This 10-day tour of eastern South Africa kicks off in Durban, the country's third-largest city known for its surf culture, Indian heritage, and bunny chow. Spot hippos and crocs at a UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserve, learn about Swazi culture as you cross the kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland), and spend two days driving around Kruger National Park seeking out lions, elephants, and leopards.


  • Spend two days spotting wildlife in Kruger National Park
  • Explore beach culture and Indian heritage in Durban
  • Spot hippos and crocodiles at a UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserve
  • Tour the kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
  • Drive the spectacular Panorama Route

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Durban Durban
Day 2 Half-Day Township Tour, Free Time in Durban Durban
Day 3 Transfer to St Lucia, Hippo & Croc Cruise St Lucia
Day 4 Free Time in St Lucia, Transfer to Pongola Pongola
Day 5 Explore Mlilwane Nature Reserve Pongola
Day 6 Tour eSwatini, Transfer to Kruger National Park, Game Drive Kruger National Park
Days 7-8 Two Days Exploring Kruger National Park Safari Kruger National Park
Day 9 Transfer to White River via Panorama Route White River
Day 10 Depart White River  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Durban

Bunny chow, South Africa's most famous dish, is from Durban

Kickstart your South African adventure in the tropical, laid-back city of Durban. A driver will transfer you from Durban International Airport to your hotel, where the rest of the day is yours to explore. Set right on the Indian Ocean, South Africa's third-largest city enjoys great weather year-round, so spend the afternoon surfing, swimming, or playing on the sand at the famous Golden Mile. Explore sea life at the nearby uShaka Marine World, or leap from the world's highest swing atop Moses Mabhida Stadium

Durban is South Africa's most multicultural city, with the largest ethnic Indian population outside of India. Brought over by the British to tend sugar cane plantations, it's said these Indian migrant workers invented South Africa's famous dish—bunny chow—by transporting curry in hollowed-out loaves of bread. You can try bunny chow at restaurants everywhere, or turn up the spice at The Oyster Box, a luxury beachfront hotel known for its curry buffet. Afterward, explore Gandhi's former home. He lived in Durban for 20 years and said his time here shaped his philosophies and commitment to passive resistance.

Day 2: Half-Day Township Tour, Free Time in Durban

Half Day Township Tour
Durban, a city set on the Indian Ocean
This morning is about culture and community. Join a guided walk through the Woza Enanda township, north of Durban, and connect with the local people. While here you will visit a local museum, cycle around the township, and learn some of the local isiZulu language. 

The afternoon is yours to explore as you like. Return to the beach at Durban and run along the Golden Mile, enjoy lunch at a restaurant nearby, tour a local craft brewery or gin distillery, or visit the outdoor muti market to explore traditional Zulu medicine, with stalls stocking everything from herbs to animals.

Day 3: Transfer to St Lucia, Hippo & Croc Cruise

Introduction to St. Lucia
Hippos, zebras, and wildebeest at Isimangaliso Wetland Park in South Africa

This morning you will transfer from Durban to St Lucia, a small settlement at the southern end of the magnificent Isimangaliso Wetland Park. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserve is South Africa's third-largest protected area and spans 174 miles (280 km) of coastline. Expect to uncover a world-class display of wildlife, warm tropical waters, and golden sandy beaches.

This afternoon join an aquatic safari on Lake St Lucia, north of the Mozambican border, where you can spot 460 species of birds in the summer months (October to March). Beyond the prolific birdlife, keep your eyes peeled for 800 hippos and 1,200 Nile crocodiles as you cross the expansive lake that measures 50 miles (80 km) long and 14.3 miles (23 km) wide. The margins of the lake are studded with mangroves—home to mud skippers, fiddler crabs, and mangrove whelks.

Day 4: Free Time in St Lucia, Transfer to Pongola

iSimangaliso Wetlands - Hippo-and-Lake
iSimangaliso Wetlands in South Africa
Today you have free time to explore the St Lucia settlement and UNESCO Isimangaliso Wetlands Park at your own pace. Spend your morning walking along the golden sandy beach, go snorkeling in the warm waters to spot tropical fish, or explore the UNESCO Isimangaliso Wetlands Park on foot. This is one of the best bird-watching destinations in South Africa, so bring your binoculars if you are a keen twitcher.
Plan your trip to South Africa
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
In the afternoon, a private driver will transfer you to your accommodation in Pongola, eSwatini (formally known as Swaziland). Settle in and relax ahead of tonight's immersive homestay experience, which includes sleeping in a traditional hut in a rural kaPhunga village. Experience the many layers of Swazi culture when you join a feast of Swazi food cooked over an open fire, and meet the local villagers to learn some Siswati.

Day 5: Explore Mlilwane Nature Reserve

Mlilwane Nature Reserve
Mlilwane Nature Reserve
Spend the morning wandering Pongola village before taking a private transfer to Mlilwane Nature Reserve, eSwatini's best-known nature reserve. Enjoy a serene hike through this wildlife oasis where you'll walk among zebras, blesboks, impalas, blue wildebeest, and warthogs as they graze in the open grasslands. Once farmland and a tin mining area, now the rehabilitated Mlilwane is eSwatini's pioneering example of wildlife conservation.

Day 6: Tour eSwatini, Transfer to Kruger National Park, Game Drive

Ezulwini Valley in eSwatini
Take in eSwatini's scenery, historical attractions, and culture with a guided tour. An experienced guide will take you past the National Museum, King Sobhuza II Memorial Park, and Houses of Parliament, and share insights into art and crafts including the well-known Swazi candles. Explore Mantenga Cultural Village and enjoy a traditional dance display before lunch. Afterward ascend to the capital, Mbabane, to hear about the city's history and the kingdom's current administration. Finish the tour at Ngwenya Glass, eSwatini's famous glassware factory, and the Ngwenya Mine—the oldest mine in the world.

From here a driver will transfer you to Kruger National Park, where the real adventure begins. You'll spend the next few days in the northeast corner of South Africa exploring one of the largest game reserves in Africa. Once settled in, it's time for your first drive. At dusk, the lions and hyenas begin their evening hunts, and diurnal animals like zebras and antelope gather in numbers to sleep. After dark, hear the savannah come alive with the sound of nocturnal animals. When you return to camp, dinner will be served and your friendly guides will share stories around the campfire.

Days 7-8: Two Days Exploring Kruger National Park

Spot leopards on a safari in Kruger National Park
Spot leopards on a safari in Kruger National Park
Your evening game drive was just the beginning of a wild adventure in Kruger National Park. The next two mornings expect an early wake-up call. You'll pile into a 4WD vehicle and head to the Orpen Gate, one of the western entrances, to catch wildlife as they rise for the day. This region of the park has the greatest concentration of animals, and from your elevated position in an open-topped 4WD safari vehicle, you'll enjoy the perfect vantage point to snap photos. 

Leading this unforgettable wildlife tour will be an expert guide who will search out giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, and impalas—because where these animals are found, lions and other apex predators aren't far behind. You can also spot some of Kruger's incredible 517 species of birds, including starlings, hornbills, and the occasional ostrich. There will be various stops throughout both days to stretch your legs, as well as a break for lunch. You'll return to the lodge each evening in time for dinner.

Day 9: Transfer to White River via Panorama Route

Panoramic view of Blyde River Canyon

Wave goodbye to Kruger National Park as you embark on a scenic drive to White River. Known as the Panorama Route, this drive stops at various natural sights and gorgeous lookouts to take in the scenery along the way. Stop at the spectacular Blyde River Canyon, the third biggest canyon in the world and the largest green canyon in the world, take in the views from God's Window and the Three Rondavels, witness the curious Bourke's Luck Potholes, and marvel at many waterfalls on the way to White River.

Day 10: Depart White River

Say goodbye to South Africa

On your final day, transfer to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Nelspruit to connect with your departing flight from Johannesburg. Safe travels!

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