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13 Days Lesotho & Garden Route - Durban to Cape Town - South [NADC]

Route:

Durban - Royal Natal National Park KZN Parks - Lesotho - Malealea - South Africa - Addo Elephant National Park - Tsitsikamma National Park - Plettenberg Bay - Knysna - Oudtshoorn - Stellenbosch / Paarl - Cape Town - City

Highlights:
Drakensberg - Lesotho pony trekking - Lesotho Highlands - Addo Elephant National Park - Garden Route - Cango Caves - Karoo - Cape Town

Countries Visited:
South Africa - Lesotho

DETAILS:
Trip Code: NADC
Length:
13 Days / 12 Nights
Vehicle: Adventure Truck
Min / Max People: 4 / 18
Departure Point: 8.00 am from, Garden Court South Beach, 73 O.R. Tambo Parade, South Beach, Durban,
Tel: + 27 (03)1 337 2231
http://www.southernsun.com/garden-court/south-beach/pages/rooms.aspx
End Point: Nomad Adventure Tours, 39 Castle Street, (Corner Castle & Burg Streets), Cape Town, South Africa.
Tel: +27 (0) 82 578 2199,
www.nomadtours.co.za

*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 1/2 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: 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 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: Two per room: Malealea Lodge: www.malealea.com
Facilities: En-Suite, 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: Maserubrug, Tel: +27 51 924 4300, Open: 24hrs
Lesotho: Maserubridge, Tel: +262 313 796, 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: 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 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: 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 8/9 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 8 only), Dinner
Accommodation: 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

Day 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 [Subject to change]:
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

Tsitsikamma National Park entrance
Cango Caves basic tour
Spier Wine tasting plus cheetah entrance:

 

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 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 Swaziland and Kruger 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 our Nomad office: 1st Floor Leadership House, 40 Shortmarket Street, Greenmarket Square, 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 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 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.




Tsitsikamma National Park
Tsitsikamma National Park stretches between the sea and the Tsitsikamma Mountains, along the Garden Route, one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The Park, covering 80 km along the coast between Nature’s Valley and Storm’s River mouth, encompasses a range of different ecosystems - indigenous forest, commercial plantation, Fynbos, and inter-tidal zones – and offers magnificent scenery and walks. It was the first Marine National Park to be proclaimed in Africa, and it is now the third most frequently visited of the 20 national parks in South Africa. The forest has more than 30 species of indigenous trees - there are several massive trees, the tallest of these is 36 meters high, and some are more than 1000 years old.



Knysna:
Although we are staying in Plettenberg Bay, today’s highlight is the Knysna Lagoon nearby, a perfect spot for water sports or simply relaxing and admiring the striking beauty of The Heads. The town of Knysna, voted South Africa’s favourite holiday town, nestles in the lagoon basin. It is protected by The Heads - two towering sandstone cliffs flanking a deep channel through which the tides flow. There are spectacular views and a cosy restaurant at the Eastern Head, and the Western Head is a privately owned nature reserve – Featherbed Bay.
The Knysna Lagoon is one of the few places in the world that supports an oyster hatchery, and the town is well-known for its fresh oysters, as well as its beer, made locally at Mitchell’s Brewery. Rich in history, Knysna’s museums are well worth visiting: the Millwood House Museum, and the Angling Museum in the Old Gaol. There are many other attractions, from the lush surrounding rainforests, the nearby Buffalo Valley Game, Featherbed Nature Reserve and Noetzie beach, to the wide selection of restaurants and craft markets. The forest, one of the largest areas of indigenous trees left in South Africa, is very dense and in some areas impenetrable. Knysna was originally founded by George Rex in the 19th century as a port for the timber trade. The forest was nearly decimated as a result of logging, but escaped devastation due to far-sighted conservation policies introduced in the 1880s. The herds of forest elephants that once roamed the forest have not been so lucky, they have all disappeared and one lone female is said to remain today. The beautiful and elusive Knysna Loeries can still be seen in the area, as well as a large variety of other birds and a few small antelope.