9 days from £2525pp plus international flights.
This promises to be an unforgettable week, combining 'big 5' game viewing, insightful walking safaris, driving through Swaziland and downtime on a superb beach in the renowned iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Your safari destination is none other than Kruger, arguably the most famous national park in Africa. You will have an opportunity for a game drive with a great chance of spotting elephants, rhino, lions, leopards, buffalo, giraffe, hippos and much more of Kruger's exceptional wildlife.
Most of your time, however, will be spent on walking safaris. You will gain a new perspective on the natural world as you follow your guide through the bush, learning bushcraft skills, interpreting signs and tracks and picking up important survival skills.
Next you'll pick up a hire car and head to the KZN coast via Swaziland. A night on a nature reserve in Swaziland will gentle introduce you to the more relaxing part of your trip. Once at the coast you can enjoy a magical mix of coastal forests, bush, lakes, grasslands and gloriously unspoilt beaches. You can spend days by, in and on the water, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling and taking a ride in the lodge's launch out beyond the breakers in search of dolphins and whales. On land you can accompany a guide on nature walks, go bird watching or kayak on Lake Sibaya a short drive from the lodge.
This all adds up to a hugely rewarding holiday and you'll come away not just with many happy memories but also with some new-found skills and knowledge.
Please note the minimum age for the walking safari is 12 years.
On arrival at Johannesburg airport you will be met and assisted through customs and immigration. Once you have collected your luggage, it's on to the next 90 minute light aircraft flight to Skukuza, in Kruger National Park. From here you will be taken by safari vehicle to Rhino Post Safari Lodge, about a 45 minute journey. The lodge is in a 12,000 hectare private concession within Kruger National Park, adjoining the Mala Mala and Sabi Sand reserves. The 8 spacious suites are on stilts with private verandas overlooking the dry riverbed. Enjoy a refreshing swim in the pool or a cold drink at the bar and relax after your long journey. Your African adventure is about to begin! Dinner.
This morning you have an early game drive, a chance to spot the 'big 5', followed by brunch at the lodge. You then travel the short distance to Plains Camp, your base for the walking safari. You spend the heat of the day relaxing and, in mid afternoon, enjoying high tea. Your first walk will be in the late afternoon. Led by 2 experienced guides, you will learn how to identify different trees, grasses, animals, insects & birds and be introduced to tracking and survival skills. This is a full-on experience, immersing you in nature and is sure to be highly informative & rewarding. Brunch, high tea, dinner.
The day is dedicated to walking safaris. Walks take place twice a day, early in the morning and late in the afternoon, avoiding the hottest part of the day. Most walks last between 3 and 4 hours, but can be shortened or lengthened to suit your wishes and needs. There are many walking trails leading from the camp and your guides will lead you on a fascinating day of discovery. After the first walk you head back to camp for brunch and a siesta. You will set off on your final walking safari in the late afternoon, with chances to demonstrate your newly acquired knowledge and skills. Brunch, high tea, dinner.
After breakfast you will leave Kruger National Park. At Skukuza airport you will pick up your hire car and begin the next part of your adventure as you head for Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in Swaziland. The journey will take between 4 and 5 hours and will take you through some stunning scenery. On arrival at your accommodation you will have time to unpack and freshen up and perhaps explore or relax in the grounds before dinner. Breakfast, dinner.
This morning you can choose to have an early breakfast and get on the road, or a more leisurely one. Your aim is to reach Coastal Cashews (about 4 hours away) for an organised transfer to Thonga Beach Lodge which departs at either 12h00 or 15h00, so the choice is yours. At Coastal Cashews your vehicle is left in a secure place and you join a 4x4 vehicle for the drive to Thonga Beach Lodge where you will spend the next 4 nights. This is a lovely luxury lodge on a beautiful beach within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It is time to relax, enjoy the ocean views and sample some exquisite seafood. Breakfast, dinner.
There is no pressure to do anything other than kick back, listen to the ocean waves on the shore and savour the serenity of your surroundings. You can sit back and enjoy views of the magnificent dune forest from the privacy of your balcony. You will enjoy convivial meals in the large thatched rondavel and on its expansive deck. You may want to spend the first day simply enjoying your new surroundings, but if you wish to explore further afield, you can be driven the 6kms to Lake Sibaya, perfect for kayaking, lake shore walking and bird spotting. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
If you can tear yourself away from the beach, there is plenty to do. The clear ocean waters with their shallow reefs and shoals of brightly cloured fish are ideal for snorkelling and diving. You can also go out in the lodge's launch beyond the breaking waves, looking for dolphins, whales and whale sharks. Out here you can swim in their company (this excursion is payable locally). In summer (Nov-Feb) you can take nocturnal walks or drives searching for egg laying turtles. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Another day in paradise. You can opt for a lazy day around the lodge, treating yourself to a spa treatment and enjoying the fine food on offer, or head to the beach for swimming and snorkelling. If you feel more adventurous you can take advantage of the various activities on offer. You might like to visit a Tsonga homestead and learn about their unique culture, spending time talking to community members and visiting a village school. However you choose to spend your day, why not conclude it with sundowners on the shores of Lake Sibaya, a large freshwater lake with abundant birdlife. Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
This is your last morning at the beach and after a relaxing breakfast the 4x4 will be ready to take you back to Coastal Cashews and your hire car at 10h30. The drive to Richard's Bay airport, where you will drop off the hire car is about 3 hours. Once you have handed back the car, you can catch your onward flights. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £2525 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing: Jan to 30 April £2525. May-June £2015. July £2295. August-November £2700.
8 nights accommodation on twin share basis; meals as specified; soft drinks, local beer and house wine at Plains Camp; use of snorkelling equipment, kayaks on Lake Sibaya, guided walks and cultural tour at Thonga Beach Lodge.
International flights and taxes; travel insurance; visas; meals not specified; drinks at Rhino Safari Lodge and Thonga Beach Lodge; park fees; scuba diving; open ocean experience; spa treatments; items of a personal nature; tips; regional flights (Joburg to Skukuza and Richard's Bay to Joburg)
Getting there: This holiday starts at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and ends in Richard's Bay. Return flights from the UK will cost from £1,100 per person, depending on season and flight availability. We will be happy to book your international flights.
Departure dates: This is a tailor made holiday suggestion. It can be enjoyed at any time of year, so you may take this holiday at any time you like.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is famous for its rich cultural heritage and some good game reserves.
A quaint and tranquil lodge surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens in the heart of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Rhino Post Safari Lodge offers luxury accommodation in the heart of Kruger National Park for a maximum of just 16 guests.
Rhino Walking Safaris' Plains Camp and Sleep Out are excellent for anyone wanting a walking safari in Kruger.
A 24-bed luxury lodge set on the pristine shores of the Maputuland coast, KwaZulu-Natal. Relax!
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Find the best time to visit South Africa
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.