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Kruger Safaris - Safaris in Kruger National Park

Waterberg + Mapungubwe + Kruger Park (self drive)


SCY14J
14 NIGHTS
FROM £1,496
International flights + car hire quoted separately
This holiday explores Johannesburg with a private guide, followed by a self drive journey through the far north of South Africa to the baobabs of the Limpopo River. Combine two diverse game reserves - the Waterberg Mountains & famous Kruger National Park, & visit 3 significant archaeological sites at Sterkfontein, ancient Mapungubwe & an Iron Age site in the Kruger.
Sterkfontein Caves Mapungubwe Archaelogical Sites South Africa Kruger
• 
Johannesburg
• 
Waterberg Safari
• 
Louis Trichardt
• 
Soutpansberg
• 
Mapungubwe
• 
Golden Rhino
• 
Tzaneen
• 
Shingwedzi
• 
Satara
• 
Hazyview
• 
Johannesburg
• 
Waterberg Safari
• 
Louis Trichardt
• 
Soutpansberg
• 
Mapungubwe
• 
Golden Rhino
• 
Tzaneen
• 
Shingwedzi
• 
Satara
• 
Hazyview
Day 1
You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and transferred to your hotel in this thriving city.
    
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies in 'Egoli' - the city of gold.
Day 2
Today enjoy a city tour of old Johannesburg and Soweto.
 
We start with a visit to Constitution Hill - the site of the notorious Old Fort Prison, and  continue to the poignant Apartheid Museum, a living memorial to racial segregation.
 
We then drive to the sprawling township of Soweto for lunch (own account). Here we visit the original home of Nelson Mandela in Vilikazi Street and significant memorials to the freedom struggle, including the Hector Pietersen Museum, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 3
This morning your guide will introduce you some of South Africa’s greatest archaeological treasures, as you visit the Sterkontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitors Centre situated in the Cradle of Humankind - a World Heritage site dating back billions of years. Dr Broom found one of the first ape-men in these caves, which have since yielded many incredible archaeological treasures.
 
Afterwards we continue to Lesedi, an authentically reconstructed African village showcasing the culture, arts and crafts of South Africa’s five main tribes. Enjoy an included meal at Lesedi, a visit to a sangoma (traditional healer) and traditional African dancing before returning to Johannesburg.
 
Note: You will need to squat or crawl through two short sections of the Sterkfontein Caves, so the caves are not suitable for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia or has mobility issues.
Day 4
This morning your hire car will be dropped off at your Johannesburg hotel so that you can drive 2.5-hours to the beautiful malaria-free Waterberg Mountains, a UNESCO biosphere renowned for its diversity of plant and bird life.
 
After checking into your lodge, enjoy a safari in your Private Game Reserve where game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately. Hope to see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe and numerous other plains game before dining under the stars.
Day 5
Today is devoted to game viewing in your Private Game Reserve and/or neighbouring Big-5 Game Reserve Note: open top game drives are optional extras, if not included in your lodge package (see hotel details below).
 
Rise early to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, and enjoy a thrilling  safari with the opportunity to search for all the Big 5. With numerous different species of mammals and reptiles in the game reserves, you can hope to see lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, eland, kudu, hippo, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons and much more. Cheetah & leopard are occasionally seen and outstanding bird watching is guaranteed.
  
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
 
Most lodges do not allow children < 6 on open top game drives
Day 6
After some final game viewing, drive 3-hours from Waterberg to Mapungubwe, enjoying the stark beauty of Limpopo Province and the far northern Transvaal.
 
Travel northwards through Polokwane to Mapungubwe, situated at the confluence of the Limpopo and Shashe Rivers that form the border for three countries – South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Check into your lodge in baobab country.
Day 7
We recommend you start your visit with a guided tour of the Mapungubwe World Heritage Site.
 
Over a thousand years ago Mapungubwe Hill (“The Place of Jackals”) was the centre of the largest kingdom in Southern Africa, populated by the Shona people and forerunner of the Great Zimbabwe civilisation. Its highly sophisticated people had a well-developed class system and traded gold, ivory, copper and exotic beads with China, India & Egypt. A small gold foil rhinoceros was found in a royal grave at this important archaeological site, as well as other artefacts from this advanced African civilisation, which flourished before colonisation.
  
Afterwards there is the option of visiting Mapungubwe National Park to view game; tracking endangered wild dogs at Venetia Game Reserve; or walking to view ancient Bushman rock paintings.
Day 8
Today drive 4-hours from Mapungubwe to the regional capital of Polokwane, continuing through the beautiful Magoebaskloof to the fertile farmlands and tea plantations of Tzaneen.
 
Here you can visit the Vervet Monkey Foundation, which cares for over 600 vervet monkeys, before checking into your hotel (pay entrance fee locally).
Day 9
Drive 3-hours from Tzaneen into the world famous Kruger National Park. Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe before you reach your rest camp.
 
Don’t miss the Iron Age Site that can be found on a prominent hillside 7.5-miles (12 km) from the Phalaborwa Gate.
  
The Kruger National Park offers a choice of seven rest camps, each situated in a different section of the park with its own unique flora and fauna - Skukuza, Letaba, Olifants, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Satara and Berg-en-Dal. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable thatched game park bungalows, with each camp having a restaurant and a small shop. Check in, settle in and relax in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide (park fees payable locally on entrance).
 
Note: You will need your passport to enter the Kruger National Park.
Days 10 To 11
Today is devoted to self drive game viewing in the Kruger National Park. We recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (04h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day.
   
Explore the famous Kruger National Park, which offer magnificent game viewing opportunities and the highest concentration of lion in the whole of Africa. Hope to see several of the Big Five today - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino - as well as many other species before returning to your rest camp for breakfast (or buy provisions at camp and cook breakfast at a picnic spot).
 
The rest of the morning is free to relax by the swimming pool or enjoy bird watching at camp, before setting out again at the time of your choice (usually the late afternoon) for another game drive. With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles in the Kruger National Park, you can hope to see cheetah, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and many other interesting animals. With over 500 different bird species including eagles, kingfishers, vultures and storks, outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed.
  
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
Day 12
After some final game viewing in the Kruger National Park explore the splendour of the scenic Drakensberg Panorama Route as you drive 2-hours through the green Blyde River Canyon, the third largest in the world.
  
Enjoy the wonderful views from God's Window, view Mac Mac Falls and visit the unusual Bourkes Luck pot holes - cylindrical holes formed from the swirling waters of the Blyde and Treur Rivers. Afterwards check into your hotel in this beautiful area.
Days 13 To 14
At leisure to relax on the beautiful Panorama Route.
 
You can tour the Blyde River Canyon, visit a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre or the Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Nelspruit. Other optional activities include a treetop canopy tour, championship golf, horse riding, fly fishing, white water rafting or a hot air balloon ride. Or simply relax at your lodge and enjoy the wonderful bird life.
Day 15
Drive 4-hours through the farmlands of the Transvaal to Johannesburg Airport to drop-off your hire car and connect with your flight home.
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