Note: The accommodation, particularly in Mozambique is simple and the roads can be slow. Local facilities are limited so most of the meals are prepared by the crew. Malaria prophylactics are recommended. This is an easy paced, relaxing safari for those looking for a different experience in Southern Africa. You can fly out of Johannesburg airport on the last day of tour, we do a free drop off at JNB at +/-17:00.
Overnight: The accommodation on this tour is simple in style, with 12 nights twin share en suite chalets and casitas (reed chalets). 1 night in Bilene has a variety of en suite rooms and two bedrooms sharing a bathroom in a casita, so you may have an en suite room throughout the tour. The guides will sort out room allocations.
Meals: 13 breakfasts, 13 lunches and 10 dinners will be provided by the guides, prepared either at the truck or in the self catering kitchen. Of which 1 breakfast is provided by the guest house. Meals will be eaten either under the trees near your chalet or around the campfire at the truck.
Transport: Due to sometimes poor roads we use our Safari trucks with 12 seats for this tour. Potholes, rain damaged gravel roads, livestock and children on the roads can make travel slow, but at the same time you’ll pass through villages and witness the local lifestyle all the way. Game viewing in the national parks will be in our vehicle. On 5% of tours we may use Mercedes Sprinter minibuses with 12 seats and air conditioning (with trailer for equipment and baggage).
Limited participation An essential part of your safari is participation. From carrying your own bag to your room to packing the truck in the morning – it’s all part of your adventure. Your tour leaders will do the meal preparation when required but we do ask the clients to help (on rotation) with the washing up. There are some long travel days which means early morning starts so we all need to get involved to make the day run efficiently.
Day 1 - 3: JOHANNESBURG to ZULULAND
Zululand, home of the nation forged by King Shaka Zulu - from the warm Indian Ocean, across the rolling green hills to the Drakensberg Mountains. We depart Johannesburg at 06:30am, travelling across the Highveld before descending into the heart of Kwazulu Natal known for it’s rich culture and spectacular wildlife. Our lodge for the next 3 nights is situated on a private reserve.
We explore the natural serenity of the bush on a morning walk followed by an exciting afternoon game drive in Mkuzi Game Reserve. Mkuzi plays a key role in the preservation of the endangered black and white rhino and we look forward to watching from a hide overlooking a waterhole, as the animals quench their thirst.
On the third day we explore Hluhluwe Game Reserve, and in the afternoon get to know the people of the area as we visit a local Zulu village and our guides interpret the history, culture and traditions of the Zulu nation.
Includes: Entrance fees to Mkuzi / Hluhluwe Game Reserve, morning & afternoon game drives
Overnight: Zululand Lodge permanent tents - 3 nights we stay in the private reserve permanent tents, en suite. WiFi not available
Distance/time: 550kms, ± 7½ hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & breakfast
Day 4 - 5: KOSI BAY
Kosi Bay Nature Reserve covers a region of fertile estuaries, mangroves, dune forest and tidal lakes. We explore this amazing eco-system on foot and also snorkel at the estuary mouth. A special feature of the Kosi Bay estuary is the traditional practice of subsistence tidal trap fishing. Leatherback turtles and loggerhead turtles lay eggs on the beaches at night (November - January) and an excursion can be arranged to view this beautiful natural occurrence (own expense).
Includes: Snorkelling at Kosi Bay River Mouth (mask & snorkel can be hired from the lodge at a nominal fee)
Overnight: Amangwane Lodge chalets – for 2 nights in Kosi Bay we stay in permanent tents. Each has twin beds and en suite bathroom. WiFi not available
Distance/time: 180kms, ± 2½ hours, excluding stops for sightseeing
Optional Activities: Leatherback turtle excursion (only available November – January)
Day 6: SWAZILAND
Hlane Game Reserve is Swaziland’s is largest national park and our chalets are surrounded by beautiful African bushveld dominated by Knobthorn, Leadwood & Tamboti trees. In front of the camp is a waterhole where rhino and other wildlife come to drink. We’ll join a local ranger on a bushwalk practice our game tracking skills and see fantastic bird life.
Includes: Entrance fees to Hlane Game Reserve, bushwalk local field ranger
Overnight: Hlane Game Reserve, chalets – for 1 night in Hlane we stay in the park chalets. Each chalet is en-suite. WiFi available
Distance/time: 350kms, ± 6 hours, excluding border formalities, excluding stops for sightseeing
Day 7: MAPUTO
We enter Mozambique at the Namaacha border post and travel to Maputo, formerly known as Lourenço Marques. Situated on a natural harbour, Maputo is the economic hub of Mozambique. Once referred to as the “African Riviera”, Portuguese and African cultures meet in an exquisite blend of seafood and vibrant life. Sample the excellent seafood in a local restaurant (own expense).
Overnight: Catembe Gallery Hotel – 1 night in Maputo we stay in a guest house. Twin rooms with a shared bathroom between 2 bedrooms. Bar, restaurant, telephone. WiFi available
Distance/time: 120kms, ± 1½ hours, excluding border formalities & stops for sightseeing
Day 8, 9, 10: INHAMBANE
Travelling north along the Indian Ocean coastline, we drive through mango and cashew nut plantations en-route to the town of Inhambane. Arab influences are strong in Inhambane dating back to when slaves, ivory, gold and spices were traded. Explore Inhambane and its 200 year old cathedral and we visit the enchanting fresh produce market before moving to Praia de Barra. Sit back, relax and enjoy the warm sea and expansive white beaches. For the more energetic, there are optional activities such as dhow rides, scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing and surfing (own expense).
Overnight: Casitas, Palm Grove Resort – for 3 nights in Inhambane (Praia do Tofo / Barra) we stay in en-suite rooms. Bar, restaurant, telephone. WiFi not available
Distance/time: 500kms, ± 7 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing and lunch
Optional Activities: Scuba diving, ocean safari & sailing and many more
Day 11: BILENE
We turn south along the coast to the town of Bilene situated on the shores of the crystal clear Uembje lagoon. The lagoon is 8km wide and 27km long with white, sandy beaches, and is separated from the Indian Ocean by a narrow strip of sand dunes. We spend the afternoon exploring the lagoon with options of kayaking and snorkeling (own expense), and swimming in the shallow, calm waters. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant overlooking the lagoon (own expense).
Overnight: Laguna Camp, chalets – for 1 night in Bilene we stay in chalets. These are twin rooms with shared bathroom facilities. Bar, restaurant, telephone. WiFi available
Distance/time: 355 kms, ± 5 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing and lunch
Optional Activities: Snorkelling, Sunset Cruise & Fishing (please note that these are subject to time availability)
Day 12 - 13: KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
Leaving the Indian Ocean coast, we travel through the Limpopo Transfrontier Park and enter Kruger National Park, South Africa. An icon of nature conservation, Kruger is big game country! We enjoy exciting game drives and hope to spot lions, giraffe and the mighty elephant among others. Relaxing in the tranquil bush we experience a land forgotten by time, a true African wilderness.
Includes: Entrance fees to Kruger National Park, morning and afternoon game drives
Overnight: Kruger National Park chalets – for 2 nights in Kruger we stay in national parks board chalets with en-suite facilities. Swimming pool, restaurant, and telephone. WiFi not available
Distance/time: 350kms, ± 5½ hours, excluding border formalities & lunch stop (this is a long day!) + 3x 3 hour game drives
Optional Activities: Night game drive in National Parks open game viewing vehicle
Day 14: JOHANNESBURG
After an early morning game drive we return to Johannesburg in the evening, sun-tanned, laid-back and ready to rejoin life. Tour ends at +/-18:00 at the hotel
Distance/time: 450kms, ± 6½ hours, excluding stops for lunch
Please Note: We do a free drop off at Johannesburg airport on day 14 at +/- 17:00pm so you can book your flight out for the last day of tour. The distance and travel times quoted above are an estimate only, and subject to local road conditions. That the accommodation specified above and in the itinerary, is a guide only and is subject to availability. Alternatives will be of a similar standard, and accommodation changes will be made without notice.
Special Interest: The traditional fish traps of Kosi Bay mouth are cleared each day, by the local community. Only larger fish are caught as they cannot leave the estuary with the outgoing tide.
Sustainable Tourism: We spend 2 nights in the Kosi Bay area. This KwaZulu Natal park is an example of how conservation and the needs of the local communities can work hand in hand. The local community is permitted to harvest fish within the reserve using environmentally sustainable, traditional reed fishing nets. KZN Wildlife are pioneers in the development of sustainable tourism
• Anyone who is generally active and in good health should enjoy this trip. The accommodation used is simple but clean and this trip will appeal to anyone interested in getting an insight into the eastern coastline of Southern Africa.
• KwaZulu Natal and Mozambique can be hot and humid in the summer rainy months (December – March) so drink lots of water.
• There is plenty of time to relax and unwind on the beaches, after all this is your holiday!
Things you should know:
• Includes park entrances.
• You will need to bring your own towel.
• You will need a valid passport and visas for entry into Swaziland, Mozambique and re-entering South Africa. Please note that the Mozambique visas can be arranged in advance but can also be obtained at the border. Mozambique entry border is Namaacha from Swaziland and exit border is Ressano Garcia into South Africa.
• Travellers cheques are not accepted anywhere in Mozambique on the tour route. We suggest you take Euro, US$ or South African Rand cash for this trip.