The Rainbow Route is an overview tour of South Africa including neighbouring Kingdom of Swaziland. The tour covers many highlights with a strong focus on the national parks. This diverse country is explored over great distances that may involve long days on the road, generally followed by a full day to experience the area.
DAY 1 – 2 | JOHANNESBURG to GREATER KRUGER
Departing from Johannesburg at 06:30am we head towards Mpumalanga where mountains, panoramic passes, valleys, rivers, waterfalls & forests characterise the landscape. We enjoy the views from God’s Window before descending off the escarpment and heading to our game lodge on the border of the Greater Kruger NP.
The following morning, we are up early for a full day of game viewing in Kruger National Park. We will return to our lodge in the late afternoon to enjoy sunset over the Drakensberg Mountains, a swim in the pool and a hearty meal before falling asleep to the sounds of Africa.
DAY 3 | KRUGER NATIONAL PARK
We stretch our legs on a short morning walk exploring the surrounding bush before we re-enter Kruger NP and head south. Kruger NP is the largest game reserve in South Africa, boasts the world’s greatest concentration of species, and has an amazing 16 different ecosystems. Exciting game drives provide us with excellent game viewing. Spot the “Big 5” (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) and many other animals in this true African wilderness.
DAY 4 | KINGDOM OF SWAZILAND
Malolotja Nature Reserve in the mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland is our next attraction. Renowned for a great variety of habitats from short grassland, to thick riverine scrub, bushveld and moist forest, we explore the reserve on foot to enjoy the fantastic mountain views. Relax around a campfire dinner and stay in mountain cabins for the night.
DAY 5 – 6 | ZULULAND
We visit a craft market near Mbabane which has a range of handmade crafts and a local witchdoctor stall! We re-enter South Africa and head to our private game reserve located on the Ukuwela Conservancy, where our local guide will lead us on a walk through bushveld and riverine vegetation of the Msinene River, bird watching and game tracking. Nyala, hippo and the elusive leopard are all found on the reserve. The next day we take a game drive in Hluhluwe Game Reserve, which is a safe haven for the embattled rhino, followed by a visit to a local Zulu village. Relax in the late afternoon with a cold drink while enjoying the views over the reserve from the lodge.
DAY 7 – 8 | DRAKENSBERG MOUNTAINS
The Drakensberg Mountains or “uKhahlamba” – the Barrier of Spears, is a 200-kilometre-long mountainous wonderland and world heritage site. From Zululand we move further south to the base of these mountains where we overnight for two nights in quaint cottages. We will spend time walking along beautiful mountain stream paths, or just enjoying the spectacular views.
DAY 9- 10 | WILD COAST
En-route to the Wild Coast we visit Qunu, the home town of Nelson Mandela, and pay our respects to this great man. The Wild Coast remains a relatively untouched paradise with unspoilt stretches of dramatically beautiful coastline, open spaces and pristine forest areas. We stay overnight in Kei Mouth and the next day is free to explore the area, meet local villagers or go down to the beach.
DAY 11 | ADDO ELEPHANT NATIONAL PARK
The Addo Elephant National Park was established in 1931 to protect the last 11 wild elephants from extermination. Today more than 600 elephants roam through the area. The park also offers excellent viewing of black rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard, as well as a host of other large and small mammals and over 400 species of birds in the greater park area.
DAY 12 – 13 | KNYSNA / TSITSIKAMMA
For two nights we will stay in a lodge resort in Knysna, which is nestled on a tranquil lagoon. We will take a day trip to the Storms River mouth where there are walks up the gorge and along the rocky coast. The Tsitsikamma National Park incorporates 80km of spectacular sea and landscapes; a remote mountainous region with secluded valleys, coastal forests with deep river gorges leading down to the sea. Sample seafood at one of Knysna’ s great restaurants (own expense).
DAY 14 | HERMANUS
Hermanus offers some of the best land-based whale watching in the world. From June to November Southern Right whales come up from the southern oceans to calve and mate in the shallow waters around the Cape. In whale season we will take a walk along this beautiful coastline. In the summer months, we will explore the flowering fynbos in Fernkloof Nature Reserve. Enjoy the evening meal out at a local restaurant (own expense).
DAY 15 – 16 | CAPE TOWN
Cape Town is one of the most picturesque cities in the world, with the majestic Table Mountain providing its central focus. On our way into Cape Town, we visit Stellenbosch, South Africa’s renowned wine region, for wine tasting (own expense) and a cellar tour. The “mother city” has many attractions; we will visit the harbour at Hout Bay, visit Cape Point, enjoy the famous beaches and the V&A Waterfront. Optional visit to Robben Island (own expense). We sample the local fare at a variety of local restaurants (own expense).
DAY 17 | CAPE TOWN
In the morning we climb Table Mountain, offering panoramic views over Cape Town reaching out into the bay and Robben Island. Having explored the highlights of the Rainbow Nation we take a last look at Cape Town and catch up on curio shopping in the afternoon before your tour ends at 18:00 at the guest house.
- Entrance Fees
- Transport in minibus/safari truck
- Accommodation: 14 nights small lodges and guest houses, 2 nights in self-catering chalet with shared facilities
- Meals: 16 x breakfast, 12 x lunches, 11 x dinners
- Professional guides
- Game drives
- Guided walks
- Kruger National Park – game viewing
- Mhkuze Game Reserve – guided walk
- Visit Addo Elephant National Park
- Climb Table Mountain
Images courtesy of SunwaySafaris