Day to day Itinery
After your arrival at Hoedspruit Airport, you will meet your MaTakaTaka guide who will transfer you to your accommodation for the next two nights in Hoedspruit. The lodge is situated in the Hoedspruit Wildlife Estate which is perfectly located to explore the surrounding areas. Let your MaTakaTaka guide take you on a bush walk to discover the Flora & Fauna of the reserve and give you an insight into the world of reading tracks & signs of the bush. While out there you might very well come across giraffes, zebras, impalas, wildebeests and warthogs.
Including 4* accommodation in a boutique lodge with breakfast
After breakfast we head out to explore the Panorama Route where you get to see spectacular landscapes with impressive rock formations, waterfalls and of course the Blyde River Canyon which is the third largest canyon in the world. If you prefer to be a bit more active we suggest the hike along the canyon (3-5hrs, entirely your choice) which offers beautiful views of the Blyde Dam and the “Three Rondavels”. There are also crystal clear natural pools along the way to cool down on a hot day.
Including entry fees Panorama Route
Day 3 & 4
It is time to leave Hoedspruit and explore the world-famous Kruger National Park. It is South Africa’s largest and also most important National Park with a size of nearly 20,000 km2. The park is home to 147 mammal species, 507 bird species, 114 different reptiles, 34 amphibians, 49 fish species and 336 different trees. We explore the northern part of the park: the Makuleke concession borders Zimbabwe to the north and Mozambique to the east. The concession is a restricted area not accessible for the normal tourist. The beautiful fever tree forests, the massive, ancient baobab trees & the gorges make this area one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. Our accommodation for two nights is a stunning lodge right on the banks of the Levuvhu river. We are certain that you too will feel the magic of this special place.
On our second day we explore more of the Makuleke concession, either by vehicle or on foot. You will learn more about „Crooks Corner“, the Thulamela culture and with a little bit of luck will get a glimpse of the shy Nyala antilope, elephants and buffalos. We will visit the Lanner gorge, a breath-taking place for a Gin & Tonic as the sun sets! If we are lucky, we may encounter a leopard on our night-drive back to the lodge…
Including 4* accommodation in a luxury tented camp with full board, 2 safari activities/day and conservation levy
After one last safari in the morning through beautiful Makuleke we drive south through the park to one of the public rest camps in Kruger where we will spend one night. We will witness the change of scenery while passing through different vegetation types like mopani thickets, savanna, the fertile valleys of the Shingwedzi and Letaba rivers. The central area of the Kruger is home to the highest lion population in the park. The grasslands attract a variety of zebras, wildebeests and huge buffalo herds, the perfect prey for lion, leopard, wild dogs and cheetahs.
Including accommodation in a chalet with full board and entry fees Kruger National Park
We enjoy another morning drive through the park and exit Kruger in the south. On our way to Swaziland (Kingdom of Eswatini) you will notice the change in landscape as we gain height. Once we pass through the capital Mbabane our destination, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary is not far anymore. Mlilwane is Swaziland´s pioneer conservation area and is a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in the Valley of Heaven, the Ezulwini Valley. The southern portion of the sanctuary can be explored by foot, vehicle, on horseback and on mountain bikes.
Including accommodation in a traditional cottage with breakfast and conservation levy
Day 7 & 8
After breakfast we continue our journey to reach our next destination back in South Africa, Mkuze.
On our way, we stop at Swazi Candles and watch how they produce all kinds of different animals from the wax. After crossing the border we drive through the Pongola Game Reserve along the Lebombo mountains which form the natural border with Mozambique. A stunning accommodation awaits you for two nights right at the Jozini Dam and only 15km away from the Mkuze Game Reserve. In the afternoon we enjoy a boat cruise on the dam.
We have two options on our second day:
Option 1: We explore the Mkuze Game Reserve just around the corner from the lodge. The reserve is small but surprises with lots of different vegetation types such as savanna, swamps and sand forests. It is also renowned as a mecca for bird lovers with more than 420 bird species on record
Option 2: A visit to the oldest nature reserve in Africa! The Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park is a beautiful reserve with rolling hills and one of the best places to see a rhino. In addition to the classic Big Five such as rhino, elephant, lion, buffalo and leopard the park is also home to
giraffes, zebras, impalas, wildebeests, hyenas, wild dogs, hippos, crocodiles and a variety of other wild animals. The park is 65km from our lodge.
Including 4* accommodation in a country hotel with breakfast, boat cruise and entry fees Mkuze or Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park
Day 9, 10, and 11
After breakfast we will explore the 11,000 ha of the Kosi Bay Nature Reserve which is situated in the north-east of KwaZulu-Natal. The reserve extends from the border of Mozambique all the way to Sodwana Bay. Four lakes, KuSifungwe, Mpungwini, KuHlange and Manzamnyama, and a series of canals connected to them form this system, the water of which flows into the Indian Ocean.
Due to its remote location, not many tourists visit this tropical paradise with turquoise water.
Around 250 bird species like the African Fish-Eagle, Palm-nut Vulture and different heron species call this area their home. Bushbuck, Duiker and monkeys are found in the forests while hippos and crocodiles are found in the lakes and river systems.
If you like to snorkel, the estuary of the Kosi Bay offers a coral reef and an abundance of fish species.
Within the next three days we will explore the area in different ways: on foot, with a canoe, by boat and by car.
We will be staying in a beautiful lodge where much thought has been put in to blend into this pristine indigenous sand forest environment.
Including 4* accommodation in a stunning wilderness eco lodge with full board, 1 canoe trip, 1 bush walk and park fees
Day 12 & 13
After our three night beach break we drive 600km to the world famous Drakensberg mountains, the highest mountain range in Southern Africa. With peaks that rise to 3,482 metres in height, the Drakensberg mountain range is an area of spectacular natural beauty and the dramatic outline of the jagged peaks has earned it the name ‘Barrier of Spears’ in local Zulu language.
Our accommodation for two nights is situated at 1,800 m and the view will take your breath away. The area has some excellent hiking trails to fully appreciate the scenery.
Our recommendation for the second day is the hike to „World´s End“ (appr. 3-4 hours long) in the morning which ends with a stunning view over the mountains. In the afternoon when the position of the sun is just right, we will admire the rock paintings of the bushmen which tell their hunting stories. On our way back the lodge we might be lucky and encounter the biggest antelope in South Africa: the Eland which lives in these mountains amongst Mountain Zebras, bushbucks and kudus.
Including accommodation in a chalet with breakfast and conservation fee
We will enjoy one last breakfast together before it is time to take you to the airport in Johannesburg. During the drive we reminisce about the adventures and the amazing encounters we have had together in the past 14 days before it is time to say goodbye to your MaTakaTaka guide.