Day 1 Arrival in Johannesburg
Met on arrival. Afternoon orientation tour.
Day 2: Johannesburg
Tour of the city and surrounds - Johannesburg’s museums and historical sites are brilliant and world-class.
The Apartheid Museum is an absolute must-see – chronicling the history of segregation and Apartheid, as well as the fight against it. Constitution Hill is equally powerful. It is the site of South Africa’s new Constitutional Court, built on the ruins (and from the ruins) of the notorious Old Fort prison. No better example exists in the country of how a place of injustice and brutality has become a symbol of solidarity, justice and preservation of freedom.
After lunch, visit Liliesleaf Farm, the site of the 11 June 1963 arrest of 19 members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe underground, including Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.
Day 3: Pilanesburg National Park
Depart Johannesburg and head northwest into the real African bushveld to the Pilanesberg National Park.
Day 4: Gaborone, Botswana
Travel via the towns of Rustenburg and Zeerust to the Botswana border and on via the town of Lobatse to Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone. Late afternoon city tour.
Day 5-6: Mapungubwe National Park
Travel north through the typical bushveld of Botswana to Mahalapye, then re-enter South Africa at the Martin’s Drift border post to South Africa’s newest National Park, the Mapungubwe National Park. Mapungubwe is situated in the northern part of South Africa, where the country meets with Botswana and Zimbabwe. It truly is a landscape that is filled with historical conquests and wonders and abounds with unique birds and wildlife. The park is also a World Heritage Site declared due to the unique archaeological findings in the area. Two game drives on day 6.
Day 7: Kruger National Park
Skirting the border with Zimbabwe and following the Limpopo River, we head east to South Africa’s greatest game reserve, the Kruger National Park. We enter at the northernmost Pafuri Gate, and enjoy a beautiful game drive to the north-east corner of the park – Crook’s Corner, where South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe meet! Spectacular riverine vegetation, Fever Tree and Nyalaberry forests, and the best bird-watching Kruger has to offer along the banks of the Luvuvhu River.
Day 8: Kruger National Park
Travel slowly south through the park, game viewing en route.
Day 9: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
Exit Kruger at the main Paul Kruger Gate, to arrive at the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.
This afternoon / evening enjoy your first open-vehicle game drive – with highly trained and experienced ranger and tracker – in quest of the “Big Five” and more! This is the best chance to see the most elusive of the “big five,” the leopard.
Day 10: Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
A full day in safari paradise! You rise before dawn for a quick coffee, before heading out into the bush at first light. A stop in the bush allows for a welcome break and a hot drink, and then the quest continues – until you return to the lodge for breakfast at around 09h00.
After breakfast, it’s time to relax – at the pool or on the deck overlooking the water-hole – or you can go on a bush walk, a great opportunity to see some of the smaller wild creatures, and learn more about the flora of the Kruger. Then it’s time for lunch – a siesta – and then high tea, before departing with your ranger and tracker for the afternoon / evening game drive.
In Africa, we like to toast the sunset – we call this a “sundowner”! – and your ranger will stop somewhere in the bush for you to have a drink and toast the sun setting on a beautiful day in Africa. After dark, the tracker uses a spotlight to try to pick out some of the nocturnal animals as you return to camp.
Day 11: Lower Sabie
Depart the Sabi Sands after an early breakfast, and travel south-east through the Kruger National Park, game-viewing en route, to the Lower Sabie Rest Camp, on the banks of the Sabi River.
Accommodation tonight in a chalet or luxury safari tent, en suite, with a view over the river.
Day 12-13: Maputo, Mozambique
Exit Kruger at the Crocodile Bridge Gate in the extreme south-east, and cross the border into Mozambique at the Komatipoort / Ressano Garcia border post. On down to the awesome coastal capital city, Maputo, a remarkable city with a strong Latin / African vibe. Check in to the hotel over Maputo Bay and visit the fascinating city of Maputo.
Day 14: Swaziland
Today we travel via Maputo and the village of Boane to the Namaacha border post with Swaziland (that’s country number 4!), one of the smallest countries in the world, and one of only three remaining monarchies in Africa. Via the mountainous border region to the beautiful Ezulwini Valley.
Day 15: Mpumalanga
Exit Swaziland at the Jeppe’s Reef border post and enter the South African province of Mpumalanga (“place where the sun rises”). We explore the “Panorama Route” on the edge of the Great Escarpment, visiting one or two of the magnificent waterfalls and view sites over the Blyde River Canyon.
Day 16: Zambia-Zimbabwe (Victoria Falls)
A morning flight to Livingstone Zambia and transfer by vehicle across the border to Zimbabwe.
This evening enjoy a boat cruise on the Zambezi River above the Falls – a great opportunity to observe game (Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile, among others) while sipping a cocktail and watching your first spectacular African sunset.
Day 17-18: Victoria Falls
Enjoy a guided tour of the Zimbabwe side of Victoria Falls – unquestionably the best vantage points for viewing the mighty cataract and chasm below. Optional activities aplenty this afternoon - white water rafting, river boarding, jet boat trip above the falls, horse riding, a walk with lions, golf, bush walk, game drive, village tour, bungi jumping, gorge swinging, elephant back safari, helicopter and fixed-wing scenic flight over the falls, micro-light flight and more... All can be booked through the lodge.
Day 19: Depart
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Johannesburg.