Safaris, killer coastline and local interactions on a southern African adventure.

See the best of stunning southern Africa on an eye-popping adventure like no other. From the bustling Johannesburg, travel into Kruger National Park for an unforgettable African safari and then into the Kingdom of Eswatini, with its friendly locals and verdant mountain ranges. Chill out on the beaches of Mozambique at Ponta Malognane, enjoy a homestay in the heart of Zululand, camp under the glow of a thousand stars and relax in the glamorous seaside city of Durban. In just nine days, get a varied taste of southern Africa on a safari and seaside adventure like no other.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Durban, South Africa
Destinations
Mozambique, South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland)
Style
Basix
Theme
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBOE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 22

Why you'll love this trip

  • Go on an epic safari with expert guides in search of the elusive Big Five through Kruger National Park – one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa.

  • There’s nothing like relaxing on the white-sand beaches and feasting on fresh Mozambican seafood in the seaside village of Ponta Malongane with your small group.

  • Uncover the unspoilt wilderness of the Elephant Coast – a tropical paradise of crystal-clear waters, fertile marshlands, coastal forests and laidback southern African vibes.

  • Visit the heartlands of the African Zulu and spend the night in a traditional homestay, being treated to traditional food, song and dance by local tribal villagers – truly a memorable experience.

  • Swap the four-wheels for two legs on a guided hike through the Hlane Royal National Park, keeping an eye out for antelope and zebra passing by.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. For more info on this style of travel, see our Africa overland page: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/au/africa/overland

  • While a homestay in Zululand is a unique and rewarding experience, the conditions are basic – foam mattresses on the floor, with up to six people (of the same gender) per room. Clean linen and pillows are provided. Hot water is not available on this night.

  • There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Johannesburg is a sprawling centre of remarkable contrasts. In the city, mansions stand alongside tin shacks and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there are conglomerations of concrete in the centre. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm this evening. If you do happen to arrive early, why not get an insight into South Africa's history with a visit to the South African National Museum of Military History or the Apartheid Museum.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Heading for Kruger National Park (approximately 11–12 hours), you will leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, journeying along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery South Africa has to offer, including God's Window and Bourke's Luck Potholes. Kruger, your destination for tonight, is one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. It boasts over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Your wildlife odyssey begins as soon as you enter the park. Heading straight into some prime game viewing areas on your way to the camp – you'll have the chance to spot some of these amazing creatures straight away!
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Panorama Route - God's Window Viewpoint
  • Panorama Route - Bourks Luck Potholes
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR240
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Your campground has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and upgrades are possible (subject to availability).

On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June, July and December, we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance, we will camp at a backpacker lodge outside the park and will miss the short game drive on the way to the usual campsite.
Rise early and enjoy a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, birdwatching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. 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 impala out in search of a late-night feed.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Optional Activities
  • Kruger National Park - Night 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR240
  • Kruger National Park - Sunset 4x4 Game Drive (from price) - ZAR325
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Journey to Hlane Royal National Park today (approximately 6–7 hours). Take a slow game drive in Kruger of between 20 and 70 kilometres before exiting the park midmorning. Travel south-east and enter the Kingdom of Eswatini, which is nestled snugly between Mozambique, Northern Zululand and Mpumalanga. The border crossing between South Africa and Eswatini is generally very smooth, but there may be some delays at certain times of the year. A vast expanse of bushveld with ancient hardwood trees, Hlane Royal National Park is home to the largest wild herds in Eswatini. Take the opportunity to explore this amazing park on a guided game walk. Tonight, you will camp inside the national park.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Hlane Royal National Park - Bush Walk
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note that upgrades to your accommodation tonight are possible (subject to availability).
This morning, travel to your Mozambique beach camp (approximately 7–8 hours). Departing from Hlane, you will head to the Golela border post and into Maputaland. After a little while, you’ll enter Mozambique. After crossing this border point, hop out of the truck and jump into a 4WD vehicle, and from there, travel on to the beautiful seaside village of Ponta Malongane – your beachside oasis for the next two nights. Your campsite is basic with shared facilities but comfortable – the ideal base for seaside fun such as snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Hlane Royal National Park - Guided Walking Safari - ZAR200
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Make the most of this gorgeous seaside getaway today with a day to discover at your own pace. This is one of the many unspoiled beaches of Mozambique, and there is plenty to do here. Keen scuba divers can choose from many reefs – one of which is just 300 metres away from the shore. Alternatively, you can borrow some snorkelling gear and explore the blue waters of the Indian Ocean without the hassle of heavy equipment. Another great optional activity is to take a boat cruise in search of dolphins – ask your leader about booking. Or you can simply relax on the beach with a coconut juice and wile away the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Mozambique - Boat Cruise - ZAR400
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart southern Mozambique, making your way to Zululand and Lake St Lucia, stopping at a shop for supplies along the way (approximately 4–5 hours). Declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, St Lucia Estuary is home to thousands of varieties of birds, mammals and reptiles, with its most popular residents being the hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. You'll have the opportunity to take a boat cruise out on the St Lucia Estuary where you have the chance to spot such creatures basking on the banks, not to mention a diverse array of exotic birds soaring through the air on occasion.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • St Lucia Estuary - Boat cruise - ZAR190
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Tonight, you will stay at a campsite with shared facilities (upgrades and wi-fi are not available here).
Make an early departure to the Valley of a Thousand Hills (approximately 5–6 hours). This is the heartland of the Zulu nation. You will gain an insight into the daily life of the rural Zulu people by spending the night in a traditional homestay. Here you'll be treated to some traditional food, song and dance. Today there will be a lot of walking in the village, up and down hills – it’s called Valley of a Thousand Hills for a reason! So, make sure to wear comfortable footwear. You will only need a small overnight bag with the essential clothing and toiletries. Be sure to make the most of this rare opportunity to see a remote tribal culture from the inside. Interact with your hosts and perhaps impart some of your own culture and language in turn.
Accommodation
  • Homestay (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Zululand - Community Centre Visit
  • Zululand - Traditional Healer Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Continue to Durban (approximately 2–3 hours). With no activities or accommodation planned on arrival, your adventure comes to an end. Durban is South Africa's second most populous city, boasting sandy beaches and a glitzy nightlife – a great place to extend your stay and enjoy some leisure time. Perhaps take the opportunity for a final dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.
Optional Activities
  • Durban - Art Gallery - Free
  • Durban - Bay Cruise - ZAR240
  • Durban - Juma Masjid Mosque - Free
  • Durban - Bike Hire (per hour) - ZAR30
  • Durban - Surf Board Hire (per hour) - ZAR100
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
There is no accommodation arranged for tonight, but this can be booked when you first book this trip. If you wish to take an onward connection today, it's best not to book any outgoing flights until after 7 pm this evening to allow for any delays on the journey back to Durban.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Overland vehicle

Accommodation

Camping with facilities (4 nights), Camping with basic facilities (2 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Panorama Route - God's Window Viewpoint
  • Panorama Route - Bourks Luck Potholes
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Hlane Royal National Park - Bush Walk
  • Zululand - Community Centre Visit
  • Zululand - Traditional Healer Visit

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2. This trip finishes on arrival in Durban on Day 9. Please do not book any flights before 7 pm this evening.

Essential trip information

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