• African Blue Tours
  • Contact David Smith
    Telephone +27 (0)21 438-1900
    Mobile +27 (0)82 321-6175
  • Address
    P.O. Box 32392, Camps Bay, 8040
    Cape Town, South Africa

13 day South African Explorer (Jhb-CT)

At a Glance

  • Tour duration: 13 days / 12 nights
  • Group size: 2 to 26 people per tour
  • Tour departs from: Johannesburg
  • Price: From R44900 to R59900 per person

Tour Highlights

  • Big 5 game viewing
  • Kruger National Park
  • Panorama Route
  • iSimangaliso Wetlands
  • Ocean Safari
  • Durban
  • Knysna
  • Oudtshoorn
  • Cape Town - Cape Peninsula tour

Suitable for those interested in Adventure, Big 5, Wildlife


  1. DAY 1: Johannesburg

    The Explorer is just what it sounds. Explore every corner of this incredible country, starting in Johannesburg. The economic centre of the country and its beating heart. Your transfer from O.R. Tambo International Airport is included in this package.
    Today you will embark on a guided afternoon city tour of Johannesburg (included in the package, but excludes 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’ll meander through the up-market 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.

    Tonight you enjoy dinner (own account) at your hotel.

    OVERNIGHT: Protea Hotel Balalaika or similar – bed and breakfast

  2. 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 (own account) en-route and arrive at Moditlo River Lodge set within the Blue Canyon Conservancy. .
    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

  3. DAY 3: Hoedspruit to Sabie

    An early start sees you catching the bushveld as it comes alive while on a guided open vehicle game drive. many people don’t know this, but many of the iconic African predators are essentially nocturnal, their most exciting habits emerging when the sun makes its way towards the horizon. This is a chance to see the returning of these predators and prey returning to their resting spots, and is often when they are at their most active after a 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

  4. DAY 4: Sabie to Mthethomusha Game Reserve

    After an early breakfast leave the mountainous town of Sabie and drive, via Hazyview, onto Mpumalanga’s and South Africa’s main attraction, the Kruger National Park. This is the most talked about part of the Explorer tour by far!
    The Kruger National Park forms part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park. This 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, the size of some European countries!

    When many people think of South Africa and indeed Africa in general, their image is of a deep orange sunset over the African savannah. This is your chance to see this iconic backdrop first hand.

    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

  5. DAY 5: Mthethomusha 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. It’s a proud kingdom, full of traditional pastimes and lasting culture. 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 drinks 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

  6. DAY 6: St Lucia to Durban

    Refreshed and ready to go, discover South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s third largest protected area.
    This area was home to the Tsonga people and their fishing culture for 1000 years before being claimed by the British in 1822 and becoming a reserve in 1895. 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. In 2013 after 44 years, lions were successfully re-introduced to create an even more exciting natural environment to see. 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

  7. DAY 7: Durban (flight own account) to Port Elizabeth

    This morning enjoy a breakfast at your beach front hotel followed by a morning to relax and catch your breath. Take a walk along the promenade or perhaps catch a ride on one of the colourful Zulu rickshaws to the beach front 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

  8. 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

  9. DAY 9: Knysna to Plettenberg (and back to Knysna)

    After breakfast we make our way to Plettenberg Bay. 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. You can’t appreciate how fast or playful these creatures are until you experience it for yourself.
    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

  10. DAY 10: Knysna to Outdshoorn

    The tour departs for Oudtshoorn, in the Klein Karoo, via Wilderness and the Outeniqua Pass.

    The first scenic stop is in Wilderness. Guests enjoy the photo opportunities and sweeping views from the ‘Map of Africa’ lookout point (weather permitting) before continuing on to Oudtshoorn via the Outeniqua Pass.

    Enjoy lunch (own account) on an ostrich farm in the Cango Valley, on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn, before taking an informative tour of the farm.
    Guests are exposed to the mechanics of the feather industry and have the opportunity to ride an ostrich.

    Guests spend the rest of the afternoon at leisure. A traditional dinner is served at the lodge.

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

  11. DAY 11: Outdshoorn to Cape Town

    The tour departs for Cape Town, via the Cango Caves, on the iconic Route 62.
    After breakfast, guests enjoy an olive farm tour. A tasting, paired with Protea Rose or juice, is offered in the orchard. The tour continues on to the Cango Caves. This 20 million-year-old cave system, an international treasure located in the foothills of the Swartberg Mountains, is 4 kilometers in length and includes an extensive system of tunnels and chambers.

    Departing the Cango Caves, the tour traces Route 62, the region’s iconic freeway. Traversing a varied topography, dramatic mountain vistas, the unique splendour of the semi-arid Klein Karoo and tranquil Winelands, Route 62’s claim as South Africa’s own ‘Mother Road’ is difficult to argue.

    Enjoy a traditional Witblits tasting (own account) and the sweeping views of the Tradouw Valley. Lunch is enjoyed en-route (own account). This leg of the tour ends, late afternoon, at a Cape Town hotel. Guests enjoy dinner at the hotel or a city restaurant (own account).

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

  12. DAY 12: Cape Town

    The last stop of the Explorer, Cape Town offers a World Heritage Site Table Mountain, inviting night life, extensive shopping venues as well as art and cultural events. Go paragliding off Lion’s Head mountain or sky diving over this stunning city.
    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

  13. 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.



Pax.: 2 – 8 guests per vehicle (except on day 1 and day 12 : 2 – 40 guests per vehicle)
Departure: Sundays by arrangement from O.R Tambo International Airport
Languages: Bilingual – English & German (except day 1 English only) Other language tour guides available on request if booked on a private basis.
Private Tour: Itinerary available on a private basis departing on a Sunday
Accommodation:3 and 4 star Hotels and Private Game Lodges

Excluded :
⇒ Travel insurance; Flights; airport transfers; Porterage; Gratuities; Visa fees; 13 Lunch and 8 Dinners
Note : Optional excursion for a night game excursion in St Lucia iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Past Clients Said

1 Review from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

Our first time to South Africa but seriously NOT our last! What a wonderful place!! Rufus is the best guide of the whole Kruger National Park. Yesterday we saw the Big 5 before breakfast and we were very lucky, we also saw the extra 7! What a great experience, the camp is wonderful. Everybody makes us feel like home. Thanks guys, see you next time. Thomas & Kirsten Weckenann - Germany

November 2011

Thomas & Kirsten Weckenann (Germany)

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