We Leave June 9th
DAY 1: MPUMALANGA
Departing Johannesburg we travel to the beautiful landscape of Mpumalanga. Spectacular viewpoints at Blyde River Canyon and God's Window, together with tumbling waterfalls and the unusual geological formations of Bourke's Luck Potholes offer us breathtaking examples of the scenic splendor of South Africa.
DAY 2-3: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
View the Berlin Falls, then explore the reconstructed gold rush town of Pilgrim's Rest, where a handful of prospectors still work the streams of the area. We now enter the southern section of Kruger National Park where we camp within the park for two nights. Our hunt for the Big 5 begins.
The Chalets at Kruger
DAY 4: SWAZILAND
Leaving Kruger we enter the soaring highlands of the Kingdom of Swaziland. This small, independent country possesses a colorful history and a proud people. The Mbabane Market offers a variety of traditional handicrafts. Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve provides a rare chance for a walking safari (horse riding is also available) and from the camp's look-out hide, a close-up of hippos feeding at a waterhole.
Traditional Swazi Hut
DAY 5: DRAKENSBERG
Re-entering South Africa, we take a step back in time to the days of the Anglo-Boer conflicts. We recreate the strategies of British and Boer forces at the Talana History Museum situated on the battlefield outside Dundee, then carry on to Ladysmith. Our driving day concludes at theDrakensberg campsite, home for two nights, situated at the base of the towering Amphitheatre.
DAY 6: DRAKENSBERG
A sensational hike up the Tugela Gorge will reveal the grandeur and gigantic scale of the Drakensberg range. Enjoy a picnic lunch, a rock pool swim and a visit to Bushman paintings before returning for a barbecue back at camp.
DAY 7: DURBAN
Travelling through the lush KwaZulu Natal Midlands brings us to our destination of Durban, South Africa's sunshine and surf capital with its famous Golden Mile of beaches.
DAY 8: EAST LONDON
Leaving Durban, a driving day takes us through the rolling grasslands of the Transkei. The mud huts and ox-drawn sledges of the Xhosa people evoke an image of timeless Africa. The evergreen coastline north of East London is our destination, with its beautiful unspoiled beaches.
DAY 9: ADDO ELEPHANT PARK / PORT ELIZABETH
The smooth white sand and turquoise ocean form a picturesque idyll, which we are reluctant to leave. We make our way through the historic lands of the 1820 settlers, where the "frontier" wars between the Xhosa and early settlers were grimly contested. At Addo Elephant Park watching these gentle giants in their natural habitat is a fascinating and memorable experience.
DAY 10: TSITSIKAMMA
Next stop is Jeffrey's Bay, an essential port of call on the world surfing circuit. Watch the surfers, swim or catch a tan on the seemingly endless, glorious beach. We set up camp in the Tsitsikamma Forest National Park, which provides a unique vista of forested slopes on one side and pounding surf on the other.
DAY 11: WILDERNESS
We follow an easy trail through coastal vegetation that offers splendid views of the restless sea, to the Storms River suspension bridge. After lunch we visit Nature's Valley, Plettenberg Bay and Knysna with its enchanting lagoon protected by sandstone cliffs known as the "Heads". We camp in the Wilderness lake area for two nights.
DAY 12: STELLENBOSCH
We visit Mossel Bay, which marks the end of the Garden Route. A cultivated garden would pale into insignificance in comparison to this region of eternal freshness and greenery. Nearby, the bravest (or craziest) can bungee jump off the bridge that spans the gorge of the Gouritz River. We continue to the heart of the Cape Winelands and the beautiful town of Stellenbosch with its Cape Dutch architecture. There is the opportunity for a spot of wine tasting on one of the wine estates.
DAY 13: CAPE TOWN
The beautiful scenery is unforgettable as we travel to Cape Point, where the panorama is breathtaking. We enjoy a picnic lunch at the Cape of Good Hope, the south-westernmost point of the African continent. The famous Table Mountain is a memorable sight to welcome you to Cape Town.Cape Point
DAY 14: FULL DAY LEISURE TO ENJOY CAPE TOWN
DAY 15: ORANGE RIVER
Leaving behind the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, we take a long drive up the West Coast and cross over the border into Namibia. We complete a memorable day with a barbecue beneath the canopy of a million stars.
DAY 16: FISH RIVER CANYON
The Fish River Canyon, second in size to the Grand Canyon, is our next destination. The edge is reached with startling suddenness, where dramatic views open up before us. A walk down to the floor of the canyon offers a different perspective of this natural wonder. Here we will sample the mystical qualities of the hot springs at Ai-Ais.
DAY 17: LUDERITZ
The road to Luderitz passes through Restricted Diamond Area 1. We take a fascinating guided tour through the diamond-mining ghost town of Kolmanskop, where encroaching sand dunes are now the only inhabitants.
DAYS 18: SESRIEM
Our route today is one of contrasts. From Luderitz, a safe natural harbor where penguins and pelicans can be seen enjoying the cool coastal waters, we turn inland. Continuing along the edge of the Namib-Naukluft Park, the landscape becomes barren desert, home to wild horses, where sand relentlessly drifts over the roads. On our arrival at Sesriem we set up camp for two nights under the shade of Acacia trees. We explore the dramatic Sesriem Canyon, and enjoy a refreshing swim near camp. The photographic opportunities over the highest fixed sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei are stunning. We climb to the top of one of the dunes for an incredible view of the stark beauty that surrounds us.
DAYS 19: SWAKOPMUND
Traveling via Walvis Bay, where the lagoon is often full of flamingoes, our destination is Swakopmund. The afternoon is free to explore this German colonial town where we spend two nights in chalets on the seashore.
The following day we visit the prehistoric Welwitschia plants and the famous Moon Landscapes.
Welwitchia plant, Namib Naukluft Park
DAY 20: PALMWAG
The drive north along the Skeleton Coast is impressive. We follow the rugged coastline along this lonely stretch of shore to Cape Cross to see the seal colonies and then head inland towards Palmwag. Palmwag is at the center of an area inhabited by the famous desert elephants. We camp near a spring where they are known to quench their thirst and hope for sightings.
DAY 21: TWYFELFONTEIN
Our day includes visits to Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes, a weird landscape of strange rock formations, a guided walk to view the collection of primitive rock engravings at Twyfelfontein and the Petrified Forest.
DAYS 22-24: ETOSHA
Etosha National Park, a vast white dust bowl in the dry season, yet a shallow lake filled with thousands of flamingoes in the wet months. We camp for two nights at Okaukuejo, where we can spend the evenings at the floodlit watering hole, watching elephants, rhino and big cats coming to drink. Etosha offers excellent opportunities for wildlife photography. We visit Halali and also move camp to Namutoni.
Elephants in Etosha National Park.
DAY 25: OKAVANGO RIVER
Today is a long straight drive towards Rundu. We pass rural huts of the Owambo people. Our rest camp on the banks of the Okavango River is a welcome sight on a hot day.
DAYS 26 - 28: OKAVANGO DELTA
Entering Botswana, we venture to the edge of the Okavango Delta. This fan-shaped oasis is a maze of channels, lagoons and islands that attract an abundance of animal and bird life. With local polers, we explore the wetlands in Mokoros (dugout canoes) gliding silently past crocodile and hippo sunning themselves on mud banks. Frequently called a swamp, the region generally has beautifully clear waters, where water lilies grace the surface. We bush camp on an island, surrounded by the sounds of the African night.
Hippos in the Okavango Delta
Here there is the opportunity for a bush walk, where chance encounters with game makes for an exciting wildlife experience. Returning to the edge of the Delta, this time in the wilderness is one of the highlights of the tour.
DAY 29: VICTORIA FALLS
Our day's drive takes us past local villages, and across the border into Zimbabwe, arriving at Victoria Falls. This is without doubt one of the world's most unforgettable scenic spectacles.
DAY 30: VICTORIA FALLS
The day is yours to sample the great range of available adventure activities.
DAY 31: NATA
After an early morning wake up depart for the Botswana border and travel south to Nata.
DAY 32: WARMBATH
Continue south to the South African border and your campsite in Warmbath with its hot springs.
Day 33: JOHANNESBURG
Morning of leisure to relax in the warm springs. After lunch depart for Johannesburg and your flight home.