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 RouteThe 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 areasRise early and have a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game driveMost of the day will be spent game viewingTake 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 walkCamp 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 EstuaryExplore 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 EstuaryStay at a basic campground with shared facilities
Day 8 - ZululandMake an early departure to the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the heartland of the Zulu nation (260km, approx 2-3 hrs)
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.Gain an insight into the daily life of the rural Zulu people by spending the night in a traditional homestay
Day 9 - DurbanHang out in Durban and hit the beach, the bars or both.Travel on to Durban (100 km, approx 2-3 hrs)Spend time exploring DurbanPerhaps visit the Art Gallery, the Juma Masjid Mosque, Sea World, Wet and Wild, or enjoy a bay cruise or surf lessonAs 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 footEnjoy 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/CintsaHead to the Wild Coast of South Africa and the small town of Cintsa (620 km, approx 10-12 hrs)
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.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 residentsWhile 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 RegionExplore the Cango Caves and learn about their formation and history from our local guide
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.Travel from Oudtshoorn to Swellendam (220km, approx 4-4.5 hrs) on the scenic Route 62 via the towns of Calitzdorp, Ladysmith, Montaque and RobertsonCheck 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 besidesPerhaps visit the Botanical Gardens, the District Six Museum, the national gallery or spend some time on Table MountainThere'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 to Know
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)
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
- 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.
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.
Trip Dates and Prices
Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price Kitty Payment Total Price 16 Aug 2014 - 05 Sep 2014 Fully Booked US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Contact us 08 Nov 2014 - 28 Nov 2014 Fully Booked US $1,715 ZA R6,795 US $2,550 Contact us 03 Jan 2015 - 23 Jan 2015 Available US $1,615 ZA R6,795 US $2,450 Book Now 31 Jan 2015 - 20 Feb 2015 Available US $1,615 ZA R6,795 US $2,450 Book Now 28 Feb 2015 - 20 Mar 2015 Available US $1,615 ZA R6,795 US $2,450 Book Now 21 Mar 2015 - 10 Apr 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 04 Apr 2015 - 24 Apr 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 02 May 2015 - 22 May 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 30 May 2015 - 19 Jun 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 20 Jun 2015 - 10 Jul 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 27 Jun 2015 - 17 Jul 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 25 Jul 2015 - 14 Aug 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 01 Aug 2015 - 21 Aug 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 29 Aug 2015 - 18 Sep 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 26 Sep 2015 - 16 Oct 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 24 Oct 2015 - 13 Nov 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 21 Nov 2015 - 11 Dec 2015 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now 19 Dec 2015 - 08 Jan 2016 Available US $1,570 ZA R6,795 US $2,405 Book Now
Kitty payment is required in cash. It needs to be paid before the end of your trip, in the local currency stated above. It is generally paid on Day 1, and covers most on-ground expenses. Kitty payments calculated using exchange rates valid on 1 Jan 2013.
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