Exclusive Adventure — Highlights of Swaziland & the Kruger Park
This comprehensive tour is a must for any adventurer seeking to explore the natural world of Southern Africa. Beginning in the beautiful Kingdom of Swaziland, we experience diverse nature reserves on foot and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the highveld mountains. After being spoilt with scenery and the friendly Swazis, we head to the world famous Kruger National Park, where wildlife roam free as they have for centuries. We will connect with nature through a true bush experience living among the wildlife and following in the footsteps of elephants and lions. Experience nature that will leave you humbled and wanting more!
Click on each day of the itinerary below to read more.
Discover the little-known kingdom of Swaziland, where traditional culture is still vibrant and visible.
Enjoy a fabulous mix of nature, culture, and history in Swaziland.
Hike in tall misty mountains, on top of rock plateaus, over great plains, and in the wilderness.
Take a walk on the wild side in the Kruger national Park
Sleep among the wildlife at night and discover the vast wilderness during the day.
Explore the Blyde River Canyon both from within and from above.
Duration: 14 days (13 nights)
Cost: € 3290,- (per person sharing, 2016 price)
Accommodation: Lodges, two-man tents during wilderness trail
Meals: All inclusive
Activities: All included
Not included: Flights, insurance, single supplement, pocket money
We visit 7 different nature reserves and natural areas on this tour.
Experience all the natural gems of Swaziland — in the highveld, lowveld, and in between.
Cultural experiences in Lobamba village and Shewula community.
Sleep in a cave with views stretching far over the Valley of Heaven.
4 day wilderness trail, where we take on the great Kruger National Park on foot.
Blyde River Canyon — explore it from within and from above.
May 6 | May 28 | Jul 1 |
Arrive at Johannesburg’s international OR Tambo airport (JHB)
Your guide will meet you at the airport no later than 10 AM. Hereafter you drive to Swaziland. We have lunch on the way. After lunch we drive a beautiful trip north to a hidden nature reserve in the mountains, where we will spend the first night.
Hike: None — We will rest our legs and be ready to start the hikes tomorrow.
Meals: Lunch and dinner
Accommodation: The beautiful Phophonyane Eco-Lodge. The lodge has stunning views over the highveld of Swaziland and you are free to explore the beautiful property in the afternoon.
Today we venture into the mountainous highveld nature reserve of Malolotja. This nature reserve is known for its rolling hills and rugged mountains on the border with South Africa. We drive deep into the park and start the day with some adrenalin-fuelling fun; Zip-lining over a deep gorge.
After the zip-line we hike to a couple of viewpoints — one overlooking waterfalls, and one overlooking the park itself. The hike follows small paths through the reserve, and we might be lucky to spot some of the rare game in the area; the white-tailed gnu and the huge eland among others.
After a well-deserved lunch we leave Malolotja and continue past the great Maguga Dam — the main water reservoir for the highveld. Past Maguga Dam, hidden on a mountain slope, we make our way to see the ancient rock art painted by the bushmen, who inhabited the area thousands of years ago. The intricate figures on the rocks tell stories of an era long gone by.
The last leg of today’s journey goes through gravel roads in the rural Swazi highveld, before we arrive at our lodge in Pine Valley.
Hike: Approx. 6-8 km in steep terrain.
Accommodation: Silverstone Falls Lodge. Here you will be spoilt with luxury inPine Valley and great views of the waterfall below the lodge.
Swaziland’s largest coherent rock is called Sibebe Rock. Some argue that is the second largest freestanding rock in the world. Sibebe is said to contain mystical powers, and whoever lives near it or on it will go crazy. However, we will defy the rumours and venture onto this impressive rock. The plateau on the top offers leisurely walks and great views over Pine Valley and towards the peaks of the East.
Along the paths we hike past boulders the size of mansions, caves, and streams of fresh water, while cows, wild horse, and other livestock roam along side us. Towards the end of the hike we walk through one of the many communities found in remote parts of Swaziland. After the community there is only one last little climb, before we will be rewarded with lunch in a beautiful setting.
After lunch we drive through the capital city of Swaziland, Mbabane, before heading down into the Ezulwini Valley on the other side. Here we find our very special accommodation for the night.
Hike: Approx. 14 km in mixed terrain (there are a few very steep parts, but most of the hike is easy going)
Accommodation: Cave in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary overlooking the Ezulwini Valley. Meals cooked on the fire and comfortable bedding makes this a unique experience. (No electricity)
Today we wake up with the sun peeping through the vegetation in front of the cave. Steaming hot tea and coffee is served, while breakfast is being cooked on the fire.
After breakfast we head out into the reserve. Mlilwane is teeming with wildlife: Zebras, curious wildebeests, dainty impalas, and many many more. As we walk, we often get quite close to the animals, which offers great photographic opportunities. (We never disturb the animals unnecessarily and we respect their comfort zones at all times).
During the day we climb the Rock of Execution — a distinct peak in the area with a gruesome history.
The afternoon can be spent either at the lovely Reilly’s Rock Lodge, where we will be staying tonight, or at Mantenga Cultural Village, where Swazi singers and dancers perform an impressive repetoire.
Hike: Approx. 12 km in hills (partly challenging).
Accommodation: Reilly’s Rock Hilltop Lodge — A wonderful historical building set in the midst of the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary.
After breakfast with a view over the Ezulwini Valley — also known as the Valley of Heaven — we head to the urban village of Lobamba, which is also known as the cultural capital of Swaziland. A local guide will take us on a walk through the community and tell us about life in a urban village of Swaziland. History, local culture, and world influence will be visible on this informative tour.
After the village tour we take off towards the lowveld of Swaziland. We drive through the second largest city in Swaziland, Manzini. Here we stop to take a short walk through the local market place, where anything from traditional medicine, to fabrics, to vegetables, and tractor tyres are sold.
Before lunch we arrive at Hlane Royal National Park, where we will enjoy lunch by the waterhole, where hippos and rhinos are often spotted. After lunch we walk through the park to a secret spot, where we will spend the night under the stars. Dinner cooked on the fire, along with drinks and a long days’ many impressions, we relax in the bush camp.
Hike: Approx. 15 km in flat terrain.
Accommodation: Bushcamp at Hlane Royal National Park. (No electricity)
Once again, we wake up with the sun. A beautiful breakfast is cooked for us on the fire, as we sit and enjoy our morning coffee.
We meander through the reserve back to camp, before we head up into the Lubombo mountains for the afternoon. The Lubombo mountains form the boundary with Mozambique, and on a clear day you are able to see the capital Maputo, as well as the sea from the top.
On top of the Lubombos we find the charming rural community of Shewula. As we arrive the ladies of Shewula Camp has prepared a lovely local lunch for us.
After lunch a local guide will take us in a tour of the community. Often we are invited into homesteads, where the local women brew beer, which we get to taste. Sometimes we meet the old medicine woman, or Sangoma as they are also called, who uses herbs, potions, and powers to cure any kinds of ailments. Sometimes we meet the old warrior, who enjoys showing us all his traditional regalia. Other times we meet the schoolkids playing or the women fetching water from the common well. There is never a dull moment at Shewula.
After shewula we drive back to Hlane, where we will have dinner by the central waterhole. Look out for elephants and rhinos or listen to the roaring lions, before heading to bed.
Hike: Approx. 13 km combined in flat terrain.
Accommodation: Charming huts at Hlane Royal National Park (No electricity).
After breakfast by the waterhole we head to a stunning and little known lowveld nature reserve called Mlawula. Here trails criss-cross the reserve and showcase some of the bestkept secrets of this beautiful place. We hike through the reserve and take many breaks to enjoy the views and the nature around us. We finish the hike at a cave overlooking the central Siphiso Valley. We enjoy a picnic lunch before we are picked up by a game drive vehicle that will take us to a lodge overlooking the lowveld, where we will enjoy drinks and dinner, before taking a night-drive back through the reserve to our comfortable tented camp.
Hike: Approx. 13 km in mixed terrain (some parts are a bit steep)
Accommodation: Luxury Tented camp with a view over the river and the lowveld.
Today we rise early and start driving before breakfast. We are crossing the border into South Africa, and not long after into the famous Kruger National Park, where we will have breakfast.
We’ve got a long day of driving ahead of us, but luckily there is lots to see all around us. Kruger Park boasts some of the regions best wildlife viewing. Here elephants, rhinos, and lions roam along with all thinkable antelopes and other wildlife found in Southern Africa. As we drive you will hear tales of the animals as well as learning about the history of the park.
We make a few stops at restcamps in the park, but otherwise we drive most of the day to get to our destination further north.
Hike: None, a day of rest in the vehicle.
Accommodation: Rustic huts at one of the main camps in the Kruger National Park
Today we begin one of the whole tour’s absolute highlights: The wilderness Trail in the Kruger National Park. With backpacks fully kitted and packed with food and everything else we will need for the next 4 days, we head into the wilderness. We are accompanied by experienced rangers, who determine the routes, as well as where we sleep. There are no fixed routes, and no fixed campsites. We make a camp, where and when we want to.
All the animals of the Kruger Park roam free around us, but many years of human intrusion and aggression has made the animals wary of man, so we will be lucky to see large game up close.
Every day we have to find water — this is done either from natural springs, from the ground or directly from the river. Sometimes the water will need filtering, and always purification. We all help out with the process, just as we all cook for ourselves with the kit brought along for the purpose.
Before dark we pitch tents and build a fire, which we can sit around in the evening. On clear nights stargazing in this remote wilderness area is on another level — the milky ways splays across the sky in an impressive display of twinkling specs, meanwhile lions and leopards roar in the night. This is an African wilderness adventure of your wildest dreams.
Hike: Approx. 8-10 km/day in mixed terrain.
Meals: All (normally we eat freeze dried meals, and dried meats and hard cheese)
Accommodation: Two-man tents in the wilderness
Hike: None — we rest.
Accommodation: Moholoholo Forest Camp. A stunning lodge set in the middle of a game reserve. Spacious rooms and friendly staff will ensure a pleasant welcome back into civilisation.
After a hearty breakfast we make our way to the impressive Blyde River Dam, where a barge will take us on a tour of the vast waterways. Tall mountains surrounds us, as we explore this intriguing reserve. After the boatride we will hike around parts of the dam in an interesting and varying terrain.
If the group decides it has had enough of hiking, we can visit the Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre instead. This centre takes in poisoned, or otherwise hurt animals and try to release them back into the wild — generally with great success. The centre hosts a variety of animals that cannot be released back into the wild, but who now serves the role as ambassadors for their wild counterparts. Large birds of prey, big cats, honey badgers, and many many more animals are found here and can be seen up close.
Hike: Approx. 12 km in mixed terrain.
Accommodation: Moholoholo Forest Lodge
Today is our last day together, but the tour is not quite over yet. After breakfast we head up into the Drakensberg mountains, where we stop at several spectacular viewpoints. One of which overlooks the Blyde River Canyon and Dam, where we sailed yesterday.
On our way back to Johannesburg we stop and have lunch in the quaint little town of Dullstroom.
We arrive in Johannesburg before dark and you will be dropped off at the OR Tambo International Airport. With pockets filled to the brim with great memories, we say our goodbyes and thank you for travelling with Dust and Boots.
Meals: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: None, the tour ends at OR Tambo airport late this afternoon.
14 days Hiking Adventure in Swaziland & South Africa
(All prices are per person sharing)
- All meals
- All accommodation, as described or of similar standard.
- All activities, as described
- Personal and knowledgeable guide (Native Danish and English speaker)
- Transport between destinations in comfortable van
- Some alcoholic drinks
- Hiking equipment for wilderness trail
- International Flights
- Single supplement (€ 390,-)
- Pocket money
Departure Dates 2017
May 6 | May 28 | Jul 1|
Jul 29 | Aug 19 | Sep 16
OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa
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