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13 Days Camping - Lesotho and Garden Route - South - Durban to Cape Town [NDC]

Route:

Durban - Drakensberg - Lesotho - Malealea - South Africa - Addo Elephant National Park - Tsitsikamma Mountains - Knysna - Plettenberg Bay - Oudtshoorn - Stellenbosch - Cape Town - City

Lesotho & Garden Route - Camping - South 2014

Highlights:
Cango Caves, Garden Route, Addo Elephant NP, Lesotho pony trekking, Zulu Nation

Countries Visited: South Africa, Lesotho

DETAILS:
Trip Code: NDC
Accommodation:
Twin Share Camping
Max Passengers: 18
Number of Crew:
3
Vehicle Type: Adventure Truck
DURATION: Days: 13 Nights: 12

Meals:
Breakfast:12
Lunch:10
Dinner:12 

*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.

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.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1/2 UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park
After meeting your guides and group, 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 (day 2 only) Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Camp: Drakensville Resort: www.drakensville.co.za
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, laundry, internet, pool, shop
Route: Durban to Drakensberg. ±240 km
Travel time: ±5-6 hrs
Included Highlight: Hike with your guide in Royal Natal National park (entrance fee and Bushmen painting visit included).

Day 3/4 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: Camp: Malealea Lodge: www.malealea.com
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar
Route: Drakensberg to Malealea Lodge ±300 km
Travel time: ±8-10 hrs and a border crossing (Long Day)
Activity package: Local junior school and village visit (except during school holidays)
Border posts: South Africa: Maseru Bridge, Tel: +27 (0) 51 924 4300, Open: 24hrs
Lesotho: Maseru Bridge, Tel: +266 22 313 796, Open: 24hrs

Day 5/6 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: Camp: Areena Resort: www.areena.co.za
Facilities: Shared ablutions, 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 7 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: Camp: The Aardvark Guest House: www.thearrdvarkguesthouse.co.za
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, internet
Route: Cintsa to Addo: ± 365 km
Travel time: ± 7-9 hours
Included Highlight: Afternoon game drive in Nomad Truck

Day 8/9 Tsitsikamma National Park
This morning we will 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: Camp: Tube n Axe: www.tubenaxe.co.za
Facilities: Shared ablutions, hot showers, bar, internet
Route: Addo to Tsitsikamma. ±260 km
Travel time: ±3-5 hrs
Activity package: Tsitsikamma National Park Entrance Fee

Inclusions & Exclusions

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.

Activity & Price
-Lesotho junior school visit*
-Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
-Cango Caves basic tour 
-Wine tasting & Cheetah breeding project 

This dossier has been written with the inclusion of the Activity Package items.
*The Lesotho school visit will only take place during school terms. During school holidays, we will refund this activity package item

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, optional activity package and optional activities (see list for an indication of prices).

 

Extra information

Malaria:
None Required

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 Lesotho, and these must be obtained in advance. 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 only currency to use on this route. 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. Credit Cards cannot always be processed – especially in remote areas.

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 Swaziland and Kruger tour.

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 problems such as lost luggage, misplaced bags or any unpredictable 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 nomad@nomadtours.co.za 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 should you wish to book post-tour accommodation.

TIPPING ON TOUR:
Southern Africa:
In general tipping in restaurants is generally 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 (or about R5) 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 members name written on one. Place what you feel is fair in to 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 http://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 ops@nomadtours.co.za. 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.