Journeys worth taking

South Africa

From Scratch South African Adventure

Endangered Wildlife

Cape Town, Thula Thula and Kruger

Lodging

Boutique Hotels, Game Lodges,

Nights

15

Trip Details

2 people, self guided and guided game drives

Price

$5,997

Transport

Flight, Self Drive in Cape Town, Shared Game Drives

Pygmy miles

8,033

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Accommodation
Practical info

Experience

Journey

In this itinerary, you will cover the heavy hitters of South Africa. You will drink in the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town and enjoy the best of the beautiful landscape surrounding the city to boot. You will taste world class wines not far from Cape Town and swim with Seals off the coast. Afterwards, you will fly to Durban via a short two hour flight and be picked up and driven to Thula Thula game park. You will spend 3 nights and 2 full days immersed in the wildlife with twice daily game drives. After breakfast and an early morning game drive, you will transfer to downtown Durban. Your boutique hotel is located in a residential area a 10-minute walk from trendy shops and restaurants on Florida Rd. You will spend the next day in Durban and then fly to Nelspruit Airport early on the 26th. You will then catch a private transfer (approximately 3 hrs) from the airport to nThambo Lodge and have four glorious days and nights of game viewing. Each day, you will have the opportunity to go on two game drives and one bush walk. All meals, all local drinks (soft & alcoholic), teas & coffees are also included in the price. You will then take the noon flight to Johannesburg, where you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel in Sandton. Return flight next day back to the US. 

Activities

Trekking

Day trek near the Cape of Good hope and to Table Top Mountain.

Wildlife Viewing

Spot Wildlife in Thula Thula Game Reserve and Kruger National Park.

Gastronomy

Cape Town has a variety of world class wines. In your evenings make sure to try a glass from Franschhoek or Stellenbosch, which are renowned for their vineyards.

And also

Seal Snorkeling

 

Place

Capetown 

Originally a sea side settlement inhabited by hunters and gatherers, Cape Town was isolated from the European continent until 1488, when the Portuguese found their way south along the western coast. Today, Cape Town is an eclectic mix of Afrikans, Brittish, European, African and Indian influences. There is much to do and see in and around the city including sandy beaches, top notch vineyards, waterfront restaurants and natural monuments like Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope. You may prefer simply walking through downtown along lively Long Street or wandering through the colorful houses of Bo Kaap. In any case, Cape Town is sure to impress even the most traveled adventurer. 

Thula Thula

Thula Thula game reserve is 4500 ha and is home to a diverse African wildlife population including elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, leopard, giraffe, zebra, nyala, hyenas, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest and a spectacular variety of other indigenous species, great and small. The oldest private game reserve in Kwazulu Natal, and former hunting ground of legendary Zulu King Shaka, boosts a unique diversity of landscapes, from riverine bush, savanna and forest. Experienced rangers will guide you on exciting safaris in open Landrovers through the unique diversity of this ancestral land to encounter big game and superb birdlife.

Durban 

Durban is becoming the hip cousin to Joburg and Cape Town; a favorite destination for local South Africans, especially during Christmas and New Years. A strong Indian influence permeates this city off the east coast of South Africa. With a subtropical climate, the beaches of the golden mile are an excellent way to spend your time surfing, walking the boardwalk or just lounging the day away. The art scene has a rich history as well. Durban's Art Museum was the first to display African art and with the markets surrounding the museum, it makes for a good half day jaunt. So while others head for Joburg and Cape Town, those in the know head to third largest city in South Africa. 

Kruger National Park

With nearly 2 million hectares, Kruger Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. The park has also a long, albeit controversial history, starting in 1898. The park has over 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. It is one of the best reserves in Africa to see the big 5: Buffalo, Elephant, Rhino, Lion and Leopard. 

5 Things To Seek (from San Parks, the administration arm of Kruger National Park)

  1. The Big Five – Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhino.
  2. The Little Five – Buffalo Weaver, Elephant Shrew, Leopard Tortoise, Ant Lion and Rhino Beetle.
  3. Birding Big Six– Ground Hornbill, Kori Bustard, Lappet- faced Vulture, Martial Eagle, Pel’s Fishing Owl and Saddle-bill Stork.
  4. Five Trees – Baobab, Fever Tree, Knob Thorn, Marula, Mopane.
  5. Natural/Cultural Features – Letaba Elephant Museum, Jock of the Bushveld Route, Albasini RuinsMasorini Ruins, Stevenson Hamilton Memorial Library, Thulamela

 

 

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Day-1

Arrival

Arrive in Cape Town via Chicago. When you arrive, you can pick up your rental car from Hertz and proceed to your hotel.

Day-2

Cape Town

Free day to explore Cape Town. Cape Town is a city that proves you really can have it all, whether you want vast sandy beaches, top notch vineyards, waterfront restaurants or magnificent natural monuments such as the towering Table Mountain. The city center also has lots to keep you occupied, whether you're in the lively Long Street, wandering among the colourful houses of Bo Kaap or walking around the independent, European-influenced De Waterkant quarter.

Day-3

Seal Snorkeling

Today you will take to the water and swim with fur Seals, which runs from 9 am - 12 pm. Cape Fur seals occur naturally on islands around the southern African coast and are found nowhere else in the world. Duiker Island in Hout Bay is home to about 5,000 seals and lies within the Karbonkelberg marine protected area, part of Table Mountain National Park.

Day-4

Cape Town to Thula Thula

Today, you will fly from Cape Town to Durban via South African Airways. In Durban, you will be picked up by a private driver, who will be awaiting at the arrival gate with a nameboard, and transported to Thula Thula Game Reserve.

Day-5

Thula Thula

Thula Thula game reserve is 4500 ha and is home to a diverse African wildlife population including elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros, leopard, giraffe, zebra, nyala, hyenas, crocodile, kudu, wildebeest and a spectacular variety of other indigenous species, great and small. The oldest private game reserve in Kwazulu Natal, and former hunting ground of legendary Zulu King Shaka, boosts a unique diversity of landscapes, from riverine bush, savanna and forest. Experienced rangers will guide you on exciting safaris in open Landrovers through the unique diversity of this ancestral land to encounter big game and superb birdlife.

Day-6

Day-7

Thula Thula

The daily schedule will be discussed with you upon arrival. In general, you will have two game drives per day, one in the morning after breakfast and one in the afternoon around 4 pm, before dinner. If you are interested in walking safaris, make sure to tell the lodge staff so they can coordinate the activity. In between activities, you can relax at the pool or book a treatment at the spa (extra cost and depends on availability).

Day-8

Durban

After a morning game drive, you will be picked up and driven to The Concierge, your hotel in Durban’s city center. You will have the second half of the day to explore the city on your own.

Day-9

Durban

Free day to explore Durban. Located on South Africa's sublime Indian Ocean coast, Durban is a tropical, urban gem that has lost its reckless air in favour of a growing sophistication. Durban's attractive, sweeping beaches are complemented by rejuvenation evident along the seafront, such as the huge uShaka Marine World, one of the largest aquariums in the world. The Golden Mile is the most popular stretch of beachfront and offers everything from amazing snorkelling and diving experiences to nature's unique Sardine Run. Make sure to try the local favorite, Bunny Chow, a fusion between South African and Indian cuisine - a square loaf of soft, white bread filled with spicy curry.

Day-10

Durban to Kruger National Park

Today you will fly from Durban to Nelspruit Airport via a South African Airways flight (transfer to the airport on own). You will be picked up and transferred via private driver to the nThambo Game Lodge in Klaserie Game Reserve (driver waiting in arrivals hall with name board). After getting settled, you will have dinner and enjoy the evening at the lodge.

Day-11

Day-12

Day-13

Kruger National Park (nThambo Lodge)

nThambo game lodge is located inside of the Southern Klaserie game reserve, which is part of the Greater Kruger and shares unfenced borders with the National Park. In the mornings and evenings, guests are taken on game drives. The animals are habituated to the vehicle, which means that they are used to the vehicle approaching them and know that it never causes them harm. This enables to you to get within five to 10 meters of the larger predators; even while they're feasting on a recent kill. The night drives allow guests the opportunity to see the nocturnal animals not encountered during the day. Your chances of seeing leopard in particular are a lot higher at night and with a bit of luck you might even encounter the predators such as lion and leopard hunting. During the night drives, your tracker uses a powerful spotlight to search for nocturnal animals; The waterhole in front of camp attracts a number of species during the day and night, so regular sightings of warthog, baboons, elephants, even lions and leopards in front of camp can be enjoyed.

Day-14

Kruger to Johannesburg

Today you will fly from Hoedspruit Airport to Johannesburg via a South African Airways flight. The shared transfer to Hoedspruit Airport is included. In Johannesburg, you will be picked up at the airport by Bidvest.

Day-15

Departure

Depart Johannesburg for Chicago via Dubai. Transfer from Hotel to Airport on own.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Motorized Vehicle
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
6947pygmy miles

Adventure Miles

You received 5,997 miles for choosing Pygmy Elephant to help you plan your trip. You also received 250 miles for seal snorkeling in Cape Town, 500 miles for completing game drives and 200 miles for game walks.

1086pygmy miles

Sustainability Bonus

You received a 25% bonus for choosing Thula Thula Game reserve. Their commitment to conservation and protection of local wildlife including the active protection of so called "Rogue" Elephants and a rhino protection fund.

Total Pygmy Miles

8033pygmy miles

Accommodation

 

Dutch Manor

Cape Town

Welcome to Dutch Manor, South Africa's only registered antique hotel. Steeped in history and old-world charm, the hotel dates back to 1812, and boasts an illustrious and colourful past. It has recently been renovated to embrace the elegance and opulence of yesteryear, whilst catering to all the modern requirements of both business and leisure travellers. Located a stone's throw from the Mother City's many diverse attractions, Dutch Manor Antique Hotel features one of the country's finest antique collections, hand-picked to create a sense of timeless warmth and cosiness. This boutique hotel in cape town offers the traveller a peacefull atmosphere and great service.

Thula Thula

KwaZulu-Natal

Exclusivity is assured with only 8 luxury tents, all with private viewing decks, mosquito nets, fans and luxurious en suite bathroom with Victorian bath and outside shower in the luxury double tents. The 2 family tents offer space, luxury and comfort for parents and children and the generous ensuite bathroom has Victorian bath and open inside shower. View wildlife while sipping a cocktail from the swimming pool bar or relax in your hammock overlooking the Enseleni river. A buffet lunch is served around the outside thatched bar or by the swimming pool. Dine under the stars in the boma for a traditional South African braai (barbecue) or a pojkie (meat stew with vegetables cooked on the fire in a cast iron pot) where you will share stories of the day's game viewing or the legends of the bush with your hosts, our dedicated rangers and trackers.

The Concierge

Durban

The Concierge Boutique Bungalows is built on the site of eight heritage-listed buildings, the 1920’s façade remains, but inside you’ll discover modern luxury with a distinctive, quirky style. The Concierge is nestled in a cool, leafy courtyard which also houses the equally impressive Freedom Café. Each of The Concierge’s four bungalows has three rooms with different design variations, custom finished furniture and shower areas that are best described as being soaked in warm jungle rain. Some have verandahs while others overlook the courtyard. Take your pick.

nThambo Tree Camp

Southern Klaserie

Experience a Kruger Safari at nThambo Tree Camp and stay in unique accommodation in the heart of the Southern Klaserie. The Southern Klaserie is part of the Greater Kruger and shares unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park. It is here that guests can take part in Big Five game drive safaris. On game drive guests will be led by experienced and professional game rangers through a wildlife area rich in game. There is the chance to see all of the Big 5 in and around camp at any time, so guides will escort guests to and from their rooms at night. The Southern Klaserie also boasts a plethora of interesting birdlife and is a haven for bird-watchers. All 5 chalets are positioned on stilts at level with the trees so game watching can be enjoyed constantly. The small size and privacy of nThambo means that activities are flexible and exciting night drives can also be conducted.

The Maslow

Johannesburg

The Maslow is renowned for offering premier 4-star Sandton accommodation. The Maslow is located in Sandton’s financial district, only a few minutes away from the Sandton Gautrain station, Sandton City mall and Nelson Mandela Square. Superior comfort, relaxation and elegance are guaranteed when staying at this high-end hotel in Sandton.

Practical info

Pricing and Service category

From Scratch

Pricing breakdown for the trip can be found in attachment. This is what we mean by Price Transparency Guarantee. 

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Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Boiliva, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.