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Durban to Durban
Tailor-made South African Guided Safaris Tours
Day 1: Durban – Montusi
We will collect you from your overnight accommodation or from the King Shaka International Airport in Durban. We will travel on the edge of the "Valley of 1000 Hills" and then past the capital city of Pietermaritzburg onto the “Midlands Meander”. The Midlands Meander is what weavers, potters, woodcrafters, leather workers, artists, metalworkers, box makers, herb growers, cheese makers, beer brewers and pianos have in common. You will find them all, and a great deal more on the Midlands Meander map - South Africa's first, largest and most popular art and crafts route. From a very small beginning, the Midlands Meander has grown to well over a hundred stops on four routes. Originating with the arrival of the first settlers in the early 1800’s the area boasts many wonderful homes and barns, an attraction to lovers of architecture. As you tour the Midlands Meander you will also notice that this area is home to a number of the country’s most famous schools.
From here we travel inland, to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains to Montusi Mountain Lodge. Situated in the northern KwaZulu-Natal Drakensberg, Montusi Mountain Lodge is the only upmarket destination in the area with a full and uninterrupted view of the Drakensberg's most famous part, the Amphitheatre escarpment. Their guests enjoy this spectacular scenery in the comfort of their private individual garden suites.
Each suite is decorated in the earthy colours of Africa and has a comfortable bedroom with en-suite bathroom (bath and walk in shower), a lounge with a television, gas operated fire place and private patio. Tea and coffee making facilities, including a bar fridge for fresh milk, are provided.
Day 2: Montusi Mountain Lodge – Hiking
Hiking is eagerly enjoyed in the Drakensberg. A daily morning walk on the 1000 ha. estate with a guide who provides tea, coffee and cookies is an option. Popular destinations are the top of Montusi Mountain, Bushman Cave (with paintings), Waterfall Cave and various streams and rock pools for summer swimming. You may also safely hike the Estate on your own using the Montusi Hiking Guide.
An exciting option is a day hike to the Top of the Amphitheatre, an experience you will never forget. The Tugela Falls from the top of the Amphitheatre is possibly the highlight of any trip to the Drakensberg. The spectacularly beautiful mountain hiking trail to the top of Mount-Aux-Sources starts at the Sentinel car park at Witsieshoek via Phuthadjhaba from where it is a relatively short climb to the top of the Amphitheatre. This is about 5 to 6 hours return and via two chain ladders you can gain easy access to the summit. This is the only day hiking trail which will take you to the top of the Drakensberg escarpment.
Day 3: Montusi Mountain Lodge – Nambiti Private Game Reserve
After breakfast we make our way east of Ladysmith to the extraordinarily beautiful and geographically diverse Nambiti Private Game Reserve, home to elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino (including the rare and endangered Black Rhino), as well as over 30 other animal species. It is also rich in birdlife and indigenous flora. Unlike most other game reserves, the Nambiti Private Game Reserve has the carrying capacity of almost twice that of wildlife regions such as Botswana, thus being able to carry more game per hectare than many other game reserves. Knowledgeable guides will plan a safari that takes into account your particular interests and requirements.
Over afternoon tea, our ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the afternoon game drive. This game drive begins in the afternoon and lasts until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to lion’s roar in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals. We may enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
Dinner is waiting for you at your lodge's boma or the dining room upon your return.
Day 4: Nambiti.
Today we follow the lodge programme, which usually includes a morning game drive, breakfast, sometimes a guided walk (which is optional), lunch, afternoon tea followed by the evening game drive and dinner. Game viewing here is very good, and generally close up sightings of the animals are experienced.
Day 5: Nambiti Private Game Reserve – Himeville
After our morning game drive and breakfast in this very productive private game reserve, we leave and head on the Midlands Meander to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains on the scenic route through the frontier towns of Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville, where we overnight at Moorcroft Manor. Moorcroft Manor offers classically decorated rooms all with bathrooms en suite. The remainder of the afternoon you are at leisure.
Day 6: Sani Pass - Durban
This morning we transfer to our 4X4 vehicles for the ascent up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho. Breathtaking scenery and alpine conditions dominate this truly magnificent corner of this province. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road that is a well-known entry point into Lesotho from South Africa’s Natal Drakensberg Park. It is the gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’ scenic route that links the spectacular scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. The Sani Pass was once a rough mule trail descending the Eastern Highlands of old Basutoland into Natal. Tough drovers brought wool and mohair down the Pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets … clothing … maize meal … the essentials for life in a remote, impoverished country. And a young man had a dream … of operating a motor vehicle service up this fantastic Pass, using the 4-wheel drive vehicles he had seen on service in World War II. The Sani Pass was born. Once we have entered Lesotho we will stop off at a Basutho village where one can learn more about the life of these very friendly people, in this, one of the world’s poorest countries. Lunch will be at the “highest pub in Africa”, the Sani Top Chalet, for your own account. We will also have some time here to walk along the edge of the escarpment for stunning views into KwaZulu Natal, before descending the pass to Moorcroft Manor. *NB. Warm clothing is a must, no matter the season of the year! You will also need valid passports for the crossing into Lesotho. The ascent of the pass is subject to the prevailing weather conditions.