Explore the beautiful scenery, culture and animals of South Africa on this affordable luxury guided vacation.
DAY 1 – DEPART
From the moment you board your International South African Airways flight you feel the warm and friendly African hospitality in every detail of the world class service you are about to experience. Sit back, relax, and get ready for a memorable safari vacation.
DAY 2 – ARRIVE JOHANNESBURG
Upon arrival you will be met by a Lion World Travel representative and assisted to your shuttle transfer service to your hotel. You have the remainder of the day at leisure. At 7:00 pm meet the group at the hotel reception for a briefing on the tour and a chance to meet up with your fellow travelers.
Discover a refreshing home base for your visit to Johannesburg at Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo Airport. Relax in a spacious room enhanced by aviation-themed décor, modern amenities and striking floor-to-ceiling airport views that include take-offs and landings of impressive international aircraft. Embrace serenity with blackout curtains and double-glazed windows that seal out noise and distractions. Treat yourself to distinctive international cuisine at The Warehouse, the quirky hotel restaurant with indoor and terrace seating.
ACCOMMODATION: PROTEA HOTEL O.R. TAMBO OR SIMILAR
DAY 3 – JOHANNESBURG/MPUMALANGA
After breakfast this morning depart for Mpumalanga, dropping several hundred feet into the lush subtropical region of the Lowveld. Travel along the circular Panorama Route via Graskop, visiting the view sites of the Blyde River Canyon, one of the natural wonders of Africa; gasp at the glory of God’s Window, with a boundless view of mountains and fertile plains and finally a visit to Bourke’s Luck Potholes before heading to Hazyview.
Hippo Hollow Country Estate is nestled amongst lush indigenous gardens on the outskirts of Hazyview and is only a 10-minute drive from the world-famous Kruger National Park, making it the ideal destination from which to access the reserves of the Lowveld and the sights of Mpumalanga.
At Hippo Hollow guests are accommodated in unique thatched chalets which either overlook the beautiful gardens or the impressive Sabie River.
A variety of activities await you, from open vehicle safaris in the Kruger National Park to helicopter adventures, swooping over mysterious gorges and cascading waterfalls.
Immerse yourself in a feast of culture with a night of Shangaan dance and an unforgettable African Banquet. Relax in the extensive gardens in a hammock by a pool or watch the hippos, crocodiles and other wildlife congregate at the river.
ACCOMMODATION: HIPPO HOLLOW COUNTRY ESTATE OR SIMILAR
DAY 4 – MPUMALANGA
It’s a bright and early start to the day. Depart with a packed breakfast to experience the wonders of exploring the Kruger National Park in our closed vehicle. Spend a morning with the Big-Five in the Kruger National Park. The Kruger National Park is an internationally renowned game reserve of nearly 2 million hectares and supports the largest variety of wildlife species on the African continent. Keep a lookout for the wonderful flora and bird life that abounds. Return to your hotel around lunch time and your afternoon is at leisure.
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a full-day open vehicle safari in the Kruger National Park, with a highly qualified field guide who is eager to share their knowledge and passion for this unique wilderness area. (Priced from $100 USD per person).
ACCOMMODATION: HIPPO HOLLOW COUNTRY ESTATE OR SIMILAR
DAY 5 – MPUMALANGA/SWAZILAND
This morning after breakfast, check out and depart on a scenic drive to Swaziland. Proceed south to Malalane and then onto Swaziland where this afternoon you will visit a real Chief’s village and have the fantastic opportunity to gain an authentic knowledge of traditional Swazi culture.
Lugogo Sun is situated in the lush Royal Swazi Spa Valley Resort and is surrounded by tropical vegetation and mountains. It offers a spa and wellness centre, outdoor swimming pool and is located within 13 km from Mbabane. The air-conditioned rooms offer views of the garden and come equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV, minibar, tea-and-coffee-making facilities and en-suite bathroom.
Other facilities include a casino, fitness centre and children’s playground. Nearby activities include golfing and horse riding.
ACCOMMODATION: LUGOGO SUN OR SIMILAR
DAY 6 – SWAZILAND/ST. LUCIA AND SURROUNDS
This morning drive through Swaziland into Zululand. Your journey continues into the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal where ancient traditions and modern cultures of both Zulu and Settler have combined into a vibrant society living in peace and harmony. Arrive this afternoon in the Umfolozi area for your overnight stay.
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park afternoon open vehicle safari. Enjoy an afternoon, 3-hour open vehicle safari into the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Africa’s oldest game reserve and world renowned for its highly successful white rhino conservation programme. (Priced from $70 USD per person)
Arrive at Anew Hotel Hluhluwe, set on the magnificent Elephant Coast, where you will get to experience spectacular accommodation near South Africa’s oldest Game Reserve.
The idyllic hotel is nestled between the Hluhluwe Game Reserve – home to the Big Five, and the Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, a world heritage site. Here you will experience the wild nature of Africa, rejoice in the luxury and revel in the friendly warmth of a most welcoming hotels.
ACCOMMODATION: ANEW HOTEL HLUHLUWE OR SIMILAR
DAY 7 – ST. LUCIA AND SURROUNDS/DURBAN
Today you have the option to take it slow this morning or take an optional morning boat cruise (for your own account) or simply soak up the atmosphere of this tourist town St. Lucia before heading off later in the morning towards Durban. An orientation tour introduces you to this multicultural, vibrant seaside city before arriving at your hotel late afternoon.
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a St. Lucia game viewing boat cruise. Enjoy a game viewing boat cruise in St. Lucia (depending on weather conditions), getting up close to the sights and sounds of hippos and crocodiles and marvelling at the plentiful birdlife. (Priced from $30 USD per person)
Protea Hotel Durban Umhlanga Ridge is ideally situated along the KwaZulu Natal Coastline, with its rich Zulu heritage and unparalleled natural splendor. Settle in to one of the beautifully designed rooms. Free Wi-Fi in your room and throughout the hotel keeps you connected during your visit. Stop by one of the on-site restaurants for fresh, flavorful dining, or enjoy a workout in the fitness center and a swim in our rooftop pool.
ACCOMMODATION: PROTEA HOTEL UMHLANGA RIDDGE OR SIMILAR
DAY 8 – DURBAN/DRAKENSBERG
This morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast or perhaps take an early morning cab ride to the bustling Umhlanga Beach for a stroll along the Promenade mile which buzzes with energy as surfers, joggers and cyclists take to this seaside playground.
Then it’s time to head into the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains. Make a stop to visit the 300-foot-high Howick Falls, continuing through the Southern Midlands Meander Route, arriving at your hotel mid-afternoon. Your afternoon is at leisure to soak up the surroundings, or go fishing, hiking and even horse riding in clean mountain air (for your own account). Then you will head to your hotel.
Drakensberg Gardens Hotel is poised on a scenic World Heritage site, and is a one-of-a-kind retreat for guests to reconnect, relax and unwind. Venture into the great outdoors – hiking, horse riding, canoeing or trout fishing. Play a round of golf on the Southern Drakensberg’s only 18-hole golf course or simply relax beside the swimming pools.
DAY 9 – DRAKENSBERG
Enjoy a full day at leisure to soak up the surroundings of the magnificent Southern Drakensberg Mountains. There are also many leisure activities to be enjoyed at the Resort.
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a Sani Pass 4X4 Adventure Tour. Join a 4×4 tour up Sani Pass and into the tiny mountain Kingdom of Lesotho (passport required) which includes lunch at the highest pub in Africa. (Priced from $112 USD per person)
ACCOMMODATION: DRAKENSBERG GARDENS HOTEL OR SIMILAR
DAY 10 – DRAKENSBERG/EASTERN CAPE COAST
This morning your tour continues south to the Eastern Cape entering the fourth of the provinces and the birth place of Nelson Mandela (fondly known as Madiba). En route you will see the old traditional way of life in the homeland area known as the Transkei with a stop for lunch (own account) outside the capital of Umtata.
Then you continue via Nelson Mandela’s birth place and house, arriving in the late afternoon in the Chinsta East, on the beautiful, unspoilt Eastern Cape Coast.
As you arrive at your hotel, you are about to discover just why Crawfords Beach Lodge is the perfect home for your Wild Coast adventure. This family run, and family owned boutique beach hotel is waiting to welcome you, with luxury Wild Coast accommodation, gourmet cuisine, a whole host of activities and the beautiful scenery.
ACCOMMODATION: CRAWFORDS BEACH LODGE OR SIMILAR
DAY 11 – EASTERN CAPE COAST/PORT ELIZABETH
Wake up to the sounds of the crashing waves and have the morning at leisure to unwind with beach sand between your toes. The beach stretches uninterrupted for many miles and the thick indigenous beach forest is a haven for an amazing variety of birdlife.
Later you will set off heading south to Port Elizabeth and your hotel. The Garden Court Kings Beach Hotel is situated on the Port Elizabeth beachfront, offering a welcoming destination to one of South Africa’s largest historic coastal cities. The white sands of Kings Beach, sweeping views of Algoa Bay, and the famed Hobie Beach, are just some of the reasons to visit this beautiful area.
Port Elizabeth is a major port city that is known for its numerous beaches. The Donkin Heritage Trail takes in the Old Hill neighbourhood’s Victorian landmarks. Coastal boat tours spot whales and rare seabirds, while wildlife reserves outside the metropolitan area are home to elephants, rhinos and other big game.
ACCOMMODATION: GARDEN COURT KINGS BEACH OR SIMILAR
DAY 12 – PORT ELIZABETH/KNYSNA
Today your journey continues towards the Cape. Visit the Tsitsikamma Forest, which provides scenic walking opportunities. A short walk to the Storms River mouth offers some magnificent views of the gorge and river below.
Arrive in Knysna in the late afternoon. Premier Resort The Moorings can be found on the banks of the Knysna lagoon, offering private access to the lagoon for hotel guests as well as boat launch and docking facilities at the hotel. The area is serene in its secluded Knysna Heads setting, with spectacular views of indigenous forest and less than 1.8 miles from the town’s centre.
ACCOMMODATION: PREMIER HOTEL THE MOORINGS OR SIMILAR
DAY 13 – KNYSNA/OUDTSHOORN/MOSSEL BAY
After breakfast, travel inland over the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, known as the ‘feather capital of the world’ because of its ostrich industry. Make a visit to a working ostrich farm and then explore the famous Cango Caves. Walk (the more adventurous may crawl!) around the famous Cango Caves with their magnificent dripstone formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
Check in to the Diaz Hotel & Resort, located on the pristine seashore of Mossel Bay’s renowned Diaz Beach, offering a thrilling and entertaining holiday experience right in the heart of the picturesque and famous Garden Route.
The Diaz Hotel was named in honor of the famed Portuguese navigator, Bartolomeu Dias, who landed in Mossel Bay in 1488. Themed on the long and vivid history of the area, The Diaz Hotel offers spectacular ocean views from every window and balcony.
ACCOMMODATION: DIAZ HOTEL & RESORT OR SIMILAR
DAY 14 – MOSSEL BAY/CAPE TOWN
Today’s journey ends in Cape Town. On the way make a stop in Albertinia to visit a well-known aloe factory. In this area, the Cape Aloe grows wild on many farms, and is still harvested in the traditional, labor-intensive way, providing a livelihood for unskilled, independent tappers. Drive via Swellendam, Worcester and through the Huguenot Tunnel before arriving in Cape Town in the late afternoon.
Situated near the Cape Town city bowl in the lush suburb of Gardens, is the beautifully renovated SunSquare Cape Town Gardens Hotel. The hotel’s well-appointed en suite rooms are equipped with a host of amenities, which include flat-screen TVs, individually controlled air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also offers a gym for the use of its guests, as well as an inviting outdoor pool.
ACCOMMODATION: SUNSQUARE CAPE TOWN GARDENS OR SIMILAR
DAY 15 – CAPE TOWN
Enjoy a day of leisure exploring the many attractions in and around this cosmopolitan city, or simply relax on the fashionable beaches of Camps Bay or Clifton. Cape Town offers historic and cultural sites, world-class museums and bustling markets, inviting beaches and lush gardens, as well as great restaurants, wonderful shopping and culture.
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a Full Day Cape Peninsula Tour. Join this full day tour that explores the dramatic coastline of the Cape Peninsula including a visit to Boulders Beach penguin colony (entrance fee for own account) and Cape Point Nature Reserve. (Priced from $105 USD per person)
Optional tour – please let us know if you would like to book a Full Day Cape Winelands Tour. While South Africa’s fertile valleys are world famous for their crisp white and classic French-style red wines, the area is also a treasury of rustic beauty and sprawling estates shaded by giant oak trees. Visit the country’s principal wine routes of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. (Priced from $95 USD per person)
ACCOMMODATION: SUNSQUARE CAPE TOWN GARDENS OR SIMILAR
DAY 16 – CAPE TOWN/DEPART
This morning after breakfast, check out of the hotel by 11:00 am. The remainder of the day will be at leisure until your transfer to Cape Town International Airport. (B)
On arrival at Johannesburg’s Oliver Tambo International Airport, connect with your scheduled international South African Airways flight back to the USA.
DAY 17 – ARRIVE USA
Return home with a lifetime of memories!