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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, from your overnight accommodation in Durban, or on your arrival at Durban's King Shaka International Airport. We drive the scenic Dolphin Coast and into rural Zululand, to the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park, a Big 5 game reserve, where we would spend two nights at Hilltop Camp. The accommodation at Hilltop Camp is in brick under thatch chalets, each bedroom has its own private bathroom with bath, shower in bath, hand-basin and toilet en suite. The chalets are equipped with a fridge and tea station. Your game viewing experience commences immediately upon entering the gates into the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park and on the drive to Hilltop Camp.
This first evening you will go on a sunset drive in an 'open game-viewing vehicle' with staff from KZN Wildlife, the conservation organisation managing this game reserve. The night drive improves on ones chances of seeing some of the nocturnal species, such as leopard, lion, hyena, genet, bush babies and the other nocturnal animals such as owls and nightjars. You also get to see some of the diurnal animals, with their eyes lighting up in reflection to the spotlight.
Day 2 : Hluhluwe uMfolozi Park – Hilltop Camp
Day two will be spent on extended game drives in our tour vehicle, to various areas of the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. With an early start, to make the most of the day and to possibly chance upon nocturnal predators returning to their day-time lair. White rhino, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, baboon, vervet monkey, and antelope such as impala, nyala and kudu are seen frequently, with the possibility of seeing elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, Black rhino, hippo, crocodile and hyena. Antelope such as red duiker, steenbuck, waterbuck, bushbuck and then the rare Samango monkey and wild dog are sighted much less frequently.
Day 3 : Ghost Mountain Inn – Mkuze Game Reserve
After breakfast we drive to the Mkhuze Game Reserve. Mkhuze Game Reserve is renowned for its excellent birding, with more than 420 bird species on record. The reserve has an astonishing diversity of natural habitats, from the eastern slopes of the Lebombo Mountains along its western boundary, through broad areas of acacia savannah, swamps and a variety of woodlands and riverine forest. Mkhuze Game Reserve is the north-western spur of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, (iSimangaliso Wetland Park) a recently declared World Heritage Site. Animals to be found in this Big 5 game reserve include black and white rhinoceros, lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo, nyala, blue wildebeest, warthog, giraffe, impala, kudu and other smaller antelope. Rare species occurring are cheetah, hyena and suni. Visitors may enjoy excellent animal and bird sightings from the hides in the reserve, especially during the dry months.
Late afternoon, fter the game drive it's onto the town of Mkuze, to check into the Ghost Mountain Inn where we overnight.
Day 4 : Nkomazi Private Game Reserve – Komati Tented Camp
Breakfast and then we make our way north to the Nkomazi Private Game Reserve, arriving in time for lunch and your afternoon/evening game drive in 'open Safari vehicles'. The Nkomazi Game Reserve has a very wide diversity of species - including lion. The Komati Tented Lodge is an 'Out of Africa' styled luxury tented accommodation with five star amenities on offer. Each tent has an extra large king-size bed, cooling or heating, an en-suite shower, a vintage outdoor bath on the private expansive teak sun deck with a plunge pool. What about a treatment at the River Retreat Spa (own account) to rejuvenate and relax.
Day 5 : Komati Tented Camp - Nkomazi Private Game Reserve
Nature lovers will be able to share in the many wonders of Nkomazi - its diversity of wildlife, habitat, along with its natural scenic splendour and interesting geological features. The Game Reserve represents a range of Africa's biomes and is able to support wildlife that is suited to the high-lying grasslands and those that prefer the low-lying bushveld areas. Game drives are conducted early mornings and late afternoons into the evening, guided by experienced rangers. Traversing through the reserve, the wildlife is interesting in its wide diversity. The game drives last 3 - 4 hours, with a coffee stop in the morning and a sundowner drink stop, normally at a vantage point overlooking one of the many beautiful vistas, at sunset.
The night drives are normally conducted en route back to the lodge, after the afternoon game drive and sundowner stop, here the focus is on the nocturnal species, these are sought out by using a spotlight. It is always advisable to take a hat and warm clothing, even in summer, layering is the answer. In winter, a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves are recommended in addition.
Between the meals and guided game drives, your time can be spent birding within the camp, reading, enjoying Spa relaxation treatments, sun-bathing, swimming and indulging in the wholesome Lodge cuisine.
Day 6 and 7 : Kruger National Park
This morning after our game drive and breakfast we depart the Komati Tented Lodge for the Kruger National 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. You also get to see most 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. 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 8 : Johannesburg
After our morning game viewing we leave Kruger Park and drive through to reach Johannesburg late afternoon where we drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the O R Tambo International Airport in time for your flight.