South African Explorer : 13 Days Tour from Johannesburg to Cape Town TIRS
Johannesburg to Cape Town –13 day tour of South African highlights
The South African Explorer : TIRS (13 days)Learn more about historical Joburg; Stay at 3 private game lodges with open vehicle game drives and excellent cuisine; see Africa’s Big 5, spot unique wildlife at a world heritage site; interact with ostriches; go on an ocean safari; enjoy a sunset oyster cruise on the Knysna estuary and walk through the Tsitsikamma forest
Accommodation1 night Joburg Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton – BB1 night Makalali game Reserve – DBB and 2 game activities 2017: Moditlo1 night Hazyview Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort – DBB1 night Bongani Mountain Lodge Lodge – DBB and 1 game excursion1 night St Lucia Forest Lodge – BB & one game excursion1 night Durban Protea Hotel Edward – BB1 night Port Elizabeth Protea Hotel Marine – BB2 nights Knysna Protea Hotel Knysna Quays – BB1 night Oudtshoorn Surval Boutique Olive Estate – DBB2 nights Cape Town Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town – BB
ItineraryDAY 1 | SUNDAY | DAY OF ARRIVAL (±30km)On arrival at the airport, guests will be collected and transferred to the hotel. After lunch (own account) embark on a guided afternoon city tour of Johannesburg. Share in the history of Johannesburg – the city of gold. Explore South Africa’s heritage; experience the street life of Newtown and take a trip to the Carlton Centre and Constitution Hill. Dinner (own account) is served at the hotel
Gold reef city water wheel
DAY 2 | MONDAY | JOHANNESBURG to MAKALALI GAME RESERVE via DULLSTROOM (±456km)
Guests are collected from the hotel and travel eastwards to the province of Limpopo, via Dullstroom. Stop for lunch (own account) en-route and arrive at a private game reserve. Enjoy a guided, open vehicle game drive, viewing the ‘Big 5’ and other distinctive species including giraffe, zebra and cheetah. Return to the lodge for pre-dinner drinks (own account) and dinner.
DAY 3 | TUESDAY | MAKALALI GAME RESERVE TO HAZYVIEW via PANORAMA ROUTE (±180km)
Experience an early morning start in the bushveld on a guided, open vehicle game drive. The morning bushveld sights and sounds are different from the evening cacophony and with a bit of luck, some of the big cats may still be about after their night’s hunting. Enjoy coffee and rusks in the bush before returning to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, head to one of Mpumalanga’s most magnificent topographical attractions, the Blyde River Canyon and the Three Rondavels. The Blyde River Canyon is the largest green canyon in the world. The Panorama Route affords guests memorable views of the more significant sites in this area including God’s Window and the Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Lunch (own account) is enjoyed along this scenic route. The tour stops in Hazyview for the evening.
DAY 4 | WEDNESDAY | HAZYVIEW to MTHETHOMUSHA GAME RESERVE via KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (±160km)
Depart Hazyview heading towards Mpumalanga’s flagship attraction, Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This peace-park links the Kruger with Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe and the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. It is 20 000 sq. kms in extent, roughly the size of the Netherlands.
A closed vehicle game drive gives guess the opportunity to take in the park’s vastness and view the Big 5 and other fauna and flora. The park boasts a myriad of species including 145 species of mammal, 500 species of bird, 114 reptiles and 1982 species of plant.
Several historical and ancient archaeological sites dot the park, testament to a varied history. Enjoy lunch in the park (own account).
Exit the park at Malelane Gate en route to the Mthethomusha Game Reserve and in time of an evening open safari vehicle game drive followed by dinner at the lodge.
DAY 5 | THURSDAY | MTHETHOMUSHA GAME RESERVE to ST L UCIA via SWAZILAND (±445km)
After an early breakfast, guests travel to St Lucia via the Kingdom of Swaziland. Swaziland is one of two kingdoms in Southern Africa and the smallest country in Africa. This landlocked kingdom is named after the 19th century King Mswati II and is today still largely reliant on ancient cultural tradition.
Guests enter Swaziland at Mananga border post and have the opportunity to interact with the friendly Swazi people during the lunch stop (own account) en-route.
Exit Swaziland at the Lavumisa Border post and enter South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province in an area colloquially referred to as the Elephant Coast. This region is acclaimed for its towering mountains, the warm Indian Ocean, tropical vegetation and a myriad of animal species.
In the late afternoon guests arrive at the hotel and have the opportunity to freshen up before pre-dinner drinks and dinner (both own account). Guests have the option of a night game excursion (own account).
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 terms and conditions will apply
DAY 6 | FRIDAY | ST. LUCIA TO DURBAN (± 300km)Discover South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, meaning ‘miracle and wonder’. The 332 000-hectare park contains 3 major lake systems, 8 interlinking ecosystems, 700-year old fishing traditions, most of South Africa’s remaining swamp forests, Africa’s largest estuarine system, 525 bird species, 25 000 year-old coastal dunes (amongst the highest in the world) and is home to the biggest hippo and crocodile populations in the country.
Before breakfast embark on an open safari vehicle and enjoy a game drive through iSimangaliso. Observe hippopotamus, crocodiles and an abundance of birds on an eco-friendly boat cruise on the estuary.
Have lunch (own account) while taking in the lake-vista before departing for the city of Durban. Dinner is served at the hotel / city (own account).
DAY 7 | SATURDAY | DURBAN to PORT ELIZABETH – FLIGHT (own account and own arrangement)
Breakfast is enjoyed at the hotel and the morning spent at leisure. Take a walk along the promenade or a ride on a Zulu rickshaw to the beachfront market (own account). Guests are collected from the hotel and transferred to King Shaka International Airport for a flight to Port Elizabeth (flight not included) and, on arrival, met and transferred to a city hotel. Dinner (own account) is served at the hotel or at a restaurant of choice.
DAY 8 | SUNDAY | PORT ELIZABETH to KNYSNA via TSITSIKAMMA FOREST (±285km)
After breakfast the tour travels westwards towards Knysna, via Storm’s River and the beautiful Tsitsikamma Forest. The tour’s first stop is in Storm’s River. Guests enjoy a short walk to and along a suspension bridge over the Storm’s River mouth taking in the seascape and the wild surf.
Enjoy lunch (own account) in the Tsitsikamma Forest area. The tour continues further westwards to the acclaimed town of Knysna.
Arrive and check in before embarking on a sunset Knysna oyster cruise (weather permitting). This is an informative and interactive cruise that introduces guests to the culinary delights of the wild Knysna oyster. Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants on the Knysna Estuary (own account)
DAY 9 | MONDAY | KNYSNA to PLETTENBERG BAY and BACK (±60km)
After breakfast the tour departs to Plettenberg Bay or “Pltt” as it is colloquially known. Board a boat at Lookout Beach and enjoy an ocean excursion (weather permitting) with an emphasis on conservation. This Fair Trade Tourism certified excursion gives guests the opportunity to see whales, dolphin and seals in their natural habitat.
Return to shore and enjoy a relaxing lunch (own account).
In the afternoon take a guided tour of the Qolweni Township, school and crèche. This community development programme channels allocated tour proceeds into the education of Qolweni’s children. Guests are invited to donate pencils, books and other stationary. Take a scenic drive back to Knysna and spend time at leisure. In the early evening enjoy dinner at one of many restaurants on the Knysna Waterfront.
DAY 10 | TUESDAY | KNYSNA to OUDTSHOORN via WILDERNESS (±125km)The tour departs for Oudtshoorn, in the Klein Karoo. Lunch (own account) at an ostrich farm in the Cango Valley, on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn. Take an informative tour of the farm on board a tractor. Guests are exposed to the mechanics of the feather industry. Guests spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. A traditional dinner is served at the lodge.
DAY 11 | WEDNESDAY | OUDTSHOORN to CAPE TOWN via ROUTE 62 (±420km)
The tour departs for Cape Town, via the Cango Caves, on the iconic Route 62.
After breakfast, guests enjoy an olive farm tour. A tasting, paired with Protea Rose or juice, is offered in the orchard.
The tour continues on to the Cango Caves. This 20 million-year-old cave system, an international treasure located in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, is 4 kilometres in length and includes an extensive system of tunnels and chambers.
Departing the Cango Caves, the tour traces Route 62, the region’s iconic freeway. Traversing a varied topography, dramatic mountain vistas, the unique splendour of the semi-arid Klein Karoo and tranquil Winelands, Route 62’s claim as South Africa’s own ‘Mother Road’ is difficult to argue. Enjoy a traditional Witblits tasting (own account) and the sweeping views of the Tradouw Valley. Lunch is enjoyed en-route (own account). This leg of the tour ends, late afternoon, at a Cape Town hotel. Guests enjoy dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant (own account).
DAY 12 | THURSDAY | CAPE TOWN FULL DAY TOUR
Cape Town offers a wide range of activities, sites and excursions including iconic beaches, the enigmatic Table Mountain, an eclectic night life, a myriad of shopping venues and much more.
After breakfast join a guided full day Cape Point tour.
Travel along the Atlantic seaboard to Cape Point via Chapman’s Peak and the Cape Peninsula. Visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve; Boulders penguin colony (own account) and the internationally-recognised Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Enjoy dinner at one of many city restaurants (own account).
DAY 13 | FRIDAY | CAPE TOWN / DAY OF DEPARTURE
On your final day, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel before spending the day at leisure. Your transfer to Cape Town International (included) sees the end of our tour. Here we will say hamba kahle, good bye and go well