Kingdoms of the East

Blue monkeys
Blue monkeys
The Drakensberg in Eastern South Africa
The Drakensberg in Eastern South Africa
Safari encounters
Safari encounters
The Blyderiver Canyon on the Panorama Route
The Blyderiver Canyon on the Panorama Route

The world-famous Kruger National Park, the friendly Swazis, the tropical Durban and the majestic Drakensberg-A self-drive tour in Eastern South Africa- 

 

On your 18-day tour to the Eastern part of South Africa you will experience a high range of diversity. Immerse yourself in South Africa's natural beauty and follow animal trails in the world-famous Kruger National Park. You will be enchanted by the natural beauty of the Swaziland Kingdom and the subtropical coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, as well as the spice markets in the vibrant city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The adventurous Sani Pass and the majestic Drakensberg Mountains complete this unforgettable journey. This journey takes you through unique natural landscapes and to people of different origins, religions and cultures - this guarantees a true African experience on the Southern tip of Africa. We book specified chosen accommodations in advance, allowing you an easy-going trip. You will receive your personal travel guide with all documents: exact directions, sights, excursion tips, restaurant recommendations and a 24-hour emergency number.

Tour Highlights

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

 

-Selected accommodation in lodges and guesthouses

- The cosmopolitan city of Pretoria

- The scenic wonders of the Panorama Route

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

- The warm Indian Ocean

- 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

Tour Description

Day 1: Departure to Africa

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

 

Day 2: Welcome to South Africa

You will arrive at the Johannesburg international airport, O.R. Tambo. Once you have landed, you can collect your rental car and off you go! From the airport, you will drive to your hotel in the bustling Hatfield district of Pretoria, where you will be staying for the night. After checking in and freshening up you can take a ride through the beautiful capital of South Africa with its impressive sights. On this short ride, amongst other things, you will see beautiful buildings, including the Union building of South Africa. All these buildings are surrounded by beautiful, flowering Jacaranda trees. You 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”

Today you embark on the four-hour drive to Mpumalanga Province. The spectacular descent down to the subtropical “lowveld”  will be a special experience. This is where the Panorama Route starts. You will be staying in a cozy guest house in the small town of Graskop for the next two nights. 372 km / B

 

Day 4: The wonders of the Panorama route

 After breakfast,  you will travel along the Panorama Route, one of South Africa's most scenic routes. Here you can 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, freestanding 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. You 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 + Day 6: Safari in the Balule Nature Reserve at the world famous Kruger National Park

This morning you will make your way to the beautiful Balule Game Reserve on the Western edge of the Kruger Park.For the next three nights, you will be staying in a beautiful lodge offering spectacular views. Early evening, you can have a sundowner before attending your specially invited “Welcome to Balule” dinner. Tonight, you get to fall asleep to the sounds of Africa. The following day, you can 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. You can also choose to explore this beautiful area on an extensive game drive in an open SUV with an experienced English speaking ranger. You may spot lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and multiple breeds of antelope. 142 Km/ B, D, SC

 

 

Day 7: Making your way through the Kruger National Park bush

After breakfast, you can make your 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. You might even spot the “Big 5” in the comfort of your own car! The Park was established in 1898 by president Paul Kruger. We recommend you travel Northeast through the park. That will lead you to the Olifants rest camp, which is located in the middle of the park, offering a view of the Olifants River.  Here you can usually see kudu, elephant, lion and giraffe on their way to take a bath in the river. After a long, relaxing lunch break you can make your way back to your lodge in Balule, situated just outside the park. B,D

 

Day 8, Day 9 + Day 10: In the kingdom of The Swazis 

Today you 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 your way you will pass the traditional kraals, still the typical life form of the Swazis today. The first two nights are spent in a fascinating wildlife sanctuary. The Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary was the first private conservation reserve established in Swaziland in 1950. There are numerous animals to see in the hilly terrain. 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 you will dwell in traditional Swazi beehive houses. You will then spend the night in another, nearby private game reserve, the Mkhaya. Here you 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, you 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, you 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 11 + Day 12: The Hluhluwe iMfolozi and iSimangaliso Park near St. Lucia

You now leave Swaziland and head to the province known as Kwa-Zulu Natal. In the morning, you can visit the small, but amazing Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. The oldest national park in Africa, 280 km North of Durban, covers 960 km² 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. The journey continues in the afternoon to the coast of the Indian Ocean, to the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. The beautiful park was added to the UNESCO 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 you will find the second highest wooded sand dunes in the world. The largest crocodile and hippo in South Africa live in the wetlands. You can also see humpback whales on the sea side. You 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. For the next two nights you will be staying in a cozy guest house, which is centrally located in the tropical town of St. Lucia. 354 km / B

 

Day 13+ Day 14: Durban

After a beautiful experience of African nature, the bustling city of Durban awaits you. Durban is the largest city in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province with 3.4 million residents, making it the third largest city in South Africa. After Breakfast, you will drive South alongside the Indian Ocean. Your arrival time in Durban should be around noon. Durban is known for its port, as it has the largest port in Africa. Durban is a popular holiday destination four South Africans, due to its beaches and sub-tropical climate. Here you can visit the spice market and prepare your very own curry mix. We recommend a visit to the Ushaka Marine World, which is situated between the harbour and beachfront. uShaka 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. A notable restaurant is The Cargo Hold. One wall consists purely out of a pool with sharks. You can also stroll along the mile-long beach promenade, or enjoy the excellent food in one of the many restaurants. For the next two nights you will be staying in a beautiful hotel overlooking the promenade. 245 km / B

 

Day 15 + Day 16: The adventurous Sani Pass in the Drakensberg

After breakfast, you head in a Southwesterly direction and drive through the beautiful region of KwaZulu-Natal with its enchanting scenic highlights. After a short trip, you 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 you 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 the name of the village. You will stay here for the next two nights in a cozy guesthouse with a lovely garden. The following morning you set off on a spectacular trip. Today’s trip takes you 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 kilometre 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 you can enjoy an ice cold beverage after completing the pass. In the early evening you return to your guesthouse in Underberg. 210 km / B

 

Day 17+Day 18: The Majestic Drakensberg 

Over the next two days, you 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. You 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 current’s 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, you can either enjoy the restaurant in the park or self cater.  294 km/ SC

 

Day 19: The Rainbow Nation cannot wait to see you again!

After breakfast, you make your way back to Johannesburg International Airport where you can conveniently drop off your rental car and end your amazing trip. As an additional option, you can extend your tour to the most beautiful city in the world, Cape Town. Or how about a tropical beach holiday in Zanzibar? We are happy to help you. 

 

Day 20: Return home

Arrive in home country

 

Prices and Dates

01.01. - 31.12.2019: from EUR 2.355,00* per person sharing (double room)

01.01. - 31.12.2020: from EUR 2.495,00* per person sharing (double room)

 

Travel code: Sunflax

 

* The offer is valid for a group size of 2 participants (single travellers on request only).

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

* Prices are subject to the availability of selected accommodation.

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

 

Included in the tour price:

- Car rental Group C (VW Polo or similar) From a reputable provider; full insurance coverage (no deductible - the terms and conditions of car rental apply); including all driven kilometres and taxes

- 17 nights in selected, very nice accommodation within the 3-4 star range

- 14 x breakfast, 1 x lunch, 4 x dinner (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)

- Entrance fees to Kruger National Park and Balule Nature Reserve

2 detailed, guided safaris in an open 4x4 vehicle in the Balule Nature Reserve

- Guided day trip to Lesotho via the Sani Pass

- Detailed,English, personal travel guide with exact directions, distances, road map, excursion tips and restaurant recommendations

- African Kombi Tours emergency telephone number - available on-site around the clock

- detailed travel documents, including guide

- EUR 5 per person to help kindergarten Penguin Kidz in Betty's Bay, South Africa

 

Excluded from tour price:

- Long distance flights to and from South Africa

- Rental car security deposit (to be paid on site by credit card deduction), fuel costs, tolls, if applicable administrative fee for additional services on site, accidents or misdemeanours, fee for additional driver and navigation device

- Meals - except as mentioned above, drinks, gratuities, personal expenses

- Parking fees (except Kruger National Park and Balule Nature Reserve - already included in the tour price), nature conservation fees, admissions to museums, optional activities, gratuities and expenses of a personal nature

 

- Travel insurance