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20 Days South African Explorer - Cape Town to Johannesburg - North [NACJ]
Cape Town - City
Stellenbosch / Paarl
Tsitsikamma National Park
Addo Elephant National Park
KwaZulu-Natal North Coast
Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve
Kruger National Park
Highlights: Cape Town - Karoo - Cango Caves - Garden Route - Addo Elephant National Park - Lesotho pony trekking - Lesotho Highlands - Drakensberg - Wild Coast - Zulu Nation - St Lucia - Swazi Culture - Mlilwane National Park - Kruger National Park - Panorama Route
Countries Visited: South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland
*Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and campsites can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travelers will change due to our unique tour linking system. On this tour, camping and accommodated clients will be travelling together with a maximum number of participants of 18. The group will be separated in the Delta and for this reason, if you have booked a German Translated departure, the translator will accompany the Accommodated clients into the Delta.
Day 1 Stellenbosch Wine Route Leaving the mother city of Cape Town behind us, we drive to the famous town of Stellenbosch, known worldwide for its quality wines, spectacular beauty, oak trees and historical buildings. Here we will have time to explore the town and sample some excellent wine from one of the local wine farms. Afterwards we will drive to the Cheetah Breeding Centre to experience these animals up close and personal. On clear days the magnificent mountain scenery makes for a memorable first day. On arrival at our accommodation stop for the night, your guides will brief you on what to expect from the days ahead. Meals: Lunch Accommodation: Two per room: Lord Charles Hotel: www.nh-hotels.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool Route: Cape Town to Stellenbosch ±85 km Travel time: ± 1 hour Activity Package: Spier Wine tasting plus cheetah entrance
Day 2 Route 62 – Oudtshoorn Today we travel along the famous Route 62 towards Oudtshoorn and, time permitting, stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub. We take a guided tour of the Cango Caves, which have some of the most impressive limestone caverns and the different formations are quite astonishing. You will have the opportunity to visit an Ostrich farm later in the afternoon. Tonight we stay in Oudtshoorn. Optional Activities: Ostrich Farm visit. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Kleinplaas Holiday Resort: www.kleinplaas.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool Route: Stellenbosch to Oudtshoorn: ± 400 km Travel time: ± 5-6 hours Activity Package: Guided tour of Cango Caves
Day 3 Knysna/Plettenberg Bay We continue along the Garden Route and travel through the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains towards Knysna. Your afternoon is free to explore Knysna, one of South Africa’s most popular seaside towns. Optional Activities: Elephant Encounter, Township Tour, Monkey town, Birds of Eden, lagoon cruise Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: NH Plettenberg Bay: www.nh-hotels.co.za/plettenbergbay Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, drinkable water, pool, internet Route: Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay: ±130 km Travel time: ± 2-3 hours
Day 4/5 Bloukrans and Tsitsikamma National Park One of South Africa’s best kept secrets is the Tsitsikamma National Park. Boasting exceptional hiking trails and superb coastal scenery Tsitsikamma is a destination that many people will return to. The first few hours of the famous Otter Trail Hike is included in your Activity Package. For those needing an adrenaline boost the nearby Bloukrans Bridge is home to the world’s highest bungee jump at 216m! Optional Activities: Bungee jumping (highest in the world), treetop canopy tours, blackwater tubing (min 4 clients) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Two per room: Tsitsikamma Inn: www.tsitsikammahotel.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet Route: Plettenberg bay to Tsitsikamma: ± 100 km Travel time: ± 1 hour Activity Package: Tsitsikamma National Park entrance fee
Day 6 Addo Elephant National Park Continuing in to the Eastern Cape, we collect guests from Port Elizabeth airport before entering Addo Elephant National Park, which is home to many of Africa’s big game. Our truck gives us an elevated view on our game drive this afternoon, particularly good for those photographic enthusiasts amongst us. Optional Activities: Night Game Drive with SANP. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: The Aardvark Guest House: www.theaardvarkguesthouse.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, internet pool Route: Tsitsikamma to Addo: ±260 km Travel time: ± 4-5 hrs Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in Nomad Truck
Day 7/8 Cintsa This morning we drive to Port Elizabeth Airport where we make a quick stop, and then on to Cintsa where you will have the chance to participate in the optional activities on offer. Optional Activities: boat rental, quad bike, abseiling Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Areena Resort: www.areena.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers,bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet, pool Route: Addo to Cintsa: ± 365 km Travel time: ± 8-10 hours Day 9/10 Lesotho - Malealea Today we leave South Africa and enter the landlocked mountain kingdom of Lesotho. Lesotho is one of the highest countries in the world, with the entire country being over 1000m above sea level. The next day you have the opportunity to go on the optional Pony Trekking Excursion into the remote hills of Lesotho accompanied by local guides. On your return the group will visit the local village and school. Optional Activities: Pony Trekking Excursion, Hiking. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Malealea Lodge: www.malealea.com Facilities: En-suite, hot showers, bar, basic shop Route: Cintsa to Malealea: ±560 km Travel time: ± 8-9 hours plus border crossing Activity package: Lesotho junior school visit (except during school holidays) Border posts: South Africa: Maserubrug, Tel: +27 51 924 4300, Open: 24hrs Lesotho: Maserubridge, Tel: +262 313 796, Open: 24hrs
Day 11/12 South Africa - Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park The Drakensberg Mountains are South Africa’s highest and most beautiful. We explore the mountain paths and take in the breathtaking views offered in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg (Royal Natal) National Park. On our second day we will be going on a guided hike to see some of the san rock paintings. Optional Activities: Horse Riding, Hiking Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Drakensville Resort: www.drakensville.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet, pool Route: Lesotho (Malealea) to Drakensberg ±300 km Travel time: ±8-10 hrs and a border crossing (Long Day) Included Highlight: Royal NP entrance fee Border post: Lesotho: Van Rooyenshek, Open: 06h00-22h00 South Africa: Van Rooyenshek, Tel: +27 (0) 51 583 1516, Open: 06h00-22h00
Day 13 Kwa-Zulu Natal Coast - Durban It’s all downhill as we leave the mountain scenery en route to the Kwazulu Natal Coast. The bustling city of Durban is South Africa’s largest port and well-known surfing destination. We stay in the city centre this evening and maybe sample some Indian cuisine and enjoy this coastal city’s vibrant nightlife. Optional Activities: Dinner out at local restaurant Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: Two per room: Garden Court South Beach Hotel: http://www.southernsun.com/garden-court/south-beach/pages/rooms.aspx Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet, pool shop Route: Drakensberg to Durban ±240 km Travel time: ±5-6 hrs
Day 14 iSimangaliso Wetland Park Soon after our arrival at iSimangaliso Wetland Park we board a boat for a sunset cruise on the lagoon for some bird and hippo viewing! This UNESCO recognised area is extremely varied and includes: lakes, beaches, coral reefs, wetlands, woodlands, coastal forests and grasslands together supporting an astounding diversity of animal, bird and marine life. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per Shonalanga room: www.shonalanga.net Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, laundry, internet, pool Route: Durban to St Lucia: ±265 km Travel time: ± 4-5 hrs Activity Package: St. Lucia Lagoon Boat Cruise
Day 15 Hluhluwe - Imfolozi Game Reserve – Swaziland - Mlilwane This morning we drive to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for a game drive in open 4x4 vehicles. The park is the only state-run park in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where all the Big Five occur. Due to conservation efforts, the park now has the largest population of white rhino in the world. In the afternoon we cross the border into Swaziland. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary: www.biggameparks.org/3parks_mlilwane.html Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, pool, restaurant Route: St Lucia to Mlilwane ±400 km Travel time: ± 5-6 hrs and a border crossing Activity package: Morning Game Drive in Hluhluwe/Imfolozi National Park (± 3 hours) Border posts: South Africa: Mananga, Tel: +27 (0) 13 793 7075, Open: 07h00-18h00. Swaziland: Mananga, Tel: +268 323 2137, Open: 07h00-18h00.
Day 16 Swaziland – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is Swazilands oldest reserve and covers 4,560 hectares. As there are no large predators in this area there are a number of self-guided hikes available. Hiking is an excellent way of interacting with the flora and fauna here and comes highly recommended. Optional Activities: Guided birding walk, Game Drive, Village visit Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary: www.biggameparks.org/3parks_mlilwane.html Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, pool, restaurant
Day 17/18 South Africa - Kruger National Park We return to South Africa and drive to the Kruger NP for two unforgettable days of game viewing. Kruger National Park is home to Africa’s Big 5 as well as a multitude of other beautiful African animals, both small and large. Our truck gives us a height advantage over other vehicles, which means better photo opportunities. There will be a number of game drives to give us the best opportunity to see all the animals. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (day 17), Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Nkambeni Reserve: www.nkambeni.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool, shop Route: Mlilwane to Kruger NP ± 230 km Travel time: ± 5-6 hrs and a border crossing Included Highlights: Game drives in Nomad Truck Border posts: Swaziland: Mananga, Tel: +268 323 2137, Open: 07h00-18h00. South Africa: Mananga, Tel: +27 (0) 13 793 7075, Open: 07h00-18h00.
Day 19 Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Leaving the World’s most famous nature conservation area behind us, we travel to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation centre to meet some of the rescued animals before they are released back into the wild. At our camp this evening we will be experiencing some typical South African cuisine while enjoying a traditional Song and Dance evening. Meals: Breakfast, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Timbavati Safari Lodge: www.timbavatisafarilodge.com Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, swimming pool, shop Route: Kruger NP to Timbavati lodge: ± 195 km Travel time: ± 2-3 hours Activity Package: Visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Included Highlight: Traditional South African meal, song and dance
Day 20 Panorama Route - Johannesburg We travel along the Panorama Route, stopping for breathtaking views at Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The tour ends on arrival in Johannesburg, although most will enjoy an optional dinner on our last night together. Optional Activities: Dinner Out. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: Own arrangements/post-tour accommodation can be booked through Nomad. Route: Timbavati to Johannesburg: ± 540 km Travel Time: ± 9-10 hours (Long day) Included highlight: Panorama route: God's Window, Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Luck Potholes
Inclusions & Exclusions
What’s included: Meals as indicated on the itinerary (unless otherwise specified, all meals are prepared and served at the Nomad truck), accommodation, registered guides and transport. We also include some of the highlights. These highlights are listed below in the day-by-day descriptions as “included highlights”. What’s excluded: All items of a personal nature, alcohol, snacks, souvenirs, tips and optional activities (see list for an indication of prices.)
Activity Package This is an optional payment that covers what we consider to be ‘essential activities’ on our tours. Ideally we would include all of these, but not everyone can afford this. This payment is 100% transparent and is listed below. The Activity Package can be pre-purchased prior to your arrival or through your guide on day 1 of your tour. This dossier has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items. Activities: Spier Wine tasting plus cheetah entrance: R130 Cango Caves basic tour: R130 Tsitsikamma National Park entrance: R210 St Lucia boat cruise: R430 Hluhluwe game drive: R750 Lesotho school visit: R100 Moholoholo rehabilitation centre: R200 TOTAL COST: R1950
Malaria: Malaria prophylactics are required for the last leg of the tour.
Health: Please inform us of any pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or asthma and any prescription medicine you may be taking. We also need to know about any food allergies or physical disability that you may have. Insurance: All clients require adequate Travel Insurance. Medical Insurance is not sufficient. Activity providers can refuse participation of activities, if the correct valid Travel Insurance is not provided. Travel insurance can be purchased via the Nomad website http://www.nomadtours.co.za/travel_insurance.html (Nomad World travel insurance is in no way affiliated with Nomad Tours) Visas: Please note that these are your responsibility. Some nationalities require visas for Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa. See Pre Departure Booklet for more information. Climate: The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information. Currency and Banking: South African Rand is the best currency to use on this route. ATM’s are available in all major towns and cities. There is often a limit on the amount you can draw each day. Please see Pre Departure Booklet for detailed information on each country. Travellers Cheques can take a long time to change into cash and often incur unreasonable charges. Vaccinations: No vaccinations are prescribed by law for the countries being visited on this tour. Please see the Pre Departure Information booklet for detailed information on vaccinations in Africa. Onward Travel: This tour can be linked to the Mozambique in Comfort tour, Accommodated Okavango and Chobe Trail (North), or the Accommodated East Africa Adventure (North). Pre and Post Tour Accommodation: If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. Arrival: Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any unforeseen problems. Departure: Please book your flight to depart the day after the tour officially ends. This is to account for any delays that we may experience due to unpredictable road conditions. *Note: All information is subject to change without prior notice. Travel times and campsites can change depending on road or weather conditions, etc. These are used as a guideline only. On our longer tours it is possible that your crew, truck and fellow travellers will change due to our unique tour linking system. On this tour, camping and accommodated clients will be travelling together with a maximum number of participants of 18. Did you receive your Pre Departure Information Booklet? If not please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will e-mail you the document; alternatively visit us at 39 Castle Street, (Corner Castle & Burg Streets), Cape Town, to collect one. You can also download from our website at www.nomadtours.co.za. After hours contact number: +27 (0) 82 578 2199.
Tour Ends: We will drop you off at Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport www.southernsun.com/garden-court/or-tambo-international-airport/pages/overview.aspx . We suggest you book accommodation here for this evening with your travel agent or Nomad reservations. If you choose to stay elsewhere you will need to arrange a transfer. Garden Court OR Tambo International is about 10km drive from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) International Airport. If you are flying out the following evening we highly recommend the day tour of Johannesburg city and Soweto as an informative and enjoyable way to spend the day.
TIPPING ON TOUR: Southern Africa: In general tipping in restaurants is expected and is around 10% for good service, more if you have received exceptional service, and, feel free not to tip at all if you received poor service. Tipping taxi drivers etc is really at your own discretion and not always expected. If in doubt please ask your guides
Our guides do work hard but they are also paid at (and often above) industry levels for this work. Our Crew can be tipped if you feel that they have done a good job and/or gone above and beyond the call of duty.
The best way to arrange tips is to elect one person in the group to collect the money. We recommend USD1-2 (or about R10-R20) per day per person, per guide as a fair tip. So if you have 3-crew on a tour, we would recommend that 3 envelopes are used and each crew member’s name written on one. Place what you feel is fair into each envelope and the elected person can give these to the crew at the end of the tour. If you do not feel that the crew deserve a tip, please, do not tip them. You must remember that tipping is only for exceptional service and is not at all compulsory or expected. THE NOMAD AFRICAN TRUST: www.nomadafricantrust.co.za At Nomad we are passionate about the people, places and wildlife of Africa that make our tours so special. In order to give back we have set up the Nomad African Trust. By the end of your tour you may have left-over local currency that you will not be able to change outside of its country of origin. Any assistance you could provide to the trust by donating this left over currency will be appreciated. Thank you for your help and please join our newsletter at the website above to receive regular updates on what we are doing to support our beneficiaries. Green Seats - Travel responsibly in Africa: Nomad gives you the opportunity to offset your carbon foot print by purchasing a “Green Seat”. If you would like to help Nomad making Africa Greener, simply choose the tick box on your booking form and we will take care of the rest. The Nomad African Trust will plant trees that are ecologically viable and that have very high carbon absorption. Green Seats can be purchased at departure or on tour with your guide. For more information on our “Green Seats”, please visit www.nomadtours.co.za/nomad_greenseats.html THANK YOU FOR TRAVELLING WITH NOMAD: At the end of your tour you will be provided with feedback forms. These forms are confidential and should be given to your crew in a sealed envelope. If you are not sure of the confidentiality of the feedback form please feel free to email us as well on email@example.com. Please make sure to also complete the feedback form as we use the answers on these forms to improve and maintain our service levels.
Accommodation providers are subject to change without notice, the accommodation listed in this dossier is our preferred supplier, but sometimes due to availability, we are unable to make use of the property listed in this dossier. If we cannot use the accommodation provider as listed we will substitute another property of similar standards, however, en-suite facilities are not always guaranteed.
Cango Caves Common myth has it that the Caves were first explored by a local farmer named Jacobus van Zyl (after who the first chamber, van Zyl’s Hall, was named) – although research fails to reveal anybody by that name in the Cango area in the 1770’s. And besides – we now know that the Caves have been known to man since the Early Stone Age. In the 19th century, entrance to the Caves cost 5 rix dollars – the modern equivalent of about R500.00 – but that even didn’t deter some destructive tourists and many carted away parts of the delicate stalactites and stalagmites for souvenirs or engraved their names onto the walls. In response, the governor of the Cape Colony, Lord Charles Somerset, published the first Caves Regulation in 1820. The 1st law designed to protect an environmental resource in South Africa; it banned the collection of souvenirs, proved for fines for anyone caught damaging Caves formations and prescribed an entrance fee which had to be paid to the District Officer – who was made responsible for enforcing the rules. Many of the most significant discoveries in the Caves were made by its first full-time guide, Johnnie van Wassenaar. – who served for 43 years: from 1891 until his retirement in 1934. He opened many side chambers and introduced thousands of people to Cango 1, which remains the only part of the Caves which the public may visit. Importantly, though, it is clear that the Caves were known to man long before Europeans first landed at the Cape: recent finds – of some tools left behind in ancient hearths in the Cave mouth – prove that humans have lived and sheltered here for at least 80 000 years. Oudtshoorn – Ostrich Capital of the World Oudtshoorn was known as the ostrich capital of the world. It was named after Baron Pieter von Rheede von Oudtshoorn, who died in 1773 on his way to the Cape to become Governor. The town was founded in 1847. The town is situated 300 m above sea level, with the Swartberg Mountain range to the north and Outeniqua range to the south. Arbeidsgenot, the home of Cornelius Jacob Langenhoven was built here. Langenhoven was the author of the old South African National anthem, “Die Stem” which still forms part of the new National Anthem. Ostrich feathers where obligatory items of high fashion just before world war one. The great feather boom began around 1870. At it’s height there were more than 750 000 domesticated ostriches in the little Karoo area and feathers where being exported at the rate of about 450 000kg’s a year. Then came world war one and then austerity became a way of supporting the war effort. Many farmers went bankrupt in this time. In later years the industry revived with the demand for ostrich leather, biltong, eggs and feathers. At present there are about 90 000 ostriches in the Little Karoo.
Panorama Route The Panorama route in Mpumalanga follows the edge of Blyde River Canyon, and includes some breathtaking views of the Three Rondavels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Pinnacle. Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world, and got its name in 1840 (‘blyde’ meaning ‘joyful’) from the Voortrekkers who passed through on their way to Lorenzo Marques (now Mozambique). It is one of the most spectacular canyons in Africa and its cliffs rise between 600m-800m from the riverbed. Possibly the best view in the whole of the Blyde River Canyon is of the "Three Rondavels - three huge rock spirals rising out of the far wall of the canyon. Their tops appear to have a hut-like rounded roof. They are named after the Swazi Chief Maripi’s wives - from the lowest to the highest, they are Magabolle, Mogoladikwe and Maserote. Where the Blyde River and the Treur River meet, water erosion has formed one of the most remarkable geological phenomena in the country, known as ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’. Over thousands of years, surreal cylindrical rock sculptures created by whirling water have formed a series of dark pools which contrast artfully with the streaked white and yellow lichen covered rocks. Following the road and the Treur River south, there are further viewpoints; Wonder View, God’s Window and the Pinnacle.