18 Day South Africa Overland Explorer

South Africa is a haven of spectacular scenery, abundant wildlife, diverse cultures and first world norms, topped with a healthy and invigorating climate.  These qualities make it an adventure destination not to be missed. A country virtually the size of Europe with over 3000 kilometer’s of unspoiled coastline, boasting climatic differences from searing hot desert to snow-capped peaks, and varied cultures, from the primitive Bushman to the most Western of ways. We visit the highlights, but leave the beaten track to explore the great outdoors and visit a variety of African eco-systems.   Overnight stops are mostly at Drifters owned properties in pristine reserves where extensive conservation and game introduction projects have created truly unique accommodations and surroundings.  The tour requires a certain amount of flexibility and an adventurous mentality.


A JohannesburgB DullstroomC PilgrimsrestD Motlatse Canyon Provincial Nature ReserveE Blyde River CanyonF Kruger National ParkG HazyviewH Zululand DCI St LuciaJ Dolphin CoastK DurbanL Drakensberg MountainsM OliviershoekpasN Sterkfontein DamO Golden Gate Highlands National ParkP ClarensQ Karoo National ParkR Laer SneeubergeS Graaff-ReinetT Outeniqua MountainsU KnysnaV Tsitsikamma National Park MPAW Cape Town


Departing at 06h30 from JOHANNESBURG LODGE, we travel the scenic road to Mpumalanga. 
Along the way we visit Dullstroom, traverse Robbers Pass and spend time at the quaint historic town of Pilgrim’s Rest. We also visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon. Thereafter we wind our way down the escarpment to the Lowveld bushveld where we overnight in our well-appointed BUSH LODGE. In a private reserve adjacent / unfenced to the Kruger Park, the tented Lodge is tastefully designed, totally blends in with the environment, and offers comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a refreshing splash pool, and stunning views over the surrounding bush. Dinner tonight is cooked on the open fire. D


We start the day with customary coffee and rusks, before setting off on a game walk. We walk for approximately 3 hours in search of game, stopping regularly to learn more about the ways of the bush. A guide and tracker lead all walks. Return to the Lodge for a late morning brunch after which it’s time  to relax around the pool and to enjoy the surroundings. In the afternoon we conduct an open vehicle game drive, which develops into an extensive night drive. Being in the bush at night provides us with the opportunity of viewing nocturnal animals, otherwise not normally seen. This evening we enjoy a hearty bush “braai” and again fall asleep to the sounds of the wild. Brunch D. 


A leisurely start, we travel through the rural Bushbuck ridge area to the sleepy settlement of Hazyview, and then on to the HAZYVIEW LODGE, a log cabin spectacularly situated on stilts in indigenous subtropical forest on the banks of the Sabie River.  This afternoon we will have time to relax at the bird hide, or enjoy swimming and forest walks. B L D. 


Leaving Hazyview early, we travel the short distance to the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Here we spend the entire day viewing animals from the high vantage point of our well-equipped vehicle.  We enjoy a picnic lunch and then a night accommodated in one of the park’s rest camps. B L D. 


Traveling south through the Kingdom of the Swazi, our journey takes us into an area of spectacular scenery, and past numerous traditional homesteads and curio markets, then we enter Zululand, the area once ruled  by the famed Shaka Zulu, a region of Game Reserves and impressive scenery. We spend the next two nights at the ZULULAND LODGE, a spectacular accommodation situated in the sand forest on our private game reserve adjoining the World Heritage Site of St Lucia. During our stay we will do a game walk on the reserve and will conduct an open vehicle game drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve. We will also visit a rural Zulu school which we help sponsor through the benefits of tourism. B L D ; B L D. 


A short drive today, we travel to one of the world’s finest coastlines, where the unrelenting waves of the Indian Ocean continuously pound deserted beaches. Our next night will be at the DOLPHIN COAST LODGE, situated literally on the beach. Our time here will be spent soaking up the sun and simply enjoying the beach and warm ocean. Tonight we enjoy a traditional fish braai on the Lodge’s patio.  B L D. 


After a visit to the holiday city of Durban, where we have the option of visiting the Ushaka Marine World or exploring the Golden Mile and the traditional market, we travel back inland to the majestic Drakensberg mountain range, “Barrier of Spears”. (Lunch today will be own expense in Durban.) On reaching the foothills we transfer to a 4X4 vehicle, and then enjoy an exciting drive on mountain tracks up to the DRAKENSBERG LODGE where we spend two nights in cosy log cabins.  We will spend time hiking and exploring the wonders of this National Heritage Site and visiting a San rock art gallery. Pony trekking is also available. B D ; B L D


After a 4 x 4 transfer back to our vehicle, we cross the Oliviershoek Pass to view the turquoise waters of Sterkfontein Dam, then on through the Golden Gate National Park, well known for its towering sandstone cliffs and wealth of unique wildlife. Lunch today will be own expense in the artful little village of Clarens – clients will have time to explore the art galleries and other unique attractions. This night will be spent in a small village in the Eastern Free State. B D

DAY 11-12: KAROO

Exploring lesser-known gravel roads, we head into the dry Karoo interior. We will travel via quaint and remote farming villages including Nieu Bethesda to the KAROO LODGE. Our home for the next two nights will be in stone cottages within an extensive game reserve - our traditional farmstead dates back to the early settlers and is nestled against the Sneeuberg Mountains. During our stay here, we will enjoy an extensive walk in the pristine mountainous terrain, home to a huge variety of indigenous plant, animal, and bird life. B L D ; B L D. 


An early start, we head for the historic town of Graaff-Reinet where we spend time visiting the various museums, strolling around the town, meeting the locals and admiring the unique architecture. We then cross the mighty Outeniqua Mountains, barrier between the dry interior and the lush coastal Garden Route area. We arrive at the well located KNYSNA LODGE where we will spend the next three nights. 

Our days here will be spent exploring this renowned region and its many attractions. We will travel to the Tsitsikamma Coastal National Park where we will walk part of the acclaimed "Otter Trail". On our return journey, those with suicidal tendencies may try the world’s highest bungi jump at 216 meters or clients may choose a sea kayak trip or mountain bike ride. (Own expense).  We will visit sun-kissed beaches, the Knysna Heads, and our superb location will allow free time to explore the old woodcutter town of Knysna. One lunch and one dinner will be own expense. B L D ; B D ; B L


A leisurely start, we leave Knysna to travel through the Lake District and then to follow the "Whale Route" around the Hottentots Holland Mountains toward our final destination. Arriving in the "Mother City" of Cape Town in the late afternoon, we check into the CAPE TOWN LODGE, which is situated on the Sea Point beachfront.  Cape Town is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and we will spend two days here, visiting Cape Point, Hout Bay, and the Waterfront, secluded beaches, a wine farm and many more highlights. We will also hike up Table Mountain. (Lunches and dinners in Cape Town are own expense). B ; B ; B. 

This tour ends at 16h00 on day 18, however clients are welcome to extend their stay by booking post-tour nights at the CAPE TOWN LODGE. If arranging an onward flight on this day, please allow time for an airport transfer and for check-in procedures (up to three hours).