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South Africa: Walking & Wildlife

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
This tour is operated by
South Africa: Walking & Wildlife - Exodus Travels
South Africa: Walking & Wildlife - Exodus Travels
Excellent
31 reviews
Starts
Johannesburg
Destinations
+11
Ends
Johannesburg
Map

Highlights

Start and end in Johannesburg! With the hiking & trekking tour South Africa: Walking & Wildlife, you have a 15 day tour package taking you through Johannesburg, South Africa and 10 other destinations in Africa. South Africa: Walking & Wildlife is a small group tour that includes accommodation as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
12
Travel style
Hiking & Trekking, Wildlife Trekkings, Wildlife

31 Reviews

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  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 1
    Written on October 13, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A good balance of Safari and walking. Some long distances travelled on the bus which we enjoyed enabling us to see a large area of this fantastic country. With a 19 seat bus for 12 it was not cramped and with plenty of stops you do get a good flavour of the country. Don't let the bussing put you off  we had some superb walks and Safaris and were looked after very well by our guides Admire and Mathew.   What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?We had many excellent experiences but I think from a walking point of view it must be the Amphitheatre at Drakensberg. After a cold and not too promising start the weather gradually cleared to reveal some awe inspiring views. I think the best picnic stop ever !!!The Game drives were great and varied: The first private game reserve we stayed at was very memorable seeing many animals but we came across two young Lionesses who were not at all bothered by our presence, great for the photographers. When we entered Kruger The water hole was very busy with Elephants, Hippo, Giraffe .... quite a sight.        What did you think of your group leader?Admire and Mathew worked very hard to make things go smoothly, between them they had a lot of knowledge and if they didn't know usually found out.  They made the trip a very pleasant and memorable one.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?This is a very varied holiday but does involve some long coach transfers. If you really don't like coach travel it may not be for you. But for me ... I thoroughly  enjoyed it.We are not campers but this was no problem. The guides had the tents up in no time and the beds very comfortable. The tents large enough to store your gear and tall enough in the centre to stand. Is there anything else you would like to add?This was my first proper visit to Africa and has whetted my appetite. This trip gives a good varied overview of life in the area. I read some of the recommended reading, Nelson Mandela's ' Walk to Freedom' which gives a good insight to South Africa's recent journey. Also plenty of info on Birds and Animals ... you will see lots of them. !! 

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 2
    Written on September 19, 2013
    4.0 - Good

    A great mix of walking and wildlife, culminating in the stunning Drakensberg mountains.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?So many to comment on......stunning sunrises and sunsets, the beautiful environs of St Lucia, great walks in lovely scenery, seeing a week old baby white rhino, conquering the ladders to climb up to the Amphitheatre!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?A couple of days on the road are quite long......make sure you are on time to leave....any delays mean that the leader is trying to play catch up. But the scenery is great! If you are a wildlife officianado, you may be really disappointed with the Night Safari (optional trip) in Kruger. You are in a vehicle with 20 others and I can liken the experience to Disney......lamping animals at twilight to see them in the bush and cheering when a lion is spotted. I hasten to add that none of the Exodus clients acted so abhorrently. I was extremely disappointed with the experience, especially after great drives in a private game reserve a few days previously. 

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 3
    Written on May 14, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A great holiday with a mixture of walking and wildlife. After a couple of very, very, wet days the sun came out, the walking became enjoyable. We had a pretty mixed group and just about everybody enjoyed the experience.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Stalking cheetah on foot in Kruger.What did you think of your group leader?Admire and Rob were very good indeed, as was Tsepo, the driver. The earier unusually heavy rains forced changes of both routes and accomodation, but they handled it very professionally. Admire led most of the hikes and both his and Rob's local knowledge was pretty good. Oh, and they could cook pretty well, no complaints on that score.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you go in the South African summer, take really good waterproofs - and make sure you have a waterproof cover for your rucksack (bitter personal experience). Some of the transfers are long, so cultivate an interest in birds - plenty of spotting opportunities when on the road. Take a Kindle or similar too.Is there anything else you would like to add?We struck lucky, because of the flooding we stayed at Karongwe Private Reserve and benefitted from their excellent guides and trackers. It was with them that we were allowed out of the vehicle to find the cheetahs on foot. The accomodation was fine (sometimes basic, sometimes almost luxurious) and the camping easy (the guys set up and took down the tents). Witsieshoek Mountain Lodge in the Drakensberg is a fascinating place - it looks a little like a 1960s Bond villians hideout. Oh, and if you're a birder the whole trip is just wonderful ;-)

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 4
    Written on November 5, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    A good mix of wildlife and walking.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?A choice between walking within 5 metres of a cheetah in the bush one evening and watching the rainclouds break and disappear in a few minutes to allow us to walk in the Drakensburg without a soaking.What did you think of your group leader?Admire was full of energy, information, humour and a pretty good cook too. He and back up man Petros did a fine job leading us around South Africa.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared to spend very long periods in the minibus-take an iPod or something similar to pass the time. The time spent driving was really the only downside to the trip-the game viewing was excellent (though I STILL haven't seen a leopard in the wild!!!) interspersed with some great and varied walking. The holiday met our expectations. Going in October, we did not expect quite so much rain-55mm overnight whilst camping in the Kruger,-but somehow we managed to dodge most of it, only getting wet a couple of times.Is there anything else you would like to add?Your local agents need to provide an awning or dining tent for the days when it rains. On the night in Kruger mentioned above, the guides prepared food in the pouring rain with no shelter, and we ate it in the minibus with puddles in our plates. Funny to look back on but not so great at the time.

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 5
    Written on August 24, 2012
    5.0 - Excellent

    A brilliant trip from start to finish.  There was so much to see and do.  Going in July/Aug  - South African winter was the perfect time for walking and seeing wild life.  A very varied and exciting experience with something new everyday. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Watching two cheetas eating their kill meters away from us as we were led through the bush on foot.  This was an amazing experience.  The trip to the Drakensberg was also very memorable, especially negotiating the metal ladders!  Great stuff!What did you think of your group leader?Andrew was a first class tour leader and Admire a excellent back up.  As a team, they made our holiday from preparing lovely food to always getting camp ready quickly.  Their driving was faultless.  Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go in the winter as there are no insects or bugs and the bush is very thin so there is a much better chance of seeing wild life.Is there anything else you would like to add?The change in itinerary by going to the St Lucia on the coast really added to the trip and gave us yet another new experience.  The guided boat trip and walk through the bush was very enjoyable.  Going to the local bar for a sundowner really rounded off the day as we all sat outside by the water, watching the wild life.

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 6
    Written on January 16, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    Fantastic trip, with great walks, awesome sights and great opportunities to get pretty close to the wildlife. This trip highlights what a diverse country South Africa is when you contrast the high lands with the lowlands. It is truly an experience that will be treasured for life.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?It's hard to pick just one. South Africa was always a dream for me so just being there on a private game reserve with all the wildlife in natural habitat was awesome. Being within 20-30ft of a male lion as it roared. Watching him summon the roar from deepin the pit of his stomach. The hair still stands up on my neck when I think about it. The contrast in the country, from pine forests and lushness in the Highveld to the barren sparseness of the Lowveld was something I wasn't expecting. Also on our trip we had a change in the itinery and ended up in St Lucia and I wasn't disappointed. All those crocs and Hippos and the Indian ocean breaking in the background as you tried to sleep.The spectacular Drakensberg, and the glamping. The scenery here is breathtaking. The hike up "the ladders" was amazing. Seeing people conquer their fear by going up and the whole group, who were complete strangers a couple of weeks before, totally encouraging each other as if they were friends for years.  Also on our hike in the Drakensberg we had snow. I didn't expect to see snow in South Africa.What did you think of your group leader?Bongani, was our leader, and was aided by Shawn and Semanga. Bongani, was great. He put the group at ease. He's got a great sense of humour that might take you a day or two to figure out but when you do he's a lot of fun. He also works hard to make sure the group enjoy themselves. He genuinely cares that everyone have fun and enjoy the trip and looks for feedback every night around the fire and prepares the group for the next day. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?There is a lot of travel on this trip between places so be prepared for some long days in the bus. Don't expect to get out of your armchair and enjoy this trip. You need a small level of fitness as some of the walks are long and over undulating terrain and it can get really hot at times. Good shoes or Boots are essential. Some of the campsites only have cold showers so if you don't fancy them take wet wipes. Also a decent headlight/torch because sometimes the tents are a small distance for the facilities. Take a decent camera too.Is there anything else you would like to add?I did this trip as a single person and was a little nervous. However I ended up with a fantastic group of people and all those concerns were gone in an instant. The nights around the campfires and the stories will stick with me for a long time. This trip gives you a unique insight into the country and its fantastic scenery and wildlife. I was a little wary of the food, but group leaders did a great job, sometimes in harsh weather conditions, to give us all really good food. It's not five star but for campsite food it was great. I guess the biggest thing I can say about this trip is I didn't want it to end. Like I said, South Africa was  dream of mine to visit, and having done this trip I'm yearning for more. I'd recommend this trip to anyone, who likes the outdoors and has even a mild sense of adventure. 

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 7
    Written on January 16, 2012
    4.0 - Good

    Fantastic trip, with great walks, awesome sights and great opportunities to get pretty close to the wildlife. This trip highlights what a diverse country South Africa is when you contrast the high lands with the lowlands. It is truly an experience that will be treasured for life.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?It's hard to pick just one. South Africa was always a dream for me so just being there on a private game reserve with all the wildlife in natural habitat was awesome. Being within 20-30ft of a male lion as it roared. Watching him summon the roar from deepin the pit of his stomach. The hair still stands up on my neck when I think about it. The contrast in the country, from pine forests and lushness in the Highveld to the barren sparseness of the Lowveld was something I wasn't expecting. Also on our trip we had a change in the itinery and ended up in St Lucia and I wasn't disappointed. All those crocs and Hippos and the Indian ocean breaking in the background as you tried to sleep.The spectacular Drakensberg, and the glamping. The scenery here is breathtaking. The hike up "the ladders" was amazing. Seeing people conquer their fear by going up and the whole group, who were complete strangers a couple of weeks before, totally encouraging each other as if they were friends for years.  Also on our hike in the Drakensberg we had snow. I didn't expect to see snow in South Africa.What did you think of your group leader?Bongani, was our leader, and was aided by Shawn and Semanga. Bongani, was great. He put the group at ease. He's got a great sense of humour that might take you a day or two to figure out but when you do he's a lot of fun. He also works hard to make sure the group enjoy themselves. He genuinely cares that everyone have fun and enjoy the trip and looks for feedback every night around the fire and prepares the group for the next day. Do you have any advice for potential travellers?There is a lot of travel on this trip between places so be prepared for some long days in the bus. Don't expect to get out of your armchair and enjoy this trip. You need a small level of fitness as some of the walks are long and over undulating terrain and it can get really hot at times. Good shoes or Boots are essential. Some of the campsites only have cold showers so if you don't fancy them take wet wipes. Also a decent headlight/torch because sometimes the tents are a small distance for the facilities. Take a decent camera too.Is there anything else you would like to add?I did this trip as a single person and was a little nervous. However I ended up with a fantastic group of people and all those concerns were gone in an instant. The nights around the campfires and the stories will stick with me for a long time. This trip gives you a unique insight into the country and its fantastic scenery and wildlife. I was a little wary of the food, but group leaders did a great job, sometimes in harsh weather conditions, to give us all really good food. It's not five star but for campsite food it was great. I guess the biggest thing I can say about this trip is I didn't want it to end. Like I said, South Africa was  dream of mine to visit, and having done this trip I'm yearning for more. I'd recommend this trip to anyone, who likes the outdoors and has even a mild sense of adventure. 

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 8
    Written on December 8, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    My first trip with Exodus but I have travelled with similar companies although not including camping.I found the trip to be exactly what I was expecting and as described in the brochure. The camping wasn't arduous at all.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Two things stick in my memory.1. Being able to walk inside a Game Reserve knowing that the previous evening on a Game drive we had come VERY close to elephants, lion and cheetah with a recent kill. Then on the walk getting very close to the cheetah and her cub.2. Walking in  the Drakensberg Mountains. One day we walked along the Tugela Gorge and even though the rains hadn't come and the river was virtually dry we had lunch in the riverbed of the gorge (thankfully there was no flash flood!). The following day we made the ascent onto the plateau via the 'terrifying' chain ladders. Unable to climb a ladder at home this was MY achievement of the trip. Coming down was much easier thank goodness.What did you think of your group leader?Bongani was an excellent leader. Quiet and efficient but able to impart his knowledge when required. He has a wicked sense of humour which took us a while to suss out. After a few days we just didn't believe anything he told us!!There was a lot of driving during the trip so while we relaxed in the minibus he was working hard and then had the camps to set up on arrival.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?As said before there is a lot of travelling. South Africa is a huge country and the locals think nothing of driving 100's of miles on straight, quiet roads. We rotated our seats around the bus each day as some seats had better views/more legroom than others.As we move about regularly there is a fair bit of packing/unpacking and not much room in the tents to spread. I found using bags to store underwear, shirts, trousers etc in my main pack made getting the following day's clothes ready easier.Is there anything else you would like to add?Bongani had Shawn as a camp assistant. As he was too young to be insured to drive the bus it meant Bongani had to do all the driving. I did wonder if Bongani was incapacitated for any reason whether our trip would be stuck.

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 9
    Written on December 8, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    My first trip with Exodus but I have travelled with similar companies although not including camping.I found the trip to be exactly what I was expecting and as described in the brochure. The camping wasn't arduous at all.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Two things stick in my memory.1. Being able to walk inside a Game Reserve knowing that the previous evening on a Game drive we had come VERY close to elephants, lion and cheetah with a recent kill. Then on the walk getting very close to the cheetah and her cub.2. Walking in  the Drakensberg Mountains. One day we walked along the Tugela Gorge and even though the rains hadn't come and the river was virtually dry we had lunch in the riverbed of the gorge (thankfully there was no flash flood!). The following day we made the ascent onto the plateau via the 'terrifying' chain ladders. Unable to climb a ladder at home this was MY achievement of the trip. Coming down was much easier thank goodness.What did you think of your group leader?Bongani was an excellent leader. Quiet and efficient but able to impart his knowledge when required. He has a wicked sense of humour which took us a while to suss out. After a few days we just didn't believe anything he told us!!There was a lot of driving during the trip so while we relaxed in the minibus he was working hard and then had the camps to set up on arrival.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?As said before there is a lot of travelling. South Africa is a huge country and the locals think nothing of driving 100's of miles on straight, quiet roads. We rotated our seats around the bus each day as some seats had better views/more legroom than others.As we move about regularly there is a fair bit of packing/unpacking and not much room in the tents to spread. I found using bags to store underwear, shirts, trousers etc in my main pack made getting the following day's clothes ready easier.Is there anything else you would like to add?Bongani had Shawn as a camp assistant. As he was too young to be insured to drive the bus it meant Bongani had to do all the driving. I did wonder if Bongani was incapacitated for any reason whether our trip would be stuck.

  • South Africa: Walking & Wildlife reviewer 10
    Written on December 3, 2011
    4.0 - Good

    A wonderful holiday which really explores the east side of South Africa. Wonderful walks, great game viewing! Could not ask for more. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Being 3000m high in the Drakensberg with wonderful views and a sense of achievement getting up the ladder!What did you think of your group leader?Our group leader - Bongani - was great. Very organised and a good cook! Quite quiet though so did not learn that much specifically about S Africa as a country.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Make sure your plug adaptor covers S Africa as a lot in our group didn't and note that there are two guides on the trip with you all the time so when it coming to tipping them - that is twice as much.Is there anything else you would like to add?Camping is the best way of feeling right in there with the animals! Great great fun. travelled on my own and felt perfectly safe and well looked after.  

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Johannesburg; to Graskop.
  2. Day 2: Hike the Prospector's Trail to Pilgrim's Rest.
  3. Day 3: Explore the Panorama Route; to Letaba Ranch Reserve; evening game drive.
  4. Day 4: Morning game walk; free afternoon.
  5. Day 5: Transfer to Kruger N.P.; afternoon game drive.
  6. Day 6: Morning game drive in Kruger; transfer to Swaziland.
  7. Day 7: Full day walk in Malolotja.
  8. Day 8: Visit craft market; to St Lucia.
  9. Day 9: Morning boat cruise and game walk; afternoon visit Cape Vidal.
  10. Day 10: Transfer to battlefields; hike the fugitive trail.
  11. Day 11: To Royal Natal N.P.; afternoon walk.
  12. Day 12: Tugela Gorge hike.
  13. Day 13: Full day hike to Witsieshoek.
  14. Day 14: Hike to Tugela Falls, the world's second tallest waterfall.
  15. Day 15: Drive through Golden Gate N.P. en route to Johannesburg; end Johannesburg.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

  • Guide

  • Meals

  • Transport

  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

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Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

  • I am interested in the Walking & Safari Trip in South Africa, leaving on 6.8.2016. Is this tour still available? According to the Excodus Website, it is no longer available.

    The South Africa: Wildlife and Walking is fully booked on the 6 August. the 19 august departure has spaces left.

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  • Marcia9th August 2018
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About the countries

Useful things to know before you go

Currencies

R
Rand
South Africa
L
Lilangeni
Swaziland

Plugs & Adapters

South Africa and Swaziland

Visa

Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

Vaccinations

These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
Typhoid
Recommended for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Hepatitis A
Recommended for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Cholera
Recommended for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
Tuberculosis
Recommended for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 3 months before travel.
Hepatitis B
Recommended for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 2 months before travel.
Yellow fever
Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for South Africa and Swaziland. Ideally 10 days before travel.
Rabies
Recommended for Swaziland. Ideally 1 month before travel.

Policies

Location
Start and end in Johannesburg.
Hold my space
TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
Deposit
TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 18 November 2018 the full payment of $3,106 is necessary.
Cancellation policy
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $3106 for South Africa: Walking & Wildlife, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
Credit Cards
The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

Destinations

Covering a total distance of approx 2,170 km.
  • Johannesburg (South Africa)
  • 315 km
  • Graskop (South Africa)
  • 116 km
  • Belfast (South Africa)
  • 116 km
  • Graskop (South Africa)
  • 133 km
  • Letaba Ranch (South Africa)
  • 80 km
  • Kruger National Park (South Africa)
  • 253 km
  • Malolotja Nature Reserve (Swaziland)
  • 35 km
  • Ezulwini Valley (Swaziland)
  • 252 km
  • St Lucia Estuary (South Africa)
  • 31 km
  • Cape Vidal (South Africa)
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