Explore an untamed corner of South Africa, one that's ablaze with color and bathed in unique experiences. Thrilling South Africa safari adventures, spectacular scenery, serene beaches, mountainous kingdoms, evocative history; why choose a vacation theme when this unique itinerary packs it all into ten days? So embark on a magical journey that covers an endless collection of Africa's great experiences.
Balule Private Game Reserve – Green Canyons and the Start of a Safari Adventure
Everybody is aware that Nevada's Grand Canyon is the largest in the world. Yet nobody has really heard of Blyde River Canyon, the third-largest. Immense red sandstone walls tower above the river, individual pinnacles rising to over 6,000 feet above sea level. A lush green carpet covers the canyon walls, extending onto the rocks and providing a unique subtropical landscape. You'll stop at all the famous lookout points, walking along the cliffs beside the Pinnacle, God's Window, Lisbon Falls, and the Three Rondavels. Sheer cliffs overlook the abyss, vistas stretch all the way across Kruger to Mozambique, and bizarre peaks rise like fairytale chimneys. Then wander down to the Bourke's Luck Potholes, a bizarre collection of eroded rock that glimmers below vivid sandstone.
Africa's unique wildlife lurks around the corner, the famed Big Five all living in the Balule Private Game Reserve. Elephants wander across raw dusty plains, lion prides rest beneath broad acacia branches, and rhinos join the hippos in the lake shallows. Balule and Kruger National Park share an unfenced border, the wildlife freely roaming between the two reserves. It's an idyllic first safari, a smorgasbord of Africa's great mammals to be admired, but no long distances to travel. Is that a kudu? Or a springbok? Perhaps an eland? Your guide reveals all as the diversity of untamed Africa begins to take center stage. Dinner is served under the stars, a watchful guard ensuring that the elephants don't get too close.
Kruger National Park – Walking Safari and Entering Kruger National Park
Mhlambanyatsi – More Spectacular Safari en Route to Swaziland
Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park – A Swazi Experience and a Dramatic Evening Game Drive
Durban – Nature's Great Water Park and the City Lights
Weenen Game Reserve – A Historical Journey through the Zulu Kingdom
Drakensberg Mountains – Dramatic Scenery in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains
Durban – Indigenous Rock Art
Durban – Farewell to South Africa
- Explore world famous Kruger National Park, each game drive revealing an untamed world teeming with white rhinos, big cats, and marauding elephants
- Marvel at the forested floor of the Blyde River Canyon then gawp at its shimmering red walls and bizarre rock formations. This is the world's third largest canyon and the vivid colors are as enticing as its immense scale
- Wander through big game country on foot, coming face to face with Africa's giants on a thrilling walking safari
- Travel across the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland and discover a beautiful nation that stoically continues its tribal traditions
- Take a boat cruise across nature's great water park, the lakes and estuaries of iSimangaliso covered in wading hippos, sunbathing crocodiles, and countless soaring birds
- Enjoy an evocative history lesson that covers quaint gold mining towns, Gandhi, Mandela, Churchill, and the secrets of the Zulu Kingdom
- Lose yourself in the dramatic uKhahlamba Drakensberg Mountains, the peaks rising some 10,000 feet and offering endless views over luscious valleys
- Discover the world's largest collection of rock art, individual paintings depicting the lives of the indigenous San Bushmen who once roamed through uKhahlamba
- Drive through Hluhluwe-iMfolozi in the dark, rustling sounds suggesting what's lurking in Africa's oldest nature reserve. Spotlights reveal nocturnal wildlife while white rhinos stare at you through the gloom
South Africa is famed for its diversity and this unique itinerary epitomizes the myriad of experiences on offer. There are iconic safari adventures, traditional game drives supplemented by thrilling walking safaris and mystical night-time exploration. Landscapes have a daily role in providing wonder; dramatic mountains, forested valleys, fairytale meadows, deep blue water worlds, and shimmering red cliffs. Throw in a dose of history, and find that a nonstop cast of wildlife keeps you company throughout the whole trip.
And it wouldn't be a South African vacation without a unique geological feature baffling the eyes; Blyde River Canyon is the world's third largest, while the wetlands of iSimangaliso seem to stretch on forever. On this action packed adventure you're always discovering something new, each day as alluring as the last. Every night is spent in a different place, but the proximity of the destinations ensures you're never travel weary. Furthermore, crossing the landscapes often is the experience; this corner of Southern Africa is as iconic as anywhere on the planet. Forest Gump once likened life to a box of chocolates, saying that “you never know what you're going to get.” On this vacation you're reaching into an endless box and savoring just about everything.
An English speaking guide will accompany you, allowing you to sit back and watch the landscapes roll by the window. From Johannesburg you head through quaint mining towns and into Mpumalanga Province, famed for its remarkable wildlife. Kruger National Park is one of the world's best, home to half of the planet's rhinos and teeming with an abundant collection of the Big Five. Elephants, lions, leopards? They can all be found beside your safari truck. By staying in the adjacent Balule Reserve you'll also explore these savannahs on foot. It's perfectly safe, but it always gets the heart racing. Before this wildlife submersion you'll explore the immense cliffs of Blyde River Canyon, gazing onto shimmering red walls, rich green tropics, and bizarre rock formations.
Now leave South Africa behind, taking glorious mountain passes to the Kingdom of Swaziland, a fascinating country that continues to follow all its centuries old traditions. Some might say it's a country lost in a time warp, but this nation is fiercely proud of their lifestyle and wouldn't have it any other way. You'll cross the country north to south, and then return to South Africa and the rhinos of the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi reserve. Lions and elephants join them on the lush landscape and it all looks so picturesque in the late afternoon light. But when dusk falls and night-time descends you'll stay out on safari, discovering the nocturnal world of untamed Africa.
You're now in the Zulu Kingdom, and this majestic province offers a diverse final four days. Take a cruise along the immense waterways of iSimangaliso, slowly traveling past wallowing hippos and sunbathing crocodiles. Follow an endearing coastline down to Durban and then head into the Midlands for an evocative historical journey that involves Mandela, Ghandi, and Churchill. The dramatic mountain landscapes of uKhahlamba Drakensberg complete the itinerary; stand10,000 feet above endless green valleys, hike to rumbling waterfalls, and discover the world's largest collection of rock art. So what will be the highlight? Canyon? Safari? Beach? Zulu Kingdom or traditional Swaziland? Most likely it will be the little moments, the surprises that make this corner of Africa so unique, and the stories that will be enthusiastically shared for years.
To add on to your safari adventure, be sure to read travel reviews of African safaris. Not only will you find travel reviews, but you will also find ideas of how you can extend your time in South Africa.
$3,595 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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