Cape Expectations

Board an ostrich in South Africa
The cultural history of South Africa's 'City of Gold' Johannesburg
Wildlife safari in Greater Kruger National Park
Make friends at Addo Elephant Park in South Africa
Drakensberg's flat-topped mountains
Cape Town - South Africa's 'Mother City'
Cintsa East, the Wild Coast
  • 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. 


    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**

  • What's Included

      • On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 crew members, a Group Leader and a Driver. (Depending on your group size – from time to time your leader will also be your driver)

      • Included activities:

      • Addo National Elephant Park - Game drive, Cango Caves, Drakensburg - Short hike, Hlane Royal National Park - Walking safari, Kruger Park - Game drive, Oudtshoorn - Local village visit, Swellendam Wine Tour

      • 20 breakfasts, 16 dinners


    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.

    Safety Information

    It is recommended that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information prior to your departure.

    Geckos strongly recommends the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Please leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Most of our hotels will have a safety deposit box, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and Geckos makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING CONDITIONS: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Be aware that traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home.

    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

    SWIMMING POOLS: You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

    UNFENCED CAMP SITES: On some trips where you will be staying within a national park, please note that at times you will stay in unfenced camp sites. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules that must be adhered to. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.

    Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

    Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.


  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    03 Jan 2015 - 23 Jan 2015 Fully Booked US $2,855 Contact us
    31 Jan 2015 - 20 Feb 2015 4 places left US $2,830 Book Now
    28 Feb 2015 - 20 Mar 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    21 Mar 2015 - 10 Apr 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    04 Apr 2015 - 24 Apr 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    02 May 2015 - 22 May 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    30 May 2015 - 19 Jun 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    20 Jun 2015 - 10 Jul 2015 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    27 Jun 2015 - 17 Jul 2015 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    25 Jul 2015 - 14 Aug 2015 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    01 Aug 2015 - 21 Aug 2015 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    29 Aug 2015 - 18 Sep 2015 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    26 Sep 2015 - 16 Oct 2015 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    24 Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2015 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    21 Nov 2015 - 11 Dec 2015 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    19 Dec 2015 - 08 Jan 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    16 Jan 2016 - 05 Feb 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    13 Feb 2016 - 04 Mar 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    12 Mar 2016 - 01 Apr 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    09 Apr 2016 - 29 Apr 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    07 May 2016 - 27 May 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    04 Jun 2016 - 24 Jun 2016 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    25 Jun 2016 - 15 Jul 2016 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    23 Jul 2016 - 12 Aug 2016 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    30 Jul 2016 - 19 Aug 2016 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    27 Aug 2016 - 16 Sep 2016 Available US $2,910 Book Now
    24 Sep 2016 - 14 Oct 2016 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    22 Oct 2016 - 11 Nov 2016 Available US $2,800 Book Now
    19 Nov 2016 - 09 Dec 2016 Available US $2,695 Book Now
    17 Dec 2016 - 06 Jan 2017 Available US $2,695 Book Now
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- 16
4WD vehicle, Overland vehicle
4 nights Dormitory, 1 night Homestay, 2 nights basic lodge, 12 nights participatory camping, 1 night Basic hotel
Cape Town

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