Mixed Groups 

South Africa Lodge Safari

South Africa’s blend of rugged beauty and iconic wildlife makes for a wonderful family adventure.
Visit South Africa for a holiday that the whole family will love, filled with adventure, relaxation and self-discovery. Play wildlife bingo as you go on safari in famous parks, and encounter lions, Cape buffalo, elephants, rhinos, leopards, small antelopes and more. Explore regions of quiet beauty, and relax by the beach, and create memories you’ll share around the dinner table for decades to come.
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Quick overview

Duration
12 Days

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Starting From
₹172,809
Per person on twin-sharing basis
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Travel Operator
Explore

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Flights
Not Included

Flight booking assistance will be provided. See All Inclusions

Reviews

10 Reviews

Ruth

Written on 01 Sep, 2018

4.5 out of 5
We really enjoyed this holiday. The down side was that it was a busy tour, with a lot of time spent travelling and in the bus on game drives.The hotels were varied but of pretty good quality. The food was good in most places.We loved the tented camp at Tembe ...read more
We really enjoyed this holiday. The down side was that it was a busy tour, with a lot of time spent travelling and in the bus on game drives.The hotels were varied but of pretty good quality. The food was good in most places.We loved the tented camp at Tembe and would have liked to have longer in the camp at Mkhaya . Our cabin at Kosi Bay was damp, but no one else had that problem.The parks were all very different and the different guides also added variety. We saw many different animals - from the bus and while walking. Highlights included rounding a corner and seeing our first elephant and being asked if we’d like to get out of the bus for a closer look at a rhino, and the leopard, and the hippo .Our tips - take a big memory card, try the wine and try the local menu specials, even if you get fish fingers with your bacon, egg, sausage and tomato at breakfast.read less
Wendy

Written on 01 Apr, 2019

5.0 out of 5
Lots of amazing memories of South Africa and Swaziland will be gained from this trip. A great variety of activities from a day in Kosi Bay to trying to spot the big five in Kruger or Tembe National Park.Most of the accommodation is great but Kruger is a bit basic! ...read more
Lots of amazing memories of South Africa and Swaziland will be gained from this trip. A great variety of activities from a day in Kosi Bay to trying to spot the big five in Kruger or Tembe National Park.Most of the accommodation is great but Kruger is a bit basic! Out tour leader and an additional driver were both very knowledgeable about the culture, wildlife and places of interest. Great trip to two beautiful countries.read less
Maria Berrow
5.0 out of 5
I just did the "inside Vietnam" and "highlights of Cambodia trips, back to back, returned home only last weekend. Our guides were absolutely brilliant. Binh in Vietnam particularly when I contracted bronchitis after inhaling a piece of grit and required a local doctor! He also dealt superbly with the situation ...read more
I just did the "inside Vietnam" and "highlights of Cambodia trips, back to back, returned home only last weekend. Our guides were absolutely brilliant. Binh in Vietnam particularly when I contracted bronchitis after inhaling a piece of grit and required a local doctor! He also dealt superbly with the situation when we were stranded on the overnight train from Hanoi to Hue after the typhoon left the train tracks flooded. He was regularly in touch with his office and updated us accordingly. We were collected by two minibuses, returned to Hanoi and then flew to Danang and drove from there to Hue. All taken by everyone as an adventure. We saw wonderful places, met great people and there was a smooth transfer for the 4 of us travelling on to Cambodia. I loved Vietnam, can't choose a personal highlight as each place very different and I loved them all. Cambodia very special. Killing fields horrific and very distressing. I couldn't go into the genocide museum. All a part of the awful tragedy of the very recent history of this beautiful country. Angkor was staggering in terms of beauty and scale. Hotels were great. Trip notes accurate, guides brilliant throughout. These were my first adventures with Explore. They won't be my last. Highly recommended. About to book to Walk the Great Wall of China with you for 2018. Thank you Explore!read less
Sara Findlay
4.0 out of 5
We have just returned from a 14 day tour to Costa Rica, this was a family trip and very enjoyable. The tour guide Alex and our driver Antonio were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them, in fact I broke my tooth on the first Sunday and Alex found ...read more
We have just returned from a 14 day tour to Costa Rica, this was a family trip and very enjoyable. The tour guide Alex and our driver Antonio were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them, in fact I broke my tooth on the first Sunday and Alex found me a dentist immediately that could help so that my holiday was not spoilt. We had some lovely trips and saw amazing scenery and wildlife. The accommodations were acceptable, clean and comfortable. If there are any negatives to report it would be the time we spent in the bus as we travelled vast distances. The last day Friday was pretty much wasted as no excursions were planned and we were taken back to San Jose in preparation for our departure Saturday afternoon. Personally I would have preferred to spend the whole day at Manuel Antonio with an early morning departure Saturday to the airport. We met some lovely people and had a great time, thank youread less
Drew Thompson
4.0 out of 5
Just (yesterday) completes the 3 day Kiev & Chernobyl tour. Really well organised by Explore. Our guide, Anastasia, was lovely, knowledgeable, attentive and really made the trip. Please pass on my thanks to her.
Just (yesterday) completes the 3 day Kiev & Chernobyl tour. Really well organised by Explore. Our guide, Anastasia, was lovely, knowledgeable, attentive and really made the trip. Please pass on my thanks to her.read less
John Mathers
5.0 out of 5
I've just returned from walking in La Gomera. We had an absolutely great time. Excellent walking over varied and trails which were just challenging enough - lovely graded rocky tracks, mostly. Great scenery, excellent accommodation and the group of 13 bonded really well. We were overjoyed to have Emma as ...read more
I've just returned from walking in La Gomera. We had an absolutely great time. Excellent walking over varied and trails which were just challenging enough - lovely graded rocky tracks, mostly. Great scenery, excellent accommodation and the group of 13 bonded really well. We were overjoyed to have Emma as our guide having been with her in Andorra. She is seriously competent and (as one person put it) is "the sunshine on our snow" (yes, there was some snow on Teide). Emma is always cheerful and resourceful, an admirable leader. All the various arrangements passed off perfectly and I look forward to booking my next Explore trip before long.read less
Donna Horsley
4.0 out of 5
My 1st explore holiday to Botswana, Namibia & Zambia, it exceeded my expectations, very well organised, exceptional guide”Titus” 5* accommodation, would recommend this trip for anyone interested in getting up exceptionally close to wildlife, a holiday of a lifetime, a hard 1 to top!
My 1st explore holiday to Botswana, Namibia & Zambia, it exceeded my expectations, very well organised, exceptional guide”Titus” 5* accommodation, would recommend this trip for anyone interested in getting up exceptionally close to wildlife, a holiday of a lifetime, a hard 1 to top!read less
Eleanor Biggin
4.0 out of 5
My husband, four year old daughter and I have just returned from a private version of the Family Taj and Palaces trip. It was absolutely amazing. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault about the trip. We saw and did so much, but we didn’t feel rushed at all. ...read more
My husband, four year old daughter and I have just returned from a private version of the Family Taj and Palaces trip. It was absolutely amazing. There wasn’t a single thing I could fault about the trip. We saw and did so much, but we didn’t feel rushed at all. Our guide, Yadu, was brilliant and incredibly knowledgable. The highlights for me were the Taj Mahal and seeing tigers and a leopard at Ranthambore National Park. My daughter loved it so much that she has decided she wants to move to India when she’s older! We will definitely be booking trips with Explore in the future.read less
Ian Garvie
5.0 out of 5
My wife and I are just about to go on our ninth trip with Explore, each trip has been exciting, fun, and we have been to some places we have been dreaming of, what's not to recommend? :-)
My wife and I are just about to go on our ninth trip with Explore, each trip has been exciting, fun, and we have been to some places we have been dreaming of, what's not to recommend? :-)read less
Emma Feakins
4.0 out of 5
I have recently returned from the Levada Trails of Madeira trip. It was a fantastic trip and provided a real taste of what the island can offer. Our guide Benny made the trip special by offering an insight to the island, it's cuisine and nothing was too much trouble. Was ...read more
I have recently returned from the Levada Trails of Madeira trip. It was a fantastic trip and provided a real taste of what the island can offer. Our guide Benny made the trip special by offering an insight to the island, it's cuisine and nothing was too much trouble. Was one of the best holidays I had had in a long time.read less
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Headline: South Africa in 4K

Description: Wild.Raw. Alive. Sergi Martínez Miró captures the essence of South Africa in this evocative video. Take a look to see what awaits you.

Why take this trip with us

Experiences

Our experiences and activities are expertly curated with inputs from trusted locals.

Accomodation

Best in class hotels that are conveniently located in city centres.

Safety

Our trips are organized with your safety in mind. We collaborate with local tourism authorities extensively.

Guide

Our trips always have a knowledgeable, friendly and expert guide to show you around.

Transport

Our tranport and transfers are always exclusive, private and in small buses.

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Itinerary

Join trip in Johannesburg. Tour of Soweto and visit the apartheid memorial

We join our trip in Johannesburg, the largest city in South Africa. After meeting our local guide and fellow group members we spend the afternoon in Soweto, the huge township on the outskirts of Johannesburg where 40% of the city's inhabitants live. Soweto, originally an acronym for South Western Townships, played a prominent part in the fight against the former apartheid regime, notably the uprising of 1976; when mass protests erupted. We will take a tour of the area and meet local people to understand how life has changed since the end of apartheid. We will visit the Hector Pieterson Memorial, a museum that honours the vital role that the youth of South Africa played in the struggle. He was one of the first students to be killed during the uprising when he was just 13. We will also visit Nelson Mandela's former home (now a museum) which tells the story of Mandela and his family.

Please note : For those arriving on the earlier flights around 7-8 am into Johannesburg, rooms will be provided to freshen up after a long flight. For those arriving on the later flight nearer to 10am, the trip will kick off immediately with an afternoon trip to Soweto.

Drive to the Kingdom of Swaziland and explore Mantenga Nature Reserve

Today we leave the big city behind and cross the border into the Kingdom of Swaziland; a land of green rolling hills filled with sugar cane and mountainous peaks overlooking vast valleys. We are staying on the outskirts of Mantenga Nature Reserve and the afternoon is free to explore the pristine woodland of Mantenga Nature Reserve. There are many walking trails in the area, a popular one is to visit the Mantenga Falls and it is also possible to hire bikes. Another option today is to visit the Mantenga cultural village, this features traditional Swazi huts, farming techniques and it's very own fully fledged singing and dancing troupe, who are famous throughout Swaziland and even performed at the World Cup in South Africa. Alternatively visit a local market or just relax in our lodge.

Drive to Ithala Game Reserve, afternoon safaris

We cross back into South Africa today and head to Ithala Game Reserve. As we approach we can see Ngotse Mountain, the predominant feature of Ithala, towering over the plateaus, ridges and deep valley. We will arrive in the early afternoon, and after checking into our chalets we will head out on our first game drive of the trip. Giraffe are plentiful and we will also be on the lookout for elephant, buffalo, black and white rhino and a huge variety of antelope; including less commonly seen oribi and tsessebe. It is also possible but rare to see Ithala's resident leopards, spotted hyena and brown hyena.

Game walk in Ithala looking for rhino; afternoon game drives

A game walk is one of the best ways of seeing animals and this morning we will meet a local ranger who will take us on an adventure. We will learn about tracks, trails, dung and general bushcraft as we slowly make our way across the reserve. Apart from increasing our understanding of the wild, our primary focus is seeing rhino; these prehistoric-looking beasts were reintroduced to Ithala and have been successfully breeding here. The feeling of slowly and safely walking towards a rhino is always a mixture of excitement, awe and nerves; though we will heed our ranger's guidance and keep a safe distance. After lunch we will wait for the heat of the day to subside before heading out on another game drive. This afternoon we will explore parts of the reserve that we haven't seen yet, which will probably include the Pongola River the top of Ngotse Mountain, which rises to 1400m.

Drive to Kosi Bay. Guided walk around four beautiful coastal lakes

Leaving Ithala, we drive towards the Indian Ocean until we reach Kosi Bay, a part of iSimangaliso Wetland Park. iSimangaliso means 'a miracle' or 'something wondrous' in the Zulu language and it is because of the beauty and rich biodiversity that saw the park become a world heritage site. We should arrive around lunch time and in the afternoon we will take a guided walk around the four interlinked lakes of Kosi Bay. The lakes run parallel to the coast, all the way up to Mozambique and we will spend 3-4 hours exploring the area, looking for local birds and being in awe of the sandy beaches and green forested coastlines. Our lodge tonight is close to Lake Nhlange, locally owned and built with to be in tune with traditional architecture.

Free day to explore Kosi Bay. Activities on offer include snorkelling, walking and canoeing

Today is at leisure to explore this wonderfully diverse area, with many activities on offer or just the chance to relax on the beach for the day. Kosi Bay is famous for its traditional and ancient fishing kraals, tendered by the local Tonga people. One of the options today is to have a tour of the kraals and meet some of the Tonga who will tell stories from their culture and explain why they revere their traditional methods. For those seeking a more active morning, it is possible to hire canoes or go snorkelling to see the huge variety of tropical fish found in the estuary. There are also hiking trails throughout the wetland area and the lodge boasts a swimming pool. During turtle season (November - March) it is also possible to see loggerhead and leatherback turtles laying their eggs on the beach.

Search for the 'Big Five' at Tembe Elephant Park

This morning we will drive for a couple of hours until we reach Tembe Elephant Park, our beautiful home for the next two nights. Tembe is renowned for its big tuskers - elephants with huge tusks, but it is also a 'Big Five' reserve, so we will hope to see lion, leopard, black and white rhino and buffalo here as well. We will be staying at Tembe Lodge, a luxurious tented camp fenced in the middle of the reserve, run by members of the local Tembe people, a tribe that has protected and lived in this area for generations. During our stay we will see the park through the eyes of the Tembe people, hear their stories and learn about their way of life. We will have lunch on arrival at the park and then head out on a game drive in the afternoon, stopping at a waterhole to enjoy a cold sundowner- a great way to view game! Dinner will be at the lodge and then we will spend the evening around the camp fire.

Game drives at Tembe, time to relax, swim or have a massage

Today we have a full day of the Tembe experience. After an early breakfast we head out on safari for a few hours, our local guide taking us around the park, looking for signs of big game and pointing out some of the 340 bird species found here. We return to a light brunch and then have a few hours to either relax, sleep, take a trip to the hide to spot more wildlife, eat lunch, cool off in the pool or enjoy a massage at the outdoor (but shaded) spa area, it's a pretty easy life here! We take an afternoon game safari in open sided jeeps to hopefully spot any animals we haven't seen during our stay and then back to the lodge for dinner. After eating we can listen to the soulful singing of the local Isicathamiya group, as we sit by the fire and swap stories.

Enter the Kingdom of Swaziland, spotting rhino at Mkhaya Game Reserve

We leave Tembe and South Africa behind and cross back into the Kingdom of Swaziland. We journey to Mkhaya Game Reserve, a haven for many endangered species but best known for its large numbers of black and white rhino; which we will see on our afternoon game drives here. Our accommodation for the night is Stone Camp, a tranquil area which features a collection of stone cottages and is the only lodging in the reserve. The camp is situated on a dry river bed and is surrounded by tall Fig and Sausage trees, which create a lush canopy, attracting many species of bird into the camp as well as some small game like warthogs and impala. Our plan for the day is to take a game walk after arrival, have lunch at the lodge and then head out for an afternoon safari in open top jeeps with a local Swazi ranger. Dinner tonight is a feast of local delicacies, eaten outside under the stars and we will then be entertained as we sit around the fire by a local music group of singers and dancers.

Enter South Africa and game drive in Kruger National Park, evening brai and wine tasting

Starting the day with a game walk in Mkyaha, we head back out with a guide in search of resident rhino before starting our journey to South Africa's renowned Kruger National Park. We cross the border this morning back into South Africa and drive for a couple of hours until we cross Crocodile River and enter Kruger. Established to protect big game that had been hunted to near extinction, Kruger, is now one of the most prolific animal habitats in Southern Africa and totally committed to animal conservation. We will drive through the park, on the lookout for wildlife until we reach our accommodation. After lunch and some time to let the heat of the day subside, we will be out on safari, hoping to spot rarer sightings such as wild dog or honey badgers.

This evening our local guide will cook us a traditional brai - a South African barbecue. Cooking outdoors is an integral part of the South African way of life and we will be able to witness the pride that our Leaders have in their brai cooking skills. This will be accompanied by a wine tasting where we will try some interesting and fun wines from South Africa, chosen by our leaders.

Morning and afternoon game drives in Kruger

As soon as the gates open we wil be heading out on a full day safari to make the most of our last day on safari. We are staying in the south of the park where we will find the highest concentration of game, this is mainly due to the vast variation in landscapes and habitats that are found here, so this is ample opportunity to tick off the Big Five. Late this afternoon we leave Kruger to make a short journey to Graskop where our lodge is situated by Graskop Gorge Falls.

Return to Johannesburg via Sudwala Caves

Leaving Graskop early, we make our way to Sudwala Caves. Here we will discover rock formations older than Africa itself, formed millions of years ago when the Earth allegedly still exhibited two 'Supercontinents'. Since the caves were formed they have been home to life through the ages dating as far back as prehistoric humans to the more South Africa War in the late 1800s when it housed hidden ammunition. Once we've had a dose of both geology and ancient history of the area we will begin our final leg of the journey. We will arrive back into Johannesburg around 5pm where the trip ends at the airport; those staying for longer in the area will be dropped at a local guesthouse.

Inclusions

 Meals included - Breakfast: 11, Lunch: 3, Dinner: 4

 Trip staff - Explore Tour Leader / Driver, Local Guide(s), Safari Guide(s)

 Transport - 4WD, Minibus

 Accommodation - 2 nights standard hotel, 6 nights standard lodge, 3 nights premium lodge.

Not Included

 Additional 5% GST

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Start date / End Date

Price


13 Apr 2020 - 24 Apr 2020

12 Days / 11 Nights

4+ Spots left

₹203,914

₹172,809 + 5% GST (per person on twin-sharing basis)

or starting at ₹16,000/month with Byond Postpaid

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18 May 2020 - 29 May 2020

12 Days / 11 Nights

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₹234,127

₹200,109 + 5% GST (per person on twin-sharing basis)

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15 Jun 2020 - 26 Jun 2020

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06 Jul 2020 - 17 Jul 2020

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₹232,126

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07 Sep 2020 - 18 Sep 2020

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₹220,119

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21 Sep 2020 - 02 Oct 2020

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05 Oct 2020 - 16 Oct 2020

12 Days / 11 Nights

5+ Spots left

₹226,123

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Frequently asked questions

Byond Travel is Asia's largest discovery and booking platform for expert-led group tours in over 50 countries. We boast 10,000+ tours by verified experts that offer unique and memorable experiences. We curate expert advice and recommendations from a community of 100k+ travellers, and bring together local operators who offer these services, making the booking of experiences comparable, fast and easy.

We enable travellers to go on group trips all around the world. We also help create customized journeys for private groups.

A comprehensive list of inclusions and exclusions is mentioned on each trip page, but across all our trips, we have these in common: unique experiences, handpicked local experts, comfortable accommodation, and a trip leader who’s there to assist you around the clock.

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Our travellers are friendly and open-minded. They come from countries all around the world. At the end of your trip with our multicultural groups, you will return with new friends, memorable experiences and incredible stories.

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Our travellers come from all over the world. From India, Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta are represented the most.

We believe the early-bird catches the best travel worm :) The early-bird discounts are valid for the first few spots on the group and are not time sensitive. Your travel designer will let you know about the number of spots available.

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Your safety is our number one priority and we design our travel journeys keeping this in mind. We collaborate with tourism boards and there will always be access to emergency contacts and medical support throughout the trip.

Requirement of visas whilst travelling depends on your nationality. You are responsible entirely, for obtaining all the documents that you’re required to produce during your vacation. We will provide you with the visa documents related to your booking.

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This Trip Is Operated By Explore

At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Our authentic travel experiences explore the sights and culture of a country, with hand-picked accommodation that balances comfort and location. Our average group tour size is just 12; perfect for meeting new people and getting to the heart of our destinations.

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