This short guided trip allows you to experience the contrast of the majesty of the mighty Kruger National Park to multi-cultural Swaziland and Zululand, and from the beauty of Durban’s beaches to the Unesco World Heritage Site of iSimangaliso Wetland Park with a mixture of luxury and four-star accommodation throughout. Native Escapes offer the best in terms of standard of guiding, accommodations, and route, allowing guests an authentic insight into the South African culture and way of life.
You will be accommodated in hotels during this safari tour.
Depart Johannesburg and travel to the 'land of the rising sun', Mpumalanga, via the magnificent Panorama route. The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama route is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points, one has a view of the 33-kilometer long gorge which starts at Bourke's luck potholes and ends at the three rondavels.
Time and weather permitting, you will stop at god's window and the Mac Mac Falls. You will arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon to check in and freshen up before dinner. Your dinner for today is included in the price.
Early this morning, you will depart on an open vehicle safari through the Kruger National Park. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. At nearly two million hectares, the reserve is the flagship of South African national parks and is home to an impressive number of flora and fauna.
You will return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. You will have the option to return to the Kruger National Park to absorb the tranquil beauty of an evening safari for an additional charge. Your breakfast and dinner for today are included in the price.
After breakfast, you will travel to the Royal Kingdom of Swaziland. This tiny mountainous kingdom is filled with bygone African traditions and culture and offers beautiful scenery and attractions, such as game reserves and art and craft outlets to name a few. Enjoy a showcase of the traditional Swazi culture followed by lunch at the Matsamo cultural village.
Continue to the Ngwenya glass works to see master craftsmen create beautiful sculptures and artwork from molten glass. After spending some time at the Mbabane craft markets, you will arrive at your hotel located in the beautiful Ezulwini Valley. Your breakfast and lunch for today are included in the price.
Enjoy a morning visit to the Swazi candle factory where each candle is made and finished by hand using the age-old technique "millefiore". No two are the same and the range boasts an astonishing array of patterns, shapes, and designs. Continue via Big Bend into KwaZulu-Natal. You will arrive at your hotel in the afternoon in time to embark on an afternoon scenic drive up the Ubombo Mountains, offering views over Lake Jozini.
At the summit, the setting sun transforms the sky into a tapestry of colors. You will stop at the summit for sundowners. The drive will be combined with a visit to a local and authentic Zulu homestead for a glimpse into Zulu life in today's world. You will return to the hotel for dinner on the terrace, if weather permits, or in
the classically styled restaurant. Your breakfast and dinner for today are included in the price.
Your morning is at leisure today and you have the option of doing a morning safari if you wish (for your own account). This afternoon you will transfer to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve for an afternoon of game viewing. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve covers a combined area of 90,000 hectares and it was here that the white rhino was saved from extinction.
You will return to the hotel in the late afternoon and end the day with dinner at the hotel. Your breakfast and dinner for today are included in the price.
You will continue the journey along the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu-Natal to St. Lucia, located at the southern extremity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a world heritage site. Here you embark on an estuarine boat trip which provides an opportunity to view crocodiles, hippos, and numerous bird species including the elusive African kingfisher eagle in their natural habitat.
You will continue to Durban where east meets west, a city beneath which beats the pulse of Africa. You will arrive during the afternoon at your hotel which is located on the Gold Mile, Durban's distinctive beach front. Your breakfast for today is included in the price.
This morning, you will embark on a brief Durban city tour where you will discover the cultural and historical contrasts of the city. The tour ends with drop-off at King Shaka International Airport (DUR) or your Durban based hotel. Your breakfast for today is included in the price.
With well over 20 years' travel industry experience, Simon is completely hooked on Africa. There is nowhere quite like it for getting into your soul. He looks after the website and marketing for Native Escapes, but also has a superb level of knowledge of most of Southern and Eastern Africa and his enthusiasm and patience will ensure you get the trip you desire. Particular highlights for Simon during his frequent trips to Africa include trekking through the Namibian desert, sleeping out under the stars, and being charged at by a cranky hippo in Botswana.
Marie’s African journey started after spotting an advert in the local paper asking for an assistant to help on a part time basis for a small local company. As a new mother, it was a perfect starting point to get back in to the working world. Little did she know that for the next 16 years she would be helping realize people’s dreams and creating lasting memories organizing safaris to East Africa.
This safari will take place in Kruger National Park, KwaZulu-Nata, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, and iSimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa and Swaziland.
Your meals, as per itinerary, are included in the price
Please book your flights to O. R. Tambo International Airport (JNB).
"We had a wonderful time and loved the country and the people. Your itinerary was excellent and everything went smoothly. Thank you we will defiantly be arranging are next trip to Africa through you."
Native Escapes Website, edited
"Our trip worked very well in almost all instances. When we alighted at Jo’berg a Native Escape rep was waiting and helped us with everything we needed to do to get our flight to Maun. All the camps in their own way were delightful. Staff in all cases were attentive, guides were all good and accommodation excellent.In different ways all the games drives were good, some more interesting than others but we are experienced enough to expect that. The cats in Durban were stunning and I took over 1000 photos!"
"If we are able to do another safari in the future we will certainly come back to you first. Thanks for all your excellent planning."
Native Escapes website, edited
"We both would like to say a big thank you for arranging the most diverse holiday that we have ever had. In Cape Town, The Table Bay Hotel was 5 star luxury. In complete contrast, Grand Dedale was set in the Winelands in the middle of nowhere. We both had the most relaxing time and were very happy doing nothing."
"Grootbos Forest Lodge was by far the most interesting stay of the holiday, The lodge itself was set in a most beautiful location and our room was superb, we managed to complete most of the activities they had to offer in the short time we were there. Staff and facilities were outstanding. Overall a great holiday experience that will always be remembered."
Native Escapes website, edited
"We loved Namibia! I think the itinerary was well planned, two nights in most places gave time to rest as well. I’d like to also thank you for your help and suggestions for our trip. We both are super happy about our trip and looking forward to return to Namibia someday in the future."
Native Escapes website, edited