South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic combinations of landscape, people, history and culture that offer the traveller a...
- Departs: london
- Arrives: johannesburg, South Africa
- Departs: johannesburg, South Africa
- Arrives: london
Kruger and Panorama Route - Classical Tour
- As Per Itinerary
- As Per Itinerary
- Safari in Kruger National Park
- Explore the highlights of the Panorama Route
- Enjoy all that the tour has to offer
South Africa is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a place where you will find exotic combinations of landscape, people, history and culture that offer the traveller a totally unique experience. Great for honeymooners, families, photographers and specialist visitors, South Africa offers an incredible range of attractions, activities and experiences.
This self-drive journey is the perfect combination of the scenic Mpumalanga Escarpment with its dramatic landscapes and superb game viewing opportunities in the Lowveld. Aptly known as “Paradise Country” few regions in the world can match the extraordinary beauty of the Mpumalanga Escarpment and Lowveld. Mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests characterise the landscape of the Escarpment. The Lowveld, also referred to as “Big Game Country”, is the setting for dozens of game reserves teeming with wildlife and birds. Among them is the world-renowned Kruger National Park.
The tour comprises 7 nights and 8 days with insights to the history of South Africa, cultural diversity, adventure, scenic beauty and unforgettable safari experiences. The package includes accommodation in carefully selected 4* properties as well as car hire during your entire journey.
Day 1: Departure from the UK
Day 2: Johannesburg to White River / Mpumalanga Lowveld
Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will be greeted by one of our local representatives and handed your tour documents. You will then pick up your hire car and set off east on your journey towards Mpumalanga, one of South Africa’s top tourist destinations. People are drawn to Mpumalanga by the magnificent scenery, by the fauna and flora and by the saga of the 1870s gold rush era and a wealth of fascinating tribal legends.
Your journey takes you to the quaint subtropical town of White River, situated in Mpumalanga’s Lowveld, surrounded by many fruit orchards. Its proximity to the Kruger National Park renders it a great base from which to explore the park and other undiscovered gems in the area.
2 nights’ accommodation in White River on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Travelling distance: approx. 350 km, driving time approx. 4 ½ hours
Day 3: Safari in Kruger National Park
Today we recommend you enter the borders of the world-renowned Kruger National Park, the primary destination in South Africa for most international tourists. You can explore the southern part of the park under your own steam or book guided game drives (own account).
Being the largest game reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park is larger than Israel. Nearly 2 million hectares of land that stretch for 352 kilometres (20 000 square kilometres) from north to south along the Mozambique border is given over to an almost indescribable wildlife experience. The wildlife found in the Kruger National Park is unique: 114 different species of reptiles, 507 bird and 147 mammal species are represented here. Certainly it ranks with the best in Africa and is the flagship of the country’s national parks. A network of 697 kilometre tarred road makes the Kruger Park an easy self-drive destination. The best time for observing the animals is the dry winter season. During this time the grass is low and the bushes and trees don't have leaves, giving you an unobstructed view. Because it virtually doesn't rain in winter, the animals come to the waterholes to drink in the mornings and evenings and can easily be spotted from the car.
Travelling distance: approx. 100 km, driving time: full day exploring
Day 4: White River to a Private Game Reserve / Greater Kruger Park area
Your journey takes you from White River to further up north to a Private Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger area. The stay at a Private Game Reserve is usually the highlight of any South Africa journey as it serves many advantages over the stay in South Africa’s national parks: All safaris are conducted in modified Land Cruisers that have been fitted for optimal game-viewing and supreme comfort. The vehicles don't need to be covered, there are no other private vehicles on the roads, rangers can follow animals off the roads and you can go on bush walks and night drives! Above all, only overnight guests have exclusive access to the game reserve.
En-route you have the opportunity to discover Hazyview, the main hub in Mpumalanga for adventures and activities. Here, visitors can enjoy the thrills of river rafting, tubing, abseiling, zipline, aerial cable trail and quad biking to name a few. For the less adventurous travellers, Hazyview offers elephant interaction, elephant-back safaris, horseback safaris as well as cultural experiences at Shangana Cultural Village.
Aim to arrive at your Safari Lodge by early afternoon to get familiar with the lodge, have a dip in the pool or even a quick doze. High tea is served in the late afternoon after which you depart on your first game drive - a sunset drive. Depending on the time of year, you may encounter elephants, leopards, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, hippos, as well as an abundance of plains game. Birdwatchers can also look forward to ample sightings of the several hundred bird species typical to the Lowveld.
As the sun sets the ranger will pick a good spot for a sundowner where you will pause to watch the sunset and enjoy some refreshments. A real safari tradition! During your drive back to the lodge the rangers use a powerful spotlight to catch sight of nocturnal animals such as leopards, bush-Babies and porcupine. Upon return at the lodge it is time for dinner.
2 nights’ accommodation at a Private Game Reserve on Full Board basis (excluding drinks) plus 4 safari activities.
Travelling distance: approx. 130 km, driving time approx. 2 hours
Day 5: A Typical Safari Day
A typical day in the African bush starts with an early morning wake-up call. Tea and biscuits are served and at sunrise you head off on your early-morning game-drive. This is generally the best time to spot the wildlife, as the temperature is cool and the animals are still very active, including the big cats, which will be returning from a night of hunting. You will return from your morning game drive in time for a sumptuous brunch. You then have time to relax between brunch and afternoon high tea - this is the time to have a sleep, lie at the pool, read a book!
As with early morning, the evening game drive is often the best time to see the wildlife. The predatory animals begin to stir from their heat-of-the-day slumber, and similarly, their prey become ever more active and alert as darkness falls. Back at the lodge, your day in the African bush is rounded off with traditional cuisine in the Boma. There is something intensely magical about spending an evening under the African stars next to a crackling fire with nothing but the sounds of the bush and the cheer of your family and friends for entertainment.
Day 6: Greater Kruger area to Panorama Route / Mpumalanga Escarpment
After a last morning game drive and brunch you leave the African Wild and travel up to Mpumalanga’s Escarpment, home to breath-taking views and some of the most spectacular landscapes. The most dramatic scenery is found on the Panorama Route.
En-route we recommend a visit to a Centre for Endangered Species allowing visitors the opportunity to view and interact with a variety of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals such as cheetah, wild dog, serval, caracal. Here you will learn more about the breeding of these precious species, as well as the treatment and rehabilitation of orphaned or injured animals that are brought to the Centre. Another attraction worthwhile a visit are some of the oldest caves in the world - the Echo Caves - which have been declared a Historical Monument. Spend the remainder of the day getting familiar with your new accommodation and its surroundings.
2 nights’ accommodation at the Panorama Route on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Travelling distance: approx. 100 km, driving time approx. 2 hours
Day 7: Explore the highlights of the Panorama Route
Spend the day exploring the highlights along the Panorama Route, one of South Africa’s most popular tours routes which leads through the rugged mountain range of the northern Drakensberg. Here in the north-eastern part of the escarpment, the inland plateau declines abruptly and opens up fantastic views of the Lowveld plains a thousand metres below. This view is most reliable in the dry winter months.
The recommended round-trip takes you through Pilgrim’s Rest, a historical gold-mining village which has been declared a national monument and boasts many quaint shops and museums. Make your way through Graskop with its countless waterfalls towards the northern part of the Panorama Route where you will find the most spectacular scenery. Visit the bizarrely shaped Bourke’s Luck potholes and breath-taking viewpoints at God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world. Hikers and nature lovers should not miss out on walking any of the different walking trails along the Panorama Route.
Travelling distance: approx. 180 km, driving time: full day exploring
Day 8: Panorama Route to Pretoria / Gauteng Province
Today’s journey takes you from Mpumalanga to Pretoria, a metropolis in South Africa’s Province Gauteng which is located in the north of the huzzling and buzzling city of Johannesburg. Pretoria, also known as “Jacaranda City”, is the administrative capital of South Africa and is named after Andries Pretotius, the leader of the Voortrekers, who became a national hero after Victory from the Zulus in the famous Battle of the Blood River. Time permitting spend the afternoon exploring the attractions of Pretoria before proceeding to your last overnight accommodation. Walk along jacaranda-lined streets and savour all the sights and sounds from the Voortrekker Monument to the Union Buildings, which house the seat of government and the President's Office. Have a glance at the City Hall and Opera House, wander around the Church Square and visit one of the museums.
1 night accommodation in Pretoria on Bed & Breakfast basis.
Travelling distance: approx. 360 km, driving time approx. 4 ½ - 5 hours
Day 9 – Departure Johannesburg
Spend the first part of the day with activities in Pretoria, Johannesburg and surroundings. A guided tour to Soweto (South Western Township) is a must for those wanting to learn more about South Africa's fascinating rainbow nation, culture and history (extra charge). This tour takes you into the most famous sprawling township in Africa, a place of contrast which is home of about four million people. Soweto developed as a township for black people under Apartheid and was the site from where most of the struggle against Apartheid was fought. Soweto has changed astronomically since. It is now a sprawling metropolis with several upmarket houses situated among the stretches of shacks. One of Johannesburg's leading attractions is the Apartheid Museum which displays large blown up photographs with commentary giving visitors an idea of what life in South Africa was like under the Apartheid regime.
On a guided tour of Johannesburg (extra charge) you get to explore the city's cultural and historical highlights. Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or eGoli, is the largest city in South Africa, and is the provincial capital of Gauteng.
In the afternoon you drive to OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, drop off your car and continue with your onward journey.
Travelling distance: approx. 70 km, driving time approx. 1 ½ hours (keeping traffic in mind)
We had a brilliant time.
Jenny Griffiths reviewing Kruger and Panorama Route - Classical Tour (16-Nov-2017)
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Based on a 7 night stay leaving from Gatwick
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