South Africa Explorer

Route: Cape Town to Johannesburg

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South Africa Explorer Tour (North)

South Africa is often referred to as “the world in one country“, and for good reason- it has something to offer to everyone. On this 20 day South Africa Tour we will explore some of the best known highlights.

This tour will include lots of wild animals while on Safari, spectacular natural landscapes and a variety of cultures and peoples.

The tour departs from Cape Town, travels up the Garden Route, via the Addo Elephant National Park, through Lesotho and Swaziland, the Kruger National Park and ends in Johannesburg… 

  • 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.

Detailed tour dossier
  • The basics:

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 Cape Town, South Africa
End point Johannesburg, 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 South Africa Explorer Tour l North

When you book the optional activity package, the tour will run as follows:

Day 1 Cultural Cape Town – Stellenbosch
This South Africa tour starts in Cape Town. Set at the south-western corner of the African continent, Cape Town is scenically located at the foot of Table Mountain. This morning we spend or time experiencing some of the rich historical and cultural highlights of the city, those who have opted for the activity package will join a local tour operator for an insight into the life and history of the people living in the Cape.

Enriched by our experiences we travel north to the winelands to enjoy a sampling of some fine Cape wines. Our final stop this afternoon is the historic town of Stellenbosch where we will have some time to explore the town on foot. We end this busy day with a dinner out after checking-in to our hotel this evening.
Included activities: Self-Guided Walk through Stellenbosch
Activity package: Cheese and wine tasting, Cape Town cultural township tour

Day 2 Route 62 - Oudtshoorn
Today we travel along the famous Route 62 towards Oudtshoorn and, time permitting, stop at Ronnie’s Shop… a rather interesting country pub. This afternoon we will have the opportunity to visit one of the local ostrich farms.
Included Activities: Ostrich Farm Visit

Day 3 Heart of Garden Route
We rise early and head towards the famous Cango Caves where we will enjoy a guided tour of the caves, which have some of the most impressive limestone caverns and the different formations are quite astonishing. Later in the day we cross over the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains to Knysna where we will spend some time exploring the town. In the coming days we spend time hiking, relaxing at the beach and sampling the many optional activities available.
Activity Package: Cango Caves Basic Tour

Day 4 Tsitsikamma
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 some relaxation on the beaches of Plettenberg Bay, today offers a number of optional activities and your guide will assist you to get the most out the day. This afternoon we have the opportunity to visit the hidden gem of Nature’s Valley, this beautiful village offers us a chance to enjoy a hike or simply relax on the pristine beach in this little paradise. In order to make the most of this day, the truck will run a set schedule and you are free to join or leave at the places that interest you.
Optional activities: Bloukrans Bungee Jump, Sea Kayaking, Township Tour, Birds of Eden, Ocean Safaris
Included activities: Plettenberg Bay Beaches, Natures Valley Nature Walk

Day 5 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, Hike with your guide
Optional activities: Treetop Canopy Tours

Day 6 Addo Elephant National Park
This morning we set out for the Eastern Cape and the Addo National Park. We make a stop this morning in the surfing mecca of Jeffrey’s Bay, famous for its waves you have the opportunity to visit the small surfing museum, catch a quick wave or simply enjoy a cup of coffee overlooking these famous waves. This afternoon we will make our first visit to seek the Elephants after which Addo is named.
Optional activities: Addo night drive
Included activities: Addo national park game drive in truck, Jeffrey’s Bay

Day 7 Addo Elephant Park
With no large predators to endanger us, we make a relaxed start to the day. Our guide will lead us for a bush walk this morning as we enjoy the natural surrounds. Spending time in the bush on foot, we have the opportunity to stop for the little things so often missed from a vehicle. This afternoon we return to Addo for a second exploration of the park.
Optional activities: Addo night drive
Included activities: afternoon game drive (safari) in Addo NP with overland truck, morning bush walk

Day 8 Graaff Reinet
The historic town of Graaff-Reinet nestles in the heartland of the Great Karoo and offers a unique insight into the history of this arid region. On arrival this afternoon we will enjoy a Historical walking Tour of the town dubbed “the gem of the Karoo”, our local guide will introduce to the rich history of South Africa’s fourth oldest town. Towering above the town below, the Valley of Desolation is a spectacular backdrop for the setting sun, this evening you will have the opportunity to join an optional Sundowner visit to close out the day.
Activity package: Graaff Reinet historical tour

Day 9 Lesotho - Malealea
This morning we cut across the vast expanse of the Great Karoo, our destination is nestled in the heights of Lesotho. This autonomous mountain kingdom boasts the highest peaks in Southern Africa and is one of the highest countries in the world, the entire kingdom lies over 1000m above sea level. Having crossed the mighty Orange River, we enter the border of Lesotho and make the climb to our camp set high in the mountains.

Day 10 Lesotho - Malealea
Today we get up early and those who opt to go on the optional Pony Trekking Excursion will ride into the remote hills of Lesotho accompanied by local guides. On your return, the group will visit the local village.
Included Activities: Lesotho Village Visit
Optional Activities: Pony Trekking, Hiking – Lesotho (per hour)

Day 11 South Africa - uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
We exit Lesotho and travel through the sandstone cliffs of Golden Gate, our destination is the mountains of the Drakensberg. 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 are hikers paradise and worthy of exploration.
Included activities: Sterkfontein vulture centre, Oliviers Hoek pass

Day 12 UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
We set out this morning for a lengthy hike, 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 13 Kwa Zulu Natal Coast - Durban
It’s all downhill as we leave the mountain scenery en route to the Kwazulu Natal Coast. On the 5th August 1962, police waved down a car on a lonely country road in KwaZulu-Natal. At the wheel was Nelson Mandela. He was arrested and spent 27 years in prison. Today you will have the opportunity to visit this historic capture site, marked by an impressive sculpture in honour of “Madiba”. We will also stop at the Howick Falls to listen to the power of the falls and take some photos at the view point. Then it’s onto the bustling city of Durban is South Africa’s largest port and well-known surfing destination. We stay in the city centre this evening and may sample some Indian cuisine and enjoy this coastal city’s vibrant nightlife.
Included activities: Visit Howick Falls, Visit to the Mandela capture site
Optional Activities: Dinner out Durban

Day 14 iSimangaliso Wetland Park
With a morning at leisure to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm Indian Ocean, for those who prefer a little more excitement the many attractions of Ushaka Marine World can be visited instead. This afternoon we leave the city behind as we wind our way along the coast to our stop in Zululand. Tonight we enjoy a Zulu cultural experience where we will sample the local beer, made from the local Ilala Palm, unique to the Zululand area and will be taught the basic Zulu language, how to greet, count and learn about the family traditions.
Included activities: Zulu Cultural Evening
Optional activities: Visit to Ushaka Marine World

Day 15 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. This 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 16 Swaziland - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swaziland's oldest reserve and covers 4,560 hectares. As there are no large predators in this area there are a number of self-guided hikes available. Hiking is an excellent way of interacting with the flora and fauna here and comes highly recommended.
Optional activities: Hiking, Swazi Cultural Experience, Game Drives, Mountain Biking

Day 17 South Africa - Kruger National Park
We start the morning with a nature walk before setting off back to South Africa and the Kruger National Park. No visit to Swaziland would be complete without a visit to view the many crafts on offer, we will visit a craft market before crossing the border this afternoon. Tonight we setup camp on the doorstep of the Kruger National Park and the next two days will be spent game viewing in South Africa’s most famous National Park.

Day 18 South Africa – Kruger National Park
Entering the park early this morning we spend a full day on safari in the park, with luck we may even catch sight of the Africa’s famous 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. The overland truck gives us an elevated view and increases our chance to spot the animals.
Included activities: Full day game drive in overland truck

Day 19 Greater Kruger Area
We will make the most of our day travelling through the Kruger National Park in search of wildlife. Today you have the opportunity to experience Kruger in an optional open 4×4 safari vehicle. Should you choose not participate in the 4×4 game drive activity, your guide will take you on a game drive through the park, in the overland truck.
Activity Package: Full day 4×4 Game drive Kruger National Park
Included Activities: Local dinner and dance

Day 20 Panorama Route to Johannesburg
Today we leave the sights and sounds of the bushveld and journey back towards Johannesburg, stopping en route for breath taking views at Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Your tour ends on arrival in Johannesburg at the Belvedere Estate. Belvedere Estate offers travellers a wonderful opportunity to spend the last evening in South Africa, enjoying a traditional braai (BBQ), served by the Estate. This is an optional meal which you can book via your guide.
Included Activities: Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window
Optional Activities: Dinner out Johannesburg

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.

overland tours south africa start point

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…

overland tours south africa end point

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…