As a country that starts with S listed on Countryaah.com, in terms of landscape, South Africa is divided into the coastal region – also known as the “Great Peripheral Step” – and the Central Plateau Highveld. The Drakensberg rise to the east, with Thabana Ntlenyana (3,485 m) being the highest mountain in the Lesotho enclave. To the northwest, the Kalahari desert extends into the neighboring countries of Namibia and Botswana. The largest metropolitan areas are the regions around Johannesburg and Cape Town, followed by eThekwini (the Zulu name for Durban) and Ekurhuleni, each with over three million residents.
- Day 1: Arrival in Johannesburg
- Day 2: Off to the east, off to Mpumalanga!
- 3rd-5th Day: Blyde River Canyon & Kruger National Park
- Day 6-7: Welcome to the Kingdom of Swaziland!
- 8-10 Tag: Welcome to the Kingdom of Zululand!
- Day 11: 360 ° Durban
- 12-13 Day: Via Cape Town to Hermanus
- Day 14: The Cape of Good Hope
- Day 15: Cape Town’s Table Mountain
- Day 16: Goodbye, Africa – Hello, Europe!
Early in the morning we set out on our first hike along the Blyde Rivers Canyon. It is not only the third largest canyon in the world, but also the greenest. The most beautiful view is probably the one over the “Three Sisters”, those huge round rocks that are reminiscent of the huts of African tribes. On a clear day you can see the Kruger nature reserve, the largest in South Africa, from here to the border with Mozambique. In addition to the “Big 5”, ie lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard, there are also over 500 species of birds, 114 reptiles and many species of fish at home. We devote ourselves to this biodiversity on a full-day game drive, the next day we trudge through the bush on foot: a local ranger explains how to read tracks.
This trip is very cleverly planned and very diverse. By flying from Durban to Cape Town, we save many hours of sitting in the car and still see all the highlights of the north-south route: the Hluhluwe rhino sanctuary, the football stadium in Durban, the west coast near Hermanus, Cape Town. We also visit the Rivendell Estate winery, whose owners are friends with Weltweitwandern founder Christian Hlade.
After having toured the Kingdom of Swaziland for two days, we return to South Africa: After the Swazi, we now get to know some Zulu who make up the largest ethnic group in the country. In a village we are introduced to a family and visit a kindergarten that our partner supports.
Meals: B = breakfast / L = lunch / packed lunch / D = dinner
Arrival in Johannesburg
Descent to Johannesburg. We walk a few meters to the pick-up station, where the driver will take us to the Airport Game Lodge. We can organize the rest of the day or evening as we wish. Travel time: approx. 15 min (10 km)
This trip does not include a flight in the trip price. We are happy to help you book your flight.
Driving time: approx. 15 min (10 km)
Overnight at Airport Game Lodge
(- / – / -)
Off to the east, off to Mpumalanga!
In the morning we set off for a 6-hour drive east to Mpumalanga province, where mountains, panoramic passes, green valleys, rivers, waterfalls and forests are characteristic of the landscape. In the afternoon we reach God’s Window viewpoint, which is on the Mpumalanga Panorama Route. From here we can see the expanse of the Lowveld, which lies 700 meters below us. In between we stretch our feet on a hike to the Mac Mac waterfalls. The waterfalls roar down from over 50 meters. The waterfalls are entwined with green and reddish-gray rock walls. A detour that is definitely worth it!
Hike: approx. 1 hour (easy)
Travel time: approx. 6.5 hours (420 km)
Overnight at Hotel Graskop or similar.
(F / M / A)
Blyde River Canyon & Kruger National Park
Early in the morning today we lace up our hiking boots to explore the Blyde River Canyon. Our path leads down to the canyon, which is considered to be one of the great natural wonders of Africa. We have a picnic with a view of the hill country before we continue to our lodge.
The largest nature reserve in South Africa, the Kruger National Park, can boast of the world’s largest biodiversity and 16 different ecosystems. The famous “Big 5” are at home here: lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos and leopards. But also over 500 species of birds, 114 reptiles and many species of fish. On the fifth day of the trip, we dedicate the whole day to these animals – by means of game drives. We swap our sprinter with an open safari car and explore the southern part of the national park.
Another highlight awaits us the next day. We walk through the bush early in the morning with our local ranger. We are curious which animal tracks we will discover, maybe those of elephants, giraffes or lions? Our ranger tells us about tracking and tells us about life in the bush.
Driving time: approx. 3 hours (250 km)
Hike – Blyde River Canyon: approx. 3.5 hours. Bush walk
: approx. 3–4 hours
(F / M / A)
6th – 7th day:
Welcome to the Kingdom of Swaziland!
Our journey continues to the Kingdom of Swaziland. We cross green, fertile orchards and finally reach the Malolotja nature reserve in the mountains of Swaziland. The sanctuary is known for its wide range of different habitats, from flat grasslands to thick scrubland to bushveld and wet forests. We spend two nights on the border of the reserve.
What better way to explore the game reserve than on foot? We walk along the rolling hills of the Malolotja reserve until we reach our goal: a beautiful waterfall that searches its way down over the rocks.
The Swazi have a very rich cultural heritage. We visit the handicraft market while our guide tells us something about the Swazi culture.
Driving time: approx. 4 hours (360 km)
Hike: approx. 4–6 hours, partly uneven and steep sections
Overnight in mountain chalets Hawane or similar.
(F / M / A)
Welcome to the Kingdom of Zululand!
Today we continue south, back to South Africa. Our destination: our lodge in the private Ukuwela game reserve. We relax a little from our drive and start our next bush hike in the afternoon. Together with our local guide we go on a voyage of discovery to spot some of the 540 species of birds that are native to this area. With a little luck, a shy nyala antelope may even graze in the lush landscape near the Msinene River.
Today we dedicate ourselves to the endangered rhinos. We visit the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, which is home to over 1,600 rhinos, and we are guests in a Zulu village. Here, too, we can still find old African culture and can chat a little with the residents of the village or try to communicate with hand signals.
On the 11th day we get to know a school project that involves setting up a school kitchen and which our local partner supports. We meet a local family that we will spend some time with. We play with the kids and we learn a little more about it. Good and sufficient nutrition is an issue that is often very difficult, especially in Africa.
Driving time: approx. 6 hours (295 km)
Hike: approx. 2–3 hours.
Overnight stay in the Zululand Lodge or similar.
(F / M / A)
360 ° Durban
We leave Zululand behind us and travel towards the coast, to the third largest city in South Africa, to Durban. Once there, we visit the futuristic Moses Mabhida Stadium built for the 2010 soccer World Cup. An incredible construction allows us to step onto the stadium and get a 360 ° panoramic view of the city and the surrounding area. Optional: The particularly brave can swing across the stadium on the world’s highest swing, the Big Rush Swing.
Afterwards we stroll along the promenade and discover a whole new South Africa that we have not yet experienced on our trip. For lunch we stop at a restaurant.
Driving time: approx. 3.5 hours (280 km)
Hike: approx. 1–2 hours.
Overnight stay in the Misty Blue Waterfront Village or similar.
(F / – / -)
Via Cape Town to Hermanus
We save many sedentary kilometers by car. Depending on the flight time, we will leave the hotel and fly from King Shaka International Airport to Cape Town, where our driver will meet us in the arrival hall. Our journey continues along the picturesque coast towards Hermanus. Hermanus is one of the best places in the world for whale watching from land. Southern right whales settle here from the southern seas from June to November to mate in the lagoon or to calve in the shallow waters.
In Hermanus we stroll along the coast for a while before stopping at a local restaurant.
The next day we visit the Rivendell Estate winery, whose owners are friends with our worldwide hiking founder Christian Hlade. South Africa produces very good and well-known wines. The cultivation of land is much larger than in Austria. In this way we learn something about the production and can also taste a little of the fine wines.
Driving time: approx. 4 hours (420 km) Overnight at the Windsor Hotel or similar.
(F / – / -)
The Cape of Good Hope
We leave Hermanus and go back to Cape Town. The 3.8 million resident metropolis is a dazzling city with a mix of cultures and lifestyles. Cape Town is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We lace up our hiking boots for the Cape hike, we hike between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean, which is east of us. Our destination is the famous Cape of Good Hope. The ocean is rough and wild here, but is greeted by a picturesque coastline. Afterwards we pay a visit to Boulders Beach, where numerous Jackass penguins cavort between the Boulder granite rocks, the ocean and the beach.
Driving time: approx. 4 hours (220 km)
Hike: approx. 4–5 hours.
Overnight stay at the Inn on the Square or similar.
(F / – / -)
Cape Town’s Table Mountain
What would Cape Town be without its majestic Table Mountain? A must for all Cape Town visitors – and for us too! That’s why we start our hike up the world-famous Table Mountain early this morning. We hike from Platteklip Gorge over the plateau down to Constantia. With good visibility we have a wide view of Cape Town, the bay and the former prison island Robben Island.
Once at the top there is also the option of going back down with the gondola.
Our culinary tip for dinner: Try game meat, i.e. game meat – such as kudu, ostrich or nyala, depending on what the menu offers.
Travel time: approx. 1 hour.
Hike: approx. 6 hours.
Overnight at Inn on the Square or similar.
(F / – / -)
Goodbye, Africa – Hello, Europe!
Our trip was colorful, cultural and rich in species. Today it is time to say goodbye, because we are starting our journey home to Europe. The next day we reach our homeland. “When you come home, too, it is important to give yourself some time to get back home,” says Weltweitwandern founder Christian Hlade.
Driving time: approx. 1 hour (30 km)
(B / – / -)