The Indian Ocean Big 5 Safari Tour (South Africa, Mozambique) Overview
The fully guided, 15 days Indian Ocean & Safari Tour combines the adventure of exciting safari drives observing Africa's untamed wildlife with the beauty and tranquillity of Mozambique's magnificent beaches. The tour departs and ends in Johannesburg, South Africa, with accommodation being provided in chalets and permanent tented camps. Tour highlights in South Africa and Mozambique include the Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields, the beautiful beaches of Mozambique and these of the KwaZulu-Natal coastline, Big Five wildlife viewing at the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve as well as at the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
- Kwa-Zulu Natal Battlefields
- beautiful beaches of Mozambique
- beaches along the KwaZulu-Natal coastline
- Big Five wildlife viewing at the Umfolozi-Hluhluwe Game Reserve, KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Duration: 14 days
- Group Size: maximum ten people
- Type of Safari: Semi -participation
- Vehicle: 4x4 Land Cruiser
- Accommodation: During 13 nights of your safari, you will stay in mid-range Lodges, Chalets and Tented Lodges.
Accommodation is situated either in National Parks, on the banks of a river, or in other places of interest. Most accommodation options have a private bathroom with a shower and toilet, while others have shared ablutions available. Some properties are equipped with swimming pools and bar areas.
Day 1: Johannesburg to Piet Retief
Our tours start in Johannesburg, the bustling capital of South Africa; and then we head south-east for the Kwa-Zulu Natal battlefields to the small, historical town of Piet Retief. Situated in South Eastern corner of Mpumalanga, Piet Retief is surrounded by beautiful plantations of Bluegum and Wattle trees.
Day 2 & 3: Umfolozi/Hluhluwe, South Africa
An early morning departure, we head through the Battlefields of Kwa-Zulu Natal to the game reserve of Hluhluwe/Umfolozi. As the home of Operation Rhino in the 1950s and 60s, the Park became world-renowned for its white rhino conservation. Other areas of focus for which Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park is famed include wilderness trails which originated in Imfolozi in the 1950s and its renowned Game Capture unit recently upgraded into the Centenary Capture Centre, a benchmark for animal capture and sustainable utilization throughout Africa. The Park covers some 96 000 ha and contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora. On Day 3 we enter the park for a safari drive through the ‘Big 5’ country. After a memorable drive, we head back to our accommodation.
Day 4: St. Lucia, South Africa
After breakfast, we leave the lodge and take a short drive back through the game reserve for the last animal sightings for a while. Leaving the park we head to St. Lucia, a world heritage site. Isimangaliso (The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park) - declared a World Heritage Site in late 1999 - is an aggregation of numerous, singular natural wonders deemed crucial to the future of the global community. Each offers its own unique features and activities for those in love with the Great Outdoors. The rest of the day is free to explore the area or take a relaxing boat cruise on the lake. Spectacular views of the ocean and lake- system are complemented by likely sightings of leopard, antelope, hippo, crocodile and bush pig. Birding delights are guaranteed!
Day 5 & 6: Kosi Bay, South Africa
Today we head north to Kosi Bay. Kosi Bay often described as the last outpost of untouched African paradise, pristine beauty as God had originally created. Age old traditions passed down by generations of tribal existence still continue to this day in untainted originality. Ancient fishing kraals erected and tendered by the resourceful Tonga people provide sustainable catches that do not deplete the fish population. Kosi Bay was described by one of the first scientists to explore this region as "A wonderful aquarium and the most gorgeous aviary". Kosi Bay's pristine wealth of beauty and natural resources has to be seen with the physical eye to be fully appreciated. Enjoy the next day relaxing at the beach or take part in some of the exciting optional activities offered at the lodge.
Day 7: Maputo, Mozambique
After breakfast, we cross the border into Mozambique. We reach the capital just after lunch and will conduct a short tour of this vibrant city. Maputo (previously Lourenzo Marques) is the sprawling capital of Mozambique. Several rivers meet the sea in Maputo and two islands (Inhaca and Portuguese Island) lie just off the coast. Highlights of the city of Maputo include Maputo's most important landmark is the Fort of Nossa Senhora da Conceicao (Our Lady of Conception) which was the nucleus of the original settlement. Another imposing building is the Central Railway Station, an enormous structure looking more like a palace for kings, than a siding for commuters.
Day 8 & 9: Inhambane, Mozambique
Today we carry on north, leaving bustling Maputo and we head to the coastal town of Inhambane. Here we spend the day exploring the rock pools and the beach. Relax and soak up the last bit of Mozambique sunshine. Inhambane is an ancient trading port. We visit the Mercardo (market) famous for vegetables and fish. Catch a Dhow and take a lazy cruise across the bay for lunch and a ‘cerveja’ (beer) in the town of Maxixe or visit the old Catholic church in Inhambane.
Day 10: Limpopo Transfrontier Park, Mozambique
After breakfast, we leave the paradise of Xai-Xai behind us and drive in a north-westerly direction towards Massingir.
Day 11 & 12: Kruger National Park, South Africa
An early morning getaway takes us back into South Africa through the Giriyondo gate into the world-renowned Kruger National Park - South Africa’s most famous and biggest game reserve. Kruger National Park has nearly 2 million hectares of the unrivalled diversity of life forms that fuses with historical and archaeological sights - this is real Africa. The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. Truly the flagship of the South African National Parks, Kruger is home to an impressive number of species: 336 trees, 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 114 reptiles, 507 birds and 147 mammals.
The following day we depart the camp at sunrise for a full day of wildlife viewing in the park with the chance of spotting the ‘Big 5’ again, while making our way to one of the southern camps. Our last night in the park will be enjoyed around the campfire and typical South African Braai (BBQ).
Day 13: Johannesburg, South Africa
Today we depart for Johannesburg, where you have the evening at leisure.
Day 14: Tour ends in Johannesburg, South Africa
The tour ends after breakfast this morning. Hope to see you again soon.