Explore the big game of the Kruger National Park. We enjoy hiking Swaziland, before heading into the Zulu Kingdom. We visit the wetlands, wildlife and beaches of KwaZulu-Natal, before heading to the mountains of the Drakensberg.
Mpumalanga - Panorama Route sight seeing
Kruger National Park – private lodge game drives and bush walk
Swaziland – mountain walks, cultural adventure
KwaZulu Natal – walk, game drive and museums
Drakensberg Mountains – mountain walks
8 walks of varying grades – Mac Mac, Blyde River Canyon, Big 5, Swaziland, Isimangaliso, Zululand, Drakensberg, The Amphitheatre
Accommodation as per itinerary
Meals as per itinerary
Pre and post tour accommodation
Beverages (alcohol, soft drinks and bottled water)
Increases in park fees, government taxes and levies and fuel surcharges
Day 1 - 2 MPUMALANGA [chalet -LD]
[B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner]
After the tour briefing at 06:30am, we depart Johannesburg and head east towards Mpumalanga. During the afternoon we visit the gold mining town of Pilgrim's Rest, and the viewpoint over God’s Window. Stretch our legs on a short walk from Mac Mac Pools and then make our way to our chalets on the edge of the escarpment.
We are up early the next morning for our first long walk at the Blyde River. We walk from the rim of the escarpment down into the canyon with views over the Three Sisters and the river below, before making our way back up the escarpment again. After lunch we spend the afternoon exploring the forests and waterfalls which make Mpumalanga a beautiful destination. An exciting optional activity is the Graskop Gorge Lift, which lowers you down for a walk through the lush Afromontane forest below (own expense).
Leisurely – Mac Mac Walk – short easy walk to stretch your legs. 2-3km, less than one hour. On a foot path with very limited altitude change.
Moderate – Blyde River Canyon – 3.5hr walk on good paths with some rocky sections.
Day 3 - 4 KRUGER PRIVATE GAME RESERVE [chalet BLD]
An early breakfast and we make our way to the Kruger National Park. We enter the national park and spend the day on an exciting game drive. Your guide will interpret the signs of the bush as we hope to see elephants, rhino and possibly the elusive leopard. We stop for a picnic lunch before completing our game drive in the late afternoon as we exit the park and make our way to our private game lodge in the Greater Kruger area.
A highlight of our tour is the early morning game walk with a local ranger. Quietly we venture into the bush, learning the tracks and other signs of wildlife we hope to find on foot.
Leisurely – Big 5 game walk - early morning 3 – 4 hr bush walk with ranger to spot game.
Day 5 - 6 KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND [chalet BLD]
We enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and travel through a lush fruit farming area before heading into the mountains of Swaziland. We spend 2 nights on the outskirts of Malalotja Nature Reserve with a full day to walk through this seldom explored mountainous reserve. The Swazi people have a rich cultural heritage and we will visit the craft and medicine markets on day 7 as we pass through the capital, Mbabane.
Challenging – 4 - 6hr walk through undulating hills of Malalotja Game Reserve to a beautiful waterfall. Uneven paths and this walk has sections of steep gradients.
Day 7 - 8 ZULULAND GAME RESERVES [tented lodge BLD]
Crossing into South Africa we head towards our lodge on a private game reserve situated on the Ukuwela Conservancy. We take a walk with our local walking guide who will point out some of the 540+ bird species found in the area, and track the shy Nyala antelope in the riverine vegetation of the Msinene River. The following morning we visit Hluhluwe Game Reserve, a key area for rhino conservation and visit a Zulu village to learn more about their culture. Enjoy sunset and the sounds of the bush before a hearty dinner at the lodge.
Leisurely – 2-3hr gentle walk on the conservancy
Day 9 - 10 ZULULAND BATTLEFIELDS [lodge BL-]
We leave the coastline and make our way through the scenic hills and valleys of Zululand to the small town of Dundee. Here battles were fought between the Zulus, British and the Boer troops - war cries still resound in the hills. We spend time at the informative Tulana museum before we settle into our lodge and have some free time in the afternoon.
The following morning we explore the Islandlwana battlefield before we embark on an exciting 4-5hour hike tracing the steps of the two British fugitives through the undulating hills of Zululand to the Buffalo River. Later in the day we visit Rourkes Drift before returning to the lodge.
Challenging – 4-5hr Fugitives Drift trail through Zululand on uneven paths. It has strenuous sections with some steep gradients. Complete hike is dependent on the Buffalo River water level crossing.
Day 11 - 12 DRAKENSBERG [chalets BLD]
Witness the grandeur of the Drakensberg Mountains or uKhahlamba “Barrier of Spears”. We overnight at the base of the “berg” (alt. 1,600m) and spend a full day walking the mountain trails before taking an invigorating dip in the clear mountain streams of the Royal Natal National Park. The crisp mountain air is refreshing and our lodge is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the splendour of the mountain views.
Challenging – 2-3hr gentle walk through sand forests and along the estuary shoreline.
Day 13 DRAKENSBERG [chalet BL-]
We start the day with an early breakfast and make our way to Witsieshoek at the foot of the magnificent Sentinel Peak. At the end of a rough gravel road we start our trek, including a short chain ladder section, to the top of the Drakensberg Amphitheatre and the beautiful Tugela Falls (alt. 3,000m), offering unparalleled views down into KwaZulu-Natal. After our walk we make our way to the lodge perched high in the mountains (alt. 2,300m) overlooking the Mont-Aux-Sources mountain range.
Challenging – 5-6 hrs walk on uneven paths to the top of the Amphitheatre with a short section of chain ladders.
Day 14 JOHANNESBURG - TOUR ENDS [BL-]
A leisurely start to the day, with the chance to spot the endangered bearded vulture soaring overhead, before we make our way back to Johannesburg. Tour ends at +/-17:00.