Immerse yourself in the majesty of three magical African kingdoms: South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal and its Zulu people, the mountainous Kingdom of Lesotho, and the hikers paradise Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland). Relish unparalleled wildlife experiences on safari walks, game drives, and sunset cruises. Hike up to the Amphitheatre in the UNESCO-protected Drakensberg region. Learn about apartheid in Durban and KwaZulu-Natal, and enjoy exhilarating treetop or cave adventures in Eswatini. From the thrills of spotting elephants in the wild to spectacular views from the highest pub in Africa, this once-in-a-lifetime active adventure guarantees unforgettable experiences!
Spot the Big Five and more on Kruger National Park and Mkuze Game Reserve safaris
Enrich cultural understanding through interactions with local artists, rural Zulu, and indigenous Basotho people
Release yourself into African hospitality at luxurious resorts, comfortable hotels, and remote mountain lodges
Welcome to Africa! Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Depending on your flight's arrival time, you may get an afternoon tour of Soweto. This evening, enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
After breakfast, transfer to Northern Drakensberg, in KwaZulu-Natal province. En route, stop for lunch at a historical property dating back to the years preceding the First Boer War. After lunch, take an informative guided hike and learn about the rich history of the area, as well as the indigenous cultures of the Zulu and Sotho communities. This is a great bird-watching and game-viewing opportunity, as there are loads of interesting fauna and flora on certain routes. Then continue to the majestic Northern Drakensberg region, your home for two nights.
A scenic morning drive takes you to the start of today's hike in stunning Royal Natal National Park. The initial leg is the most strenuous (but doable for all fitness levels), then levels out onto an easy contour path. Two ladders span the last 100 feet of the cliff; alternatively, you can ascend via the gully. The reward: standing atop the famous Amphitheatre - on the roof of Africa! After exploring the summit, ascend Beacon Buttress for the return trip via the gully or ladders and the easy path downhill.
Depart after breakfast for another scenic drive, this time to Underberg, in the Southern Drakensberg. On the way, stop for lunch and visit the internationally renowned Ardmore Ceramic Studio, founded in 1985 by Zimbabwean-born ceramic artist Fée Halsted. Originally established in the Drakensberg foothills, today the bustling studio and gallery sits in the picturesque Caversham Valley in South Africa's Natal Midlands. Here you meet the local artists, some of whom have work commissioned by the likes of Hermès and Queen Elizabeth II.
Relish a full-day tour of Lesotho, a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom crisscrossed by a network of rivers and mountain ranges, making for breathtaking scenery. Begin today with a 4x4 drive up the Sani Pass (9,436'), atop which you enjoy lunch at the highest pub in Africa - the Sani Mountain Lodge - with incredible views over KwaZulu-Natal. After lunch, continue to Skeering, a living village of Basotho, a Bantu ethnic group that has inhabited this region since the fifth century, where your experienced mountain guide discusses Lesotho and its people.
Drive through the scenic Natal Midlands this morning bound for Durban. Upon arrival, stroll up historical Florida Road and stop for lunch of a local specialty, "bunny chow" - street food that harks back to the Indian indentured laborers from the 19th century. Along the Durban promenade, bordering the warm Indian Ocean, take a leisurely cycle along the beachfront to iconic Moses Mabhida Stadium, which you ascend by funicular for incredible views. Stop at the Kwa Muhle Museum for insight into Durban's history of apartheid before enjoying dinner on your own.
En route to northern KwaZulu-Natal, the Kingdom of the Zulu, visit the Luthuli Museum, the former residence of Chief Albert Luthuli. Luthuli was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1960 for his fight against apartheid. Arrive at the foot of legendary Ghost Mountain for lunch. Then immerse yourself in a Lebombo Mountains community and enjoy a cultural walk with remarkable views. Learn about rural Zulu customs and modern-day living, interact with local people, and gain insight into life in Zululand. Time permitting, also hike to the top of Ghost Mountain.
Today is a full day of getting up close to South Africa's resident animals! Start with a game drive at Mkuze Game Reserve, where you see elephant, giraffe, white rhino, and other grazing animals, as well as beautiful birdlife. After lunch, stay in the reserve for a ranger-led Fig Forest walk, a special-permission walk arranged exclusively for our group. Come late afternoon, return to the inn for a sunset boat cruise on Lake Jozini, one of South Africa's largest dams, for a chance to spot elephant, rhino, hippo, and crocodile.
The landlocked Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) is rife with beautiful mountain scenery, game reserves, lush valleys, misty mountains, ancient rock formations, and plunging waterfalls. In the lower reaches of the country are unexpected expanses of sugar-cane farms and typical African bush. Discover it all today and enjoy an exhilarating (optional) afternoon activity: either an adventure caving experience or a breathtaking zipline canopy tour at Malolotja Nature Reserve. Dinner is at the hotel.
Gear up for an authentic safari experience today! Drive to a private concession within the southern part of Kruger National Park, an enormous wilderness area comprising nearly two million hectares. The topography, vegetation, and game vary dramatically from south to north in the park. The park's southern part sees the most rainfall and denser animal numbers. Moving north, rainfall becomes scarcer and animals center around the river courses and waterholes. Upon arrival at the lodge, have lunch and then set out for an afternoon game drive. Lukimbi introduces you to the impressive Big Five - leopard, lion, rhino, elephant, and buffalo - plus antelope and other exciting game, and an incredible 420 species of bird.
Another full-day safari in Lukimbi. Expert guides and trackers share their knowledge of these animals with you on today's safari adventure, which comprises morning and afternoon game drives. Hear the whooping of hyenas, the reverberating roar of a lion, the loud grunting of hippos, the majestic trumpeting of elephants, or the peaceful call of the fish eagle...this is African wildlife at its finest!
After a final morning game drive and breakfast, say farewell to Lukimbi and drive to Johannesburg's OR Tambo International Airport for your departure flight home.
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This unique MT Sobek adventure gives you access to South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal, the Kingdom of Lesotho, and the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland).
You'll enjoy unforgettable wildlife encounters, deep cultural immersion, plus excellent hiking in the spectacular Drakensburg range.
Our local team provides insightful context and helps foster authentic interactions in each of the three kingdoms.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Great mix of game drives, hiking, cultural touring, and optional zip lining and caving adventures.
Historical hotels to country-side inns this trip includes some of the best accommodations in the Three Kingdoms.
Expect temperatures in the various regions between 70-80°F during the day and 50-60°F in the evenings.
Every season in South Africa has something special to offer and makes South Africa one of the few year round destinations in the world.
The majority of South Africa is safe, provided that you take the safety precautions you would in all major countries and big cities.
The "Big Five" are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt.
We recommend you speak to your doctor about vaccinations and malaria tablets well in advance of your safari. At present, certain areas of South Africa are affected by malaria.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to enter South Africa.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
MT Sobek Guest
"We have traveled throughout the world, but never experienced a level of service and attention to detail as we did with MT Sobek."
MT Sobek Guest