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KwaZulu Natal holidays - close up of  a vulture and jackal in the Drakensberg Mountains

Grand South Africa - Escorted Tour 3*


SYA15J
15 NIGHTS
FROM £1,794
International flights quoted separately
This great value fully escorted tour travels the length of South Africa, from Johannesburg to Cape Town. Visit the beautiful Panorama Route & the world famous Kruger National Park. Then continue through Swaziland, Zululand, Durban, the Drakensberg Mountains & the scenic Garden Route to Cape Town. 2 departures per month, with English speaking guide. Group size 2 to 40.
Escorted Tour South Africa Kruger National Park Durban Cape Town
• 
Blyde River Canyon
• 
Kruger National Park
• 
Swaziland
• 
Hluhluwe
• 
Durban
• 
Drakensberg
• 
Wild Coast
• 
East London
• 
Garden Route
• 
Cape Town
• 
Blyde River Canyon
• 
Kruger National Park
• 
Swaziland
• 
Hluhluwe
• 
Durban
• 
Drakensberg
• 
Wild Coast
• 
East London
• 
Garden Route
• 
Cape Town
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred to your airport hotel.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies.
Day 2
Today you can relax at your airport hotel, or book an optional half day Johannesburg City tour.
 
At 19.00 meet at hotel reception for your pre-tour briefing, with the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Day 3
This morning we depart for Mpumalanga - "the place where the sun rises" - and travel eastwards through Witbank, before dropping several hundred feet into the subtropical Lowveld.
 
We travel along the beautiful Panorama Route to Graskop and through the green Blyde River Canyon, where you can enjoy spectacular views from God's Window and visit Bourkes Luck Potholes. In the late afternoon we check into our hotel in Hazyview.
 
On escorted group tours please note that for operational reasons it is sometimes necessary to substitute one hotel with another of similar quality. Porterage of one suitcase included.
Day 4
Today we have an early start, as we enter the world famous Kruger National Park for a morning of game viewing in our closed vehicle in this vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary the size of Wales.
 
The Kruger National Park offers magnificent game viewing opportunities and the highest concentration of lion in the whole of Africa. With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles, you can hope to see cheetah, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and many other interesting animals as well as the Big Five - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino. With over 500 different bird species including eagles, kingfishers, vultures and storks, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed.
 
We return to our hotel around lunch time, with afternoon at leisure. There is also the option of an open-top game drive this afternoon or an elephant interaction (pay locally).
 
Note: You will need your passport to enter the Kruger National Park.
Day 5
This morning we leave Hazyview and travel south to Malelane and enter the small mountainous kingdom of Swaziland, known for its lovely scenery, crafts and colourful local culture.
 
In the afternoon we visit a Swazi Village with the opportunity to learn more about traditional Swazi culture, before checking into our hotel in these beautiful surroundings.
Day 6
This morning we journey through Swaziland, stopping en route to bargain for souvenirs at the roadside markets. We continue 4-hours into Zululand where ancient traditions and modern cultures have combined to form a vibrant society.
 
In the afternoon, we check into our hotel in Umfolozi. Here there is the option of an open-top game drive into Hluhluwe Game Reserve, which saved the rhino from extinction and is the park with the highest number of these seriously endangered animals.(Own account)
Day 7
This morning you can relax at your hotel or take an optional boat ride on the St Lucia Isimangaliso Wetland estuary where you may see pelicans, fish eagles, hippos and crocodiles (own account). With over 500 different bird species in the region, bird watching is outstanding.
 
In the late morning we drive through the sugar cane plantations of the Indian Ocean seaboard towards the bustling seaside city of Durban. Enjoy an orientation tour of the city, before checking in to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 8
After a morning at leisure, this afternoon we travel inland for 3-hours to the majestic Drakensberg Mountains.
 
This route is very scenic, as we travel through the Natal Midlands. We stop at Howick Falls and continue along the Midlands Meander Route, arriving at our hotel in the mid afternoon with the rest of the day at leisure.
Day 9
At leisure to enjoy relaxing, walking, fly fishing or horse riding in the magnificent Drakensberg Mountains.
 
An optional 4x4 excursion up the steep Sani Pass is also available (own account). Sani Pass is the highest mountain pass in Southern Africa with spectacular views. You will cross the border into the small kingdom of Lesotho (passport required) and visit a Sotho tribal village where you can interact with the locals, before enjoying an included lunch at the highest pub in Africa. Light jacket recommended.
Day 10
Today we leave the Drakensberg Mountains and travel 6-hours through the Transkei to Chintsa on the unspoilt Wild Coast.
 
We travel through Umtata to see the area where Nelson Mandela was born and see the traditional way of life of the Xhosa people, arriving at Chintsa in the late afternoon.
Day 11
Enjoy the beach and the sounds of the crashing waves of the Wild Coast this morning, before we head south through 1820 Settler country to Grahamstown.
 
We continue to Port Elizabeth and check into our hotel in this holiday city with its magnificent beaches.
Day 12
Today we travel 4-hours from Port Elizabeth along the scenic Garden Route to Knysna.
 
We travel through the Tsitsikamma Forest and take a short walk to the Storms River Mouth to enjoy the scenery from the suspension bridge, where photographic opportunities abound.  
 
We arrive in Knysna in the late afternoon. This is the oyster capital of South Africa and an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Day 13
Today we leave Knysna and travel along the Garden Route to the ostrich capital of Oudtshoorn.
 
We drive past the beautiful lakes of Sedgefield and through the small seaside town of Wilderness. At George we head inland across the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn in the arid Little Karoo. Here we visit an Ostrich Ranch to learn more about these huge flightless birds and their magnificent plumage.
 
We also visit the world famous Cango Caves. This vast series of underground halls and caverns was formed over 20 million years ago in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains. The caves, which extend for over 3 miles, contain spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and offer relatively easy access.
 
In the late afternoon we arrive in Mossel Bay on the coast.
Day 14
 This morning we drive 5-hours to Cape Town, driving through the historic town of Swellendam, with its delightful examples of Cape Dutch architecture, and Worcester. We arrive in the late afternoon, with wonderful views of Table Mountain.
 
After checking into our hotel, there is the option of a evening of song, theatre and delicious Cape food - 'Kaapse Stories' (Cape Stories).(Own account)
Day 15
At leisure to relax and explore the "Mother City" of Cape Town.
 
Many optional activities (own account) are available in this beautiful city. Don’t miss ascending Table Mountain by cable car, for one of the world's most famous views. You can visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season) and explore the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
 
We recommend a day tour to beautiful Cape Point where two oceans meet, where you can take a boat to Seal Island near Hout Bay, and visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach.
 
Visit world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, enjoy a city tour or simply relax on golden Camps Bay Beach. Day tours are also recommended to the winelands of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek.
Day 16
Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.
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