This is an itinerary for families wanting to see all aspects of South Africa and enjoy a beach time or a dive. It venutures to areas with less tourists and is one of the most diverse itineraries : city, mountain, historical green hills, savannah, wetlands and beach.
Johannesburg – 1 night (Satyagraha House)
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.
Day 1: Soweto tour, Apartheid museum
Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve – 2 nights (Didima Rest Camp)
The Cathedral Peak Nature Reserve is located in the Drakensberg Mountains in east-central South Africa, near its border with the northeastern region of Lesotho. This magnificent area is most easily accessed from the town of Winterton, and boasts some of the country’s most scenic hiking and rock climbing opportunities. The nature reserve offers a range of trails of varying length and difficulty, including exploring the cave paintings of Ndedema Gorge and a route to the summit of Cathedral Peak itself. This challenging climb rewards hikers with views of some of the Drakensberg’s most prominent peaks, such as Giant’s Castle, The Bell and Cleft Peak. There is a four-star hotel located within the reserve, while day hikers must register (and receive maps) at the Information Office.
Day 2: Drakensberg canopy tour, Shongweni farmers market, Makaranga national botanical garden
Day 3: Nelson Mandela Capture site, Monks Cowl, Maloti Drakensberg National Park, Cathedral Peak Nature reserve
Ballito – 1 night (Petite Provence Guest House)
Idyllically set on the exquisite North Coast of South Africa, just 40 kilometres from the vibrant city of Durban, Ballito is a quiet seaside resort town known for its spectacular beaches and laidback atmosphere. The town features an attractive blue flag accredited main beach which offers safe swimming conditions as well as lifeguards and protective shark nets. There are also some lovely tidal pools which are ideal for families with young children. The area is famous for its large school of dolphins which can be spotted on a leisurely boat cruise or while relaxing on the shore. Whales are also frequently seen on their annual migration to Mozambique for the summer. Other popular activities on offer include: golf, tennis, squash, scuba diving, and a variety of other watersports.
Day 4: Thompson’s Bay Beach, Biking trails at Holla, Tidal Tao Snorkeling
KwaZulu Natal Battlefields – 2 nights (Fugitives’ Drift Lodge)
KwaZulu-Natal, also known as KZN, is steeped in history and littered with battlefields from the struggles of the Zulu Civil Wars, to their clashes with the Boers and the British. This picturesque area features sweeping views of rolling hills scattered with rugged rock formations. The most well-known and well-visited sites are those of the legendary Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift took place on the same day, lodging the Zulus firmly at the top of great warrior nations.Visitors can also explore the famous Anglo-Boer War fields of Spioenkop, Colenso and the Siege of Ladysmith, which drew characters like Winston Churchill, Louis Botha and Mahatma Gandhi onto the same stage.
Day 5: Zululand Panorama Tour, Zulu Homestead visit, Battlefield tour
Day 6: Game drive, Tubing in rivers, Bush walks
St Lucia – 2 nights (Avalone Guesthouse)
St Lucia lies on the St Lucia estuary, and is a haven of tranquillity that only unspoilt nature can provide. Entirely surrounded by the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, the residents of little village are protective of their beautiful environment. Mountain biking, hiking, bird watching and deep-sea fishing present opportunities to enjoy the surroundings. From the town, you can catch the Santa Lucia ferry and take a trip around the lower reaches of the lake where you can view water birds, crocodiles and hippos wallowing in the shallows.
Day 7: Isimangaliso Wetland Park (cruise)
Day 8: Game drive in St Lucia Estuary
Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park – 1 night (Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge)
The Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is the jewel in the crown of the KwaZulu-Natal game reserves. Proclaimed in 1895, it is also the oldest game reserve in Africa. Initially two separate reserves, they were joined to create a single 94 000 hectare reserve which is home to one-fifth of the world’s black and white rhino population. It was here that the internationally acclaimed Operation Rhino started in the 1960s, successfully capturing and relocating white rhino to havens within South Africa and abroad. The Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park was the first reserve to introduce walking safaris and its Wilderness Trails are internationally renowned. Visitors can also look forward to visiting a traditional Zulu village, enjoying a horse riding safari, and spotting the world renowned Big Five as well as a wide variety of bird species.
Day 9: Imfolozi park – Game drive, Hluhluwe game drive
Maputaland Marine Protected Area – 3 nights (Thonga Beach Lodge)
Maputaland Marine Protected Area comprises three protected areas, Lake Sibaya Nature Reserve, Kosi Bay Nature Reserve and Rocktail Bay. The reserve extends all the way from the northern Mozambican border to Sodwana Bay in the south. This gorgeous sub-tropical paradise includes immaculate forests and wetlands dotted with lakes and marshes as well as coral reefs and deserted beaches. The local wildlife includes numerous bird species, reptiles and freshwater fish, making this an ideal destination for nature-loving travellers.
Day 10: Turtle tracking, Beach, Diving
Day 11: Turtle tracking, Beach, Diving
Day 12: Turtle tracking, Beach, Diving