Three Countries | South Africa, Swaziland & Mozambique

This tour offers a glimpse into the diversity of South Africa, the unparalleled beauty of Swaziland and the tropical splendour of Mozambique. 

This definitive adventure is real Africa and the ultimate Biosphere, Bush and Beach experience.

tour duration 16 Days
from €4,650
next trip 22 Jul 2022
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From diverse cityscapes to open stretches of breath-taking natural landscapes, the Three Countries adventure starts in cosmopolitan Johannesburg, the City of Gold and takes us east via Dullstroom - a quaint and peaceful village surrounded by exquisite and dramatic landscapes.  Travelling the Panorama Route of the Mpumalanga highlands, our route takes us to Lisbon Falls, God's Window, Berlin Falls, Bourkes Luck Potholes and Blyde River Canyon.

From what some have called "the most beautiful place in the world", we head to iconic Kruger National Park for three days, before going into the western highlands of Swaziland for two nights followed by three days of beach and the warm tropical waters of Maputo Bay and Santa Maria, Mozambique.  From here we cross back into SA and the Kingdom of the Zulu - the beautiful pans and wetlands of Ndumo and the large tuskers of Thembe.  Our adventure ends with two nights in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Game Reserve, the undisputed home of Rhino Conservation.

Included

All camp fees
All meals, cutlery and crockery
All park entrance fees
Camping Days, 3 meals a day
Camping sites with toilets and showers
Coffee & Tea – all day every day whilst in camp
Guide and Bush Chef
Lodges will be based on a Bed and Breakfast base
Rental vehicle with tent, bedding, fridge & chairs
Transfers to and from Airport

Excluded

International flights
Optional activities on route
Own Drinks
Your own border visas
Your own drinks and in-between snacks (we will stop and shop in town)
Your own medical emergency and evacuation insurance cover
Your own medicine and items of a personal nature

Tour Dates

22 Jul 2022 - 06 Aug 2022 - €4,650.00

Day 1: Arrival - Johannesburg

Following our arrival at OR Tambo International our Tour Leader escourts us to the Depot where we collect our two sleeper 4WD land cruisers. After a vehicle brief, we head in convoy to our Hotel for the night, on the outskirts of buzzing Johannesburg - one of the largest urban areas in the world and home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

After check in, we have a detailed orientation of the next 16 days as our tour leader takes us through the itinerary, the route we will be travelling and what to expect when travelling in convoy.  A traditional South African braaivleis is enjoyed before settling in for the night!

Day 2: Dullstroom

The drive today is east for 250kms towards the Steenkampsberg Mountains and the little village of Dullstroom, reputed to be the highest town in the country and where during the course of one day, one can experience all four seasons from blistering summer heat to below freezing temperatures.  Nature-lovers know Dullstroom for its unique variety of highland wild flowers that carpet the countryside in a blaze of blue and yellow. The surrounding grasslands and wetlands are also the annual breeding ground for three varieties of Crane - all critically endangered - the blue, the crowned and the wattled cranes.

The town is richly endowed with a multi-cultural heritage and many cornerstones on surviving buildings date back to the 1890's. The historic architecture is picturesque and the surrounding flora in the village, mostly exotics brought over by the early settlers.  

After check in and before dinner we are able to enjoy exploring this premier flyfishing destination and walking from one end of the town to the other does not involve too much except the temptation of a host of intriguing pubs and historic inns, gentile country coffee shoppes and pancake bars.

Day 3: Blyde River Canyon

Leaving Dullstroom behind us we head towards the Kurger National Park via the Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons on earth. To describe the natural attractions of Mpumalanga with the written word is difficult, but it has been described as the 'most beautiful place in the world' while others say here you can 'touch the clouds'.  The route we take is one of South Africa's most scenic drives (Panorama Route) that explore the north-eastern section of the Great Escarpment of the Drakensberg.  In these rugged mountains the plateau falls steeply away leaving incredible views over the Lowveld and the grasslands of Africa.

The most popular stretch of the route winds through a number of graceful waterfalls that take us all the way to God's Window, Bourkes Luck Potholes, the Three Rondawels and Blyde River Canyon.  The view out over the canyon from a height of 1 219 metres above sea level, as the Blyde River cuts its way through the valleys below and the Blydepoort Dam in the distance, is unspeakably beautiful and our evening in Blyde River Canyon is one of enchantment.

Day 4, 5 & 6: Kruger National Park

Blyde River Canyon is in such close proximity to the Kruger National Park that today's drive is not a long one allowing us ample time to get to camp and settle in before our first game drive.  For the next three days, we camp wild in our rooftop tents, leaving the public roads and general crowds behind us, in a privately owned concession. 

It is easy to see why the Kruger National Park is consistently rated as one of the top safari destinations in Africa - the enormous park is not only home to the famous Big Five (elephant, rhino, cape buffalo, lion and leopard) but also boasts an incredibly diverse African savanna biome. With more than 140 species of mammal, including oddities like the shy aardvark and the fierce honey badger, there are also over 300 species of trees stand scattered across the landscape and a multitude of birds so be sure to pack your binoculars and keep an eye out for a large variety of raptors, vultures, storks, kingfishers and weavers among the 500-odd species.

Our stay in Kruger is a time of fierce red sun and camelthorn trees and a place where sundowners are sipped while watching a troop of baboons groom each other, a pod of hippos snorting in the water and a herd of impala antelope nibbling away at an early dinner. It is a place of palpable serenity and large expanses of wilderness, of archaeological sites and best of all, a place where a century of conservation efforts ensure Mother Nature’s circle of life remains largely untouched.

Day 7 & 8: Malolotja, Swaziland

Our journey from Kruger takes us across the border and into Swaziland, the Kingdom of Eswatini where we enter the Malolotja Nature Reserve - one of the very best highland reserves in Southern Africa.  

The next two days are filled with sightings of more unusual species and among the larger mammals you can expect to see grazers such as blesbok, zebra, blue wildebeest and the rare black wildebeest. Smaller antelope include grey rhebok, mountain reedbuck and oribi. A few shy leopard roam the hills and gorges, while serval and aardwolf stalk the grasslands and baboons patrol the ridges. Our late also has many treats for birders. The main drawcard is the endangered blue swallow. Other specials include Gurney’s sugarbird, ground woodpecker, Denham’s bustard and southern bald ibis.

One of Malolotja's greatest attractions is undoubtedly its flora. Throughout the year the variety and profusion of wild flowers provides a magnificent spectacle. Several species of plants, restricted for the most part to the Barberton greenstone belt of southern Africa, are also found growing in Malolotja as are some of the more important threatened species are the cycads.  

Malolotja provides protected wetland, woodland, highveld grassland and mistbelt forest habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal life and surely stands out as one of the most important protected areas in southern Africa.  The next two days are spent exploring some of the most dramatic scenery you will ever encounter. 

Days 9, 10 & 11: Maputo Bay

Our drive today takes us 370kms out of Swaziland and into Mozambique.  Our destination is Maputo Bay and the Peninsula de Santa Maria where we will spend the next three days exploring the warm tropical waters and white sandy beaches.  A small inlet located on the fringe of the tropical west Indian Ocean just off the south eastern coast of Mozambique, Maputo bay is a rather large shallow bay harboring extensive mangroves as well as large coral reefs, sandy and rocky beaches.

Camping at Bemugi's is right on the beach and our locale provides us with access to a host of activities - unbelievably good snorkelling and reef diving in the Coral Gardens where the sea-life and soft corals are quite simply out of this world.  Little wonder the area is described as one of the finest snorkeling spots on the African East Coast! If diving the reefs is not for you, then exploring the micro cosmos of life in the mangrove forests on kayaks will certainly take your breath away with the warm turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean quite literally at your at your finger tips.

This is a place of un-spoilt beaches, long walks along the sandy shoreline and breathtaking views of the bay and the ocean. 

Days 12 & 13: Ndumo - Zululand

The Reserva Especial (Maputo Elephant Reserve) lies south of our beach lodgings and is the wild refuge for the last elephants in southern Mozambique, remnant of the once great herd that migrated to and from South Africa.  Today we leave our tropical paradise and Maputo Bay travelling back through Maputo Special Reserve, onward 185kms into South Africa towards Ndumo Game Reserve.

Ndumo is a relatively small game reserve located in the far northeastern district of Kwa-Zulu Natal known as Maputaland on the border with Mozambique and adjacent to Tembe Elephant Park, home to some of the biggest Tuskers in Africa.  Whilst small - Ndumo is impressive known not only for its diversity of spectacular bird life having the highest bird count in Southern Africa (430 species) but Ndumo is also characterized by beautiful pans, wetlands, and yellow fever tree forests and is known as one of the finest game reserves in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Part of Ndumo's appeal is its remoteness and tranquility so little wonder the reserve is home to good numbers of Black Rhino, White Rhino, Buffalo, Hippopotamus and Crocodile as well as Red Duiker, Giraffe, Nyala and Suni and of course Leopard and Hyaena.

We explore the game reserve enjoying every available game viewing opportunity and our visit to Tembe Elephant Park  - a Big Five reserve provides us with abundant elephant and buffalo sightings, white rhino and the smaller (rarer) black rhino, possibly lion and maybe even an elusive leopard. 

For two days we enjoy Africa at it's best, the early mornings and early evenings as the day comes to an end and the warm hospitality makes us want to return again and again.

Days 14 & 15: Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park

It is only fitting that we end our African Safari at the oldest proclaimed reserve in Africa.  The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is 96 000 hectares, home to the Big Five and world renowned for its conservation efforts and history.  The Park comprises the smaller northern section of Hluhluwe and the larger southern section and former private hunting grounds of King Shaka, the iMfolozi where conservation efforts have successfully contributed to the largest population of White Rhino in the world.

For the next two days of we are able to experience an african safari at our own pace either in our own vehicles or while staying in our camp on the Black iMfolozi River.  The camp is perfectly situated and provides an ideal opportunity to fully unwind (with no phone signal, the only calls are from animals).

While at Nselweni, our last conservation experience in Africa is seen through the eyes of KZN Wildlife in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park - the flagship park of Ezemvelo KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Wildlife.  It is here through efforts both past and present, that the white rhino population in Southern Africa has been brought back from the brink of extinction through the influential project ‘Operation Rhino’

Day 16: Home

After a final breakfast together, we drive in convoy one last time to Ushaka International Airport where we hand over our vehicles and bid our newly found friends farewell and hamba kahle