South Africa - The Three Kingdoms & Wildlife

Explore and experience three countries in this once in a lifetime trip through South Africa and its landlocked neighboring countries of Lesotho and Swaziland. From the melting pot culture of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa – home to the proud Zulus, to the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho, and the ancient ways of the Swazi in the Monarchy of Swaziland, this tour of royal Africa will leave you breathless. Of course, each of these kingdoms offer their own insight to another – the Animal Kingdom – which you will explore in style on safari in various nature reserves and national parks. Find out why the lion is the king of the beasts and how Lesotho became known as the Kingdom of the Sky, relax in luxury accommodations fit for royalty, and experience the regal side of Africa on this trip to three kingdoms.

Days 1/2/3/4

NEW YORK/DURBAN

Board your overnight flight to Durban, the metropolitan center of the South African province of KwaZulu Natal. Transfer to the The Oyster Box, a luxury hotel standing majestically on Umhlanga’s beachfront, overlooking the Indian Ocean and an iconic lighthouse. The next day, dive into the offerings of this multi-cultural city on a guided tour. Durban was shaped by its melting pot of cultures, including the indigenous Zulu and the largest Indian population outside of India! This tour will take you along the Golden Mile, past the grand City Hall, onto Ushaka Marine World, and the Durban Botanic Gardens before concluding at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you’ll ride a cable car to the top of the stadium to take in an incredible view of the city from above. Next morning, travel along the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains en route to the world-famous Sani Pass, climbing a grand 9,430 feet.  As you head toward the summit, your guides will stop at breathtaking vantage points, perfect for photography. The summit of the Sani Pass itself straddles the border between South Africa and Lesotho. Enjoy lunch at this World Heritage site, which also happens to be the highest pub in Africa! Visit the sleepy village of Skeering, and meet the hardy mountainous Basotho people over traditional beer and homemade bread. THE OYSTER BOX.  (Meals Aloft; B,D; B,L)

 

Days 5/6/7

DURBAN/THANDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE/ST. LUCIA WETLANDS

Delve deeper into KwaZulu Natal as you drive to the village of DumaZulu for a unique cultural experience. Home to over 50 Zulu residents, it is part of a living museum. Learn about the traditions and daily life of the Zulu, see their intricate beadworks and enjoy a special dance performance. Continue to your home for the next three nights, Thanda Tented Camp, offering a jaw-dropping scenery enhanced by flickering firelight from the boma and warm paraffin lanterns along the walkway. After a fitful night of sleep, start the next day on a game drive in search of Africa’s “big five.” Spend the afternoon in Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, and enjoy a leisurely boat cruise on the St. Lucia Estuary, observing hippos and crocodiles in the waters and the swooping and diving of countless birds above. The rest of the time will be devoted entirely to wildlife, as you explore the massive wealth of the Thanda reserve in search of game and exotic flora. THANDA TENTED CAMP.  (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 8/9

Swaziland/Mkhaya Game Reserve

Bid farewell to KwaZulu Natal and South Africa as you enter the Kingdom of Swaziland, the smallest country in the southern hemisphere. Small as it may be, Swaziland is brimming with art, culture, and wildlife reserves. Vibrant art lines the traditional markets that have made Swaziland famous, especially the creations of its master weavers.  You will arrive at Foresters Arms later in the day and this is also where you will spend the next two nights.  Get your fill of shopping and local flavor today, as tomorrow will be spent in the wilderness. Start your morning exploring the endangered species section of Mkhaya Game Reserve. The open Land Rover game drives available today will take you to lush enclaves, filled with rare creatures, stunning photo opportunities, and rare insight into the Kingdom of Swaziland.  FORESTERS ARMS. (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 10/11

Swaziland/Mjejane Game Reserve

Travel back into South Africa and to Southern Kruger National Park.  Your exclusive lodge is situated within the revered Mjejane Game Reserve, a private ‘Big 5’ Game Reserve incorporated into Kruger National Park.  From the first friendly welcome, to your journey of discovery through the African bush with an experienced game ranger at your side, to a starlit dinner around a dancing fire, to the individually decorated luxury bedrooms, Mjejane River Lodge is a truly unforgettable destination. MJEJANE GAME RESERVE.  (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 12/13 – Panorama Route/Blyde River Canyon/Kruger National Park

Enjoy a scenic drive through the Panorama Route, alongside Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondavels, Bourke's Luck Potholes, God's Window and Pinnacle viewpoint, Jock of the Bushveld, and more. The area is hauntingly beautiful and breathtaking in its vast scale with spectacular gorges, isolated buttresses, unusual geological features, rolling mountains, deep ravines and fairy-tale waterfalls. Settle into your stunning lodge at Kruger National Park. Crisscrossed by five rivers, Kruger is a refuge for 300 different types of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 types of amphibian, 116 different reptilian species, 505 species of birds, and 147 species of mammals. Experience the colonial delights of four o’clock tea, succulent evening meals, cigars and brandy and the luxury of your beautifully appointed chalets with private plunge pools. IMBALI SAFARI LODGE.  (B,L,D Daily)

Days 14/15 – Skukuza/Johannesburg/USA

Your flight takes you to Johannesburg where you connect with our flight home, having had a most incredible experience through three kingdoms. (B, Meals Aloft)

 

PRE-EXTENSION TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Begin your journey with a delightful retreat to Cape Town, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Enjoy accommodations at the VINEYARDS HOTEL & SPA, which has over 200 years of history within its walls and is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland. Ascend Table Mountain and take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope to discover charming seaside towns, wildlife, and the endearing “jackass” penguins at Boulders Beach. Tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and spend a day in the famed Boland Valley wine region. Visit the settlement of Khayelitsha with a township guide and get an eye-opening historical tour of Robben Island. This is the perfect way to begin your adventure in Southern Africa.

 

POST EXTENSION TO VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE

 

Another adventure awaits as you fly to Johannesburg for a night at the FAIRLAWN S BOUTIQUE HOTEL in the leafy suburb of Sandton.  Fly onward to Victoria Falls, where five separate cascades plunge more than 300 feet with a thunderous roar, known to locals as the Smoke that Thunders. Feel the mist of the world’s largest waterfall on your face during a guided tour and enjoy a sundowner cruise along the Zambezi River. Visit a native village to experience their way of life and shop in the African marketplace for those last-minute souvenirs. Stay at the “Grande Dame” of the Falls, THE VICTORIA FALLS HOTEL, where Edwardian splendor is recalled in period art and antique furniture, world-class service and fine dining. Your farewell dinner is at the Boma for a very unique African experience.

Prices starting at $8,495. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

 

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.