Explore South Africa's abundant wildlife, Zulu culture and dramatic scenery

Travel through South Africa and Swaziland, combining cultural and wildlife experiences. The tour starts with an introduction to South Africa’s most famous township, Soweto, before heading out into the wilderness. Once on the road you’ll stop at a Zulu village and experience activities such as hiking, kayaking and rafting before arriving at Kruger National Park for unbelievable wildlife watching.


Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Johannesburg, South Africa
Countries
South Africa, Swaziland
Style
Original
Theme
Family
Code
UWFS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 11
Group size
Min 2, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • This trip visits a great spread of Southern African game reserves, putting you right in the midst of the mighty 'Big Five' game of Africa

  • Camp at Kruger National Park under the African night sky. Experience the sights and sounds of the wild, perhaps the roar of a lion as you drift off to sleep

  • A Zulu village tour introduces you to a fascinating tribal culture. You might learn about anything from spear-making and bone-throwing to dancing and basket-weaving

  • Beautifully lit by candles and parafin lanterns, your spacious campsite in Hlane National Park is just a stone's throw from a floodlit waterhole frequented by elephants and rhinos

  • Enjoy a guided hike at Blyde River Canyon, where the spectacular colours and shades of Bourke's Luck Potholes are a photographer's dream

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a camping trip that covers quite a bit of distance, with two particularly long days of travel. A good dose of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of these beautiful countries.

  • Malaria is a risk in these areas, so it's essential to consult a doctor about relevant medication prior to your trip.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Your trip begins with a welcome meeting at 12 noon. Afterwards, head out on a tour of Soweto – an exciting opportunity to get an insight into contemporary life in South Africa. There will be the chance along the way to visit a market or shop to stock up on any supplies you might need for the next few days. There's WiFi available at your accommodation (the first 30 minutes are free).

Notes: If you do any exploring on your own today, be sure to get local advice on where it is and isn't safe to walk, especially in the evening. The level of crime here may be higher than what you're used to, and doing a bit of homework can significantly reduce the risk.
Accommodation
  • Rivonia Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Embark on an adventure through the oldest proclaimed game reserve in South Africa. While you're here, you'll have the chance to see some of the 'Big Five' game –  African elephant, black rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, African lion and African leopard. There will also be a good chance of spotting the white rhino, as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi has the largest population of these near-threatened creatures in the world. A series of conservation efforts has saved them from extinction and their population is once again on the rise. The park also boasts some 400 species of birds, including the African finfoot, bat hawk and white-backed night heron.
Today's game drive will be in your regular van used for the trip, not an open roof 4x4.
Accommodation
  • Wildebees Eco Lodge or similar (Basic Camping) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart Johannesburg early this morning and travel into the heart of KwaZulu Natal. Here you will camp at an eco-lodge just 20 kilometres from Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park. The park is home to some amazing wildlife, including lions, elephants, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes and wild dogs. Your camp consists of 10 stands, you'll have access to a fully stocked communal kitchen, gas stoves, kitchen utensils, a fridge and freezer, a braai (for grilling) and a campfire area. Camping guests are more than welcome to use the swimming pool, bar and restaurant in the lodge. There are also showers, wash basins and toilets available. A chef will prepare meals, and the group will help with washing up. Note that you'll need to bring your own bedding and towels. The tents are 2 x 2 metres across and 1.7 metres high.
Accommodation
  • Wildebees Eco Lodge or similar (Basic Camping) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park - Game drives
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart the game reserve in the morning and visit a Zulu village with a local community guide. Then, travelling northeast to the coast, visit the beautiful Kosi Bay Nature Reserve. The location of the bay is amazing. On the one hand there is picturesque jungle with wild figa and monkey orange trees, and a grazing area for hippos; on the other, a mangrove and coral reef that's teeming with aquatic life. Your accommodation, Amangwane Camp, comprises 10 traditionally constructed ensuite reed chalets and a separate communal dining and boma area. Enjoy a night under the stars as you relax around the campfire.
Accommodation
  • Amangwane Tented Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zulu Village Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore Kosi Bay by kayak, a nice active way to soak up the scenery. There is also the opportunity to snorkel over the coral reef in search of some colourful and stripy varieties fish. Kosi Bay is one of very few places on earth where five different species of mangrove trees are found in one area. It is particularly famous for the traditional Tsonga fish traps built to trap fish moving in and out of the estuary with the tide. The Tsonga people, who have made this land their home for more than 1,000 years, are experts in fish traps and the construction of fishkraal.
Accommodation
  • Amangwane Tented Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Driving north (approximately 350 km), you will reach the small land-locked kingdom of Swaziland, and Hlane National Park. At some point today you'll be able to visit a market or shop to buy anything you might need. A vast expanse of bushveld and its ancient hardwood trees make Hlane Royal National Park home to the largest wild herds in Swaziland. Your camp is spacious and has plenty of tree coverage, making for a nice spot to relax and be greeted by the odd inquisitive impala, warthog or nyala. If you're feeling adventurous, book a guided mountain bike trail, bird walk or game drive and explore the greater Hlane area. In the absence of electricity in Ndlovu Camp, the area is romantically lit at night with candles and parafin lanterns. It's also within easy reach of Ndlovu's semi-open-air restaurant and floodlit waterhole. Hlane Activities Center, a braai/barbeque area (with firewood provided), communal kitchen, and hot showers are all available.
Accommodation
  • Hlane Royal National Park or similar - (Basic camping) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Explore Hlane National Park on a game drive. This park used to be a private royal hunting ground, which gives you some idea of its calibre as a wildlife-viewing destination. It is Swaziland’s largest park, spanning an impressive 30,000 hectares. Landscape-wise, it’s a flat lowland area with some grasslands and shallow pans. There's a great chance of catching sight of Wildebeest, zebra and impala, especially in the drier months. Notably, cheetahs were reintroduced to the park relatively recently. The park also has an abundant and diverse array of birdlife, boasting the highest density of nesting white-backed vultures in all of Africa. 
Accommodation
  • Hlane Royal National Park or similar - (Basic camping) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hlane NP - Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Crossing back into South Africa, journey to Kruger National Park – one Africa's very best wildlife arenas. On arrival, head out for an afternoon game drive in search of some of its wild beasts. Later on, there will be the option of a night drive with the park guide. This is a great chance to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two – catch a lion or hyena out hunting, or perhaps an impala out in search of a late-night feed. While you're here, accommodation upgrades are available. For an ATM, you can visit Lataba nearby.
Today's game drive will be in your regular van used for the trip, not in an open roof 4x4.
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Kruger Park - Night game drive - ZAR240
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy further explorations of Kruger. You will embark on a second game drive today, hopefully spotting some animals you didn't cross off the list yesterday! One of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa, Kruger National Park boasts more than 500 bird species, 100 reptile species and 150 mammal species. The big five and the endangered African wild dog are no exceptions. Depending on the areas you visit, you'll have the chance to see some exotic birds along the way, from the tiny bronze mannikin to the more conspicuous ostrich. Keep an eye to the sky where, if you're lucky, a giant eagle owl or martial eagle might be soaring.
Today's game drive will be in open roof 4x4 vehicle.
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Hike parts of the Blyde River Canyon en route to Graskop. One of South Africa's most spectacular attractions, Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world, and probably the greenest. It's an excellent place for walking. The sheer-sided walls of the canyon rise over 2,000 metres and the vegetation varies wildly, from dry rocky sections to rainforest, depending on the altitude. You will explore the stunning Bourke's Luck Potholes, where shadowy rock formations take on different colours and shadings in the changing light. Accommodation upgrades are available at your camp, and there will be a market/shop stop today. No WiFi is available.
Accommodation
  • Mogodi Lodge or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bourkes Luck Potholes
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy a day of free time with your family. An excellent choice is to go white water rafting on the Sabi River. This stream offers 20 rapids with some impressive scenic spots along the route. There are many chances to see wildlife, if you can take your eyes off the foaming path ahead! The 8-kilometre route accommodates a range of skill levels, from novice to thrill-seeker, so it's perfect for the whole family. Alternatively, you can choose to take a treetop canopy tour, or perhaps explore the countryside and local walking trails on a self-guided hike.
Accommodation
  • Mogodi Lodge or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Enjoy a morning of free time before returning to Johannesburg. Your trip comes to an end upon arrival at Tambo International Airport in the late afternoon.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

11 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 10 dinners

Transport

4x4, Minibus

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (4 nights), Deluxe permanent tent (2 nights), Hotel (1 night), Lodge (2 nights)

Included Activities

  • Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park - Game drives
  • Zulu Village Visit
  • Hlane NP - Game Drive
  • Kruger National Park - Game drive
  • Bourkes Luck Potholes

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.
Minimum age for children on this trip is 11 years old.

A discount of 10% applies on this trip to children under 15 years of age at time of travel.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our South Africa Teenage Safari trips score an average of 4.25 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.

South Africa Teenage Safari , August 2016

Sonia Phillips

South Africa Teenage Safari , August 2016

suzanne Baxter