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Durban to Johannesburg
Big Five South African Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1 : Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park – Hilltop Camp
A guide from Far and Wild Safaris will collect you after your breakfast at your overnight accommodation in Durban, or alternatively from the King Shaka International Airport. Drive along the scenic Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, directly to the Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park, a Big 5 game reserve, where we would spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation here is inside the game reserve, consisting of brick under thatch chalets, each bedroom having its own private bathroom, (bath with shower, hand-basin and toilet) en suite. Each chalet is also equipped with a fridge and tea / coffee station.
Your game viewing commences immediately upon entering the gates into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park.
This first evening you will go on a night drive in an open game-viewing safari vehicle with a ranger from KZN Wildlife, the organisation that is tasked with running this reserve. This, to improve on your chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species such as leopard, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the owls and nightjars.
Day 2 : Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park – Hilltop Camp
Today will be spent on extended game drives to various areas of the Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park, with an early start to make the most of the day, to possibly chance upon a roadside kill or predators returning to their day-time lair. Set in the heart of Zululand, this is the oldest game reserve in Africa, where Zulu kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka once hunted and initiated the first conservation laws, where today the "big five" now freely roam. Established in 1895, game viewing is the prime attraction in this protected area.
As the home of 'Operation Rhino' back in the 1950s and 60s, the Hluhluwe and uMfolozi Game Reserves became world renowned for their white rhino conservation. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. Hluhluwe is characterised by hilly topography, and this northern section of the park is noted for its wide variety of both bird and animal life. Sightings of rhino, buffalo, giraffe, 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, waterbuck, steenbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog, much less frequently. These drives are conducted with your guide in his/her vehicle.
Day 3 : Swaziland – Reilly's Rock
After breakfast we travel through rural 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 it 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 with 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, 5 and 6 : Kruger National Park
After breakfast we may visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory in Swaziland before departing for the Kruger Park. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks among the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivalled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies.
Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Kruger Park is an excellent venue with good sightings of lion, elephant, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, baboon, monkey, hippo and impala regularly seen. The more elusive animals like leopard and wild dog are an exciting find.
We will go on a sunset drive in an open safari vehicle on one of the evenings, this to enhance the possibility of seeing the nocturnal species such as leopard, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and then the other nocturnal animals such as the smaller cats, owls and nightjars. These drives are conducted by SANParks, the organisation tasked with running this Park.
We will spend our nights in Kruger in bungalow accommodation inside the Kruger Park. Although not graded, these bungalows are of a two or three star standard. Here the rooms have twin beds, each with a private shower, toilet and hand basin en-suite. The brick under thatch rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, some also with ceiling fans and a fridge. There is insect proof screening on the doors and windows. You will be provided with bath and hand towels as well as soap. In the game reserve we will have breakfast and dinners in the restaurants.
We enjoy a full game-viewing programme for the balance of the days. Your guide in his vehicle conducts the remainder of the game drives. We encourage an early start to make the most of the best time of day to view the animals. We will try and be the first one out at dawn - this to see if we are able to sight some of the nocturnal predators returning to their daytime resting place and then to have breakfast, possibly at a different locality.
Day 7 : Johannesburg
After our morning game viewing and breakfast we leave the Kruger Park and drive through to reach Johannesburg in the late afternoon where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the O R Tambo International Airport in time for your flight.