This 12-day self-drive tour through the northern half ofSouth Africa highlights some of the most attractive regions that the country has to offer. Your trip begins in the spectacular Lowveld area where you get to experience the Kruger National Park and its safari attractions.

Open vehicle safari, Kruger Park, South Africa

You then journey south through the cultural-rich Kingdom of Swaziland where you are provided with endless views of grasslands dotted with wildlife and the Ezulwini and Malkerns Valleys. Finally, this tour takes you to the warm beaches along the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastline allowing you plenty of time to laze on the beach and try out a surf lesson or two.

Itinerary at a Glance:
1 Night Khaya Ndlovu Manor House- Hoedspruit
3 Nights Rhino Post Safari Lodge- Kruger National Park
1 Night Camp Shawu- Kruger National Park
2 Nights Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge- Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
2 Nights Falaza Game Park & Spa- Hluhluwe
2 Nights Fairlight Beach House- Umdloti

Day 01: Khaya Ndlovu Manor House, Hoedspruit

Upon your morning arrival at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, head to the Avis desk to collect your rented vehicle (Group C - Toyota Corolla or similar with manual gears and air-conditioning and a GPS Unit). From the airport, you travel along the picturesque Panorama Route making your way to the Lowveld region, whilst stopping off at some fantastic viewpoints along the way. These include Gods Window and Pinnacle Rock in Graskop and Bourke’s Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels near the Blyde River Canyon.

Swimming Pool at Khaya Ndlovu
Room Interior at Khaya Ndlovu

You then head to the Rietspruit Game Reserve in the Hoedspruit area where you will be spending one (1) night at the bushveld-chic Khaya Ndlovu Manor House on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Day 02: Rhino Post Safari Lodge- Kruger National Park

Today is an early start as you head out just before dawn to a hot air balloon launch site. Here you get to experience a beautiful sunrise safari over the Lowveld whilst peacefully floating amongst the clouds in a hot air balloon- the perfect occasion for photo enthusiasts to get a snap of the breathtaking views.

Early morning hot air balloon flight

Your flight is due to last for an hour, after which you head back to land for a delicious breakfast before making your way to the ecologically conscious Rhino Post Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park. You will be spending the next three (3) nights of your trip at this tranquil lodge on a full-board basis.

Day 03-04: Rhino Post Safari Lodge- Kruger National Park

Today and tomorrow, you get to spend your time on two guided open-vehicle safaris exploring the vast expanses of the Kruger National Park. Take in the wonders of this wonderful changing landscape which is home to a spectacle of plant, animal and bird life including the African wild dog, lion, rhino, elephant and leopard, as well as the rare Pallid Harrier, the Hooded Vulture and the Saddle-billed Stork (only to name a few).

Cheetah in a tree, Rhino Post Safari Lodge
Elephant in front of the Rhino Post Safari Lodge

With over two million hectares of land to discover, a safari through the Kruger National Park is one captivating and unforgettable experience.

Day 05: Camp Shawu- Kruger National Park

After an early morning safari and breakfast, you will take your own game drive through the Kruger Park and head south towards the intimately set Camp Shawu.

Camp Shawu, southern Kruger Park, South Africa
Room Interior, Camp Shawu, Kruger Park

Named after the mighty Shawu bull, an African elephant who roamed the Kruger for six years, this camp elegantly captures the bushveld presence with its buffalo dung walls, leather furniture, and private decks with magnificent views of the Mpanamana Dam. You will spend the (1) night here, on a fully inclusive basis.

Camp Shawu, southern Kruger Park, South Africa
Sunset at Camp Shawu

You can also enjoy some amazing wildlife spotting and birding from the comfort of your private patio for a true sense of rest and relaxation. 

Day 06: Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge- Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

After your guided morning safari and breakfast, it’s time to bid farewell to the Kruger and head south to the small, landlocked monarchy of Swaziland.

Reillys Rock Lodge, Swaziland
Verandah at Reillys Rock Lodge, Swaziland

Once you have cleared customs, you make your way to the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Lobamba area- known as Swaziland’s cultural hub. Here you will be spending (2) nights at the colonial-styled Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Day 07: Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge- Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

Today you have the opportunity to enjoy one of the many outdoor activities offered by the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. From guided game drives and nature walks that show off the striking Nyonyane Mountain, to horseback riding, mountain biking and birding, the choice is yours.

Breakfast at Reillys Rock Lodge, Swaziland
Room Interior, Reillys Rock Lodge, Swaziland

A visit to the traditional Swazi markets in Lobamba is a must for some shopping, or picking up a game of golf for the day at the nearby Royal Swazi Sun.

Day 08: Falaza Game Park & Spa- Hluhluwe

After an early breakfast, it’s time to get back onto the road and head south through Swaziland and back into South Africa. Make your way to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve situated approximately 200km north of Durban, where you will be staying at the wonderful Falaza Game Park and Spa for the next two (2) nights on a full-board basis.

Tented Accommodation at Falaza, Kwa Zulu Natal
Dinner under the stars at Falaza

This luxury tented accommodation offers a unique bush experience allowing you to treat yourself at their deluxe on-site spa.

Day 09: Falaza Game Park & Spa- Hluhluwe

Game Drive at Falaza, Kwa Zulu Natal

Today you get to experience the myriad of activities provided by the Falaza Game Park and Spa. This includes exciting safari experiences on foot, via boat cruises along the Mzinene River or on guided game drives throughout the park. There are also several things to do in the surrounding area that add to your overall bushveld experience, including the Big 5 Hluhluwe Game Reserve which boasts amazing scenery and spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, the Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre as well as the Duma-Zulu Cultural Village. Any additional activities/sightseeing that you wish to do can be booked and paid directly.

Day 10: Fairlight Beach House, Umdloti

This morning after your breakfast, you will make your way along the scenic subtropical coastline of Kwa-Zulu Natal to the exclusive seaside village of Umdloti. Here you will be spending three (3) nights at the Fairlight Beach House. The Fairlight Beach House is an idyllic beachfront residence that offers guests warm hospitality and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.

Fairlight Guest House, Umdloti, South Africa
Fairlight Guest House, Umdloti, South Africa

With its sophisticated 4-star environment and direct access to one of the area’s best swimming beaches, this is the perfect place to wind down for your last three nights of the trip. You will be staying here on a bed-and-breakfast basis, giving you plenty of opportunities to try out some of the fantastic restaurants in the Umdloti area.

Day 11: Fairlight Beach House, Umdloti

For two days you get to immerse yourself in this beautiful area of South Africa which lies at the mouth of the Mdloti River, on the Dolphin Coast. Umdloti is a friendly coastal neighbourhood home to some of the region’s best beaches and natural rock pools, meaning that there is plenty of time to surf, windsurf, or even paddle and Jet Ski. Thanks to the area’s sub-tropical climate that is influenced by the warm Mozambican current, Kwa-Zulu Natal is a popular year-round destination that boasts sunshine and warmth for most days of the year.

Surfing, swimming, walking just some the activities on this coastline
Durban city is nearby and has a host of activities to offer

You also have the chance to make your way to the bustling city of Durban which is only a quick 20-minute drive from Umdloti. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and boasts several fantastic beaches, the beautiful Durban Botanical Gardens, oriental markets as well as the newly revamped beach-front promenade lined with endless walkways and quaint cafes- the perfect place to sit and watch your final sunset of this trip.

Day 12: End Tour at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport

Sadly, today is the last day of your 14-day self-drive tour across South Africa. After breakfast, you will make the final stretch from the Fairlight Beach House towards King Shaka International Airport in Durban where you will return your rented vehicle and GPS to the Avis desk. From here, you can either board your outbound flight home or carry onwards with any other travel arrangements that our friendly staff at African Travel Gateway will gladly assist you with.

Tour Cost:

Jan - Oct 2023
R53,622 per person sharing

Nov - 17 Dec 2023
R53,918 per person sharing

Jan - Oct 2024
R58,065 per person sharing

Nov - 17 Dec 2024
R58,065 per person sharing

Price Includes
01 Night accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (Khaya Ndlovu Manor House)
03 Nights accommodation on a full board basis including twice daily game viewing activities (Rhino Post Safari Lodge)
01 Night accommodation on a fully inclusive basis which includes all meals, twice daily game viewing activities, snacks and beverages (excluding bar accounts not specified and premium imports) and parking (Camp Shawu Dam Lodge)
02 Night’s accommodation on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis (Reilly’s Hilltop Lodge)
02 Night’s accommodation on a full board basis including a choice of 2 x Falaza activities per day OR 1 x Hluhluwe / Imfolozi Game Driver per day (Falaza Game Park & Spa Hluhluwe)
02 Night’s accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis (Fairlight Beach House)

01 Hot Air Balloon Flight in the Hoedspruit Area as per itinerary
Tourism Levy

12 days use of a Group C car (Toyota Corolla Quest or similar with manual gears & air-con), which includes:
Premium Collision Damage Waiver (zero liability)
Premium Theft Loss Waiver (zero liability)
Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)
Unlimited Mileage
Third-Party and General Public Liability Insurance
Windscreen/Tyre Damage Waiver
Location Surcharge/Tourism Levy
1 X GPS Rental
Claim Admin Fee - in the event of an accident or theft
Value Added Tax 15%
Young Driver Surcharge

Price Excludes
Visas if required
Personal items and gratuities
Bar accounts not specified and premium imports
Additional activities/sightseeing / entry fees/park fees not specified
Travel Insurance

Car Hire component excludes:
Optional Equipment: Baby Seat, Bicycle Rack etc.
One-way drop-off fees
Delivery/ Collection fees
Traffic Fine Administration Fee
Sandblasting/Water and Undercarriage/Rim and hubcap damage
E-tolls / Toll fees
Additional Driver

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