape, we traverse more magnificently scenic river valley passes to Knysna on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon with its entrance to the sea guarded by two promontories known as ‘The Heads’. The area also falls within a National Park proclaimed to conserve the extraordinary natural beauty of the Lakeland and adjacent indigenous forests. Knysna offers shopping opportunities of unusual, locally made, art and craft, etc.

DAY 18  Garden Route – Oudtshoorn

We explore the lake areas, the Wilderness National Park and travel via the scenic Montagu Pass to Oudsthoorn also known as the ‘Feather Capital’ of the world, as by far the largest concentration of ostrich farms in the world are found here. We visit the Cango Caves, regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders. The fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites.

DAY 19   Oudtshoorn – Mossel Bay – Cape Town

After an early start we visit to an ostrich show farm for some unique experiences, including ostrich racing. A ride on the back of an ostrich is not for the fainthearted. Our route to Mossel Bay takes us over the Outeniqua Mountains via Robinson’s Pass. Here we visit arguably the oldest post office in Africa, the Post Office Tree, and the site of the first landfall, made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomew Dias in 1488. After an early lunch we travel via Swellendam to Cape Town where we arrive late afternoon.

You want to come along on one of these South African tours? Get in touch right away to get details.