The Serengeti National Park is the largest in the North circuit with an area of 14,750 square kilometres (5,700 sq mi) of grassland plains, savanna, riverine forest, and woodlands. The endless plains, (as the name Serengeti suggests I n Maasai language) is very rich in mosaic ecosystem. The National park is very famous for the wildebeests and zebra migration seasonally for pastures and breeding, along with the predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas etc following the prey. The numerous Nile crocs and honey badgers are also quite a characteristic in Serengeti National Park.
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a renowned World heritage Site, Consisting of the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater which is actually a caldera amidst the conservation area. The stunning natural beauty of the Ngorongoro crater with its complex wildlife interacting harmoniously with the Maasai nomad community and their herds of cattle, goats and sheep, is topped up with the cradle of Humankind Olduvai Gorge, an archeological site in the Ngorongoro plains. At the base of the crater is the soda lake full of beautiful falmingoes
The National park is situated in the side of the great East Africa Rift Valley branch covering an area of330 km2 (130 sq mi) of arid land, forest, and an alkaline soda-lake which covers as much as 200 km2 (77 sq mi) of land during the wet season but is nearly nonexistent during the dry season. Lake Manyara National Park is known for the flamingos that inhabit the lake. During the wet season they inhabit the edges of the lake in flocks of thousands but they are not so present during the dry season. More than 400 species of birds inhabit the park and many remain throughout the year.
Tarangire National Park covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) The landscape is composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps. Vegetation is a mix of Acacia woodland, Commiphora-Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and very very old Baobab trees. The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Home to more than 550 bird species.
The Kilimanjaro National Park includes the whole of Mount Kilimanjaro above the tree line and the surrounding montane forest belt above 1,820 metres (5,970 ft). It covers an area of 1,688 square kilometres (652 sq mi), 2°50'–3°10'S latitude, 37°10'–37°40'E longitude.Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest Mountain in Africa and the World’s tallest free standing object, the only snow capped Mountain in the tropics. At 5,895 m, This volcanic massif stands in splendid isolation above the surrounding plains.
The Arusha National Park is the designated area around and including the Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania. The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland. The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.
Mikumi National Park covers an area of 3,230 km² is the fourth largest in the country. The park is crossed by Tanzania's A-7 highway.The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. The area north-west is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru.
Selous game reserve is the largest faunal reserves in Tanzania, the second largest in Africa and among the world’s Largest game reserves, covering a total area of 50,000 km2 (19,000 sq mi) and has additional buffer zones. Interesting places in the park include the Rufiji River, which flows into the Indian Ocean opposite Mafia Island and the Stiegler Gorge, a canyon of 100 metres depth and 100 metres width. Habitats include grassland, typical Acacia savanna, wetlands and extensive Miombo woodlands. Although total wildlife populations are high, the reserve is large and densities of animals are lower than in the more regularly visited northern tourist circuit of Tanzania.
Ruaha national Park is the largest National Park in Tanzania and East Africa, covering 20,226 square kilometres (7,809 sq mi).The park is one of the Tanzania birds’ paradise with more than 571species and some of them are known to be migrants from within and outside Africa. Ruaha is believed to have high concentration of elephants than any National Park in East Africa. It is also a place where, magnificent mammals like Kudu, Sable and Roan antelopes can easily be spotted in Miombo woodland. The park is also a habitat for endangered wild dogs. Other animals in the park include lions, leopards, cheetah, giraffes, zebras, elands, impala, bat eared foxes and Jackals.
Udzungwa Mountain National Park covers an area of 1,990 km2 (770 miles2). The habitats contained within the national park include tropical rainforest, mountain forest, miombo woodland, grassland and steppe. There is a vertical height range of 250–2,576 metres (the peak of Lohomero), which incorporates the Udzungwa Mountains part of the Eastern Arc Mountains. There are more than 400 bird species, 2500 plant species (25% of which are endemics) and 6 primate species. It has the second largest biodiversity of a national park in Africa.
Kitulo National Park is a protected area of montane grassland on the Kitulo Plateau in the southern highlands of Tanzania.Kitulo is indeed a rare botanical marvel, home to a full 350 species of vascular plants, including 45 varieties of terrestrial orchids, which erupt into a riotous wildflower display of breathtaking scale and diversity during the main rainy season of late November to April.
Saadani National Park covers an area of 1062 km2 and was officially gazetted in 2005, from a game reserve which had existed from 1969. It is the only wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania bordering the sea it is where the bushland meets the beach.Saadani's wildlife population is increasing during recent years after it has been gazetted as a National Park and was a hunting block beforehand. Wildlife in Saadani includes four of the Big Five, namely East African lions, African bush elephants, buffaloes and African leopards. Masai giraffes.
Gombe is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania, with only 13.5 square miles (35 km2) of protected land along the hills of the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika. Gombe’s high levels of diversity make it an increasingly popular tourist destination. Besides chimpanzees, primates inhabiting Gombe include beachcomber olive baboons, red colobus, red-tailed monkeys, blue monkeys, and vervet monkeys. Red-tailed monkeys and blue monkeys have also been known to hybridize in the area. The park is also home to over 200 bird species and bushpigs. There are also many species of snakes, and occasional hippopotami and leopards.
Katavi National Park occupies 4,471 square kilometers (1,726 sq mi) in area, which makes it the third largest national park in Tanzania.Wildlife features include large animal herds, particularly of Cape Buffaloes, zebras, wildebeest, giraffes, and elephants, plus along the Katuma river, crocodiles and hippopotami which upon annual dry seasons results in mudholes that can be packed with hundreds of hippos. Carnivorous animals that roam this park are cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, and lions. Some sources claim a very high biodiversity in the park.
Mahale National Park is 1650 km² big, in Kigoma Region, Tanzania. Named after the Mahale Mountains range that is within its borders, the park has several unusual characteristics. First, it is one of only two protected areas for chimpanzees in the country.The park, Tanzania's most remote and one of its most alluring, is first and foremost a chimpanzee sanctuary. About 1700 chimpanzees live within its 1613sqkm area, but the focal point for visitors is the 60-strong Mimikere, or 'M' group, which has been the subject of research for more than four decades.
Lake Tanganyika plays host to an array of water activities for you to enjoy during your stay. Avid fisherman will delight in tranquil days spent casting their rods in these pristine waters. Not-to-be-missed is the opportunity to explore the wonders of the lake by boat. Embark on an exclusive dhow sundowner cruise, lazily following the shoreline and stopping to fish along the way. Alternatively, grab a kayak and explore the waters at your leisure or head inland on foot and take a plunge in a crystal clear mountain pool, fed by a beautiful waterfall.
Nairobi is Kenya’s capital city. In addition to its urban core, the city has Nairobi National Park, a large game reserve known for breeding endangered black rhinos and home to giraffes, zebras and lions. Also Nairobi has the Modern Airport Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) acting as the hub for the entire East Africa.
The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 km2 (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is famous for being the best place in the world to get close to free-ranging elephants. Other attractions of the park include opportunities to meet Maasai and visit a Maasai village. The park also has views of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
The Maasai Mara National Reserve is a large game reserve in Kenya covering 1,510 km2 (583 sq mi) in south-western Kenya. All members of the "Big Five" (lion, leopard, African elephant, cape buffalo, and black rhinoceros) are found in the Maasai Mara. The reserve plays important in the famous Serengeti seasonal migration of the wildebeest along with other wildlife.
Tsavo East National Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya at 13,747 square kilometers. Tsavo is considered one of the world's biodiversity strongholds, and its popularity is mostly due to the vast amounts of diverse wildlife that can be seen, including the famous 'big five' consisting of lion, black rhino, cape buffalo, elephant and leopard. The park is also home to a great variety of bird life such as the black kite, crowned crane, lovebird and the sacred ibis.
The park is 165 km² in size, there is a wide variety of animal and bird life seen at Samburu National Reserve. Several large game species common to Kenya's northern plains can be found here in abundance.
Lake Nakuru National Park (188 km2, 73 mi2), Situated in the great East African rift valley. It is best known for its thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos nesting along the shores of the soda lake. The surface of the shallow lake is often hardly recognizable due to the continually shifting mass of pink. The number of flamingos on the lake varies with water and food conditions and the best vantage point is from Baboon Cliff.
Kampala is the capital and the largest city of Uganda. Kampala's weather features two annual wetter seasons. While the city does not have a true dry season month, it experiences heavier precipitation from August to December and from February to June. A prominent cultural centre in the Kampala area of Kisasi that aims to promote Ugandan and African cultural expressions through music, dance and drama. Kampala is Uganda's national and commercial capital bordering Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake. Hills covered with red-tile villas and trees surround an urban centre of contemporary skyscrapers.
Entebbe is a major town in Central Uganda. On a Lake Victoria peninsula, approximately 37 kilometres (23 mi) southwest of the Ugandan capital, Kampala. Entebbe is the location of Entebbe International Airport, Uganda's largest commercial and military airport, best known for the dramatic rescue of the 100 hostages. Tourist enjoy the extensive National Botanical Gardens, Entebbe is the location of the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre , The Centre also serves as the national zoo. The entrance to the Centre is located near the jetty. Foreign visitors have noted the seeming incongruity of wild monkeys sitting in the trees over the Centre's paths. And so many more.
Bwindi Forest National Park covers 331 square kilometers (128 sq mi) of both montane and lowland forest; it is accessible only on foot. Species diversity is a characteristic feature of the park. It provides habitat for 120 species of mammals, 348 species of birds, 220 species of butterflies, 27 species of frogs, chameleons, geckos, and many endangered species.
Queen Elizabeth National Park occupies an estimated 1,978 square kilometers (764 sq mi). Queen Elizabeth National Park is known for its wildlife, including African buffalo, Ugandan kob, hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, African bush elephant, African leopard, lion, and chimpanzee. It is home to 95 mammal species and over 500 bird species.
Kibale National Park is 766 square kilometers (296 sq mi) in size. Kibale National Forest has one of the highest diversity and concentration of primates in Africa. It is home to a large number of endangered chimpanzees, as well as the red colobus monkey.
Semuliki National Park is 194 km2 (75 sq mi) low land tropical rain forest, very rich in floral and faunal diversity. There are two hot springs in a hot mineral encrusted swamp in the park making it very unique; one resembles a geyser by forming a 0.5 m high fountain. Park visitors can engage in birdwatching, game drives across the savannah grassland, hiking through the 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) Kirumia Trail, and visit the hot springs where the water is hot enough to cook eggs and plantain.
Kidepo Valley National Park is a 1,442 square kilometres (557 sq mi) national park, the local community around the park are people, similar to the Maasai of Kenya and Tanzania, and the IK, a hunter-gatherer tribe whose survival is threatened. The Park is isolated but the most magnificent, for Kidepo Valley National Park ranks among Africa’s finest wildernesses.
Murchisons Falls National Park is Uganda's largest national park. It measures approximately 3,893 square kilometres (1,503 sq mi) together with the adjacent of 748 square kilometers (289 sq mi) Bugungu Wildlife Reserve and the 720 square kilometers (280 sq mi) Karuma Wildlife Reserve. The park boasts 76 species of mammals as well as Uganda's largest population of crocodiles. 450 bird species are present ranging from easy variety of waterbirds, including the rare shoe-billed stork, Budongo's 59 "restricted range" species, dwarf kingfisher, Goliath heron, white-thighed hornbill and great blue turaco.
Lake Bunyonyi is a fresh water body in Uganda, renowned for its natural beauty and so many little birds as the name suggests, in local community language. Tourists here enjoy the best scenery, cultural activities, canoing and birding
Volcanoes National Park is situated in northwestern Rwanda and borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda. The national park is popular as a home for the rare and endangered mountain gorilla and golden monkeys. The geographical features vary a lot and so does the vegetation, hence affecting the fauna and flora in the area but the most important activity is the gorilla trecking.
Kigali is the capital city of Rwanda, built in hilly country, roughly in the center of the country. It sprawls across numerous hills, ridges and valleys, and has a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene. Kigali possesses a tropical savanna climate with a pronounced dry season; Kigali is cooler throughout the year than in most other cities around the Equator due to its elevation, which tempers the heat and results in warm rather than hot days and mild rather than uncomfortably warm nights.
It is approximately 970 km2 of rainforest, bamboo, grassland, swamps, and bogs. Is the best preserved montane rainforest in Central Africa, with a wide diversity of animal species, making it a priority for conservation in Africa. The forest is situated in a region in which several large-scale biogeographical zones meet and the variety of terrestrial biomes provides a great span of microhabitats for many different species of plants and animals.
Twin Lakes Burera & Ruhondo These are two beautiful lakes located at the base of Mountain Muhabura and close to the border with Uganda. Lake Burera and Lake Ruhondo are surrounded by steep hills and large waterfalls with a backdrop of the Virunga volcanic mountains. Burera and Ruhondo are separated by a 1km wide strip of land. Lake Ruhondo and Lake Burera have a combined area surface of 2800 ha.
It consist of 1,122 sq km. Akagera combines well with Nyungwe and the Volcanoes NP to offer a great safari element as it is home to many large plains game species as well as species restricted to the papyrus swamps such as the Sitatunga and the sought-after Shoebill Stork. Notable plains game include elephant, buffalo, topi, zebra, waterbuck, roan antelope and eland. Other antelope are duiker, oribi, bohor reedbuck, klipspringer, bushbuck and impala. Of the primates, olive baboons, vervets and the secretive blue monkey are seen during the day, with bushbabies often seen on night drives.
It is one of the African Great fresh water Lakes. It is estimated to cover a total surface area of some 2,700 km2 (1,040 sq mi). The fish fauna in Lake Kivu is relatively poor with 28 described species. The natural physical features is a result of the volcanic activities and it is believed that the lake has a chance to erupt after every thousand years and it lies in the great East African Rift valleys, making it one of the deepest lakes.
Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, the wealthiest province in South Africa. The metropolis is an alpha global city as listed by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network. Johannesburg is a cultural hub in South Africa and has a wide variety of cultural venues, making it a prominent area for many creative and cultural industries. Johannesburg is home to some of Africa's tallest structures, such as the Sentech Tower, Hillbrow Tower, the Carlton Centre and Ponte City Apartments. The Johannesburg city skyline has most of the tallest buildings on the continent. Specialist museums cover subjects such as Africana, costume, design, fossils, geology, military history, medical, pharmacy, photography and transportation networks such as railways.
It is definitely one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It covers an area of 19,485 square kilometers (7,523 sq mi) in the provinces of Limpopo and Mpumalanga in northeastern South Africa, and extends 360 kilometers (220 mi) from north to south and 65 kilometers (40 mi) from east to west. The Park has more has more spicies of large mammals than any ather gane reserve in Africa. All the Big Five game animals are found at Kruger National Park, the 517bird spicies.
Cape Town is a port city on South Africa’s southwest coast, on a peninsula beneath the imposing Table Mountain. It is the second-most populous urban area in South Africa after Johannesburg. Cape Town has a warm Mediterranean climate with mild, moderately wet winters and dry, warm summers. Precipitating Winter, which lasts from the beginning of June to the end of August. There is an estimated 2,200 species of plants are confined to Table Mountain – more than exist in the whole of the United Kingdom which has 1200 plant species and 67 endemic plant species.
The Winelands or more specifically, the Cape Winelands are a region in the southern most of South Africa. The winelands boasts some of the most majestic scenery in South Africa. It is situated to the north-east of Cape Town and offers a beautiful landscape of wine hills and mountains. The area is endowed with a very suitable climatic condition.
Swakopmund is a coastal city in Namibia, west of the capital, Windhoek. Its sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean. Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of German colonial architecture. With some colonial landmarks such as the light house, the mole and old sea wall, The Swakopmund Museum documents Namibian history. Inland, the elegant Swakopmund Railway Station, now a hotel, also dates to the colonial era. Positioned in the west of the capital, Windhoek. Its sandy beaches face the Atlantic Ocean.
Etosha National Park is a National Park in Namibia with an area of 22,270 square kilometers (8,600 sq mi) and gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The park is home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles, including several threatened and endangered species such as the black rhinoceros.
The Namib-Naukluft National Park is a national park in Namibia (regarded as the world's oldest desert) With an overall area of 49,768 km2 (19,216 sq mi), the Namib-Naukluft is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world The most well-known area of the park is Sossusvlei, which is the main visitor attraction in Namibia.
The Fish River Canyon (is located in the south of Namibia. It is the largest canyon in Africa, and also the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. Hiking the Canyon is the most popular activity.
Sossusvlei is a salt and clay pan surrounded by high red dunes, the area features the spectacular desert scenery of reddish pink to orange sand dunes. These dunes are among the highest in the world; many of them are above 200 meters. Fauna mostly comprises small animals that can survive with little water.
Maun is a town on the Thamalakane River in northern Botswana. It's the jumping-off point for the vast inland Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush wildlife habitat during the seasonal floods. Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana. Maun is the tourism capital of Botswana and the administrative centre of Ngamiland district.
It is Botswana's first national park, with an area of 11,700 km2 (4,500 sq mi). The park is widely known for its spectacular elephant population, estimated to 50,000 elephants. The elephants in Chobe National Parks are largest in size of all known elephant populations, the Kalahari elephants.
Kasane is a town in the northeastern corner of Botswana, where four countries almost meet: Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe hence the notion “the four corners of Africa�?. It's the gateway to Chobe National Park, known for the herds of elephants which converge on the Chobe River in the dry season. Caracal Biodiversity Center shelters rescued wildlife. Chobe Crocodile Farm is a great tourist attraction located approximately 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) to the east of Kasane, in the small village of Kazungula.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a very large, swampy inland delta Each year The. Okavango delta is both a permanent and seasonal home to a wide variety of wildlife which is now a popular tourist attraction. The majority of the estimated 200,000 large mammals in and around the delta are not year-round residents. They leave with the summer rains to find renewed fields of grass to graze and trees to browse then make their way back as winter approaches.
It is a Game Reserve in Botswana, covering around 5,000 square kilometers (1,900 sq mi), it is a surprisingly diverse Reserve, combining mopane woodland and acacia forests, floodplains and lagoons. It is home to nearly 500 species of bird (from water birds to forest dwellers), and a vast array of other species of wildlife.
Rovos Rail is a private railway company operating out of Capital Park Station in Pretoria, South Africa. Rovos Rail runs its train-hotel to a regular schedule on various routes throughout Southern Africa, from South Africa to Namibia and Tanzania.
Pretoria (Tshwane), in Gauteng Province, is the administrative capital of South Africa. Known as "Jacaranda City" for its thousands of jacaranda trees, it's also home to universities and government buildings. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government (Cape Town is the legislative capital and Bloemfontein the judicial capital). Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.
Marrakech, as known by the French spelling, is actually spelled Marrakesh, a major city of the Kingdom of Morocco. Marrakesh, a former imperial city in western Morocco, is a major economic center and home to mosques, palaces and gardens. A hot semi-arid climate predominates at Marrakesh. The relatively wet winter and dry summer precipitation pattern of Marrakesh mirrors precipitation patterns found in Mediterranean climates. However, the city receives less rain than is typically found in a Mediterranean climate, resulting in a semi-arid climate classification.
The Sahara is the largest hot desert and the third largest desert in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic. Its area of 9,200,000 square kilometers. The Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. It covers 9 million square kilometres (3,500,000 sq mi), amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with a mean annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included, the Sahara would be 11 million square kilometers. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation. The Sahara is the world's largest low-latitude hot desert. The area is located in the horse latitudes under the subtropical ridge, a significant belt of semi-permanent subtropical warm-core high pressure where the air from upper levels of the troposphere tends to sink towards the ground. The flora of the Sahara is highly diversified based on the bio-geographical characteristics of this vast desert. The central Sahara is estimated to include five hundred species of plants. Several species of fox live in the Sahara including: the fennec fox, pale fox and Rüppell's fox. The addax, a large white antelope, can go nearly a year in the desert without drinking. The dorcas gazelle is a North African gazelle that can also go for a long time without water.
Fez is a city in northern inland Morocco and the capital of the Fas-Meknas administrative region. It is the second or third largest city of Morocco after Casablanca, with a population of 1.1 million (2014). Today, the city largely consists of two old medina quarters, Fes el Bali and Fes Jdid, and modern urban area of Ville Nouvelle constructed during the French colonial era. Located by the Atlas Mountains, Fez has a Mediterranean climate with a strong continental influence, shifting from relatively cool and wet in the winter to dry and hot days in the summer months between June and September.
Ouarzazate is a city south of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, known as a gateway to the Sahara Desert. It’s huge Taourirt Kasbah. Ouarzazate is hot and dry in summer, but can be very cold in winter, with icy winds coming from the High Atlas Mountains.
An extensive expedition that brings to life a country with great diversity in almost everything from landscapes to cultures
Travel to Tanzania and having 6 Days Luxury treatment where you will have a standard experience of the Northern Safari destinations.
You will visit the Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara National parks.
6-Days Luxury Safari in Tanzania special for family & copule tour package to Serengeti and other northern game parks destinations of ngorongoro, Tarangire and lake manyara national park.
Guests will be met on arrival at O R Tambo International Airport from where we travel in a northerly direction, following the National Highway to Polokwane as your In-Depth South Africa Tour begins. En route to the overnight destination we pass Moria, the center of the Zion Christian Church where each Easter millions of followers congregate for the largest annual religious ceremony in South Africa. A visit is then made to the Modjadji Cycad Forest. Once the main diet of the prehistoric mammal-like reptiles that lived in the area, the Modjadji cycad (Encephalartostransvenosus) forms a unique natural forest which can be viewed in its prehistoric state thanks to its strict protection by succeeding generations of Modjadji ('rain queens'), the hereditary rulers in the area.
An early wake-up call by your guide is followed by a cup of coffee before we make our way to the northern part of the central Kruger National Park. A Kruger safari will typically include two game drives on a daily basis; one in the crisp throes of the early morning and one during the dramatic afterburn of sunset. Whilst on a guided tour with African Sky, guests will enjoy the flexibility of deciding when to embark on a safari at their leisure. The Kruger National Park is South Africa’s premier conservation area, providing a wealth of game viewing opportunities to excite both the Big Five buff and the avid birder.
The day is devoted to two interpretive game drives in the company of your experienced guide. Krugeroffers one of the greatest diversities in fauna and flora to be found anywhere in the world. It is home to 336 tree species, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Your guide's intimate knowledge of the area and their insight into the habitat preferences of the different species will ensure that your sightings are maximized.
An early morning and late afternoon game drive in the company of your experienced guide will fill a day of wonder as the rhythms of the wilderness and the laws that govern life in this unique ecosystem become more apparent. The legendary Big Five, regarded as the most majestic and awe-inspiring mammals to be found anywhere in the world, are sure to be amongst the day's highlights. In addition to the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard, the reserve is blessed with a rich diversity of antelope and other mammal species. The day will be completed with a night drive accompanied by one of the professional game rangers. Night drives are a highlight of this South African tour, offering glimpses of nocturnal animals often not seen during the day.
The Mpumalanga Panorama Route is the focus of the day. Here visits are made to the Blyde River Gorge, dominated by the triplet peaks of the Three Rondavels and Bourke's Luck, where the unique geological features of the potholes are admired. God's Window, is then reached a cleft in the edge of the escarpment from where magnificent views of the Lowveld can be enjoyed. God's Window is situated in a patch of indigenous forest, where many flowering and aromatic plants flourish. A visit is also made to the historical mining village of Pilgrim's Rest. It is one of the most perfect examples of a mining town born during the excitement of an alluvial gold rush. Gold was discovered here in 1873 and the town was declared a national monument in 1986. Guests will receive a gold digging and panning demonstration before traveling to the overnight destination.
After breakfast the tour traverses the towns of Nelspruit, Barberton, Carolina, Ermelo, Piet Retief and Pongola en route to the overnight destination. You will devote some time to exploring Barberton. Barberton was a boom town during the gold rush of the late 19th century. It was also home to the famous writer Sir Percy Fitzpatrick whose epic tale, "Jock of the Bushveld", has received international acclaim. A statue was erected in honor of this famous dog in front of the town hall. Splendid scenery, ranging from savanna grassland to forested hills and banana plantations, brings the diversity of South Africa to life as the road meanders south to the rolling hills of Zululand.
Breakfast and a drive to St Lucia are followed by a boat cruise on this coastal lagoon which has been declared a World Heritage Site. The cruise offers the opportunity to observe the many hippo and crocodile which inhabit Lake St Lucia. The area is also a bird watcher's paradise, with between 350 and 400 different species occurring in the area. The lake originated when a number of rivers combined their water to form a vast estuary system, roughly in the shape of the letter H and with an average depth of only one meter. Following the visit to St Lucia, you travel inland to the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve. The game reserve was proclaimed in 1895 and its varied landscape, ranging from densely forested lowlands to open hill summits, provides a sanctuary for a considerable diversity of flora and fauna. An afternoon game drive is conducted in the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve.
The different ecological areas, ranging from riverine brush to open savanna, support an abundance of wildlife, most notably the black and white rhino. This game reserve played an instrumental role in protecting both of these species from extinction. The current population of white rhino in South Africa has largely been re-stocked from this area. The white rhino is much larger than the black. It is a grazer, as opposed to the black rhino, which is a browser. Sightings of other large game, most notably the other members of the Big Five, are sure to make this day spent on safari in Zululand a day to be remembered.
Breakfast is followed by a drive to Durban from where we fly to Port Elizabeth. From Port Elizabeth, we travel to the Addo Elephant National Park. Addo Elephant National Park is situated 72km by road from Port Elizabeth. Established in 1931 to save 11 elephants on the brink of extinction, it is now home to more than 350 of them, along with 280 Cape buffalo, black rhino, a range of antelope species, and the rare flightless dung beetle. Addo Elephant National Park is a perfect destination for the adventurous outdoorsman and nature lover. We reach the park during the late afternoon to enjoy the sunset over the Zuurberg Bushveld.
Early morning and late afternoon game drives in this unique area are the focus of the day. From the graceful elephant, who embodies Africa in its own mysterious way, to the rare black rhino - much smaller than the white, but reputed for its unpredictable temperament. The big cats and a large number of different plains game species that once again roam free in their ancestral grazing grounds afford a glimpse of Africa in all her glory. The focus is on interpretive game viewing, with the guide enhancing the understanding of the animals through their knowledge of the habits and behavior of the different species.
A last morning game drive is followed by breakfast after which we travel south to Knysna, the jewel of the Garden Route. We pass through the Tsitsikamma National Park and make a quick stop at Storms River Mouth and take a short walk to the famous Big Tree, a Yellowwood giant standing 36.6 meters high and estimated to be +/- 800 years old. The scenic route then makes its way south en route to Natures Valley, which is reached after descending the Grootrivier Pass into the valley below. This river also marks the western boundary of the Tsitsikamma Nature Reserve. Knysna is reached during the mid-afternoon.
Knysna is primarily built on the northern shore of a large warm water estuary fed by the Knysna River. The estuary opens to the ocean after passing between "The Heads", and has become infamous due to the loss of boats and fishermen passing through their treacherous and unpredictable waters. During the morning, you will board a ferry crossing the lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The Featherbed Nature Reserve is a prime example of eco-tourism and, in order to protect the splendor of the natural beauty, visitor numbers are limited. During the afternoon the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary will offer guests a closer look at the African elephant by providing the opportunity to touch and feed these gentle giants.
After an early breakfast guests will travel to George and turn off to the town of Oudtshoorn by crossing the Outeniqua Mountains. The Outeniqua mountain range is characterized by gentle southern slopes and steep drops on the north side down to the low valley of the Little Karoo. Oudtshoorn is a large and modern town that relies mostly on farming and the ever-present ostrich industry. Guests will visit a local ostrich farm and, during their visit, will learn more about the world's largest bird. After an opportunity to take part in an ostrich ride, you make your way to the Cango Caves. The extensive cave system of tunnels and chambers go on for over 4km of which only about a quarter is open to visitors. The cave exploration is followed by a visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch. The ranch is one of the leading cheetah breeders in South Africa and guests are permitted to enter a fenced area to interact with a tame cheetah.
Route 62 passes the towns of Calitzdorp, Ladismith, Barrydale, Ashton and Robertson before reaching Franschhoek. A few kilometers from Robertson, we turn off on a dirt road and make our way to the Sheilam Cactus Gardens, also known as Little Mexico. It is home to about 3000 of the strangest and most interesting exotic cactus plants. After visiting the Cactus Gardens, we visit two of Robertson's most respected wineries. The wine industry in Robertson has grown from less than 25 cellars to more than 50 registered wine cellars as of today. There are a number of wine cellars that have received the highest awards both locally and internationally every year. Robertson wine cellars include Graham Beck, Springfield, Bon Cap, Majors Hill and the Excelsior Estate. The tour then makes its way to Franschhoek.
The Cape Dutch architecture in Franschhoek is unspoiled, with restrictions having been placed on the extent of renovations and new construction in order to preserve the spirit of the original settlers to the area. You visit the Huguenot Museum, with its three high arches symbolizing the Holy Trinity - the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The French Huguenots brought their knowledge of viticulture with them and, upon receiving land from the Dutch East India Company, many vineyards were established which still produce some of the world's finest wines. After visiting the museum, you visit three of the finest wine estates in the region. Here guests will enjoy some insight into the production of wine in South Africa and will have the opportunity to sample some of South Africa's finest.
Breakfast is followed by a journey via Wellington and a few imposing passes to the South African West Coast. The West Coast is a region with a unique charm and character. The area's population density is much lower than on the east coast, primarily as a result of the low rainfall enjoyed by the area. The region is characterized by sparse vegetation and harsh rocky beaches which line the shores of the Atlantic. The tour travels north to the town of Langebaan. You will devote the afternoon to visiting the West Coast National Park where a rich diversity of bird species can be observed in great numbers. Over 250 species have been recorded in the area. During spring the area is transformed into a flowering tapestry which creates a remarkable display.
The tour makes its way north as you visit first the coastal village of Paternoster. This part of the coast is rich in rock lobster, perlemoen and other seafood. Three kilometers down the road from Paternoster, you reach a lighthouse called Cape Columbine, named after the shipwreck which occurred here in 1929. The 9-million candle-power lighthouse and radio beacon is a major navigational point for ships approaching the coast of Southern Africa from Europe and America. This stretch of coastline features many isolated coves and a one kilometer walk will bring guests to Titus Bay. Wild flowers, fresh air and a rugged seascape make up the beauty of this part of the world.
After breakfast, the tour travels south from where the rest of the day will be spent exploring the 'Mother City' of South Africa - Cape Town. First on the agenda is the oldest garden in South Africa, namely the Company Gardens. It was established in early 1652 by Jan van Riebeeck as a vegetable garden, originally closer to the coast. In a bid to plant in more fertile soil and on ground sheltered from the wind, he moved his garden with its northern boundary on Wale Street, and this is where it stands today. The large public park and botanical garden is home to a rose garden, Japanese garden, fish pond and aviary. You then visit the Castle of Good Hope, before taking a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain. From Table Mountain, one of the most impressive views of the world can be enjoyed. Upon descending Table Mountain, guests are assisted with check-in at their hotel.
For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those that they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. The most well-known of the discarded or political prisoners is former president Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned by the former apartheid government. The island is a living museum reached by a return boat trip leaving from the waterfront (half an hour each way). A guided tour around the museum by an ex-inmate is an unforgettable experience. The afternoon will be spent exploring the V & A Waterfront.
A spectacular road, known as Chapman's Peak Drive, hugs the near-vertical face of Chapman's Peak between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. Cut out of the face of the mountain between 1915 and 1922, the road was, at the time, regarded as a major feat of engineering. The road leads to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point. Cape Point is often mistakenly claimed to be the place where the cold Benguela current of the Atlantic Ocean and the warm Agulhas current of the Indian Ocean collide. There are, however, strong and dangerous swells, tides and localized currents around the point and in adjacent waters. These troubled seas have witnessed countless maritime disasters in the centuries since ships first sailed here.
The morning will be spent at leisure before guests are transferred to Cape Town International for a flight back to their country of origin after a memorable In-Depth South Africa tour.
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