8 days from £1950pp plus international flights.
The gorgeous scenery and fascinating sights of the Panorama Route combine with the wilderness and wildlife of the Timbavati Private Game Reserve to make this an unmissable South African holiday.
Based for 3 nights at the lovely Rissington Inn near Hazyview, you are close to the gorgeous Panorama Route, not far from Kruger, and there are so many exciting activities you can choose to do from here.
We have arranged one (shared) tour of the Panorama Route for you, we've left left you with a full day to decide what other activity you'd rather do whilst here. The Inn will help you plan and arrange this at the time.
The highlight of this trip, however, has to be the wonderful game viewing in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve which shares an unfenced border with Kruger National Park. From antelope to zebra, this region is home to all the animals, birds and reptiles we associate with Africa including, of course, the 'big 5'.
With experienced safari guides, you have a great chance of seeing baboon, elephant, lion, cheetah, hippo, leopard, warthog, wild dog, buffalo, impala - the list just goes on and on. Timbavati is an area of 12,000 hectares with a reputation for diverse wildlife, there are 40 species of mammal recorded and over 360 species of birds . Not much can compare to watching a herd of elephants playing in the mud pools or a lazy pride of lions resting in the heat of the day. This is South Africa at its best!
You will be met at OR Tambo International Airport and assisted through customs and immigration. You will meet your diver and continue to Rissington Inn in Hazyview where you will spend the next 3 nights. The journey will take about 4 hours so you have time to relax and recover from your flight and enjoy the spectacular scenery as it unfolds before you.
The area known as the Panorama Route basically surrounds the beautiful Blyde River Canyon, and includes sights such as the rock formation at Bourke's luck Potholes, the gorgeous views from God's Window, and the Pinnacle. A shared day trip will take you around all these sites with a good guide, and you might also have time to visit the historical gold rush town of Pilgrim's Rest.
Today you have a free day to choose from a great range of activities and sights in the area. Local highlights include the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Sanctuary near Nelspruit, the Lowveld National Botanical Garden, the waterfalls centred around the town of Sabie and spectacular Long Tom Pass. Maybe you'd like to walk with elephants or visit a wildlife rehabilitation centre ... really there is SO much to do here.
Rissington will help you plan whatever you choose to do.
Today we will transfer you to the 12,000 hectare Timbavati Private Game Reserve which shares unfenced borders with the Greater Kruger. Game viewing in a private reserve such as this instead of Kruger itself means that there are far fewer other visitors, no self-drivers, and you will be guided each day on game drives by expert rangers.
You stay at Simbavati River Lodge for the next 4 nights. This is one of our favourite Kruger safari lodges, with, you guessed it, a river bank location. and you get 2 game drives per day whilst here.
The game here is well-habituated resulting in unforgettable close encounters and prolific sightings, this is Big 5 country, so keep your eyes peeled. With over 360 bird species recorded here, birding can be quite rewarding too. Back at Simbavati the seasonal Nhlaralumi River runs in front of the lodge, adding to the bio-diversity of this area. Between safaris, take a dip in the pool, or relax on the expansive deck overlooking the river and enjoy the natural surroundings.
A typical day here starts with an early wake-up call with a cup of tea or coffee, followed by a game drive in an open 4WD vehicle with an experienced guide. A morning snack and coffee are served in the bush then back to the lodge for a hearty cooked 'brunch' on the deck. Then you have some down time at the lodge where you can take a siesta, or sit on the deck and immerse yourself in nature. In the afternoon you have another game drive, perhaps taking in sundowners before continuing on an exciting night drive back to camp on the lookout for nocturnal animals.
Today you have a shared transfer from Simbavati Lodge to Hoedspruit airport where the trip ends. From here we would arrange onward flights for you, either to connect you to homeward bound or onward flights.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £1950 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2017 guide price pp sharing: Jan-Oct £1,950. Nov-14 Dec £2,095.
Accommodation on a twin share basis; transfers as per itinerary; meals as specified; 2 game drives a day at Simbavati River Lodge, shared day trip of Panorama Route.
International flights; local fights; departure taxes; visas; travel insurance; meals not specified; drinks at Rissington Inn; items of a personal nature; tips
Getting there: This holiday starts at OR Tambo airport and ends at Hazyview airport. Return flights from the UK start from around £850, depending on season and availability. We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made holiday which we can organise for you at any time of the year. And remember that you can tweak the itinerary as much as you like to get it how you want.
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Time: GMT +2 hours
Flight time: There are daily flights from Europe to Johannesburg (about 10 ½ hours direct) and Cape Town (about 11 hours). There is also a good network of domestic flights connecting all main towns.
Language: English is South Africa's main administrative language and is widely spoken. There are also 11 official tribal languages.
Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders.
Health: No vaccinations are compulsory. Malaria is found in certain areas (mainly Kruger and the east coast towards Mozambique), but not throughout the country.