Kruger & Coast

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Full on
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic (2*)
9 days
From: $ 1,000 $ 111 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Go on an epic safari with expert local guides in search of lions, hyenas and more through Kruger National Park – one of the largest game reserves in southern Africa.
  • Go overland in a purpose built truck and stop to take in geological wonders like Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window along the Panorama Route.
  • Spend a few days however you please on the white-sand beaches of Mozambique’s Ponta Malongane. Snorkel? Sun? Seafood feast? The choice is yours.
  • Visit the heartlands of the Zulu people and spend the night in a homestay, where you’ll be treated to traditional food and song, plus a meeting with the local healer.
  • Swap four wheels for two legs on a guided hike through the Hlane Royal National Park, keeping an eye out for antelopes and zebras passing by.

Short Description

Experience the diversity of southern Africa on a nine-day adventure that takes you to wildlife-rich game parks, idyllic beaches, wetlands and small villages, exploring with a local leader along the way. Search for lions in Kruger National Park, enjoy a homestay in Zululand, relax on the sands of Ponta Malognane and more. A mixture of included activities and free time make this tour perfect for travellers who want the benefit of on-the-ground local knowledge with some of the freedom of independent travel.

Style Small group tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic (2*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Johannesburg
End City Durban

Attractions & Cities Visited

Durban Johannesburg Kruger National Park

Activities & Interests

Land expedition Wildlife viewing

Age Requirement

15-99

No single supplement
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Itinerary

Day 1 Johannesburg

Sawubona! Welcome Johannesburg, the sprawling South African capital. In Joburg (unlike a lot of city nicknames, this is one people actually use) mansions stand alongside humble tin abodes and there are as many green parks on the outskirts of the city as there is concrete jungle in the centre. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. If you can’t wait to begin exploring and arrive with time to spare, why not make your way to the Apartheid Museum and start your journey with some crucial history before you meet up with your group.

Day 2 Kruger National Park

Rise and shine for a long day’s drive to Kruger National Park (approximately 11–12 hours). Leave Johannesburg and travel through the Mpumalanga Province and along the famous Panorama Route through some of the most stunning scenery South Africa has to offer, such as God's Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Southern Africa. It boasts over 500 bird species, 100 species of reptile and 150 mammal species, including the Big Five and the endangered African wild dog. Drive through some of Kruger’s prime game viewing areas on your way to camp and try to spot some of these amazing creatures straight away! Set up camp and get settled for the evening.

Day 3 Kruger National Park

Rise early and enjoy a light breakfast of coffee and rusk (twice-baked bread) before heading out on a morning game drive. Most of your day will be spent spotting game from your overland vehicle, birdwatching and stopping at various waterholes and viewpoints to rest along the way. In the evening, choose to relax at camp or perhaps head out on an optional night drive with the park guide. The optional night drives are a chance to spot nocturnal animals and perhaps even a night-time predator or two – maybe catch a lion or hyena out hunting, or perhaps impala out in search of a late-night feed.

Day 4 Eswatini (Swaziland)/Hlane Royal National Park

Start the day with a slow game drive through Kruger, covering between 20 and 70 kilometres (depending on what animals you see along the way) in the park then exiting by mid-morning. Hit the road towards Hlane Royal National Park (approximately 6–7 hours). Travel south-east and cross the border into the kingdom of Eswatini, a country nestled between Mozambique, Northern Zululand and Mpumalanga. Arrive at Hlane Royal National Park, a vast expanse of bushveld with ancient hardwood trees, and begin exploring immediately on a guided game walk. Spend tonight at a camp within the national park.

Day 5 Mozambique Beach Camp

Set off this morning to your Mozambique beach camp (approximately 7–8 hours). Departing from Hlane National Park, head to the Golela Border Post and cross into Maputaland. After a little while, cross another border into Mozambique. Change vehicles to a 4WD for the drive to the beautiful seaside village of Ponta Malongane – your beachside oasis for the next two nights. Your campsite is the ideal base for seaside fun such as snorkelling, swimming and scuba diving.

Day 6 Mozambique Beach Camp

Make the most of this gorgeous seaside getaway with a day to explore at your own pace. This is one of the many unspoiled beaches of Mozambique, and there is plenty to do here. Keen scuba divers can choose from many reefs – one of which is just 300 metres off the shore. Alternatively, you could explore the blue waters of the Indian Ocean on an optional boat cruise in search of dolphins – ask your leader about booking. Of course, you could always find a spot on the beach and chill out.

Day 7 St Lucia Estuary

Depart southern Mozambique and drive to Lake St Lucia, part of the St Lucia Estuary. stopping at a shop for supplies along the way (approximately 4–5 hours). Declared a World Heritage Site in 1999, St Lucia Estuary is home to thousands of varieties of birds, mammals and reptiles, including hundreds of hippos and crocodiles. You can either explore on your own or join an optional boat cruise on the wildlife-filled waters for the chance to spot creatures basking on the banks.

Day 8 Zululand

Rise early and head to the Valley of a Thousand Hills (approximately 5–6 hours), the heartland of the Zulu nation, for a unique homestay experience. Gain insight into the daily life of the rural Zulu people with a night in a local’s house, where you'll be treated to some traditional food, song and dance. Explore the village on foot and make the most of this rare opportunity to see a remote culture from the inside. Interact with your hosts and perhaps share some of your own culture and language in turn.

Day 9 Durban

Continue to Durban (approximately 2–3 hours). With no activities or accommodation planned on arrival, your adventure comes to an end. Durban is South Africa's second most populous city, boasting sandy beaches and a glitzy nightlife – a great place to extend your stay and enjoy some leisure time. Perhaps take the opportunity for a final dinner with your fellow travellers this evening.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 1,000
Price Per Day: $ 111 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Aug-13-2022Aug-21-2022$ 1,08011 spots left Reserve
Aug-27-2022Sep-04-2022$ 1,00013 spots left Reserve
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Dec-31-2022Jan-08-2023$ 1,27014 spots left Reserve
Jan-14-2023Jan-22-2023$ 1,34517 spots left Reserve
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Apr-01-2023Apr-09-2023$ 1,29521 spots left Reserve
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Aug-12-2023Aug-20-2023$ 1,40022 spots left Reserve
Aug-26-2023Sep-03-2023$ 1,40022 spots left Reserve
Sep-09-2023Sep-17-2023$ 1,40022 spots left Reserve
Sep-23-2023Oct-01-2023$ 1,34522 spots left Reserve
Oct-07-2023Oct-15-2023$ 1,34522 spots left Reserve
Oct-21-2023Oct-29-2023$ 1,29522 spots left Reserve
Nov-04-2023Nov-12-2023$ 1,29522 spots left Reserve
Nov-18-2023Nov-26-2023$ 1,29522 spots left Reserve
Dec-09-2023Dec-17-2023$ 1,29522 spots left Reserve
Dec-16-2023Dec-24-2023$ 1,34522 spots left Reserve
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3,899 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

94%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,919
Great 646
Average 129
Disappointing 64
Terrible 141
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.6
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.6

Kruger & Coast

The scenery was amazing and intrepid's choice

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The scenery was amazing and intrepid's choice of venues were very good but Emma and Alf made this trip the best. They made us feel more like friends than clients. I never needed anything as Emma and Alf were always one step ahead making sure that everyone was well looked after. Emma's knowledge is unbelievable and her patience incredible. If I was ever to come back to South Africa I would want to be on tour with these guys.
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Guide(s) : Emma and Alf were knowledgeable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Guide(s) : Emma and Alf were knowledgeable, patient, funny and flat out amazing. _x000D_
Itinerary: incredibly varied itinerary (countryside, beaches, game viewing, cities) kept things interesting. Several two night stops also helped break up the trip.
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Excellent itinerary, wonderful guides, and a good

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Excellent itinerary, wonderful guides, and a good value.

It's a great balance between independent travel

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's a great balance between independent travel and seeing places I wouldn't find on my own, plus meeting people from all over the world.

I enjoyed the pace of the 9

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I enjoyed the pace of the 9 days. We got to see so much but never felt rushed. It was fun to do a Basic travel experience at my age - not having done such a trip in many years - and we were fortunate that our group was so welcoming and fun. The guide and driver were a big part of the experience - Emma Broom and Alfred - and helped unite the group.
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Company Reviews

Logistical nightmare and boring stories

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Turkey Encompassed tour, 2022.
I rarely bother with writing bad reviews because I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But this is one of the worst purchase experiences in my 40 year life, so I hope this information can be helpful to you and keep you from a regretful purchase.

For a little context, we had 5 people on this tour. Two in their late 20s, one in their 30s and two in their 40s. The tour-mates made the tour bearable, but the tour itself was a disaster.

Let me list the ways this tour not only fell below expectations, but ruined an otherwise wonderful stay in a country full of warm people.

1. Hotels are below grade. They booked us in $25 a night (for two) hotels that smell like cigarette smoke, when we paid $250 a night (for two) for this tour. There were 3 nights like this out of 14. We know because we checked prices on some of these hotel rooms. Yes we know that our rate includes the bus, the guide and some of the entrance fees. By the way the tour did not include food. Taking into account the company’s margins it should still leave at least $150 a night to book us a decent room. So instead of enjoying a good night’s sleep I was taking allergy pills and wearing masks to get through the night. This is not ok.

2. We did not have a tour leader. Most tours have a tour leader who manages the logistics and a local guide who walk you through the sites. This tour tries to save money by making one person do both. This means the logistics was a nightmare, and no one took care of the tour people. Let me elaborate.

3. Time estimates are all over the place. We stopped at Troy and he said we will be there for 45 min. He started telling us historical facts in a boring way for 30 min, then we finally took a walk together and we didn’t exit until 1.5 hours later, that’s 2x the predicted time. This happened again at Ephesus, with an estimate of 3 hours without no bathroom access, in the raw 40C heat with no shade, and then it became 4 hours with such conditions. Keep in mind that the guide has been to this site at least 100 times already. To be this far off is appalling. Lunch times are unpredictable, so one day it’s at noon and the next day it’s at 3pm. And there’s no warning, so luckily we did not have diabetics on the tour. We were only 5 in the group, and it’s already chaos. I can’t imagine if it’s 10 or 12 people. I’ve never seen a tour managed so poorly.

4. The guide did not care about the health of the group. I understand the the guide is not the tour doctor, but it’s really basic human decency to check in, especially as a leader. Every person had tummy problems once or more during the trip. And people will say so out loud too, and obviously looked unwell at meals. But he never asked about it, or checked in on anyone afterwards. For all the talk of “hospitality” in the Turkish culture, I am amazed at this lack of care.

5. The stories are boring, we Google’d the info instead. When you get only one local guide for two weeks and you get a great one, awesome. But if you get a bad one, prepared to be bored out of your mind. This guy had credentials. Graduated four years from guiding school in Turkey and 15 years of actual guiding experience. But man, the stories, if you can even call them that, are boring. Lists of dates and facts is not a story. A 2 min story takes 30 minutes to tell. You might as well watch a YouTube video instead and learn more. An interesting aside, when the tour started, we had a kick-off meeting at the hotel. The travel company’s branch manager was there along with the guide to observe the kick-off meeting. The manager told us this tour guide is “one of their best.” Oh my. If this is the best they have then you have no hope of getting a good tour guide with this company my friend. Stay away.

6. You get no information, logistically speaking. This is the kicker. We booked a tour so we didn’t have to research what’s around the corner. The point of a guide is to guide you. To give you heads-up about where we’re visiting, how long it’ll be, where the good picture spot is, on-site conditions so you can be prepared for rough terrain, heat etc. you get the idea. But no. Nothing. In fact, I had to ask every-single-day for even the basic itinerary the next day. There was one day in Cappadokia when the guide took us for a one hour walk near the rock formations. The “walk” turned out to be a real bush-wacking experience, scaling slippery gravel, dropping into dry river beds between small canyon rocks, and exposed to bare sun in 100F heat for the entire “walk”. I would at least call that a hike and tell people to put on hiking shoes. I actually had hiking shoes that stayed useless in my suitcase while I scaled the steep gravel in unsuitable footwear. Luckily nobody got hurt. But this tour is rated for any age, as in a 65 year old can join, and I don’t know what could’ve happened then. It was a one-way walk so there was no turning back either
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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Overland vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 22

Accommodations

Camping with facilities (4 nights),Camping with basic facilities (2 nights),Homestay (1 night),Hotel (1 night)

Guides

You will be accompanied by 3 crew members - Group Leader, Cook and Driver. Your Group Leader’s role involves organizing the overall operation and smooth-running of the trip, managing trip logistics, coordinating the tipping kitty (where applicable) and will form work groups to take turns cooking, cleaning and shopping (from time to time your leader may drive as well). Your Group Leader will work towards making the trip as safe and enjoyable as possible for all travellers. Intrepid trips are built around the co–operation and participation of all the group members under the supervision of the group leader. The group leader will show the group how to set up and use the equipment. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting, especially when tracking and identifying game - we think it's the best of both worlds. Regardless of the country of origin, our Group Leaders are chosen for their leadership skills and are wonderful ambassadors for our company and our beautiful continent and its people. Your Cook is responsible for the cooking and will help to coordinate the work groups for preparing the meals and washing up! Cooks are also responsible for organising food shopping (they are always happy to have you on board) and most importantly, they make sure high hygiene standards are kept at all times while camping. Your Driver’s main responsibility is to get you to your destination safely; they are also responsible for the maintenance of the vehicles along the way. Everyone is expected participate and carry their share of the workload/duties, making camp chores easier. The duties rota system is adopted where all members share in general camp duties – cooking, shopping, washing up etc. If the whole group participates it will be quicker, easier, and more fun. We endeavour to provide the services of an experienced leader and crew; however, situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • Happy Hippo Backpackers
  • 222 Mahatma Ghandi Road (prev Point Road)
  • Durban
  • 4001
  • SOUTH AFRICA

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 02 Jul 2022 (UBOE220702), 16 Jul 2022 (UBOE220716), 30 Jul 2022 (UBOE220730), 13 Aug 2022 (UBOE220813), 27 Aug 2022 (UBOE220827), 10 Sep 2022 (UBOE220910), 24 Sep 2022 (UBOE220924), 08 Oct 2022 (UBOE221008), 22 Oct 2022 (UBOE221022), 05 Nov 2022 (UBOE221105), 19 Nov 2022 (UBOE221119), 10 Dec 2022 (UBOE221210), 17 Dec 2022 (UBOE221217)
  • Road Lodge Umhlanga Ridge
  • Cnr Medigate and Hospital Road Umhlanga Ridge
  • Durban
  • 4321
  • SOUTH AFRICA
  • Phone: +27 315807200

Trip ID#:

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