16 Day Activity Bush Culture Safari. (Lesotho – Swaziland – South Africa)

Dates

Code Start End
ABCS-1 30 Apr 2018 15 May 2018
ABCS-2 22 May 2018 05 Jun 2018
ABCS-3 13 Aug 2018 28 Aug 2018
ABCS-4 03 Sep 2018 18 Sep 2018
ABCS-5 24 Sep 2018 09 Oct 2018
ABCS-6 15 Oct 2018 30 Oct 2018

2013 Jan Wilderness & Feb Lesotho 414

Client involvement:

The degree of satisfaction and enjoyment you feel at the end of each day and the end of the trip will depend on you and your capacity to enjoy yourself. This capacity, combined with an active and enquiring mind and a willingness to participate, is essential for all our tours. If you wish to be pampered and amused with minimal effort on your part, then our tours are not for you. Participation is essential on all trips and everyone is expected to help with chores to ensure the smooth running of the tour. A degree of flexibility is also essential because of the nature of the parameters in which we have to operate.

Pony trekking - overnight treks

Overnight treks are tailor-made to your requirements. They can last from one day to six days and even longer. On your trek you will experience "THE REAL AFRICA". Trails traverse spectacular mountain passes and some of Lesotho's highest waterfalls. You can explore Bushman paintings and experiencing Basotho culture. Accommodation on treks is provided in huts hired from the Basotho people in remote areas. The huts are very basic and are equipped with a gas cooker, cooking and eating utensils and mattresses on the floor. No riding experience is necessary for an overnight trek. Basotho Guides and a packhorse accompany the treks. The catered option involves clients heating up food supplied. Expect about 7 hours of riding time each day. Maximum weight = 90 kg Luggage = 12.5 kg pp

Overview:

Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, and rich local culture and traditions, and a scarcity of civilization's trappings, such as landlords and fences, provides a permit-free playground for the more intrepid adventurers. With all its land lying at altitudes in excess of 1500m above sea-level; Lesotho is a land of heights and extremes. Lesotho offers breath-taking mountain vistas and adventure activities such as skiing, pony trekking, hiking and abseiling for the intrepid traveller. More leisurely pursuits for those seeking a relaxing and revitalising break include bird watching, boating and fishing. Then Swaziland, nature reserves of Swaziland are considered among the finest in the entire African continent. With their extensive collection of wildlife and vegetation, Malolotja Nature Reserve and Mlawula Nature Reserve are dream destinations for all wildlife enthusiasts. Then also a big hit is Kruger. Steeped in legend and history, the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa is waiting for you to explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. Enjoy thrilling game drives and walking safaris – find out what it is like to be close to a pride of Lion, feel the excitement and intensity of a South African safari in Kruger National Park.

Highlights:

  • Lesotho
  • Swaziland
  • South Africa
  • Manyenleti Game Reserve(Game walk).
  • Morija – Cultural Capital of the Lesotho.
  • Guided tour in Morija: Museum, Art Gallery and Nursing School.
  • 3 Day/2 nights’s extreme pony trekking to Semonkong and around Lesotho mountains.
  • Maletsunyane Falls (highest waterfall in Southern Africa)
  • Optional: Abseiling from Maletsunyane Falls (Guinness book world record) own expense.
  • Village tour in Lesotho.
  • Semonkong Town
  • Great numbers of the Southern Bald Ibis in Semonkong.
  • Very rare endangered bearded vulture at Maletsunyane Falls.
  • Mohale Dam & Katse Dam
  • Kruger National Park
Members of the local Batlokoa community at a formal funcation

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Oldenburg (368km/ 4.5 hours)

After breakfast in the morning we depart from Johannesburg at 08:00 and make our way to the Freestate, we will cross the Vaal river that is one of the big rivers in South Africa. In the afternoon we will be at Oldenburg that is an old sandstone farm house with a very nice view over the valley. (B,L,D)

Day 2: Morija (157km/3hours)

We will depart from Oldenburg and travel south to Van Rooyen’s Nek border post. This is where we will enter Lesotho and start our Lesotho adventure, which is a unique mixture of culture and activaty’s. Morija named after the biblical Mt. Moriah, Morija has maintained the magic that first attracted the missionaries. It is the only forested village in Lesotho, with every road lined with trees, some of which date back almost two centuries. Hidden between the trees is the historic ‘mother church’, as well as the schools, the printing works of the first African newspaper, the hospital, the museum and other institutions established by the missionaries. We will be in Morija just before lunch. After lunch we will join Brigitte for a unique guiding experience to the Museum, Art Gallery (that is the oldest standing building in Lesotho) and the Nursery school. Brigitte has been a teacher in the local school and is a well-known figure in Morija. These activities are included. (B,L,D)

Day 3: Malealea, 47km/ 2 Hours.

Just before breakfast we will go on the dinosaur hike to have a look at some of the famous petrified foot prints in surrounding area. The scenery is also something to write home about. After breakfast we will continue our journey to Malealea Lodge. When we arrive at Malealea we familiarise ourselves with the lodge and the area. In the afternoon we will prepare for the 2 night/3 day pony trekking enjoying the evenings in the amazing mountain scenery around the local villages. (B,L,D)  

Day 4: Malealea

No visit to Lesotho would be incomplete without famous pony trekking. It is the transport of choice for most Basotho as the sturdy ponies handle the narrow trails better than any 4X4 can. Malealea supports community tourism. Ponies used on our treks are hired from Basotho owners. NB - the weight limit for Basotho ponies is 90kg. After breakfast the pony trekking group will departure on the 3 day/2 nights extreme pony trekking to Semonkong via highest waterfall in Southern Africa, Maletsunyane Falls (192m). For the non-trekkers there will be other wonderful activity’s included like hiking, Sangoma visit, village walk and one day unforgettable pony trekking and so on. (B,L,D) 2013 Jan Wilderness & Feb Lesotho 427

Day 5: Semonkong, 165km/5 Hours.

The mighty Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highest single dropping waterfalls in Africa, creates a haze of smoke as the water plummets 192 metres into a spectacular gorge. It is from this smoke that Semonkong – The Place of Smoke – gets its name. In the gorge off the falls you will find the rare endangered bearded vulture and also at Semonkong lodge you will find the breading colony of the Southern Bald Ibis. This will be a must for all bird lovers. In an effort to empower our local community; Semonkong Lodge, “Lesotho Tourism Development Corporation” & “Skill share International” have trained unemployed men & woman to be proper tour guides with first aid courses! The following routes are direct results from this project. The routes/tours were planned, researched & developed by the guides themselves & all the money goes directly to them! Go ahead, book a tour & feed a family or help pay a child’s school fees! In the morning for all non-trekkers we leave Malealea Lodge at 09:00 in the morning and make our way to Semonkong on a very scenic route into deep Lesotho country. In the late afternoon we arrive at the lodge and will then meet up with the locals in this area. (Optional activity in Semonkong: Bar hopping in the village, famous local fun activity). (B,L,D)

Day 6: Semonkong

After a lovely breakfast there will be a full day off activity’s for the non-trekkers. Unforgettable Abseiling at Maletsunyane Falls at own expense (Guinness world record), stunning hike to Maletsunyane Falls, one day pony trekking. At lunch our traveling partners will arrive from the Pony Trekking. (B,L,D) Bearded Vulture

Day 7: Theba Tseka via Mohale Dam, 245km/4.5 Hours

Then after a long night of store telling from all the adventures from the trekking we start to make our way to Theba Tseka. On our way we will pass the Mohale dam, this will be one of the highlights of the trip. Today we will also be passing by numerous villages on our way to our accommodation for the night. (B,L) Dinner own expense.

Day 8: Northern Leshoto Lodge, 214km/3.5 Hours

We make our way to Northern Lesotho, pass the scenic Katse Dam where we do spent some time and after lunch make our way north. We will cross the Mafika Lisiu Pass (2950m) and also the Bokong Nature Reserve. After the pass we will cross the Maloti range and then arrive at our accommodation for the night. (B,L,D)

Day 9-10: Witsieshoek, 135km/Hours

Today our stop will be the famous Golden Gate area in South Africa. But first we have to stop at the border for a photo or two. After crossing the border into South Africa and admire the landscape of the Northern Drakensberg. Around this area we will have amazing view over the Royal Natal National Park. We will do a hike up the gorge and admire the surrounding area. We will spend a full day in the park. (B,L,D)

Day 11-12: Mlilwane Nature Reserve. Traditional Huts, 431km/5.5 Hours

After breakfast our next stop is Mlilwane, Swaziland’s pioneer conservation area, is a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in Swaziland’s “Valley of Heaven” (the Ezulwini Valley) in between Mbabane and Manzini. With 24-hour access to the Sanctuary, guests are free to enjoy the neighbouring tourist hubs of Ezulwini and Malkerns, with their many unique attractions and craft shops. From the western boundary, the huge Usutu Forest provides a dramatic backdrop stretching into the distant hills. We have a day hike that we will take part. (B,L) Dinner own expense.

Day 13: Hlane Royal National Park – Swaziland, Traditional Huts, 93km/2 Hours

We depart Mlilwane and travel north to Hlane Royal National Park. Crossing the mountains we enter Hlane Royal National Park which is home to lion, elephant, white rhino and diverse birdlife. The 30,000 hectare Nature Reserve has a wide variety of optional activities available. The Hlane nature reserve is Swaziland’s largest protected area and was originally the private hunting grounds of the Swazi Royal family. Today the area is held in a trust and managed by Big Game Parks. The lions are housed in a fenced enclosure inside the game park, so it is possible to hike inside Hlane. After a day of exploring this vast wilderness area we enjoy a display of traditional Swazi dancing following dinner. (B,L,D)

Day 14: Kruger National Park, Permanent Safari Tents, 92km/ 3 Hours

Today we enter Kruger National Park, acclaimed as one of Africa’s most successful nature reserves our time here will be spent here game viewing the animal and bird species that inhabit this area. Accommodation will be in one of the rest camps in the park. Breakfast & lunch. Dinner included.

Day 15: Buffelshook, 93km/3.5 Hours

After the last game drive in Kruger National Park. With a little luck we will be able to spot the first wild dog’s on our way to our Lodge, taking in the sheer beauty of the African bush along the way. Buffelshoek Tented Bush Camp in the Manyeleti Game Reserve part of the Greater Kruger Park. We will spend 1 night here in the wild bush. (B,L,D). Bedding included.

Day 16: Arrival Johannesburg, 450km/5 Hours

After breakfast we head west to Johannesburg, on the way we will have lunch. We will arrive in the later afternoon. In the evening we will have dinner and talk about our adventure on tour. After breakfast the next day we will say farewell to our fellow traveller. (B,D)

All included:

All accommodation (spacious bow tents with mattresses), Lodge and one airport transfer, game drives and activities as per the itinerary, all meals that are indicated (B - breakfast, L - lunch, D - dinner) and tea/coffees, services of a professional guide, entry and activities included on itinerary and transport in specialized safari vehicles.

Not included:

Restaurant meals, visa, tips, curios, optional excursions beverages (alcohol, soft drinks and bottled mineral water), insurance to cover for cancellation and curtailment, medical, baggage, emergency evacuation, sleeping bag (and small pillow) on all camping safaris and flights.