18 Day South Africa Eco Explorer
DAY 1: JHB – BUSH LODGE
Departing from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30, we set off on the scenic road to Mpumalanga. We enjoy a brunch stop in the historic town of Dullstroom before we wind our way down the Drakensberg escarpment and into the untamed Lowveld. The road is filled with scenic beauty, from mountain passes to the Acacia trees scattered across the African bushveld.
We spend the next two nights at our well-appointed GREENFIRE BUSH LODGE, which is situated in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park; an area where animals roam naturally and unrestricted. Being on a privately owned reserve allows us the freedom to explore the wilderness in search of a variety of animals both on foot and in open game drive vehicles.
The tented lodge blends into the bush and offers comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding wilderness. Dinner tonight is cooked in the traditional manner over an open fire.
Meals: D (Lunch own expense)
– Scenic Drive down to the Lowveld Region
– Private Kruger National Park Accommodation
– Private Concession
DAY 2: Bush Lodge
As is custom in the bush, we start the day with a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a guided game walk within this Big 5 area. Although we will walk for some three hours, the purpose is not to cover distance but rather to search for animals and to focus on the smaller things one misses while out driving around in the bush. A Drifters guide and/or tracker lead all walks. Before the heat of the day, we return to the lodge for a sumptuous brunch, after which it’s time to relax around the lodge and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness.
In the afternoon, we conduct an open vehicle game drive which develops into an extensive night drive, all the time searching for animals. Being in the bush at night provides us with the opportunity of viewing nocturnal animals. This evening we enjoy a hearty bush “braai” cooked on an open fire. Fall asleep to the sounds of the wild.
Meals: Brunch Dinner
– Exclusive Private Bush Lodge
– Morning guided walk in Big 5 area
– Afternoon Game drive / Night drive
DAY 3: Panorama Route – Hazyview
Rising with the African sun, we enjoy a hearty breakfast before setting off to explore the highlights of the Panorama Route. Our first stop will be to view the impressive Blyde River Canyon, then on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Gods Window, and the cozy little town of Graskop where we enjoy an own expense lunch. The Panorama Route offers guests some of the best natural wonders in the area and we will spend as much time as possible at each of the highlights.
This afternoon we descend the Kowyns Pass and after a full day, we make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, a log cabin built spectacularly on stilts in the indigenous forest on the banks of the Sabie River. We will spend two nights here.
Meals: B D (Lunch own expense)
– Panorama Route
– God’s Window
– Bourke’s Luck Potholes
– 3 Rondavels
– Kowyns Pass
DAY 4: Kruger National Park
An early start, we depart at sunrise and travel the short distance to enter a different area of the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing. Slowly traversing in search of the many animals that inhabit this area, we enjoy the high vantage point and comfort of our well-equipped vehicle. Our guide will take time to explain the behaviour of the animals we see in this fascinating environment.
Although most of the day will be spent game viewing, we will stop at various designated sites to stretch our legs, to enjoy brunch, and to wander around one of the park’s rest camps. Late this afternoon we exit the park and return to the comfort of our GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW.
Meals: Brunch Dinner
– Southern section of Kruger National Park
– Full Day Game Drive
DAY 5: SWAZILAND
We depart in the morning and enjoy a scenic drive south before we leave South Africa and cross the border into the Kingdom of the Swazi. A small landlocked country, Swaziland is rich in culture and natural beauty. Our journey today takes us into an area of spectacular scenery and past numerous traditional homesteads surrounded by vast fields of sugarcane. Our first destination is Sibebe rock, a granite mountain rising some 350m above the Mbuluzi valley. We spend some time here at the foot of the mountain while our guides explain more about the history and beliefs surrounding Sibebe.
In the late afternoon we drive the short distance via the Capital of Mbabane to our accommodation for the night. On arrival we check in and enjoy a catered meal.
Meals: B L D
– Scenic Drive
– Sibebe rock
DAY 6: Zululand
Today we follow the winding roads through Swaziland and cross back into South Africa in the late morning. After completing the border formalities, we enter Zululand, an area once ruled by the infamous Shaka Zulu. The reserves in this area are lush and offer protection to a variety of indigenous animals including Black and White Rhino.
This afternoon we enjoy a game experience that will allow us to appreciate the fauna and flora of the Zulu Kingdom.
Meals: B L D
– Scenic drive through Swaziland
DAY 7 – 8: Drakensberg
Traveling inland today, we pass through a tranquil region of rolling hills, but don’t be fooled, this region has hosted many historic wars fought over time by the Zulu’s, the Boers (pioneer settlers), the British, and many others fighting for a stake in Africa. Our lunch stop will be at one of the famous battlefields in the area where we will have time to learn a bit more about this fascinating time in South Africa’s history.
This afternoon we reach the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, “Barrier of Spears”. On reaching the foothills, we transfer to a 4×4 vehicle, and then enjoy an exciting drive on mountain tracks high up to the GREENFIRE LODGE DRAKENSBERG. Guests are welcome to skip the drive and walk up the mountain to the lodge.
We spend two nights here in cozy log cabins and will have a day of hiking, exploring, and simply enjoying the wonders of this national heritage site. A walk to the San Rock Art gallery is well worth the effort. Pony trekking is also available.
Meals: B L D; B L D
Optional Activities: Horse riding, Fishing, walks
Included Highlights / Activity:
– Drakensberg World Heritage Site
– Bushman Paintings
– Drakensberg Hike
– Vulture Colony
DAY 9 – 10: DOLPHIN COAST
A relaxed start, after a transfer (or walk) back down to our vehicle, it is with new energy that we make our way toward the Indian Ocean. Our journey today will take us through the rolling hills and natural beauty of the Natal Midlands. We stop for an own expense lunch near Nottingham Road before continuing to the Mandela Capture site for a short visit, from where we continue and travel down to the coast where we spend the next two nights.
The GREENFIRE LODGE DOLPHIN COAST is located literally on the beach and the sound of the waves pounding is relentless. We will have a “free” day here to spend soaking up the sun and simply enjoying the beach and warm ocean, or to stroll through the village enjoying the cheerful hospitality. One night we enjoy a traditional fish braai on the lodge’s patio. Lunch and dinner are own expense. Guests can also choose to visit the city of Durban on their free day.
Meals: B D; B (Lunch on day 9, lunch and dinner on day 10 all own expense)
Optional Activities: Visit Durban
– Nelson Mandela Capture Site
– Natal Midlands Scenic Drive
– East Coast
DAY 11 – 12: WILD COAST
Setting off early, we pass through the outskirts of Durban this morning and follow the coast south into an area that can only be described as one of the highlights of the tour – The Wild Coast. Having formerly been an independent homeland, there has been little development in this area resulting in endless unspoiled beaches, natural estuaries, rolling grassland, and a tapestry of traditional Xhosa villages. We will spend two nights at a remote GREENFIRE LODGE and will spend a full day exploring this rugged but stunningly beautiful area. Our guide will take us on an extended hike along this stretch of coastline that offers some of the best hiking routes in the country. Guests will also have the option to relax on the secluded beach in front of the lodge or to go and swim in a nearby waterfall.
Meals: B L D; B L D
Optional Activities: Walks, Private Beach
– Scenic Drive to the Wild Coast
– Private Beach
– Waterfall Walk
– Hike along the coast
DAY 13: FRONTIER COUNTRY
Leaving the lush coastal forests behind, our journey will take us into what is known as the “Frontier Country”, a region that was settled in the 1820’s by European immigrants and that was host to many frontier wars. The road is defined by scattered hills and deep valleys with distant glimpses of the ocean.
We cover some distance today and spend the night in comfortable accommodation overlooking the city of Grahamstown.
Meals: B L D
– Scenic Drive in Frontier Country
DAY 14 – 15: GARDEN ROUTE
Entering the renowned Garden Route today, our first stop will be at the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park. Located in a marine reserve, the hike offers spectacular views and we enjoy a walk along the rugged coast and over the suspension bridge spanning the Storms River.
We spend the night in the Storms River area. The area offers a variety of optional activities for guests. Optional excursions include kayak trips, mountain bike rides in the forest, a tour of the local township, and many more (own expense).
The next day guests will depart from Storms River and make their way to Knysna where they will spend the night and have time for some more activities. One lunch and one dinner will be own expense.
Meals: B L D; B (lunch and dinner own expense)
– Boat Cruise
– Bridge Bungee jump
– Shark Cage diving, etc.
– Tsitsikamma National Park
– Hike in Tsitsikamma
– Suspension Bridge Walk
– Swim at the Waterfall (if weather permits)
DAY 16 – 18: CAPE TOWN
We leave Knysna to travel through the Garden Route’s Lake District and then to follow the “Whale Route” through Hermanus and around the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Arriving in the “Mother City”, Cape Town, in the late afternoon, we check into the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN, which is conveniently situated in Seapoint.
Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we will spend two full days here – visiting Cape Point, Hout Bay, The Waterfront, secluded beaches, a wine farm, and many other attractions. We will also hike up Table Mountain. Lunches and dinners in Cape Town are own expense.
Meals: B; B; B (Lunches and dinners on Day 16 & 17 as well as lunch on day 18 own expense)
– Shark Cage Dive
– Boat Cruises
– Scuba Dive, etc.
– Cape Point National Park
– Cape of Good Hope
– Wine tasting
– Table Mountain hike
– Coastal Roads
This tour ends at 16h00 on Day 18. Clients may however extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours). Those wishing to visit Robben Island should advise their guide early in the tour as prior bookings are essential. The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.
Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries that you will visit (South Africa & Swaziland). If you have any queries in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us. Please ensure that you have proof of further travel arrangements if you do not have a South African passport, permanent residency permit, work permit or study permit. Although we will endeavour to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents.
1) PORT OF EXIT FROM SOUTH AFRICA INTO SWAZILAND – JEPPES REEF ON DAY 5
2) PORT OF EXIT FROM SWAZILAND AND RE-ENTRY INTO SOUTH AFRICA – LAVUMISA/GOLELA BORDER ON DAY 6
Please use this link for any travel info regarding your trip
Make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to your home country. Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, Visas. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
Please note that all guests travelling to South Africa will require two blank facing pages in their passport.
PLEASE NOTE IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS (VISAS AND VALID PASSPORTS) FOR EACH AND EVERY COUNTRY YOU WILL BE VISITING ON YOUR TOUR.
Upon arrival in any respective country we operate in, you will be able to find a Bureau de Change OR ATM Facilities at the airport or in the Town/City the tour is departing from. It is advised to bring any major world currency (US Dollar, Euro or British Pounds) in small denominations and not dated older than 2009. It is advised to get a small amount of local currency upon arrival just to get around until your tour starts.
While on tour our guides will inform and show you the best places to exchange any Major World Currency with the best possible exchange rates either before your tour starts or during the course of the tour. Our guides will brief you exactly on where to exchange and roughly how much you will need to exchange after discussing possible optional activities, own expense meals or possible curio stops. Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passport.
The preferred currency for your tour is as follows:
• South Africa – ZAR; Rand
Suggested amounts required:
(Without use of credit card)
• Rand : +- R 1000 – R 2000
Credit cards are widely accepted in most parts of South Africa but please ensure to have enough cash for personal expenses and possible gratuities.
Please note the only lodge on this tour to receive card payment will be Greenfire Johannesburg lodge. All other lodges will ONLY receive cash payments.
Areas where you shall be able to use your credit card are as follows:
• Greenfire JHB Lodge for activities; food; accommodation and small extras
• Shopping; At most large supermarkets
It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to tour departure.
HEALTH PRECAUTIONS & REQUIREMENTS
The only necessary prophylaxis for Southern Africa is against Malaria, but on this tour there is no eminent danger as South Africa is regarded mostly as a Malaria free zone however prevention is better than cure, so we do advise to also use insect repellent on exposed areas after sunset. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding this. All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring a long your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
Please bring along any personal medication that you might need on your tour as specific medication could be difficult to find or might not be obtainable in most places we visit. General medication for headaches, colds and fever are easy to get.
Please also inform your guide of any medical conditions. This information will be received professionally and kept confidential.
Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold, temperatures may drop well below 0°C, although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C.
For more accurate information, please visit AccuWeather and choose your destination.
CLOTHING & PERSONAL EFFECTS
Herewith a recommended guide of what to bring along:
For walking, hiking and Safaris
Sport Shoes / Sneakers
Smaller day pack
Books (Birds, Mammals, personal reading books, Optional)
For general travelling (to keep yourself entertained on the longer drives)
Personal Reading Books
A deck of cards or something similar
Battery chargers for your personal devices (Ipods, Ipads, E-Readers, Handy’s etc)
Our vehicles are well equipped with charging facilities while driving. A Two-pin charger is perfect.
Clothing and Toiletries
Long Trousers / Tracksuit
Hat or cap
Swimming Costume & Towel
Jersey / Jumper
Socks & Underwear
T-Shirts / Shirts
Mosquito Net (Optional)
Malaria Prophylaxis (please enquire from your general Doctor at home)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Torch / Flashlight / Batteries
Luggage and Packing space on our vehicles
** Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s
Each Drifters Traveler have their own locker on our trucks which is accessible even while driving. Backpacks, Barrel bags or Soft Suitcases are strongly advisable as your standard Hard Suitcases sometimes don’t fit into the lockers. Each locker could be locked with your personal lock (which you can also purchase from the Greenfire Johannesburg Lodge upon arrival.
MEALS AND REFRESHMENTS
Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are for your own expense; there is ample opportunity during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up for a couple of days.
A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals as indicated in our Drifters Brochure, bottled water, soft drinks, alcohol, sundry goods purchased- such as suntan cream etc., curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips.
In Africa things work a little different to the rest of the World. Tipping or gratuity, unless otherwise specified, is not included in the price you pay for services delivered. This accounts for restaurant meals, casual help and the services of the guide or guides that you will meet on your tour.
In Southern and East Africa it is classified as a common courtesy to TIP “casual help (guides)”.
This TIP is not something that is forced upon you by any means, but in many industries of tourism it is customary. It works as follows: if you believe your guide has lived up to your expectations and has performed his/her job in a way that you respect and are happy with the services rendered, an amount of R 50 per day or equivalent amount of R50 per day in any major currency per person per day would constitute a fantastic tip. Remember that this is just a guideline and is not by any means compulsory, but seen as common courtesy in Southern and East Africa.
• “Big Five” Game Walks
• Open Vehicle Game Drives
• Game Reserves/National Parks
• Kruger National Park
• Zululand Game Reserve
• Drakensberg Mountains
• Swaziland Kingdom
• Cape Wine Farm
• African Culture
• Garden Route
• Coastal Hike
• Cape Town
• Table Mountain Hike
• Unspoiled Beaches
• San Rock Art
• Nelson Mandela Memorial
• Sea Kayaking
• Bungi Jump
• Robben Island
• Forest Mountain Bike
• Knysna Boat Trip
PRE and POST night accommodation can be arranged at the Greenfire Lodge in Johannesburg and Greenfire Lodge Cape Town. It is advisable to overnight at the Greenfire Lodge if you have not already made alternative arrangements. Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge can be arranged through Drifters or your travel representative. The Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg is located in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg – a safe residential area. The Greenfire Lodge has a lovely swimming pool, restaurant, bar & shop. The Lodge is within walking distance of various shopping centers and banks. The Drifters Office is located on the same premises should you have any queries regarding your tour. The Greenfire Cape Town Lodge is on the corner of Graham and Arthur road in Seapoint.
Please note that we strongly advise against flying out on the day that the tour ends. Drifters will not be held responsible for missed flights on this day. We generally travel long distances and late arrivals are common.
PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION SOUTH AFRICA TOUR
This tour is fully accommodated and all linen and towels are supplied. Clients will do a fair amount of walking so a small daypack is advisable. Seasonal malaria precautions may be necessary and can be purchased locally.
A valid passport is required by everyone. The tour will visit South Africa and Swaziland. It is the client’s responsibility to insure they have the appropriate visas required for this trip to all the countries we visit. Some nationalities might need to obtain visas before departure as they cannot be obtained at the border.
The price includes all transport, accommodation, meals as per the itinerary, tea and coffee at the lodges, group equipment, permits, entry fees, and professional guides. The price does not include alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, meals where stipulated, curios, tips and optional excursions. Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information as defined on our website and in our brochure. Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel insurance.
The 18 South Africa tour departs from the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg, 25 Alida Street, Northcliff at 06h30 on the first tour day and ends on the last day at around 17h00 till late at the Greenfire Lodge Cape Town. Guests not staying at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg must arrive at the Lodge at 06h00 on the day of departure. The telephone number is +27(0)11 888 1160.
ACCOMMODATION ON TOUR
Please note that linen will be provided for the duration of your tour and there is no need to bring along a sleeping bag or pillow.
• Batteries can be charged from a 220-volt source pre tour departure in Johannesburg, on most nights at the lodges and every day on the truck while the truck is driving from a 12 V inverter.
• Currency exchange opportunities: Arrival at Johannesburg Airport
• Limited Laundry facilities: Available post tour from the JHB Lodge if you are staying an extra day
• Internet facilities: Pre night in the Greenfire Johannesburg Lodge and Greenfire Cape Town Lodge
We have a range of barrel bags for sale starting from € 50 nett per bag.
All our tours require a certain level of participation from all group members. This entails assisting with the food preparation, washing of dishes and keeping the truck clean.
Please keep in mind that flexibility and an open mind will greatly contribute to an enjoyable safari.
We are travelling in developing countries therefore please do not expect the punctuality you have come to expect in first world countries. Things do not always run according to plan, however we do endeavour to run according to the itinerary as best as possible.
DRIFTERS WISH YOU AN ENJOYABLE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE!
|South Africa Tour Departure||Tour Rate p/p|
|JOHANNESBURG and SURROUNDS (PRE and POST Tour)
You can also do a cycle tour of Soweto – pricing depends on the time you cycle for.
JOBURG CITY TOUR
SOWETO & JOHANNESBURG COMBO
CRADLE OF HUMANKIND
PRETORIA CITY TOUR
CAPE TOWN and SURROUNDS
Full day Wine route: Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschoek: R 850, Half day R 585
Full day whale watching trip to Hermanus R 810 (seasonal)
Abseiling off Table Mountain: R 700, excluding cable car tickets
White shark diving: R 1350 includes drive to Gansbaai; boat trip; snorkel or dive in cage; picnic lunch
Tandem Paraglide from Lions Head: R 1100
Helicopter flips: various options from R 2000 to R 30000
Horse riding in Hout Bay: 2 hour ride R 350
Historic walking tour through the city: Every day from the tourist information in Burg street. R230
Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance.
Rates are subject to change without notice
Activities are subject to availability
Activities are weather dependent
Thank you for the best trip ever! I have learned and seen so many fun and interesting things!
“What a great and awesome tour! Wow wow wow!! Great guide!! An adventure of a lifetime!!”