South Africa is a haven of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, diverse cultures and first world norms, all topped with a healthy and invigorating climate. These qualities make it an adventure destination not to be missed. A country virtually the size of Europe with over 3000 kilometres of unspoiled coastline, boasting climatic differences from searing hot desert to snow-capped peaks, and varied cultures from the original Bushman to the most Western of ways.
We visit the highlights, but leave the beaten track to explore the great outdoors and visit a variety of African eco-systems. Overnight stops are all at comfortable Lodges, in pristine reserves, high in the mountains, or on the beach, always in truly unique surroundings. The tour is enjoyed by those with a flexible attitude and adventurous mentality.
This tour departs every Tuesday & Most Fridays, please inquire regarding availability.
DAY 1: JHB – BUSH LODGE
Departing from the GREENFIRE LODGE JOHANNESBURG at 06h30 we set off on the scenic road to Mpumalanga. A brunch stop in the historic Dullstroom will be enjoyed before we wind our way down the Drakensberg escarpment and into the untamed Lowveld. The next two nights will be spent at our well-appointed GREENFIRE BUSH LODGE which is situated in a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park, an area where animals roam naturally and unrestricted. The tented Lodge blends into the bush and offers comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding wilderness. Dinner tonight is cooked in the traditional manner over an open fire. D
DAY 2: BUSH LODGE
As is custom in the bush, we start the day with coffee and rusks before embarking on a game walk. Although we will walk for some three hours, the purpose is not to cover distance but rather to search for animals and in so doing, to learn more about the ways of the bush. A Drifters guide and / or tracker lead all walks. Before the heat of the day, we return to the Lodge for a sumptuous brunch after which it’s time to relax around the Lodge and to enjoy the serenity of the surrounding wilderness. In the afternoon we conduct an open vehicle game drive which develops into an extensive night drive all the time searching for animals. Being in the bush at night provides us with the opportunity of viewing nocturnal animals. This evening we enjoy a hearty bush “braai” cooked on an open fire. Fall asleep to the sounds of the wild. Brunch D
DAY 3: PANORAMA ROUTE – HAZYVIEW
Rising with the African sun, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before setting off to explore the highlights of the Panorama Route. Our first stop will be to view the impressive Blyde River Canyon, then on to Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Gods Window, and the cosy little town of Graskop where we will enjoy an own expense lunch at Harry’s Pancake Bar. This afternoon we descend the Kowyn Pass to a traditional village where we will spend some time with the local Shangan people. After a full day, we make our way to the GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW, a log cabin built spectacularly on stilts in the indigenous forest on the banks of the Sabie river – we will spend two nights here. B D
DAY 4: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
An early start, we depart at sunrise and travel the short distance to enter the southern sector of the Kruger National Park for a full day of game viewing. Slowly traversing in search of the many animals that inhabit this area, we enjoy the high vantage point and comfort of our well-equipped vehicle. Although most of the day will be spent game viewing, we will stop at various designated sites to stretch our legs, to enjoy Brunch, and to wander around one of the Parks rest camps. Late this afternoon we exit the Park and return to the comfort of our GREENFIRE LODGE HAZYVIEW. Brunch D
DAY 5: SWAZILAND – ZULULAND
Traveling south through the Kingdom of the Swazi, our journey today takes us into an area of spectacular scenery and past numerous traditional homesteads and curio markets. We then enter Zululand – the region once ruled by the revered Shaka, “King of the Zulu’s”. This is an area of Game Reserves and impressive landscapes. We spend the next two nights at a bush camp in Zululand surrounded by breath-taking views. B L D
DAY 6: ZULULAND
A leisurely start today we will spend the day enjoying a game experience in a renowned Game Reserve. The reserves in this area are lush and offer protection to a variety of indigenous animals including Black and White Rhino. Our experience will include a guided game walk and canoe safari lead by our experienced guides. The activity will allow us to appreciate the fauna and flora of the area on foot and from the water. Today we enjoy a picnic lunch in the middle of the bush. Return to our accommodation for the night. B L D
DAY 7 – 8: DRAKENSBERG
Traveling inland today, we pass through a tranquil region of rolling hills, but don’t be fooled, this region has hosted many historic wars – fought over time by the Zulu’s, the Boers (pioneer settlers), the British, and many others fighting for a stake in Africa. Our lunch stop will be at one of the famous battlefields in the area where we will have time to learn a bit more about this fascinating time in the South African history. This afternoon we reach the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, “Barrier of Spears”. On reaching the foothills we transfer to a 4X4 vehicle, and then enjoy an exciting drive (or walk) on mountain tracks high up to the GREENFIRE LODGE DRAKENSBERG. We spend two nights here in cosy log cabins and will have a day of hiking, exploring, and simply enjoying the wonders of this National Heritage Site. A walk to the San Rock Art gallery is well worth the effort. Pony trekking is also available. B L D ; B L D
DAY 9 -10: DOLPHIN COAST
A relaxed start, after a transfer (or walk) back down to our vehicle it is with new energy that we make our way toward the Indian Ocean. Our journey today will take us through the Natal Midlands where we will see many small craft shops, arts, and other attractions. We will stop for an own expense lunch near Nottingham Road before continuing to our next accommodation where two nights are spent. The GREENFIRE LODGE DOLPHIN COAST is located literally on the beach and the sound of the waves pounding is relentless. We will have a “free” day here to spend soaking up the sun and simply enjoying the beach and warm ocean or to stroll through the village enjoying the cheerful hospitality. One night we enjoy a traditional fish braai on the Lodge’s patio. Lunch and dinner own expense. B D ; B
DAY 11 – 12: WILD COAST
Setting off early, we will pass through Durban this morning and will then follow the coast south into an area that can only be described as one of the highlights of the tour – The Wild Coast. Having formerly been an independent homeland, there has been little development in this area resulting in endless unspoiled beaches, natural estuaries, rolling grassland, and a tapestry of traditional Xhosa villages. We will spend two nights at a remote GREENFIRE LODGE here and will spend a full day exploring this rugged but stunningly beautiful area. B L D ; B L D
DAY 13: FRONTIER COUNTRY
Leaving the lush coastal forests, our first stop today will be at the Nelson Mandela museum in Umtata, then we continue past the birthplace of this great statesman. Our journey this afternoon will take us into what is known as the “Frontier Country”, a region that was settled in the 1820’s by European immigrants and that was host to many frontier wars. We spend the night in comfortable accommodation overlooking the city of Grahamstown. B L D
DAY 14 – 15: GARDEN ROUTE
Entering the renowned Garden Route, our first stop will be at the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park where we will enjoy a walk along the rugged coast and over the suspension bridge spanning the Storms River. Traveling further, those with suicidal tendencies may try the world’s highest bungi jump at 216 meters. We then pass through Plettenberg Bay before arriving at the well located GREENFIRE LODGE KNYSNA where we will spend the next two nights. Our day here will give us the freedom to explore this quaint town and its many attractions. Optional excursions include kayak trips, mountain bike rides in the forest, a tour of the local township, and many more (Own expense). One lunch and one dinner will be own expense. B L D ; B
DAY 16 – 18: CAPE TOWN
A leisurely start, we leave Knysna to travel through the Garden Routes Lake District and then to follow the “Whale Route” through Hermanus and around the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Arriving in the “Mother City” Cape Town in the late afternoon, we check into the GREENFIRE LODGE CAPE TOWN which is conveniently situated. Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world and we will spend two full days here – visiting Cape Point, Hout Bay, The Waterfront, secluded beaches, a wine farm, and many other attractions. We will also hike up Table Mountain. (Lunches and dinners in Cape Town are own expense). B ; B ; B
This tour ends at 16h00 on day 18, however clients are welcome to extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the Greenfire Lodge Cape Town. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).
The day by day descriptions published are intended as a rough guideline only. Adventure travel by nature is unpredictable, weather patterns, game migrations, road conditions and a multitude of other factors may necessitate itinerary changes that ultimately are for the client’s benefit. It is essential that clients are flexible and open minded in this regard.
The 18 Day South Africa Tour departs from Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town. Guests can extend their stay in South Africa by booking Pre-Tour Accommodation at the Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg or for those that want to spend more time in Cape Town, Post-Tour accommodation can be booked at the Greenfire Lodge Cape Town.
Please contact Drifters or your agent for more information.
|Optional Activities in Johannesburg, South Africa|
|Soweto Tour – 3 hours|
|Johannesburg City Tour – 3 hours|
|Apartheids Museum – 3 hours|
|Soweto and Apartheids Museum – 5 hours|
|Lesedi Cultural Village – 5 hours|
|Sun City – Full Day|
|Cradle of Humankind|
|Pretoria City Tour – 4 hours|
|Optional Activities in Knysna, South Africa|
|Mountain Biking – 3 hours|
|Optional Activities in Cape Town, South Africa|
|Roben Island Tour – 3 hours|
|Abseiling of Table Mountain|
|White Shark Diving|
Optional Activities can be booked on arrival. No bookings are made in advance.
Rates are subject to change without notice
Activities are subject to availability
Activities are weather dependant
PRE-DEPARTURE INFORMATION 18 DAY SOUTH AFRICA TOUR
This tour is fully accommodated and all Linen and towels are supplied. Clients will do a fair amount of walking, so a small daypack is advisable. Seasonal Malaria precautions may be necessary and can be purchased locally. Passports / visas are required for entry into Swaziland. The price includes all transport, accommodation, food, coffee and tea at Lodges etc. group equipment, permits, entry fees, and professional guides. The price does not include alcohol, bottled water and soft drinks, meals where stipulated, curios, tips and optional excursions.
Before departure clients will be required to enter into an agreement pertaining to our booking conditions and general information.
Clients are required to have their own comprehensive personal travel insurance.
Your tour will depart from:
– The Greenfire Lodge Johannesburg, 25 Alida Street, Northcliff, Johannesburg @ 06h30.
– Guests not staying at the Greenfire Lodge must arrive at the Lodge at 06h00.
– Tel: +27 11 888 1160
Please note that we strongly advise against flying out on the day that the tour ends. Drifters will not be held responsible for missed flights on this day. We generally travel long distances and late arrivals are common.
ACCOMMODATION ON TOUR
Please note that linen will be provided at all Greenfire Lodges. Our accommodation on this tour is a total upgrade from camping, but stays basic.
Batteries can be charged from a 220 volt source on: pre night in Johannesburg and Days 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 15 & 16 – 18
Currency exchange opportunities on tour: Arrival at Johannesburg Airport, Guests are able to withdraw money from the bank on several days.
Limited Laundry facilities on Days: 7, 13 – 14, 16 – 18 (Essential washing only)
Internet facilities: Pre night in Johannesburg and Days 7, 14, 16 – 18
We sell a range of barrel bags at the Drifters shop starting from € 50 nett per bag.
All our tours require participation from all tour members. This entails assisting with the food preparation, washing of dishes and keeping the truck clean.
Please keep in mind that flexibility and an open mind will greatly contribute to an enjoyable safari.
We are travelling in developing countries; please do not expect the punctuality you have come to expect in first world countries. Things do not always run according to plan, however we do endeavor to run according to itineraries as much as possible.
DRIFTERS WISH YOU AN ENJOYABLE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE!
Please ensure that you are in possession of valid travel documents for all the countries (South Africa, Swaziland,) you will visit. Although we will endeavour to assist, we do not accept any liability or obligation for your travel documents.
The contact telephone number for Swaziland Trade Mission in Pretoria is: +27 12 344 0455
Or visit Swaziland Tourism at www.welcometoswaziland.com
Make sure that your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to your home country.
Make two photocopies of valuable documents such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers cheques. Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.
South African Rand is the currency used in South Africa. All major currencies can be exchanged in South Africa. Please ensure that you have enough Rand as there are only limited opportunities to exchange foreign currencies. Major credit cards are widely accepted and can be used to pay for almost everything. Although Travelers Cheques are a safe way to transport money there are only limited opportunities to exchange your Travelers Cheques for cash.
Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passports.
It is compulsory that all passengers make arrangements for adequate travel insurance to financially safeguard against unforeseen circumstances. If you need further information please do not hesitate to contact us. Drifters do not accept responsibility for any loss, injury, damage, accident, fatality, delay or inconvenience experienced whilst on tour. You will be required to complete and sign a full indemnity prior to tour departure.
HEALTH PRECAUTIONS & REQUIREMENTS
The only necessary prophylaxis for South Africa (including Swaziland) is against Malaria. Please consult with your general practitioner regarding this. Prevention is better than cure, please use insect repellent on exposed areas after sunset. You will find good repellents in a variety of stores in South Africa.
All Drifters guides have first aid boxes for use in emergencies, however we recommend that you bring along your own basic supply of medication, headache tablets etc.
Please note that Southern African weather conditions vary tremendously from season to season. During summer months temperatures of up to 40°C can be experienced. During the winter months of June, July and August the nights are very cold – temperatures may drop well below 0°C – although the day temperatures will be pleasant at around 20°C.
CLOTHING & PERSONAL EFFECTS
Herewith a recommended guide of what to bring along.
Swimming Costume & Towel
Passport/Visas (if applicable)
Mosquito Net (Optional)
***Refreshments (alcohol, coke etc)
Money (Sundry expenses, gratuities)
Books (Birds, Mammals etc.)
* Luggage should be limited to a maximum of 15kg’s HARD SUITCASES ARE NOT SUITABLE!!
** Refreshments can be purchased en-route on the first day of the tour, and at regular intervals on the tour.
MEALS AND REFRESHMENTS
Meals are provided as indicated in the brochure/website during the tour. On the last day of tour we only provide breakfast. We do however stop en-route; therefore it is always possible to buy something along the way. Soft drinks, bottled water and alcohol are for your own expense, there will be ample opportunities during the tour to buy refreshments. The guide will advise when you need to stock up on snacks for a couple of days, however all the Drifters Lodges on tour have bar facilities and bottled water.
Drinking water will be available on the truck, please note that this is not bottled water.
A reasonable amount of personal spending money must be brought on our tours. This is to cover own expense meals, sundry goods purchased – such as suntan cream etc., all alcohol, bottled water and soft beverages, curios, optional extra excursions, airport tax, transfers and tips. In South Africa it is common courtesy to tip casual help for services rendered. In the case of your guide, if you are happy with his or her services, an amount of R50 per day per person would constitute a reasonable tip. By not tipping for services you are expressing displeasure.
Drifters trucks have safe-keeping facilities for extra cash/flight tickets/passports.