The Ivory Route - 9 days prices starts from 2750 USD pp based on two persons sharing in low season. Ex international flights, including car rental and scheduled transfers to/from Coastal Cashew to Rocktail Beach Camp and activities, meals and selected drinks in Kirkmans and Phinda. (prices can fluctuate due to seasonality and availabiliy)
Day 1 Tzaneen
On your arrival into Johannesburg at the start of your South African safari, you will be met and by one of our representatives who will help you to your rental car and provide you with tour information towards Tzaneen. This 4 hour drive will take you to Pretoria and onwards to Tzaneen, the fruit region of South Africa.
Accommodation: the Coach House Located on the Old Coach Road at Agatha, a mere four hours from Johannesburg, the five-star Coach House Hotel offers world-class hospitality in luxurious comfort and scenic tranquility in the friendly ambience of a gracious country estate.
Day 2- 3 Sabi Sands
After breakfast you will depart south to the Sabi Sands region, on the border with Kruger National Park. Sabi Sands is considered one of the most beautiful private consessions in South Africa. You will see the big 5 and game drives gives you more opportunity to see the animals up close.
The area has high concentrations of wildlife – the ability to do off road driving, night drives and walking safaris affords your ranger the opportunity to get very close for your perfect photograph. Without doubt, Sabi Sands is the world's best place to see leopard, not only that but it is unrivalled in the sightings it affords. Mating, very young cubs, hunting, kills and all the other behaviours that make up a leopard's life can be seen in astonishing close up.
Accommodation: Kirkmans camp
Kirkman's Camp bedrooms consist of eighteen guest cottages with private verandahs offering magnificent views of the surrounding bush. The cottages all have en-suite bathrooms with showers, and true to the olden day feel – feature ball and claw baths. Air-conditioning and ceiling fans provide welcome relief from the heat of the African Sun. Breakfast and lunch are either served in the main house, or on the shady surrounding verandahs. Dinner is a very special event taken under the stars in the boma around a campfire.
Day 4 Swaziland
After breakfast you will drive further south through the mountainous kingdom of Zwaziland.
Swaziland is a small country, no more than 200 km north to south and 130 km east to west. The western half is mountainous, descending to a lowveld region to the east.
The area that Swaziland now covers has been continuously inhabited since prehistory. Today, the population is primarily ethnic Swazis whose language is siSwati, though English is spoken as a second language. The Swazi people descend from the southern Bantu who migrated from Central Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries.
Accommodation: Forrester arms in Mhlambanyatsi is situated on a 90-hectare estate, amongst mountains, forests and country gardens, in the heart of the Swaziland highlands. It comprises of 30 individually decorated bedrooms with en suite bathrooms, telephones and TV.
The poolside and family rooms have views over the countryside, whilst the garden rooms overlook the colourful gardens.
Days 5- 6 Zululand
This morning you will go onwards to the heart of Zululand. This is a few hour beautiful drive that will bring you to the private park Phinda. Zululand lies on the brink of both the Battlefields Route and famous Drakensberg. Zululand is home to tea plantations, cattle farms and pretty little inland towns and is rich in wildlife. Phinda is described as “Seven Worlds of Wonder”, with its seven distinct habitats - a magnificent tapestry of woodland, grassland, wetland and forest, interspersed with mountain ranges, rivercourses, marshes and pans waiting to be discovered. The Reserve is also home to 1 000 hectares of Africa’s remaining rare dry sand forest.
Accommodation: Phinda Forest Lodge – Set deep in the heart of a rare and beautiful dry sand forest, the spectacular Forest Lodge Phinda fuses architectural design and conservation. These 16 private stilted suites each feature luxurious ensuite bathrooms with slate hand basins, and viewing decks where guests can awake to the sight of graceful nyala and duiker outside the glass walls. Unwind in the lodge’s sparkling rim flow swimming pool, or relax in the Lodge sitting areas with expansive viewing decks affording panoramic views of the game-filled plains.
Day 7-8 St. Lucia Wetlands
After breakfast and morning game drive to Coastal Cashew Gate for a 14h00 scheduled pick-up from Coastal Cashew Gate to Rocktail Beach Camp. The drive from Phinda Forest Lodge to Coastal Cashew Gate will take approximately two hours. Rocktail Beach Camp is located on the Natal north coast, set back in and shaded by the sanctuary of the lush coastal forest that covers the ancient dunes that make up this edge of South Africa’s coast.
From a scuba diving perspective, Rocktail Bay is unique. Not only is the diving conducted within a reserve and World Heritage Site along unspoiled reefs, but divers have the luxury of knowing that they alone have access to these sites and are the only underwater visitors along this stretch of the coastline.
This is not a traditional 'big game' area, but the camp is situated within a pristine coastal forest reserve which is interspersed with rolling grasslands and waterberry/palm savannah. This lush area abounds with a variety of animals, birds and plant life that provide a natural counterpoint to the bushveld. Common reedbuck frequent the marshes and grasslands and the red duiker lives in the forest areas. Hippos are sometimes found in freshwater lakes, while whales and dolphins are often seen offshore. The birding is outstanding with a wide variety of species often being spotted. The reef systems here are amongst the most pristine in the world, boasting healthy soft and hard corals. Sharks are sighted at intervals, including great hammerheads, tiger sharks, blacktip reef sharks and the enormous whale shark. Large numbers of pregnant spotted ragged-tooth sharks (also known as grey nurse sharks) appear in the area from late November until March and Rocktail Beach Camp assists the Natal Sharks Board in monitoring and understanding what drives the arrival of this species in the area. The dive site most often frequented by these sharks is only in ten metres of water and as such can be enjoyed by both divers and snorkellers.
Accommodation: Roctail beach camp consists of twelve rooms (including three family units), most of which have a view of the ocean. All have en-suite bathrooms, open-feel indoor shower and overhead fans. Rocktail Beach Camp also has a central dining room, bar and lounge with large wrap around veranda. A television set and iPod are available in the camp's main area for guests’ enjoyment, as well as a large pool.
Day 9. Durban
Return your rental car and return flight or extension