Specialist Tours will give you an experience of a life time, combining the best of Scenic beauty of the Mpumalanga highveld, the Panorama view of the Graskop area, some action adventure opportunities including the big swing over the Graskop Gorge, to the very best wildlife experience in a private game reserve, and catching your breath in 5 star country luxury.
Specialist tours do not just organize a tour, but also ensure that you will have an experience you never forget. We will be with you from arrival to departure. Although the venues where we sleep over will all be fixed, we will give you maximum flexibility during every day to make sure you enjoy every moment.
The route has been carefully planned to ensure that we do not travel more than 4.5 hours per day, when moving from point A to B. Once at your destination it can change, for example going on 2 x 3 hour game drives on a day. We have therefore planned the 6 days, 5 nights trip, to ensure you do not only experience it all, but also have time to spend at the different venues, recover from a drive, and experience a holiday, not a race against time and distance to travel.
Day 1: Arrival /Mpumalanga Highlands
Guests will be met on arrival at O.R. Tambo International Airport or any other location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria. From here the tour travels east to the village of Dullstroom. This is normally a 2.5 hour drive, but there are 1 or 2 stops on the route to get you into the South Africa holiday mood. Depending on our departure time from Johannesburg/ Pretoria, we plan to arrive in Dullstroom during the afternoon, for you to still enjoy the town and natural scenic beauty of the area. We will visit the Dullstroom Bird of Prey & Rehabilitation Centre, just outside the Town. Here you will get a close up view of how raptors fly and hunt. You will be amazed at how agile and graceful these birds are in flight and the accompanying educational talk is very enlightening. We will aim to attend the 2:30 display, which last about an hour after which we will book into our Hotel.
This area is best known for its trout fishing but is also a “small weekend breakaway” for those who want to get away from City life. There are many little shops to get into the South African feeling. For those who do not want to do the small store shopping we can arrange craft beer, whiskey, and gin tasting.
There is a range of accommodation options available, depending on availability we will stay over at either The Highlander Luxury Country hotel or at Critchley Hackle Lodge. The accommodation include dinner, bed & breakfast.
Day 2: The Panorama route Via the long Tom pass to Graskop area
We will leave just after breakfast on about a 2 to 2.5 hour journey to Graskop, via the beautiful 50km Long Tom pass, providing time for short stops to enjoy the amazing views over the Lowveld, which will give you an indication of what await the rest of the day. The Long Tom pass gets it’s name from the Long Tom cannons, used during the Anglo-Boer war. This was originally the route followed by pioneer wagon drivers transporting goods from Mozambique to Lydenburg. We will travel through the little town of Sabie to Graskop.
The Graskop area is where we will spend this unforgettable day to experience the tranquillity of the lowveld and some of the best scenic beauty you will find in the country.
Here visits are made to the Blyde River Gorge, dominated by the triplet peaks of the Three Rondavels and Bourke’s Luck, where the unique geological features of the potholes can be seen. God’s Window is the next stop. It is a cleft in the edge of the escarpment from where magnificent views of the Lowveld can be enjoyed. God’s Window is situated in a patch of indigenous forest where many flowering and aromatic plants flourish. If time permit, we will also visit the well known Mac Mac waterfalls in the area.
Today is also our first opportunity for some action adventure.
The Graskop Gorge Lift
The viewing lift takes visitors 51 metres down the face of the gorge into the forest below, where wooden walkways & suspension bridges meander along a 600 meter trail through the indigenous forest with interactive exhibits.
The big swing
Now incorporated into the Graskop Gorge Lift Centre, the Big Swing is the world’s highest cable gorge swing.
The experience is very different to a bungee-jump because participants are strapped in an upright position in a full safety harness. Being upright enables them to enjoy the magnificent views – that is if they can keep their eyes open as they do a 70-metre freefall at 140km/h in under three seconds.
Overnight: After a very busy day, hopefully with some of the team members on a high after doing the big swing we will travel a short 45 minute drive through the little town of Hazyview to overnight at Highgrove house.
Highgrove House, situated on a 64 hectare (158 acres) farm, combines distinctive accommodation in Mpumalanga along with gourmet cuisine and a hideaway pastoral setting offering sweeping views over the Mpumalanga Lowveld valley.
As the guest list for accommodation is limited to just sixteen people, 8 garden suites, personal service is assured. Best small boutique hotel for several years in South Africa. This is a venue that you will always want to return to, and we will do that by sleeping over on the last day of your magic Mpumalanga trip as well.
Day 3: Hazyview and Kruger
We will have an early breakfast, in order to visit the Elephant Sanctuary, and take the early morning 8 o’clock guided tour.
Hazyview Elephant Sanctuary has African elephants and offers an interactive elephant experience. We offer hands-on educational elephant interactions with smaller groups of people. This provides our guests with a far more intimate experience with the elephants. Our dedicated staff is committed to the use of positive reinforcement elephant training methods and as a result, we have relaxed elephants who enjoy interacting with our guests.
Guests are guided in small groups on foot through The Elephant Sanctuary. Guides will provide in-depth information and insight into African elephants. You will be introduced to our elephants in the forest area, and here you will be able to touch and interact with the elephants. You will see the special relationship that the elephant handlers share with their elephants and become a part of it.
After our “elephant experience” which should be at around 10 o’clock, we have only an hour’s drive to the Kruger National Parks Kruger Gate. It is now time to get into the African bush and game drives and to go on Safari.
We will enter the Kruger National Park through the Kruger Gate, starting to travel through the park in a Northerly direction. The biggest camp, Skukuza, is only 12km into the Park, we will do a short stop for comfort break and to visit the shop. From there we travel North, with a stop at the Tshokwane picknick spot. Although this is only a 50km drive, it can take over 2 hours, depending on what we experience on the route. After a short stop we continue to the SATARA camp, another 50km north, again about a 2 hours drive. We will also do a short stop at SATARA, after which we travel west for about 50km to exit the park at the Orpen Gate.
Just out the Orpen Gate we immediately turn into the Manyeleti Private Game Reserve. All these private reserves form part of the bigger Kruger National Park, in the sense that there is no fencing between them. Animals move freely “across borders”. The reserves are however privately own, offer luxury and special service to visitors in their own Safari vehicles, on roads not accessible to normal public. As there are only three lodges in the Manyeleti Game Reserve you can be sure to enjoy an exclusive experience guaranteeing an absolutely unforgettable time in the African bush!
Honeyguide Safari Camp
The 24 East African styled tents, divided in two different camps, offer you an authentic safari experience. The tents are comfortably furnished with double or twin beds, cotton sheets and damask linen and en-suite bathrooms. Mantobeni is the ideal destination for couples whereas Khoka Moya also accommodates families.
This will be home for the next 2 nights.
Day 4: Safari with Honeyguide
The Stay at Honeyguide Camp, is full board. After breakfast the guides will take you on Safari for about a 3 hour drive in their open vehicles. We return to relax over lunch, with another 3 hour game drive in the afternoon.
There will be one or two other “specials” you can be sure of as part of this exclusive experience during your stay. But you will have to come and see for yourself.
Day 5: Safari with Honeyguide, Kruger Park
After the morning drive, it is time to check out and head for our last sleep over. The plan is to again make maximum use of time in the Kruger, we will therefore again travel through the Kruger National Park and stay over at Highgrove house, where we did also spend our 2nd night. We will arrive late afternoon, early evening, in time for you to relax after a lot of Safari driving and enjoy a 5 course home made meal.
Day 6: Travel back to Johannesburg/ Pretoria.
The drive back to Johannesburg or Pretoria is around 4,5 hours. We do have the option to visit the world known Sudwala caves on our way back, which is about a 2 hours stop, including a guided tour through the caves.
This day’s events are flexible, it depend purely on your needs of time of arrival in Johannesburg, if you have departing flights.
Specialist Tours will gladly assist you with the relevant accommodation if you need to stay over before departing back home, or even better, extending your South African stay with a tour to Cape Town or any one of the other options available.
All inclusive rates for this 6 days, 5 nights safari is available from R 23 995 pp sharing.
Prices at resorts do vary between seasons, a quotation will be provided by Specialist Tours depending on your specific needs.
*SPECIAL for group of 10-12 people that book out the safari section of the camp: R17 295.