The South African Explorer (JHB - CT) is a 13 day / 12 night package tour by African Blue Tours

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Package Tour - The South African Explorer (JHB - CT)

Categories: Big 5 / Sightseeing / Wildlife

Enjoy game viewing in five different areas, stay at three private lodges and see Africa’s “Big Five”. Spot unique wildlife at a World Heritage Site, interact with ostriches, go on an ocean safari, enjoy a sunset oyster cruise on the Knysna estuary and walk through the Tsitsikamma Forest.

At a Glance

Tour duration
13 days / 12 nights
Min / max group size
2 to 9 people per tour
Tour departs from
From R34900 to R44730 per person

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg
Dumela! Welcome to Johannesburg, Egoli, Place of Gold. A cultural melting pot, it is a place of opportunity and the African dream. Collection from OR Tambo International and transfer to your hotel. Today you will embark on a guided Johannesburg city half day tour (excluding lunch). Highlights of this half day tour include:
Constitution Hill, home of South Africa’s architectural marvel, the Constitutional Court and site of Johannesburg’s Old Fort Prison (closed Sundays). We meander through the newly renovated, quaint and quirky suburb of Melville with its vibey shops and trendy restaurants, and stop at Newtown, home of the Johannesburg Market Theatre.
We also stop at Museum Africa, Johannesburg’s premier cultural history museum; reminiscent of a 1950’s shebeen or pub, and its here you’ll really sense the soul of the inner city.
After this tour you enjoy dinner (own account) at your hotel.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza Johannesburg – The Rosebank Hotel or similar - bed and breakfast

Day 2: Johannesburg to Hoedspruit area
Leaving the city behind us we head east, via Dullstroom, to Mother Nature’s playground, the beautiful and inspiring, Mpumalanga Province.
Stop for lunch en route and arrive at Moditlo River Lodge on the banks of the Moditlo River in time for high tea.
Makalali Private Game Reserve is one of the leading pioneers in eco-tourism. Once a cattle farm it has been regenerated to its present splendour as a game reserve and has successfully reintroduced animals such as lion, rhino, elephant and leopard. Let the bushveld enchant you on a guided open vehicle game drive, peruse the “Big Five” and other distinctive species like the giraffe, zebra and the endangered cheetah.
Return to the lodge and savour the luxurious yet rustic settings with pre-dinner drinks (own account) before tucking into a dinner of delicious local fare.

Overnight: Moditlo River Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast including two game viewing activities

Day 3: Hoedspruit area to Sabie
An early start sees you catching the bushveld as it comes alive while on a guided open vehicle game drive. The morning sights and sounds differ vastly from the evening sounds of the night hunters and crawlers, and with a bit of luck, some of the big cats may still about after their night of hunting. Enjoy coffee and rusks in the bush before breakfast back at the lodge.
After breakfast head to one of Mpumalanga’s most magnificent attractions, the Blyde River Canyon, on the Panorama Route. The Blyde River Canyon may be one of the largest green canyons in the world with its lush subtropical vegetation. The Panorama Route offers memorable views and unusual natural phenomenons, like The Three Rondawels, Pinnacle Rock and Bourke's Luck Potholes. Lunch (own account) will be enjoyed along this scenic route.
Venture onto the small town of Sabie in the Drakensberg escarpment for the evening. Check in and freshen up for dinner.

Overnight: Lone Creek River Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 4: Sabie to Mthethomuhsa game reserve
After an early breakfast leave the mountainous town of Sabie and drive, via Hazyview, onto Mpumalanga's flagship attraction, the Kruger National Park.
The Kruger National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This peace park links the Kruger with Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe, and with the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique and is 20 000 square kilometres in size, roughly that of the Netherlands.
A closed vehicle game drive will give you the opportunity to take in the park's vastness and seek out the “Big Five” and other endangered and indigenous animals and plants. Amongst the park's diverse offerings are: 147 mammals, 507 birds, 114 reptiles and 1 982 plants species with several historical and ancient archaeological sites. Lunch in the park (own account).
Exit the park at Malelane Gate and onto your lodge on the Mthethomusha Game Reserve. Enjoy an open vehicle game drive followed by dinner.

Overnight: Bongani Mountain Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast including one game activity

Day 5: Mthethomuhsa game reserve to St. Lucia
After an early breakfast we travel to St Lucia via the Kingdom of Swaziland. (Visa own account).
Swaziland, one of only two kingdoms in Southern Africa, is also the smallest country in Africa. This landlocked kingdom is named after the 19th century King Mswati II and is today still steeped in ancient cultural traditions. Enjoy lunch en route (own account).
Exit Swaziland at the Lavumisa Border post and enter the sub-tropical Elephant Coast, the Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal. An area naturally gifted with towering mountains, the blissfully warm Indian Ocean, lush tropical vegetation and a myriad of different animal species.
In the late afternoon you will arrive at your hotel. You will have an opportunity to freshen up before relaxing with pre-dinner dinks and dinner (both for own account) at the restaurant. Optional night game activity available (own account).

Overnight: Elephant Lake Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast including one game activity

Day 6: St. Lucia to Durban
Wake up charmed in this piece of paradise, ready to discover South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park.
Before breakfast, embark on an open safari vehicle, where you will be guided on a game drive through iSimangaliso (which means ‘miracle and wonder’). The park is the biggest estuarine system in Africa and home to the biggest hippo and crocodile populations in the country.
Observe Hippopotamus, Crocodiles, and an abundance of birds on an eco-friendly boat cruise on the Estuary. Enjoy a revitalising lunch (own account) while taking pleasure in the lovely lake views before departing for the city of Durban. Dinner (own account)

Overnight: Protea Hotel Edward or similar - bed and breakfast

Day 7: Durban to Port Elizabeth
This morning enjoy a breakfast at your beachfront hotel followed by a morning at leisure. Take a walk along the promenade or perhaps catch a ride on one of the colourful Zulu rickshaws to the beachfront market (own account).
You will be collected from your hotel for your transfer to King Shaka International Airport for your flight to Port Elizabeth. (Flight not included).
In Port Elizabeth you will be collected from Port Elizabeth International Airport and transferred to your hotel. Enjoy dinner (own account) at your hotel or restaurant of your choice.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Marine or similar - bed and breakfast

Day 8: Port Elizabeth to Knysna
This morning you will be collected from your hotel by our tourist guide and head south towards Knysna via Storm’s River and the beautiful Tsitsikamma Forest.
Our first stop brings us to Storms River. Take in the dramatic views on the suspension bridge of the Storms River mouth where you can view the river meeting the Indian Ocean.
Enjoy lunch (own account) in the Tsitsikamma Forest area. A short journey further south brings us to the small beautiful town of Knysna.
We arrive and check in before embarking on a sunset Knysna Oyster Cruise (weather permitting). This is an informative and interactive cruise that introduces you and your taste buds to the wild Knysna oyster while enjoying a drink in the natural surrounding beauty.
Optional dinner at a restaurant next to the Estuary (own account).

Overnight: Protea Hotel Knysna Quays or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 9: Knysna to Plettenberg bay
After breakfast we make our way to Plettenberg Bay or Plett as its known by the locals.
From Lookout Beach you will be taken on an Ocean Safari (weather permitting), dedicated to observation and conservation and allows for extensive and memorable whale, dolphin and seal watching.
Following our marine excursion, enjoy a relaxing lunch (own account).
In the afternoon we take a guided tour of the Qolweni Township, school and crèche. Guests are welcome to donate pencils, books and other stationary.
Take the scenic drive back to your Knysna hotel and enjoy some time at leisure. In the early evening we make our way to the Knysna Waterfront for a leisurely dinner (own account) at one of the many restaurants on offer.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Knysna Quays or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 10: Knysna to Oudtshoorn
Depart after breakfast and begin today’s journey to Oudtshoorn, in the Klein Karoo, via Wilderness and the Outeniqua Pass.
Our first scenic stop is in Wilderness. Enjoy the photo opportunities and unspoilt views at Map of Africa lookout point (weather permitting) before we continue our journey via the Outeniqua Pass.
Lunch (own account) on an ostrich farm in the Cango Valley on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn before taking a tour of the farm that will introduce you to this large, flightless and exotic bird. For the daring enjoy an optional ostrich ride.
Following our ostrich farm tour we drive to our lodge where an optional afternoon game drive will be available (own account) before dinner.

Overnight: Surval Boutique Olive Estate or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 11: Oudtshoorn to Cape Town
Today our trip takes us from Oudtshoorn to Cape Town via the Cango Caves and the iconic Route 62.
After breakfast you will have the rare opportunity to experience an elephant interaction and feeding with the African elephants that were raised at Bufflesdrift Game Lodge. Leaving these gentle giants we make our way to the Cango Caves, a 20 million year old natural treasure at the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains.
Departing this world wonder, we travel along the much beloved and picturesque Route 62. With its ever changing landscapes, this route will escort you from tranquil winelands to dramatic mountain vistas and the unique beauty of the semi-arid Klein Karoo. Enjoy traditional Mampoer tasting (included) and lunch (own account) en route.
We continue our scenic journey onto the majestically beautiful Cape Town and arrive at your city hotel. This evening’s dinner (own account) can be enjoyed at the hotel.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 12: Cape Town
Cape Town offers a wide range of activities and attractions from platinum beaches, a World Heritage Site Table Mountain, inviting night life, extensive shopping venues as well as art and cultural events.
After breakfast, join a guided full day Cape Point tour which incorporates the Cape Point and Kirstenbosch Gardens. Lunch (own account) will be had en route.
Freshen up before dinning out in one of the many restaurants in the city (own account and arrangements).

Overnight: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 13: Cape Town
On your final day, enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel before spending the day at leisure.
Your transfer to Cape Town International (included) sees the end of the tour. Here we will say hamba kahle, good bye and go well.

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