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Kruger, Kwazulu & Coast

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Kruger, Kwazulu & Coast

1-Join tour Johannesburg. Drive to Graskop
This morning, we leave Johannesburg and head for the spectacular mountains overlooking the the old Eastern Transvaal. Before we descend, we will have a chance to admire the stunning vistas of the lowveld as it stretches before us into the distant horizons. The lowveld translates literally from Afrikaans into English as the low bush. This area has been inhabited since Stone Age times and with it’s plentiful water from mountain rivers, multiple waterfalls, beautiful craggy escarpments covered in vegetation and colourful birdlife. We will end our journey today in Graskop, a peaceful location surrounded by forestry plantations.
Overnight: Standard Lodge

2-Drive to Kruger NP via the Blyde River Canyon
This morning we will stop at several viewpoints along the way, including the aptly named God’s Window and admire the aweinspiring Blyde River Canyon. We also stop at the strangely surreal Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a collection of pebble-eroded formations at the confluence of the Treur and Blyde Rivers, before we arrive in the Kruger National Park. This afternoon we will go on our first game drive in the hope of spotting the Big 5.
Overnight: Basic Camping

3-In Kruger NP
The Kruger National Park is one of the world’s premier game reserves. Covering an area larger than Israel, the park was established in 1898 to protect big game that had almost been hunted to extinction. The park is now one of the most prolific animal habitats in South Africa, committed to animal conservation and patrolled by armed rangers to prevent illegal poaching. A large number of species are present, including elephant, lion, black and white rhino, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra, wild dog, hyena, wildebeest and almost all of South Africa’s species of antelope. Bird life is just as impressive with crowned cranes, bee-eaters, sunbirds and vultures. We retire to our tents and the sounds of the African bush this evening.
Overnight: Basic Camping

4-In Kruger National Park; late afternoon drive to Tshukudu Game Reserve
After our morning game viewing in Kruger National Park, we take a drive to Tshukudu, the Sotho word for Rhino. Tshukudu is renowned for its lion breeding and rehabilitation programmes, nursing sick, orphaned or injured animals of all shapes and sizes back to health for re-introduction to the wild. The Reserve is home to the most spectacular of South Africa’s wildlife, including lion, elephant, rhino, hippo and even the elusive leopard and cheetah. It also contains a wealth of other big and small game, as well as many species of birds. We will take the chance to see some of these stunning animals even enjoying a walking safari through the reserve. What we do not see in Kruger, we may well see it here.
Overnight: Standard Camping

5-In Tshukudu Game Reserve
Today we do some more game spotting from the back of our vehicles and there is even a chance to do some walking in the reserve with experienced rangers. They are all acknowledged experts in the bush and are happy to pass on their knowledge of animals great and small! So ask as many questions as you can! Should you decide that this all sounds far too much like hard work, there is a pool to relax around and soak up the South African sun.
Overnight: Standard Camping

6-Drive to Sabie on Kruger’s southern boundary
After a morning of game spotting we continue south passing through rural townships and mountain scenery of the Blyde River Canyon escarpment. We will be staying on a private reserve close to Kruger NP. Bring your swimming costume for a relaxing dip when you arrive.
Overnight: Standard Hotel

7-Drive to Mlilwane in Swaziland; optional activities
Leaving the lowveld behind we drive south, to the small kingdom of Swaziland, a tiny, independent land inhabited by the Swazi people, who revere their king and retain their age-old culture and traditions. Our journey takes us through some spectacular scenery in the Ezulwini Valley and past numerous traditional homesteads, curio stalls and the old mining settlement of Piggs Peak. This afternoon we enter one of Swaziland’s best wildlife reserves, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. This secluded and beautiful sanctuary is a haven of tranquillity, located in a natural bowl beneath the Nyonyane Mountains. For the next two nights our accommodation is traditional dome-shaped beehive huts. Though the camp has all the mod cons – showers, toilets, outdoor swimming pool and restaurant/bar – it is rustic in the best sense of the word. Warthogs and ostrich share the camp with us and the restaurant overlooks a lake populated by water birds and a resident hippo. The rest of the afternoon is free to enjoy the scenic splendour and indulge in a few more activities. Bike hire is available.
Overnight: Standard Beehive Huts

8-Morning game walk in Mlilwane; free afternoon for optional activities
This morning we begin with a walk in search of zebra, wildebeest, impala, nyala and warthog. If anyone is interested, there may also be the chance to visit a local orphanage. Mlilwane has a large area of open grasslands, so game viewing is relatively easy. The afternoon is left free for you to choose one of the many optional activities on offer. The great advantage of Mlilwane is that the absence of big cats allows for a very different game viewing experience. You can opt to set out with a guide on mountain bike and
take a game-spotting ride through the superb scenery. Alternatively, you may like to follow one of the self-guided mountain walking trails following the historic aqueduct around the Nyonyane Mountains; or one of the riverside trails in search of birdlife and hippo. The choice is very much yours.
Overnight: Standard Beehive Huts

9-Drive to Kosi Bay
Crossing through Swaziland we head for the southern border point at Golela, passing back in to South Africa and continuing through KwaZulu Natal to the northern settlement of Kosi Bay, close to the Mozambique border. The next two nights see us camping close to the shores of the Indian Ocean, set amidst a wetland area of lakes and forest that is home to a rich diversity of birds and animals including hippos and crocs. On the afternoon of our arrival there is some free time to explore and enjoy this protected area which was declared a nature reserve back in 1950 and considered one of the most pristine lake systems along the South African coast.
Overnight: Comfortable Camping

10-In Kosi Bay
Today we include a boat-based excursion to search for the bottle-nose dolphins. Whilst sightings are not guaranteed, they are usually possible and we will pause to enjoy the company of these beautiful mammals.
Overnight: Comfortable Camping

11-Drive to St Lucia
Travelling down the coast we head towards the greater St. Lucia Wetalnd Park situated on the Indian Ocean coast. This wonderful wetland reserve was recently granted World Heritage status as the largest estuarine lake systemin Africa.En route we will visit the Zulu Experience, a chance to visit a traditional Zulu village and learn about the lifestyles and culture of these fascinating people. On arrival in St Lucia you may choose to particiapte in some optional activities. Night drives around Lake St. Lucia to spot giant turtles coming ashore and whale watching trips are possible in the right season. Whale watching is good from June to November and turtle watching is good from November to March. There is the option of a boat trip on the St.Lucia River to spot hippos and crocodiles.
Overnight: Standard Lodge

12-Drive to Durban where the tour ends
Continuing along the coast today, we drive to Durban where the tour ends.

Tour includes:

11 Breakfast
2 Lunch
2 Dinner
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Minimum Age:
From 5 years
Boat, 4WD
2 nights Standard Lodge
2 nights Basic Camping
2 nights Standard Camping
1 night Standard Hotel
2 nights Standard Beehive Huts
2 nights Comfortable Camping
Tour Staff:
Driver(s), Explore Tour Leader
Group Size:
Generally 10 – 16

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explore holidaysExplore have been running small group adventure holidays throughout the world since 1981 and have a vast array of experience, knowledge and well established close personal contacts in all the countries in which they operate, which makes them stand out as one of the most trusted adventure tour operators in the UK.

They are passionate about what they do, and above all, simply love nothing more than to travel. The founder directors ran overland trips through Asia, Africa and the Americas in the 1960s and 70s prior to setting up the company, and were determined that the spirit of adventure that was such an important part of those early pioneering days, should continue to play key role as part of the driving ethos of Explore.

Our Opinion
It is little wonder that over 60% of all Explore customers who travel each year have travelled with them previously, Explore are clearly committed to the “travel experience” and their itineraries are always offer that slight “Explore Twist” which makes them even more appealing.

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