South African Family Adventure
Day 1 Johannesburg
Arrive in Johannesburg. At the hotel will meet the rest of our group and get to know the families we are travelling with. We have no plans for today, so if you have time, there is plenty to see in Johannesburg. This evening, we have a group dinner, where we can try some local food and relax as a group.
Day 2 Sabie (1B)
We drive out away from the cities today, and head East towards Mpumalanga, which translates as 'the place where the sun rises'. This is where the spectacular scenery of South Africa really starts to come into focus. Our drive along the Panorama Route takes us to Blyde River Canyon, one of the largest canyons in the world. The beginning of the canyon is marked by Bourke's Luck Potholes, which are formed by the churning whirlpools that have eroded the cliffs into such spectacular rock formations. One of the most famous sites here is God's Window. Views of waterfalls, canyons and looming rock formations give this viewpoint an apt name. We stop at the town of Pilgrim's Rest, the location of a gold field and a town that grew out of the gold rush in Mpumalanga. The kids can try their hands at panning for gold here, so you never know, you might strike it lucky! Overnight in Sabie.
Days 3-4 Timbavati Private Game Reserve (2B,2L,2D)
For the next two days enjoy morning and evening game drives in our open safari vehicle in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (depending on availability of the lodge we will stay at an alternative lodge in a different private game reserve in the Kruger National Park area), adjoining the Kruger National Park, searching for elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo - Africa's famed Big 5. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats are regular sightings at night. This is an example of what you and your family might do during your stay in Timbavati, or any alternative in a different Private Game Reserve: Early morning wake up call (around 5am), coffee/tea & rusks on the deck before the morning open vehicle game drive (approx 3 hours) starts. Return to the Lodge for brunch followed by some leisure time. Enjoy the pool or the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, read a book or take an afternoon nap. Around 14:30pm enjoy High Tea (light lunch and cakes) before you hop on your late afternoon/ evening open safari vehicle game drive. Return, freshen up and meet for pre-dinner drinks and enjoy dinner. In 1993 the fences between the Kruger National Park and the Timbavati Reserve were removed to encourage natural species migration. Today the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve (TPNR) comprises 53,392 hectares of private land adjoining the Kruger National Park (KNP). Currently, there are over 40 mammal species in the Timbavati including the Big Five as well as 360 species of bird life. While relaxing and enjoying the breathtaking views from the lodge’s wooden deck overlooking the river, we listen to the sounds of Africa and search for shooting stars piercing through the night sky before we overnight in our luxury accommodation at the Simbavati River Lodge, meaning ‘lions that come down from the stars’.
Days 5-6 Kruger National Park Area (2B,2L,2D)
Hop on your last early morning game drive in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve. Enjoy more game driving inside Kruger National Park in an open safari vehicle. Search for more lion, elephant, rhino and many other animals in one of Africa’s most well-known wildlife areas. Tonight we stay just outside Kruger National Park. Enjoy a "boma" dinner, along with traditional dancing by the villagers. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Established in 1898 to protect the wildlife of the South African Lowveld, this national park of nearly 2 million hectares is unrivaled in the diversity of its life forms and a world leader in advanced environmental management techniques and policies. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 types of trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Man's interaction with the Lowveld environment over many centuries - from bushman rock paintings to majestic archaeological sites like Masorini and Thulamela - is very evident in the Kruger National Park. These treasures represent the cultures, persons and events that played a role in the history of the Kruger National Park and are conserved along with the park's natural assets.
Day 7 Swaziland (1B, 1L)
Today we will cross the border from South Africa to Swaziland. The name of the border post is Jeppe’s Reef on the South African side and Matsamu on the Swazi side. Some nationalities do require a visa for Swaziland. See our visa section for further information. Remember that visas are your own responsibility, so please double check with your agent if you will require a visa for Swaziland. The South African Rand (ZAR) and the Swazi Lilangeni (SZL) has the same value, so you can use ZAR in Swaziland. However, when you pay in ZAR your change will be in SZL. Option to go for mountain hikes, horse riding or treetop canopy riding. The mountainous Kingdom of Swaziland, lead by King Mswati III, is one of three monarchies in Africa.
Days 8-9 St Lucia (2B)
Staying in Swaziland, we continue to the coast at St. Lucia, we will enjoy a sunset boat cruise. There are plenty of options to enjoy here. You could choose to play with the kids on the beach, or kayaking through the lagoon. There is time perhaps for a game drive in Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve, so you can catch even more wildlife in their natural habitat!
Days 10-11 Drakensburg (2B)
From the coast up into the mountains Into the Drakensburg, the highest mountain range in South Africa. There are two days here to soak in the incredible scenery, or walk among the jagged peaks and forests up in the mountains.
Day 12 Johannesburg (1B)
We return to Johannesburg around 6:00pm where we transfer to the O.R. Tambo International Airport and depart, having said goodbye to our new family. Please book any onward travel from 9:00pm onwards. We recommend booking a post night should you wish to explore the city of Johannesburg.