South Africa,

A Self-drive Adventure in South Africa & Eswatini

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Tailor-Made Tour
13 Days
From £2695
GEOIP Not Available
Big Cat Safari
Snorkelling and Diving
Self Drive

Tour Introduction

13 Days from £2695
GEOIP Not Available
per adult.

This exceptional self-drive itinerary begins with a fantastic road trip east from Jo’burg along the famous Panorama Route to the lowveld for safari in the extraordinary Kruger National Park. Then wend your way south through the independent Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) back into South Africa to enjoy the beach at Mabibi – highly recommended for world-class scuba diving offshore and at Sodwana Bay. Relax a little before searching for more predators and other wildlife at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve – a park famed for bringing the white rhino back from the brink of extinction. Perfect for families and people who like a certain amount of independence when exploring.

Full Itinerary

Price from £2695
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Price from £2695 per adult, £2197 per child. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive in Johannesburg

Arrive in Johannesburg, collect your hire car and self-drive to Misty Mountain on the Mpumalaga Drakensberg Escarpment. Enjoy the surroundings including beautiful floral communities, far reaching views across dramatic mountain scenery and the abundant bird and butterfly life.

Staying at Misty Mountain Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 2
Hazyview

Today, take a leisurely drive enjoying the Panorama Route; its waterfalls, spectacular views and historic towns. Arrive at Hazyview in the Lowveld ecosystem, next to the Kruger National Park.

Staying at Perry's Bridge Hollow. Includes Breakfast.

Day 3
Kruger National Park

At leisure. Plenty of optional activities are available including game drives in Kruger National Park (self-drive or with open safari vehicle). The world famous Kruger National Park supports an enormous diversity of mammals, birds and reptiles and the close viewing of large mammals is famously reliable.

Staying at Perry's Bridge Hollow. Includes Breakfast.

Day 4
Kruger National Park

At leisure. Optional: safari in Kruger National Park, elephant-back safari, hot air ballooning, horse riding, hiking in Blyde River Canyon area, white water rafting, or other adventure activities.

Staying at Perry's Bridge Hollow. Includes Breakfast.

Day 5
Kruger National Park

At leisure. Optional activities can be arranged.

Staying at Perry's Bridge Hollow. Includes Breakfast.

Day 6
Mkhaya Stone Camp

Today, drive south into Eswatini (Swaziland). Enjoy a game drive in an open safari vehicle to the lodge in Mkhaya Private Game Reserve. Located in an area of pristine lowveld habitat the reserve is home to a wealth of mammal and bird fauna. The reserve is important for its population of black and white rhinos and guides can help to track them down.

Staying at Mkhaya Stone Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Rocktail Bay

Morning open safari vehicle game drives in Mkhaya Private Game Reserve. Then self-drive south into KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to Coastal Cashews farm. Transfer to Rocktail Bay.

Staying at Rocktail Beach Camp. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
Rocktail Bay

At leisure in Rocktail Bay. Enjoy the forest trails and unspoilt beach. Optional snorkelling, scuba diving, guided walks, canoeing on Lake Sibaya, stargazing and visits to a local Zulu community among other activities.

Staying at Rocktail Beach Camp. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 9
Rocktail Bay

At leisure in Rocktail Bay.

Staying at Rocktail Beach Camp. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 10
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Drive to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park. Enjoy an afternoon safari in an open vehicle. The park is the oldest private reserve in Africa and supports an extensive range of mammal fauna including the Big 5 with healthy populations of cats and white rhinos.

Staying at Hluhluwe River Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 11
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Day in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park. One jeep safari is included. Self-drive and walking safaris are also available.

Staying at Hluhluwe River Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 12
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park

Day in Hluhluwe-iMfolozi National Park. One jeep safari is included. Self-drive and walking safaris are also available.

Staying at Hluhluwe River Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 13
Depart Johannesburg

Drive to Durban airport. Drop off your hire vehicle. Catch your international flight home.

Includes In-flight Meals.

Tour Accommodation

South Africa Limpopo

Misty Mountain

Overview

Misty Mountain is a wonderful, relaxed, and family friendly lodge set on a 280 hectare South African Natural Heritage Site situated on the spectacular Long Tom Pass, Panorama Route, Mpumalanga, South Africa. At an altitude of 1700 metres above sea level it is surrounded by mountainous countryside with incredible views across the escarpment and into the lowveld. It is an ideal base from which to explore the Mpumalanga escarpment (God’s Window, The Pinnacle, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon) and world renowned Kruger National Park and adjacent private games reserves.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
27
Facilities

Facilities and services offered include 2 outdoor swimming pools with breathtaking views, a guest lounge with a TV, a games room, an a la carte restaurant, a gift shop, free WiFi, extensive gardens, a modern, air-conditioned conference centre, fitted with state-of-the art amenities and equipment,
Babysitting can be arranged in advance.

Activities can be arranged including bird-watching, walking trails, mountain bike trails, river rafting and cultural experiences.

Local Wildlife

Abundant bird and butterfly life in the surrounding area.

Optional Activities

Canopy Tours

4 x 4 trails

Arts and Crafts

River rafting

Horse riding

Golf

Scenic flights

Abseiling

Hot air ballooning

South Africa Kwazulu-Natal

Hluhluwe River Lodge

Overview

Situated on the western boundary of iSimangaliso National Park, with magnificent views of False Bay, Hluhluwe River Lodge offers great comfort and hospitality for guests wishing to explore the local wildlife attractions. The main lodge area is a lovely relaxed space for guests to enjoy meals, drinks in the Paddle Bar, swimming in the pool or simply relaxing and admiring the extensive views.

Accommodation is in the form of individual chalets, spread around the forest garden surrounding the main lodge. The canopy overheard affords a cool, relaxed atmosphere within the chalets. The two honeymoon suites are large, luxuriously decorated chalets in a secluded forest ravine (for privacy) with large decking areas providing the perfect space to enjoy the beautiful forest surroundings. Also available are two family chalets, designed for two adults and up to two children. These offer a draw-able curtain to separate the sleeping areas but are otherwise open plan. Standard chalets are slightly smaller but offer the same luxurious yet natural atmosphere, providing a comfortable escape in the midst of the native forest.

For groups of up to four adults, the lodge offers a self-catering luxury chalet – Mkhulu’s House – allowing guests to enjoy the luxury accommodation but remain self-sufficient. The house has its own pool, fully equipped kitchen and outside barbecue.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
12
Facilities

Air conditioning, en-suite bathroom (with bath tubs in honeymoon suites), private decking areas, tea and coffee making facilities and toiletries are provided in rooms. The main lodge offers a bar, indoor and outdoor dining areas and a relaxing lounge with stunning views of the property’s 80 hectare conservancy of sand forest, and the nearby False Bay of Lake St Lucia. Free WiFi is available in the main lodge and there is a television in the bar if needed.

Local Wildlife

Hippos and crocodiles are common in Lake St Lucia, as well as many water birds, and vervet monkeys are prolific in the area and often seen around the resort itself. Walks through the surrounding forest can provide great bird watching opportunities, and the 2km ‘Red Duiker Trail’ a particularly exciting chance to encounter the red duiker, suni, nyala and impala. Hluhluwe iMfolozi park is well populated by the big five, and is also heralded as having an extraordinarily high concentration of rhinoceros. Expect to see many safari delights on a drive through this park. Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Kudu and Reedbuck are commonly found in the Eastern Shores Game Reserve (Cape Vidal beach is within this reserve and therefore is a great place to see these).

Optional Activities

Whilst the lodge itself is located in a beautiful and fascinating environment, it is also a perfect base from which to visit the local wildlife and cultural attractions. Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park is a 30-minute drive away, and reaching Mkuze Game Reserve takes only an hour. Guests can either enjoy guided drives in a safari jeep, or self-driven tours in their own vehicles. Sodwana Bay and Cape Vidal beaches are also just an hour’s drive, and guests can indulge in scuba diving, swimming, snorkelling and off-shore fishing trips. The lodge is happy to arrange hippo and crocodile boat tours in the St Lucia estuary for guests wishing to see these fascinating creatures up close. Taking a trip to the local DuMaZulu cultural village gives guests interesting insight into the traditional lives of Zulu people, and includes dance shows, craft demonstrations and tours of the village and homesteads. Whilst this is both educational and enjoyable, be prepared that cultural villages are aimed at tourists and therefore may not offer an entirely authentic experience. To see the true everyday life of the locals, visit the Hluhluwe main street where you will find interesting traditional food, crafts and other shops.

South Africa Limpopo

Perry’s Bridge Hollow

Overview

Perry’s Bridge Hollow is a comfortable boutique hotel on the outskirts of Hazyview town just 15-minutes’ drive from the world-renowned Kruger National Park and scenic Panorama Route. The hotel sits amidst lush gardens of native plants and trees such as baobab, fig and acacia in the centre of Perry’s Bridge Trading Post within the Kruger Lowveld.

The main building is a traditional colonial style augmented by modern furnishings and offers 31 comfortable standard rooms and three family rooms. The rooms have a homely feel and offer double beds with mosquito nets and private bathrooms with both indoor and outdoor showers available and have a patio area with seating overlooking the gardens. The rooms also include air-conditioning, satellite TV, safety deposit box, tea and coffee facilities and minibar. There is also free WiFi available throughout the property.

The Kuka Restaurant at the hotel provides hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners, mostly of African cuisine, and hot drinks and cocktails are also available. In the centre of the gardens is a swimming pool with sun loungers.

The Trading Post has a selection of shops and attractions perfect for families such as the Skyways Trail tree top challenge.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
34
Facilities

Private bathrooms, indoor and outdoor shower, restaurant, bar, lounge, swimming pool, air conditioning, satellite TV, safety deposit box, tea and coffee facilities, mini-bar, laundry service and free Wi-Fi.

Local Wildlife

Kruger National Park is home to some of the greatest wildlife concentrations on earth. The park is home to the big five and a huge diversity of other mammals, birds and reptiles. Common sightings include elephant, white rhino, lion, spotted hyena, buffalo, commoner antelope, giraffe and hippopotamus. While African wild dog, cheetah, leopard, honey badger, brown hyena, genets, mongooses, bushbabies and black rhino are also present. Birdlife includes many birds of prey such as martial and Bateleur eagle, vultures, owls, yellow-billed and ground hornbills, barbets, sunbirds, oxpeckers and lilac breasted rollers.

Optional Activities

Game drives and bush walks in Kruger National Park. Adventure activities in the area include rock climbing, abseiling, white water rafting, balloon rides, helicopter rides and elephant and horse riding treks.

South Africa Kwazulu-Natal

Rocktail Beach Camp

Overview

Rocktail Beach Lodge is situated on the secluded, unspoiled northern reaches of the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site on the KwaZulu-Natal coastline close to Mozambique. Rocktail is set back from the beach, which is accessed via an intriguing 20-minute walk through the protected dune forest. The elevated lodge has warm and friendly living spaces, with light woods, pastel colours and wooden chandeliers suspended from a high ceiling which welcomes in the cool sea breeze. The dining, bar and lounge area are enveloped by a wrap-around verandah which extends to a viewing deck overlooking the Indian Ocean. Nourishing home-cooked style meals are imaginatively prepared (special dietary requirements are well noted) and served indoors or on the deck. There is a large pool, a curio shop and children’s playroom, complete with board games and other fun activities for families.

The 17 rooms and suites are set on elevated wooden platforms with roll up canvas walls and strong wooden supports. They have a rustic, yet neat ambiance with raw wood furnishings, overhead fans and wide balconies overlooking the forest to the sea. The en-suite bathrooms have large showers and the canvas walls fold away to create an open feel. Seven of the rooms are family suites where two bedrooms share a bathroom.

Guests have access to almost 40km of uncrowded beach fringing the Maputaland Marine Reserve with extraordinary diving and snorkelling. Guests can also spend time at the nearby Lake Sibaya, a strictly controlled environment, to see the awe-inspiring turtle research. Between November and January, leatherback and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs which can be seen be on sensitively operated walks and drives. The dune forest around the camp is favoured by small spotted genet, thick-tailed bushbaby, red forest duiker and common reedbuck to name a few.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
17
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, lounge, bar, swimming pool, curio shop, dive shop, children’s play area, verandah, wine cellar, laundry service, safety deposit box, fans and mosquito coil.

Local Wildlife

Lake Sibaya has one of the largest concentrations of hippos in South Africa. The forests along the coast are home to thick-tailed bushbabies, red forest duiker and the elusive samango monkey and small-spotted genets are a common sighting around the camp at night.

Between November and January female leatherback and loggerhead turtles come ashore to lay their eggs which can be seen be on special night drives with researchers. The seas offshore harbour a rich coral reef ecosystem and highlights include honeycomb moral eels, butterflyfish, triggerfish, rockmover wrasse, massive whale shark ragged-tooth shark, dolphins and of leatherback, loggerhead and hawksbill turtles.

Optional Activities

Snorkelling, diving, turtle watching, bird watching, nature walks and quad biking excursions.

South Africa

Mkhaya Stone Camp

Overview

Situated within the self-financing Mkhaya Game Reserve in Eswatini, Mkhaya Stone Camp is located along the banks of a dry riverbed with a lush and shady canopy of tall fig, leadwood, sausage and knobthorn trees, giving it a year-round subtropical appearance.

The name ‘stone camp’ refers to the dolerite rocks used in the construction of the semi-open thatch cottages. All twelve cottages are spread out individually in the riverine forest overlooking the dry riverbed and provide plenty of privacy due to the dense vegetation. The cottages are linked by wide pathways surfaced with river sand and lit at night by paraffin lanterns, as there is no electricity in the remote camp.

The internal structure of the cottages, although veiled for privacy, is open to the bush, which gives visitors a unique and exciting experience. Each cottage has a comfortable double bed, coffee table, bedside tables and mosquito nets. An attractive open-sided private bathroom with bathtub is also attached.

The central area has a thatched open-sided dining room and communal fire pit outside with seating for the customary sundowners. The tasty meals include traditional meats and local vegetables.

Activities include game drives and bush walks, the latter a thrilling way to experience the wildlife, and in particular the rhinos. There is also a hide close to the camp for clandestine sightings of a range of mammals and birds.

Swimming Pool
No
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
12
Facilities

Private bathrooms, restaurant, bar, lounge, paraffin lamps, mosquito nets,

Local Wildlife

The Mkhaya Game Reserve is home to 4 of the Big Five with only the lion missing. The reserve is a stronghold for both black and white rhino and has a healthy population of elephant. Other common plains game includes giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, impala, nyala, tsessebe, buffalo and hippopotamus. The watercourses are the domain of some very large Nile crocodiles, and there is a prolific bird life to be seen including the narina trogon, pink-throated twinspot and beautiful purple crested lourie.

Optional Activities

Game drives and bush walks.

Route Map

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Mkhaya Stone Camp: -26.620180, 31.753740
Rocktail Beach Camp: -27.262837, 32.768977
Perry’s Bridge Hollow: -25.036355, 31.124152
Hluhluwe River Lodge: -28.027904, 32.349713
Misty Mountain: -24.909211, 30.707022

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Fly from London to Johannesburg

Best Visited:

January to January

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Alan Godwin

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965

We thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Leopard View was fantastic. The guide did his upmost for us and the rest of the game viewing was great. We saw everything that we wanted to see.

Mr RA - Basingstoke