Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

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Trip Overview

Highlights & Details

Camper Nights

$

for 2 persons,
costs in May 2018

The Village in Hatfield

A small guesthouse in Pretoria with its room in small houses was a perfect fit for the first night before the drive up to the Blyde River Canyon. For us it was just an overnight stop.


$ 76 per night


> Explore this Hotel

Forever Resort Blyde River

A whole camping resort with spacious camping sites under the trees. In our travel time a little bit cold, but still very nice. We had our own braai (BBQ) and a lamp on the site as well as a close ablution housing.


$ 26 per night


> Explore this Camping

Kruger NP, Orpen Camp

A small campsite in the middle of Kruger NP was the first night for us. After a half day drive with perfect animal encounters we were exhausted and just had a little BBQ on our own braai. There is no restaurant in the camp, only a little shop.


It’s good to book several camps at different spots in the park to find diverse animals in their preferred living area. All campsites in Kruger NP can be booked through sanparks.org.


$ 25 per night


> Explore Orpen Camp

Kruger NP, Skukuza Camp

Skukuza Camp is probably the most popular camp in Kruger NP and its facilities are very comfortable. We recommend to enjoy a delicious beef steak at the Cattle Baron Restaurant in the camp.


$ 25 per night


> Explore Skukuza Camp

Kruger NP, Pretoriuskop

This camp is in the south-western part of Kruger NP located. We spent only one night there and could also stayed directly at the next camp Berg-en-Dal, as the only restaurant on this camp was the Wimpy Fast Food chain. But for an overnight stop it was ok.


$ 25 per night


> Explore Pretoriuskop Camp

Kruger NP, Berg-en-Dal

Situated in the south of Kruger NP, this camp is surrounded by dry riverbeds and a good place to spot rhinos. For us it was the last stop in Kruger NP before we drove through Malelane Gate out. The restaurant as well as the Sunset Drive were awesome.


$ 25 per night


> Explore Berg-en-Dal Camp

Praia do Bilene or Xai-Xai

As the way from Kruger NP to Tofo Beach in the middle of Mozambique is to long to drive in one day we stopped in Praia do Bilene. It’s not the easiest place to arrive due to its sandy roads, so we would recommend to stay at a campsite in Xai-Xai.

Casa na Praia

In Tofo Beach we upgraded our accommodation from camping to a very nice beach bungalow. After almost 2 weeks in the camper we were grateful for a proper shower and a wonderful view over the beach with lovely breakfast.


$ 80 per night


> Explore this hotel

Scuba Adventures

Our campsite in Ponta do Ouro was directly next to the dive shop we joined for some rough but beautiful dives. It was next to the beach and the restaurant.


$ 32 per night


> Explore this camp

Bahati Game Farm

In Hluhluwe we selected this game farm for our next nights in the camper. Its situated close to the Hluhluwe NP and also St. Lucia was only an hour away by car. Our booked luxury stand was so hidden in the bushes of the camp, that we didn’t even see any other campers and we had our own bath hut and a roof for the camper – very comfortable.


$ 28 per night


> Explore this Game Farm

Mlilwane Nature Reserve

Our short trip to Swaziland or better the Kingdom of eSwatini was fantastic. We stayed at the Mlilwane Nature Reserve restcamp. This national park is very different as there are no wildcats and you can explore the park by foot, bike or even on a horseback. The camp has a fine restaurant and several animals walking through it every time.


$ 21 per night


> Explore Mlilwane Camp

Travelling

$

for 2 persons,
costs in May 2018

Zurich – Johannesburg

via Dubai
Emirates Airlines
15.25 – 23.45 Zurich – Dubai
04.05 – 10.15 Dubai – Johannesburg
$ 440 (one way)

Joburg – Blyde River

by Camper (4×4)
4h 20min

Blyde Canyon – Kruger NP

by Camper (4×4)
2h 30min
Phabeni Gate – Orpen Camp

Tipp: You need definitely longer due to animal encounters directly after Phabeni Gate in Kruger NP. Calculate with stop times and max. 50km/h.

Kruger NP – Driving safari

by Camper (4×4)
Day 1: Phabeni Gate – Thokwane Picnic – Satara – Orpen Camp
Day 2: Orpen – Satara – Tshokwane Picnic – Skukuza
Day 3: Skukuza – Lower Sabie – Skukuza
Day 4: Skukuza – Afsaal Picnic – Pretoriuskop
Day 5: Pretoriuskop – Afsaal Picnic – Berg-en-Dal
Day 6: Berg-en-Dal – Afsaal Picnic – Berg-en-Dal
Day 7: Berg-en-Dal – Malelane Gate


Tipp: We needed the whole day for animal encounters. And be aware that the camp gate closes at a certain time (written on the camp map).

Kruger NP – Xai-Xai

by Camper (4×4)
6h
334km
Rough street for 120km

Border cross at Ressano Garcia is dodgy. A lot of (un)officials try to help you. Just respond to officials in uniform. Visa on Arrival was no problem with the swiss passport.

Tipp: Better drive from Ressano Garcia border to Maputo and than northward to Xai-Xai to avoid a bumpy sandroad and drive on proper highways.

Xai-Xai – Tofo Beach

by Camper (4×4)
4h 10min
294km

Tofo Beach – Xai-Xai

by Camper (4×4)
4h 10min
294km

Xai-Xai – Ponta do Ouro

by Camper (4×4)
6h 15min
390km

Tipp: In May 2018 the road from Maputo to Ponta do Ouro was almost finished, so there was no need and faster way with the famous ferry in Maputo. Google Maps (also offline) is pretty accurate.

Ponta do Ouro – Hluhluwe

by Camper (4×4)
2h 50min
185km

Border cross at Kosi Bay is easy and fast.

Hluhluwe – Mlilwane

by Camper (4×4)
3h 30min
270km

Border cross to Swaziland at Golela is easy and uncomplicated. Free Visa on Arrival with the swiss passport.

Mlilwane – Johannesburg

by Camper (4×4)
4h 20min
394km

Border cross to South Africa at Ngwenya is easy and uncomplicated.

Activities

$

for 2 persons,
costs in May 2018

Blyde River Canyon

We visited several view points to see the wonderful variety of the Blyde River Canyon:

  • Lone Creek Falls
  • God’s Window
  • Three Rondavells
  • Brouke’s Luck Potholes


  • $ 17 entrance

    Kruger NP

    We spent 6 full days at the Kruger NP and enjoyed every second of it. In May its winter and therefor the bushes are thin and the grass is low. We made so many fascinating animal encounters during our stay!

    $ 55 per day
    $ 51 for a sunset drive

    Diving in Tofo Beach

    Diving with Diversity Diving
    Ocean Safari – we swam with 4 Whale Sharks!


    $ 204 for 4 dives
    $ 102 for 3h of Ocean Safari


    > Explore our favourite Dive Sites

    Diving in Ponta do Ouro

    Diving with Scuba Adventures
    $ 197 for 8 dives


    > Explore our favourite Dive Sites

    Hluhluwe NP

    Our day trip to the Hluhluwe Nationalpark was very rewarding. We had very close animal encounters and a very special one with a rhino and its calf. The Zulu King’s hunting ground is a wonderful game park with a perfect view point at the restaurant on the hill.

    $ 35 entrance

    Hippo & Croc Boatcruise

    St. Lucia in South Africa is famous for its Hippo and Croc encounters. We booked a sunset cruise with Advantage Tours and were very happy with our choice. The 2 hours on the river and lake of St. Lucia were amazing. We got close to hippos and learned a lot about them from an experienced captain.


    $ 40 for 2h tour


    > Explore Advantage Tours

    Whale Watching in St. Lucia

    The place to be in season when the big humpback whales arrive at the coast. We just got the beginning of the season early june. But still there is a chance to spot them in the ocean and if not, you get some of your money back.


    $ 165 for 3h tour


    > Explore Advantage Tours

    Mlilwane Nature Reserve

    A beautiful nature reserve in Swaziland which is so different to the other national parks in South Africa. Due to the reason that no wildcats are living in that park, you can explore the park by foot, bike or even on a horseback. Its nature and views are stunning.


    $ 27 for 3 days
    $ 62 for horseback riding

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Canyon Views

    Day 1-2: Blyde River Canyon
    There are several stops worth taking around the Blyde River Canyon. There is the Lone Creek Fall which is a beautiful waterfall including a little lake and surrounded by exotic plants.

    Then there is God’s Window which is a lookout into the canyon that is designed like a botanical garden. Another lookout is called Three Rondavells from where you can see quite a large piece of the canyon including the river that has created it.

    And then there is Brouke’s Luck Potholes where you can actually go down to the river and as close to the waterfalls as you like.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Safari Drives

    Day 2-8: Kruger NP
    Kruger is outstanding in many ways. Not only does it offer an immense variety of wildlife including elephants, rhinos, hippos, leopards, cheetahs and lions but as the park is so big it could be a country of its own, those animals can live life in complete wildness.

    Combined with the fact that you can drive yourself you can become an explorer again going out into the wild every day trying to hunt with your camera for some exotic animals.

    Staying overnight in the camps is also highly recommended as you get to hear the lions roaring at night, hyenas passing by at the fence and in the morning not only will you get waken up by the singing birds but also some pumbas and monkeys could pass by.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Whale Sharks

    Day 8-15: Tofo Beach
    Tofo Beach is probably the most north your rental station will allow you to drive. But it is absolutely worth it. Because you will find white sandy beaches to relax, play beachvolleyball, go surfing and even diving. And then there are those super friendly people with their little restaurants set in small shanties that serve food which is simply outstanding. Also, accommodations are quite reasonable priced. Breakfast with warm sand under your feet and a magnificent view over the ocean – how delicate.

    On an ocean safari you get the chance to meet the biggest fish in the sea. Impressive how the Whale Shark – a fish 12m in length – is so calm and peaceful and just feeds on plankton and small fishes.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Rough diving

    Day 15-20: Ponta do Ouro
    As Ponta is located right next to the border of South Africa it is relatively easy to reach. Unfortunately, you still need a 4×4 as the last bit of way is a deep sandy road.

    Also diving in Ponta is not too easy as you have to get past the big waves with a zodiac (motorized rubber boat) first and then deal with the current and the cold water. But once you made it down there it is beautiful. The corals are magnificent and also the variety of fish is quite big.

    And when there is too much wind to dive, those are the days of the kite surfers as the beach of Ponta with its sandy breaks and the strong wind offers quite ideal conditions.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Zulu’s Hunting Ground

    Day 20-21: Hluhluwe NP
    Not even the Zulu King is hunting in this national park anymore and that’s probably for the best of everyone as the park is absolutely beautiful. It is not as big as Kruger NP but still of a remarkable size and the animal variety is impressive.

    You can drive yourself through the park but be careful when an elephant is facing you, flapping his ears and pawing with his forefeet. Because there are reports and YouTube videos of cars that got turned over by an annoyed elephant. But apart from those giants and maybe a protective rhino mother you have nothing to worry about. Again, a 4×4 or at least a SUV is recommended as otherwise some parts of the park cannot be driven to.

    There are also lots of harmless animals in this park. You can spot lots of funny pumbas, beautiful zebras and Bambi like impalas.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Hippo Mania

    Day 21-23: St. Lucia
    St. Lucia has many things to offer. In its wetland park you can see large groups of hippos, crocodiles and even eagles and when you drive out to the ocean you have the chance to see humpback whales and the northern right. Every year those giants travel from the Antarctica to Africa to mate and give birth and that’s when you have the chance to see them.

    Kruger, Moz & Swaziland

    Safari by Horse

    Day 23-27: Swaziland
    Crossing the border from South Africa is quite easy because most nations don’t even require a visa. And it is definitely worth going to, as the country itself is beautiful. With its mountains and forests and the cold mornings and evenings in winter it even felt a bit like Switzerland.

    The Milwane camp and wildlife park are quite different from the Kruger NP or Hluhluwe NP. As there are no wildcats living in this park you don’t have to stay in your car to experience the park. You can explore the park by walking, on a bike or even on the back of a horse. And also, when you are at the campside there are impalas, nyalas and pumbas passing by.

    Exploring the park by foot feels already special as there are still hippos and crocs around but an absolute highlight are the horseback ridings as the park is simply made for this. And while walking or riding you can spot kingfishers, impalas, nyalas, pumbas, wild beasts, zebras and crocodiles.

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