Overview

Embark on a 19 day vibrant journey, the ‘Rainbow Nation’ odyssey, encompassing the resplendent landscapes of South Africa, Eswatini, and Lesotho. Immerse yourself in diverse cultures, iconic landmarks, and unforgettable wildlife encounters. The grand tour commences with the vast wilderness of Kruger National Park, a sanctuary larger than several European countries, where you’re likely to meet the ‘Big Five’ and other residents such as zebras, giraffes, and rhinos.

With your adept guides, navigate the labyrinthine trails of Kruger, seeking out the park’s free-roaming creatures. Prepare for the exhilarating thrill of early dawn treks and twilight safaris, revealing the hustle of nocturnal life. The awe-inspiring Panorama Route awaits, offering vistas of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels, and the magnificent viewpoint, God’s Window.

Next, the journey meanders through Eswatini, previously known as the Kingdom of Swaziland, known for its verdant hills, leading to the high-altitude splendors of Lesotho. Seize the chance to explore these terrains on horseback, a truly unique experience.

The Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, a bastion for endangered Rhinoceros, are the following destinations for your wildlife exploration. Here, you will board 4×4 open safari vehicles for immersive game drives.

In the quaint town of St Lucia, an afternoon river cruise awaits. Keep a lookout for hippos and crocodiles casually basking. As the journey propels south, it takes you through the dramatic Drakensberg mountains and the expansive plains of the Karoo. The Addo Elephant National Park, known for its substantial elephant population, provides another exciting wildlife encounter.

The journey continues along the Garden Route, a picturesque stretch of coastline abundant with serene beaches and captivating forest walks. Before reaching the crown jewel, Cape Town, we will explore the subterranean wonder of the Cango Caves in Oudtshoorn, the quaint Karoo town of Barrydale, and head down to the Cape Whale Coast.

Beginning at Africa’s southernmost point, enjoy the amazing scenery of the Cape Whale Coast. From there, we proceed to Hermanus and Bettys Bay, promising delightful opportunities for whale and penguin spotting. Our ‘Rainbow Nation’ tour promises to be an enchanting exploration of this unique corner of the world, an unforgettable experience that will leave indelible memories.

Please note: This itinerary is flexible and can be changed without notice. A detailed, up-to-date dossier itinerary is available to download.

Day 1 – Greater Kruger National Park 

Leaving the city of Johannesburg behind us we make our way east through the coalfields of Mpumalanga. Our journey today follows in the footsteps of the old trade-routes to the Lowveld and the Kruger National Park. This afternoon there will enjoy a Sundowner drive through the reserve.  

Day 2 – Kruger National Park 

Rising early this morning we enter the Kruger National Park to enjoy a full day of game viewing. The abundance of wildlife presents us with opportunities for excellent sightings and the Kruger is also home to the famed members of Africa’s Big-5. Truly the flagship of the South African national parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals. Our Game drive through the park is in an open-sided 4×4 vehicle.  

Day 3 – Kruger National Park 

While those who elect to do the optional morning walk will have an earlier start, we set out a little later today and travel the short distance to the Panorama Route. Strung along the escarpment that divides the central plateau and low-lying bushveld of the Kruger, the sights of the Panorama route offer us a day of scenic delights. We will visit the highlights of Bourke’s Luck Potholes, the Three Rondavels and God’s Window before returning to camp in the late afternoon.  

Day 4 – Kruger to Eswatini 

We start the day early with some coffee and traditional rusks before setting off through Kruger on our way to Eswatini. Our truck offers an excellent platform for game viewing as we make our way south. We exit the southern end of the park and travel the short distance to Eswatini border, our route this afternoon winds through the mountains and forests of this landlocked kingdom. Our destination for today is the Ezulwini Valley just south of the capital Mbabane.  

Day 5 – Eswatini – Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary  
Endless hours of self-guided exploration within the small 4560ha Mlilwane sanctuary are possible due to the relative absence of dangerous game.  This morning our guide will lead us out on a nature walk to explore the “Nature Trail “, which provides interpretation of historical and environmental information of the area.    

Day 6 – Eswatini – St Lucia 

We bid farewell to Eswatini and re-enter South Africa, continuing south into the reaches of Zululand, once the realm of the mighty King Shaka who united the Zulu clans.  

Day 7 – Hluhluwe – Umfolozi Game Reserve / iSimangaliso Wetland Park 

We set out early this morning for a game drive in the nearby Hluhulwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve, one of the last strongholds of the endangered rhinoceros. While rhinoceros are the most famous of the parks inhabitants, the park also provides a home to many other species, including the Big-5 that we all hope to see. Returning to our lodging for a siesta, we freshen up for an afternoon boat cruise on St Lucia estuary. 

Day 8 – Kwa Zulu Natal Coast – UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park 

Running the length of the Kwazulu-Natal province, the Ukuhlamba Drakensberg Park is a UNESCO recognised world heritage site. Whether you go by the Zulu name uKhahlamba, meaning ‘barrier of spears’, or the Afrikaans name Drakensberge, meaning ‘dragon mountains’, these towering mountains will be our backdrop for the next two nights. On our way we make a stop to view the scenic Howick Falls and a visit to the nearby site that marked the capture of South Africa’s most famous man, Nelson Mandela.  

Day 9 – UKhahlamba Drakensberg Park 

We set out this morning for a lengthy hike. While we encourage everyone to make the most of the day in mountains, we may offer separate options depending on the activity level of the group. With a number of trails available we can ensure that we cater to every need, the most important aim is to ensure everyone enjoys this mountain paradise at their own pace. 

Day 10 – Lesotho 

Our journey today begins with a mountain pass as our route winds its way through the magnificent cliffs off the Golden Gate National Park before we enter Lesotho in the afternoon, we pass the capital city of Maseru as continue the climb to our base high amongst the mountain peaks.       

Day 11 – Lesotho  

The clean air of the mountains accompanies us this morning as we explore the surrounding area offers a unique and adventurous landscape to explore on foot and we will set out on the trail which is a couple of hours.    

Day 12 – South Africa – Graaff Reinet 

Returning to South Africa, we descend the mountains and take aim across the Great Karoo. The semi-arid Karoo represents the heartland of rural South Africa and presents a stark contrast to the mountains we leave behind. Our overnight stop is set in the historic town of Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in the country. We cross the mighty Orange (Gariep) River today as we journey through the vast countryside of the Karoo. 

Day 13 – Gqeberha (Gateway to Addo Elephant National Park) 

This morning you will have the opportunity to join a sunrise excursion to the Valley of Desolation. This unique valley offers a panoramic view over the town and the wide open plains stretching out below. Setting course for the coast once again, we pass through the open plains of the Karoo and head to the famous Addo Elephant National Park where we will enjoy a half day game drive in our Nomad truck, in search of the famous elephants that call Addo home. Our overnight accommodation is in the heart of Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).  

Day 14 – Greater Addo Elephant National Park area 

This morning we leave the city of Gqeberha and once again head into Addo Elephant National Park for our game drive.  Recent expansion has seen Addo grow to become the third largest of South Africa’s National Parks. The unique vegetation of Addo supports a wide variety of wildlife and we will spend the morning in search of the animals.   

Day 15 – Tsitsikamma National Park 

Setting out early this morning we make a brief visit to the surfing mecca of Jeffreys Bay.  Most famous for its waves this little town is also home to a small Surfing Museum. We then turn west to the Tsitsikamma region where we set up for the next two nights and where the wonders of the Garden Route await.  

Day 16 – Tsitsikamma National Park 

Tsitsikamma National Park is one of South Africa’s premier marine reserves and this morning we set out to explore the rugged coastline on foot. Our hike along the Waterfall Trail sees us cover the first section of the world renowned Otter Trail. This is not an easy hike and those who prefer a more leisurely option can make use of the boardwalks to the Storms River Mouth. We return after our hike and you will have the opportunity to book the Woodcutters Journey in the afternoon – experiencing the uniqueness of the Tsitsikamma biome and learning about the history of the area and its indigenous fauna & flora. 

Day 17 – Oudtshoorn 

After a stop in the town of Knysna, we make our way inland, crossing the Outeniqua Mountains and descend to the town of Oudtshoorn.  We head to the famous Cango caves to enjoy a guided tour where we marvel at the astonishing formations that have formed in these impressive limestone caves. 

Day 18 – Route 62 – Barrydale 

This morning prior to bidding farewell to the Klein Karoo, we stop to experience one of Africa’s most endearing creatures – The meerkat! You’ll have the opportunity to sit and watch these curious animals go about their day in the natural world without much disturbance form humans, as they wake up and catch the morning sun rays. We then follow a section of the scenic Route 62, stopping to experience some of the many farm stalls on the way. One of the more quirky highlights today is Ronnie’s Sex Shop, not a sex shop at all, but a rather interesting country pub! 

Day 19 – The Cape Whale Coast Route & Africa’s Southernmost Tip 

After passing through some quaint Overberg villages, we reach the southernmost tip of the African continent, where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, Cape Agulhas.  We will then drive along the beautiful Cape Whale Coast which is a pristine stretch on the South African coastline. Stretching from the town of Rooiels for roughly 150km, to the east, making up a collection of villages, farms, rivers, bays, coves and valleys.  We will have a short time to stroll along the boardwalk in Hermanus in search of the southern right whales that frequent the shores in the months of July to November. Next we stop at the largest breeding colony of African Penguins, Stony Point Nature Reserve, before travelling along the coast to the city centre of Cape Town. Your tour comes to an end upon arrival in the city centre of Cape Town. 

  •   Crew3 Crew
  •   Max Passengers 20 Passengers Max
  •   Vehicle 20 Seater Vehicle
  •   Duration 19 Days and 18 Nights
  •   From / ToJohannesburg to Cape Town
  •   Meals18 Breakfast  18 Lunch 18 Dinner
  •   Countries South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho

Dates

Specials & Promotions

All Departures

  • Available
  • On Request
  • Camping
  • Accommodated
  • Small Group
  • German Translator
  • German Guided
  • Special

Selected Date

Click on a departure in the calendar above to see information about that departure here.
Book Now →

Please contact us to get information about this departure. Contact us →

Pre & Post Tour

Pre & Post Tour Accommodation

Nomad can book accommodation before and after your tour.

Pre Tour Accommodation - Johannesburg

From R1,480
Garden Court – Johannesburg – O R Tambo Airport

Located just 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from the airport, Garden Court O.R. Tambo International Airport offers a free shuttle (available 24 hours). After splashing around at the outdoor pool, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the 2 restaurants or unwind with a drink at the bar/lounge.… … Read More

Post Tour Accommodation - Cape Town

From R1,990
  Airport Transfer Available Double Tree By Hilton – Upper Eastside

Our Cape Town departure point for scheduled tours. Nearby the base of Table Mountain with views of Devil's Peak. This hotel is a 15-minute walk from The Old Biscuit Mill, and offers free shuttle services to the V&A waterfront – please book in advance. Rooms feature city views and walk-in… … Read More

Reviews

Enquire Now

Enquire Now

  • You are making an inquiry about South African Explorer.
  • If you have been in contact with one of our Consultants regarding this enquiry, please indicate it here.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.