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Walking South Africa

Walking South Africa

Walking South Africa

HIGHLIGHTS

Mpumalanga, Kruger, Drakensburg Mountains, Swaziland

FROM

NZ$3,250

DURATION

14 Days

Why choose this trip?

On Walking South Africa safari, we explore the big game of the Kruger National Park. We enjoy hiking Swaziland, before heading into the Zulu Kingdom. We visit the wetlands, wildlife and beaches of KwaZulu-Natal, before heading to the mountains of the Drakensberg.

What’s the Activity level?

There are 8 amazing walks on this tour and they range from easy to challenging. We walk on mountain paths so light hiking boots are sufficient (ankle protection is required). All walks are weather dependent especially in the Drakensberg.

The Walking Grade

  • Leisurely – 1 to 3hrs. Walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include unsurfaced rural paths. A pleasant morning or afternoon walk. Relatively flat without much change in altitude (<200m).
  • Moderate– 3 to 5hrs. Walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include some steep paths unsurfaced paths, open country and may be at a brisk pace. Moderate altitude change (200-400m).
  • Challenging – 4 to 6hrs. Walks for people with a good level of fitness. May include steep unsurfaced paths, open country, and may be at a brisk pace. People in doubt about their fitness should contact the organiser or tour leader in advance to assess difficulty. Significant altitude change (>400m) and/or walking above altitudes above 2,500m above sea level.

What’s the transport and accommodation like?

Our fleet of vehicles are custom built to ensure comfortable and safe touring. Each is constructed, by an authorised passenger vehicle builder, to the latest safety requirements, with a safety shell, and every seat has a lap belt.

The accommodation we will stay at are small, intimate and often private lodges *including tented camps) with ensuite facilities.

An essential part of your safari is participation. From putting up your tent to packing the truck in the morning – it’s all part of your adventure. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation but we do ask the clients to help (on rotation) with the washing up. There are some long travel days which means early morning starts so we all need to get involved to make the day run efficiently.

*All our tours are non-smoking

TRIP SUMMARY

Duration: 14 days from Johannesburg to Johannesburg
Trip focus: A great accommodated walking safari journey taking in the highlights of the Zululand and Kruger and the Drakensburg.
Accommodation: 13 nights on safari we stay at small, intimate and often private lodges (including tented camps), with en suite facilities.
Transport: for the majority of this safari you travel in custom-built Safari truck with 12 forward facing seats, otherwise it could be a 12 seater Mercedes Sprinter vehicle.
Group size: Maximum 12 + tour leader
Single supplement: NZ$450 – If you are traveling on your own, and wish to share, you will room with another same gender client. You do not pay extra when booking as a single person. If however you request a single room, then you’ll pay the single supplement.
Operator: This tour is run by one of our trusted local partners

WHAT’S INCLUDED:

  • Meals as stated in itinerary
  • All park Entrance fees
  • All accommodation and transport within the tour
  • English speaking driver and local tour guide
  • Local game trackers and guides

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:

  • All items of a personal nature, laundry, drinks, souvenirs etc
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not stated in the itinerary
  • Local payment if required to be paid on day 1 of your tour to your guide
  • International flights and internal flight departure taxes
  • Travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
  • Tips for your tour leader and driver

DAYS 1 & 2 – ARRIVAL DAY MPUMALANGA

After the tour briefing at 06:30am, we depart Johannesburg and head east towards Mpumalanga. During the afternoon we visit the gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest, and the viewpoint over God’s Window. A short walk from Mac Mac Pools and make our way to our chalets on the edge of the escarpment.

Up early the next morning for our first long walk to the Blyde River, down into the canyon with views over the Three Sisters and the river below, before making our way back up the escarpment again. After lunch explore the forests and waterfalls.

Walking: Day 1 – Leisurely – Mac Mac walk – short easy walk to stretch your legs. 2-3 kms, less than one hour, on a foot path with very limited altitude change / Day 2 – Moderate – Blyde River Canyon – 3.5 hours walk on good paths with some rocky sections.

Meals Included: 1 Breakfast, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

DAYS 3 & 4 – KRUGER PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

An early breakfast and we make our way to Kruger National Park. We enter the national park and spend the day on an exciting game drive. Your guide will interpret the signs of bush as we hope to see elephants, rhino and possibly the elusive leopard. We stop for a picnic lunch before completing our game drive in the late afternoon as we exit the park and make our way to our private game lodge in the Greater Kruger area. A highlight of our tour is the early morning game walk with a local ranger. Quietly we venture into the bush, learning the tracks and other signs of the wildlife we hope to find on foot.

Walking: Leisurely – Big 5 game walk early morning 3–4 hr bush walk with ranger.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

DAYS 5 & 6 – KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND

We enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and travel through a lush fruit farming area before heading into the mountains. We spend 2 nights on the outskirts of Malalotja Nature Reserve with a full day to walk through this seldom explored mountainous reserve. The Swazi people have a rich cultural heritage and we will visit the craft and medicine markets on Day 6 as we pass through the capital, Mbabane.

Walking: Challenging – 4 – 6 hr walk through undulating hills of Malalotja Game Reserve to a beautiful waterfall. Uneven paths and this walk has sections of steep gradients.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

DAYS 7 & 8 – ZULULAND GAME RESERVE

Crossing into South Africa we head towards our lodge on a private game reserve situated on the Ukuwela Conservancy. We take a walk with our local walking guide who will point out some of the 540+ bird species found in the area, and track the shy Nyala antelope in the riverine vegetation of the Msinene River. The following morning we visit Hluhluwe Game Reserve, a key area for rhino conservation and visit a Zulu village to learn more about their culture. Enjoy sunset and the sounds of the bush before a hearty dinner at the lodge.

Walking: Leisurely – 2-3 hr gentle bushveld walk along Msinene River

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

DAYS 9 & 10 – ZULULAND BATTLEFIELD

We leave the bush of Zululand behind us and make our way through the scenic hills and valleys of Zululand to the small town of Dundee. Here battles were fought between the Zulus, British and the Boer troops – war cries still resound in the hills. We spend time at the informative Tulana museum before we settle into our lodge and have some free time in the afternoon. The following morning we explore the Isandlwana battlefield before we embark on an exciting 4-5hour hike tracing the steps of the two British fugitives through the undulating hills of Zululand to the Buffalo River. Later in the day we visit Rourkes Drift before returning to the lodge.

Walking: Challenging – 4-5 hr Fugitives Drift trail through Zululand on uneven paths. It has strenuous sections with some steep gradients. Complete hike is dependent on the Buffalo River water level crossing.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts and 2 Lunches

DAYS 11 & 12 – DRAKENSBERG

Witness the grandeur of the Drakensberg Mountains or uKhahlamba “Barrier of Spears”. We overnight at the base of the “berg” (alt. 1,600m) and spend a full day walking the mountain trails before taking an invigorating dip in the clear mountain streams of the Royal Natal National Park. The crisp mountain air is refreshing and our lodge is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the splendour of the mountain views.

Walking: Moderate – 5.5 hr walk up the Tugela gorge on good paths with some rocky sections, boulder hopping.

Meals Included: 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

DAY 13 – DRAKENSBERG

We start the day with an early breakfast and make our way to Witsieshoek at the foot of the magnificent Sentinel Peak. At the end of a rough gravel road we start our trek, including a short chain ladder section, to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre and the beautiful Tugela Falls (alt. 3,000m), offering unparalleled views down into KwaZulu-Natal. After our walk we make our way to the lodge perched high in the mountains (alt. 2,300m) overlooking the Mont-Aux-Sources mountain range.

Walking: Challenging – 5-6 hrs walk on uneven paths to the top of the Amphitheatre with a short section of chain ladders

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 14 – DEPARTURE DAY JOHANNESBURG

A leisurely start to the day, with the chance to spot the endangered bearded vulture soaring overhead, before we make our way back to Johannesburg. Tour ends at approximately 5.00pm.

Meals Included: Breakfast and Lunch
SightseeingWildlife WatchingCultural ExperiencesNatureHiking

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mpumalanga – Panorama Route sight seeing
  • Kruger National Park – private lodge game drives and bush walk
  • Swaziland – mountain walks, cultural adventure
  • KwaZulu Natal – walk, game drive and museums
  • Drakensberg Mountains – mountain walks
  • 8 walks of varying grades – Mac Mac, Blyde River Canyon, Big 5,
  • Swaziland, Isimangaliso, Zululand, Drakensberg, The Amphitheatre

DATES

Start Date End Date Availability Cost
3rd Oct 2020 16th Oct 2020 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE NZ$3,250
31st Oct 2020 13th Nov 2020 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE NZ$3,250
21st Nov 2020 4th Dec 2020 AVAILABLE NZ$3,250
12th Dec 2020 25th Dec 2020 AVAILABLE NZ$3,250
9th Jan 2021 22nd Jan 2021 AVAILABLE NZ$3,250
6th Feb 2021 19th Feb 2021 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE NZ$3,250
13th Feb 2021 26th Feb 2021 AVAILABLE NZ$3,250
6th Mar 2021 19th Mar 2021 AVAILABLE NZ$3,250
13th Mar 2021 26th Mar 2021 AVAIALABLE NZ$3,250
27th Mar 2021 9th Apr 2021 GUARANTEED DEPARTURE NZ$3,250
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