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Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, catch the transfer to Drifters Johannesburg Inn. Situated in Northcliff, a well-established suburb of north-west Johannesburg, this beautifully renovated thatched house makes for an excellent overnight stop to recover from the long flight.
We depart in the morning to travel the scenic road to Mpumalanga. Along the way we visit Dullstroom, traverse Robbers Pass and spend time at the quaint historic town of Pilgrim’s Rest. We also visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon.
Thereafter, we wind our way down the escarpment to the Lowveld bushveld where we overnight in our well appointed DRIFTERS BUSH CAMP. Being adjacent to the Kruger Park, the tented Camp is tastefully designed, totally blends in with the environment, and offers comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing swimming pool, and stunning views over the surrounding bush. Dinner tonight is cooked on the open fire.
We start the day with the customary coffee and rusks, before setting off on a game walk. We walk for approximately 3 hours in search of game, stopping regularly to learn more about the ways of the bush. A Drifters guide and tracker lead all walks. Return to camp for a late morning brunch after which it’s time to relax around the pool and to enjoy the camp.
In the afternoon, we conduct an open-vehicle game drive; which develops into an extensive night drive. Being in the bush at night provides us with the opportunity of viewing nocturnal animals, otherwise not normally seen. This evening we enjoy a hearty bush “braai" and again fall asleep to the sounds of the wild.
A leisurely start, we travel through the rural Bushbuck Ridge area to the sleepy settlement of Hazyview, and then on to the DRIFTERS HAZYVIEW INN, a log cabin spectacularly situated on stilts in indigenous subtropical forest on the banks of the Sabie River. This afternoon we will have time to relax at the bird hide, or enjoy swimming and forest walks.
Leaving Hazyview early, we travel the short distance to the world-renowned Kruger National Park, here we spend the entire day viewing animals from the high vantage point of our well-equipped vehicle. We enjoy a picnic lunch and then a night in one of the park’s rest camps.
Travelling south through the Kingdom of the Swazi, our journey takes us into an area of spectacular scenery, and past numerous traditional homesteads and curio markets, then we enter Zululand, the area once ruled by the famed Shaka Zulu, a region of Game Reserves and impressive scenery. We spend the next two nights at the DRIFTERS ZULULAND CAMP, a rustic camp situated in the sand forest on our private game reserve adjoining the World Heritage Site of St Lucia.
During our stay we will do a game walk on the reserve and will conduct a game drive in open vehicles through Hluhluwe Game Reserve, We also visit a rural Zulu school which Drifters sponsors through the benefits of tourism.
A short drive today, we travel to one of the world’s finest coastlines, where the unrelenting waves of the Indian Ocean continuously pound deserted beaches. Our next night will be at the DRIFTERS DOLPHIN COAST INN, situated literally on the beach. Our time here will be spent soaking up the sun and simply enjoying the beach and warm ocean. Tonight we enjoy a traditional fish braai on the Inn’s patio.
After a visit to the holiday city of Durban, where we have the option of visiting Ushaka Marine World or exploring the Golden Mile and the traditional market, we travel back inland to the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, “Barrier of Spears". (Lunch today will be own expense in Durban.)
On reaching the foothills we transfer to a 4X4 vehicle, and then enjoy an exciting drive on mountain tracks up to the DRIFTERS DRAKENSBERG INN where we spend two nights in cozy log cabins. We will spend time hiking and exploring the wonders of this National Heritage Site and visiting a San rock art gallery. Pony trekking is also available.
After a 4×4 transfer back to our vehicle, we cross the Oliviershoek Pass to view the turquoise waters of Sterkfontein Dam, then on through the Golden Gate National Park, well known for its towering sandstone cliffs and wealth of unique wildlife. Lunch today will be own expense in the artful little village of Clarens – clients will have time to explore the art galleries and other unique attractions. Those that wish to experience white water rafting have the option here. This night will be spent on a farm near the town of Ladybrand.
Day 12 – 13: Karoo
Exploring lesser-known gravel roads, we head into the dry Karoo interior. We will travel via quaint and remote farming villages including Nieu Bethesda to the DRIFTERS KAROO INN. Our home for the next two nights will be in stone cottages on a traditional farmstead nestled against the Sneeuberg Mountains. During our stay here, we will enjoy an extensive walk in the mountainous terrain, home to a variety of interesting plants, animal and bird life.
An early start, we head for the historic town of Graaff-Reinet where we spend time visiting the various museums, strolling around the town, meeting the locals and admiring the unique architecture. We then cross the mighty Outeniqua Mountains, barrier between the dry interior and the lush coastal Garden Route area.
We arrive at the secluded DRIFTERS KNYSNA INN where we will spend the next three nights in log cabins hidden deep in the heart of the forest. Our days here will be spent exploring this renowned region and its many attractions. We will walk in the forest in search of the elusive Knysna Lourie, we will travel to the Tsitsikamma coastal National Park where we will walk part of the acclaimed “Otter Trail”.
On our return journey, those with suicidal tendencies may try the world’s highest bungi jump at 216 meters or clients may choose a sea kayak trip. (Own expense). We will visit sun kissed beaches, spend time in the old woodcutter town of Knysna and will enjoy a boat trip on the DRIFTERS SKI BOAT around the Knysna Lagoon and through the Heads in search of dolphins and whales (weather permitting). One lunch and one dinner will be own expense.
Leaving Knysna early, we travel to the renowned De Hoop Nature Reserve, known for its towering white sand dunes, and unique animal species. After exploring this fascinating reserve, we return to the coast to follow the “Whale Route" and the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Arriving in the “Mother City" of Cape Town in the late afternoon, we check into the DRIFTERS CAPE TOWN INN, which is situated on the Sea Point beachfront.
Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and we will spend two days visiting Cape Point, Hout Bay, and the Waterfront, secluded beaches, a wine farm and many more highlights. We will also hike up Table Mountain (Lunches and dinners in Cape Town are own expense).
This tour ends at 16h00 on day 18; however clients are welcome to extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the DRIFTERS CAPE TOWN INN. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).