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South Africa & Swaziland

eat like a lion – on a shoestring! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 1,199,-
GROUP SIZE: 6-20 | 13 DAYS

South Africa & Swaziland

Here you can find the day-to-day description for South Africa & Swaziland


There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Kruger Nationaal Park

Mlilwane Game Reserve

Hluhluwe (Game Reserve)

St. Lucia



Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Pretoria Pretoria
2 Truck Pretoria - Pilgrim's Rest - Sabie Sabie
3 Truck Sabie - God's Window - Blyde River Canyon - Kruger National Park Kruger National Park
4 Truck Kruger National Park Kruger National Park
5 Truck Kruger National Park Kruger National Park
6 Truck Kruger National Park - Swaziland (Mlilwane Game Reserve) Swaziland
7 Swaziland (Mlilwane Game Reserve) Swaziland
8 Truck Swaziland - Hluhluwe Park Hluhluwe Park
9 Truck Hluhluwe Park - St Lucia St Lucia
10 St Lucia St Lucia
11 Truck St Lucia - Drakensberg Drakensberg
12 Drakensberg Drakensberg
13 Truck Drakensberg - Johannesburg End of tour


Day 1: Pretoria

Welcome to South Africa!

Your tour starts in Pretoria where you will meet the rest of your group and the tour leader late this morning/early afternoon. The exact time will be depending on their flight schedule so if you are arriving before they do, you may like to book a tour to Pretoria via the reception of the hotel. If you should like to spend longer in Pretoria then it is possible to book a pre-tour night for you (at extra cost).  

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa and is known, unlike Johannesburg, as a friendly city with many public buildings and monuments. Former President Paul Kruger was a real hero of this city. His statue stands high at the Church Square. Another highlight in this town are the imposing Union Buildings (government buildings) designed by the renowned architect Sir Herbert Baker. You stay in a hotel with rooms including private shower and toilet.

Day 2: Pretoria - Pilgrim's Rest - Sabie

In the morning we travel to the province of Mpumalanga, with a stopover in the Mankelekele Hills, where you have the opportunity to join an optional tour of the 2000 million year old Sudwala Caves. We then continue on to Pilgrim's Rest, the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains and the small countryside village of Sabie. Home to breathtaking waterfalls and small mountain creeks, it is the perfect place to pitch our tents for the first time. Sabie is justly proud of its SAFCOL Forest Industry Museum as this museum is the only one of its kind and definitely worth a visit.

Day 3: Sabie - God's Window - Blyde River Canyon - Kruger National Park

Travel today through God's Window and the Blyde River Canyon to the Kruger Park. This is a unique landscape. Blyde River Canyon at 16 km long is one of the biggest in the world. The impressive ravine is 700 meters deep and God's Window offers a spectacular view! A few kilometers away, you can visit the Bourke's Luck Potholes (admission included) formed by the power of the Treur River. Continue through the mountains, along the canyon where you'll visit a number of great viewpoints.

At the end of the day you arrive at Kruger and if time permits, go on a game drive. The next 3 nights will be spent sleeping on one of the campsites inside the Kruger Park. If fully booked you’ll stay at the edge of Malelane and still enjoy game drives into Kruger Park. The entrance fee to Kruger National Park is included in the price.

Ngwavuma Mpontshini School

Hlengiwe Mthembu from Ngwavuma, Zululand is an inspiration to many. She is the foster mother to a growing number of HIV/AIDS orphans and her garden provides food for more than 400 students from the school. The school has built accommodation for the orphans and Hlengiwe has built a laundry, library, kitchen and dining area for them. 
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Day 4: Kruger National Park

The next two days you can spend doing 'game drives' in the park. The game drives will be especially early in the morning and late in the afternoon. The famous Kruger National Park covers a vast territory and provides protection for many animals. Not only common species like wildebeest, the elegant impala, kudu, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, warthogs, hippos and elephants, but also the heavily endangered rhino. The great predators, you will find such as lions, cheetahs, and (with luck) leopards. Bird lovers have also come to the right place: over 500 species have been observed from the small weavers to the large ground hornbill. Where variety is concerned, the Kruger Park is one of the best parks in the world. 

The game drives are on our own truck and are included in the price of your holiday. At an extra charge you can also take an exciting sunset drive or an excursion off the beaten track in an open Land Rover. These can be booked on arrival and are subject to availability.

Day 5: Kruger National Park

Set off on the game drives again and see what the new day holds in store!

Day 6: Kruger National Park - Swaziland (Mlilwane Game Reserve)

After breakfast you will leave for the former British colony of Swaziland and if time permits, head for the market in Manzini, where beautiful handmade crafts are sold. When crossing between South Africa and Swaziland, you make a short stop to show your passports at border control.

This small kingdom is home to one million friendly Swazis who are justly proud of their customs and live traditional lives. In the late afternoon we reach the Mlilwane Game Reserve, here we will spend two nights at a cosy campsite by a small lake.

Day 7: Swaziland (Mlilwane Game Reserve)

How green can you go? TIP

Early in the morning you can (optional) walk through the Mlilwane Game Reserve (the entrance fee to Mlilwane is included in the fare). You have a great chance to see hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, impala, wildebeest, hartebeest, blesbok and zebra up close! In the lakes and rivers, many birds can be admired. You can also (optional) take a game drive, go horse riding, take a night drive or go mountain biking. Another nice option is to visit a nearby Swazi village to meet some local people and receive a short demonstration about traditional life there.

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 8: Swaziland - Hluhluwe Park

We travel on to Hluhluwe Park. The unique Hluhluwe Park is especially created for the extremely rare white rhino. The species is close to extinction. Today there are approximately 1600 in the park so chances are that you will see these special animals here. Besides the rhino, you can see others including buffalo, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, various antelope species, lions, cheetahs, hyenas and elephants. The parks' Landscape is a thing of great beauty.

Day 9: Hluhluwe Park - St Lucia

Today we take the short ride to St. Lucia Park where it is possible to explore the nature both by foot and by boat trip. The St. Lucia Park is one of the oldest parks in South Africa and includes the huge lagoon of St. Lucia. The estuary is the largest in Africa and consists of a bay studded with islands, with only a small opening to the ocean. The lagoon is shallow, the flow is slow and the water is warm and rich in nutrients. The many fish are the food source for large numbers of crocodiles and water birds. These include pelicans, ibises, ospreys, herons and kingfishers. This trip especially offers the opportunity to enjoy the birdlife and is of course the best way to watch many hippos and crocodiles. The boat trip would be at your own expense however the tour leader can arrange the reservation.

You'll spend 2 nights in apartments in St. Lucia. The apartments are shared with 4 to 6 people (2 persons per room). In the vicinity are restaurants where you can go out to dinner.

Day 10: St Lucia

Whilst staying in St Lucia you can go snorkelling or diving (weather permitting) by taking a trip to Sodwana Bay.

You can also opt for full or half day game drives in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve and there is also the possibility of a trip to a Zulu village.

These optional excursions are at your own expense.

Day 11: St Lucia - Drakensberg

The next two nights will be spent in a resort in the Drakensberg Mountains, close to the magnificent Royal Natal National Park. In the background is Mont-aux-Sources the source of South Africa’s most important rivers; Orange River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Tugela which pours down 5 waterfalls, through a narrow overgrown cleft of extraordinary beauty, and flows into the Indian Ocean. This green, fertile land offers fantastic opportunities for walking trips short and long.  

You stay in a resort which has a number of different houses, each for up to 6 persons (2-persons per room). The resort has a restaurant where you have your evening meal. The entrance fee to the Royal Natal National Park is included in the fare.

Day 12: Drakensberg

You may also opt for a horse back tour of this amazing landscape, these optional excursions and more are at extra cost and are bookable upon arrival.

What can I do?

Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 13: Drakensberg - Johannesburg

The last day of your tour. The tour will end at Johannesburg International Airport, during the afternoon, after travelling from Drakensberg. Please make sure you book a flight allowing for this travel. We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of South Africa.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 13) is not included.

Please note: All transport (and game drives in parks visited included in trip) by well maintained overland truck. Hard suitcases can not be taken in the truck. You must pack your luggage in a bag or backpack. In addition, a small backpack/shoulder bag is useful for your day to day hand luggage.

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