18 days – South Africa Eco Explorer

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18 days
Accommodated Group Tour
Johannesburg - Cape Town
South Africa, eSwatini
Min Age : 12+
Max People : 17
Tour Details

Starts in Johannesburg and finishes in Cape Town. Looking for a tour that shows you all the highlights of South-Africa? Including Kruger National Park, the Wild Coast and the Garden Route? Then search no longer! We visit the highlights, but leave the beaten track to explore the great outdoors and visit a variety of African eco-systems!

Highlights

“Big Five” Game Walks; Open Vehicle Game Drives; Game Reserves/National Parks; Kruger National Park; Zululand Game Reserve; Drakensberg Mountains; Swaziland Kingdom; Cape Wine Farm; African Culture; Garden Route; Coastal Hike; Cape Town; Table Mountain Hike; Wild Coast Unspoiled Beaches; San Rock Art; Nelson Mandela Museum; St Lucia, a game drive in Hluhluwe Imfolozi National Park, a day in Addo Elephant Park and a visit to the southernmost point of the continent – Cape Agulhas and much more!

Accommodation

Fully Accommodated Tour in small scale lodges and guest houses. No camping. All Linen Provided.

Restrictions

Minimum age is 12, max 65. Older travellers are welcome if they can send us a medical certificate stating they don’t mind climbing daily in and out of the overland truck and that they are in good health.

Extras/Upgrades

Optional Activities op request. Contact us for more information

Hotel Pickup

Departing from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30 on day one of the tour. Pre- and post tour accommodation and transfers are bookable via us.

Departure & Return Location

Johannesburg – Cape Town

Departure Time

06:30 a.m.

Price Includes

  • Included highlights as per itinerary
  • Transport
  • accommodation: 17 nights in a lodge
  • Meals as indicated
  • Max. 12 passengers
  • English speaking guide & driver
  • Flexible payment options in multiple currencies
  • No booking or credit card fees
  • Coverage by Guarantee Fund

Price Excludes

  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Flights
  • Departure Taxes
  • Airport transfers
  • Tips
  • Optional activities
  • Items of a personal nature
Itinerary

DAY 1JOHANNESBURG – BUSH LODGE

Departing from the Greenfire Johannesburg Lodge at 06h30, we set off on the scenic road to the east of the country where we encounter beautiful natural scenery and many wild animals in natural parks and game reserves.

Lunch is enjoyed in the historic town of Dullstroom, Africa’s premier fly-fishing area before we wind our way down the Drakensberg escarpment. The road is filled with picturesque beauty, from mountain passes to the Acacia trees scattered across the African bushveld.

The next two nights we get cosy at our well-appointed GREENFIRE BUSH LODGE, situated in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park, where animals roam freely and unrestricted. This privately owned reserve allows us the freedom to explore the wilderness in search of a variety of animals in open game drive vehicles, day and night.

The tented lodge casually blends into the bush and offers crisp comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding wilderness, including a water hole frequented by a variety of animals. Retire to bed with a symphony of sounds from the animal kingdom.

Meals: D (Lunch own expense)
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Scenic drive down to the Lowveld region
• Private Game Reserve Accommodation

Day 2BUSH LODGE

After a peaceful nights rest we start with an early riser light breakfast of fresh coffee and rusks (a traditional South African biscuit), before embarking on our morning experience within this Big 5 area.

Guided by a qualified guide/Ranger we explore the wilderness, with heightened senses, always on the lookout for an animal encounter while discovering the smaller treasures often hidden from the eye.
Before the heat of the day sets in, we return to the lodge for a scrumptious brunch, after which it’s time to relax around the lodge and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. A nearby waterhole in front of the camp attracts a variety of wildlife that come to quench their thirst, displaying the pecking order ever so present. Unwind with a refreshing drink and game viewing from the swimming pool or from your deck.

With the heat subsiding in the late afternoon an open game drive is in order, which develops into an extensive night drive in search of nocturnal animals.
As dusk approaches we pull over and enjoy a sun-downer drink or two, while watching the magnificent sunset over the African bushveld.

Meals: Brunch Dinner
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Exclusive Private Reserve
• Morning and afternoon guided experience in Big 5 area

Day 3PANORAMA ROUTE – HAZYVIEW

Rising with the African sun, a hearty breakfast is enjoyed, before setting off to explore the highlights of the Panorama Route, famous for many natural wonders and viewing points. First stop will be to view the impressive Blyde River Canyon – the world’s largest “green canyon”, then on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes where abundant gold was discovered and finally the breath-taking God’s Window. (Weather Permitting)
An own expense lunch is enjoyed giving guests the opportunity to meet the locals.

Mid-afternoon we make our way to the tranquil GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, a log cabin built spectacularly on stilts in the indigenous forest on the banks of the impressive Sabie River or “Fearful” river as dubbed by the locals.
Time permitting, guests are able to do a nature walk on the property and the adjoining coffee farm and enjoy the mysterious forest. We spend two nights here.

Meals: B D (Lunch own expense)
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Panorama Route
• God’s Window
• Bourke’s Luck Potholes
• 3 Rondavels

Day 4KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Waking with the birds, we depart the lodge at sunrise and travel a short distance to enter a different area of the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing.

Driving slowly through this iconic National park the size of Israel or Wales we search for the many animals that inhabit this area.
From the high vantage point and comfort of our well-equipped vehicle, our expert guide will take time to explain the behaviour of the many animals we see in this fascinating environment.
Most of the day will be spent game viewing, while stopping at various designated sites to stretch our legs and to enjoy an own expense lunch at one of the rest camps in the park.
Late this afternoon we exit the park and return to the comfort of our GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW.

Meals: Packed Breakfast Snacks, Dinner
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Southern section of Kruger National Park
• Full day game drive

Day 5eSWATINI

Departing after breakfast we pass through the provincial capital Nelspruit, before leaving South Africa and crossing the border into the Kingdom of eSwatini formerly known as Swaziland, a small landlocked country, rich in culture and natural beauty.
Our journey today takes us into an area of spectacular natural beauty and past numerous traditional homesteads and vast fields of sugar cane.

We spend some time exploring this small country before arriving at our accommodation for the night. Clients spend time at leisure before enjoying a locally cooked meal.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
• eSwatini
• Scenic drive

DAY 6ST LUCIA

Today we follow winding roads south through the Swazi countryside, before crossing back into South Africa late morning. After completing the border formalities, we enter Zululand, a part of modern-day KwaZulu-Natal, and home to South Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Zulu people. Formed in the early 1800’s into the most powerful regional empire by King Shaka Zulu, the Zulus influenced a large part of southern Africa.

Once back in South Africa our journey continues to the coastal town of St Lucia, home to hundreds of hippo, crocodile and bird species that live in the adjoining wetlands.
This afternoon we launch on a boat and cruise on the estuary to explore a part of the wetlands in search of the fascinating wildlife found here.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Scenic drive through Swaziland
• St Lucia boat cruise

DAY 7 – 8DRAKENSBERG

We rise before the sun and depart to the oldest National Park in Africa – Hluhluwe Imfolozi, a beautiful park with hilly topography and a multitude of animals, renowned for its conservation efforts.

Following the morning game drive we depart the park and continue travelling through the rolling hills of Kwa-Zulu Natal, an area famous for various battles between the Boers and Zulus, British and Zulus and the Boers and British.
This afternoon we reach the majestic Drakensberg mountain range that reaches 3400m, known to the Zulus as “The Barrier of Spears”.
On reaching the foothills, we transfer to a 4×4 vehicle, for an exciting drive on mountain tracks (or walk), to the GREENFIRE LODGE DRAKENSBERG, located high up on the slopes of the mountain, with a perfect view of the iconic Drakensberg Amphitheatre.
We spend two nights here, in cozy log cabins surrounded by breath-taking views, 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. Horse riding is also available.

Meals: B L D; B L D
Included Highlights / Activity:
• Hluhluwe Imfolozi
• Drakensberg World Heritage Site
• San rock art
• Drakensberg hike
• Vulture colony

DAY 9DOLPHIN COAST

After a relaxed breakfast our exploration continues towards the sleepy little Indian Ocean town Umdloti and our accommodation for the night.

The GREENFIRE LODGE DOLPHIN COAST is located literally on the beach, with the sound of the waves pounding relentlessly at a calming rhythm. Time at leisure is spent soaking up the sun, kick off your shoes, enjoying the beach and welcoming warm ocean, or stroll through the village.
Dinner tonight is own expense at one of the restaurants in town.

Meals: B L
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Scenic drive
• Indian Ocean
• Beach

DAY 10 – 11WILD COAST

Setting off early, we pass through the outskirts of Durban this morning, and follow the coast south towards one of the exciting, off-the-beaten-track, 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.
This region also draws many a traveller to witness the annual Sardine run, one of the largest marine-life migrations on earth.
We spend two nights at a remote GREENFIRE LODGE, with a full day exploring this rugged, but stunningly beautiful, area. Hike along this stretch of coastline and tackle some of the best hiking routes in the country.
Guests will also have time to relax on the secluded beach in front of the lodge, or to go and swim at a nearby waterfall.

Meals: B L D; B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Scenic drive to the Wild Coast
• Private beach
• Waterfall walk
• Hike along the coast

DAY 12FRONTIER COUNTRY

Leaving the lush Wild Coast behind, our journey takes us into what is known as the “Frontier Country”, a region that was host to nine frontier wars between the Xhosa people and the farmers of the expanding Cape Colony, over a period of 100 years starting in 1779. Into this dangerous environment arrived 4000 British immigrants in 1820, who left their mark on the culture and architecture of the region. The road is defined by scattered hills and deep valleys with distant glimpses of the ocean.

We cover some distance today and spend the night in comfortable accommodation overlooking the university city of Grahamstown.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
– Scenic Drive in Frontier Country

DAY 13ADDO ELEPHANT PARK

This morning we drive a stones throws distance to the renowned Addo Elephant National Park located on the popular garden route. We enjoy a game drive in the park from the high vantage point if our vehicle.
This diverse Wildlife Reserve is the 3rd largest in South Africa and home to more than 600 of Africa’s silent giants.

We get comfortable with a late afternoon picnic before making our way to our nearby accommodation

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Addo Elephant National Park
• Game drive in park

DAY 14GARDEN ROUTE

We continue our journey along the spectacular Garden Route, with glistering rivers, lakes and ancient forests.
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 we then pass through Plettenberg Bay before arriving in the vibrant town of Knysna, with indigenous forests, fynbos and lakes, making this little gem a natural Garden of Eden.
Late afternoon, we have time to explore this quaint town and enjoy an own expense meal, at one of the many boutique restaurants.

Meals: B L
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Tsitsikamma National Park
• Hike in Tsitsikamma

DAY 15CAPE AGULHAS

Departing from Knysna we follow the scenic route through several coastal towns and make our way to Cape Agulhas – the most southern tip of the African continent. We enjoy a short walk down to the beach at this truly unique destination and official meeting point of the cold Atlantic and warm Indian oceans.

Picnic style lunch is enjoyed by all with the crisp clean ocean breeze, before leaving this treasure and retiring to our accommodation.

Meals: B L D
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Cape Agulhas

DAY 16 – 18CAPE TOWN

A relaxed morning drive takes us on the “Whale Route” through Hermanus – known across the world for whale watching, and then around the Hottentots Holland Mountains to Betty’s Bay where we visit a small colony of Penguins.

This afternoon we follow one of the most scenic routes in the country along the edge of False Bay making our way towards the “Mother City”, Cape Town.
Mid-afternoon we arrive at the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN, located in Sea Point and our home for the next two nights. The lodge is conveniently located close to award winning restaurants, galleries, vibrant night life and the ocean promenade.

Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, rich in culture, award winning wines, world class restaurants, fashion and people from all walks of life.
We take a scenic drive to Hout Bay passing Long Beach, through the winding roads of Constantia to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens situated at the foot of Table Mountain, a truly spectacular display of nature’s beauty.
Finishing our memorable South Africa tour, our last day we hike up Table Mountain –one of the 7 wonders of the world to enjoy the panoramic views from this iconic mountain.

Meals: B; B; B (Lunches and dinners on Day 16 & 17 as well as lunch on Day 18 own expense)
Included Highlights/Activity:
• Scenic Drive through Cape Town
• Table Mountain hike
• Coastal roads

The tour ends at 16h00 on Day 18. Clients may extend their stay by booking post-tour accommodation, we will gladly assist. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).

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.

Map

Photos
FAQ

I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

On request we can book you a single room. Otherwise, you will be sharing a room with somone else from the same sexe if you are a single traveler.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

You can use ZAR and your Bank card should be accepted in most supermarkets, lodges and bars

Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

We recommend you arrive the night before. We can book an extra night in the lodge from where the tour starts.

2 Reviews
Sort By:RatingDate

Sarah

Group Traveller

I like to say a big thank you to Louis who did an awesome job being our guide! His huge knowledge about the many different animals, the nature, the culture, etc. is outstanding! I think there hasn’t been any question we asked he wasn’t able to answer. So we learnt a lot about your beautiful country! South Africa surprised us every day with different landscapes. It is a land of contrasts! We enjoyed every accommodation and felt very welcome in each place. Pure luxury with the pools, comfy beds, warm showers, etc. This surprised me a lot because I expected basic accommodation. But in my opinion every single accommodation we stayed at is kind of luxury! The managers and staff did their utmost for our comfort and we got spoiled with delicious food where ever we have been. Louis also spoilt us with good food.

July 13, 2016

Carrie

Group Traveller

Wyatt is an excellent guide, very knowledgeable with fauna and flora. The meals he cooked for us were delicious. He made an effort to see we enjoyed some of SA specialities (Baboti and Braai). I will recommend this tour to friends and family.

July 13, 2016