South africa tour; jeep safari; landrover; lion

Open landrover, Sabi Sands

Sabi Sands, a legendary private game reserve, has no restricting fences between it and vast Kruger National Park, so animals roam freely as nature intended. World-class gameviewing in Sabi Sands is one of the features of our journey.

Photo by Lanz von Horsten

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Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa

Hiking the Garden Route and Drakensberg Mountains, Safari in Greater Kruger

Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5395  
Length: 10 days
Arrive: Cape Town, South Africa
Depart: Johannesburg, South Africa
Lodging: 9 nights luxurious hotels and deluxe lodges
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History, Walking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: Easy to moderate hiking, 4WD game viewing, bush walks
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Highlights

  • Hike South Africa’s breathtaking landscapes, from the coast to the mountains
  • Up-close game viewing, including the “Big Five” in Greater Kruger National Park, game walks, open vehicle safari
  • Superb accommodations, including Phantom Forest, Montusi Mountain Lodge, and Kambaku Safari Lodge
  • Small group—maximum 8 participants!


The best trip we have ever taken.Jeffrey N. and Bonnie S.—Newton, MA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Experience the wonders of South Africa on this active journey! We’ve combined the very best hikes of South Africa and a world-class safari in its phenomenal game parks for the perfect adventure. Exhilarating hikes bring you through phantom fern forests and along the coast of the spectacular Garden Route (with oyster tasting in a harbor village) to “hanging spear” waterfalls and ancient Bushman rock paintings in the craggy Drakensberg Mountains of Zulu country. Our thrilling safari explores one of the most exclusive private reserves in the world, Timbavati, part of renowned Greater Kruger National Park. We’ll head out on foot and by open vehicle for incredible sightings of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo—the legendary “Big Five”—as well as cheetah, zebra, and the elusive wild dog.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Cape Town / Phantom Forest Eco Reserve / Tsitsikamma

After meeting in Cape Town, we head to our base at Phantom Forest, with its treehouse suites overlooking the tranquil Kynsna Lagoon. Here, you’ll hike in Afromontane forests, along towering bluffs, beaches, and bays of the Tsitsikamma Coast, and savor fresh local oysters, a succulent specialty of the region.

Days 4-6
Drakensberg Mountains

In the mighty Drakensberg, one of the most beautiful mountain massifs in the world, hikes from our mountain lodge lead into a dramatic landscape of fantastic rock formations, stunning gorges, and ancient rock art sites depicting galloping elands, elephants, lions, hunters with bows and arrows, and more.

Days 7-10
Safari at Timbavati Private Game Reserve

No fences lie between Timbavati and renowned Kruger, combining to create an ecosystem that offers one of the highest and most diverse wildlife populations in Africa. You’ll experience exceptional game viewing by 4WD vehicle and on foot, including the famous Timbavati white lions, with overnights at comfortable Kambaku Safari Lodge, with its waterhole attracting members of the “Big Five” and an Out of Africa-style atmosphere—an unforgettable safari experience. Depart on Day 10 via Johannesburg.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 2+, easy to moderate. This is a luxury hotel-and-lodge-based adventure tour with several days of walking and hiking. Some of the hikes could be considered a bit strenuous, but there are easier walking options available. Although this is not a particularly rigorous trip, we still recommend that each participant undertake a preparatory program of physical conditioning. Daily walking or regular hiking, jogging, stair-climbing, and so forth are excellent preparatory exercises.

During drives, we can at times get quite close to wild animals. Being very quiet improves everybody’s chances of observation. In the interest of safety, your Trip Leader explains limitations on movement while on game drives, in the safari vehicles, and around camp. Incidents with wild animals are extremely rare on safaris, but no camping safari can guarantee immunity from such incidents. Wilderness Travel is not to be held responsible for incidents involving the behavior of wildlife.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures & Leaders

2015
Oct 16-28, 2015  Martin Meyer
Nov 13-25, 2015  Martin Meyer
2016
Mar 5-14, 2016  Martin Meyer
May 7-16, 2016  Martin Meyer
Jul 23-Aug 1, 2016  Martin Meyer
Oct 1-10, 2016  Martin Meyer

2015 departures follow a different itinerary; call for details

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2016
$5395 (6-8 members)
$5795 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $450
Internal airfare: $1150 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Victoria Falls Extension
   from: $695
Johannesburg Extension
   from: $1095
Shumbalala Game Lodge Extension
   from: $2095
Cape Town Extension
   from: $1595
Mozambique Extension
   from: $1495

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $600
90 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Up to 91 days prior to departure: No charge!
61-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
46-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
  • Accommodations based on double occupancy
  • All meals included
  • Park fees and land transportation
  • Airport transfers, baggage handling, and sightseeing as noted in the Full Trip Brochure

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), travel insurance, and other expenses of a personal nature (laundry, alcoholic beverages, etc.). Optional side trips and excursions are also at your own expense.

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation to the arrival and from the departure cities listed below. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

2015 Departures

Arrival:
Cape Town, South Africa
Date: Day 1 (or earlier)
Suggested arrival time: 9:00 am or earlier
(We recommend arriving anytime earlier than 9:00 am on Day 1 or participating in our pre-trip Inside Cape Town Extension.)

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Cape Town, South Africa (airport code: CPT)
Departure:
Kambaku Safari Lodge
Timbavati, South Africa
Date: Day 10
Suggested departure time: 6:00 pm or later

Suggested Departure Airport:
Johannesburg, South Africa (airport code: JNB)

Note on internal flights: On Day 10 there is a short internal flight from the Greater Kruger to Johannesburg. This flight will be booked by Wilderness Travel. Since this flight usually arrives in Johannesburg in the late afternoon, we recommend an evening departure from Johannesburg.

2016 Departures

Arrival:
Cape Town, South Africa
Date: Day 1 (or earlier)
Suggested arrival time: 9:00 am or earlier
(We recommend arriving anytime earlier than 9:00 am on Day 1 or participating in our pre-trip Inside Cape Town Extension.)

Suggested Arrival Airport:
Cape Town, South Africa (airport code: CPT)
Departure:
Kambaku Safari Lodge
Timbavati, South Africa
Date: Day 10
Suggested departure time: 6:00 pm or later

Suggested Departure Airport:
Johannesburg, South Africa (airport code: JNB)

Note on internal flights: On Day 10 there is a short internal flight from the Greater Kruger to Johannesburg. This flight will be booked by Wilderness Travel. Since this flight usually arrives in Johannesburg in the late afternoon, we recommend an evening departure from Johannesburg.

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

Phantom Forest Eco Reserve

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Knysna, South Africa

Located along the Garden Route, an area along the southeastern coast of South Africa known for its lush vegetation, the Phantom Forest Eco Reserve ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Montusi Mountain Lodge

Montusi Mountain Lodge

Days 4 to 6 (3 nights), Drakensburg Mountains, South Africa

With one of the most splendid settings in the Drakensberg Mountains, this family-run lodge has uninterrupted views of the Drakensberg, including its ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Kambaku Safari Lodge

Kambaku Safari Lodge

Days 7 to 9 (3 nights), Timbavati Game Reserve, Kruger Park, South Africa

Straddling the border of Kruger National Park in the heart of the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Kambaku Safari Lodge offers a realm of up-close ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Martin Meyer

Martin Meyer of South Africa is a professional guide with extensive experience in leading 4WD safaris throughout southern Africa as well as in the game parks of Kenya and Tanzania. He has been active in establishing new routes and locations for various safari companies, has led photo safaris in Botswana and Namibia, and has guided scuba trips on the island of Zanzibar. Martin is thoroughly knowledgeable about all aspects of southern Africa’s natural history and fascinating cultures and loves introducing guests to his home country. When not on safari, he resides in Hoedspruit (near Kruger National Park) with his family.

Upcoming Trips:

Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, October 16-28, 2015
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, November 13-25, 2015
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, March 5-14, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, May 7-16, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, May 23-June 2, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, June 15-25, 2016
Botswana, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, July 6-16, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, July 23-August 1, 2016
Great Hikes and Game Parks of South Africa, October 1-10, 2016

Client Testimonials:


Martin was top notch in every way. It was a pleasure to be in his company every day. Julie Farbaniec, Mission Viejo, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin did an outstanding job and added so much to our experience in South Africa. He is a gem. Susan B., New York, NY
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is really terrific and has just the right demeanor for a trip leader. He made the trip completely enjoyable. Keighley J., Rosston, TX
Zimbabwe Adventure
Martin was incredible! He had the perfect personality and demeanor to lead our group, and his background in guiding, photography, and knowledge of the local flora and fauna was invaluable. Beth S., Naperville, IL
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin's ability to genuinely relate to all he comes in contact with, African or otherwise, was a gift for all of us. What an ambassador for good will and for the company that expects nothing less! Sherida P., Arvada, CO
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is South Africa's best spokesman. His care for us, his country, and people was infectious. Sharyn R., Draper, UT
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin gets the credit for this trip "staying in our souls." He is the best guide that we have ever worked with. He is warm, accepting, organized, an advocate of South Africa—with its history and growing pains. He is clear to uphold the WT environmental values and concern for its clients as that is endemic to his true nature and self. Sherida P., Arvada, CO
Adventuring in South Africa
You could not have a better person to lead this trip. He is extremely knowledgeable, proud of his country, has a wonderful sense of humor (and knowledge of wine), and is extremely sensitive and accomodating to the individuals in the group. He is a very impressive young man. Brother J., Portsmouth, RI
Adventuring in South Africa
I can't say enough good things about Martin—he really made the trip. Kenneth B., Chicago, IL
Adventuring in South Africa
Excellent does not come close. More like—unbelievable! So patient, fun, knowledgeable, funny, kind, a great story teller, amazing person. Just superlative in every way. Ginger P., Boulder, CO
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin was outstanding. We couldn't imagine traveling without his constant planning, oversight, and effort to make our trip completely satisfactory. He combined a passion for personal service with his depth of knowledge about South African history, culture, and nature to create an unforgettable experience for us. Thomas F., Marietta, OH
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin's knowledge of the flora and fauna, culture, language, and the history and politics of the region was remarkable. Doug P., New York, NY
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa
Martin is first class in everything! He is very knowledgeable (there is not a question he cannot answer), professional, sophisticated yet humble, personable, and knows how to give each client a good time. I would love to have him again as a guide! Ally F., San Diego, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Excellent doesn't begin to capture it. Martin IS this trip. A remarkable human being and a passionate leader with bottomless knowledge. Eric L., Portland, ME
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin's ability to provide cultural insights through his personal history and interactions with locals enhanced our trip immeasurably. Bonnie B., Bakersfield, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin made this trip spectacular. His knowledge and love of his country was palpable. Marcie L., Portland, ME
Adventuring in South Africa
A more considerate man, I've never met. He seemed to know about everything, thought of our every need we could have and his easy going nature and expertise made this a trip I will never forget. His knowlegde of this country was astounding. Fantastic!!!!!!!! Nancy S., Medfield, MA
Adventuring in South Africa
We could not have asked for a better guide. Martin's passion and love for the 'bush' was amazing, and his knowledge was superior. Dorene S., Martinez, CA
Great Game Parks of Southern Africa Safari
We can't say enough good things about Martin. He is a gem. Robert and Madelaine S., San Francisco, CA
Adventuring in South Africa
Martin is by far the most wonderful guide and trip leader I can imagine. He was terrific and made this trip so very special. I loved spending time with him—he was so much fun, smart, competent, interesting—I couldn't imagine anyone being better at this work. I'd travel again with him in a flash. He's the best! Ronnie S., Cambridge, MA
Adventuring in South Africa

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

Mozambique

Mozambique Extension

Unwind at Dugong Beach Lodge

Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 1

South Africa

cape town table mountain south africa

Cape Town Extension

Africa’s Most Romantic City

Cultural Adventures, Walking
4 days  -  Level 2

johannesburg city skyline south africa

Johannesburg Extension

Cradle of Humankind, Soweto & the Apartheid Museum

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1

Shumbalala Game Lodge Extension

Gameviewing in Thornybush Private Game Reserve

Safaris, Wildlife & Natural History
4 days  -  Level 1

Zambia

victoria falls zambezi river zimbabwe zambia

Victoria Falls Extension

One of the World’s Natural Wonders

Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Zimbabwe

victoria falls zambezi river zimbabwe zambia

Victoria Falls Extension

One of the World’s Natural Wonders

Walking, Wildlife & Natural History
3 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

The best trip we have ever taken. Jeffrey N. and Bonnie S., Newton, MA We loved this entire trip. This was one of the most varied, well organized and fascinating trips we have taken. South Africa is a beautiful, spectacular country. Jean D., Tuscon, AZ This was our first trip with WT and our first to Africa. It was an extraordinary experience. Steven B., Annapolis, MD The lodges were all spectacular. This was a wonderfully varied itinerary with lots of content—five trips in one. Elizabeth S., Boston, MA Everything about this trip was special—the hotels, the Trip Leader, the wildlife, the food, the staff, the variety. A terrific mix of activities, sights, and sounds. Jennifer A., Palo Alto, CA Could not have had a better experience. John and Pam T., Whittier, CA The interaction with wildlife was exceptional. It truly is a privilege to have shared their habitat for 13 days. Judy and Don P., Fountain Hills, AZ Another great WT trip—I’ll be back! Sue J., Columbus, GA So much better than we could have imagined! Peter S., Barrington, RI I enjoyed this trip thoroughly—one of the best trips I have ever taken. Food, wine, and lodging were all first rate. Many of the accommodations reflected the local ambiance. Patricia T., Palm Desert, CA
Our accomodations were especially luxurious, the food was out of this world, and the guides couldn't have done a better job. Sharyn R., Draper, UT Outstanding accommodations from start to finish. Each presented a different African theme and ideal. Sherida P., Arvada, CO This trip was even better than I expected (and I had very high hopes). Thank you. Brother J., Portsmouth, RI It was a great itinerary—the trip of a lifetime! Kenneth B., Chicago, IL For my first trip with WT and my first trip to Africa, I couldn't ask for anything better. I would consider WT and South Africa again in a heartbeat! Ally F., San Diego, CA Truly a wonderful look at South Africa. Jan T., Sedona, AZ The trip was far greater than I had anticipated. Lodging, food, scenery, safari and most of all out guide, Martin Meyer. He was superb in every way. Nancy S., Medfield, MA I loved everything about this trip--probably the most wonderful travel experience I've had. Carole R., Newton Highlands, MA