Out Of Africa
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
Take a romantic journey through South Africa, from luxury bush camps in the Limpopo to the vineyards of the Cape. Travel from the Indian to the Atlantic ocean & watch the sun set on a magical holiday.
Arrival in Johannesburg - Drive to Pretoria
Your flight is likely to depart from the UK in the evening and arrive in South Africa the following morning. After arrival you'll be able to pick up your rental car and become acquainted with our local representative either here or at the first hotel. Once you have your car, you'll drive for approximately 60 km to our guest house in Pretoria (breakfast is included during your stay). After you arrive at the guest house you'll have time to freshen up, rest up and visit a few of the sights in Pretoria such as the buildings of Parliament and their gardens, the Voortrekkers monument (to commemorate the Boers that trekked north into the heart of the African grassland) and the Paul Kruger house. Invigorated by all of the new impressions and surroundings, you'll probably have enough energy to visit the bars, restaurants and stores in Hatfield.
Total distance on Day 1 is approximately 60 km.
If you choose a direct flight to South Africa, you may arrive late at night. If this is the case, we'll make reservations for you in Johannesburg, not far from the airport, so that you don't have drive all the way to the hotel in Pretoria straight after arrival.
Pretoria - Dullstroom
You'll leave Pretoria early in the morning by rental car and take the N4 to the eastern province of Mpumalanga. Slowly but surely, the countryside will become more meadow-like and hilly and traffic will become scarce. In the afternoon you'll arrive at Dullstroom, one of the best places in South Africa to go fly-fishing or to go on a horseback ride. This picturesque town between Pretoria and Kruger Park is a great place to visit. Spend the night in our quaint guest house with fireplace and enjoy all the different types of birds in the large backyard garden. Your room will have a heater, tv, coffee and tea facilities. Breakfast is included.
Total distance on Day 2 is approximately 300 km.
Dullstroom - Bush Camp Tented Lodge
You will have plenty of time to go sight-seeing in this spectacular area today. Drive past Blyde River Canyon and have a look at the uniquely shaped hills at the Three Rondavels. Along the way stop to see the effects of wind and erosion on stone at Bourkes Luck Potholes. Another must-see is the view at Gods Window, where you can see all the way to Mozambique if skies are clear. There are several other worthwhile stops along the way, such as the quaint village of Sabie or former mining town Pilgrams Rest with its' historic houses, facades and stores. Be sure to stop and have lunch at one of the many friendly cafÃ©'s in this area.
A little further up north, approximately a 50 minute drive away from Phalaborwa and Kruger, lies the North (or Limpopo) province and the game reserve. Stay at the bush camp in a tent with your own private shower & toilet. The camp looks out on the Mahkutswi River, a place where wild animals come to drink water in the evenings. All of this makes for a genuine safari experience.
Total distance on Day 3 is approximately 200km.
Bush Camp Tented Lodge
Spend the entire day enjoying the wildlife reserve. In the morning, go on a game drive with a professional game tracker. Drive an open land rover straight through this 'Big 5' reserve and enjoy the beauty of the bush from up close. You'll head back to reserve in the afternoon, but this time you'll join a ranger on a game walk. Due to the relatively small size of the reserve and the large number of animals present, there's a very good chance that you will encounter the 'Big 5' during your walk. Don't expect to run into many tourists during your safari though, the reserve is quite exclusive and only a few lodges have permits to take guests on safari through the reserve. The guides and trackers that will take you safari are extremely qualified and know all the secrets of the bush. In between game walks and game drives you can relax in the swimming pool, while giraffes and zebra's swish their tails through the water of the river nearby.
Additional game drives or game walks are optional, but be sure to inform the rangers that at your earliest convenience that you'd like to participate in extra activities.
Tip: If you would like to spend more time in the wild, book an extra overnight stay at the bush camp.
Bush camp - Kruger Park - Hazyview
Hazyview is several kilometres away from Kruger Park's Numbi gate. Be sure to set your alarm clock and wake up early today in order to reach Kruger right after sunrise; this is the best time of day to see the Big 5. There are excellent maps available at the entrance of the park to guide you on your exploration through Kruger. While driving south through Kruger you'll pass Satara and the Orpen dam as you slowly head further south towards Skukuza. You'll be able to spend most of the day at Kruger Park. The roads are in excellent condition and most are paved with asphalt. Keep in mind that the park speed limit is only 40 km/hour and also remember to leave the park on time before it closes its' gates. Spend the night right outside of Kruger Park in the village of Hazyview, which is beautifully situated between sugar cane and banana plantations bordering Kruger Park. You'll stay in a cosy, comfortable guest house (with a swimming pool) with fields surrounding you everywhere you look. Enjoy a delicious meal here, or look into other dining options in Hazyview.
Total distance on Day 5 is approximately 300 km.
Hazyview - Swaziland
After breakfast you'll continue on to Mlilwane National Park in Swaziland. A scenic road will lead you through the mountain passes of Piggs Peak and along the Malotja reserve to the busy, somewhat chaotic capital city of Mbabane. After a visit to the Swazi market stands, where all types of art and other products can be purchased, you'll reach Mlilwane Natural Park. This is the largest natural park in the country. After you've passed the park entrance, head for the camp where you'll spend the night in a traditional âbeehive' or beehive hut in a small Swazi village. These accommodation are very basic, featuring 2 single beds, electricity, mosquito netting and basic plumbing. But then again, what else do you really need?
At your request you can also stay in nearby wooden chalets with private facilities for the same price. The colonial lodge 'O'Reillys', home of the founder of the park, is a more expensive and exclusive option.
Total distance on Day 6 is approximately 275km.
Today, you can wake up early and take a hot bath in the warm springs just outside of camp. Floating around in the warm water at sunrise, under the watchful gaze of impalas and zebras is truly a pleasant way to start the day. Looking for a little less unconventional way to start your day? How about a dip in the 'regular' swimming pool?
Today you'll have all the time you need to unwind from your long road trips. Make reservations the evening before and go on an early morning horseback ride straight through the park (for beginners and intermediates). Perhaps you would prefer a mountain bike ride to âExecutioners Rock'? In the past, unlucky criminals were thrown to their death from this elevated rock formation.
There are also several hiking trails available to you near the camp. Walking through nature, leaving all forms of motorized transportation far behind, will have an incredibly calming effect on you. Although you won't see any lions or other large predators, there are plenty of crocodiles and hippos in the lakes, streams and banks of the river. Be sure not to get to close to these areas.
Swaziland - St Lucia Leave Mlilwane and drive further south past Manzini and Big Bend along the Mozambique border to Golela, the KwaZulu Natal border. The landscape will become flatter and more arid as time goes by. Once you reach South African territory, take the highway to Hlhuhluwe and then take the exit to the village of St. Lucia. The village is nearby the lake and reserve both known by the same name, St. Lucia. Spend the night in a small, pleasant accommodation (with swimming pool) near the Main street, restaurants and stores. There are also several bars nearby that would be great for a drink and some music in the evening hours.
Total distance on Day 8 is approximately 350 kilometres or 4 hours.
You'll have two entire days to explore Lake St. Lucia and the beautiful Hluhluwe National Park. A boat leaves from the village of St. Lucia several times a day for an approximately 2 hour cruise on the lake. Be on the look-out for crocodiles, hippos, flamingos, pelicans and other fish-eating birds. This trip can easily be booked on location.
The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi park is about a 30 minute drive away from your accommodation in St. Lucia. Aside from lions, (many, many) elephants and giraffes this park is also known for being the home of the nearly extinct black rhino. You can easily use your own rental car to go on a game drive. The best time for seeing wild animals is right after sunrise or around sunset, so try to plan your game drives around these times of the day. If you'd like a professional ranger to guide you through the park, your accommodation can arrange an open land rover game drive for you through Hluhluwe Park. This usually costs about Â£38 per person for half a day (morning coffee and muffins included) or Â£55 per person (lunch included). You'll spend the night in St. Lucia once again.
Total distance on Day 10 is approximately 150 km.
Hluhluwe - Durban / Umhlanga
Today you'll drive further south over quiet, well paved highways. Reach the Indian Ocean coast effortlessly and before you know it you'll be passing by beach towns and country cottages owned by people from the cities. Eventually you'll arrive at beach town Umhlanga and nearby Durban. Durban is a large, hectic and exotic harbour city. It is the largest harbour in southern Africa and it has an interesting city centre with beautiful buildings. For the best fish restaurants, visit the harbour district. The climate in Durban is subtropical and the city is ideally located for visits to the Indian Ocean beaches. Your accommodation is located slightly to the north of Durban in beach town Umhlanga. The location lends itself perfectly to either 'do' a day at the beach or visit the city. Spend the night in a charming bed & breakfast near the beach.
Total distance on Day 11 is approximately 300 km.
Flight - Durban - Port Elizabeth At some point during the day you'll drop off your car at Durban airport and catch a short flight to Port Elizabeth. After arrival, you'll pick up another rental car to use during the rest of your trip. Port Elizabeth is located on the Algoa bay and it is the fifth largest city in South Africa. PE (as it's called by locals) is known as a friendly city, but also as 'the windy city'. There are several main beaches in and near the city: King's, Humewood, Hobie and Pollock. Spend the night in the comfortable Kelway hotel (with swimming pool), located next to the Bayworld Oceanarium and within walking distance from the beach.
Port Elizabeth - Knysna
Today you'll embark on an enjoyable drive from Port Elizabeth to Knysna. Along the way you can stop at the beach towns Francis Bay or Jeffrey's Bay and eventually you'll reach the Tsitsikamma National Park. Spend some time exploring the park, for instance by going on a hike on one of the many trails set out in the park. How about an hour-long walk to the wobbling Suspension Bridge? At the end of the day you'll reach your home base for the next few days, Knysna. Your hotel with swimming pool is located on the banks of the lagoon.
Total distance on Day 13 is approximately 290 km.
KnysnaYour entire day is dedicated to uncovering the beauties that lie in and around Knysna. Knysna is one of the most important towns along the Garden Route. Everything you could ever need is nearby, including a beautiful lagoon. The town itself isn't very large; however there are fun bars, pubs and restaurants that feature live-music until late at night. There's plenty to do during the day including: hiking, dolphin-spotting or whale-watching, kayaking on the Knysna lagoon, diving, snorkelling, mountain biking, rock climbing, a visit to Tsitsikamma, a visit to the Robberg reserve and much more.
Knysna - Oudtshoorn
This morning you'll travel from the Knysna lagoon through George and on through the arid region of Small Karoo. Here you'll find the centre of ostrich farming, Oudtshoorn. This is a stretched out town with broad lanes and lovely old buildings. Spend the night just outside of town, in the midst of ostrich farms, in our cosy guest house with pool. Breakfast is included.
In the afternoon, you'll have several different options available to you, such as a visit to nearby Cango limestone caves.
If you prefer to remain outdoors, drive a little further until you reach the beautiful 'Rust en Vrede' ('Rest and Peace') waterfall. It's located in a small natural park that closes at 16.30. Another option is to visit the Cango wildlife ranch. This is a small zoo where you not only can look at animals, but you can also pet a lion, hold a snake and go cage diving between crocodiles.
Oudtshoorn - Swellendam
Continue on to Swellendam today, with its' broad, oak-lined streets and historic houses that bring back an atmosphere of days gone by. Once you leave the Karoo, the scenery changes dramatically and it becomes green and hilly. Follow the famous Route 62 past rugged mountains, friendly villages, wine vineyards and ostriches in pastures. After arrival in Swellendam you'll spend the night in our cosy bed & breakfast.
Total distance on Day 16 is approximately 230 km.
Swellendam - Tulbagh
Today you'll travel through the wine territories on your way to Tulbagh, a peaceful, picturesque town known mainly for its' unique architecture. Practically the entire town is a replica of an 18th and 19th century village in South Africa. Although many buildings are not authentic, they were rebuilt according to the original designs after earthquakes destroyed them in 1969 and 1970. Church Street, for instance, is filled with houses built in this style and each of the houses has actually been declared a national monument. The town also houses excellent restaurants, many of which are also restored 'homesteads'. On your way to Tulbagh you'll find many places to stop at and perhaps you'd even like to do some wine tasting along the way. While in Tulbagh you can visit a large number of wineries or perhaps you'd like to take a step into the past at the 'Oude Drosdy Museum'. Here you'll be able to view old Cape furniture and household supplies, such as old record players. There are also many trails in this area that are quite suitable for walks through this charming area. Furthermore you can also enjoy bird watching, horseback riding and mountain bike riding in this area. Spend the night in our guest house, located only two minutes away from historic Church Street.
Total distance on Day 17 is approximately 200 km.
Tulbagh - Paarl - StellenboschBefore leaving from Tulbagh, you may want to visit a very special winery named "Twee Jonge Gezellen" (Two Young Gazelles). This is the only winery in South Africa that produces 'Champagne'. Naturally the only true Champagne is produced in France; however after you've tasted a sip of this bubbly drink you'll see why it's so popular!
Then it's time to head on to Paarl, one of the largest wine producing areas in South Africa. Approximately 7 kilometres after the centre of town you'll run into the Nederburg winery exit, which is one of the largest wine producers. A slightly smaller estate with a lovely terrace, Landskroon, can be found nearby. In Paarl you can visit the KWV cellars, the largest wine cooperative in South Africa. However, the Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve is also very much worth a visit. During it's season, you'll find 15 different kinds of Protea's here (the South African national flower).
Eventually you'll continue on to Stellenbosch and after arrival you'll spend the night in our charming guest house (breakfast is included).
There's plenty to see while you're in Stellenbosch. At the Braak, the market square, you'll find the het Burgerhuis, the VOC- Powder House and the beautiful St. Mary's church. Be sure to visit the 'Dorpsstreet' and the famous (albeit very touristy) 'Oom Samie se Winkel'.
Blauwklippen is one of the most enjoyable wine-estates, located 4 kilometres south of Stellenbosch on the road to Somerset West. There is also another estate in the area, the Hartenberg Estate, located 10 kilometres northwest of Stellenbosch. It's a beautiful estate and they produce fine wine; however when we visited the estate we were not quite impressed with their hospitality.
Stellenbosch - Cape Town
Today you'll be able to drive to Cape Town at your own pace. It's not that far from Stellenbosch and won't take too long to reach; however you may want to take a detour and drive around Cape Point into Cape Town. Follow the beautiful coastal route past Falsebaai, Muizenberg, Kalkbaai and Simonstown. If you drive a little further you'll reach the popular Boulders Beach, famous for its' Penguins and white sandy beaches. Stop here for a refreshing dive into the sea and a rest. As you continue along this route you'll reach the Cape Nature Reserve (also known as Cape of Good Hope), a park with many small wild animals. There are plenty of spots where you can stop along the way and stretch out for a bit. Perhaps you would enjoy having a pick nick on one of the secluded beaches? After lunch, continue on the Chapmans Peak route and pass by the fisherman's town of Houtbaai. From here it's only a 30-minute drive to Cape Town.
In Cape Town you'll be staying at the Portview House, a cosy guest house run by its' very friendly owners. Your accommodation is situated in the heart of Greenpoint, Signal Hill and it is only an 8-minute walk from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. You'll be staying in the centre of Cape Town and yet the guest house is located on top of a quiet hill; therefore you'll still be able to enjoy a peaceful stay in this accommodation. There is sufficient parking space in front of your accommodation for your rental car.
Total distance on Day 19 is approximately 150 km- depending on which route is chosen.
Cape Town is often regarded as the most beautiful city in South Africa. It features a mix of the Western and the Third World, with luxurious suburbs and extreme poverty in the townships. It is also well known for Table Mountain, the sweeping winelands surrounding the city and the many outdoor activities available. Above all, the city has a wonderful, exciting feel to it - anything is possible!
Cape Town Today and tomorrow are completely dedicated to this amazing city! If the weather was less than cooperative yesterday, have another try at visiting the Table Mountain today (in the event of hard winds, mountain access prohibited). You can also stroll along the booths at the craft market in the centre of town or enjoy a drink and the view from a terrace at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. If you like, you can also get in your car and drive to Cape Town's northern beaches. Blouberg beach offers a particularly good view of the Table Mountain.
On Day 23 you'll return your car to the rental office at the airport and board a plane back home. If you have time, a final visit to the beautiful Camps Bay beach for a stroll on the sand will help you relax before your flight.
- Inclusions -
- Rental car category B (with air conditioning) including all mileage, taxes and full insurance coverage, domestic flight, accommodation with breakfast (bush camp is full board and 2 game activities per day) and trail information
- Exclusions -
- All additional car expenses on location, such as 2x one-way fee, 2x contract expenses and 2x deposit), park entrance fees, optional excursions and intercontinental flights
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Email the tour operator - Out Of Africa
Important Notice : Avoiding Fraud
It's rare, but some helpful hints to watch out for with regards to fraud:
- It is important to NEVER wire funds or use/employ other fund transfer mechanisms such as western union: Always use a credit card to protect yourself against fraud. If owners pressure you into providing a deposit or refuse to accept credit cards, there is a high probability that this is a scam.
- If at all suspicious of fraud, ask to see their website, or any other literature they can provide or send to you. Ask them for contact details for guests who have previously stayed on their property insisting on telephone numbers. Be suspicious of emails that originate from free email services (yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc)
- Research the property thoroughly on the internet to see if there is any history or mention of scams associated with the property.