This self-drive tour starts in Durban and will take along the coast of KwaZulu Natal, into the famous wetlands and further North through Zwaziland straight into the Greater Kruger National Park. A mixture which is especially popular with families.
Upon arrival in Durban International Airport you will pick up your rental car and drive in around 30 minutes out of the city to Ballito which is a mere 40 km outside of Durban. The beaches are a perfect setting to get accustomed to South Africa and to rest after the exhausting flight(s), taste delicious seafood or go for an extended walk on the beach.
Today you will continue your journey along the KwaZulu Natal coastline in a leisurely 3 hour drive to the town of St Lucia where you will spend 2 nights with breakfast included. From St Lucia you will be able to explore the beautiful surrounding wetlands where yu could for example book a boat trip to live a close encounter with hippos or crocodiles. Another attraction close by is Cape Vidal Nation Park which can be explored on your own and which might be an option for the second day.
Today is the day where you will finally meet some of Africa's notorious Big 5. In around 3 hours you will continue further up North direction Mozambique to Tembe Elephant Park which is known to have some of South Africa's biggest tuskers. For 2 nights you will sleep in comfortable tents in midst the African Bush. 2 safaris per day and all meals are included here to give you the chance to fully focus on your first encounter with the fauna and flora of the bush.
Today you cross into Swaziland and in again around 3 hours you arrive in Mkhaya Game Reserve which will be your home for one night. 2 safaris, breakfast and dinner are included. Mkhaya is mainly known for its Black Rhinos which is one of Africa's most endangered species. The lodge is only accessible by 4x4 car so your hosts will pick you up and take you to the lodge.
While staying in Swaziland you drive in around 1 hour to the famous Ezulwini Valley where you will sleep in traditional swazi beehives for 2 nights in Mlilwane Sanctuary. After a couple of "all-inclusive" days you will be able to explore the surroundings on your own by booking horseback safaris, mountainbike tours, walking safaris (no Big 5) just to give you a few examples.
After 3 nights in Swaziland you make your way back to South Africa and in around 4 hours arrive in Sabie which is part of the stunning Panoramic Route. On your way you can visit the Sundwala Caves and explore some of the nearby waterfalls as you can do the Panoramic Route itself the next day on your way to Kruger National Park. One night with breakfast included in a comfortable guesthouse is included here.
As mentioned earlier we recommend doing the Panoramic Route with its main features God's Window, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondavels on your way to the bush. You will spend 3 nights in the world famous Timbavati which is part of Greater Kruger National Park where all safari activities, meals and drinks are included. You can also opt for an afternoon visit in the lodge's treehouse or join your ranger on duty for a walking safari.
Today is your only really long drive and after the morning safari you will drive in around 6 1/2 hours to Johannesburg where you will spend your last night in South Africa with breakfast included.
Before returning home this evening you will enjoy one last activity in Johannesburg which will be a full day privately guided tour of Soweto with a visit of the very interesting Apartheid Museum. After this you will be dropped off at the airport where you will return home.