18 days - South Africa Tour | Johannesburg to Cape Town
DAY 1: JOHANNESBURG - BUSH LODGE
Departing from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30 we set off on the scenic road to Mpumalanga. A brunch stop in the historic Dullstroom will be enjoyed before we wind our way down the Drakensberg escarpment and into the untamed Lowveld. The next two nights will be spent at our well-appointed GREENFIRE BUSH LODGE which is situated in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park, an area where animals roam naturally and unrestricted. The tented Lodge blends into the bush and offers comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding wilderness. Dinner tonight is cooked in the traditional manner over an open fire.
DAY 2: BUSH LODGE
As is custom in the bush, we start the day with coffee and rusks before embarking on a game walk. Although we will walk for some three hours, the purpose is not to cover distance but rather to search for animals and in so doing, to learn more about the ways of the bush. A Drifters guide and / or tracker lead all walks. Before the heat of the day, we return to the Lodge for a sumptuous brunch after which it’s time to relax around the Lodge and to enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. In the afternoon we conduct an open vehicle game drive which develops into an extensive night drive all the time searching for animals. Being in the bush at night provides us with the opportunity of viewing nocturnal animals. This evening we enjoy a hearty bush “braai” cooked on an open fire. Fall asleep to the sounds of the wild.
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DAY 3: PANORAMA ROUTE - HAZYVIEW
Rising with the African sun, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before setting off to explore the highlights of the Panorama Route. Our first stop will be to view the impressive Blyde River Canyon, then on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Gods Window, and the cosy little town of Graskop where we will enjoy an own expense lunch at Harry’s Pancake Bar. This afternoon we descend the Kowyn Pass to a traditional village where we will spend some time with the local Shangan people. After a full day, we make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, a log cabin built spectacularly on stilts in the indigenous forest on the banks of the Sabie river – we will spend two nights here.
DAY 4: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
An early start, we depart at sunrise and travel the short distance to enter the southern sector of the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing. Slowly traversing in search of the many animals that inhabit this area, we enjoy the high vantage point and comfort of our well-equipped vehicle. Although most of the day will be spent game viewing, we will stop at various designated sites to stretch our legs, to enjoy Brunch, and to wander around one of the Parks rest camps. Late this afternoon we exit the Park and return to the comfort of our GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW. Brunch D
DAY 5: SWAZILAND - ZULULAND
Traveling south through the Kingdom of the Swazi, our journey today takes us into an area of spectacular scenery and past numerous traditional homesteads and curio markets. We then enter Zululand - the region once ruled by the revered Shaka, “King of the Zulu’s”. This is an area of Game Reserves and impressive landscapes. We spend the next two nights at a bush camp in Zululand surrounded by breath-taking views.
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DAY 6: ZULULAND
We will spend the day enjoying a game experience in a renowned Game Reserve. The reserves in this area are lush and offer protection to a variety of indigenous animals including Black and White Rhino. The activity will allow us to appreciate the fauna and flora of the area on foot and from the water. Return to our accommodation for the night.
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DAY 7 - 8: DRAKENSBERG
Traveling inland today, we pass through a tranquil region of rolling hills, but don’t be fooled, this region has hosted many historic wars - fought over time by the Zulu’s, the Boers (pioneer settlers), the British, and many others fighting for a stake in Africa. Our lunch stop will be at one of the famous battlefields in the area where we will have time to learn a bit more about this fascinating time in the South African history. This afternoon we reach the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, “Barrier of Spears”. On reaching the foothills we transfer to a 4X4 vehicle, and then enjoy an exciting drive (or walk) on mountain tracks high up to the GREENFIRE LODGE DRAKENSBERG. We spend two nights here in cosy log cabins and will have a day of hiking, exploring, and simply enjoying the wonders of this National Heritage Site. A walk to the San Rock Art gallery is well worth the effort. Pony trekking is also available.
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DAY 9 -10: DOLPHIN COAST
A relaxed start, after a transfer (or walk) back down to our vehicle it is with new energy that we make our way toward the Indian Ocean. Our journey today will take us through the Natal Midlands where we will see many small craft shops, arts, and other attractions. We will stop for an own expense lunch near Nottingham Road before continuing to our next accommodation where two nights are spent. The GREENFIRE LODGE DOLPHIN COAST is located literally on the beach and the sound of the waves pounding is relentless. We will have a “free” day here to spend soaking up the sun and simply enjoying the beach and warm ocean or to stroll through the village enjoying the cheerful hospitality. One night we enjoy a traditional fish braai on the Lodge’s patio. Lunch and dinner own expense.
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DAY 11 - 12: WILD COAST
Setting off early, we will pass through Durban this morning and will then follow the coast south into an area that can only be described as one of the highlights of the tour – The Wild Coast. Having formerly been an independent homeland, there has been little development in this area resulting in endless unspoiled beaches, natural estuaries, rolling grassland, and a tapestry of traditional Xhosa villages. We will spend two nights at a remote GREENFIRE LODGE here and will spend a full day exploring this rugged but stunningly beautiful area.
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DAY 13: FRONTIER COUNTRY
Leaving the lush coastal forests, our first stop today will be at the Nelson Mandela museum in Umtata, then we continue past the birthplace of this great statesman. Our journey this afternoon will take us into what is known as the “Frontier Country”, a region that was settled in the 1820’s by European immigrants and that was host to many frontier wars. We spend the night in comfortable accommodation overlooking the city of Grahamstown.
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DAY 14 - 15: GARDEN ROUTE
Entering the renowned Garden Route, our first stop will be at the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park where we will enjoy a walk along the rugged coast and over the suspension bridge spanning the Storms River. Traveling further, those with suicidal tendencies may try the world’s highest bungi jump at 216 meters. We then pass through Plettenberg Bay before arriving at the well located GREENFIRE LODGE KNYSNA where we will spend the next two nights. Our day here will give us the freedom to explore this quaint town and its many attractions. Optional excursions include kayak trips, mountain bike rides in the forest, a tour of the local township, and many more (Own expense). One lunch and one dinner will be own expense. B L D ; B
DAY 16 - 18: CAPE TOWN
A leisurely start, we leave Knysna to travel through the Garden Routes Lake District and then to follow the "Whale Route" through Hermanus and around the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Arriving in the "Mother City" Cape Town in the late afternoon, we check into the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN which is conveniently situated. Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we will spend two full days here - visiting Cape Point, Hout Bay, The Waterfront, secluded beaches, a wine farm, and many other attractions. We will also hike up Table Mountain. (Lunches and dinners in Cape Town are own expense).
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This tour ends at 16h00 on day 18, however clients are welcome to extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the Greenfire Lodge Cape Town. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours). Those wishing to visit Robben Island should advise their guide early in the tour as prior bookings are essential.
We have chosen this tour because we love working together with this local partner who has been in the industry since 1983. Their philosophy is based on sustainability, the long-term assurance that whatever activity they conduct in any specific natural area must contribute to the conservation and to the well-being of the inhabitants of that area, thus ensuring that future generations will be able to visit those same areas and enjoy the same experience as did their parents before them. They assure that clients are able to enjoy the best of Africa without added expense and no local payments (except for visa).
The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client's benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.