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15 Day Lesotho, Swaziland and Kruger - North [NAPJ]

Route:

Port Elizabeth - Addo Elephant National Park - Lesotho - Malealea - South Africa - Drakensberg - KwaZulu-Natal North Coast - Durban - Hluhluwe Town - Imfolozi KZN Parks - Swaziland - Mlilwane Wildlife Reserve - Kruger National Park - Moholoholo - Johannesburg

Highlights:
Panorama Route - Kruger National Park - Mlilwane royal National Park - Swazi Culture - St. Lucia - Zulu Nation - Wild Coast - Drakensberg Mountains - Pony Trekking - Lesotho Highlands - Addo Elephant National Park

Countries Visited:
South Africa - Lesotho - Swaziland

DETAILS:
Trip Code: NAPJ
Length:
15 Days / 14Nights
Min / Max people: 2 / 18
Vehicle: Adventure Truck
Departure Point: Approximately 10:00am from Kings Beach Hotel, La Roche Drive Humewood, Humewood, Port Elizabeth. Tel: +27 41 582 3720
http://www.tsogosunhotels.com/garden-court/kings-beach/pages/overview.aspx

End Point: Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport, 2 Hulley Road, Isando Ext. 3, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. Tel: +27 11 392 1062
www.southernsun.com/garden-court/or-tambo-international-airport/pages/overview.aspx

*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.

 

Itinerary:

Day 1 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.
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: The Aardvark Guest House: www.theaardvarkguesthouse.co.za
Facilities: En-Suite, hot showers, bar, internet pool
Route: Port Elizabeth to Addo: ± 160-170 km
Travel time: ± 4-5 hrs
Included Highlight: Game drive in Nomad truck

Day 2/3 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 biking, 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, pool
Route: Addo to Cintsa: ± 365 km
Travel time: ± 8-10 hours

Day 4/5 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: Bar, en-suite, hot showers
Route: Cintsa to Malealea: ±550 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 6/7 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 8 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: Lunch, dinner and night out in the city.
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 9 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 apartment: 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 10 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 11 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 12/13 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 13), 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 Highlight: 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 14 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 15 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
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:
Lesotho school visit: R100
Hluhluwe game drive: R750
St Lucia boat cruise: R360
Moholoholo rehabilitation centre: R200
TOTAL COST: R1410

 

Extra information

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.

Visas:
Please note that these are your responsibility. Some nationalities require visas for Lesotho and Swaziland. See Pre Departure Booklet for more information.

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)

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. 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 Okavango & Chobe Trail North tour, or the Mozambique in Comfort 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 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 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: 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 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, however, en-suite facilities are not always guaranteed.

Lesotho:
Landlocked in the centre of South Africa, the Kingdom of Lesotho is one of the few countries in Africa with natural boundaries created by tribal demands rather than those imposed by colonial decree. Lesotho, like Swaziland, is one of the three surviving monarchies of Africa, but unlike Swaziland, the king serves a mostly ceremonial function and the Prime Minister of Lesotho has executive authority.
There are few natural resources in this small country, and over population has decreased the agricultural potential, but the country has an overwhelming natural beauty and welcoming, friendly people. The high Maluti Mountains cover most of Lesotho, a rugged, wild range that inevitably creates their own climate, which can lead to sudden temperature drops and thunderstorms.
The earliest known inhabitants were the Khoisan hunter-gatherers. Evidence of their occupation goes back at least 30 000 years, with cave paintings and other San artifacts found in numerous scattered sites all over Southern Africa, many concentrated in Lesotho. Their artistic talents have given us a glimpse of their way of life and their profound spiritual bond with the earth and animals. However, the San (known as Bushmen by colonial settlers and as Baroa by the Basotho tribes of Bantu origin) were persecuted from the moment they were seen by outsiders and long ago retreated to the Kalahari sands, their last refuge.

Swaziland:
Swaziland is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere, and is one of only three monarchies left in Africa. The kingdom has been independent from the Commonwealth since 1968, ruled by a King who is appointed in accordance with Swazi tradition. If he is absent, or unable to perform his duties for any reason, the Queen Mother acts on his behalf. In the 1980s this tiny country made international headlines when it was ruled by two queens in succession. Following the death of King Sobhuza II, the Queen regent Dzeliwe Shongwe ruled between 1982 and 1983, and months later Ntombi Twala became the country's second female Head of State since independence.
Swaziland is landlocked, bordered on all sides by South Africa except for roughly 100km of border with Mozambique in the east. Its natural resources are extremely well managed, and despite the country’s size it lays claim to some of the best game reserves and national parks in southern Africa. Elephants, lions and rhinos have been reintroduced to the area after they disappeared due to hunting. It is also well-known for its prolific birdlife.

Kruger National Park:
Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivalled in the diversity of its wildlife and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Approximately 145 mammal species, a list of over 500 bird species, some of which are not to be found elsewhere in South Africa, and 336 tree species occur in the park.
When the first tourist cars visited the park in 1927, they made their own camps in thorn-bush enclosures and had to carry weapons to protect themselves from predators. During the Second World War the park was closed to the public, and reopened in 1946 under new management. Today it is one of the most famous safari destinations in the world with all the facilities that one would expect from a world class holiday destination, but it has retained the untamed, unspoilt environment where you can experience Africa just as you imagined it.