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SECRET SWAZILAND & THE PANORAMA ROUTE

An African Adventure in Swaziland, Hazyview (South Africa) & Kruger National Park

You may not be surprised if a dragon appeared from beyond the mountains, or if an epic battle between armoured horsemen played out before you. The scenery is much like you would find in a fairytale or a blockbuster movie. It is not every day you wake to find a friendly warthog on your doorstep or see the dazzle of zebra grazing on the savannah.

Swaziland encapsulates the best of Southern Africa in a nutshell. It is safe, friendly and once you have travelled the five hours (from Johannesburg Airport) to get there, the daily driving distances are minimal; a real bonus for an African destination.

Swaziland is the oldest mountain kingdom in Southern Africa and ruled by King Mswati III accompanied by his 15 wives! Small, but with vast rugged mountains, volcanic hills, waterfalls, and wild gorges, the country rewards us with the most breathtaking panoramic views. Wildlife is also a big feature and we’re likely to come close to zebra, rhinos, kudu, impala and warthog.

We continue into South Africa and travel westwards to Hazyview for six nights at the Hippo Hollow Country Estate, located between the lowveld to the east and the Drakensberg to the west. Here we walk amongst open grassland, steep cliffs and river gorges. Being so close the Kruger National Park, we take this opportunity for a walking safari. Although we are not able to seek out the ‘Big Five’ animals on foot we’ll see lots of other interesting wildlife along the way. Take the opportunity to spot the ‘Big Five’ on an optional Game Drive on your free day.



WALKING GRADES


Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain. Many of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walk will involve about 3 hours or walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.




YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

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When we visit

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Length of stay

17 nights

Price from

£ 2899

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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
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    More Info
    Status
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    Date
    25 Apr 2017
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,899
    Date
    15 Aug 2017
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £2,899
    Date
    03 Oct 2017
    Nights
    17
    Grades
    Grade 4/SS
    Depart From
    London (Heathrow)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £3,075
  • Itinerary & Map
    25 Apr 2017 - 12 May 2017

    Day 1 - In flight
    Depart London Heathrow and fly overnight to Johannesburg.

    Day 2 - Mbabane (Swaziland)
    On arrival in Johannesburg we travel by road and our journey will take approximately 6 hours, but this shouldn’t be too arduous, as we will stop frequently and you will see plenty of interesting views and observe local life along the way. On arrival at our lodge we will take a short walk to stretch our legs.

    Day 3 - Mbabane (Swaziland)
    This morning we will visit Malolotja Nature Reserve, which is one of the most impressive mountain parks in Southern Africa and the largest protected area in the kingdom. The scenery is spectacular, and can be compared to that featured in the “Lord of the Rings”, there is also an interesting variety of fauna and flora in the area. 3-4 hours, 150m ascent / 150m descent, 6½ miles (10km).

    Day 4 - Mlilwane (Swaziland)
    Today we depart for Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary; Swaziland’s pioneer conservation area, a beautiful, secluded sanctuary situated in the Ezulwini Valley, also known as “Valley of Heaven”. During the afternoon we will take a guided walking safari. Hopefully we will encounter hippo, crocodile, zebra, antelope, wildebeest, kudu, impala, warthog and an extraordinary variety of birdlife. 2½ -3 hours, 4½ miles (7km).

    Day 5 - Mlilwane (Swaziland)
    We spend the morning walking in Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, on the Sondzela Trail. Another scenic walk which involves a gentle climb of around 100m giving us a sweeping view over the southern part of the park. We are likely to see zebra and nyala during the walk. 3 hours, 100m ascent / 100m descent, 5 miles (8km).

    Day 6 - Mlilwane (Swaziland)
    Today we travel to Sibebe Rock, the largest exposed granite plateau in the world, and second only to Ayers Rock in Australia as the largest freestanding rock in the world, it really is an astonishing sight. The best view of Sibebe Rock is by climbing it, although we take the most gentle and slower ascent route, this walk will be above the advertised Grade 4. If you prefer not to climb please make your tour leader aware. The walk will take us up to 800m and will average 2.5 hours to make the ascent and 1.5 hours for the descent. Some sections will be steep, so good walking boots with plenty of grip and support are required for the walk. On the way up we enjoy some incredible views and explore various caves and waterfalls.

    Day 7 - Hlane (Swaziland)
    We travel to Hlane and take a stop en route at Swazi Candles, where you can watch candles being sculpted before your very eyes into colourful animal shapes. We will take a further stop off at a local school for Aids orphaned and vulnerable children, our Swaziland partner has been supporting the school for many years. We can spend time with the children, and help them to improve their English and social skills. Late afternoon we will take a sundowner safari, in search of elephant, rhino, lion and many more.

    Day 8 - Hlane (Swaziland)
    This morning we will explore Hlane Royal National Park on foot, on the Lusoti Bush Trail. The walk begins by crossing the Lusoti dam wall, with the possibility of seeing hippos, crocodiles and an abundance of bird species. We follow the Mlawula River, as it criss-crosses through thick fever tree forests. As we leave the river the walk begins a gradual climb of about 150m into the foothills of the Lubombo Mountains. We enjoy a refreshment stop perched on the rocks around the stunning Ebhuhleni Viewpoint. 4 hours, 150m ascent / descent, highest point 350m. This afternoon we will go on a rhino drive, we see rhino up close and sometimes on foot. This is a real highlight as this in an incredible privilege to get so close to this amazing animal.

    Day 9 - Hlane (Swaziland)
    Close to Hlane is Mbuluzi Game Reserve, which encompasses some of Swaziland’s most pristine Bush-veld with a variety of landscapes and excellent biodiversity. We will take a full day to explore this reserve, and we will see lots of wildlife along the way.

    Day 10 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    Today we say farewell to Swaziland and travel back by road to South Africa to the state of Mpumalanga and our accommodation at Hazyview for six nights.

    Day 11 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    Hazyview is a walker’s paradise and there are a great many walks available to us. In general they vary between 5-9 miles (8-14km). Today we will select a short walk, or possibly two separate short walks. A driver guide will accompany us on the walks and will not only lead the way but teach us about the flora and fauna, and tell tales of local legends.

    Day 12 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    Today we enjoy a guided game walk in Kruger National Park. Depending on the size of the group it may be necessary to split up into two separate groups as they only allow a maximum of 8 guests on each tour. The walk is both relaxed but thrilling as (with an armed guard) we track rhino, elephant and lion on foot, we also learn fascinating facts about the African Bush.

    Day 13 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    We enjoy a further day of walking in the Mpumalanga area with our driver guide.

    Day 14 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    Today is a free day where you have the opportunity to further explore the Kruger National Park on a game drive. This can be organised locally, so there is no need to inform us in advance.

    Day 15 - Hazyview (South Africa)
    We enjoy a further day of walking in the Mpumalanga area with our driver guide.

    Day 16 - In flight
    We travel by road to Johannesburg airport with en route stops for our return overnight flight to London.

    Day 17 - In flight
    Arrive in the UK.


  • Accommodation
    Hippo Hollow Country Estate, Hazyview, Mpumalanga

    On the banks of the Sabie river sits the Hippo Hollow Country Estate surrounded by the African Bush. It is well placed in being only a 10 minute drive to Kruger 
    National Park. If you are fortunate you will see hippos emerging from the water to graze on the lawn.

    Guests are accommodated in unique thatched Garden and River Chalets and Courtyard Hotel Rooms, which either overlook the beautiful gardens or the impressive Sabie River.

    A variety of delicious dishes accompanied by a selection of South African wines can be enjoyed whilst indulging in the sight of kingfishers and other beautiful water birds against the backdrop of a beautiful African sunset. A bar and outdoor swimming pool are also available. Complementary Wi-Fi is available throughout.

     

    Hlane Ndlovu Camp, Hlane Royal National Park

    Ndlovu Camp is located immediately inside Hlane National Park, our accommodation is in traditional rondavels which have en-suite facilities. Each cluster of rondavels are named after different villages and we stay in the ‘Wisteria Village’. Within Wisteria is a stunning open-air restaurant with views of a waterhole often frequented by rhino and elephants. At night sounds of lions can be heard in the distance.

    Please note Ndlovu Camp does not have electricity. The rooms are lit up by paraffin lanterns and candles in the evening. Hot water is available in all of the accommodation.

     

    Mlilwane Rest Camp , Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary

    We stay in either in the Mlilwane Rest Camp Huts, Rondavels or Beehive Huts, inside the conservation area, and all are equipped with en-suite facilities.

    We can enjoy a sundowner or savour a delicious meal at the popular Hippo Haunt Restaurant overlooking an exceptionally picturesque pool teaming with birdlife. There are no big five here but plenty of game, including hippos and zebras that may pass through if we are lucky. If you are feeling the heat you can cool off in the rest camp's swimming pool.

     

  • What's Included
    • Return flights, internal flights and transfers.
    • Halfboard with some lunches, mainly taken at the hotels.
    • All local transport and activities are included.
    • The services of a tour leader and a local guide.

  • Holiday Highlights
    • A novel Swaziland experience, one of Africa’s smallest kingdoms.
    • Game viewing at the legendary Kruger National Park.
    • Spectacular walking with some of the most beautiful scenery.

  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c4hours 30mins).
    • Flights Heathrow-Johannesburg (c11hrs) British Airways.        
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades available, please ask for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

Please select a departure date





When we visit

Spring, Summer, Autumn

Length of stay

17 nights

Price from

£ 2899

Read all reviews




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