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South Africa, Eswatini & Lesotho - 20 days map

CAMPING SAFARI: Take in the highlights of South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho on this 20-day overland camping safari. Search for the Big Five and other wildlife in Kruger National Park, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Mountain Zebra National Park and Addo Elephant Park. Cruise on St Lucia Lagoon in search of hippos, explore lively Durban independently and enjoy the view from Thabana Ntlenyana, the highest point in southern Africa. Hike in the Drakensberg Mountains, explore the iconic Garden Route from Port Elizabeth to Hermanus, and end in the 'Mother City', Cape Town.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Campsites

Trip Highlights

Kruger National Park - Enjoy two full days of safari in South Africa's most popular national park, home to all of the Big Five
St Lucia - Cruise the biodiverse St Lucia Lagoon, keeping your eyes peeled for crocodiles, hippos and abundant birdlife
Lesotho - Cross the Sani Pass and climb to the highest point in southern Africa, then enjoy plenty of free time in Malealea
Mountain Zebra National Park - Marvel at the huge herds of zebra in this national park, which is also home to rhinos and lions
Garden Route - Enjoy the idyllic scenery of this famous route, visiting Port Elizabeth, Tsitsikamma, Oudtshoorn and Hermanus
Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - Spot hippos and zebra, visit a local Swazi village and enjoy optional activities such as horse riding
Durban - Explore South Africa's third largest city independently, with an entire free day to relax on the beach or sightsee at your leisure
Drakensberg - Hike some of the picturesque trails in Royal Natal National Park and visit some of the historic battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal
Addo Elephant Park - Head on safari in search of the largest land animal on the world in South Africa's third largest national park
Cape Town - End your journey in South Africa's most famous city, and opt to stay a few days to explore independently

Included

19 breakfasts, 16 lunches & 16 dinners
Escorted by a licensed 2-person crew
Sleeping mattress (you will need to bring your own sleeping bag)
2-day Kruger National Park experience with included game drives in specialist vehicles
Royal Enclosure & Swaziland village excursion
Sani Pass excursion
Cango Caves visit
Wine tasting
14 nights camping in 2-person dome tents, 2 nights twin share ensuite accommodation in Durban, 2 nights twin share accommodation with shared facilities in Malealea, 1 night in dorm accommodation in Hermanus (please refer to the trip notes for details)
Transportation in a 24-seater overland truck with camping and cooking equipment
All road tolls and vehicle taxes
Entry and game drives in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Mountain Zebra National Park and Addo Elephant National Park
St Lucia Boat Cruise
Drakensberg Mountains and Battlefields tour
Cape Agulhas excursion

Not Included

International flights and visas
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Airport transfers - can be booked on request
Sleeping bag - please bring your own
Optional activities (prices listed in Trip Notes)
Local Payment: $190 paid in USD

Itinerary

Day 1

Pretoria to Kruger

Pretoria - Hazyview. Departing South Africa's administrative capital of Pretoria aboard our overland truck, we head through the scenic Mpumalanga region and along the iconic Panorama Route. We stop to admire Blyde River Canyon before reaching Kruger National Park. Fences in the area were removed several years ago to create the Greater Kruger ecosystem, one of Africa's best wild places. We'll enjoy dinner around the campfire tonight before we head into the park tomorrow.

Please note: Please arrive in Pretoria at least one night before your tour. There will be a pre-departure meeting at 18:00 on the evening prior to departure and the tour departs at 7am on day 1. Refer to the Joining Instructions for more information. We can book an airport transfer from Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport and Pretoria pre-tour accommodation upon request.
Overnight: Hazyview  |  Dinner

Day 2

Kruger National Park safari

We wake early in order to enter Kruger National Park as soon as the gates open. We'll be enjoying our safari in specialist 4X4 vehicles, for an optimal game viewing experience.

Kruger is home to all of Africa's iconic Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, black and white rhino and buffalo, as well as a host of other species including giraffes, crocodiles, hippos, cheetah, African wild dog and zebra. There are also more than 500 bird species recorded in the park. We hope to see many of these creatures on our morning and afternoon game drives, escaping the midday sun for lunch back at our campsite.

If you haven't had your safari fill, you can book an optional night game drive. Some species such as leopards and lions become more active after dark, so you have a greater chance to spot them.
Overnight: Hazyview  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Ticking off the Big Five

We spend another full day on safari, heading out shortly after sunrise in search of the many species which call Kruger National Park home. With cameras and binoculars at the ready we'll head down bumpy dirt tracks in our 4X4 safari vehicles, keeping our eyes peeled for the Big Five and other species. In the evening you can relax at camp, or enjoy another optional night time game drive.
Overnight: Hazyview  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Eswatini

Hazyview - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary (Eswatini). Departing this morning, we skirt along the edge of Kruger National Park and pass through Shangaan settlements and citrus farms to reach the border with Eswatini, an independent landlocked country between Mozambique and South Africa. We reach Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, Eswatini's oldest protected area.
Overnight: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Exploring Mlilwane

We awaken this morning to the sounds of grunting antelope and chirping birds, before heading out to explore after breakfast. We drive through the sanctuary to the Royal Enclosure and enjoy a walk through a local village with a Swazi guide, who will be able to explain many of the local rituals and customs. This afternoon there is free time to join optional activities including game walks in search of the resident wildlife - hippos, honey badgers, zebra and ostrich to name a few. You can also enjoy optional bird watching, horse riding or simply relax by the pool at our camp.
Overnight: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

St Lucia Lagoon cruise

Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary - St Lucia (South Africa). This morning we cross the border back into South Africa and arrive in coastal St Lucia, home to a biodiverse estuary and wild beaches. Enjoying a cruise on the St Lucia Lagoon, we look out for crocodiles and hippos before enjoying a relaxing evening at camp.
Overnight: St Lucia   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 7-8

Durban

St Lucia - Durban. The morning of day 7 is at leisure to explore St Lucia before we depart for South Africa's third largest city - Durban. With a population of 3.4 million and a vibrant nightlife, you'll want to head into the city in the evening to explore.

Day 8 is also free. We recommend a stroll along the 'Golden Mile' beachfront, a visit to uShaka Marine World or an adrenaline-fuelled leap from the big swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you can also enjoy panoramic views of the city.

In Durban we are not camping, but staying in twin share accommodation with ensuite facilities.
Overnight: Durban  |  Breakfast x 2

Day 9

To the Lesotho border

Durban - Underberg. Leaving Durban behind, we head inland, passing through mountainous countryside to our campsite near the town of Underberg, and close to the border with the Kingdom of Lesotho. The campsite is located at the foot of the Sani Pass, which is the only navigable route over the Drakensberg escarpment into Lesotho. There is free time this afternoon to head out on some of the numerous walking trails in this picturesque region.
Overnight: Underberg  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Exploring Lesotho

Underberg - Lesotho - Underberg. Today we enjoy a full day excursion into the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho with a local guide, travelling in specialised 4X4 safari vehicles. We cross the spectacular Sani Pass (2,874m) and visit a local village to meet the Shepherds who make a living up here.

We then drive to the Black Mountain, the second highest pass in Lesotho at 3,240m. - it's a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch! And we're not done climbing yet. We take a short walk to Thabana Ntlenyana, which at 3,482m is the highest point in southern Africa. And there's one more accolade to collect as we return to camp - we make a stop at Sani Mountain Lodge for a beer or soft drink in Africa's highest bar. Whoever is tallest in the group will be the highest bar-goer on the continent!
Overnight: Underberg  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal

Underberg - Drakensberg. We make a sobering but fascinating excursion today to the Battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal. This landscape of rolling hills and grasslands in the Drakensberg area has witnessed more than 60 battles that have shaped South Africa. These battles were mainly fought in the 19th century between the Zulus, British and Boers, and conflicts to be fought here include the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, the First Boer War of 1880 - 1881 and the Second Boer War from 1899 - 1902. We visit some of the important historic sites and memorials before arriving at our campsite in the late afternoon, with free time to relax.
Overnight: Drakensberg Mountains  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Royal Natal National Park hiking

Today we head into Royal Natal National Park, an incredibly scenic destination boasting lofty hiking trails, mountains and waterfalls. You can pick one of the optional trails to enjoy, and our guide can help find a suitable route for you - they vary in length from an hour to a full day. We can also visit some ancient cave dwellings to see the historic rock art painted here, and you can opt for a guided hike to Tugela Falls before we return to our camp for a well-deserved rest.
Overnight: Drakensberg Mountains  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Days 13-14

Lesotho free time

Drakensberg - Malealea (Lesotho). On day 14 we drive around the northern border of Lesotho, crossing back into the kingdom and heading south-west along mountain roads to Malealea. The rest of today and tomorrow are completely free for you to engage in some of the amazing optional activities on offer. Pony trekking is extremely popular with visitors to Lesotho, with many trails to choose from, including some which visit waterfalls. You could also enjoy mountain biking, or visit a local village.

In Malealea we are not camping, but staying in twin share accommodation with shared facilities.
Overnight: Malealea  |  Breakfast x 2, Lunch x 2, Dinner x 2

Day 15

Mountain Zebra National Park

Malealea - Mountain Zebra National Park (South Africa). Crossing the border back into South Africa, we journey to Mountain Zebra National Park, a 284 square kilometre reserve known for its large population of more than 700 Cape mountain zebra. We'll enjoy an included game drive in the park, which is also home to buffalo, lion, cheetah and black rhino. And tonight's campsite is located in the park itself, where we can listen to the sounds of the wildlife as we drift off to sleep.
Overnight: Mountain Zebra National Park  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16

Addo Elephant Park

Mountain Zebra National Park - Addo Elephant National Park - Port Elizabeth. One species missing from Mountain Zebra National Park is the African elephant, but you will almost certainly see these gentle giants today as we enjoy a safari in South Africa's third largest national park. Addo Elephant National Park is home to more than 600 elephants, as well as lion, buffalo, black rhino and leopard, whilst southern right whales and great white sharks inhabit the protected waters off the coast.

After our game drive, we continue to Port Elizabeth, located on South Africa's famous Garden Route. Our campsite tonight is just outside the city, and is located a few metres from the beachfront.
Overnight: Port Elizabeth  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17

Exploring the Garden Route

Port Elizabeth - Tsitsikamma National Park - Plettenberg Bay. From Port Elizabeth we head along the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma Forest National Park. This diverse protected area is home to dramatic coastline, lush forests and rushing rivers. There is free time here to enjoy optional boating, hiking, bird-watching and even bungee jumping from the Bloukrans Bridge. We then continue to our campsite in Plettenberg Bay.
Overnight: Plettenberg Bay  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18

Oudtshoorn

Plettenberg Bay - Oudtshoorn. After breakfast we head to the world's ostrich capital, Oudtshoorn, in the Karoo desert region. There are many farms in this area, located in the Klein Karoo between the Swartberg and the Outeniqua Mountains. Another highlight here is the Cango Caves system, home to vast caverns and impressive formations. We have an included visit to the caves before heading to our campsite.
Overnight: Oudtshoorn  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19

Hermanus

Oudtshoorn - Hermanus. Departing for Hermanus, we make a stop at Cape Agulhas, at the southern tip of the African continent. It is here that the Indian and Atlantic oceans meet. We continue along the coast, which was historically notorious for shipwrecks and we can see some of the remnants of these unfortunate vessels.

Arriving in Hermanus, we visit the gigantic 19th century lighthouse before the afternoon is at leisure. Hermanus is South Africa's whale watching capital, and we recommend booking an optional cruise this afternoon or tomorrow morning in search of the various species of whales and dolphin which inhabit the waters off the coast.

In Hermanus, we are not camping. We stay in simple dorm accommodation with shared facilities.
Overnight: Hermanus  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 20

Cape Town

Hermanus - Cape Town. A free morning in Hermanus gives you the opportunity to book a whale watching cruise or visit the Old Harbour Open Air Museum for a fascinating and interactive glimpse into Hermanus' fishing past. We then drive to a winery to sample some of South Africa's finest wines with a tasting session.

Climbing aboard our overland truck for the final time, we complete our drive to Cape Town, where our tour comes to an end at the foot of iconic Table Mountain. If it is your first time in the city then we recommend staying for a few days to explore, we can book post-tour accommodation for you.

Please note: We won't arrive in Cape Town until late afternoon, so if you are flying straight home, then please make sure not to book your flight before the evening. We strongly recommend booking at least one night's post-tour accommodation in case of delays.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 6 persons. Prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a tent / room. Solo travellers will be matched up and share a tent / room with another solo traveller of the same gender.

Local payment - $190 paid in USD

Please note that this is payable locally on day 1 of your trip in the currency specified.

Guaranteed Departure
2024
Twin Share
Single Room
19 Oct - 07 Nov 15% off
£2,215
£1,883
N/A
02 Nov - 21 Nov 15% off
£2,215
£1,883
N/A
30 Nov - 19 Dec 15% off
£2,215
£1,883
N/A
2025
Twin Share
Single Room
11 Jan - 30 Jan 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
25 Jan - 13 Feb 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
08 Feb - 27 Feb 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
22 Feb - 13 Mar 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
08 Mar - 27 Mar 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
22 Mar - 10 Apr 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
05 Apr - 24 Apr 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
19 Apr - 08 May 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
03 May - 22 May 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
17 May - 05 Jun 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
31 May - 19 Jun 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
14 Jun - 03 Jul 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
28 Jun - 17 Jul 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
12 Jul - 31 Jul 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
26 Jul - 14 Aug 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
09 Aug - 28 Aug 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
23 Aug - 11 Sep 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
06 Sep - 25 Sep 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
20 Sep - 09 Oct 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
04 Oct - 23 Oct 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
18 Oct - 06 Nov 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
01 Nov - 20 Nov 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
15 Nov - 04 Dec 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A
29 Nov - 18 Dec 10% off
£2,215
£1,994
N/A

Extra Prices

Twin Share
Single Room
Pre Tour Accommodation Pretoria, Court Classique, en suite room
£65
£85
Post Tour Accommodation Cape Town, Ashanti Lodge Guesthouse, en suite room
£65
£95
Johannesburg Airport private transfer (per vehicle)
£85
N/A

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Hotel Numbi (campsite), Hazyview

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Conveniently located in the town of Hazyview, less than a 10 minutes' drive from South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park, this property has a campsite which is set within beautiful tropical gardens, with communal bathrooms and a restaurant on site. After a busy day spotting wildlife in Kruger, you can cool off in the outdoor pool, relax on the sundeck and enjoy the surrounding birdlife.

Mlilwane Rest Camp (campsite), Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

The campsites at Mlilwane Rest Camp are located within the wildlife sanctuary and there are no fences, meaning animals such as warthog and impala are free to wander through the site. Pitches are located within a eucalyptus forest and there are braai BBQ facilities, water and electrical points and shared ablutions. The camp itself is a great place to relax or head to the outdoor pool. There is an onsite restaurant, The Hippo Haunt, which is so named because the nearby artificial wetland attracts large numbers of hippopotamus.

Monzi Safari Lodge, St Lucia

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Basic Lodge

A mix of simple dorm accommodation and permanent tents, both with shared bathroom facilities, Monzi Safari Lodge is well located on the edge of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Accommodation is furnished with kitchenette and an outdoor seating and dining area, and there is also a pool for guests to use and shared bathroom facilities. Free Wi-Fi is available in communal areas and there are BBQ facilities as well as a bar and communal lounge and TV area.

Road Lodge, Durban

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: 1 Star Hotel

Centrally located in Durban and around a 20-minute walk from the beach, Road Lodge is also close to a variety of shops, restaurants and attractions. uShaka Marine World is a 10-minute taxi drive away, as is the harbour. Rooms are simply furnished but comfortable, with ensuite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi connection and TV. Buffet breakfast is served each day in the onsite restaurant.

Sani Lodge (campsite), Underberg

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

A small campsite located in the southern Drakensberg area, not far from the border with Lesotho. There are communal braai BBQ facilities, shared ablutions with hot showers and a communal campers kitchen. Campers also have access to the lodge's outdoor swimming pool and the restaurant serving home-cooked meals and produce from a local dairy farm. There is also a games room and optional activities can be booked, including pony trekking.

Amphitheatre Lodge (campsite), Drakensberg Mountains

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Offering panoramic views over the Drakensberg Mountains and a quirky rock pool for guests to use, Amphitheatre Lodge campsite features shaded pitches with self-catering kitchens and an onsite restaurant. All of the lodge facilities are open to campers, including the pool, hot tub and free Wi-Fi. There is also a communal TV lounge and sports bar, pool table, table tennis and gift shop. The restaurant serves organic vegetables grown onsite and the bar offers a range of beers, soft drinks and cocktails.

Malealea Lodge (campsite), Malealea

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Located amongst spectacular mountains and otherworldly landscapes, the campground at Malealea Lodge boasts braai facilities, shared bathrooms with hot showers, plus a bar and coffee shop. There's complimentary Wi-Fi and plenty of activities are available, including pony trekking and hiking trails.

Mountain Zebra National Park Rest Camp (campsite), Mountain Zebra National Park

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Mountain Zebra National Park Rest Camp is located approximately 12km into the reserve from the main entrance gate, surrounded by the wildlife of the reserve. All of the 25 camping pitches come equipped with power points and braai units. There are shared bathroom and laundry facilities, a communal outdoor swimming pool, shop and an a la carte restaurant. The park's famous cape mountain zebras are often seen near camp, and although the campsite is situated in grassland, there are rolling mountains and hills surrounding the area.

The Willows Resort (campsite), Port Elizabeth

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Located 15km from Port Elizabeth and in a peaceful location just metres from the beach, the campsite at The Willows Resort boasts electric hook up, portable braais, laundry facilities and two large ablution blocks. There are a plethora of onsite activities available, including games room, mini golf, and tennis court, whilst it is also just a short walk to the beachfront. There is also an onsite coffee shop, restaurant and bar.

Plettenberg, A Forever Resort (campsite), Plettenberg Bay

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Located within a nature reserve in the heart of the Garden Route, Forever Resorts is an idyllic place to stay, with river views, forest areas and plenty of nearby beaches to enjoy. Camping pitches each have power points and there are three shared ablution blocks. There is an outdoor swimming pool, mini-golf course and volleyball court. Guests will want to pay a visit to see the Tsitsikamma Big Tree and can even opt for bungee jumping off nearby Bloukrans Bridge.

Kleinplaas (campsite), Oudtshoorn

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: Campsite

Situated in the charming Karoo town of Oudtshoorn, Kleinplaas offers large, flat and shaded camping pitches, all equipped with electric hook up. There is a central barbecue area and a communal outdoor swimming pool, as well as laundry facilities. Shared bathroom facilities come equipped with both baths and showers and the onsite restaurant serves breakfast daily.

Hermanus Backpackers (dorm), Hermanus

Our Category: Simple   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

This simple hotel in Hermanus offers comfortable shared dormitory accommodation and shared bathrooms. The hotel is well located near the coast and in close proximity to a number of shops and restaurants. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and patio area, TV lounge and pool table. There is a communal kitchen and complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. On check in you will be provided a map of the town with advice on nearby spots for eating, drinking, surfing and joining other activities such as shark cage diving.

At a Glance

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Pretoria
Ends
Cape Town
Departs
Saturdays
Group Size
Min 4 / Max 16
Hotel Rating
Camping
Local Payment
$190 paid in USD
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour leader
Meals
Breakfast: 19, Lunch: 16, Dinner: 16
Countries
Minimum Age
18
Arr. Transfer
No - can be booked on request
Dep. Transfer
No - can be booked on request
Leopard staring majestically at the camera in Kruger National Park
Leopard staring majestically at the camera in Kruger National Park
zebra_group
malealea_fihliwe
Elephants with their trunks entwined at Addo Elephant Park
Suspension bridge over Storm River Mouth at Tsitsikamma National Park
Whale breaching in the bay at Hermanus
Aerial view of Cape Town
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