SOUTH AFRICA 360 GUIDED JOURNEY
During this journey we will covering following places:
South Africa: This vast country is undoubtedly one of the most culturally and geographically diverse places on earth. Fondly known by locals as the ‘Rainbow Nation’, South Africa has 11 official languages and its multicultural inhabitants are influenced by a fascinating mix of cultures. Discover the gourmet restaurants, impressive art scene, vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches of Cape Town; enjoy a local braai (barbecue) in the Soweto township; browse the bustling Indian markets in Durban; or sample some of the world’s finest wines at the myriad wine estates dotting the Cape Winelands. Some historical attractions to explore include the Zululand battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal, the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and Robben Island, just off the coast of Cape Town. Above all else, its remarkably untamed wilderness with its astonishing range of wildlife roaming freely across massive unfenced game reserves such as the world-famous Kruger National Park. With all of this variety on offer, it is little wonder that South Africa has fast become Africa’s most popular tourist destination.
JOHANNESBURG – DAYS 1 – 2
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra-modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.
HAZYVIEW -DAYS 2 – 4
Surrounded by subtropical fruit orchards, Hazyview is a small farming town and a gateway to the southern part of the Kruger National Park and the Panorama Escarpment. The town and its spectacularly scenic surroundings serve as a popular adventure capital with a remarkable array of exhilarating outdoor activities on offer to suit all ages, tastes and fitness levels. These include, among others: mountain biking, quad biking, ziplining, tubing, abseiling, and river rafting. Whether you are eager to hike the Panorama Route with its breathtaking views and impressive waterfalls, visit the Shangana Cultural Village, or horse ride along the banks of the magnificent Sabie River, Hazyview has something for just about everyone.
ESWATINI – DAYS 4 – 5
Officially known as the ‘Kingdom of eSwatini’ and still referred to as Swaziland, this tiny landlocked nation boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage and is Africa’s last remaining absolute monarchy. Swaziland encompasses a diverse array of ecosystems featuring towering mountains and low-lying savannah, tangled rainforests and lush river valleys. Highlights of this laid-back land include the mesmerizingly beautiful ‘Valley of Heaven’, the handicraft haven of the Malkerns Valley and the Hlane Royal National Park, famed for its white rhinos, antelopes and lions. Visitors can look forward to excellent wildlife watching, rafting, mountain biking, and hiking along a network of scenic trails which traverse spectacular mountainous landscapes.
MKHUZE GAME RESERVE – DAYS 5 – 7
Situated northeast of Richard’s Bay in the South African province of Kwa-Zulu Natal, the 40 000 hectare, state-owned Mkuze Game Reserve is known for its dramatic landscapes, exceptional birdlife, and cultural village. The scenery is beautifully diverse, with thornveld on the hills, an enchanting fig tree forest near the pans, stretches of acacia savannah, swamps, riverine forest and a rare type of sand forest. The reserve is home to incredible birdlife, covering 420 species. Animals on the reserve include lion, elephant, zebra, hippo, crocodile, black and white rhinoceros, giraffe, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, eland, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring in the reserve are cheetah, hyaena, suni and leopard. A unique cultural village offers a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle and crafts of the local Zulu community.
DURBAN – DAYS 7 – 8
With its beautiful beaches, lively wining and dining scene, and rich cultural heritage, Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and KwaZulu Natal’s tourist hub. The swimming and surfing are rated the best of any major city across the world and because of the sub-tropical climate the water is warm all year round. Known as the Golden Mile, this stretch of beaches and amusement parks is Durban’s major attraction with the recently developed UShaka Marine World at the southern end providing a world-class aquarium and other entertainments. Visitors can look forward to an array of wonderful activities including: strolling along the beachfront promenade, visiting the Durban Botanical Gardens and exploring the many Asian and Indian markets.
PORT ELIZABETH – DAYS 8 – 9
Set on Algoa Bay in South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, Port Elizabeth also referred to as PE, is known as the Friendly City as well as the Windy City and hopefully, if you stay here you will get a chance to experience the former and not the latter. Port Elizabeth was established to home British settlers who were brought out on a government-sponsored programme to provide a buffer between the Cape Dutch and the Xhosa conflict. The little port grew from there and today it is the gateway to the beautiful Garden Route and serves as an excellent base to explore the Eastern Cape’s magnificent game reserves and pristine beaches. Visitors can explore the Addo Elephant National Park, inhabited by hundreds of elephants; and other wildlife, climb the area’s largest dune at Maitland’s Beach and jump on a boat tour to spot rare seabirds and whales.
PLETTENBERG BAY -DAYS 9 – 11
Set along the spectacularly scenic Garden Route in South Africa, the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay is a popular holiday destination. The Portuguese explorers called it the ‘Beautiful Bay’, and it’s easy to see why – Plettenberg Bay is a picturesque, charming town with endless pristine beaches, tranquil lagoons, clean rivers, indigenous forests and a dramatic rocky peninsula. Playground to the wealthy, beach mansions overlook the Indian Ocean, often dotted with luxury yachts, while leisure time is given over to polo and golf, among other things. However, all kinds of visitors will feel at peace here as simply swimming in the warm water on a safe beach is a great way to experience the beauty of Plettenberg Bay.
OUDTSHOORN – DAYS 11 – 12
Located along the well-known Route 62 in South Africa’s beautiful Klein Karoo, the charming town of Oudtshoorn is known as the ostrich capital of the world. It is surrounded by numerous ostrich farms and the golden arid landscape of the Karoo. Visitors can enjoy the locally produced wine and port; sample ostrich meat and biltong; learn about the ostrich feather boom at the C.P. Nel Museum; and visit the world-renowned Cango Caves, the largest cave system in Africa featuring ancient rock formations and sparkling stalactites and stalagmites. Other popular activities include: mountain biking, paragliding, horse riding, and taking a day trip to the quaint town of Prince Albert over the scenic Swartberg Pass.
CAPE TOWN – DAYS 12 – 15
Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, sandwiched between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breathtaking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town is lucky enough to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbour, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.
The Garden Route has an all-year-round temperate climate that is perfectly suited to playing outdoors. Temperatures are highest in the summer months (November to April), although bear in mind that this stretch of coastline gets very busy over the Christmas school holidays. For a beach holiday without the crowds, the best time to visit the Garden Route is from February to April but remember that unlike Cape Town, on a Garden Route holiday you can experience rain at any time of year.
Temperatures rarely fall below 16°C – even in winter – so your decision as to when to go to the Garden Route should also depend on your interests: whale watching season runs from July to October (peaking in September), hiking is also good in winter, and the 10-day Knysna Festival in July is a great combination of sporting events, food and live local music.
South Africa is a year-round destination due to its varying regional climates and wildlife opportunities. The Cape has beautiful hot, dry weather in its summer months between November and February, while the best time to visit for whale watching is between July and November. The northern regions can be rainy from November to February, but this can be the best time to travel for birding, while the cooler winter months from May to September bring superb conditions for viewing big game.