WALKING SOUTH AFRICA (2019) | Code: JJa14
14 day small group accommodated safari
Guaranteed from 4 clients, maximum group size: 12 clients
DEPARTS: JOHANNESBURG on Sat at 06:30am
ENDS: JOHANNESBURG on Fri @ ±17:00pm
* Mpumalanga - Panorama Route sight seeing
* Kruger National Park – game drives
* 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
A walking focused safari exploring a variety of scenic and cultural destinations within South Africa, including a visit to the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland. This is an active holiday and the day walks range from leisurely to challenging, and provide a unique adventure for those interested in a walking holiday. Highlights include visits to the old mining town of Pilgrims Rest, the game reserves of Zululand and Kruger, the Dundee battlefields and the majesty of the Drakensberg.
Overnight 13 nights on safari we stay at small, intimate and often private lodges (including tented camps), with en suite facilities.
Meals 13 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 10 dinners are included. Of which 9 breakfasts & 8 dinners are provided by the lodges. The remaining included meals are provided by the Sunway crew, prepared at the vehicle and eaten around the boma or campfire.
Transport we use custom-built Sunway Safari trucks with 12 forward facing seats. These vehicles are comfortable for cruising with large sliding windows and front hatches giving everyone a good view; or (on 10% of tours) Mercedes Sprinter minibuses with 12 seats and air conditioning (with a trailer for equipment and gear).
Limited participation An essential part of your safari is some participation. From carrying your own bag to your room and day packs and water bottles on hikes, to packing the truck in the morning – it’s all part of your adventure. Where the tour leaders provide meals we ask that clients help (on rotation) with the washing up. When everyone puts in a little effort the trip will run smoothly and efficiently ensuring it is enjoyable for all involved
Day 1 | MPUMALANGA [chalet –Bx1 LD]
(B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
We depart Johannesburg and head east to Mpumalanga. During the afternoon we visit the gold mining town of Pilgrims 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).
Day 1: Breakfast is not included
Day 2: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 1-2: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 1-2: Dinner will be provided by the lodge
Includes: Entrance to Blyde River Canyon, Gods Window, Mac Mac Falls
Overnight: Graskop Mogodi Lodge - twin bed chalet en suite. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
WiFi not available
Walk grade: Day 1 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.
Day 2 Moderate – Blyde River Canyon – 3.5hr walk on good paths with some rocky sections.
Distance/time: Day 1 420kms, ±6.5 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing, breakfast & lunch
Day 3 – 4 | KRUGER PRIVATE GAME RESERVE [chalets BLD]
An early breakfast and we make our way to Kruger National Park. We enter the national park and spend the day on an exciting game drive. Your guide will interpret the signs of 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 the wildlife we hope to find on foot.
Day 3: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 4: Breakfast will be a set meal provided by the lodge
Day 3-4: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 3-4: Dinner will be a set meal provided by the lodge
Includes: Entrance fees to Kruger National Park and private game reserve, game walk, full day game drive in Kruger National Park
Overnight: Makuwa Safari Lodge – twin room with en suite facilities. Swimming pool.
WiFi not available. 3G
Walk grade: Leisurely - Big 5 game walk early morning 3–4 hr bush walk with ranger.
Distance/time: 250kms, all day game drive in Kruger
Day 5 – 6 | KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND [chalets BLD]
We enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and travel through a lush fruit farming area before heading into the mountains. 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.
Day 5-6: Breakfast will be provided by the lodge
Day 5-6: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 5-6: Dinner will be a set meal provided by the lodge
Includes: Entrance fees to Malalotja Nature Reserve
Overnight: Hawane - mountain chalets en-suite facilities
WiFi not available
Walk grade: 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.
Distance/time: 200kms, ± 3 hours, + 2-3 hour morning drive out of Kruger, shopping stop in Malelane, Jeppes Reef border formalities & stops for sightseeing etc
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.
Day 7-8: Breakfast will be provided by the lodge
Day 7-8: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 7-8: Dinner will be a set meal provided by the lodge
Includes: Entrance fees to Hluhluwe Game Reserve
Overnight: Zululand Lodge - 2 nights we stay in the permanent tents, en suite.
WiFi not available. 3G
Distance/time: 295kms, ± 6 hours, excluding border formalities, stops for sightseeing & lunch
Walk grade: Leisurely – 2-3hr gentle bushveld walk along Msinene River
Day 9 - 10 | ZULULAND BATTLEFIELDS [lodge BL-]
We leave the bush of Zululand behind us 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 Isandlwana 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.
Day 9-10: Breakfast provide by the lodge
Day 9-10: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 9-10: Dinner will be an own expense meal at a local restaurant
Includes: Visit to Roukes Drift, and Isandlwana battlefields, entrance to Talana Museum
Overnight: Battlefields Country Lodge - twin share chalet with en-suite facilities. Swimming pool, bar, restaurant, telephone.
Free WiFi in reception
Walk grade: 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.
Distance/time: 350kms, ± 5.5 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch
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.
Day 11: Breakfast provided by the lodge
Day 11: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 11: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 12: Breakfast provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 12: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 12: Dinner provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Includes: Entrance fees to Royal Natal National Park
Overnight: Royal Natal National Park Thendele variety of chalets with twin or double bedrooms and en-suite facilities.
WiFi not available
Walk grade: Moderate – 5.5hr walk up the Tugela gorge on good paths with some rocky sections, boulder hopping.
Distance/time: 180kms ± 2½ hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch
Day 13 | DRAKENSBERG [chalets 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.
Day 13: Breakfast provide by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 13: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 13: Dinner will be an own expense meal
Includes: Entrance fees to sentinel peak mountain walk.
Overnight: Witsieshoek, Bungalows – twin rooms with en-suite facilities. At 2220m above sea level, Witsieshoek is the highest lodge in the Northern Drakensberg
Walk grade: Challenging – 5-6 hrs walk on uneven paths to the top of the Amphitheatre with a short section of chain ladders.
Distance/time: 120kms, ± 2 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch
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.
Day 14: Breakfast will be provided by the lodge
Day 14: Lunch provided by the tour leaders with the help of the group
Day 14: NA
Distance/time: 360kms, ± 5 hours, excluding stops for sightseeing & lunch
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 and photo stops!
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: This safari has a walking focus. We include 8 day treks with your Sunway leader to explore different scenic areas of beautiful South Africa. You will need to carry your day pack and a bottle of water.
Sustainable Tourism: Several times a year Sunway Safaris operates a trip for underprivileged children from SOS Children’s Village to visit Pilanesberg Game reserve, introducing the children to the wildlife, the importance and of conservation and helping broaden their horizons. Should you wish to help in this project, please contact our office.
Please see detailed walk grading further down in the document.
RACK PRICE: (valid Jan 2019 – Dec 2019) | € 1 990 pps
Single supplement: € 590 pp (If you are travelling on your own, Sunway will “room” you with another same gender client. You do not pay extra when booking as a single person. If however you request a single room, then you’ll pay the single supplement.)
2019 DEPARTURE DATES | JJa14
Saturday at Friday at
06:30 am 17:00 pm
26-Jan-19 08-Feb-19 German
13-Apr-19 26-Apr-19 German
08-Jun-19 21-Jun-19 German
10-Aug-19 23-Aug-19 German
19-Oct-19 01-Nov-19 German
* Bold dates are guaranteed departures, all other dates guaranteed from 4 clients.
* German: These tours are lead by a German speaking translator / tour leader.