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For departures after 31 December 2014 this trip has variations.
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Cape Expectations

Trip Length

Trip Code

21 days GAAM

Maximum Passengers

16 people
Minimum Age
18

Countries Visited

Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland

Start City

End City

Johannesburg Cape Town
Cape Expectations

Glorious coastlines, mystical mountain kingdoms and all manner of wild beasts – this little ditty has it all. Cruise through Kruger, swing through Swaziland, mosey about a Mozambique beach camp and get high and mighty in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. Then hop aboard the Garden Route to oh-so-swanky Cape Town.

 

Unsurprisingly, the phrase “An elephant never forgets”, comes from the fact that elephants have awesome memories. That said, they probably won’t remember you. So don’t feel bad if this is a return visit and you don’t get a high-five. 

Cape Expectations


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg

If you choose to go to the Apartheid Museum you'll be given a ticket that says either "White/Blanke" or "Non-White/Nie-Blanke" dictating what entrance you can use. It's a pretty confronting start to the tour, but an important one.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm

Perhaps visit the Apartheid Museum, Art Gallery, Museum Africa or head off on a Gold Reed City and Heritage Mine Tour

Day 2-3: Kruger National Park

Sure, its fun to see lions lazing around in the sun during a day safari. But night is where the action is so for this reason you'll take a safari under the stars.

Leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, along the famous Panorama Route
The sights en route include God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels (Sisters) and the magnificent Blyde River Canyon (600km, approx 8-10 hrs)

Enter the park and head straight into prime game viewing areas

Rise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive
Most of the day will be spent game viewing
Take an additional night drive with the park guide to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two

Perhaps head out on a morning safari walk

Day 4: Swaziland/Hlane Royal National Park

At Swaziland's annual Umhlanga Reed Dance, around 20,000 topless virgins sing, dance and lay reeds at the feet of the king. The rest of the year they just wear jeans and listen to the Top 40.

Take a final slow game drive of between 20 and 70 km before exiting the park mid-morning

Travel south-east and enter the Kingdom of Swaziland (370 km, approx 9-10 hrs)

Take opportunity to explore the park on a guided game walk

Camp inside the national park

Day 5-6: Mozambique Beach Camp

You know those beaches you see on postcards, with the miles of white sand and sparkly blue water? Ponta Malongane is one of those. Snorkelling, scuba diving and a dolphin boat cruise are all on the menu.

Head to Mozambique at Kosi Bay (320 km, approx 6-7 hrs)
After crossing the border, leave the truck behind and jump into some 4x4s to travel on to the seaside village of Ponta Malongane.
Perhaps enjoy snorkelling, scuba diving and dolphin boat cruises, or just relax on the beach

Day 7: St Lucia Estuary

Explore the St Lucia Estuary, home to thousands of birds, mammals and reptiles. This is a good place for birdwatching and animal sightings. Obviously.
Depart southern Mozambique, heading to Zululand and Lake St Lucia (260 km, approx 4-5 hrs)
Take a boat cruise on the St Lucia Estuary
Stay at a basic campground with shared facilities

Day 8: Zululand

In the Valley of a Thousand Hills you'll stay with a Zulu family who will entertain you with traditional song and dance. Make sure you enjoy a bit of sorghum home brew in a clay pot.

Make an early departure to the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the heartland of the Zulu nation (260km, approx 2-3 hrs)
Gain an insight into the daily life of the rural Zulu people by spending the night in a traditional homestay

Day 9: Durban

Hang out in Durban and hit the beach, the bars or both.
Travel on to Durban (100 km, approx 2-3 hrs)
Spend time exploring Durban
Perhaps visit the Art Gallery, the Juma Masjid Mosque or enjoy a bay cruise or surf lesson
 
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary, meet your new fellow travellers, and collect the next part of your kitty.

Day 10-11: Drakensburg

Some of the peaks in the Drakensberg mountain range include Thabana Ntlenyana, Makoaneng and Njesuthi. We think you should concentrate on walking, not pronouncing.

Leave Durban and travel inland towards the Drakensberg mountain range (370 km, approx 6-7 hrs)
Enjoy a whole day to explore part of the mountain range on foot 
Enjoy a sun-downer from the thatched loft lounge room that has a big screen, HD television, book swap and internet cafe Other facilities include a pool, jacuzzi, barbeque area and fire pit
 

Day 12-13: Lesotho Highlands

Lesotho has the highest lowest point of any country in the world. Read that sentence again carefully. You'll get it eventually.

Leaving the Drakensberg behind, head into the mountain kingdom of Lesotho (320 km, approx 6-7 hrs)

Perhaps set off on a Bushman painting hike or the Pitseng Canyon hike

 

Day 14-15: Wild Coast/Cintsa

Winters in the tiny beach village of Cintsa reach a freezing 21 degrees Celsius during the day. If you think you can handle this extreme temperature then you  might just enjoy your time here. Go surfing, swimming and mountain bike riding.

Head to the Wild Coast of South Africa and the small town of Cintsa (620 km, approx 10-12 hrs)
Arrive in the late afternoon and have time to relax before an optional group dinner

Enjoy plenty of time to explore the town, relax on the beaches or make the most of optional activities such as hiking, swimming, mountain biking and surfing

Day 16: Addo Elephant National Park

What do elephants, toddlers, great apes, magpies and dolphins have in common? They can all recognise themselves in a mirror (and they'd all make terrible pets).

Travel on to Addo Elephant National Park (500 km, 7-8 hrs)
On arrival at the park, take an afternoon game drive and try to spot some of the local residents
While in Addo, stay at a campground that has basic shared facilities

Perhaps set off on a night game drive

Day 17-18: Garden Route/Tsitsikamma National Park

If you're looking for the Cape clawless otter, dolphins, tortoises, southern right whales, baboons, monkeys and birds then you've come to the right place.

Spend the next few days discovering the most spectacular stretch of the Garden Route

Your first stop is the Tsitsikamma National Park (250 km, approx 4-5 hrs)

Perhaps opt for a bungee jump, a canopy tour or snorkelling

Day 19: Oudtshoorn

Hot showers! Flushing toilets! The most ostriches found anywhere in the world! Oudtshoorn has got it all.

Head out across the arid Karoo region bound for Oudtshoorn (220 km, approx 3-4 hrs)

Stop off at Knysna en route to stretch your legs and explore this quaint little hamlet

 

Day 20: Swellendam Wine Region

Don't wear white today, because you're going to be sampling some of the world's best wine. You're bound to find a favourite.

Explore the Cango Caves and learn about their formation and history from our local guide
Travel from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam (220km, approx 4-4.5 hrs) on the scenic Route 62 via the towns of Calitzdorp, Ladysmith, Montaque and Robertson
Check into your accommodation before heading out on a wine tour to sample some of the local produce

Day 21: Cape Town

So much Cape Town, so little time. Why don't you book a couple of extra nights, and check out Table Mountain, Robben Island or get in on some diving action.Your safari comes to an end in Cape Town (330 km, approx 7 hrs)

Enjoy a host of optional activities in Cape Town such as abseiling, kloofing, scuba diving, a harbour cruise and much more besides
Perhaps visit the Botanical Gardens, the District Six Museum, the national gallery or spend some time on Table Mountain
 
There's no accommodation provided for tonight but we are able to organise additional nights. Please request at the time of booking. We recommend you do stay longer as there is plenty to see and do in Cape Town.Please don't book international departure flights until after 9pm on departure day.
 

**This trip is run by our sister company Intrepid**


Your Trip

Nuts and Bolts

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Not Included

International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed, any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.


Important Information

KRUGER PARK CAMPSITES: On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp in a bordering private game park. COMBINATION TRIP: This is a combination trip and the composition of your group may change in Durban. FINISH TIME: This trip finishes upon arrival in Cape Town on Day 21. Please do not book any flights until after 10pm this evening in case of delays and traffic. **This trip is operated by our sister company Intrepid**

ITINERARY DISCLAIMER:

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements deriving from past travellers' and local operator feedback. The information given in this itinerary may differ slightly to that in the brochure. It's imperative that you print and review a final copy of your itinerary a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

For the latest updated itinerary please visit our website: www.geckosadventures.com

Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some of the changes that may occur in our itineraries could be due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transportation. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for the chance of possible modifications to the trip en-route.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES:

Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, and all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the activities that are included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded to you.

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

There are a selection of optional activities listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This is not an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices listed are for entrance only and do not include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless otherwise indicated. Please also be aware that it may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination.

Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Geckos nor included in the price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Geckos.

You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form for some of the optional activities you choose to participate in.

 

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please ensure that you have the most up-to-date information for your trip. We recommend that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

12 October 2014


General Contact Details

Geckos AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4853
E-mail: sales@geckosadventures.com
Web: Visit Geckos