Kingdoms of the East

Blue Monkeys
Blue Monkeys
The Drakensberg
The Drakensberg
Safari encounters
Safari encounters
The Blyderiver Canyon
The Blyderiver Canyon

The world-famous Kruger National Park, the friendly Swazis, the tropical Durban and the majestic Drakensberg

- A guided, small group tour in Eastern South Africa -

 

On our 16-day tour of the eastern part of South Africa, you will experience incredible diversity. Immerse yourself in South Africa's natural beauty and follow the trail of animals in the world-famous Kruger National Park. You will be enchanted by the original beauty of the Swaziland Kingdom and the subtropical coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, as well as the spice markets of the vibrant city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The adventurous Sani Pass and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains complete this unforgettable journey.

 

Tour Highlights

Map of "Kingdoms of the East"
Map of "Kingdoms of the East"

-  the scenic wonders of the Panorama Route

-  Safaris and the "Big 5" at the world famous Kruger National Park

-  the kingdom of the Swazis

-  Durban - the glittering metropolis of millions

-  St. Lucia - the unique iSimangaliso Wetlands Park

-  the mother of all South African mountain passes, the Sani Pass

-  the majestic Drakensberg

 

 

 .... and much more 


Itinerary

Day 1: departure to Africa

Today the long trip begins with the long-haul flight to South Africa. 

 

Day 2: Welcome in South Africa
You will arrive at Johannesburg International airport, known as O.R. Tambo in the morning. You will be Welcomed by your English speaking tour guide. From the airport, we will drive to our hotel in the bustling Hatfield district of Pretoria, where we will be staying for the night. After checking in and freshening up we can take a ride through the beautiful capital of South Africa with its impressive sights. On this short ride, amongst other things, we will see beautiful buildings, including the Union building of South Africa. All these buildings are surrounded by beautiful, flowering Jacaranda trees. We will also get to see the new statue of the country’s first freely elected president, Nelson Mandela. 43Km


Day 3: the spectacular descent from “highveld" to “lowveld”

Together we embark on the approximate four-hour drive to the Eastern Mpumalanga province. A delicious, home-cooked lunch awaits us on an exceptional farm halfway to our destination. A special experience today is the spectacular descent down to the subtropical Lowveld. This is where the Panorama Route starts. For the next two nights, we will be staying a cozy guest house situated in the small town of Graskop. 372 km / B, L

 

Day 4: The wonders of the Panorama Route
After breakfast, we will travel along the Panorama Route, one of South Africa’s most scenic routes. Here we will visit the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and the view is dominated by the three “Rondavels”: large, free-standing rocks at the bottom of the canyon. The Bourke’s Luck Potholes are impressive rock formations that were created millions of years ago by erosion. We also have the option to visit the gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest in the early afternoon. Pilgrims Rest has been designated as a national monument since 1986 and has been on the list of candidates for UNESCO World Heritage since 2004. In the evening you can make your way back to your cozy guest house in Graskop. 64 Km/B


Day5 +Day6: Safari in the Balule Nature Reserve at the world famous Kruger National park
This morning, we will make our way to the beautiful Balule Game Reserve on the Western edge of the Kruger Park. For the next three nights, we will staying in a beautiful lodge offering spectacular views. Early evening, we will have a sundowner before heading to our welcome dinner in the lodge. As soon as tonight we get to fall asleep to the sounds of Africa. The following day, we will spend admiring the Balule Nature Reserve. The 38 000 hectare reserve forms part of the larger Kruger National Park Biosphere. The Olifants River flows throughout the year in the reserve. We will also explore the beautiful area on an extensive game drive in an open SUV with an experienced English speaking ranger. We may spot lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and multiple breeds of antelope. 142 Km/ B,D, SC

 

Day 7: making our way through the Kruger national park bush
After breakfast, we can make our way to the world-famous Kruger National Park. The National Park is approximately the size of Belgium. The park offers 3000 hippos, 9300 elephants, 2000 leopard and 30 000 zebra, as well as 500 species of birds. We might even spot the “Big 5”! The park was established in 1898 by president Paul Kruger. We will travel in a Northeasterly direction through the park. This will lead us to the Olifants rest camp, which is located in the middle of the park, offering a view of the Olifantsflusses. Here we can usually see kudu, elephant, lion and giraffe on their way to bath in the Olifants River. After a long, relaxing lunch break we can make our way back to our lodge in Balule, just outside the park. B,D

 

Day 8, Day 9: in the kingdom of swazis
Today we leave South Africa temporarily and visit the small kingdom of Swaziland, which is also known as the "Switzerland of Africa" due to its enchanting mountain landscape. Swaziland is the second-smallest state on the African continent with an area of 17,363 km². On our way we will pass the traditional kraals, still the typical life form of the Swazis today. The first two nights we will stay in a fascinating wildlife sanctuary. The Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary was the first private conservation reserve established in Swaziland in 1950. There are numerous animals in the hilly terrain to see. Since there are no dangerous predators among the animals, the terrain can be explored on foot or by bike. It is possible to observe numerous antelope species, zebras and giraffes on prescribed trails. In the vicinity of the streams, warthogs can be seen in front of their caves. In several small lakes are crocodiles and hippos. A large number of birds can be observed at the lakes or in open terrain. Here we will dwell in traditional Swazi beehive houses. We will then spend the night in another, nearby private game reserve, the Mkhaya. There we stay in an open cottage in the rustic wild-romantic Stone Camp, which is located directly on the river bank by the forest overlooking the riverbed. The reserve is located Southeast of the city of Manzini. Alongside wonderful game viewing, we will also enjoy this exceptional accommodation, which makes up the charm of the Mkhaya area. There is also an interesting excursion to the famous Swazi candle factory. In the evening, we can enjoy the great hospitality offered by the Swazis and let the evening fade away with a local meal. 397 km / 3 x B, 1 x D

 

Day 10 + 11: The Hluhluwe iMfolozi and iSimangaliso Park near St. Lucia
We no leave Swaziland and head to the province known as Kwa-Zulu Natal. In the morning, we will visit the small but amazing Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in route. The oldest national park, 280 Km North of Durban, covering 960 square kilometres of mostly hill-like terrain and is located in central Zululand in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The diverse vegetation provides habitat for many mammals, birds reptiles and amphibians. The “Big Five” are also represented in the park, as are cheetahs, wild dogs, giraffes and nyalas. Our journey continues in the afternoon to the coast of the Indian Ocean, to iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The beautiful park was added to the UNSECO world Heritage list in 1999. In the centre of the park is the St. Lucia Lake, after which the park was named. With a length of 50 km and a width of up to 15 km, its area is 360 km², making it the largest lake in South Africa. In the 200 km long coastal strip we will find the second highest wooded sand dunes in the world. In the wetlands live the largest crocodile and hippo in South Africa. We can also see humpback whales on the sea side. We can take a boat trip on Lake St. Lucia to the hippos and take several safari rides in the park. Hikes with different intensity levels can also be enjoyed here. We will be accommodated for the next two nights in a cozy guest house, which is centrally located in the cozy town of St. Lucia. 354 km / B

 

Day 12: Durban
After such beautiful and unique nature experiences, the bustling city of Durban is awaiting us today. Along the warm Indian Ocean we drive southwards and by noon we reach the cosmopolitan city of Durban. Durban is known for its port, as it has the largest port in Africa. Durban is a popular holiday destination due to its beaches and sub-tropical climate. Here we can visit the spice market and prepare our very own curry mix. We will visit the Ushaka Marine World, which is situated between the harbour and beachfront.  uShakas Marine World is one of the largest aquariums in the world. In 32 pools filled with 17,500 m³ of water multiple species are exhibited, from small seahorses to sharks and dolphins. The entrance area of the aquarium resembles a shipwreck, in which, in addition to some exhibition basins, as well as several restaurants and cafés. A notable restaurant is The Cargo Hold. One wall consists purely out of a pool with sharks. Overnight we are housed in a comfortable guesthouse outside the city. 245 km / B

 

Day 13 + 14: The adventurous Sani Pass in the Drakensberg
After breakfast, we head in the southwesterly direction and drive through the beautiful region of KwaZulu-Natal with its enchanting scenic highlights. After a short trip, we will reach West of Durban through the valley of 1000 Hills. The Valley of 1000 Hills consists out of green hills and traditional buildings. This is home to the Zulu Nation. The magnificent views are unforgettable. The whole area is known for  friendly people, small traditional restaurants and artistic shops. In the afternoon we will arrive in the small village of Underberg, which has a population of 2,700 residents, and is located at the foot of the southern Drakensberg - hence of course the name of the village. We will stay here for the next two nights in a cozy guesthouse with a lovely garden. The following morning we set off on a spectacular trip. Today’s trip takes us up the famous Sani-Pass. The Sani-Pass in the highest pass in South Africa. The pass travels through Lesotho and South Africa. On the South African side of the pass, it winds its way down the craggy slope in numerous bends until it reaches the valley of Mkhomazane.  The South African border post is located at the foot of an eight-kilometer route. Between the border post and the pass, the road may only be used by all-terrain vehicles. At the top of the pass is the highest pub in Africa, where we can enjoy an ice cold beverage after completing the pass. In the early evening we will return to our guesthouse in Underberg. 210 km / B

 

Day 15 + 16: The majestic Drakensburg
Over the next two days, we will visit one of South Africa’s most beautiful nature reserves, the Royal Natal National Park. This nature reserve is located in the Northern area of the uKhahlmaba-Drakensberg complex. We will leave Underberg in the morning, ride along the Tugela river and then enter the park. The park was found in 1916. The Royal Natal National Park gives good insight into the extraordinary beauty of the rugged mountains of the Drakensberg, which is also called the "roof of South Africa". Vertical rock faces, thundering waterfalls, grassy mountain slopes, Protea savannahs and rushing torrents characterise a unique natural landscape. In the protected areas live among other things, the rare Reedbuck, Blesbok, Eland and Bushbuck. Hikes can also be enjoyed here. A special highlight here is the famous Amphitheater, a huge rock wall of about 5 km in length and 500 m in height. At the top of the amphitheater, the Mont-aux-Sources, the famous Orange River begins its long run across South Africa, before finally pouring into the Atlantic Ocean. The Tugela river flows here, down into the second highest waterfall in the world, on its way to the Indian Ocean. The spectacular high mountain landscape of the Drakensberg is a paradise for every nature lover. For dinner, we can either enjoy the restaurant in the park or self cater.  294 km/ SC

 

Day 17: Say Goodbye to the Rainbow Nation
After breakfast, we will make our way back to O.R. Tambo International Airport, where your tour guide sees you off. If wanted, we can organise a trip to the beautiful Cape Town or even Zanzibar! We are happy to help you with extensions for your vacation! 416 km / B

 

Day 18: Return Home
Arrive in home country. 

 

 

Prices and Dates

30.03. – 16.04.2019 From EUR 3.595,00* per person sharing (double room)

19.10. – 05.11.2019 EUR 465,00 Single Supplement

 

28.03. – 14.04.2020 From EUR 3.795,00* per person sharing (double room)

17.10. – 03.11.2020 EUR 495,00 Single Supplement

 

Travel code: Suikerbos

 

 

* The offer is valid for a group size of 6 - 9 participants.

* At the latest 30 days before departure, the achievement of the minimum number of participants must be confirmed (see Terms and Conditions).

* The travel price excludes general increases in transport costs and currency fluctuations.

* Prices are subject to availability of selected accommodation.

* We reserve the right to change the travel program at short notice.

 

Included in tour price:

- Private, local, qualified, English-speaking tour guide from and to Johannesburg International Airport

- 15 nights in selected, beautiful accommodations, ranging from 3-4 star establishments

- Meals as advertised excl. Drinks (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

- Excursion and round trip program with a modern, customary minibus with air conditioning

- all entrances, activities and parking fees as mentioned (except optional program points)

- Drinking water supply during bus rides

- EUR 5.00 per person to support the pre-school kindergarten Penguin Kidz in Betty's Bay in South Africa

 

Excluded from tour price: 

- international flights to and from Johannesburg, South Africa

- optional activities and additional services

- travel Insurance

 

- Drinks, tips and personal expenses