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South Africa Safari

South Africa - Rainbow Route Safari

Small group lodge / cabin accommodated safari - 16 nights / 17 days

Return to Budget Safari Packages       Images for Rainbow Route Safari
Malolotja Game Reserve, Swaziland Zebras in Kruger Park Aloes on the Cape Coast Victoria & Alfred Waterfront - Cape Town
Tour code: SAa17

The Rainbow Route is an overview tour of South Africa including neighbouring Kingdom of Swaziland. The tour covers many highlights with a strong focus on the national parks. This diverse country is explored over great distances that may involve long days on the road, generally followed by a full day to experience the area. The fully accommodated tour offers a great value for money way to explore South Africa.

Departs: Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday at 6:30am.      
Ends: Cape Town, South Africa on Monday at 6:00pm.
Group size: Guaranteed from 4 guests; 12 guests maximum.

Summary
• A participation tour that offers an accommodated safari at a reasonable price, accommodated in chalets, cabins and hotels. A South Africa participation safari with a bed each night.
• A comprehensive introduction to the Rainbow Nation - a world in one country!
• Exciting trip with culture, wildlife, adventure, walking, mountains and beaches.
• Kruger NP, Swaziland, Zululand, Drakensberg, Garden Route and Cape Town.

Highlights
• Mpumalanga Panorama Route – sight seeing
• Kruger National Park – game drives
• Swaziland – mountain walks
• Zululand – game drives & cultural village
• Drakensberg mountains – maintain walks
• Wild Coast – beach walks & Xhosa villages
• Addo - game drives
• Tsitsikamma – forest walks
• Hermanus – beaches and whales
• Cape Town – Cape Point & Table Mountain

Overnights
• 14 nights on safari we stay at small lodges and guest houses, with en suite facilities.
• 2 nights on the Wild Coast are in self-catering chalets where two bedrooms share a bathroom.

Meals
• 16 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 11 dinners are included, of which 7 breakfasts & 3 dinners are provided by the lodges.
• The remaining included meals are provided by the safari crew, prepared at the vehicle and eaten around the campfire or in a boma or dining area.

2017
SAFARI COST:
$2,170 per person sharing.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: $565

If you are a single traveler, you will be assigned to room with another same gender single traveler and there is no supplemental payment required.  If you request to room alone, then a price supplement will be charged.

ADD-ON: All Rainbow Route departures can be combined before the Cape to Victoria Falls Grand Explorer Safari to create a complete Southern Africa Adventure.

CLICK TO SEE DEPARTURE DATES


South Africa Rainbow Route Safari map


DAY 1; (1 Night)
JOHANNESBURG to MPUMALANGA, South Africa  [lodge -LD]

God's WindowDeparting from Johannesburg at 06:30am we head towards Mpumalanga where mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls & forests characterise the landscape. Few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the lowveld & escarpment. We visit Pilgrims Rest, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God's Window, before staying in a lodge on the edge of the escarpment near Graskop.


Includes:
Entrance to Bourke’s Luck Potholes & God’s Window. Day 1: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 1: Dinner will be a set meal provided by the lodge.
Overnight: Graskop Mogodi Lodge chalets - twin bed en suite rooms. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone. WiFi not available
Distance / Time: 380kms, ± 5½ hours, excluding stops for sightseeing, breakfast & lunch.


DAYS 2 - 3; (2 Nights)
KRUGER NATIONAL PARK,
South Africa  [chalet BLD]

Lions in Kruger National ParkThe largest game reserve in South Africa, boasts the world's greatest concentration of species, and has an amazing 16 different ecosystems. Exciting game drives provide us with excellent game viewing. Spot the “Big 5“ (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and many other animals in this true African wilderness.


Includes: Entrance to Kruger National Park, morning & afternoon game drives. Day 2: Breakfast will be provided by the lodge. Day 2: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 2: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 3: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 3: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 3: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group.
Overnight: Kruger National Park chalets – for 2 nights in Kruger we stay in national parks board in en-suite chalets. Swimming pool, restaurant, and telephone. WiFi not available.
Distance / Time: 150kms, ± 2 hours + 3 x 3-hour game drives.
Optional Activities: Night game drives in National Park open game viewing vehicles.

DAY 4; (1 Night)
KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND
  [chalet BLD]

Hiking in Malolotja ReserveMalolotja Nature Reserve in the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland is our next attraction.  Renowned for a great variety of habitats from short grassland, to thick riverine scrub, bushveld and moist forest, we explore the reserve on foot to enjoy the fantastic mountain views. Relax around a campfire dinner and stay in mountain cabins for the night.


Includes: Entrance fees to Malalotja Nature Reserve. Day 4: Breakfast will be provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 4: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 4: Dinner will be a set menu provided by the lodge.
Overnight: Hawane Lodge – Chalet - twin bed en suite rooms. Swimming pool, restaurant & bar. WiFi available.
Distance / Time: 200kms, ± 4 hours, excluding 2-3 hour morning drive out of Kruger, shopping stop in Malelane, Jeppes Reef border formalities & stops for sightseeing etc.

DAYS 5 - 6; (2 Nights)
ZULULAND,
South Africa  [tented lodge BLD]

Zebras and Wildebeests in Mkuzi ReserveWe visit craft markets near Mbabane that have a fascinating range of handmade crafts and the local witchdoctor stall is not to be missed! We re-enter South Africa and head to Mkuzi Game Reserve, which is a safe haven for the endangered black rhino. We visit a waterhole hide and watch game come down to drink. An early morning game drive is followed by a cultural afternoon where we visit a Zulu village on the border of the game reserve and learn about the Zulu culture.


Includes: Entrance to Mkuzi Game Reserve, morning and afternoon game drive & Zulu village visit with local Zulu community guide. Day 5: Breakfast will be provided by the lodge. Day 5: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 5: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 6: Breakfast provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 6: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 6: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group.
Overnight: Mkhuzi Game Reserve, permanent tented lodge - Each permanent tented room is en suite, and raised on a wooden deck. Swimming pool, telephone. WiFi not available.
Distance / Time: 300kms, ± 4 hours, excluding border formalities + game drives in Mkuzi.

DAYS 7 - 8; (2 Nights)
DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS,
South Africa  [chalet BLD]

Hiking in the Drakensberg MountainsThe Drakensberg Mountains or “uKhahlamba” - the Barrier of Spears, is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous wonderland and world heritage site. From Mkuzi we move further south to the base of these mountains where we overnight for two nights in quaint cottages. We will spend time walking along beautiful mountain stream paths, or just enjoying the spectacular views.


Includes: Morning and afternoon hikes in the Drakensberg Mountains. Day 7, 8: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 7, 8: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 7, 8: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group.
Overnight: Lotheni chalets – 2 nights in Drakensberg we stay in the park chalets. Twin rooms with en-suite facilities. WiFi not available.
Distance / Time: 500kms, ± 7 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch. The last 50km is a slow gravel road.

DAYS 9 - 10; (2 Nights)
WILD COAST, South Africa
  [chalet BLD]

Stop along the Wild CoastEn-route to the Wild Coast we visit Qunu, the home town of Nelson Mandela, and pay our respects to this great man. The Wild Coast remains a relatively untouched paradise with unspoilt stretches of dramatically beautiful coastline, open spaces and pristine forest areas. We stay overnight in Kei Mouth and the next day is free to explore the area, meet local villagers or relax on the beach.


Includes: Nelson Mandela Museum & scenic coastal walks. Day 9, 10: Breakfast provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 9, 10: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 9, 10: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group.
Overnight: Benmore Lodge– twin share rooms with 1 bathroom shared between two rooms. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, bar, internet & telephone. Free WiFi in reception.
Distance / Time: 600kms, ± 8½ hours excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch – a long day!
Optional Activities: Ocean fishing & village walks.

DAY 11; (1 Night)
ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK,
South Africa  [chalets B-D]

Elephants in Addo NPThe Addo Elephant National Park was established in 1931 to protect the last 11 wild elephants from extermination. Today more than 600 elephants roam through the area. The park also offers excellent viewing of black rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as a host of other large and small mammals and over 400 species of birds in the greater park area.


Includes: Entrance fees to Addo Elephant National park, afternoon & morning game drive. Day 11: Breakfast provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 11: Lunch will be an own expense meal. Day 11: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group.
Overnight: Addo National Park chalets - twin share chalet (or lodge tent) with en suite facilities. (Sandflats Guest Lodge may also be used subject to availability; these rooms are twin share en suite) Swimming pool, restaurant, telephone & floodlit waterhole. WiFi not available.
Distance / Time: 500kms, ± 7½ hours – a long day! Excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch + game drives.
Optional Activities: Night game drives in National Park open game viewing vehicles.

DAYS 12 - 13; (2 Nights)
KNYSNA / TSITSIKAMMA,
South Africa  [guest house Bx2 Lx1 -]

Storms River Suspension BridgeFor two nights we will stay in a lodge resort in Knysna, which is nestled on a tranquil lagoon. We will take a day trip to the Storms River mouth where there are walks up the gorge and along the rocky coast. The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates 80km of spectacular sea and landscapes; a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys, coastal forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. There is also an option of the world’s highest bungi jump. Sample seafood at one of Knysna’ s great restaurants (own expense).


Includes: Entrance fees to Tsitsikamma National Park. Day 12: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 12: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 12: Dinner own expense. Day 13: Breakfast will be provided by the guest house. Day 13: Lunch will be an own expense meal. Day 13: Dinner own expense meal.
Overnight: Lagoona Inn – twin rooms with en-suite bathroom. Swimming pool, lounge & telephone & restaurant. Free WiFi in reception.
Distance / Time: 300kms, ± 4½ hours excluding stops for sightseeing.
Optional Activities: Bungi jumping, whale watching & treetop canopy tour.

DAY 14; (1 Night)
HERMANUS,
South Africa  [guest house BL-]

Whale watching near HermanusHermanus offers some of the best land based whale watching in the world. From June to November Southern Right whales come up from the southern oceans to calve and mate in the shallow waters around the Cape. In whale season we will take a walk along this beautiful coastline. In the summer months we will explore the flowering fynbos in Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Enjoy the evening meal out at a local restaurant (own expense).


Includes: Day 14: Breakfast provide by the guest house. Day 14: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group. Day 14: Dinner will be an own expense meal.
Overnight: Baleens Guest House - rooms are twin share rooms with en-suite facilities. Telephone, swimming pool & restaurant. Free WiFi in lounge.
Distance / Time: 420kms, ± 6 hours excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch.
Optional Activities: Whale watching by boat.

DAYS 15 - 16; (2 Nights)
CAPE TOWN,
South Africa  [guest house B - -]

View of Table Mountain and Lion's HeadCape Town is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, with the majestic Table Mountain providing its central focus. On our way into Cape Town, we visit Stellenbosch, South Africa’s renowned wine region, for wine tasting (own expense) and a cellar tour. The “mother city” has many attractions; we will visit the harbour at Hout Bay, visit Cape Point, enjoy the famous beaches and the V&A Waterfront. Optional visit to Robben Island (own expense). We sample the local fare at a variety of local restaurants (own expense).


Includes:
Cellar tour, Entrance fees to Penguin colony & Cape Point National Park. Day 15, 16: Breakfast will be provided by the guesthouse. Day 15, 16: Lunch will be an own expense meal. Day 15, 16: Dinner will be an own expense meal.
Overnight: Sweetest Guesthouses – Sweetest Guesthouses is a collection of individually decorated houses in a metropolitan area of Cape Town near the V&A Waterfront. The group may be spread amongst any of the houses, within walking distance of each other, and the group breakfasts will be taken in the same house. Rooms are twin with en suite facilities (or similar guest house). WiFi available.
Distance / Time: 150kms, ± 2 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing + 150kms full day Cape Peninsular tour on day 16.
Optional Activities: Robben Island cruise, shark cage diving, seal colony visit.

DAY 17
CAPE TOWN - Tour Ends  [- B - -]

In the morning we climb Table Mountain, offering panoramic views over Cape Town reaching out into the bay and Robben Island. Having explored the highlights of the Rainbow Nation we take a last look at Cape Town and catch up on curio shopping in the afternoon, before your tour ends at 18:00 at the guest house


Includes:
Guided walk up Table Mountain. Day 17: Breakfast will be provided by the guesthouse. Day 17: Lunch will be an own expense meal.
Overnight: N/A
Distance / Time: N/A

Note: The accommodation specified in the itinerary is a guide only and is subject to availability. Alternatives will be nearby and of a similar standard.
Note: The distance and time travel times are and estimate only, and subject to local road conditions.

Special Interest: Tradition is strong in the Kingdom of Swaziland, with no better example than the use of traditional medicine & healers. We visit the traditional medicine and craft market in Mbabane for insight into the traditional beliefs of the Swazi people.

Sustainable Tourism: Our stay in Mkuzi Game Reserve not only supports the wildlife but also the local surrounding villages. Your tour funds are used to support the local Zulu villages which surround the Game Reserve. Our village visit and our local guide create employment and income for the villages increasing the importance of tourism and conservation. Community awareness and prosperity helps to reduce subsistence poaching.

ADD-ON: All Rainbow Route departures can be combined before the Cape to Victoria Falls Grand Explorer Safari to create a complete Southern Africa Adventure.

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CLICK TO SEE DEPARTURE DATES


Transport
we use custom-built safari trucks with 12 forward facing seats. The vehicles are comfortable for cruising and excellent for game viewing with large sliding windows and front hatches for ease of viewing. On 5% of tours we may use Mercedes Sprinter minibuses with 12 seats and air conditioning (with trailer for equipment and baggage). There are several long days of travel providing for a beautiful journey on the way to exciting and varied destinations.

Local Payment
There is no local payment required on this safari.

Participation
An essential part of your safari is some participation. From carrying your own bag to cleaning your window and packing the truck in the morning – it’s all part of your adventure and when everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly (especially on the longer days). Where the tour leaders provide meals we ask that clients help (on rotation) with the washing up.

Shopping
• • Craft shopping for carvings, candles, batiks, wirework, paintings and clothing, in Swaziland, Zululand and Knysna, is some of the best in Southern Africa.

Food
We pride ourselves on giving very good healthy meals to our clients and will provide three meals per day, except where shown in itinerary, when we try out local restaurants.
• The tour leaders do the shopping and meal planning and meal preparation for each group. He/she will always try to obtain fresh produce wherever possible. A rough idea of what these will consist of is: Breakfast - cereals or coffee and toast or the occasional fried breakfast, Lunch - cheese, cold meats, salads on bread or rolls, Dinner - braais (local barbecue), potjies (stews), stir fries etc. We use regular plates, cups and cutlery. All cooking and eating utensils will also be provided.
• We do cater for special dietary requirements (e.g. vegetarian or allergies.)
• We will supply fruit squash served with breakfast and tea or coffee served with breakfast and dinner. All other beverages will be for your own expense. We will not supply bottled drinking water although it is available at many shops on tour.

Difficulty
• Anyone who is generally active and in good health should enjoy this trip. The accommodation used is simple and clean, but full of character. This trip offers excellent value for money safari.
• Full itinerary with a couple of long driving days but also plenty of outdoors activity. Most places we visit we spend 2 nights allowing time to explore the area.

Things you should know
• Includes park entrances
• You will need a valid passport and visas for entry into Swaziland and re-entering South Africa. Contact us for detailed information regarding visa requirements.
• We recommend that you bring South African Rand for personal expenses on this trip. Travellers cheques can be changed in most large towns. Major credit cards can also be used for optional activities and restaurant bills.

Common questions about this trip
What do I need to bring? Comfortable clothes for warm days and cool evenings, walking shoes, a raincoat, hat and sunglasses, swimsuit, and a water bottle. A small pair of binoculars also comes in very handy and most importantly - a sense of adventure!
Is it safe? South Africa, like any many countries, has it’s problems but your guide knows the country intimately and will endeavour to show you the best parts while looking after you. Be aware, but not paranoid, and you will have a great trip!
Do I need malaria tablets?  Mpumalanga, Swaziland and Zululand (ie: first week of tour) is a limited risk malaria area and prophylactics are recommended.
Solo Traveler? Going it alone won’t make your holiday more expensive; our reservations staff will match you up with another same-gender traveler to keep your holiday affordable. If however you request a single room or tent these are available, with a price supplement.

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SCHEDULED SAFARI DATES

Please contact us for 2017 dates.

The Cape to Vic Falls Grand Explorer Safari can be combined after this Rainbow Route departure to create a complete southern Africa journey.

 

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