BUSH & BEACH OVERLANDER
THIRTEEN NIGHTS, TWO COUNTRIES, $$$ ENQUIRE NOW
An adventure for small groups (including families) combining the pristine beaches of South Africa and Mozambique with an unrivalled wildlife experience. We travel expedition-style in a small guided convoy of Land Rover Defenders that you drive yourselves. After a day's 4x4 instruction on driving the Defender, you conquer the bush off road and then we explore the back roads and sand trails to show you the other Africa.
The route takes you from our base in Alkmaar, close to Nelspruit, through Swaziland into northern KwaZulu Natal and onwards into Mozambique. We spend some time on the beach, snorkelling, whale watching, scuba diving or swimming with dolphins. We then follow the coast up to Maputo, past the eponymous Elephant Reserve. Following tracks through coastal forests, grassland savannah and alongside beaches, the scenery is spectacular. Crossing the bay to Portugal's capital by ferry is an adventure. Then we turn inland towards the border into the Kruger National Park.
Saving the most wild to last, we spend three days on safari in a luxury lodge in 70,000 exclusive hectares inside the Greater Kruger. Armed rangers will take you deep into Big Five territory, on foot and in open Land Rovers, coming as close to the wild as you will ever be. We look for lion, elephants, rhino and the Animal Planet game. A legendary experience that carves itself into the memory.
Arrive into glorious South Africa via Johannesburg, then onwards to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport on a scheduled domestic flight, where you will be met by our staff to take you to Alkmaar Farm. Here, the real adventure begins.
Your Land Rover Defender is waiting for you. It is you and this vehicle for the next few days. You settle in at the guesthouse on the farm around midday and in the afternoon the first vehicle orientation will start. You are welcomed by our instructors certified by Land Rover Driving Experience, who teach you how to handle your Defender off the road on a specially developed course. Today we値l deal with the theory of driving off road, you値l have some time to settle in and after a delicious dinner, lights go out relatively early.
The Head Instructor on this course is Johann Sippel who, as a young boy got exposed to off road vehicles and safaris by visiting neighbouring countries and remote destinations with his father and family.
In 1992 Johann was appointed the post of chief marshal for the Camel Adventure. After this successful event, he became the chief instructor of the Off Road Experience, doing driver training courses, new vehicle testing, and media launches.
In 1999 Land Rover Experiences was started, and he became the manager of the Mpumalanga facility. In 2001 he trained a local team for the national Land Rover Trek event, which they won, and the team went on to win the international event as well.
Johann became well known for his role as instructor in kykNET痴 reality TV program on off road driving called Vat, which was popular in 2002 and 2003.
Today we値l cover the practical aspect of driving a 4x4 off road. You値l spend the morning with our instructor on the obstacle course practicing driving through steep inclines, over rocks and through sand. After lunch you値l have some time to relax and in the afternoon you can tackle the mountain for a sundowner at the top overlooking Schagen Valley. Dinner will probably be around a fire recounting the accomplishments of the day.
Early morning you leave Alkmaar and head for the Swazi border. A beautiful drive through Swaziland is waiting for you. Past sugar cane plantations and through little villages one gets a real good impression of life in Swaziland. We spend the night in a guesthouse.
Today we make an early start again and head for Pongola just south of the border. Here we cross the Jozini dam overlooking the one of largest dams in South Africa. You drive through Maputaland towards Lake Sibaya, the largest sweet water lake in South Africa. Here the first real off road kilometers will be made as you get your vehicle on to the sand trails around the lake. Goal for tonight is Thonga beach at Mabibi, where the night will be spent. A beautiful hide away in the coastal forest.
Today there is some time to relax at the pool or take the opportunity for snorkeling, scuba diving or a canoe safari on the lake. As there is ample hippo and crocodile in the lake a fit physical condition is required for this. Have a late breakfast, sundowners on the lake, the day will be gone before you know.
Today a short but very pretty drive through coastal forest and sand trails. Off road tracks via Bangha Nek to Kosi Bay, where you will arrive early afternoon. A walk through the raffia forest is scheduled in the afternoon. Depending on the season, at night there is possibilities to go out an track for the leatherback turtle. This endangered turtle nests on the beaches of the Maputaland Marine Reserve. You will spend the night in Kosi Bay Forest Lodge. The lodge does not have electricity and all light is provided though paraffin lamps. An incredibly idyllic setting.
Today you will pass the 5 Kosi Sweet water lakes on your way to Mozambique, and have a chance to look at the traditional fish traps in the Kosi Bay mouth. Though the Falaza border crossing you enter Mozambique, a wonderful experience as the road literally ends at the border post and deep sand is in front of you towards Ponta d丹ura, the golden point, the most southern city in Mozambique.
Immediately one feels the Portuguese influence, both in architecture as well as in language. The trail meanders through the coastal forest towards Ponta Mamoli, a delightful little beach resort that can only be reached by 4x4. Here you will stay for two nights.
Ample time to take a walk along the empty beach, hop on a zodiac for whale watching or swimming with dolphins, game fishing or scuba diving. Whatever you prefer the day is yours to enjoy. The resort is practically built on the beach and has a wonderful pool and sundeck as well.
We are off to a very early start today to enjoy the drive towards the bay of Maputo just after sunrise. This is as good as it gets and probably one of the most beautiful drives in this part of Africa. Through little villages and the Maputo Elephant Reserve the road leads to the bay of Maputo. It is possible to drive around the bay into Maputo in about three hours. A lot more spectacular though is to take the ferry across the bay. It is an amazing fifteen minute crossing taking you from rural Africa into the hustle and bustle of the big city. The night is spent at the Maputo Holiday Inn.
Today the convoy heads for the bush. We turn inland towards the border post at Komatipoort, after which we make an immediate turn into the Kruger National Park.
We spend the night in one of the Kruger restcamps.
Days Eleven- Thirteen
Driving through Kruger an incredible amount of wildlife will cross the road for you. If you are lucky this could include the extremely rare black rhino, lion, elephants, buffalo or even a leopard. You will leave the park at Orpen to enter the Klaserie reserve, part of the Greater Kruger. You will spend the next three nights in Klaserie Camps, a five star safari lodge where your ranger and tracker will look after you; finding the animals on foot or on a safari vehicle you can be sure to come as close to the wild as possible.
After a last game drive and a big bush breakfast it is time to go. A transfer will take you to Eastgate airport at Hoedspruit for an internal flight to Johannesburg. This ends your adventure.