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20 Days Southern African Explorer - South - NAJC
Kruger National Park
Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve
Imfolozi KZN Parks
Addo Elephant National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park
Stellenbosch / Paarl
Cape Town - City
Highlights: Panorama Route - Kruger National Park - Mlilwane royal National Park - Swazi Culture - St. Lucia - Zulu Nation - Wild Coast - Drakensberg - Lesotho pony trekking - Lesotho Highlands - Addo Elephant National Park - Garden Route - Cango Caves - Karoo - Cape Town
Countries Visited: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho
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.
Day 1 South Africa – Panorama Route Leaving Johannesburg we travel along the Panorama Route one of South Africa’s most scenic drives. The Panorama route consists of Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon including God’s Window and Three Rondavels. This evening we will enjoy a traditional Shangaan Dinner with dancing. Meals: Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Timbavati Safari Lodge: www.timbavatisafarilodge.com Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, swimming pool, shop Route: Johannesburg to Timbavati ±500 km Travel time: ±9-10 hrs including Panorama Route (long day) Included Highlight: Panorama route: God's Window, Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Luck Potholes Traditional Shangaan Dinner with dancing.
Day 2/3 Kruger National Park We get up early to visit Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where injured or lost animals are rehabilitated to be released back into the wild. This is a wonderful opportunity to see some very special species up close, as well as learn about the positive achievements being accomplished here. Later we enter the world famous Kruger Park and immediately start with an afternoon game drive in the truck. The next day is a full day’s game viewing from the advantageous height of our wonderful truck. Optional Activities (subject to availability): Full day 4x4 game drive, Morning walk, sunset game drive Meals: Breakfast, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Nkambeni Reserve: www.nkambeni.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool, shop Route: Timbavati Lodge to Orpen Gate (KNP) ±140 km (additional drive to Wildlife Centre) Travel time: ±3-4 hrs to gate including the educational visit Activity package: Visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre Included Highlights: Game drives in Nomad truck
Day 4/5 Swaziland - Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary The Kingdom of Swaziland is a landlocked country bordered by South Africa and Mozambique. We spend the next two nights in the Mlilwane Nature Reserve. Exploring the area on foot allows you to appreciate the scenery as well as the animals; there are no dangerous predators here. Optional Activities: Guided birding walk, Game Drive, Village visit Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per Beehive Hut: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary: www.biggameparks.org/mlilwane Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, swimming pool Route: Kruger NP to Mlilwane. ±230 km (in addition approx 150km in KNP) Travel time: ±5-6 hrs and a border crossing Included Highlight: Morning Kruger Game drive in Nomad truck, stop at local markets, explore area on foot Border posts: South Africa: Mananga, Tel: +27 (0) 13 793 7075, Open: 07h00-18h00. Swaziland: Mananga, Tel: +268 323 2137, Open: 07h00-18h00.
Day 6 South Africa – Isimangaliso (Greater St Lucia) Wetland Park We leave Swaziland and take a scenic drive towards the warm Indian Ocean coast, re-entering South Africa. 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 room: www.shonalanga.net Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, laundry, internet, swimming pool Route: Mlilwane to St. Lucia. ±400 km Travel time: ±4-5 hrs and a border crossing Activity package: St. Lucia Lagoon Boat Cruise Border posts: Swaziland: Golela, Tel: +34 435 1070, Open: 07h00-20h00. South Africa: Bothashoop, Tel: +17 8260 400, Open: 08h00-16h00.
Day 7 Hluhluwe - Imfolozi Game Reserve and Durban This morning we drive to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi 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 late afternoon we arrive at Durban, South Africa’s largest marine port and well-known surfing destination. The evening can be spent enjoying authentic Indian cuisine as Durban is also home to the largest population of people of Indian descent outside of India. Optional Activities: Dinner or lunch out at Local Indian 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, swimming pool, shop Route: St. Lucia to Durban. ±265 km Travel time: ±4-5 hrs Activity package: Morning game drive in open 4 x 4 vehicles - Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve
Day 8/9 Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park We leave behind the beautiful beaches of KwaZulu Natal and travel inland to the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg or Royal Natal National Park, part of the huge and incredibly scenic Drakensberg Escarpment. The Drakensberg is South Africa’s highest mountain range with peaks at over 3000 metres. Hiking is the most popular activity here and your guides will take you on a lovely hike if you are not already busy with other optional activities. 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, internet, pool, shop Route: Durban to Drakensberg. ±240 km Travel time: ±5-6 hrs Included Highlight: Hike with Nomad Guide in Royal Natal National Park (entrance fee and Bushmen painting visit included).
Day 10/11 Lesotho - Malealea It’s a visually impressive drive up to the Lesotho border, where the popular pony trekking excursion (optional) requires an early morning start. On the optional overnight trek Lesotho villagers will guide you along remote trails where there are spectacular views. You can also remain at the lodge and relax, or experience an optional shorter ride. Before we depart we visit the local village and primary 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: Drakensberg to Malealea Lodge ±550 km Travel time: ±8-10 hrs and a border crossing (Long Day) Activity package: Local school and village visit Border posts: South Africa: Maserubrug, Tel: +27 51 924 4300, Open: 24hrs Lesotho: Maserubridge, Tel: +262 313 796, Open: 24hrs
Day 12/13 South Africa – Cintsa Leaving the ‘Kingdom in the Skies’ behind us we travel south to Cintsa. You can choose to relax, or participate in one of the optional activities available! Optional activities: Xhosa village visit Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Areena Resort: www.areena.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, laundry, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool Route: Malealea to Cintsa ±560 km Travel time: ± 8-9 hours plus border crossing Border posts: Lesotho: Vanrooyenshek, Tel: +27 51 583 1525, Open: 06h00-22h00. South Africa: Vanrooyenshek, Tel: +27 51 583 1516, Open: 06h00-22h00 Day 14 Addo Elephant National Park This unique Eastern Cape park is home to one of the densest concentrations of African elephants on earth as well as boasting the ‘Big Seven’(elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark) as Addo is a land and marine park. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: The Aardvark Guest House: www.thearrdvarkguesthouse.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, internet Route: Cintsa to Addo: ± 365 km Travel time: ± 7-9 hours Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in Nomad Truck
Day 15/16 Tsitsikamma National Park This morning we take a quick stop at Port Elizabeth’s airport and arrive in the afternoon at Tsitsikamma. The name means ‘place of abundant water’ and it does not disappoint, with its indigenous forests and dramatic coastline. This area is home to the famous multi-day Otter Trail hike and the first few hours of this hike is included in your Activity Package. Optional Activities: Bungee jumping (highest in the world), treetop canopy tours, blackwater tubing (min 4 clients) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch(Day 15 only), 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: Addo to Tsitsikamma. ±260 km Travel time: ±3-5 hrs Activity package: Tsitsikamma National Park entrance fee Included Highlights: Tsitsikamma National Park entrance fee
Day 17 Plettenberg Bay / Knysna It is a short distance to Plettenberg Bay. In the afternoon you can choose between remaining to relax at the resort or taking a short excursion in to nearby Knysna to explore. 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, swimming pool Route: Tsitsikamma to Plettenberg Bay: ± 100 km Travel time: ± 1 hour
Day 18 Oudtshoorn Today we travel through the magnificent Outeniqua Mountains towards Oudtshoorn where we visit the world-famous Cango Caves. The caves contain spectacular halls and grand limestone formations, and a local guide will tell you all about the cave system, which extends for over 4km. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Two per room: Kleinplaas: www.kleinplaas.co.za Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, drinkable water, internet, swimming pool Route: Plettenberg Bay to Oudtshoorn ±130 km Travel time: ±3-4 hrs Activity package: Guided tour of Cango Caves
Day 19 Stellenbosch Wine Route We take a scenic drive to Stellenbosch taking in some of Route 62 and a possible stop at Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub… We will have the opportunity to explore Stellenbosch which forms the heart of the Western Cape’s wine region and second oldest European settlement in the Western Cape. As this is the last night on tour we head to a local restaurant for dinner. Optional Activity: Ostrich Farm Visit, Dinner Out. Meals: Breakfast, 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: Oudtshoorn to Stellenbosch ±400 km Travel time: ±5-6 hrs
Day 20 Cape Town After a leisurely breakfast, we stop at The Spier Wine Estate to taste some of South Africa’s finest wines. We also visit the Cheetah Breeding Project to meet these beautiful animals up close and finally the tour ends in Cape Town. Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: Own arrangements/post-tour accommodation can be booked through Nomad. Activity package: Wine tasting, Cheetah Breeding Project Entrance
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: Moholoholo rehabilitation centre R200 St Lucia boat cruise R430 Hluhluwe game drive R750 Lesotho junior school visit * R100 Tsitsikamma National Park entrance R210 Cango Caves basic tour R130 Wine tasting & Cheetah breeding project R130
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 Accommodated Cape Town to Victoria Falls tour. Beforehand, it can also be linked to the Okavango and Chobe trail or Discover Mozambique tour. Pre and Post Tour Accommodation: If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you. We can also arrange airport transfers – contact your travel agent or Nomad to make these bookings. Arrival: Please be sure to arrive 1 day before your tour is due to depart. This will avoid any problems such as lost luggage, misplaced bags or any unforeseen problems such as airline strikes or delayed flight arrival. 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 our Nomad office: 39 Castle Street, (Corner Castle & Burg Streets), Cape Town. Please enquire with your travel agent or Nomad reservations about post-tour accommodation.
TIPPING ON TOUR: Southern Africa: 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.
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad; Xhosa: iKapa) is the second most populous city in South Africa, and a fascinating mix of Asian, European and African traditions. Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a supply station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, India, and the Far East. Jan van Riebeeck's arrival on 6 April 1652 established the port as the first permanent European settlement in South Africa. Cape Town quickly outgrew its original purpose as the first European outpost at the Castle of Good Hope, becoming the economic and cultural hub of the Cape Colony. Until the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the development of Johannesburg, Cape Town was the largest city in South Africa. It is still one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations. The city is most famous for its harbour, the magnificent Table Mountain, and its natural setting in the Cape floral kingdom. It includes dramatic cultural and climatic contrasts in the different areas that make up the city, and is connected by fast freeways, so within twenty minutes one can go from the wine farms of the leafy Constantia valley to the beach, the bustling city center or a shanty township.