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Kruger & Coast

9 days with Intrepid Travel   Rating: Budget

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Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 Johannesburg
Sawubona! Welcome to South Africa. Johannesburg is a sprawling city of remarkable contrasts. In the townships, mansions stand alongside tin shacks and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there are conglomerations of concrete in the centre. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm on Day 1. You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will have you arrive in time, consider arriving a day early so you are able to attend. If you are going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so be sure to have these ready to provide to your leader. Perhaps arrive early and get an insight into South Africa's history.

Day 2 Kruger National Park
Heading for Kruger National Park (approximately 11–12 hours), you will leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province, journeying along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery South Africa has to offer including God's Window & Bourke's Luck Potholes. Kruger, your final destination today, is one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. It boasts over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Your wildlife odyssey begins as soon as you enter the park. Heading straight into some prime game viewing areas on your way to the camp, you'll have the chance to glimpse some amazing creatures. Your campground has shared facilities, hot and cold water, and upgrades are possible (subject to availability).

Day 3 Kruger National Park
Rise early and enjoy a light breakfast of coffee and rusks before embarking on a morning game drive in the truck. Most of the day will be spent game viewing, birdwatching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints. Later on, there will be the option of a night drive with the park guide. This is a great chance to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two – catch a lion or hyena out hunting, or perhaps impala out in search of a late-night feed.

Day 4 Eswatini (Swaziland)/Hlane Royal National Park
Journey to Hlane Royal National Park today (approximately 6–7 hours). Take a final slow game drive of between 20 and 70 kilometres before exiting the park mid-morning. Travel south-east and enter the Kingdom of Eswatini, which is nestled snugly between Mozambique, Northern Zululand and Mpumalanga. The border crossing between South Africa and Eswatini is generally very smooth, but there may be some delays at certain times of the year. A vast expanse of bushveld with ancient hardwood trees, Hlane Royal National Park is home to the largest wild herds in Eswatini. Take the opportunity to explore this amazing park on a guided game walk. Tonight you will camp inside the national park. Upgrades are possible (subject to availability).

Day 5 Mozambique Beach Camp
Travel to your Mozambique beach camp (approximately 7–8 hours). Departing from Hlane, you will head to the Golela border post and into Maputaland. Drive for a further stretch, then enter Mozambique. After crossing this border point, you will disembark the truck and jump into a 4X4 vehicle. From there, travel on to the beautiful seaside village of Ponta Malongane, your beachside oasis for the next two nights. Your campsite is basic but comfortable – the ideal base for seaside fun such as snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving. Facilities are shared.

Day 6 Mozambique Beach Camp
Make the most of this gorgeous seaside getaway today. This is one of the many unspoiled beaches of Mozambique, and there is plenty to do here. Keen scuba divers can choose from many reefs, one of which is just 300 metres away from the shore. Alternatively, you can borrow some snorkelling gear and explore the blue waters of the Indian Ocean without the hassle of heavy equipment. A great optional activity is to take a boat cruise in search of dolphins – ask your leader about booking. Or you can simply relax on the beach with a coconut juice and wile away the afternoon.

Day 7 St Lucia Estuary
Depart southern Mozambique, making your way to Zululand and Lake St Lucia, stopping at a shop for supplies along the way (approximately 4–5 hours). Declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, St Lucia Estuary is home to thousands of varieties of birds, mammals and reptiles, with its most popular residents being the hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. You'll have the opportunity to take a boat cruise out on the St Lucia Estuary where you have the chance to spot such creatures basking on the banks – not to mention a diverse array of exotic birds soaring through the air on occasion. You will stay at a campsite with shared facilities (upgrades and WiFi are not available here).

Day 8 Zululand
Make an early departure to the Valley of a Thousand Hills (approximately 5–6 hours). This is the heartland of the Zulu nation. You will gain an insight into the daily life of the rural Zulu people by spending the night in a traditional homestay. Here you'll be treated to some traditional food, song and dance. Today there will be a lot of walking in the village, up and down hills (it’s called Valley of a 1000 Hills). Make sure to wear comfortable footwear. You will only need a small overnight bag with the essential clothing and toiletries. Be sure to make the most of this rare opportunity to see a remote tribal culture from the inside. Interact with your hosts and perhaps impart some of your own culture and language in turn.

Day 9 Durban
Continue to Durban (approximately 2–3 hours). Here your trip comes to an end. Durban is South Africa's second most populous city, boasting sandy beaches and a glitzy nightlife – a great place to extend your stay and enjoy some leisure time. Perhaps take the opportunity for a final dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.
Map
All This Included
Sample the best of two stunning southern African countries on an eye-popping tour like no other. From busy Johannesburg, travel into Kruger National Park for an out-of-this-world African safari and then into the Kingdom of Eswatini, with its friendly locals and verdant mountain ranges. Chill out on the beaches of Kosi Bay, a World Heritage site famous for its lakes, beaches, turtles and fish traps. Enjoy a homestay in the heart of Zululand, camp under the glow of a thousand stars and relax in the glamorous seaside city of Durban for a varied taste of awesome Africa.
  • Meals - 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Transport - Overland vehicle
  • Panorama Route - God's Window Viewpoint
  • Panorama Route - Bourks Luck Potholes
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Hlane Royal National Park - Bush Walk
  • Kruger National Park - Overland Vehicle Game drive
  • Zululand - Community Centre Visit
  • Zululand - Traditional Healer Visit
Highlights
  • Go on a safari through Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa
  • Feast on fresh Mozambican seafood at the seaside village of Ponta Malongane
  • Uncover the unspoilt wilderness of the Elephant Coast, a tropical paradise of crystal clear water, marshland, coastal forest and swamp
  • Visit the heartlands of the African Zulu and spend the night in a traditional homestay
  • Enjoy a hike through Hlane Royal National Park amongst antelope and zebra
Accommodations
Camping with facilities (4 nights)
Camping with basic facilities (2 nights)
Homestay (1 night)
Hotel (1 night)
Notes
  • Ages: Min 15
  • Group size: Min 1, Max 16
  • This is an overland trip. That means you’ll be travelling with a group in a purpose-built vehicle, visiting remote communities, setting up your own tent (unless you’re on an Original or Comfort style trip), occasionally roughing it in the bush with no facilities, and getting the best possible views of the ‘big five’. While the trucks don’t have air conditioning, they do have sliding windows which let in the breeze and make it even easier to take spectacular snaps of the local wildlife. The drive days can be long, but it’s as much about the journey as the destination, and half the fun is the camaraderie. 
  • While a homestay in Zululand is a unique and rewarding experience, the conditions are basic – foam mattresses on the floor, with up to six people (of the same sex) per room. Clean linen and pillows are provided. Hot water is not available on this night.
  • As the early bird catches the worm, the early camper sights the animals. There will be many early starts either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.
  • A single supplement is available on this trip.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Intrepid Travel terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.