Kruger to Mozambique. Exploring new horizons. Code (OV26) A 13 Day Expedition

 

From the Kruger National Park to Mozambique. Exploring new horizons

 

m_m_m_panorama_route_tour_dscf3357.jpgDay 1, Night 1

Johannesburg to Panorama Route

Meet and greet by Alan Tours at OR Tambo international airport or place of residence in Johannesburg.

We board the tour vehicle and depart for the scenic beauty of this well-known attraction, the Panorama Route on the escarpment of South Africa.

We check into our comfortable accommodation in a lodge and micro-brewery near the top of one of the tallest peaks in the northern Drakensberg Mountains.

After freshening up we meet in the lounge and dining area warmed by the glow of a crackling fire.

This is also the bar area where one is tempted by a number of rich ales produced in the small brewery which can be seen behind the bar.

A short tour of the brewery can be arranged on request.

 

m_m_img_7747.jpgAfter a delicious, fresh meal prepared to personal taste we make our way to bed in your cozy bedroom in this old Inn.

Overnight guesthouse Panorama Route, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 2, Night 2

Mountain Inn to Blyde River

This is the first full day of our tour and we get up early to make our way to the top of the mountain with magnificent views over the rolling hills and steep valleys below as we watch the sunrise over the province of Mpumalanga, the “Place of the Rising Sun”.

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After returning for a hearty breakfast at the Inn we check out and head for an extensive tour of the Panorama Route. Here we take in such sights as Pilgrims Rest, a historic goldmining town and national monument. We visit the Blyde River Canyon, the largest green canyon in the world, God’s Window view site and a number of waterfalls in the area.

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We take lunch on the road tasting some of the South Africa traditional fare before finally heading down into the warmer subtropical country of what is known as the Lowveld, the low lying area known for its game reserves and tropical fruit plantations and home to the iconic Kruger National Park. We arrive at our overnight accommodation set deep in the rural farming communities and bordering on the banks of the Blyde River itself (“The river of happiness”).

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m_m_dscn0279.jpgHere we check in, freshen up before our evening meal in the lodge restaurant before making our way to bed with the first taste of the adventures ahead of us as we go to sleep to the sounds of the African night.

Overnight Blyde River Lodge, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

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Day 3, Night 3

Blyde River Lodge to private luxury tented camp

We depart after a hearty breakfast at the lodge, check out and head for the heart of the mighty Kruger National Park.

After checking in at the entrance gate we immediately start our game viewing in this world famous conservation area where there is a greater diversity of mammals to be found than in any other place on the planet.

We search the savannas for the many animals, birds, reptiles and plant life that make this such an iconic wilderness area.

m_img_0390.jpgWe have chosen to opt for our first night stay at a private tented camp so that you get the full introduction into the atmosphere of African bush. 

On arrival we check into our exquisite camp, a tented camp reminiscent of the days of the “walking Safari” as immortalized in the movie “Out of Africa”.

m_img_0201.jpgAfter refreshments we make ourselves comfortable in our luxury, en suite tents on the banks of a dry river bed with its waterhole and rim flow swimming pool that is a magnet for big elephant bulls that roam this area

Once comfortable we meet for our midday meal on the wooden deck overlooking the often dry riverbed, in the shade of huge riverine trees and surrounded by a myriad of birds, animals and reptiles.

After lunch we retire to our comfortable and well-appointed tents to rest and slowly watch life on the banks of the riverbed.

m_img_1200_copy.jpgWe meet for a quick refreshment before meeting your ranger and boarding the open 4 x 4 game drive vehicle as we head out into the African bush to find some of Africa’s exciting wildlife.

At around sunset we stop for a magical sundowner refreshment break in the bush before returning back to camp under cover of darkness searching the twilight with the aid of a strong searchlight for the nocturnal creature and possibly the shy Leopard as it makes its way through the undergrowth looking for prey.

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We return to camp for a delicious evening meal served by candlelight under the huge trees under a canopy of glittering stars.

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After our first full day in the wilds of Africa we are accompanied to our tents by your armed game ranger for a peaceful night’s rest to the sounds of the African night.

Overnight luxury tented camp lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 4, Night 4

Luxury Tented Camp to Kruger National Park

Early wake up for coffee and tea before the morning game drive in the summer schedule or take our breakfast on the wooden deck before heading out during the winter schedule. 

m_img_520589.jpgOn a morning game drive, we search the woodland savannas for the many exciting sightings we can encounter in this the largest game reserve in South Africa. 

Dependent on the schedule once again we either return from the game drive for a hearty breakfast or to check out of this heaven of luxury in the heart of the park as we head out north for our next overnight stop, game viewing along the way as we make our way to a popular centrally situated rest camp in a game rich area of the Kruger National Park.

After a full morning of searching the bush and open plains for wildlife we arrive at our overnight accommodation at one of the larger camps in the famous Kruger National Park. 

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Here we check in before taking our luggage to our accommodation and a deserved lunch break under the cool thatch of the open air dining area. After lunch we settle in and freshen up before boarding the tour vehicle as we head out for the afternoon spent catching up with whatever wildlife sightings we can find in the surrounding area.

m_m_img_0914.jpgWe return to our Rest Camp for a well prepared evening meal before making our way to our overnight accommodation and a peaceful night’s rest. 

Optional extra: Please note that there are morning, sunset and evening game drives, supplied by the park staff in their own dedicated vehicles available as optional extras as well as guided walks in the bush should you wish to experience the African bush up close and personal with an armed ranger. Bookings essential. 

Overnight Kruger National Park rest camp, lunch, dinner bed and breakfast

 

m_dscn4996_copy.jpgDay 5, Night 5

Kruger National Park

This area is renowned as the best in the park for its sightings of the predators, Lions, Leopard, Cheetah, Hyena and Wild Dog and the reason for this is because of the quality of the grass that grows in these areas. This quality herbage provides the herbivores such as Buffalo, Wildebeest and Zebra with quantities of quality food and they in turn tend to concentrate in these areas and where there are permanent concentrations of herbivores, they will be followed by the predators which will hunt and prey on the herbivores.

m_img_160656.jpgIt is for the above reason that we choose to spend two nights here.

We wake early for a cup of fresh coffee or tea as we prepare to head out as soon as the gate opens to find the nocturnal predators before the lie up for the day. It is a pretty and exciting time of the day to be out in the big wild. We listen to the morning awakening and watch the sun rise as we head out with the anticipation of a new day and what can be found in this diverse wonderland. 

m_img_0733.jpgAfter a full morning we return at around mid-morning for a hearty brunch (breakfast and lunch combined) before heading off to our accommodation for a short rest or make use of the swimming pool or simply sit out on the porch watching the birds and other creatures that share the rest camp with their transient human companions.

You are free to wander over to the restaurant complex with its well-stocked shop if you are still hungry or want to do some shopping for your own account. Master and Visa Cards are universally accepted in South Africa. 

m_img_091364.jpgWe meet up again in the midafternoon to board the tour vehicle and head out into the bush for the afternoon game drive when the wildlife is slowly coming back to life after the heat of the day. We wonder through the roads and tracks searching for sightings before heading back to camp for the evening meal and a good night’s rest in the comfortable accommodation to the sounds of the African night. 

Make a serious effort to listen to the wild, listen to the wind, the leaves rustling and the Nightjar calling. “Good Lord deliver us!” 

Overnight Kruger National Park rest camp, lunch, dinner bed and breakfast

 

m_m_img_1146.jpgDay 6, Night 6

Kruger National Park, centrally situated Rest Camp to northern Rest Camp 

We wake early for a cup of fresh coffee and rusks (a traditional oven dried bread roll) before heading out into the new day to search for the wildlife in this area. 

We keep a watch out for the always exciting Lion, Leopard and Hyena, the nocturnal predators that are still active at this time of the day. After an exciting morning we return to the camp for a hearty breakfast. 

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After breakfast we check out and head for our next overnight stay at one of the northern rest camps. This area is by and large dominated by Mopane trees and scrubland. This is a hardy species of tree that becomes dominant in these dry woodland savannas, the rolling hills are divided by a few perennial rivers over which bridges have been built for year round accessibility to different parts of the park. Mostly the rivers or drainage lines are dry sandy riverbeds that only flow after a good rain during the rainy season, but these wide sandy beds can become rampaging torrents of muddy brown water after heavy thunder showers, sweeping all ahead of them as the water charges downstream heading for the Indian Ocean off Mozambique.

m_img_005579.jpgWe keep a keen watch on the wildlife always alert to sightings of the fantastic bird, animal and reptile life that abounds in this beautiful game reserve. 

We stop at one of the Rest Camps along the route for lunch before entering our overnight facility. We check in in the afternoon and settle into our comfortable accommodation. 

m_img_1932.jpgAfter a short rest we board the tour vehicle for the late afternoon game drive.

There are optional extra sunset or night drives at most of the larger camps but please remember that these might conflict with our own activities and mealtimes. Please check on these beforehand; bookings are essential. 

We return to the Rest Camp in time for evening meal in the park restaurant before making our way to bed and a peaceful night’s rest listening to the sounds of the African night under a star filled sky.

Overnight Kruger National Park, lunch, dinner bed and breakfast

m_img_2686copy72.jpgDay 7, Night 7

Kruger National Park 

In the morning we have the choice of two options: One to take a guided walk with an armed ranger into the wilds of the park or to board the game drive vehicle for an early morning game drive in this interesting area where great herds of Cape Buffalo can be found with the attendant prides of Lions searching for prey while numbers of Elephant use the open drainage lines to feed on extensive grasslands and water themselves at a few of the last persisting waterholes found on these drainage lines. 

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If we choose the optional extra of doing a guided walk, we will wake early for a cup of coffee and rusks before meeting your armed ranger for a stimulating early morning walk in the wilds of the Kruger National Park. After formalities we set off into the park. Here we learn about the smaller creatures of the area including the trees and plants, the insects, the birds and reptiles that play such an important role in keeping the ecosystem healthy and vibrant. We learn to read some of the tracks and signs of the wild as we move slowly through the field with an eye open searching for some of the larger creatures we might come across.

Depending on the time of the year it could be a two to three hour experience after which we return to the rest camp for a well-deserved breakfast.

After a mid-morning break, we meet for a light lunch before heading out to explore the surrounding area in the tour vehicle and discover what wildlife can be found here. 

m_img_784819.jpgWe take our evening meal in the camp restaurant before heading for bed on our last night in the mighty Kruger National Park.

We rest peacefully to the sounds of the bush with a million stars in the night sky.

Overnight Kruger National Park, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

m_dscn520282.jpgDay 8, Night 8

Kruger National Park to Massingir Dam,

Parcue Nacional do Limpopo in Mozambique

We wake early for breakfast and check out and make our way along the main road as we head south for the link road that takes us to the Mozambique border post with South Africa.

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m_dscn5211.jpgThe border post is the official gate way to the Parcue Nacional do Limpopo, the Mozambique equivalent to the Kruger National Park and established as a Transfrontier, Peace Park in association with the government in Mozambique. 

We cross the border between South Africa and Mozambique after formalities and drive down through the Mozambique side of the Transfrontier Park. This is an emerging park and communities of people are still living within the confines of the park. 

m_dscn5387.jpgThis will often give fascinating insight into the lives of these often primitive villages filled with happy smiling faces and their herds of scrawny cattle which can be heard before you see them with the resonating sounds of the cow bells around the neck of a few. Village children in tattered clothing herd the family cattle into the shrub land in the morning and return at night.

m_dscn527449.jpgBring something for the kids. Pens, books, colour pencils and note pads.T-shirts, old shoes anything you would normally throw away is like gold to these impoverished people, however soccer balls are worth more than gold. If you bring sweets, please try to bring sweats with minimal wrapping IE not individually wrapped as this will only contribute to pollution in what is an exceptional clean environment almost free from the waste generated by a western consumer based economy. 

This is a wood based economy; everything in the villages is constructed from materials freely sourced from the forests and fields that surround them. The huts are constructed with a framework of sturdy poles cut from the woodlands the gaps between the larger poles are filled in with a matrix of smaller, flexible saplings and these are covered with a plaster of mud from the soil. The rooves are made from thatch made from grasses collected after the summer rains. Raised food bins made from poles are built high off the ground to keep the grain aerated and dry and away from pests.

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Draught sleds made from wet saplings woven together on a triangular frame of larger logs are pulled by bullocks and oxen often with the telltale bells around their necks and held together with yolks carved from trees from the woods. This is a truly fascinating world to the modern traveler. 

We stop in the shade of a tree at the side of the road to have our picnic lunch which we have pre-prepared and brought with us. We are now in deep rural Africa where there are no shops and just about everything is exchanged on a barter basis. 

After travelling for approximately two hours from the border post we arrive at our overnight accommodation on the banks of a large manmade dam. 

m_dscn5267_copy.jpgWe overnight in log cabins with basic facilities like a kettle, two burner stove and best of all a fridge, crockery and cutlery is basic but sufficient. The cabins are set on the slopes of a hillside overlooking a large modern dam. 

Overnight Massingir log cabins, picnic lunch, dinner (on the fire) bed and breakfast

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m_dscn4567.jpgDay 9, Night 9

Massingir to Mozambique coast

After fixing a breakfast at the log cabins, we pack up and check out of the cabins as we make our way in a south easterly direction for the tropical coast of Mozambique. 

It’s a relatively slow journey as we make our way through well-kept farmland and small villages surrounded by stands of tall trees. Cattle and other livestock move freely through the farms and settlements. There are road markets in many places where we stop to take a look and purchase fresh Cashew and Macadamia nuts and in season Mangos and Avocados amongst the many other products they sell. We take a lunch break en route to the coast. 

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We arrive at midafternoon in time to check into our well decorated and appointed beach lodge nestled in the sand dunes, overlooking the ocean. After settling in we take a relaxing sundowner on the deck overlooking the Indian Ocean before dinner at the restaurant. 

Overnight beach lodge, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

m_img_129145.jpgDay 10, Night 10

Mozambique Beach lodge

Here we take it easy, you get up when you want to and take breakfast on the deck overlooking the Indian Ocean. 

This is the East Coast of Africa. So, for those with a spring in their heel, it is a great opportunity to get up early to take a walk on the endless golden beach and watch the sunrise over the ocean.

m_dscn5436.jpgSimply stunning as ghost crabs scuttle across the sand, diving deep into their burrows as you approach.

Fishermen work their seine nets setting out to catch fish for the local marketplace. 

m_dscn5452.jpgThere are long walks along lonely beaches or just sit and watch the day awaken to the sound of the surf on the outer edge of the reef. 

m_m_img_0198.jpgBlue water lilies festoon the freshwater lakes that lie just behind the dunes close to the lodge. There is a fringe of forest that protects the edge of the lake, creating a habitat that is a bird watcher’s paradise where one can find an African fish eagle roosting or long toed African Jacanas feeding on the lilie pads as they step delicately from leaf to leaf searching for insects amongst the many other species that live here. 

 

m_img_129548.jpgWe take lunch and dinner at the beach lodge restaurant where local sea food is a delicacy.

After a warm evening amongst newfound friends we head for a peaceful night’s rest to the sound of the surf on the shoreline. 

Overnight Beach lodge, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast  

 

Day 11, Night 11

Mozambique to Barberton in South Africa

We wake early to celebrate another day as the sun rises over the Indian Ocean and take a delicious breakfast on the sun deck before packing up and checking out of the lodge as we prepare to return to South Africa. 

m_m_img_2499.jpgWe travel south along the coast of Mozambique before reaching the capital and largest city in the country, Maputo. Here we turn west as we head for the border post with South Africa. At the border we go through the formalities at this busy border post. 

Once back in South Africa we continue to Barberton, a historic gold mining town near the border of Swaziland. It is here that Tom McLachlan found the first traces of alluvial gold in South Africa in 1874, the earliest discovery of gold in South Africa by a European. 

We arrive in time to check into our well-appointed accommodation where we freshen up before a delicious meal at the restaurant. 

m_img_8933.jpgOvernight Barberton guesthouse, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast

 

Day 12, Night 12

Barberton to Johannesburg

We wake for a wholesome breakfast before checking out, boarding our tour vehicle and head out for an interesting tour of one of South Africa’s earliest and still productive gold mines. 

After an insight into the discovery of gold in South Africa and the wild days of the early gold rush, we continue with a local guide to learn about the earliest rock formations on our planet, as we follow a local geo-trail. The sedimentary rocks in this region have been dated to in excess of 3.5 billion years. 

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We take our lunch along the road before departing at around midafternoon for the final leg of the journey as we return to the City of Gold, Johannesburg, a younger but far wealthier gold mining center; but this is another story altogether.

On arrival in Egoli (“The City of Gold” in the local language) we check into your hotel, freshen up before a delicious meal in a local restaurant and a peaceful night’s rest in this high voltage cosmopolitan city. 

Overnight hotel Johannesburg, lunch, dinner, bed and breakfast 

End of Alan Tours services

 

Day 13

Johannesburg

m_dscn5318.jpgThis day is reserved for your outbound flight.

Check out after breakfast.

Transfer to airport is for your own account.

 

R 62 000.00 per person sharing 

Minimum 6 persons required 

 

Tour includes:

  • 13 days guided tour, vehicle, trailer, fuel, guide
  • 12 night accommodation as per itinerary
  • All meals as per itinerary
  • Entrance/conservation fees
    • Kruger National Park
    • Limpopo National Park
  • Community levy fees
  • Entrance fees viewpoints Panorama Route
  • Parking fees Panorama Route
  • Guided Geo Trail
  • Guided Mining Tour
  • Toll fees
  • Border fees
  • Airport fees

 Tour excludes:

  • Activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Bar bills
  • Optional extras mentioned in the itinerary
  • VISA

 

Please make sure you know whether you require a visa to cross over into Mozambique and what inoculations you require to conform to the laws of your country as well as that of Mozambique before embarking on your tour.

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