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Encompass Africa tours

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13 nt Grand Tour South Africa

Safari tour package: A custom, tailor-made, private safari
Prices and Dates: $2324 - $2503
Includes internal flights: No
Length of safari: 14 days
Best months: All year
Countries visited South Africa South Africa
Parks visited Hluhluwe Umfolozi, Kruger
Activity level Easy - Game drives, bush dinners
Safari type:
  • Big five
  • Cultural
  • Boating
- Our signature small group tour of South Africa for those seeking air conditioned comfort travel - You can start in Johannesburg or Cape Town as we run in both directions departing every Monday - Lots of landscape, wildlife and cultural components to this tour - Many inclusions, free time and chance to add in additional activities - you choose!
Day 1: Set off on your Grand Tour South Africa  (D)

Depart Johannesburg on a Monday at 07h00 and travel to the 'Land of the Rising Sun' - Mpumalanga - via the magnificent Panorama Route. The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at Bourke's Luck Potholes and ends at the Three Rondavels. Time and weather permitting, stop at God's Window and the Mac Mac Falls. Late afternoon arrival at your hotel. Check in and freshen up before dinner.

Overnight Perry's Bridge Hollow (standard room) or similar.

Day 2: Kruger safari (B,D)

Early this morning you will depart on an open vehicle safari through the Kruger National Park.  At nearly 2 million hectares, the reserve is the flagship of South African National Parks and is home to an impressive number of flora and fauna. Return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. You will have the option to return to the Kruger National Park to absorb the tranquil beauty of an evening safari (additional charge, payable locally).

Dinner and overnight Perry's Bridge Hollow (standard room) or similar.

Day 3: Kingdom of Swaziland (B,L)

After breakfast, travel to the Royal Kingdom of Swaziland. This tiny mountainous kingdom is filled with bygone African traditions and culture and offers beautiful scenery and attractions such as game reserves and art & craft outlets to name a few. Enjoy a showcase of the traditional Swazi culture followed by lunch at the Matsamo Cultural Village. Continue to the Ngwenya Glass Works to see master craftsmen create beautiful sculptures and artwork from molten glass. After spending some time at the Mbabane craft markets, arrive at your hotel located in the beautiful Ezulwini Valley.

Overnight Royal Swazi Sun (standard room) or similar.

Day 4: Swazi to KwaZulu (B,D)

Enjoy a morning visit to the Swazi Candle Factory where each candle is made and finished by hand using the age-old technique "millefiore". No two are the same and the range boasts an astonishing array of patterns, shapes and designs. Continue via Big Bend into KwaZulu Natal. Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon, in time to embark on an afternoon scenic drive up the Ubombo Mountains, offering views over Lake Jozini. At the summit and as the setting sun transforms the sky into a tapestry of colours, stop for sundowners. The drive will be combined with a visit to a local and authentic Zulu homestead for a glimpse into Zulu life in today's world. Return to the hotel for dinner on the terrace (weather permitting) or in the classically styled restaurant.

Overnight Ghost Mountain Inn (standard room) or similar.

Day 5: Hluhluwe Umfolozi (B,D)

This morning is at leisure, with the option to go on a morning safari if you wish (additional charge locally). This afternoon you will transfer to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve for an afternoon of game viewing. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve covers a combined area of 90,000ha and it was here that the white rhino was saved from extinction. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon. End the day with dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Ghost Mountain Inn (standard room) or similar.


Day 6: iSimangaliso Wetland Safari (B)

Continue the journey along the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu Natal to St Lucia, located at the southern extremity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a World Heritage Site. Here you embark on an estuarine boat trip which provides an opportunity to view crocodiles, hippo and numerous bird species, including the elusive African Kingfisher Eagle, in their natural habitat. Continue to Durban, where east meets west; a city beneath which beats the pulse of Africa. Arrive during the afternoon at your hotel which is located on the Gold Mile - Durban's distinctive beach front.

Overnight Protea Hotel Edward (standard room) or similar

Day 7 - Durban and onwards (B)

This morning you will embark on a brief Durban City Tour where you will spend the morning discovering the cultural and historical contrasts of the city. Check in at Durban International Airport for your afternoon domestic flight to Port Elizabeth (flight cost not included. We recommend flying at approximately 14h00). On arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, transfer to your hotel.

Overnight Radisson Blu Port Elizabeth (standard room) or similar.

Day 9: Garden Route exploring (B,D)

Depart Port Elizabeth and travel via the coastline to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. Described as the 'garden of the Garden Route', the Tsitsikamma actually deserves a more vivid description to encapsulate the beauty of the place. Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge which offers visitors incredible views and photo opportunities. Continue to Plettenberg Bay for dinner and overnight.

Overnight Hog Hollow (standard room) or similar.

Day 9 - Knysna Elephant safari (B,D)

After breakfast, get up-close-and-personal with nature at the Knysna Elephant Park. With the help of the resident African elephants and the well-informed guides, you will learn about the sad and mystical story of the Knysna Elephants. The visit presents you with the opportunity to touch, feed and photograph these gentle giants. After lunch (at own expense), travel to Plettenberg Bay for a visit to Birds of Eden - the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world. Birds of Eden stems from the need to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds and the sanctuary also enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation. Time permitting you have the option of embarking on a Whale & Dolphin boat experience (weather permitting and at your own expense) before returning to the lodge.

Dinner and overnight Hog Hollow (standard room) or similar.


Day 10: Lagoon cruise & Oudtshoorn (B,D)

After breakfast and check-out formalities, proceed on an informative cruise up the Keurbooms River. Continue to the lagoon side town of Knysna - the gem of the Garden Route. Enjoy some time at leisure at the Knysna Waterfront Complex before travelling to Oudtshoorn - the ‘feather capital’ of the world due to its large ostrich industry.  Visit a working ostrich farm for a guided tour. Check into your accommodation in the late afternoon before enjoying dinner.

Overnight De Opstal Country Lodge (standard room) or similar.

Day 11: Cango Caves to Cape Town (B)

Breakfast and check-out of the hotel. Enjoy a morning tour of the Cango Caves before departing Oudtshoorn. The Cango Caves is one of the natural wonders of the world and has become a major drawcard to the Karoo area. Afterward, travel via Route 62 to Barrydale for lunch (own expense). Arrive in Cape Town around 18h00.

Overnight Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa (standard room) or similar

Day 12: Cape Town day (B)

This morning you embark on a full day Cape Point & Peninsula Tour - an awe-inspiring tour passing magnificent beaches, breathtaking views and historic & picturesque coastal villages to the towering headland known as Cape Point. The tour ends upon return to your hotel during the late afternoon.

Overnight Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa (standard room) or similar

Day 13: Cape Town day (B)

Today you embark on a full day Cape Winelands Tour. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way to the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. Return to Cape Town during the late afternoon.

Overnight Pepper Club Luxury Hotel & Spa (standard room) or similar

Day 14: Departure day (B)

Breakfast and check-out of the hotel. Morning collection from the hotel for a City Tour - a geographical and cultural extravaganza showing you Cape Town from its historical beginnings to the dazzling modern shopping malls of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Your tour ends with a drop-off at Cape Town International Airport.

Listed below are hotels/lodges/resorts that the safari tour operator can accomodate for you.

  • Perry's Bridge Hollow
  • Royal Swazi Sun
  • Ghost Mountain Inn
  • Protea Hotel Edward

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