2 nights in Phinda Mountain Lodge
Days 1 to 3 – &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
Set within easy reach of the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso / Greater St Lucia Wetland Park in northern KwaZulu-Natal, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve is known for its abundant wildlife, diversity of habitats and wide range of safari activities. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, the reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems. &Beyond Phinda is often referred to as ‘Seven Worlds of Wonder’. This fascinating variety of landscape and vegetation shelters an abundance of wildlife, including not only the Big Five but many rarer and less easily spotted species, such as the elusive cheetah or the scarce black rhino. With only a handful of lodges sharing an area of 23,000 hectares, and expert rangers and trackers in search of prime wildlife sightings, guests are assured an exclusive game viewing experience. Adding to Phinda’s wildlife charms, the marine diversity of nearby Sodwana Bay on the coast is easily accessible, with scuba diving, fishing and even turtle watching only some of the adventures available from Phinda.
Spend two nights at Mountain Lodge. Accommodation is in an air conditioned suite with ensuite bathroom comprising bath, shower, separate w.c. and twin hand basins. All suites have a sitting area, personal bar and private veranda, complete with plunge pool and romantic al fresco shower. Your stay includes three meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beers, teas and coffees, emergency medical evacuation insurance, laundry and daily lodge adventures.
Apart from the usual morning and late afternoon game drive, guests will enjoy their choice of three sea and sand adventures on the nearby beaches of the Indian Ocean. Choose to get up close and personal with the giants of the deep as you swim with whale sharks, enjoy a whale watching boat excursion or spend an evening on the beach in search of nesting leatherback or loggerhead turtles.
During the months of November to February, guests can also choose to enjoy a turtle nesting adventure on the beaches after dark. This unforgettable adventure allows guests to view these enormous reptilian sea creatures emerge from the Indian Ocean at Sodwana Bay to lay their precious eggs in the sand. Excitement builds as you drive along the deserted coastline under the moonlight in search of fresh turtle tracks. The female turtles emerge from the water at night and make the strenuous journey up the beach in search of a suitable nesting site.
They will then dig a nest and lay their clutch of approximately 100 soft-shelled eggs. Besides witnessing the rare and beautiful nesting rituals of these huge reptiles, guests also enjoy the spectacular beauty of the surrounding marine ecosystem, with its ominous sand dunes that tower over the beach.
Day 3 – Departure
Depart for your self drive/light aircraft transfer back to Johannesburg.
In the southern part of the African continent
Many visitors like to kick-start their South African adventure in Cape Town home to the world-famous Table Mountain. Cape Town is a bustling metropolis that is popular for its cultural mix, urban sophistication and stunning scenery. And you can’t leave Cape Town without a visit to Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was prisoner during the Apartheid era. Here you will learn more about South African history and this fascinating country’s troubled past. A visit to a township will give you an insight into the spirit of togetherness and unity among its people and a trip to the Cape of Good Hope - the most south-western point of the African continent - is essential if only for the photo opportunity. South Africa’s famous Garden Route runs from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth and while it’s extremely scenic, it is the hidden destinations - such as secluded little bays - that are the real secret of this region. And don’t forget South Africa is one of the best places in the world for whale watching! Every year, these magnificent creatures migrate from their icy feeding grounds off Antarctica to warmer climates, reaching South Africa in June. The country's coastal waters teem with the giant animals, mating, calving and rearing their young – and giving whale-watchers spectacular displays of their power and elegant acrobatics.
Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town and Blomfontein
Time: South Africa is two hours ahead of GMT and seven hours ahead of EST.
Money: The currency is the South African Rand.
Health: Vaccinations against Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended for any visitor travelling to South Africa. Depending on where you are going in the country, you may need other jabs.
Water: Drinking water in South Africa is safe to drink and cook with when taken from taps in urban areas. Not all tap water in rural areas is safe for consumption, so drink bottled water in rural areas.
Climate: South Africa's climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the southwestern corner of South Africa to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast. A small area in the northwest has a desert climate. Most of the country has warm, sunny days and cool nights.