South Africa’s North & Highlights of Mozambique
18-Day Self-Drive Tour, Accommodated
Number of Participants: Individual
Tour Price: from 24,900 ZAR pp sharing
Single Supplement: from 14,000 ZAR
This 18 day self drive tour is for all those wanting to combine impressive game viewing in the Kruger National Park with the best beaches and dive regions of Southern Africa. After the civil war, Mozambique is now on the way to a better future. The diving regions are world famous and the abundance of fish in the Indian Ocean is legendary amongst deep-sea fishers. The beaches and the Portuguese influenced food are another good reason to visit Mozambique.
Day 1-6; South Africa
- Johannesburg: Gandhi Square, Soweto, Gold Reef City, Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Constitution Hill, Newtown
- Pretoria: President Paul Kruger House, Melrose House, Transvaal Museum of Natural History, Union Buildings, Voortrekker Monument, Pretoria Botanical Gardens
- Panorama Route: Blyde River Canyon, God´s Window, Bourke´s Luck Potholes
- Kruger National Park: Game drives, guided bush walks
Day 7-15; Mozambique
- Chidenguele: Relaxing, snorkeling
- Inhambane: Markets, trade port
- Praia da Barra: Sea safari, swimming with dolphins and whale sharks, diving
- Maputo: Visit the station, the fort, the seafront and museums
Day 16-17; Swaziland
- Mbabane: Hiking, excursion to the Milwane Wildlife Sancturary, candle factory
We have visited all the below mentioned lodges, guesthouses and camps and can therefore recommend them from own experience. In order not to only “tick off” all the points of interest but to actually learn more about the visited places, the country and its people, we do not book our clients into big and anonymous lodges, hotels and resort. Instead, we offer you owner-managed guesthouses and private lodges where you more likely have the chance of getting to know more about Mozambique while interacting with the staff and owners.
Day 1 Arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa - Pretoria, South Africa
Distance approx. 70 km; driving time approx. 1h
After your arrival in Johannesburg you pick up your rental car and drive to the Brooks Cottage in Pretoria. The rest of the day is at leisure and you can either relax at the guest house or do a half-day trip to explore Johannesburg or Pretoria.
Day 2-3 Johannesburg, South Africa - Panorama Route, South Africa
Distance on day 2 approx. 450-500 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
Through the provinces of Gauteng and Mpumalanga you drive in a northerly direction where you will pass through Dullstroom, Lydenburg and Ohrigstad before heading over the Abel Erasmus Pass to Hoedspruit. You then reach the Blyde River Wilderness Lodge where you spend the rest of the day. The next day you have enough time to go sightseeing along the Panorama Route where you can visit the Blyde River Canyon, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The Blyde River Wilderness Lodge also serves as a good starting point for a visit of the Northern Drakensberg. You will spend both nights at the Blyde River Wilderness Lodge.
Day 4-6 Kruger National Park, South Africa
Distance on day 4 approx. 200 km; driving time approx. 6-7h (incl. game drives)
Distance on day 5 approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 6h
Distance on day 6 depends on choice of route
You will enter the Kruger National Park at the Orpen Gate and drive in a northerly direction to the Olifants Rest Camp, where you will overnight in one of the bungalows. The following day you will spend game viewing in the world famous Kruger National Park. On your way to Skukuza where you will spend the night, you will hopefully be able to spot the “Big Five” (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). The next day you continue further south before you reach the Lower Sabie Rest Camp where you will overnight. At all the rest camps you have the possibility of booking night game drives (in order to see the nocturnal animals) as well as guided bush walks.
Breakfast (day 4)
You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at one of the restaurants at the camp or otherwise bring your own supply along in order to cater for yourself.
Please note: In high season some of the camps mentioned above could be fully booked. In this case we would consult you and then book suitable alternative accommodation.
Day 7-8 Kruger National Park, South Africa - Chidenguele, Mozambique
Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
With some good memories of incredible game sightings, you exit the park through the Crocodile Bridge Gate. At Komatipoort you cross the border to Mozambique and via Maputo you make your way to Chidenguele. Situated at the banks of Nhambavale Lake, the Naara Eco Lodge overlooks the lake and the untouched dune forests.
It’s also only about 2 km to the Indian Ocean, where you can snorkel or scuba dive or just relax at the beach. You will spend two nights in a luxury tent at the Naara Eco Lodge.
Breakfast (day 8)
Day 9-13 Inhambane / Praia da Barra, Mozambique
Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
After breakfast you make your way along the coast in a northerly direction to Praia da Barra, which is not far from the seaport Inhambane. The diving sites in this region are legendary and Inhambane with all its markets and its history as a trade port of the Indian Ocean is also worth visiting. You can also partake in a sea-safari or go swimming with dolphins and whale sharks. Apart from that you can just relax or explore the surroundings on foot or by quad bike. You will overnight in one of only five rooms at the Blue Footprint Eco Lodge. Activities including as excursions, boat cruises, scuba diving and snorkelling can be booked on site and will be conducted by local operators.
Day 14-15 Inhambane, Mozambique - Maputo, Mozambique
Distance on day 14 approx. 500 km; driving time approx. 7-8h
In a southerly direction you head to Maputo, the vibrant capital of the former Portuguese colony. The next day you have time to visit Laurenco Marques, as Maputo used to be called. The colonial structure of the station, the fort (which is the oldest building in the city), the seafront and all the museums are well worth visiting. You will overnight at the Southern Sun Maputo.
Day 16-17 Maputo, Mozambique - Malkerns, Swaziland
Distance on day 16 approx. 200-250 km; driving time approx. 3-4h
You leave behind the lively capital city of Mozambique, crossing the border at Namaacha into Swaziland. You will drive via Manzini where you can visit the colourful markets and souvenirs shops with all its hand-made crafts. Swaziland is by far more pastoral compared to South Africa and the region around Mbabane is perfect for hiking in the mountains and excursions to the Milwane Wildlife Sanctuary. You will overnight at the Umdoni Guesthouse which is close to a candle factory. Here you cannot only buy the candles but also watch the workers making them.
Day 18 Malkerns, Swaziland - Johannesburg, South Africa
Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5-6h
After one last „African“ breakfast you make your way back to Johannesburg where you return your rental car at the airport. You will board the plane for your flight back home where you will arrive with a lot of new impressions and experiences.
- Selfdrive tour according to the itinerary
- 17 nights accommodation in guesthouses, chalets, bungalows and lodges
as indicated in the itinerary
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary
- Flights (international and domestic)
- Rental car (please contact us for a quote)
- Meals not indicated in the itinerary
- Beverages (alcohol and soft drinks)
- Possible toll- and crossing border fees
- National Park fees
- Optional activities
- Visa, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance
How safe is a self drive tour in South Africa & Mozambique?
- In general South Africa and Mozambique are nota lot more dangerous than other countries in the world. Most crimes and acts of violence take place in the townships of bigger cities. Public areas around shopping centres, restaurants, banks etc. are very safe. Nevertheless you should stick to a couple of rules to avoid risky or dangerous situations. This includes staying away from dodgy areas, walking in the dark, carrying a lot of cash or expensive cameras on you, wearing flashy jewellery and leaving bags or valuables in the car.
What is the infrastructure like (road conditions, shops, petrol stations)?
- South Africa in general has a very good infrastructure and with the exception of private roads and some roads in the national parks, most of the roads are tarred.
- Mozambique’s infrastructure is still growing. While the main road along the coast is a good tarred road the smaller roads towards the coast are often gravel or sand roads. There are only very few roads sings in Mozambique.
- All major roads and highways have petrol stations en-route.
- In South Africa there are more than enough different and well-stocked shops available and many petrol stations also have a little convenience shop. In Mozambique you will find less shops en-route and only a few petrol stations sell snacks and drinks.
On which side of the road will I be driving?
- In Southern Africa vehicles are right-hand drives hence driving is done on the left-hand side of the roads.
Do I need an international driver’s licence?
- According to the law, all you need is a valid driver’s licence which has been issued in English and has a photo thereon. If your national driver’s licence has not been issued in English or does not have a photo, you need an international driver’s licence.
- As per the terms and conditions of the rental car companies, only a valid national driver’s licence and a credit cardare required.
Can I enter the national parks in South Africa with the rental car?
- Most roads within the national parks are tarred or good gravel and all are accessible to rental cars. Please however take note that you have to stick to the rules of the national parks at all time. These include: remaining in your vehicle unless you are in a designated area, sticking to the speed limit of 50 km/h on tar and 40 km/h on gravel roadsand not littering.
- Most national parks offer guided game drives in open safari vehicles accompanied by a professional ranger. Night drives are especially recommendable if you are interested in seeing the nocturnal animals. All game drives can be booked at the camps directly.
How will I be able to find my way around?
- Along with your travel documents you will receive a voucher that includes detailed directions and contact details for all the pre-booked accommodation.
- Some rental car companies provide road maps but as not all of them do, it is advisable to bring a good map with a map scale of at least 1:1,5 mill. with you.
What meals are included and what food can be expected on tour?
- Meals are included as indicated in the itinerary.
- Breakfast usually consists of a full English breakfast and cereals, toast,cheese, jam, fruits, juices, tea, coffee.
- Since most of the days are spent on the road or in the national parks, no lunches have been included.
- As South Africa is well-known for its great cuisine and there is such a big variety of different restaurants, dinner has been excluded on most days. This allows you to make your own choices and to enjoy different dining experiences. Most restaurants offer an à la carte menu with different meat, poultry, fish, rice, pasta and vegetable dishes.
- Mozambique is especially famous for its fresh sea food. As all the included accommodations have good restaurants and the selection of restaurants in the small beach villages is rather limited, dinner is included during your beach stay.
What about the money matter?
- You can either exchange your own currency for South African Rand at one of the exchange bureausat the airport or in town or you can go to an ATM and draw South African Rand at the current rate of exchange. Please note that you need a Maestro card or any credit card (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club) andyour pin code to draw money.
- Credit cards are also widely accepted in South Africa but as there are still some shops and petrol stations that do not accept credit cards, make sure you always have some cash on hand.
- In Mozambique you can pay with South African Rand or exchange your own currency for Meticais at one of the exchange bureaus in town. Furthermore most ATM’s in town will allow you to draw Meticais with your credit card (pin code needed).
Do I need vaccinations for this self drive tour?
- As the Kruger Park and Mozambique are situated within a malaria area, we would recommend some precautions. Please speak to your doctor or travel clinic about the different prophylaxis and their effects and side effects.
- Although none of the countries visited on tour require proof of immunization against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio and Hepatitis A & B, we nevertheless recommend those vaccinations.