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 21 750|
|Single supplement||ZAR 1660|
|Optional activity package||ZAR 3150|
|Hotel/ Lodge option||How much|
|Tour price||ZAR 28 850|
|Single supplement||ZAR 4350|
|Optional activity package||ZAR 3150|
|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 13, Dinner x 16|
|Countries||South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland|
Included: Accommodation and meals as indicated in the itinerary, transport, registered guides and selected activities as per itinerary.
Excluded: Optional activity package, flights, all items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities etc.
Day to day description l Explore South Africa tour
When you book the optional activity package, the tour will run as follows:
Day 1 Greater National Kruger Park
Our South Africa tour starts as we leave the city of Johannesburg behind and we make our way east through the coalfields of the Mpumalanga province. Our route 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 safari (game viewing). 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 4×4 vehicle. This evening there is a second opportunity for the optional Sundowner Drive.
Included activities: Full day Kruger Park safari in overland truck
Activity package: 4×4 Game drive in Kruger National Park
Day 3 Kruger National Park
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.
Included activities: Panorama Route, Pilgrims Rest
Day 4 Swaziland - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
We start the day early with some traditional coffee and 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 - Isimangaliso, Greater St Lucia
Situated in the Ezulwini Valley, which translates to “valley of heaven”, the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland’s oldest reserve and covers 4,560 hectares. As the reserve has no large predators we will enjoy a morning hiking amongst the game the roams the plains. Should you prefer there are a range of optional activities offered by the reserve and you could enjoy a game drive, mountain biking or a visit to the Chief’s traditional village. This afternoon we continue 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.
Included activities: Zulu cultural evening, nature walk in Mlilwane
Day 6 Hluhluwe - Umfolozi Game Reserve
This morning we drive to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for a game drive (safari) in open 4×4 vehicles. The park is the only state-run park in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where all the Big Five occur. On the afternoon we return to iSimangaliso Wetland Park where we board a boat for a sunset cruise on the lagoon for some bird and hippo viewing!
Activity Package: Game Drive (safari) in Hluhluwe/ Imfolozi National Park, St. Lucia Boat Cruise
Day 7 Durban
Durban has long been the favourite holiday destination for South Africans, the golden mile with its warm seas and safe swimming beaches attracts visitors throughout the year. This afternoon we have time to spend on the beaches of the golden mile or make an optional visit to the world-class aquarium complex at Ushaka Marine World. Tonight we enjoy a dinner out and an opportunity to sample the Indian influenced dishes that have become a hallmark of Durban cuisine.
Day 8 UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
We leave behind the beautiful beaches of KwaZulu Natal and travel inland to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg or Royal Natal National Park, part of the huge and incredibly scenic Drakensberg Escarpment. The Drakensberg is South Africa’s highest mountain range with peaks at over 3000 metres. Hiking is the most popular activity here and your guides will take you on a lovely hike if you are not already busy with other optional activities.
Highlights: Howick Falls, Mandela Capture Site.
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.
Included activities: Hike with your guide in Ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park
Day 10 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.
Included activities: Drive through Golden Gate
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 call these mountains home. The Basotho are famous for their traditional hats, blankets, and their sturdy ponies. Basotho ponies are renowned for their surefooted-ness in the mountains and you have the opportunity of an optional pony trek this afternoon to experience this first-hand.
Included Activities: Lesotho Village Visit.
Optional Activities: Pony Trekking, Hiking.
Day 12 South Africa - Graaff Reinet
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 an optional 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.
Optional activities: Valley of Desolation sundowner tour
Day 13 Greater Addo Elephant National Park
We are joined this morning by a local guide who will introduce us the historical highlights of Graaff-Reinet, with one of the highest concentrations of monuments the town offers a charming insight into the history of the land. Setting course for the coast once again, we roll through the open plains of the Karoo and the wildlife charms of the Addo National Park.
Activity package: Graaff Reinet historical tour
Day 14 Greater Addo Elephant Park
Famed for the Elephants after which the park was named, 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 much of today in search of the animals that call Addo home. This afternoon presents an opportunity to join and optional Sundowner Game Drive on open 4×4’s.
Included activities: Half-day game drive (safari) in Addo with overland truck
Day 15 Tsitsikamma National Park
Setting out early this morning we game drive through the Addo National Park before turning west to Tsitsikamma, where the wonders of the Garden Route await. 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. Our final destination is the Tsitiskamma region where we set up for the next two nights.
Included activities: Morning game drive (safari) in Addo with overland truck, stop in the surfing town of Jeffreys Bay
Day 16 Tsitsikamma
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. For the adventurous the Waterfall Trail offers a spectacular winding path that follows the rocky coastline, an out and back trial we stop for a refreshing swim at the base of an icy Waterfall. For those who wish to get a birds-eye view of the magnificent forests an optional zip line tour through the canopy is offered this afternoon.
Included activities: Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
Day 17 Heart of 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. We celebrate our adventures with dinner out on the town this evening.
Optional activities: Dinner, Monkey Town, Birds of Eden, Bungee Jumping.
Included activities: Afternoon at leisure on Keurbooms Beach, morning visit to Natures Valley.
Day 18 Oudtshoorn
This morning the adventurous can join a number of optional activities on offer in the resort town of Plettenberg Bay, the winter months (July to November) offer some of the finest Whale Watching in the world and an ocean safari is not to be missed during these months. For those less inclined to adventure on the high seas, the morning can be spent at leisure on the beach or exploring this holiday town. This afternoon we cross the Outeniqua Mountains as we wind our way to the Klein Karoo, we end the day with a visit to the impressive formations of the Cango Caves, we join a guided tour as we venture underground into this sprawling network of limestone caves.
Activity package: Cango Caves basic tour.
Optional activities: whale watching (in Season), sea kayaking, township tour, ocean safari.
Day 19 Oudtshoorn to Paarl
Our first stop this morning is an Ostrich Farm where we undertake a guide tour to learn more about the world’s largest birds. 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! Our day ends with a celebratory dinner out.
Included activities: Ostrich farm visit, stop at Ronnie shop
Day 20 Paarl - Cape Town
Cape Town is not only set in one of the most scenic parts of South Africa, but offers a wide variety of attractions and highlights. We will gain a unique insight into the city when we join a local guide for a Cultural Tour. We Sample some of the fine Cape wines and spend some time exploring the town of Stellenbosch. To allow for Sundays and Public Holidays the order of events may be reversed today, the tour will however always end in Cape Town in the afternoon.
Included activities: self-guided walk through Stellenbosch
Activity package: cheese and wine tasting, Cape Town cultural township tour
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…
Strand Towers Hotel is located in the centre of Cape Town and is within easy walking distance of vibrant Long Street and the V&A Waterfront… and of course from where this tour departs. The views from this 4 Star hotel will keep you spellbound…