Explore the incredible Kruger National Park, Swaziland, Mozambique and Zululand

Sample the best of three stunning southern African countries on an eye-popping tour like no other. From busy Johannesburg, travel into Kruger National Park for an out-of-this-world African safari and then into the Kingdom of Swaziland, with its friendly locals and verdant mountain ranges. Chill out on the beaches of Mozambique where traces of the Portuguese colonial era remain in its elegant architecture, vibrant culture and delicious cuisine. 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 for a varied taste of awesome Africa.

TRIP CHANGES FOR 2017:
From 1st January 2017 the Mozambique section of this itinerary will be replaced with Kosi Bay, South Africa. This change removes the need to obtain the expensive Mozambique visa prior to departure and also creates a more relaxed pace on this section of the itinerary.

Start
Johannesburg, South Africa
Finish
Durban, South Africa
Countries
South Africa,
Swaziland
Themes
Overland, Wildlife
Code
UBOE
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 16
Carbon offset
461kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Go on a safari through Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa
  • Feast on fresh Mozambican seafood at the seaside village of Ponta Malongane
  • Visit the heartlands of the African Zulu and spend the night in a traditional homestay
  • Enjoy a hike through Hlane Royal National Park amongst antelope and zebra

Itinerary

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

Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so be sure to have these ready to provide to your leader.
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. The sights along the way include God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes, Three Rondavels (Sisters) and the magnificent Blyde River Canyon. Kruger, your final destination today, 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 glimpse some amazing creatures. Your campground has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and upgrades are possible (subject to availability).
Special Information
On occasion, especially during the peak months of May, June and July we are unable to secure campsites within the Kruger National Park. In this instance we will camp at a backpackers outside the park.
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.
Journey to Hlane Royal National Park today (approximately 6–7 hours). Take a final slow game drive of between 20 and 70 kilometres before exiting the park mid-morning. Travel south-east and enter the Kingdom of Swaziland, which is nestled snugly between Mozambique, Northern Zululand and Mpumalanga. The border crossing between South Africa and Swaziland 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 Swaziland. Take the opportunity to explore this amazing park on a guided game walk. Tonight you will camp inside the national park. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability). 
Travel to your Mozambique beach camp (approximately 7–8 hours). Departing from Hlane, you will head to the Golela border post and into Maputaland. Drive for a further stretch, then enter Mozambique. After crossing this border point, you will disembark the truck and jump into a 4X4 vehicle. From there, travel on to the beautiful seaside village of Ponta Malongane, your beachside oasis for the next two nights. Your campsite is basic but comfortable – the ideal base for seaside fun such as snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving. Facilities are shared.
Make the most of this gorgeous seaside getaway today. 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. A 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.
Depart southern Mozambique, making your way to Zululand and Lake St Lucia, stopping at a shop for supplies along the way (approximately 5–6 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 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. You will stay at a campsite with shared facilities (upgrades and WiFi 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. 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.
Continue to Durban (approximately 2–3 hours). Here your trip 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.

Notes: There is no accommodation arranged for tonight, but this can be booked when you first book this trip. It's best not to book any outgoing departures for this evening, in case there are delays on today's journey.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
8 breakfasts, 6 dinners
Transport
Overland vehicle, 4x4 Safari Vehicle
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (6 nights), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (1 night)
Included activities
  • Blyde River Canyon Viewpoint
  • God's Window Viewpoint
  • Kruger Park - Game drive
  • Hlane Royal National Park - Walking safari

Dates

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. This trip finishes on arrival in Durban on Day 9. Please do not book any flights out this evening.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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.

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Reviews

Our Kruger & Coast trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 59 reviews in the last year.

Kruger & Coast , July 2016

Kruger & Coast , July 2016