Drakensberg Mountains
16 Day South Africa Essentials Tour
This 16 day escorted South Africa tour takes you east and south from Johannesburg all the way to Cape Town providing a memorable South Africa travel experience as it takes in some of the best natural attractions the country has to offer.

You will depart the highveld from Johannesburg and travel through some spectacular countryside to the lowveld and one of the most famous wildlife reserves on the planet, Kruger National Park. You will spend a full day in the park taking in the flora and fauna of one of the premier wilderness reserves in the world.

The tour then takes you south through Swaziland and into the province of Kwazulu Natal, home to the once feared Zulu warriors. You will travel through the Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park before arriving in Durban, the holiday capital of South Africa.

From Durban you will head into the Southern Drakensberg Mountains and its spectacular scenery and spend a couple of days travelling through & experiencing its beauty. The tour will then travel through Port Elizabeth en-route to the splendour of the Garden Route before arriving in one of the cities of the world, Cape Town.

Price per person – AUD

Twin share $2,745 Single Supplement $1,120

Number of Days: 16

Note:

  1. Price is valid until 31 October 2017. If travelling after this date please contact us for revised prices
  2. Tour departs Johannesburg on selected Mondays –  Please see below for exact departure dates
  3. Tour operates in reverse and departs from Cape Town on selected Saturdays  –  Please see below for exact departure dates
  4. This is a bilingual – English & German tour.
  5. Accommodation may be different from properties listed due to availability but will be of a similar standard
  6. Minimum of 2 & maximum of 28 people on tour
  7. Vehicle for tour a 7 seater microbus, 18 seater mini coach or 28 seater luxury coach (all air-conditioned)

Package Includes:

  • 15 nights 3 to 4 star accommodation with buffet breakfast
  • 5 dinners
  • English & German speaking guide
  • Full day game drives in Kruger National Park
  • Guided tour of the Cango Caves
  • All sightseeing specified in the itinerary
  • All entrance fees
  • All transfers & transportation specified in the itinerary

Package Excludes:

  • Gratuities
  • Optional activities and tours

Tour Departure Dates:
* Operates in reverse – Cape Town to Johannesburg
9 & *21, 23 Jan 2017
*4, 6, *18 & 20 Feb 2017
*4, 6, *18 & 20 Mar 2017
*1, 3, *15, 17 & *29 Apr 2017
1, *13, 15, *27 & 29 May 2017
*10, 12 & *24 Jun 2017
10 & *29 Jul 2017
7, *19 & 21 Aug 2017
*2, 4, *16, 18 & *30 Sep 2017
9, *21 & 23 Oct 2017

Day 1 – Johannesburg
On arrival at Johannesburg please make your own way to your Sandton Hotel in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs where you will be met by your tourist guide for an evening tour briefing.

Day 2 – Johannesburg to Mpumalanga
After breakfast, you will travel through the Panorama Route to Hazyview. The awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon and Three Rondawels, which may be the world’s largest green canyons, is the first stop along the beautiful Panorama Route. You will also visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Wonder View, the highest viewpoint on this route. These are some of the country’s most beautiful views and cherished natural marvels. Stop for lunch (own account) in Graskop. Arrive in the late afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the fringe of Hazyview. Relax prior to a leisurely dinner at the hotel. Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 3 – Kruger National Park
Leaving the hotel after an early breakfast, we travel to the iconic Kruger National Park. Enjoy a guided closed vehicle game drive, searching the bushveld looking for the ‘Big 5’, their friends and natural enemies, inside the legendary Kruger National Park; a place where elephants always have the right of way. The Kruger National Park covers 19,485km² and runs 360km from North to South. It supports a staggering variety of fauna and flora including 147 mammals and 507 birds species, some rare and indigenous to the area. Staying inside the park, enjoy lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps, before continuing on your bush adventure. Exit the Kruger National Park and head back to your hotel to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) before dinner. Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast (4-star) NOTE: Optional full day safari in an open safari vehicle available (own account and excluding lunch)

Day 4 – Mpumalanga to Malelane
Enjoy an early breakfast before spending a second day on a guided closed vehicle game drive in the Kruger National Park. Lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps, before continuing your journey to the Malelane Gate. Arrive in the late afternoon at your overnight accommodation, situated on the fringes of the famous park. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) on the deck overlooking the Crocodile River and Southern Kruger National Park before dinner at the hotel. Pestana Kruger Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast (4-star) NOTE: Optional full day safari in an open safari vehicle available (own account and excluding lunch)

Day 5 – Malelane to Hluhluwe via Zwaziland
Depart your hotel after an early breakfast and travel to Hluhluwe via the Kingdom of Swaziland. Swaziland is a beautiful and culturally rich country. Ezulwini Valley is commonly known as the ‘Valley of Heaven’. The Valley contains a number of notable wildlife sanctuaries and crafts markets. Enjoy lunch (own account) en route. Exiting Swaziland, we enter the sub-tropical Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa and make our way to Hluhluwe. Arrive early evening at the lodge in time for dinner (own account). DumaZulu Lodge & Cultural Village or similar – bed and breakfast (3-star) NOTE: When entering the Kingdom of Swaziland, please ensure that you are in possession of a valid passport, and for nationals of certain countries, multi-entry visa entry and conditions will apply.

Day 6 – Hluhluwe Zululand
After a hearty breakfast, depart on an open vehicle game drive to the nearby Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park. This park is the only area in KwaZulu-Natal where the ‘Big 5’ can be found. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. There are numerous activities to be enjoyed in the area, these include a visit to the Zulu cultural show, the bird and reptile park (own account). Tuck into a decadent dinner (own account) before retiring for the night. DumaZulu Lodge & Cultural Village or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 7 – Hluhluwe to San Lameer via St Lucia
Leaving the lodge after an early morning breakfast, you will travel to St Lucia. Once you have arrived at St Lucia, enjoy a boat cruise around the Estuary. See rare wildlife and birdlife, mangrove swamps and vegetated sand dunes that make for an interesting and educational cruise. St Lucia is the only town in South Africa that lies inside a World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, the largest estuarine system in Africa. Savour the sensational views of the lake while you enjoy lunch (own account). A few hours’ drive down the South Coast, arrive at San Lameer, near Southbroom on the warm Indian Ocean. This evening enjoy dinner out (own account) at one of the many local restaurants. Peermont Mondazur Hotel and Spa or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 8 – San Lameer to Mthatha
Partake in an early breakfast at the resort, before departing San Lameer for Mthatha. Tuck into lunch en-route, once in Mthatha, follow in the footsteps of this great South African hero and father to a nation. The Mandela Route moves through Bhisho, home of the provincial government, and takes a scenic drive on the N2 to Mthatha, which hosts the Nelson Mandela Museum. Arrive at the hotel in the late afternoon and freshen up before enjoying your dinner for the evening. Garden Court Mthatha or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 9 – Mthatha to Port Alfred
An early breakfast and departure will see you travelling from Mthatha to the marina town of Port Alfred via Qunu, where Nelson Mandela was laid to rest. Qunu, which is part of the former Transkei, consists of a number of little villages. These are the green hills and pastures where Madiba herded sheep and cattle and which today is still recognised as his family home. An area steeped in ancient Xhosa traditions and culture, taking you back to a simpler and humbler time. Venture further South along the coastal road to East London. Lunch en-route (own account). The coastal road brings you to Port Alfred at the heart of the Sunshine Coast, on the banks of the Kowie River. Arrive late afternoon at your hotel. Enjoy refreshing drinks (own account) before savouring the delightful local cuisine. The Royal St Andrews Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 10 – Port Alfred to Plettenberg Bay via East Coast Garden Route
After an early breakfast we take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the scenic Kowie River before leaving the Sunshine Coast and travelling inland along the Garden Route. The Garden Route derives its name from the ecologically diverse vegetation present in the area, which lies between the Indian Ocean and the Tsitsikamma Mountains. Tsitsikamma is the ancient San name meaning place of abundant water, an enchanting and fabled part of the country. Enjoy lunch in Tsitsikamma (own account) before taking a short walk to experience the wonderful views on the suspension bridge of the Storms River Mouth. Here you will observe the Storms River meeting the Indian Ocean in grand splendour. Your final stop for the day finds you in Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay at your hotel. Enjoy time at leisure or take advantage of the resort’s private access to an 8km stretch of pristine beachfront. This evening take pleasure in the oceanic ambience while you dine at the resort’s elegant restaurant (own account). The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 11 – Plettenberg Bay
Today is yours – enjoy a full day at leisure or venture on an optional excursion to a South African Heritage Site, Featherbed Nature Reserve and an Elephant Sanctuary (own account, including lunch). On arrival at the Knysna Waterfront, board the ferry that will take you to Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Knysna Head. On arrival at the reserve, board a Unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the reserve. While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our tour guide will share fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while you enjoy the panoramic views. An optional 2.2km guided nature walk takes you through the forest onto the cliffs into the caves and along the scenic coast. This is followed by a buffet lunch at the Forest Restaurant, a unique outdoor restaurant situated on the edge of the Lagoon under a canopy of Milkwood trees. After lunch we depart for an educational elephant interaction experience where you have the opportunity to feed and touch these gentle giants. Enjoy time at leisure before dinner (own account). The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 12 – Plettenberg Bay to Oudtshoorn via Cango Caves
After a hearty breakfast depart Keurboomstrand for Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo via the scenic Knysna and surrounds. This morning’s excursion presents you with photographic opportunities at the lookout points at the Knysna Lagoon and the Knysna Heads. Travel inland to the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn, driving over the Outeniqua Pass. Constructed by prisoners of war from 1943 to 1951 the Outeniqua Pass now bridges the coastal Garden Route and the semi-arid Klein Karoo. For lunch (own account) we arrive at an ostrich farm on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn. A tour of the farm will introduce you to these strange and exotic birds, as well as the ostrich industry. In the Cango Valley we discover the spectacular subterranean world of the Cango Caves. This 20 million year old world wonder features an impressive display of gold and vermillion dripstone stalagmites and stalactites. Arrive at your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure. Delight in the charming country setting as you enjoy dinner (own account) and hospitality. Protea Hotel Riempie Estate or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 13 – Oudtshoorn to Stellenbosch via Route 62
After breakfast, our journey takes us West, via Route 62 to Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Route 62 is an iconic route with intoxicating and ever changing landscapes. Running along orchard lined valleys, towering mountain ranges, rivers and indigenous fynbos, Route 62 bridges the Western and Eastern Cape through the Klein Karoo and includes what is possibly the world’s longest wine route. Lunch en-route (own account). Next up is a visit to an award winning brandy distillery in Robertson, where you’ll have a fun and educational experience in brandy tasting. We journey further into the heart of the Winelands and arrive, late afternoon, in the beautiful and heritage proud university town of Stellenbosch. Leisure time to enjoy the comfortable and luxurious settings and views before drinks and dinner (own account) at one the hotel’s restaurants. Protea Hotel Stellenbosch or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 14 – Stellenbosch to Cape Town
After a walking town tour, venture further into the Winelands via Paarl and onto the city of Cape Town. Embark on this morning’s walking tour of Stellenbosch. Explore the town’s historic sites and colonial Cape Dutch architecture (some of the country’s oldest buildings), along its oak lined streets and mountainous backdrop. Stop for lunch and a wine tasting (both own account) at one of the many stellar wine farms in Paarl, which is South Africa’s third oldest town and is a beautiful town that gets its name from the enormous granite pluton that shimmers like a pearl (or Paarl in Dutch) after rain showers. This huge granite pluton makes up Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite projection on the planet. We stop off at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument), which is located on Paarl Rock, where we learn more about this beautiful structure and museum. Visit the Nelson Mandela Gateway Museum before checking into your hotel. This evening’s dinner can be enjoyed at the hotel (own account). Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 15 – Cape Town
Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, lingers on the edge of Africa where oceans meet and cultures fuse under the presence of the majestic Table Mountain. After breakfast, spend the morning at leisure discovering the Mother City or join an optional guided, full day Cape Point tour (own account), which incorporates Cape Point, Boulder’s Beach (entrance fee for own account) and Kirstenbosch Gardens. This evening, enjoy more of the Cape’s cuisine and wines, when you dine out or alternatively at your hotel (own account). Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 16 – Depart Cape Town
TEnjoy breakfast at the hotel before spending the last day of the tour at leisure. Alternatively select an optional Table Mountain and City Tour (own account). A city with bountiful offerings of platinum beaches, an impressive mountain range, inviting night life, extensive shopping venues and art and cultural events, the Mother City has something for everyone to enjoy. Table Mountain is a unique conservation area which presents its visitors the best views of Cape Town, ancient caves and some amazing hiking trails. The Table Mountain Range is six times older than the Himalayas and five times that of the Rocky Mountains, and is estimated to be 260 million years old. Enjoy the revolving cable car ride up the mountain (own account and weather permitting) to marvel at its panoramic views. Travel through the Malay Quarter, city centre and Company Gardens and if time permits, the Castle of Good Hope. NOTE: The transfer to Cape Town International Airport is not included in the package price and must be booked separately.

Crowne Plaza Rosebank
Situated in the cosmopolitan and leafy suburb of Rosebank and only 40 minutes from O.R Tambo International Hotel is the ideal base for leisure or corporate travellers.
The famous Rosebank and African Rooftop Market and The Rosebank Mall are within walking distance as well as the finest shopping right at your doorstep. The Hotel is very hip and trendy but still very stylish. The bedrooms have a Sony Bravia LCD screen, 28 DSTV channels, mini bar, laptop friendly safe, I-Pod docking station and wireless connectivity.

 

Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort
Casa do Sol in the beautiful Mpumalanga Region is the ultimate of luxury and elegance with tranquil pools, deeply shaded glades and lush flower gardens as well as enchanting sounds and smells of the bush. The water of the two swimming pools is crystal clear and is surrounded by luscious tropical gardens which have won many awards for their beauty and vibrancy.
Casa do Hotel has Casa’s, Villa’s, Twin and Double Suites and one “Casa Grande”. All rooms cater for double occupancies and all have en-suite bathrooms. The Villa’s have private gardens or terraces overlooking the valley whilst the Casa’s lead out to the gardens. The Double and Twin Suites each have entrance halls, spacious sitting rooms, luxury bathrooms with separate showers and toilets plus private patios with stunning views of the valley.

 

Pestana Kruger Lodge
The 4-star Pestana Kruger Lodge is 700m from the Malelane Gate, the perfect stopover for Kruger Park or en-route to Mozambique. The 74 rooms comprise of standard, deluxe, and family rooms, with air-conditioning, mini bar, and safes. Meals are served either in the Buhlebethu Restaurant or for groups in the outdoor bomas around a crackling fire. Enjoy cocktails at the Eshonalanga Bar and sundowners on our deck overlooking the Crocodile River. The lodge has 3 outdoor and 1 indoor swimming pool, the Thulani Spa, and children’s supertube. We offer quad biking, safaris, and bush walks are available at preferred rates.

Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village
At Gooderson Dumazulu Lodge and Traditional Village in Hluhluwe, the 23 rounded ethnic huts are arranged in a circle around a central cattle kraal in true Zulu tradition. Exteriors are designed to reflect the different tribes of Southern Africa – Zulu, Swazi, North Sotho, Xhosa, Venda, Tsonga and Ndebele. Comfortable interiors reflect the rustic, warm colours of Africa. Each unit includes an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning, telephone and tea and coffee making facilities.Gooderson Dumazulu’s Walk Through Bird and Reptile Park is the largest free flight Aviary in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Experience traditional Kwa-Zulu Natal hospitality at DumaZulu Traditional Village, South Africa’s biggest cultural village.

San Lameer Resort Hotel & Spa
San Lameer Resort Hotel & Spa in KwaZulu-Natal, is situated just off the N2 highway, minutes from the resort town of Margate. The centrepiece of the estate is the 18-hole championship golf course at the San Lameer Country Club. The intimate 4-star hotel offers 40 rooms and suites elegantly decorated in contemporary Indonesian style. This exclusive beach and golf coastal reserve boasts easy access to the naturally unspoiled Marina Beach with its impressive Blue Flag status. The Camelot spa provides an all-encompassing holistic approach to health, beauty and wellness. The hotel also features the Lagoon Bar and Grill which specialises in fresh seafood and the perfect sundowner cocktails as well as a boutique conference centre housing up to 120 delegates. With its exceptional beauty, the resort is also a highly prized wedding venue destination. Mondazur is San Lameer’s Tropical and Business Paradise!

 

Garden Court Mthatha
Garden Court Mthatha is situated just 17km from the airport and within close proximity to the Mthatha city centre, this Tsogo Sun hotel serves as the perfect destination for business and leisure travellers seeking conveniently located accommodation in this region.

In addition to the range of features on offer to guests within the grounds of the hotel, a number of local attractions can also be enjoyed for those wanting to head out and explore the region made famous as Madiba’s birthplace. Highlights include the Nelson Mandela Museum, Hluleka Nature Reserve, Town Hall, Umtata Dam, Coffee Bay, Bulungula Village and many other historical, cultural and scenic sights. A total of 117 stylishly furnished en-suite rooms comprise accommodation at this hotel. Each room is equipped with a host of home comforts – these include tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary WiFi, hair dryer, there is a Porter service and wakeup facility on request. Choose from double twin or king standard rooms, or our spacious suites. Smoking and wheelchair-accessible rooms are also available on request.

Royal St Andrews Lodge
The Royal St Andrews Hotel offers an array of modern, luxury accommodation to complement its rich heritage. This includes a superior Honeymoon Suite and 9 Newly Renovated Heritage Rooms – all set in the Original 1924 St. Andrews Mansions building – as well as 50 recently built contemporary rooms. The Hotel boasts 4 sets of inter-leading family rooms and two wheel chair friendly rooms. Room amenities and facilities include free high speed internet connection i, individual climate control and in-room flat screen televisions with select DSTV channels, laptop safes, tea/coffee Stations and minibar fridges. To ensure the lights are always on, a generator has been installed which powers the entire hotel. The Hotel is equipped with a reverse osmosis filtration plant which means the Hotel’s cold water taps have water as fresh and as clean as the best bottled water in the world.

The Dunes Leisure Resort
The Dunes Resort flanked by waters of the Indian Ocean and an 8km stretch of beach and surrounded by the scenic splendour of the celebrated Garden Route the hotel provides comfort and luxury in their beautifully appointed self-contained duplex units.
Each of the delightful units are equipped with a full kitchen, own barbeque facilities and carport, spacious, relaxed self-catering accommodation in beautiful and secure garden surroundings as well as enjoying you own privacy.

 

 

Protea Hotel Riempe Estate
Only 20 minutes away from the Cango Caves and not very far from the crocodile and ostrich farms for which Oudtshoorn is famed and in a farm-like setting on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn sits the Protea Hotel Riempe Estate.
The thatched roof units which have recently been redecorated have their own private entrance. All the rooms have their own en-suite with bath and/or shower, air-conditioning, TV, satellite TV, tea and coffee facilities and a hairdryer.
The Protea Hotel is very charming and relaxing.

 

Protea Hotel Stellenbosch
Stellenbosch is the most beautiful and second-oldest town in South Africa and is known as the “Eikestad” and is situated in the heart of the Winelands. The Executive rooms have the best view in the house. There is also Deluxe and Standard Twin rooms, where Deluxe and Standard rooms configure to a two-bedroom apartment ideal for groups and families.

 

 

Le Vendome Hotel
Located on the Atlantic Seaboard in Sea Point, Cape Town, this hotel promises enticing culinary offerings that will lend itself to its stunning location and will capture the imagination of patrons. The Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel offers you a choice of 143 elegantly appointed rooms and suites: individually designed and furnished with the panache that you have come to expect from the Radisson Blu Brand.

This tour gives you a great overview of South Africa as it takes in many of its major attractions. If you are looking for more game viewing and lodge activity an extension back into Kruger National Park or into Pilanesberg National Park for some concentrated game activity would be a good option. You may want to travel further north into Botswana, Zambia or Namibia to experience other regions of southern Africa. Or you may wish to relax on a beach in Mozambique before heading home.

Please contact us for these other options.

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We have a range of South Africa tours & safaris available which can be customised with more or less nights as well as activities.

Please contact us for a quote for your desired itinerary or for more information on a South Africa Tour & Safari option.