|Guided Safaris is Independently Marketed by Far and Wild Safaris cc|
Johannesburg to Durban
Big Five South African Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1 : Komati Tented Camp – Nkomazi Game Reserve
A guide from Far and Wild Safaris will collect you from the O R Tambo International Airport or from your overnight accommodation in Johannesburg and travel through the Highveld industrial, mining and agricultural areas. Our guide will make this section interesting, adding value with his interpretation of the local history and sights. We make our way to the Nkomazi Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and your afternoon/evening game drive. The Komati Tented Lodge defines an 'Out of African' styled tented accommodation with all five star amenities on offer. Guests will experience not only the quietness and solitude, but a sumptuous comfort that basks in the sense of the age-old life of Africa. Each tent has an extra large king size bed, comfort cooling/heating and en-suite shower with an outdoor bath, and private expansive teak sun decks with a plunge pool. Meandering pathways lead to the main tent where traditional fare can be enjoyed at your own leisure, while a treatment at the River Retreat will rejuvenate and relax - doing its small part to restore the delicate balance of all living things. Relax in comfort and African style among wildlife of diverse habitats along the clear streams of the Komati River.
Day 2 : Komati Tented Camp – Nkomazi Game Reserve
Nature lovers will be able to share in the many wonders of Nkomazi - its diversity of wildlife and habitat, its natural beauty and major geological features. Nkomazi is an ecological Aladdin's Cave and is blessed to have features such as the oldest and largest meteorite impact deposit on earth. We want you to experience, learn and enjoy the very best that our African wildlife experience can offer. To achieve this goal, we have brought together great game viewing in modern, open game vehicles that have been especially converted to maximize comfort, safety and viewing potential. Your ranger will provide insightful and valuable information about the fauna and flora. Watch the sun rise over the North Eastern boundaries of the reserve during a game drive or take in the spectacular views from lookout points among the rocky granite sentinels of the highlands of the reserve. Waterfalls and rock pools are impressive, while rolling grasslands support large herds of free-roaming wildlife, making Nkomazi a game-viewing haven. The reserve represents a kaleidoscope of Africa's habitats in its ability to support game on the high-lying grasslands and the low-lying bushveld areas, supporting the ecological balance, including the big game. One of the true joys of Nkomazi Game Reserve is the freedom to do nothing at all! In between game drives, your time can be filled with reading, relaxation treatments, sun-seeking and swimming or indulging in wholesome African Lodge cuisine.
Game viewing is carried out during the morning and evening and has been refined to an art by experienced rangers. Traversing through the Reserve, the wildlife is staggering in its diversity. The game drives take between 3 - 4 hours, with a coffee stop in the morning and a sundowners stop at a vantage point overlooking one of the many breathtaking vistas at sunset. The night drives are normally conducted en route back to the lodge after an afternoon game drive, where the focus shifts towards nocturnal species that are sought out from the game drive vehicle with the use of a spotlight. Tailor made night drives can take place after dinner to provide a better opportunity to find elusive nocturnal species. It is always advisable to take a hat and warm clothing, even in summer. In winter, a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves are advisable.
Day 3 : Swaziland
This morning after our game drive and breakfast we depart the Komati Tented Lodge for Swaziland where we overnight at Reilly's Rock (or similar). Situated in the Mliliwane Game Sanctuary, Reilly's Rock's unique lodge has been tastefully decorated in keeping with its colonial roots by Swaziland's leading conservation team. Notwithstanding the necessary subtle additions and renovations, the house still stands as it was built almost a century ago. Mliliwane Game Reserve is Swaziland's pioneer conservation area and is situated in a beautiful, secluded sanctuary in Swaziland's Valley of Heaven, the Ezulwini Valley, an area between Mbabane and Manzini.
The Sanctuary covers 4,560 hectares and comprises of a southern and northern section. The southern section is predominately open grassland plains with middleveld vegetation, stretching up onto the striking Nyonyane Mountain with its exposed granite peak known as the "Rock of Execution". Nyonyane is where ancient San once lived and where Swazi Royal graves are situated giving historical significance.
The Kingdom of Swaziland is a country located in Southern Africa and is relatively small in area, similar in size to Kuwait. Swaziland is a landlocked country, bordered by South Africa on three sides except to the east, where it borders Mozambique. The country, inhabited primarily by the Swazi people, is named after the 19th century King Mswati II, from whom the people also take their name.
Day 4 : Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park
We leave Reilly's Rock travelling through rural Zululand and proceed to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park where we would spend the night at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is in brick under thatch chalets, each bedroom has its own private bathroom comprising of a bath with shower, a hand-basin and a toilet. Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge and tea making facilities.
Your game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.
Late afternoon you will go on a sunset drive in an open game-viewing vehicle with staff from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this reserve. This is to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as lion, leopard, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the nightjars, owls and other nocturnal birds. You also get to see some of the diurnal animals, with their eyes lighting up like a little town in the reflection of the spotlights when you chance on a herd of Impala for instance.
Day 5 : Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park
This day will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, with an early start to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon a roadside kill or predators returning to their day-time lair. The Hluhluwe and iMfolozi Game Reserves are the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka hunted and initiated the first conservation ethic, today the "big five" of African have been reintroduced to roam free once more. Established in 1895, game viewing is the prime attraction in this game reserve.
As the home of Operation Rhino in the 1950s and 60s, the Hluhluwe and uMfolozi Game Reserves became world renowned for their white rhino conservation. The Park now covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. Hluhluwe is characterised by hilly topography, this northern section of the park is noted for its wide diversity of both bird and animal life. Sightings of rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, and antelope such as impala, nyala and kudu are seen frequently and with the possibility of seeing lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, black rhino, hippo, crocodile, hyena and antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently. These game drives are conducted with your guide in his/her vehicle.
Day 6 : Lake St. Lucia – Durban
This morning we depart the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park after breakfast and make our way to the village of St. Lucia where we board a boat for a two hour cruise on the estuary of the lake, in this proclaimed World Heritage Site. Here you are assured of seeing hippo, with a very good chance of seeing crocodiles and an array of bird-life.
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has one of the largest estuary systems in Africa and also the African continent's southernmost coral reefs. In granting it World Heritage status in 1999, the World Heritage Committee noted the park's "exceptional biodiversity, including 521 bird species". Part of the central Zululand coast of KwaZulu-Natal, the park has a total size of 234, 566 hectares. Its remarkable biodiversity is a result of the park's location situated between subtropical and tropical Africa, as well as its being on the coast. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park was originally the St Lucia Game Reserve, declared in 1895 and made up of the large lake and its islands. The expanded St Lucia Park was proclaimed in 1939, containing land around the estuary and a strip of about one kilometre around most of the lake shore.
After your two-hour estuary cruise and lunch, we make our way back to Durban, arriving late afternoon where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your flight.