KRUGER & ZULULAND (2011)
“BUSHVELD MEANDER” Code: JJa13
PRICE 2011 : € 1195. pp + local payment of ZAR 1 200 pps + Single supp.€ 345 pp
Rates (valid 1 Jan 2011 Dec 2011)
Day 1 – 2 MPUMALANGA [chalets Bx1 Lx2 Dx2]
(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
After the tour briefing, we depart Johannesburg at 06:30am and head east towards Mpumalanga. During the afternoon we visit the gold mining town of Pilgrims Rest, explore Bourkes Luck Potholes and the viewpoint over God’s Window. We then make our way to our chalets near the escarpment. We spend the next day exploring the Blyde River canyon on foot. A full day walking in the canyon gets us closer to Africa.
Day 3 – 4 KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (tented lodge or chalets BLD)
Big Game Safari. We spend the next 2 days on game drives in search of the elusive leopard, the majestic lion and the mighty elephant. Exciting game viewing on morning and afternoon game drives with the midday spent out of the heat resting in the camp. Our professional guides will impart their extensive knowledge of ecology, fauna and flora during our time in the bush. Night game drives with spotlights are available (own expense).
Day 5 – 6 KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND (cabins BLD)
We enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and travel through a lush fruit farming area before heading into the mountains of Swaziland. We spend 2 nights in Malalotja Nature Reserve with a full day to get out and walk through this seldom explored mountainous reserve. The Swazi people have a rich cultural heritage and we will visit the craft and medicine markets as we pass through the capital (on day 7), Mbabane.
Day 7, 8, 9 ST. LUCIA (cabins BLD)
We cross back into South Africa and head into the Zululand heartland. We visit a traditional village to learn more about the proud Zulu culture, and get a chance to meet the local people. We base ourselves on the shores of Lake St Lucia – a Unesco world heritage site. The park's uniqueness lies in its remarkable combination of estuarine lakes, subtropical coastline, forests and wildlife. We will spend a day in the Hluhluwe game reserve where rhino conservation has been a priority. We then have another full day free to explore the St. Lucia estuary and the beaches, as we enjoy a boat cruise or kayak excursion (own expense).
Day 10 BATTLEFIELDS (lodge BL-)
We leave the coastline and make our way through the scenic hills and valleys of Zululand to the small town of Dundee. Here the battles were fought between the Zulus, British and the Boer troops - war cries still resound in the hills. We spend time at Rourkes Drift and Islandwana battlefields with an informative visit to the Tulana museum.
Day 11 – 12 DRAKENSBERG (tented lodge or chalets BLD)
Witness the grandeur of the Drakensberg or Ukhahlamba “Barrier of Spears” Mountains. We overnight at the base of the “berg” and spend a day walking the trails or taking a dip in the clear streams. The crisp mountain air is refreshing and invigorating and our lodge is a fantastic place to relax at the end of our tour.
Day 13 JOHANNESBURG / TOUR ENDS ( - BL-)
Morning free to take a last walk in the mountains before we make our way back to Johannesburg. This tour can be combined with the Garden Route Adventure (GRa10 pages 22-23) for a complete tour of South Africa. Tour ends at +/-18:00pm.
DETAILED TOUR INFO
In a nutshell
· A comprehensive introduction to the northern part of South Africa – game viewing and scenery!
· Exciting trip with culture, wildlife, adventure, walking, mountains and beaches.
· Kruger NP, Swaziland, Zululand and Drakensberg.
Why travellers like this trip
1. Variety - a tour that covers so much of the African experience, from the game reserves to the cultural interaction and scenic beauty of northern South Africa.
2. National Parks and wildlife areas - We visit national parks en route ranging from the awesome Big 5 of Kruger NP to the rhino reserves of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
3. Culture and history - South Africa has a unique and interesting cultural diversity, which we experience through contact with local people as often as possible. Particularly the Zulu and Swazi peoples.
4. Scenery - breath-taking scenery along the entire route!
5. Small group - travelling in groups of up to 12 people creates a friendly, holiday atmosphere.
6. Walking - every opportunity to get out and walk in the areas such as Mpumalanga, Malolotja Mountains, Mkuzi GR, Drakensberg (Dragon mountains). Walks are easy to moderate exertion and optional. Duration from 1 - 6 hours.
· Mpumalanga, Graskop Mogodi Lodge - 2 twin share bedrooms in each chalet with 1 bathroom shared between 2 bedrooms. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
· Kruger, National Park chalets - twin share chalet (or lodge tent) with en suite facilities. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
· Swaziland, Malolotja Nature Reserve - mountain cabins, 2 bedrooms per cabin which are twin share with 1 bathroom and 1 washroom shared between 2 rooms.
· St Lucia, Flamingo Resort - 2 twin share bedrooms in each chalet with 1 bathroom shared between 2 bedrooms. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
· Battlefields, Battlefields Country Lodge - twin share chalet (or lodge tent) with en suite facilities. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
· Drakensberg, Sungubala / Tendele chalets – bedrooms are twin sharing with shared ablutions. (Smaller chalets may also be used subject to availability, these are twin share en suite).
· On foot - easy to moderate walks throughout the tour.
· Vehicle - for longer distance travel, place to place, we use custom-built S Safari trucks with 12 forward facing seats. Comfortable touring and good for game viewing. Large, sliding windows and viewing hatches give everyone a good view; or Toyota Hiace minibuses with 10 forward facing seats (roof rack and trailer for equipment and baggage); or Mercedes Sprinter minibuses with 16 forward facing seats (and trailer for equipment and baggage). There are a couple of long days of travelling but the vehicles have a comfortable cruising speed. The emphasis of the trip is “getting out and doing things”.
· An essential part of your Safari is participation – from packing away in the morning to helping with cleaning up – it’s all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly. Your tour leaders will do all the meal preparation but we do ask the clients to help with the washing up. Team spirit is part of the fun!
· Craft shopping for carvings, candles, batiks, wirework, paintings and clothing, in Swaziland and Zululand is some of the best in Southern Africa.
· We pride ourselves on giving very good healthy meals to our clients and will provide three meals per day, except where shown in the itinerary, where we try out local restaurants.
· The tour leaders do the shopping and meal planning for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. A rough idea of what these will consist of is: Breakfast - cereals or coffee and toast or the occasional fried breakfast, Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads on bread or rolls, Dinner - braais (local barbecue), potjies (stews), stir fries etc. We use regular plates, cups and cutlery. All cooking and eating utensils will also be provided.
· We do cater for special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.)
· We will supply fruit squash served with breakfast and tea or coffee served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be for your own expense. We will not supply bottled drinking water although it is available at many shops on tour.
· Anyone who is generally active and in good health should enjoy this trip. A combination of basic accommodation makes for a comfortable tour.
· Full itinerary with a couple of long driving days but also plenty of outdoors activity.
· Everyone is asked to help out with the running of camp on tour. In other words if everyone spends a little time setting up camp, preparing meals and cleaning up then the tour will run smoothly and everyone will have a good time. Participation is the name of the game.
Things you should know
· Includes park entrances
· You will need a valid passport and visas for entry into Swaziland and re-entering South Africa. Consult the tour dossier for a more detailed list of visa requirements and consult with your travel agent
· Luggage, please pack to a limit of 12kgs in a soft sports tog bag. Bring a daypack for walks.
· We recommend that you bring South African Rand for personal expenses on this trip. Travellers cheques can be changed in most large towns. Major credit cards can also be used for optional activities and restaurant bills. See the tour dossier for approximate costs of drinks and meals etc.
Common questions about this trip
1. What do I need to bring? A warm sleeping bag, comfortable clothes for warm days and cool evenings, walking shoes, a raincoat, hat and sunglasses, swimsuit, a small pair of binoculars also comes in very handy and most importantly - a sense of adventure!
2. Is it safe? South Africa, like any many countries, has it’s problems but your guide knows the country intimately and will endeavour to show you the best parts while looking after you. Be aware, but not paranoid, and you will have a great trip!
3. Do I need malaria tablets? Mpumalanga, Swaziland and Zululand is a limited risk malaria area but prophylactics are recommended.
4. Can I buy camera film? Film and other accessories will be available several times on tour. A camera with a zoom lens from wide angle to telephoto, 35-200mm, is advisable to capture both scenic and wildlife shots.