Itinerary for This Tour
Dates in this itinerary for illustrative purposes only.
The tour starts with your collection from Oliver Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport (ORTIA) mid morning. You will be driven from here in a luxury, air conditioned vehicle to your first destination, the Entabeni Lakeside Lodge, which is a private game conservancy in the Limpopo province of South Africa. After booking in, you will be treated to a welcoming lunch to meet with your tour guide, your fellow travelers and members of the lodge staff. That evening you will be taken by a qualified game ranger, in a game viewing vehicle, to see some of the wild animals in the reserve. Try spotting the “Big Five”, i.e. Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo along with other fascinating game, such as, Giraffe, Zebra, and many species of antelope and other smaller wild creatures and birds. There will be snacks and cold drinks served on the drive, and on arrival back at the lodge dinner will be served. Lunch and Dinner Included.
Today, quite early before breakfast, we will go on another drive with our well trained and armed game ranger. The dawn time in this part of the “bushveld” is a beautiful time, with the air cool and clear and quite magical, and the grazing game and numerous species of birds, very active and visible. After breakfast at the lodge overlooking Lake Entabeni and a short rest, we will go on an an excursion for a first encounter with South African culture and traditions. We will visit a small village where the local “Sepedi” people live, and be shown important parts of their colourful culture and history. After a light meal at the village, we will go and see the Wild Buffalo and Nyala breeding programme of this reserve, and gain insight into the management of the breeding programme, and the release of the animals back into the wild. In the evening, before dinner, you can go on another game drive or you can also go on a game walk with an armed game ranger. The beauty of the evening is that you are likely to see nocturnal wild life that you will have missed in the morning. A walk in the bush is quite a different experience to driving. Besides being good exercise, you see things more closely on foot, and can learn about the medicinal uses of the many wild plants from your guide. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
This morning you will be leaving Entabeni, but before we go, there will be one last game drive or walk in the reserve, to round off your experience. After breakfast, if you wish, you can take part in an optional helicopter jaunt over the reserve, and enjoy the thrill of discovering that, what at first looked like a rock, a log or a tree, is actually one of the Big five! It about midday, we will depart for the province of Mpumalanga (Siswati for "the rising sun") and the Greater Drakensberg escarpment area. The route brings us through some of the most dramatic scenery in South Africa. At first we pass through subtropical areas of orange groves, cotton and tobacco plantations. Then, as we climb the highest tarred, main route in South Africa ( over 2,000 metres), we observe the landscape changing to cooler, temperate grassland. We eventually descend again on one of South Africa’s highest and longest mountain passes, The Long Tom Pass, affording tremendous vistas around every corner. Along the way, we will stop for lunch and coffee and to view handcrafts, particularly weaving and beadwork; centuries old traditions in this part of the world. In mid afternoon we reach our destination, Shandon Lodge in Nelspruit the subtropical capital of Mpumalanga. This charming and well appointed four star lodge, is exquisitely situated in a lush, subtropical garden. Breakfast and Dinner included.
|Helicopter Rides 12 minutes R760.
From Nelspruit we will explore the world famous “Panorama Route” along Mpumalanga’s Drakensberg forested escarpment area, with its enthralling vistas. Among many points of interest will be a fully preserved 19th century mining village where South Africa’s first gold was mined, The Blyde River Canyon, the deepest “green” canyon in the world, the amazing rock configuration of Bourke’s Luck, some beautiful waterfalls, and a view point called God’s Window, because of it’s heavenly aspect over the lowveld thousands of metres below. We will return in time for you to enjoy a quiet, late, spring evening at the lodge, and maybe a dip in the pool. Breakfast and Dinner included.
A short ride this morning will bring us to the airport at Nelspruit, where we will catch our morning flight to Durban, the capital of KwaZulu -Natal Province (KZN). From Durban we will journey through the city to the north of KZN to Seasands Lodge, set in the coastal bush on the doorstep of one of South Africa’s World Heritage Sites, the Greater St Lucia (iSimangaliso) Wetlands. iSimangaliso is a Zulu word whose one interpretation is miracle, and the splendorous diversity of marine, land, plant and bird life here surely makes this a miracle of nature! During the next few days we will explore these many wonders of nature, but for now we will relax for the evening. Breakfast and Dinner included.
After breakfast, we depart for a morning cruise on board a small, flat bottomed viewing craft that takes you into the wetlands to view Hippos, Crocodiles and other inhabitants close up.There is another option open to the more energetic, of going on a seaborne craft in search of whales. At this time of the year the Southern Right Whales come here to mate just off the coast, so are at their most athletic. Up close, they are a feast for the eyes when they expel their distinctive, v-shaped, vapour spray, or raise their heads out of the water to spy on their surroundings. Midday today will be mainly at leisure, but in mid afternoon we will all gather for an evening game drive in the nearby Hluhluwe/iMfolozi, a game park characterized by hilly grassland and bushveld. Founded in 1895, it used to be the royal hunting grounds of the Zulu Kings and is the oldest, protected game area in Africa. The Hluhluwe/iMfolozi is 96,000 hectares in extent, and has a world reputation for having saved the White Rhino from extinction with its capturing, nurturing and relocation programmes. It is now home to a phenomenal 20% of the world’s White Rhino and is embarking on a similar programme to save the black Rhino. Again, this will be in a game viewing vehicle with armed driver and guide. We will stop for cold drinks and snacks to watch the sun set at one of the lovely picnicking spots in the reserve, and be back for dinner. Breakfast and Dinner included.
|Whale Boat Trip. Two hours R600.
Today, on rising, our beach guide, who is also knowledgeable about the estuary and its environment, will accompany us on an early morning Kayak Safari in the St Lucia lagoon. The guide will explain much about the plants and animals and ecosystem of the lagoon during this waterborne safari. We will take a packed breakfast from the lodge because of the early start. The coastal area of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is a marine reserve, where the beach and sea up to several kilometers out is protected from hunting and commercial fishing, but you are allowed to swim here and soak up the sun. The deserted beaches are unending stretches of white sand, fringed by the breakers. The Indian Ocean is always warm and we will spend the day enjoying it with an experienced snorkeling and swimming guide at exclusive,uncrowded, Cape Vidal. Lunch will be provided on the beach. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included.
|Early morning Kayaking with guide. 2 ? hours R250.
We will bid farewell to the iSimangaliso Park and journey back to Durban for our flight to Cape Town, the last leg of our tour. We are booked in to the Portswood Hotel, one of Cape Town’s choice hotels at the city’s premier location, the V&A Waterfront. You will be at leisure for the rest of the day and we recommend you explore the Waterfront and its many historical and commercial attractions, right on your doorstep. As Cape Town has the best selection of restaurants in the country, you are booked in to the hotel for bed and breakfast to enable you to take the opportunity of dining out. Your guide will help you with suggestions, if needed. Breakfast included.
The first thing we will attempt in Cape Town is to ascend Table Mountain, for a view from the top of one of the most beautiful city, mountain and sea scapes in the world. This is a weather dependant activity so, we do so at the first opportunity, rescheduling other activities if necessary. On top, you will be accompanied by a Table Mountain guide, who is knowledgeable about the mountain and its plants and animals, in particular the wonderfully diverse Cape Floral Kingdom, declared another United Nations World Heritage Site. This is the smallest, but most concentrated in diversity by area, of the six plant kingdoms in the world, and as it is late spring, a lot of the plants should still be in flower. An optional activity is to ascend Table Mountain on foot. The trip is done with an experienced guide who supplies water bottles and back packs with some small snacks. You have to start early and this means taking a packed breakfast from the hotel to eat on top. There is a huge feeling of achievement on reaching the summit. The guide is intimately informed about the mountain and will share this with you as you walk. You have to be reasonably fit although the guide will not rush you as it is a two to three hour uphill hike. You rejoin your colleagues on top to descend by cable car. Upon our descent we will visit some of the historic and notable sites in central Cape Town. The “Tavern of the Seas”, as it was known, has a fascinating history which we will trace in the city landscape. After lunch at one of the characterful restaurants there, we shall continue with this tour of the city's landmarks, such as the Slave Lodge, Cape Town Castle, the Bo-Kaap community, District Six Museum; as many as we can fit in. Breakfast included.
|Ascend Table Mountain on foot with guide (weather allowing).2-3hours R250.
Today we take the “Peninsula Tour”. This is a trip around the scenic, beak shaped mountainous stretch of land that reaches southwards from Cape Town, and incorporates the most southerly tip of the “Cape of Storms”, feared by the sailors of old. The route starts via Camps Bay and the fishing village of Hout Bay on to the scenic, oceanside cliff route of Chapman’s Peak, which has been described as one of the most spectacular stretches of road on earth. This route eventually takes you to “the meeting of the oceans” at the very tip of the peninsula. At Cape Point Nature Reserve, we will take the short funicular railway (or you can walk for the exercise) to the lighthouse at the summit of one of the last fingers of land jutting southwards, to view the warm Indian Ocean to the east, the colder, mighty Atlantic to the west, and the peninsula mountains stretching back along the False Bay coast. On our way back along the eastern side of the peninsula, we will pass through the naval port of Simonstown and stop at Boulders Beach, home to a colony of amiable, African (Jackass) Penguins, who strut alongside visitors in their picturesque habitat. Finally, after passing through the quaint seaside towns of Fishoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenburg we will arrive at the historic estate of Klein Constantia, founded by the Dutch governor of the Cape in the 18th century. This is the first place where vines were cultivated in the Cape, and the first fine wines, celebrated in Europe in the 1780’s, were produced. Wines of distinction are still produced here, and we will take the opportunity to taste some. Returning to Cape Town, you will have the rest of the evening at leisure. We will stop variously for lunch and coffee along the way. (For your own account). Breakfast included.
Today, we journey across the famous Sir Lowry’s Pass which affords excellent views of Cape Town and False Bay, on our way to the coastal fishing village of Gansbaai. We will be searching the coast for whale viewing opportunities as we go. Unlike in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the whales come here mainly to give birth and, for this reason, come much closer to the shore, and so are easier to see. At Gansbaai, there are two optional activities, weather permitting, for you to choose from ( please book with Mmilo Tours). One is to go a little out to sea in a catamaran that leaves from the fishing harbour (no need to help launch it through the surf as previously) to see whales frolicking in the Atlantic Ocean waters (sometimes with their calves). Toilets on board and drinks and snacks supplied. This craft is very stable, so it is a lot slower and gentler than the single hulled craft in KZN. The other option is to follow in the footsteps of many Hollywood film stars and famous people recently, and indulge in the latest craze of shark cage diving. Again, you put out to sea from the fishing harbour in a stable craft, and spend the day viewing from the deck, or from inside a cage partly submerged, and feel the adrenalin rush of the Great White circling your cage. There are toilets and showers on board and lunch is served. Those of us not doing either of these activities will go for a scenic drive that will include a visit a local Nature Reserve, to have a closer look at the Cape Floral Kingdom, and more coastal whale watching. Late afternoon will see us all return to Cape Town and the rest of the evening at leisure. Breakfast included.
|Whale Watching Catamaran. 2 ? hours, refreshments served R680.
|Shark Cage Diving. Half Day all equipment supplied, lunch served R1430.
Today is the end of our tour. Our tour guide and the coach will be on hand until lunchtime to take you to the airport or transfer you elsewhere in Cape Town. If you wish to prolong your stay please consult Mmilo Tours websites "Tailormade Tours". You may choose to spend some time before your departure to see some more of Cape Town. Breakfast included.
Included in Price:
11 Nights in 4 star Hotel/Lodges
11 Breakfasts 2 Lunches 7 Dinners
5 Game Drives
2 Local Flights
Transport and transfers in Luxury Airconditioned vehicle
Entrance Fees for all Attractions ( except Optional Activities)
Qualified Tour Guide.
Flights to and from South Africa excluded
Travel and Medical Insurance excluded
All drinks excluded
Passport and Visa fees excluded
All Optional Activities excluded
Accommodation Note: All the hotels and lodges are as reflected in this itinerary, but if for reasons beyond the control of Mmilo Tours this is not possible, they will be replaced with establishments of the same star grading.
Important: Please read the itinerary carefully noting any optional activities you or some members in your group may want to take part in. You do not have to take part in any of the optional activities if you do not wish to do so. It helps us in our planning to let us know if you are interested and if so, number of participants. These additional optional activities are not costed into this scheduled tour, and if you choose them, you pay the extra amount involved, either directly to Mmilo Tours in advance, or on arrival at the venue of the activity . You will be informed accordingly by Mmilo Tours, and they are extra to the basic cost of the tour.
This tour ends officially at Cape Town Airport on the 1st November, arriving there at around 1400hrs (traffic conditions permitting). Please work out your arrangements from here with this time in mind. That is, do not arrange any flight departing from Cape Town earlier than 1530 hrs. This should be in time to get to Johannesburg for connecting flights to Europe, which are mostly later than 1930 hrs. If you wish to stay on in Cape Town please consult our Mmilo Tour Guide or see the"Tailormade Tours" pages.