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South Africa and Victoria Falls - August 2018 -NEW DEPARTURE

Price A$6,483


Destination

JohannesburgHippo HollowSwazilandSt LuciaDurbanDrakensbergEastern CapePort ElizabethKynsnaMossel BayCape TownVictoria FallsChobe


Category
Group Tours

Duration
18 days 17 nights
Tour Details

South Africa & Victoria Falls: 12 August 2018 - 29 August 2018 AU$6,483 plus airfares

Once in a lifetime wildlife adventure

There’s a reason people who visit South Africa want to go back. The sights, sounds and spectacular scenery will leave you with memories you’ll never forget. And what better way to explore this stunning country than with a group of like-minded travellers on one of our dedicated Solo Tours? Our journey begins in Johannesburg before we head off to Hazyview, gateway to the famous Kruger National Park and home to an array of breathtaking wildlife. Our closed vehicle will take us on a journey where we’ll come face to face with the ‘Big Five’! We’ll get to know the locals during a visit to a Cultural Village in Swaziland and take a stunning 2-hour boat cruise in St Lucia, before we head to Durban, with it’s buzzing coastline and vibrant culture. Next we visit the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains, before making our way to the beautiful, unspoiled Eastern Cape Coast. With further stops at Port Elizabeth and Knysna, we then set off to fabulous Cape Town, with a free day to explore this unique and scenic city. Take a trip up Table Mountain and check out the views!


Our last few days begin with a fabulous sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Watch out for elephants, giraffes, hippos and crocodiles! The following day we head over the border to Botswana to one of Africa’s greatest wildlife destinations, the Chobe National Park. Enjoy a river cruise and a fabulous lunch served at the river’s edge. Finally we head to Victoria Falls for a guided tour, before a farewell dinner at the Boma Restaurant. That’s 18 days of exploring one of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world.

This tour is awesome value. No camping and 17 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 14 dinners included.

We know you’ll want to come back.

 NEW DEPARTURE - GET IN QUICK TO GRAB YOUR PLACE

 

 

 

Day 1: Arrive in Johannesburg

Upon arrival you will be met and assisted to your shuttle transfer service to the hotel. You have the remainder of the day at leisure until 7pm when we all meet at the hotel reception for a briefing on the tour and welcome drink.

Accommodation: Garden Court OR Tambo Airport Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 2: Hippo Hollow

This morning we leave for Mpumalanga, dropping several hundred feet into the lush subtropical region of the Lowveld.We travel along the circular Panorama Route, one of the most beautiful parts of South Africa connecting the Lowveld and the amazing geological features of the Mpumalanga Drakensberg. One of the major highlights of the region is the Blyde River Canyon Reserve, the third largest canyon of its kind in the world and home to spectacular wildlife and birdlife. Other highlights include the breathtaking waterfalls in Graskop and Sabie, Lisbon and Berlin Falls, Gods Window and the Gold Rush territory, Pilgrim’s Rest, home to the early gold prospectors. Our journey then continues on to Hazyview. Surrounded by subtropical fruit orchards, this small farming town is the gateway to the southern part of the Kruger National Park and the Panorama Escarpment. The town and its spectacular scenic surroundings serve as a popular adventure capital with a remarkable array of exhilarating outdoor activities on offer to suit all ages, tastes and fitness levels.

Accommodation: Hippo Hollow Country Estate 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Hippo Hollow

We have a bright and early start to the day in order 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. We return to our hotel around lunchtime and your afternoon is at leisure. 

Accommodation: Hippo Hollow Country Estate 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Swaziland

This morning after breakfast, we check out and set off on our journey to Swaziland. This tiny, land-locked nation boasts a rich historical and cultural heritage. Swaziland encompasses a diverse array of ecosystems – towering mountains and low-lying savannah, tangled rainforests and lush river valleys. Highlights of this laid-back land include the mesmerizingly beautiful ‘Valley of Heaven’, the handicraft haven of the Malkerns Valley and the Hlane Royal National Park, famed for its white rhinos, antelopes and lions. As part of our journey, we visit the Matsamo  Cultural Village, for a fantastic opportunity to gain an authentic understanding of traditional Swazi culture.

Accommodation: Foresters Arms Hotel  

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: St Lucia

Today we head to St Lucia, a haven of tranquillity that only unspoiled nature can provide. Entirely surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, the residents of this little village are highly protective of their beautiful environment. And it’s not difcult to see why! Mountain biking, hiking, bird watching and deep-sea fishing are great ways to enjoy the surroundings.

Accommodation: Elephant Lake Hotel  

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Durban

There’s an option in the morning to catch the Santa Lucia ferry for a stunning 2-hour boat cruise, which takes you around the lower reaches of the lake where you can view water birds, crocodiles and hippos wallowing in the shallows. Or just enjoy a lie in and soak up the atmosphere of St Lucia before we head off later in the morning to Durban. With its beautiful beaches, lively wining and dining scene, and rich cultural heritage, Durban is KwaZulu Natal’s tourist hub. The swimming and surfing is rated the best of any major city across the world and
because of the sub-tropical climate the water is warm all year round. Known as the Golden Mile, this stretch of beaches and amusement parks is Durban’s major attraction with the recently developed UShaka Marine World at the southern end providing a world class aquarium and other entertainments. An orientation tour introduces us to this vibrant city before we arrive at our hotel late afternoon.

Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Umhlanga

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: 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 we head into the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains. We proceed on a visit to the 300 foot high Howick Falls, continuing through the Southern Midlands Meander Route, arriving at our 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 (own account).

Accommodation: Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Drakensberg

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.

Accommodation: Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Eastern Cape

This morning we continue south to the Eastern Cape entering the fourth of the provinces and the birthplace of Nelson Mandela (fondly known as Madiba). En route we see the old traditional way of life in the homeland area known as the Transkei and stop for lunch outside the capital of Umtata. 

We continue via Nelson Mandela’s birthplace and house, arriving late afternoon at our accommodation in Chinsta East, on the beautiful, unspoilt Eastern Cape Coast. 

Accommodation: Crawfords Beach Lodge – Standard Room 

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Port Elizabeth

We awake to the sounds of the crashing waves and have the morning at leisure to unwind with beach sand between our toes. The beach stretches on uninterrupted for many kilometres and the thick indigenous beach forest is a haven for an amazing variety of birdlife. We set off heading south to Port Elizabeth. 

Accommodation: Garden Court King’s Beach 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Kynsna

Today our 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 late afternoon to check-in at our hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant included. 

Accommodation: Knysna Log Inn– Standard Room 

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Mossel Bay

After breakfast, we travel inland over the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, known as the ‘feather capital of the world’ because of its ostrich industry. We visit 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. 

Accommodation: Garden Court Mossel Bay – Standard Room

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Cape Town

Today’s journey ends in Cape Town. On the way, we stop off to visit the famous Post Office Tree, the Bartholomeus Diaz Museum and Shell Museum. We drive via Swellendam, Worcester and through the Huguenot Tunnel before arriving in Cape Town in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Cape Town

Enjoy a day of leisure in the ‘Mother City’ where a visit to the V&A Waterfront is recommended. See brochure for optional activities.  Enjoy quality time exploring this beautiful city.

Accommodation: Sun Square Cape Town City Bowl

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15: Victoria Falls

Today we head to Cape Town International Airport for our early morning flight to Victoria Falls. Upon arrival we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel, with some free time before we set sail on our spectacular sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. Relax with a sundowner and snacks as you gaze out onto the banks of the river. Have your camera ready to capture one of the most amazing sunsets in Africa. We’ll see an array of wildlife as they come down to the river for a drink after a hot day in the Zambezi National Park (Zimbabwe) and the Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park (Zambia). Sightings of elephant, giraffe and other resident game are common. There’s always an abundance of hippos and crocodiles. Birdlife is superb and the Fisheagles will usually fill the scene with their calls!

Accommodation: Cresta Sprayview Hotel

Meals : Breakfast
Day 16: Victoria Falls/Chobe

On Day 16, we head over the border into Botswana for the chance to explore one of Africa’s greatest wildlife destinations, the Chobe National Park. Our morning begins with a river cruise into the park, with an opportunity to see a host of waders and water birds along with the ever present crocodile and hippos. Chobe is known for scores of large herbivores making their way down to the river to drink, most notably buffalo and elephant. Soft drinks and water are included on the boat. A fabulous lunch is served at a lodge on the river’s edge before we 
head back into the national park in safari vehicles for even more game viewing and finally back to our hotel.

Accommodation: Cresta Sprayview Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Day 17: Victoria Falls

On our last full day on tour we enjoy a morning guided tour of the Falls. The remainder of the day is then yours at leisure to explore before we meet for our farewell dinner that evening at the Boma Restaurant. Why not try ‘The Flight of the Angels’ optional tour? Take in the majesty of
Victoria Falls from the air. The sheer size and grandeur of the spectacle becomes all the more clearer from above. The huge Zambezi River flowing slowly south with hippos and crocodiles clearly visible in the shallow waters, elephant quietly browsing on bright green islands as the water spreads across the full width of a great rent in the earth before crashing over the lip in a burst of spray and then squeezing into a narrow, foaming, blast of water rushing down the zigzag funnel of the gorges. A spectacular way to spend your last day.

Accommodation: Cresta Sprayview Hotel

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Day 18: Depart Victoria Falls

After breakfast check out and transfer to the airport for your journey home or onto further adventures.

Meals : Breakfast

Garden Court OR Tambo Airport, Johannesburg: The Garden Court OR Tambo International Airport hotel offers an ideal combination of affordability, comfort and service, near Johannesburg’s main airport. For guests just stopping over, travelling on business or starting an amazing holiday in South Africa, the hotel offers an excellent location and superb amenities. Guest accommodations feature well-appointed en-suite rooms, equipped with air conditioning, complimentary WI-FI access and more. A porter service, complimentary airport shuttle service and wake-up call facility, are also available. The buffet restaurant serves a choice of full or continental breakfast, as well as a delicious dinner buffet, while Rosie O'Gradys Pub is an ideal venue for sundowners.

Hippo Hollow Country Estate, Hippo Hollow: Hippo Hollow Country Estate is situated outside Hazyview on the Sabie River between the Drakensberg Mountains to the west and the low-lying bushveld to the west. It is the ideal destination from which to access the reserves of the Lowveld and the sights of Mpumalanga. Hippo Hollows is only ten minutes from the Kruger National Park and the panoramic route which includes Pilgrim's Rest, Graskop, Bourkes Luck Potholes, God's Window, the Blyde River Canyon, and the many fantastic waterfalls of the escarpment is close by. Hippo Hollow Country Estate provides the ideal breakaway from the rigorous of city life. The hotel has an 'Out of Africa ' feel about it, and leaves you feeling totally relaxed and refreshed.

Foresters Arms Hotel, Swaziland: The Foresters Arms - a short, scenic, tarred drive from the capital, Mbabane - is ideally situated for exploring all the attractions of this majestic Kingdom. This area of Swaziland is a paradise of wild flowers, where agapanthus, cerise watsonias, heath, arum lilies, the fragile diorama and delicate grasses abound. All 30 bedrooms are tastefully decorated, with en-suite bathrooms, telephones and TV. There are outstanding views over the surrounding countryside. The colourful gardens are a favourite haunt of the sunbirds and paradise flycatchers.

Elephant Lake Hotel, St Lucia:  The Elephant Lake Hotel is located on the shores of the St Lucia Estuary in the town of St Lucia, Kwa Zulu Natal, within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first World Heritage Site. St Lucia is 25km from the main N2 route between Durban and Swaziland, 75 km South from Hluhluwe town and 80 km North of Richards Bay. The Hotel has a three-star grading and boasts with 56 upmarket, en-suite, air-conditioned rooms, all sharing a westerly view across the St Lucia Estuary. All rooms are equipped with DSTV, tea/coffee making facilities, wall safes; hair dryer and a full range of bathroom amenities. The Hotel has two levels. The ground level has 25 rooms, all with a private patio leading out to a sparkling pool, an upmarket restaurant, leading out to the pool patio, the Hotel lounge and Reception area. The Upper level has 31 rooms, all with private balcony, a spacious lounge bar that lead out the Hotel’s Estuary Viewing Deck, which forms part of the restaurant and a very popular venue for guests to enjoy some excellent lunches, dinners or a refreshing sundowner. Free WIFI is offered in public areas.

Holiday Inn Express, Durban- Umhlanga Ridge: Stay at the ocean-front Holiday Inn Express Durban-Umhlanga Ridge hotel, next to Umhlanga Beach and minutes from the Gateway Mall. The contemporary Holiday Inn Express Durban-Umhlanga Ridge's curving facade faces the Indian Ocean. This peaceful hotel is 10 km from Durban's vibrant city centre and rail station, and 13 km from King Shaka International Airport. The Gateway Theatre of Shopping, 400 metres away, has a Wave House surf centre as well as a range of high fashion stores. Glitzy stage shows take place at the Sibaya Casino, 15 km away. Head for a dip in the sunny outdoor pool, centred by a calming water feature. The maritime theme continues in the Great Room, with its ornate sea shell decor, where a complimentary breakfast buffet is prepared each morning.

 Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort:  Drakensberg Gardens is poised on a scenic 860 hectare World Heritage site. Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort is a one-of-a-kind retreat for guests to reconnect, relax and unwind. The Three-Star rated Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort offers spacious and comfortable accommodation. Standard, superior and deluxe rooms. All have private bathrooms, television, telephones, tea and coffee making facilities and heaters.

Crawfords Beach Lodge, Eastern Cape: This property is 3 minutes walk from the beach. Crawford’s Beach Lodge & Cabins is centrally located in Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast. It is surrounded by rolling hills, lush tropical beach forests and overlooks the Indian Ocean. The elegant rooms at Crawford’s Cabins feature rustic-style furnishings. Each room is equipped with satellite TV, a private balcony and tea and coffee making facilities. The refreshing outdoor swimming pool at Crawford’s Beach Lodge is surrounded by tropical Khamanga palms. The elevated lounge and deck offers clear views over Chintsa Bay.

Garden Court King’s Beach, Port Elizabeth: The Garden Court Kings Beach Hotel is situated on the Port Elizabeth beachfront and presents an affordable and welcoming destination to visitors to one of South Africa’s largest historic coastal cities with sweeping views of Algoa Bay, and the famed Hobie Beach. Garden Court Kings Beach offers a choice of 280 tastefully appointed en-suite rooms, and great amenities including a fitness centre,conference facilities and the popular Mike’s Kitchen. Nearby attractions include Kragga Kamma Game Park, South African Marine Rehabilitation and Education Centre, Red Location Museum, Kwantu Private Game Reserve, The Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World, St George's Park and many other cultural, scenic and historical landmarks. 

Knysna Log-Inn Hotel: Built in 1998, the Knysna Log-Inn Hotel embodies an "indigenous" concept that combines the character and the spirit of the surrounding indigenous forests with Knysna's romantic history. Harking back to the logging history of Knysna exquisitely solid Yellowwood trunks tower upwards to the magnificent Scandinavian hammer trusses and rays of sunshine flooding through the stained glass windows, illuminating the solid Yellowwood staircase. 57 en-suite luxury bedrooms invite you to unwind in comfort and style. Each room is equipped with air-conditioning, ceiling fans, electronic safes, remote control TV's (M-Net, Sport and local channels), direct dial telephones, hairdryers and tea/coffee making facilities. The lush tropical pool area is home to an all season’s swimming pool, wooden sun deck, Jacuzzi and sauna.

Garden Court Mossel Bay: The Garden Court Mossel Bay hotel, located on the beautiful Garden Route, is the ideal hospitality destination for visitors to one of South Africa’s most picturesque coastal regions. Mossel Bay hotel offers guests a choice of 43 comfortable en-suite rooms, tastefully furnished in a contemporary style. The rooms are equipped with amenities including air-conditioning, free WiFi, DStv and much more. Guests can enjoy a host of additional services and comforts, including a choice of restaurant and bar options which offer appetising dining with something for every taste. 

SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl Hotel: With so much to do and see in Cape Town, you need to stay somewhere central. Situated, on the corner of Buitengracht and Strand Street, the bustling location of SunSquare Cape Town City Bowl inspires visitors to explore the hip surroundings and get to know the city. This new Cape Town hotel has 5 levels of basement parking for those travelling by car and planning to explore beyond the City Bowl. The hotel has 202 bedrooms made up of standard rooms with queen size beds, family rooms each with 2 double beds, 5 executive rooms, 2 suites and 2 wheelchair-accessible rooms.The stylish bar on the 18th floor is a welcome retreat for SunSquare guests looking to relax in style. The bar also offers access to the enclosed pool deck and opens onto an outdoor patio overlooking the picture perfect Cape Town harbour and Lions Head.The gym located on the top floor of the hotel will satisfy guests looking to keep fit or work up an appetite before venturing out into the surrounding foodie district. With panoramic views of Table Mountain, you can determine this wondrous mountain’s mood before stepping out of the hotel.

Cresta Sprayview Hotel, Victoria Falls: Cresta Sprayview Hotel is situated just 1.4 km from the Victoria Falls Rain Forest entrance. It is the perfect gateway for adventure seekers exploring the resort town of Victoria Falls and its surrounds. In months when the Falls are in full flood, the spray from this majestic wonder of nature rises like a column of smoke, locally referred to as "Mosi-oa-Tunya", the "Smoke that Thunders" and can be seen from the Hotel, hence the name "Sprayview" from which the Hotel derives its name.Accommodation is ideally situated, within walking distance of the town of Victoria Falls, with its accompanying restaurants and curio markets a short 10-minute walk to the falls themselves. Set on eight acres of manicured grounds, Accommodation offers a tranquil oasis from which to enjoy all Victoria Falls has to offer. Alfresco dining and the large swimming pool make Accommodation a relaxing retreat. All the modern amenities such as satellite television, room service, conference facilities, a business centre and Wi-Fi in all rooms and public areas are available.

Climate

South Africa has a temperate climate and is known for its long sunny days, hence the title: 'Sunny South Africa'. Most of the provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape (winter rainfall). Winter is from May to August; Spring from September to October; Summer from November to February and Autumn is from March to April.

Visa Requirements

To enter South Africa you are required to have a passport valid for no less than 30 days after the end of your intended stay, and at least two completely blank pages on which your entry permit can be endorsed. If your passport does not comply with this requirement you will either be prevented from boarding the aircraft at your point of departure, or risk deportation on arrival in South Africa.

It's recommendws that your passport has at least six months validity from your planned date of return to Australia. Although regulations specify that only 30 days validity is required for travel to South Africa, many immigration officers will insist on six months.

Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) change regularly. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of South Africa for the most up to date information.

Electricity

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. With a few exceptions (in deep rural areas) electricity is available almost everywhere.

Currency

South Africa's currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R50, R100.

Health and safety

South Africa is well-known for its medical skill since Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant in 1967. There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban centres. Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but always check with the game reserves you're planning to visit and take precautions if necessary. Make sure you have the latest safety tips from the establishment where you will be staying and take common sense precautions as you would when travelling.

Let us handle your travel arrangements

Two's a Crowd is a full service travel business. We are happy to provide very competitive quotes on all international airfares from your nearest capital city. 

Tour inclusions:

  • Small group tour—solos only
  • Maximum group size 17 plus host
  • Transport by private air-conditioned coach
  • Two's a Crowd Tour Host from Australia
  • 14 nights in 3-star en-suite accommodation
  • Hotel porterage
  • 17 x breakfasts, 2 x lunch and 14 x dinners
  • Game drive in Kruger NP 
  • Park and attraction entry fees
  • Cross-border transfers
  • 3 nights accommodation at Victoria Falls with breakfast
  • Return Airport transfers throughout 
  • Guided tour of Victoria Falls 
  • Sunset cruise on Zambezi River 
  • 4WD Open vehicle game drive in Chobe National Park.
  • River cruise in Chobe National Park
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance underwritten by CHI Travel Insurance (Underwritten by Allianz)  or QBE. Additional premium may be payable if over 69 years, have an existing medical condition or wish to extend your travel dates. Refer to the CHI or QBE  PDS for more information on policy terms and conditions.

Tour Exclusions:

  • International flights including the flight from South Africa to Zimbabwe—we can provide a competitive quote and arrange flights on your behalf
  • Visas
  • Tips and gratuities for driver and guide
  • Service fees for included meals
  • Drinks and meals not specified
  • Items of a personal nature

 Prices are correct as at 3 July 2017 and are subject to change until paid in full.

 

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