Explore 3 African countries in 10 days in your camper van ER 408

Description

This incredible camper trip gives you the possibility to explore South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland and a very short time! An unbeatable way to see the delights of these magnificent African countries and also gives you access to places off the beaten track where you can experience the great outdoors. As the route has been set out and the accommodations booked you only have to step in, drive and enjoy this adventure and this all from the comfort of your own home on wheels.

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Explore 3 African countries in 10 days in your camper van ER 408

Itinerary:

Day 1 Kruger National Park/Skukuza camp site/Camping 1 night.

Distance: approx. 450 km.

Welcome to South Africa. You can collect your camper van at the camper depot in Johannesburg between 8 and 9 in the morning. After the paper work has been done and you received all your instructions, you are ready to drive to your first destination which will be The Kruger National Park.

You are driving in the Mpumalanga province where the plateaus of the highveld begin their spectacular tumble onto the lowveld plains and the dramatic Drakensberg Escarpment. You won't see it yet in the beginning of the trip as it will be quite industrialized but stay patient.

Look out for the Drakensberg Escarpment which marks the point where the highveld plunges down over 1000 m, before spilling out onto the eastern lowveld. This is one of South Africa's most scenic areas, marked by dramatic cliffs and stunning views. On your way to Sabie on the edge of the escarpment are the two little railway towns of Waterval Boven and Waterval Onder where you can enjoy your first of many waterfalls. Think of visiting the Sudwala Caves where a guide will take you 600 m inside and 150 m below the earth to admire nature's wonders.

Experience the picturesque beauty of nature in and around Sabie, a small country town nestled in the majestic Drakensberg escarpment moutains which is located 1050 m above sea level and considered a malaria free area.

Are you ready for the real African experience! The world renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa and with its excellent infrastructure it will make everything readily accessible. The speed limit of 40 kph should never be exceeded as not only for the fines but also gamespotting is seldom successful when travelling above this speed.

It is unwise to cover large areas in a short time, it can be very rewarding simply sitting quietly at a water hole rather than driving around in the hot sun. The best game viewing is in the morning until around 10 am or in the late afternoon.

The Skukuza rest camp is situated on the southern banks of the Sabie River. Well foliaged, with lofty trees along the river's edge, you can expect a diverse amount of animals and plants. This is the main camp of the Kruger Park with facilities similar to a small town. It offers adventure in the form of guided bush walks and game drives, all under the supervision of well informed and keen professional field guides. After a long special day you can cool off in one of their swimming pools and if you are a golf fan you can even play a bit.

Day 2 Kruger National Park/Satara camp site/Camping 1 night.

Distance: approx. 80 km.

Perhaps you have experienced an early morning game drive or bush walk with a professional guide before heading towards your next rest camp. Enjoy the ride through the beautiful African nature and think of having a leisurely picnic at a water hole in the heat of the day.

Rustic and communal, the Satara Rest camp borrows much of its ambience from the rugged and untamed bush in which it is located. The flat plains of the camp are scattered with large Marula and Knobthorn trees, and ambient nights are set to the restless noises of fruit bats, cicadas and crickets being met by owl calls and the roar of the lion. Between this all you will park your home and embrace your surroundings. This camp is the third biggest one in the park and has a.o. a grocery store, restaurant, filling station, laundry facilities and a swimming pool.

The camp has a firm reputation for being one of the best spots in the world for viewing large cats. Attracted by the herds of antelope that come to graze here on the fertile land of the plains, lion, leopard and cheetah are often spotted stalking their prey nearby the camp, a spectacular sight that you're unlikely to forget. Expert guides and trackers are on-hand to take you on game drives and walks, where you can spot the Big Five, learn about the intricacies of bushveld ecology and come to grips with nature at her finest.

Day 3 Kruger National Park/Letaba camp site/Camping 1 night.

Distance: approx. 75 km.

Today you have a short trip ahead of you so take it easy and enjoy your surroundings. Most animals are found throughout the park, but the frequency of sightings is determined by the topography and vegetation.

Your next destination, the idyllic Letaba rest camp is situated on a sweeping bend of the Letaba River, midway between the southern and northern boundaries of the Kruger National Park. The character of Letaba camp depends heavily on the tall shady tree, expansive lawns and indigenous gardens where tame Bushbuck wander. Visit in winter and you will find the gardens a riot of colour, with several species of Aloe and the Impala lily in full bloom. The Aloes attract a variety of birds, there are excellent bird watching opportunities all year round.

Letaba means 'river of sand' and the sandy river bed makes for excellent game viewing, particularly Elephant, which abound in the area. Letaba Camp is a green oasis in the surrounding mopane veld, and remains a firm favourite of the Kruger Park.

The Letaba Elephant Hall and trips to the Masorini Ruins (38 km west of the camp), Matambeni Bird Hide (10 km North of the camp), as well as seasonal kids educational programmes and wildlife film screenings six nights out of the week mean that there is always something to suit your interests.

Day 4-5 Inhambane/Guinjata Resort/Camping 2 nights.

Distance: approx. 500 km.

Today is the day you are going to experience another African country namely Mozambique, the land of smiles! You have a long trip ahead of you so please leave as early as possible.

Mozambique with its enchanting people, full of welcoming kindness and consideration, is bathed by the Indian Ocean. It is a land full of life and hidden beauty, with untouched nature stretching from the endless pristine beaches to the incredible diving sites.

In the towns and cities that seem so familiar to us, a great diversity of history and cultures is melded into the architecture, and the pulse of daily life can be felt, from the bustle of the markets to the striking handicrafts, from the museums to the bars and restaurants. The creative local handicraft is of course very representative of the artistic spirit of the Mozambique people. Worthy of special mention are the intricate and bizarre black ebony woodcarvings of the Macondes.

The landscape surrounding Inhambane is dominated by thousands of coconut palms, you're really in the tropics now!  This long stretch of coast line is by far the most developed in Mozambique as far as tourism is concerned. Apart from the beautiful historical town of Inhambane the main attraction to this area are the idyllic beaches, where the sea lover can take part in a variety of marine activities. It is a great area for snorkeling, fishing and surfing. There are many good diving reefs in the area including the aptly named Manta reef, and Praia de Rocha where the rock and coral has formed a spectacular landscape of pinnacles, gullies and overhangs. There is also the opportunity for dolphin and whale watching safaris.

Set in the remote area of Inhamban lies the tropical resort of Guinjata situated in the Jangamo area. This family run resort started 1997 with a few reed Baracas and chalets and over the years has transformed into one of the top resorts in Mozambique. Here you can park your holiday home and relax in paradise for a couple of days.

Whale Sharks are seen near Guinjata Bay all year round. Grab your snorkel as fantastic photographic opportunities awaits you. Humpback Whales and dolphins also visit Guinjata's shores. There are open vehicle excursions to local villages to learn about the traditional Mozambique culture. See what locals do with coconuts, casavas, cashew nuts etc.

Day 6-7 Macaneta/Esperanca do Mar/Camping 2 nights.

Distance: approx. 500 km.

Though the road from Inhambaneto to Maputo is tarred, the first 25 kilometer stretch is a dirt road and is only accessible with a 4x4 vehicle. Have a super early start as you will have a long and interesting drive ahead of you.

You will be spending your next days in Esperanca do Mar or "Home at Sea" for some more relaxing days. They are situated at Macaneta, 30 km north of Maputo where you can experience the unspoilt and non-crowded beach that stretches for 80 km to Bilene in the north. They are located amongst pristine tranquil bush surroundings, ideal for birdwatchers and those needing to recharge in peaceful surroundings.

If you feel like some 'action' you can go the capital city of Maputo formerly Lourenco Marques, where you are never far from the coast and you can enjoy the refreshing sea breeze at the many restaurants serving locally caught seafood. Visit the ffish market, where you will find fresh fish for the barbeque without all the effort of catching it!

Day 8 Swaziland/Hlane National Park/Camping 1 night.

Distance: approx. 450 km.

With your charged batteries in tropical surroundings it is time to have an early start to drive to the one of the oldest kingdoms of Africa: Swaziland which is landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique. No better route is available with added advantage of discovering a whole new country filled with bygone African traditions and culture. Swaziland covers an area of approximately 193 kilometres from north to south, and 145 kilometres from east to west.

The border post closest to Maputo between Swaziland and Mozambique is situated in the north-eastern corner of Swaziland. On the Swazi side it is known as Lomahasha and on the Mozambican side as Namaacha.

Small as it may be, Swaziland is an exciting tourist destination with its art and craft outlets and traditional markets and wildlife reserves. At Mlilwane Game Reserve tame birds and animals are free to come and go and wander through the camp grounds.

Swaziland offers many scenic drives. North of Mbabane, the road to Luve is known as Pine Valley with a series of waterfalls on the Black Umbeluzi River and the granite heights of "Bald Rock".

The drive to Piggs Peak, in the north is one of the most scenic in the country. The Malolotja Nature Reserve lies to the west of the road and here, after a stiff walk, you can view the Malolotja Falls, the highest in Swaziland.

Hlane, the wilderness of eastern Swaziland, where the hot still beat of Africa continues as it has for thousands of years. A network of game viewing roads criss-cross the parks flat terrain, weaving between 1000 year old hardwood vegetation and shallow pans which attract great herds of animals during the dry winter months. Hlane, this Kingdoms largest protected area, is home to the largest herds of game in Swaziland. Lion, elephant and white rhino are often see, and the bird life is outstanding. It is also home to the most southerly nesting colony of Marabou Stork, and nesting pairs of many different varieties of eagles and vultures grace the skies above Hlane. Amongst this beauty you will park your camper van and be one with nature.

In the park you can self-drive or take exciting guided walks to track lion, cheetah and leopard and you will probably have a close encounter with elephants and rhino.

The walking safaris are conducted from Ndlovu camp by a Swazi field guide, and an inquisitive ostrich or 2 may accompany you too. Other game-viewing opportunities include guided mountain biking trails and game drives in Hlane's open Land Rovers. In the evening, relax around the campfire and enjoy a display if traditional Swazi dancing called Sibhaca Dancing.

Day 9 Swaziland/Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary/Camping 1 night.

Distance: approx. 85 km.

Mlilwane was the first wildlife sanctuary in Swaziland, created in the 1950s by a well known Swazilander, Tedd Reilly, on his farm. Reilly has been instrumental in the conservation of Swaziland's natural heritage for many years. Mlilwane's name means 'little fire', for the flames that seem to arise where lightning strikes the reserve's granite mountains. Mlilwane is probably Swaziland's most popular reserve, but it's a relaxed place containing mostly herbivorous wildlife: antelope, zebra, giraffe, warthog, but also crocs and hippos.

Your next camp is found in the southern corner of the reserve, in the midst of a well-matured rehabilitated area. Tall indigenous trees, all grown from seed, now tower over the camp overlooking an artificially created wetland system, which is home to hippopotamus, crocodile and a variety of water birds including infrequent visiting fish eagles.

The camp is unfenced, yet relatively safe as only smaller species of wildlife occur in the Sanctuary. The camp is tranquil and relaxing with a continual stream of animals such as impala, warthog and ostrich too, walking between the facilities quietly tolerant of human presence.

Driving routes are available on Mlilwane's 100km of roads, but the more adventurous might like to try a trail on foot, horseback or mountain bike with a guide, if needed.

Day 10 Camper depot in Johannesburg

Unfortunately your last day today so make the most of it! Still lots to see and do before handing over your holiday home before 16.00 pm in the camper depot in Johannesburg.

Along the way think of visiting the fertile, pineapple-growing Malkerns Valley, not far from the Ezulwini Valley, which is renowned for its arts and craft centres. The handmade creations are so attractive that it is almost impossible to venture up here without buying something. The most famous of these is probably Swazi Candles, who have a showroom full of cheerful colours.

Or the Ngwenya Glass Village which is one of Swaziland's top places of interest, where you can watch glass blowers create beautiful African figurines and tableware. Be sure to purchase one of these intricate pieces.

Check out the Sibebe Mountain, a huge granite outcrop that provides a scenic spot for a picnic.

We trust you enjoyed this aventurous holiday and hope to see you again for some more exploring. Have a safe trip home!  

If you haven't booked a flight yet, please click here: flights
If you need a travel and cancellation insurance, please click here: travel insurance
If you need advice or further information, please click here: contact

You can choose your own camper directly via www.campersouthafrica.co.za or alternatively contact us via info@campersouthafrica.co.za.

Duration:

10 Days, 09 nights

Departure:

Daily or based on availability

Accommodation:

Camping sites with electricity or otherwise

Care:

Based on self-catering

Price:

Per person based on double occupancy

Starting point:

Johannesburg

Endpoint:

Johannesburg

Malaria area:

Yes

Age:

All ages

Trip characteristics:

Active and adventurous

Countries:

South Africa, Mozambique and Swaziland

Highlights:

Kruger National Park, Inhambane, Swaziland

Visa required:

No

Including:
-
Reserved camping sites
(according to description or equivalent)
- Road map

Excluding:
-
Flights
- Travel and cancellation insurance
- Camper hire: book directly via www.campersouthafrica.co.za
- Optional activities
- Cross-border fees, fuel, gratuities and entrance fees