Itinerary – SA Explorer tour – 21 Days

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPLORER- AESEXP21

(21 Days / 20 Nights)
LAND ONLY
Day 1: Johannesburg / Pilanesberg National Park
Guests arrive at OR Tambo International airport.  An English speaking guide will meet you at your arrival terminal with a sign displaying your names. Depart to Pilanesberg National Park on a three hours drive with a stopover at one of our bigger souvenir markets on the way.  Settle in at your lodge after arrival at Pilanesberg.  Pilanesberg is a natural game reserve which contains the famous Big Five animals namely, Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Lion and Leopard as well as many other animals like Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah and an abundant bird life. Later the afternoon an open safari vehicle with a game ranger as your guide and driver will take you on a 2-3 hour game viewing tour into the park.
Kwa-Maritane D/B/B and open safari game drive.

Day 2: Pilanesberg National Park / Sun City
After breakfast we take a drive to Sun City to see the spectacular “Las Vegas” of South Africa. After strolling around the gardens and swimming pool areas, a lunch can be done at one of the restaurants. After lunch we travel travel back to the lodge where you have time for your own leisure. Later the afternoon an open safari vehicle with a game ranger as your guide and driver will take you on a 2-3 hour game viewing tour into the park.
Kwa-Maritane D/B/B and open safari game drive).

Day 3: Pilanesberg National Park / Cape Town
After breakfast we depart to OR Tambo International airport for our domestic flight to Cape Town the mother city of South Africa. If weather permits we take the spectacular Cableway up Table Mountain for a panoramic view over the city and Robben Island. Your comfortable hotel will be a mere 10 minutes away from the city.
City Lodge Pinelands B/B

Day 4: Cape Town
Today we drive along the Cape Town coast and Peninsula with visits to Houtbay where a boat trip can be done to Seal Island to view the seal colony, visit the Penguin colony at the Boulders Beach, Cape Point where two oceans Atlantic- and Indian-, meet. If time allows a visit to the Victor & Albert Waterfront can be visited for a few hours of leisure and shopping.
City Lodge Pinelands B/B

Day 5: Cape Town
After breakfast we travel to the historic Cape Dutch town of Stellenbosch which was found in 1688.  A famous Wine Farm will be visited for wine tasting and purchasing of famous South African wines. On return from the wine farm a restaurant with fabulous seafood will be visited.
City Lodge Pinelands B/B

Day 6: Cape Town
This day is free. You can visit the V&A Waterfront, take a tour with the Hop on Hop off bus to various places in Cape Town or even visit Robben Island. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is also an option to visit.
City Lodge Pinelands B/B

Day 7: Cape Town / Oudtshoorn
After breakfast we depart to the scenic route R 62 which is the fruit and wheat route of the Western Cape Province. Later the day we reach the Ostrich town of South Africa namely Oudtshoorn where we will visit the Cango Caves. Overnight will be in Oudtshoorn town with its spectacular Ostrich Palaces.
Protea hotel Riempie Estate Oudtshoorn D/B/B

Day 8: Oudtshoorn / Knysna
After breakfast we visit a famous ostrich farm where an interesting tour will also give you the opportunity to ride an Ostrich. After the ostrich excursion, we depart to Knysna over the Outeniqua Mountains along the Garden Route for a two nights stay.
Premier Hotel Knysna B/B

Day 9: Knysna
After breakfast we take a short tour of Knysna and the Knysna Heads where a lunch is included in the tour. The rest of the day will be free where you can do shopping or just relax. Knysna is a pleasant holiday town and very famous for its souvenir flea-market and restaurants.
Premier Hotel Knysna B/B

Day 10: Knysna / Port Elizabeth
After breakfast we depart to Port Elizabeth with a stopover at the highest Bungee jump bridge in the world namely Bloukrans bridge. We will stop over at the famous surfing town of Jeffries Bay for lunch before we arrive at Port Elizabeth at our hotel overlooking the beach.
City Lodge Port Elizabeth B/B

Day 11: Port Elizabeth / East London
This morning we depart to Addo Elephant Park where the most southern and largest Elephants are to be found in Africa. After lunch we depart to East London where we arrive late afternoon at our hotel near the beach.
Holiday Inn East London B/B

Day 12: East London / Kokstad
An early departure on a scenic drive through the old Transkei homeland (birth-land of Nelson Mandela). We visit the Mandela Museum (Qunu) en route through rolling countryside to Ingeli Forest Lodge where we will overnight.
Ingeli Forest Lodge Kokstad D/B/B

Day 13:  Kokstad / Eshowe
After breakfast we take a scenic road to the coastline of Natal and then in a northerly direction via the city of Durban. Lunch will be somewhere en route to Eshowe. After lunch we continue the drive to Shakaland where we will overnight. The village was build years ago for the film Shaka Zulu and today is a big tourist attraction. The accommodation is a beehive hut with all necessary facilities in. Upon arrival you will enjoy the traditions of the Zulu nation by joining on a cultural tour with them. That evening spectacular Zulu traditional dances will be performed, observe traditional Zulu culture, including their iconic beadwork and spear-making. Watch Zulu dancers perform the Zulu War Dance, meet a real isangoma (witch doctor), sample traditional Zulu beer and enjoy a delicious lunchtime feast.
Protea Hotel Shakaland Eshowe D/B/B

Day 14: Hluhluwe
After breakfast we say goodbye to our Zulu friends and make our way towards the St Lucia (Isimangaliso wetland park) via Richards Bay. Travelling through the green sugarcane crops of Zululand we land up at St Lucia town a Unesco World Heritage town with one of the largest natural lakes in the world. Here we will take a boat trip up the lake with a very knowledgeable guide showing us some of the largest crocodiles in Africa, hippos and an abundant bird life on this trip. There is bar facilities on board the boat!  After three hours on the boat we have lunch at a local restaurant and depart to the town of Hluhluwe where we will stay for two nights at a private lodge in the bush. The property features several species of antelope and smaller game.
Bonamanzi Lodge Hluhluwe D/B/B

Day 15: Hluhluwe
An early game drive on an open safari vehicle in Hluhluwe Game Reserve famous for its large population of White- and Black Rhinos. The park also has the Big Five inclusive of many other African animals. After the game viewing we return to our lodge for lunch. Afternoon at leisure.
Bonamanzi Lodge Hluhluwe D/B/B

Day 16: Hluhluwe / Mbabane
After breakfast we continue our drive through Zululand. We travel via the towns of Pongola and Piet Retief before crossing the border to enter the Kingdom of Swaziland  at the Sicunusa (Houtkop) border post. Lunch will be on our way to the lodge. Overnight at Mantenga Lodge.
Mantenga Lodge Ezulwini B/B

Day 17: Mbabane Swaziland / Hazyview
After breakfast we make our way through the South African border gate at Jeppes Reef. We enter the Kruger National Park through the Malelane gate. Lunch will be at Skukuza camp. After lunch we depart to our accommodation in the Hazyview area. The overnight resort is on the banks of the Sabie River with its own resident Hippo population.
Sanbonani Resort Hazyview D/B/B

Day 18: Hazyview / Panorama
After breakfast we commence on a tour of the beautiful Panorama Route situated on the escarpment of the mighty Drankensberg mountain range. We visit Pilgrims Rest, an old gold mining town with its interesting shops, restaurants and flea-markets. We continue the tour with visits to Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Gods Window, a spectacular panorama view over the lowveld of Mpumalanga Province.  Lunch at the forestry town of Sabie. After lunch we return to our lodge at mid-afternoon.
Sanbonani Resort Hazyview D/B/B

Day 19: Hazyview / Kruger National Park
Early morning departure to Kruger National Park. Kruger National Park are considered the best managed, largest (about 20,000 sq km – the size of Wales) and one of the oldest parks in the world. It has at least 150 mammal -, 500 bird – 115 reptile – and 50 fish species. Breakfast at the first camp, Skukuza, after we entered the park. After breakfast we continue our game drive looking for the Big Five and many other African animals. Lunch will be at another camp before we depart to our lodge mid-afternoon.
Sanbonani Resort Hazyview D/B/B

Day 20: Hazyview / Centurion Pretoria
After breakfast we drive to Lydenburg via the Long Tom Pass where most of the Anglo/Boer wars were fought during 1899-1902. Passing the highest situated town ( 2,077 meters above sea-level at the railway station) in South Africa namely Dullstroom with fabulous souvenir shops and restaurants. We continue to Pretoria Centurion for our overnight stay.
Centurion Lake Hotel Pretoria B/B

Day 21: Centurion / Australia or wherever you planned to fly to next.
After breakfast and later the morning, the luggage will travel with us, a tour to Soweto and Apartheid museum will be arranged at an additional cost and mid-afternoon you will be transferred to OR Tambo International airport flight to your destination. END OF TOUR