i’m off to go explore south africa’s garden route with my parents until 10 april, and then i’m off to go on my overland safari tour in south africa’s more easterly regions, mozambique, and swaziland. i’ll be out of contact for the whole month, but when i get back, there will be tons of photos and stories, i’m sure :)
the garden route:
activities: bungee jumping from the highest in the world, hiking, wine tasting, canoeing, canopy tour with ziplining, scenic drives
here’s the itinerary:
Day 1: Johannesburg - Bushveld Camp
Departing from Drifters Johannesburg Lodge at 06h30, we head for the spectacular scenery of the Mpumalanga province. We will visit numerous sights including the pioneer gold mining village of Pilgrims Rest and the Three Rondavels that tower over the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve. Late in the afternoon we descend from the escarpment to the Lowveld area where we overnight in the comfortable DRIFTERS BUSHVELD CAMP within the Balule Game reserve part of the Greater Kruger National Park. After dinner we will enjoy an open vehicle night game drive..
Day 2: Kruger - Bushveld Camp
Arising with the African sun, we set out on foot in this “Big 5” reserve for a lengthy walk. Our tracker will attempt to show us animals in their natural habitat and to give us some insight into the art of tracking. We return to camp for a healthy brunch and a swim before packing up and moving on to the world-renowned Kruger National Park – widely acclaimed as being Africa’s most successful Nature Reserve. We will spend our time here game driving in search of the many animal and bird species that inhabit the area, and will camp two nights in the Park’s rest camps.
Day 3: Kruger National Park
This entire day is for viewing animals in the Kruger Park from our well-equipped vehicle. We will search for the “Big 5” today. Camp the night.
Day 4-5: Mozambique Transfrontier Park
This morning, we cross the border into Mozambique. At this point the road becomes a bush track which we will follow, venturing into the heart of the wilderness. The area that we traverse over the next days is the Mozambique side of the Transfrontier Peace Park and is privileged to have remained virtually unexplored by humans. The bush is exceptional, and offers areas of exquisite natural beauty and wildlife.
The diversity of the flora ensures some of the finest birding in Africa. We will spend two nights camping wild, exploring both on foot and by vehicle, and enjoying the serenity of the wilderness. Road conditions are rough and river crossings numerous, clients will be expected to assist in difficult sections, but for those seeking true adventure and unspoiled Africa, there are few areas that compare with this.
Day 6-7: Banhine/Zinave
Leaving the Transfrontier Park, we make our way across the Limpopo River and into the heart of the Banhine/Zinave wilderness region where we will spend two nights wild bush camping. We will attempt to traverse some of the Zinave Park, once renowned for its abundant wildlife. Few people have visited these areas in the last two decades.
Day 8-9: Vilanculos
Leaving the wilderness behind us, today we pass through the many vibrant and bustling villages en route to the coast. Our next stop is Vilanculos - on the shores of the warm azure Indian Ocean, overlooking the Idyllic Bazaruto Archipelago. We spend two nights here in Casitas, situated literally on the beach.
We will enjoy a traditional Dhow trip to the islands and will have the opportunity to snorkel along a reef in this marine reserve (this trip is dependant on weather conditions). One night we will enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.
Day 10-12: Inhambane
Moving south along the coast, our next stop is the ancient trading port of Inhambane. Clients will enjoy a trip across the bay on a traditional Dhow while the guide drives around to meet them in town. We spend some time exploring and visiting the bustling local market before continuing to our DRIFTERS BARRA BEACH CAMP under the Coconut Palms on the beach.
We will enjoy three nights in relative comfort, staying in Casitas at this camp. During our time here we will relax, snorkel, and soak up the sun whilst exploring the deserted beaches that Mozambique is so well known for. On the last night we enjoy a catered meal (own expense). Those who wish to have the options of scuba diving or horse riding on the beach (own expense).
Day 13: Maputo
Well relaxed and sun-drenched, we continue down the coast to the capital Maputo where we spend some time driving around and exploring this once grandiose city. Maputo boasts a Latino culture of street cafés, music and bustling markets. We spend the night in a comfortable hotel. Tonight we will eat in a local restaurant, sampling some of the local seafood (own expense). For the brave, Peri–Peri is a must.
Day 14: Elephant Reserve/ Swaziland
It is with new excitement that we venture back into the bush. Driving on sandy tracks we wind our way south to the Elephant reserve where we will spend the entire afternoon exploring the coastal flood plains and surrounding forests in search of these larger than average African elephants. Somehow, during the war years these elephants survived by moving down the Futi channel into South Africa, it is one of nature’s miracles that they have now returned in large numbers. We will camp the night..
Day 15-16: Zululand
Returning to South Africa today via the Ponta do Ouro border post, we enter the area once ruled by the famed Shaka Zulu. We will spend two nights at the DRIFTERS ZULULAND CAMP, a rustic camp in the sand forest on our private reserve adjoining Lake St Lucia near Hluhluwe. During our stay we will enjoy game walks through the forest, experience an open vehicle game drive in Hluhluwe National Park and will visit a rural Zulu school which Drifters sponsors through the benefits of tourism.
Day 17: KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg
Our journey today takes us through the heart of Kwazulu - Natal, we will pass many rural Zulu villages and some spectacular scenery en-route back to Johannesburg. We arrive back at the DRIFTERS JOHANNESBURG LODGE in the late afternoon.
talk to you in may!