This 20 day Explore South Africa tour starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. We include highlights such as the Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Lesotho, Addo Elephant National Park, the world famous Garden Route, the Karoo and many more.
This tour offers a great combination of wild animals, diverse cultures and spectacular natural landscapes. No wonder South Africa is called "the world in one country"!
We recommend that you arrive at least one day before the tour starts and at least one day after the tour ends… but the more time you can spend in Cape Town, the better- you will love it!
This tour is offered in two travel styles:
1. Camping: Clients mostly overnight in comfortable two-man dome tents, with built in mosquito nets and of course a mattress… and a couple of nights are upgraded to budget rooms.
2. Accommodated (hotels/ lodges): Clients overnight in a comfortable twin rooms or permanent safari tents, mostly with en-suite bathrooms.
|Camping option||How much|
|Tour price||ZAR 29 750|
|Single supplement||ZAR 1450|
|Hotel/ Lodge option||How much|
|Tour price||ZAR 37 950|
|Single supplement||ZAR 4300|
|How long||20 days|
|Group size||20 clients max|
|Start point||Johannesburg, South Africa|
|End point||Cape Town, South Africa|
|Meals||Breakfast x 19, Lunch x 20, Dinner x 20|
|Countries||South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland|
Included: Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary, transport, registered guides and selected activities as per itinerary.
Excluded: flights, all items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities etc.
Day to day description l Explore South Africa tour
Day 1: Johannesburg to the Greater Kruger National Park
We begin our adventure group tour from Johannesburg to Cape Town as we leave the city of Johannesburg behind us and make our way east through the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Our journey today follows in the footsteps of the old trade-routes to the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. This afternoon there will be an opportunity to join an optional sundowner drive. Booking is essential and your guide can assist on departure this morning.
Day 2: Kruger National Park
Rising early this morning we enter the Kruger National Park to enjoy a full day of game (wild animals) viewing (safari). The abundance of wildlife presents us with opportunities for excellent sightings and the Kruger is also home to the famed members of Africa’s Big-5. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Our activity package offers the added excitement of experiencing the park from an open-sided 4x4 vehicle. This evening there is a second opportunity for the optional Sundowner Drive.
Day 3: Kruger National Park and Panorama Route
While those who elect to do the optional morning walk will have an earlier start, we set out a little later today and travel the short distance to the Panorama Route. Strung along the escarpment that divides the central plateau and low-lying bushveld of the Kruger, the sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon.
Day 4: Kruger Park to Swaziland
We start the day early with some coffee and traditional rusks before setting off through Kruger on our way to Swaziland. Our truck offers an excellent platform for game viewing as we make our way south. We exit the southern end of the park and travel the short distance to Swaziland border, our route this afternoon winds through the mountains and forests of this landlocked kingdom. Our destination for today is the Ezulwini Valley just south of the capital Mbabane.
Day 5: Swaziland - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Endless hours of self-guided exploration within the small 4560ha Mlilwane sanctuary are possible due to the relative absence of dangerous game. This morning our guide will lead us out on a nature walk to explore the “ Nature Trail “ which provides interpretation of historical and environmental information of the area. Later this morning, we embark on a 2-hour guided walk through the Esijeni community, allowing us a glimpse of life on a day-to-day basis. This interactive experience could involve grinding maize, carrying water, building a wall or washing clothes in the stream.
Day 6: Swaziland - St Lucia, South Africa
We bid farewell to Swaziland and re-enter South Africa, continuing south into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans. This evening we are treated to a cultural experience where we will learn more of the Zulu traditions and language.
Day 7: Hluhluwe - Umfolozi Game Reserve/ iSimangaliso Wetland Park
We set out early this morning for a game drive in the nearby Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered rhinoceros. While rhinoceros are the most famous of the parks inhabitants, the park also provides a home to many other species, including the Big-5 that we all hope to see. Returning to our lodging for a siesta, we freshen up for an afternoon boat cruise on St Lucia estuary.
Day 8: Kwa Zulu Natal Coast - UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
Running the length of the Kwazulu-Natal province, the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO recognised world heritage site. Whether you go by the Zulu name uKhahlamba, meaning 'barrier of spears', or the Afrikaans name Drakensberge, meaning 'dragon mountains', these towering mountains will be our backdrop for the next two nights. On our way we make a short stop in Durban to stretch our legs before continuing to view the scenic Howick Falls and a visit to the nearby site that marked the capture of South Africa’s most famous man, Nelson Mandela.
Day 9: UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
We set out this morning for a day of hiking to explore the mountains of the Drakensberg, along our way we will have the opportunity to view examples of San rock art with a local guide. While we encourage everyone to make the most of the day in mountains, we may offer separate options depending on the activity level of the group. With a number of trails available we can ensure that we cater to every need, the most important aim is to ensure everyone enjoys this mountain paradise at their own pace.
Day 10: Drakenberg to Lesotho - Malealea
Our journey today begins with a mountain pass and an opportunity to visit a Vulture restaurant where we hope to view these fascinating birds. Our route winds its way through the magnificent cliffs off the Golden Gate National Park before we enter Lesotho in the afternoon, we pass the capital city of Maseru as continue the climb to our base high amongst the mountain peaks.
Day 11: Lesotho - Malealea
The clean air of the mountains accompanies us this morning as we explore the mountains on foot, our hike concludes with a village visit and the opportunity to gain insight into the community that calls these mountains home. The Basotho are famous for their traditional hats, blankets and their sturdy ponies. Basotho ponies are renowned for their surefootedness in the mountains and you have the opportunity of an optional pony trek this afternoon to experience this first-hand.
Day 12: Malealea to Graaff Reinet - South Africa
Returning to South Africa, we descend the mountains and take aim across the Great Karoo. The semi-arid Karoo represents the heartland of rural South Africa and presents a stark contrast to the mountains we leave behind. Our overnight stop is set in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in the country. We cross the mighty Orange (Gariep) River today as we journey through the vast countryside of the Karoo. This evening you will have the opportunity to join a sundowner excursion to the Valley of Desolation. This unique valley offers a panoramic view over the town and the wide open plains stretching out below. Kindly note that during the winter months, this activity will become a Sunrise excursion to the valley of Desolation the following morning.
Day 13: Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
Setting course for the coast once again, we pass through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park. Upon arrival in the greater Addo region, we set up camp and head to the National Park to enjoy an afternoon game drive in our overland truck, in search of the famous elephants that call Addo home.
Day 14: Greater Addo Elephant National Park area
This morning you will have the option to visit Port Elizabeth before returning to camp for lunch and in the afternoon we make our second visit to Addo. Recent expansion has seen Addo grow to become the third largest of South Africa’s National Parks. The unique vegetation of Addo supports a wide variety of wildlife and we will spend the afternoon on safari in search of the animals.
Day 15: Tsitsikamma National Park via Jeffreys Bay
Setting out early this morning we make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay. Most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. We then turn west to the Tsitiskamma region where we set up for the next two nights and where the wonders of the Garden Route await.
Day 16: Tsitsikamma National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail. This is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. We return after our hike and will have the chance to enjoy the Woodcutters Journey in the afternoon - experiencing the uniqueness of the Tsitsikamma biome and learning about the history of the area and its indigenous fauna & flora.
Day 17: Heart of the Garden Route
The Garden Route is a treasure trove of beautiful beaches, forest walks and an exciting menu of optional adventures. While our morning is set aside for an exploration of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this paradise. We end the afternoon on the beautiful beaches of the Keurbooms Lagoon. Today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you with a plan to get the most out the day, the truck will run a set schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs giving you the freedom to join or leave at the places of most interest to you.
Day 18: Oudtshoorn - the Ostrich capital of the world!
We make our way inland, crossing the Outeniqua Mountains and descend to the town of Oudtshoorn. We head to the famous Cango caves to enjoy a guided tour where we marvel at the astonishing formations that have formed in these impressive limestone caves.
Day 19: Route 62 - Hermanus
Travelling through the valley of the Klein Karoo, we follow the winding tarmac of Route 62. Road trips in South Africa are an exploration of the rural highlights that dot the lesser known byways of the land. No journey would be complete without sampling the offerings of a “Padstal” along the way. These small farm stalls offer a selection of homemade treats and bakes and are an important cog in the economies of rural towns. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Shop... a rather interesting country pub!
Day 20: Hermanus to Cape Town via the Cape Whale Coast Route
Made up of a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys, the Cape Whale Coast is a pristine stretch of the South African coastline which runs from the town of Rooiels for roughly 150km, to the east. Beginning early, we will have a short time to stroll along the boardwalk in Hermanus in search of the southern right whales that frequent the shores in the months of July to November. Next we stop at the largest breeding colony of the African Penguin, Stony Point Nature Reserve before travelling along the coast to a wine farm in the Stellenbosch region to sample some chocolates & wine. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in the city centre of Cape Town.
Interested in this tour?
Before and after the tour services
To help with the planning of your trip, you are more than welcome to book these hotels before and/ or after your tour through us. These hotels are either the starting or end point of your tour, or it will be conveniently close to it. These hotels also offer airport transfers. For information on prices, just click "Hotels and Transfers" at the bottom of this page.
The Belvedere Estate is located close to Johannesburg and the OR Tambo International Airport. This 4 star hotel/ lodge is set on 2.5 hectares of lush gardens with 15 en-suite, fully equipped, self-catering rooms, a sparkling swimming pool, braai (BBQ) boma, bar, lounge…
40onBurg is located in the centre of Cape Town, right next to the Greenmarket Square and is within easy walking distance of vibrant Long Street and the V&A Waterfront. This is also the departure point of your tour. Offers Wi-Fi, laundy facilities, fitness centre…