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TThe Kruger National Park experiences a dry winter and April to November is generally the best time to visit. Temperatures are low in the evenings, however the days are moderate to warm. with less chance of rainfall. The warmest months are December to March, however these months also generally receive the most rainfall. The drier winter months is the best time for game viewing as the drier weather means less dense vegetation and easier game spotting. It also means animals are drawn to the water holes in search of water, which is great for predator activity.
DDAY 1: After flying into Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport, clients would fly to Nelspruit’s Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport, pick up a rental car and drive for an hour to the town of Hazyview, which is a gateway town into the Kruger National Park. There are also plenty of activities within easy reach of Hazyview.
DAY 2: Panorama Route – One of the most iconic and scenic drives in South Africa is the Panorama Route. The route has plenty of waterfalls, flora and scenic viewpoints. This includes The Pinnacle Rock, God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondavells and Waterfalls like Berlin Falls, Lisbon Falls and Mac-Mac Falls. It’s a day spent enjoying the wonders of nature, so a sunny day without clouds is an important factor. A unique way to explore this region and its famous canyon and waterfalls is by helicopter. This excursion does need to be pre-booked and there are various flight options to choose from and most helicopter flights depart from Hazyview.
TThere are also lots of other activities to enjoy in and around the Sabie area (45 minutes from Hazyview), see below:
- Sabie Brewing Company – Great craft beer tasting and lovely meals all with a great view
- Wild Fig Tree Restaurant in Sabie – local restaurant that offers local game meats like Warthog, Crocodile and Kudu
- Pilgrims Rest – A village from the gold rush days of the late 1800s
- Sabie Caves Caving – Caving by candlelight, not for those that suffer claustrophobia
- Rafting and kayaking on the Sabie River
- Horseback safaris/trails
- Mountain bike safaris/trails
- Quad biking safaris/trails
DAY 3: Hazyview – Many visitors prefer a second day in this area to enjoy the wide range of activities on offer. These include:
- Skyway Trails Canopy zip-lining
- Shangaan River Club
- Mpumalanga Helicopter Tours
- White Water Rafting
- Quad Biking Tours
- Mountain Biking Trails
- Sabie Valley Coffee– coffee tours have to be pre-booked and good stop for lunch
DAY 4: Game Reserve – This morning after breakfast your clients could head off straight into the Kruger National Park or one of its exclusive private game reserves. There are plenty of basic self-catering camps within the Kruger National Park, for those clients who wish to self-drive on the tarred roads within the national park in search of game. We would however suggest sending your clients to a private game reserve where they will stay in a lodge or a luxury tented camp and safari activities are pre-arranged for them and meals/drinks are included too. Private game reserves allow safari guides to go off-road in search of wildlife and creates a more intimate wildlife experience. The guides in South Africa have studied the wildlife & conservation and many have years of experience being in the bush. We recommend arriving at the lodge in time for lunch, before settling in and going out on your afternoon/evening game drive.
AA typical day on safari:
04h30 – 05h00 – Wake up call
05h30 – 08h30 – Coffee followed by morning game drive
09h00 – 10h00 – Breakfast at the lodge
13h00 – Lunch
15h00 – Tea before afternoon game drive
15h30 – 18h30 – Afternoon /evening game drive
19h00 – 21h00 – Dinner
The above is a normal itinerary however the majority of private game reserves will tailor your client’s activities to their preferences.
DAY 5-6: On safari – We would recommend three nights on safari, which generally equates to six game drives. The general safari schedule can be tiring due to the early mornings, however you have free between breakfast and lunch to take a dip in the pool, read a book on your private sundeck or go for a spa treatment (at an extra cost if the lodge has a spa). Three days for safari is also sufficient time to get better acquainted with the wildlife and to learn more about the wide variety of wildlife and birdlife.
Day 7: Johannesburg: This morning your clients will normally have time to head out on one last game drive before returning for breakfast, then getting back in their car to head back to the airport for their flight to Johannesburg. The Kruger is surrounded by four local airports (KMIA; Hoedspruit; Skukuza; Phalaborwa) and the airport they travel from should be selected based on the game reserve you have chosen to put your clients in. When your clients get into Johannesburg they can check into their hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 8: Johannesburg: Many parts of Johannesburg have been redeveloped in recent years. The city still has a strong political history and a thriving youth and urban population. A few of the city’s highlights include:
- Hop on Hop Off bus – This bus service will provide transport and follow a scenic route get to most places in the city.
- The Apartheid Museum is a great place to visit should your clients want to learn more about South Africa’s political history. One could spend anything from a few hours to an entire day exploring the museum. The museum covers South Africa’s political history from the time of colonial rule to the thriving Rainbow Nation it is today.
- Constitution Hill is a former political prison and military fort which has been transformed into a museum. A couple of the prisons’ most well-known former prisoners were Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi. The museum is a great stop to learn about South Africa’s political history and the country’s extensive constitution.
- Soweto – A bicycle tour with Lebo’s Soweto to explore one of South Africa’s largest townships, Soweto, is a must-do activity. This is an exciting way to get a chance to interact with the locals and see areas of the township you would otherwise miss in a vehicle. The tour guide will talk about the history of the township and stops will be made at the Hector Pieterson Memorial, Nelson Mandela’s old house and the famous Vilakazi Street. Tuk-tuk and walking tours are also available.
DDAY 9: Johannesburg: As your clients are likely to be on a late flight back to the UK/Ireland it is recommended to book an extra night so your clients can keep their room until they are ready to check out. It is recommended they do the following:
- A wander around the Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg’s inner city is great for those clients who wish to explore modern art galleries and buy local African artefacts from young entrepreneurs. The inner city has been redeveloped in recent years and is a thriving metropolis for Johannesburg’s youth. Quirky coffee shops and restaurants are dotted along graffiti lined streets. We would recommend a walking tour with a local guide to delve deeper into this urban section of the city.
DDownload the itinerary here