6 Day Sani Pass and Luxury Wildlife Safari:
Durban to Durban
Day 1 – Durban - Himeville
We will collect you from your overnight accommodation in Durban or from the King Shaka International Airport. We will travel on the edge of the "Valley of 1000 Hills" and then past the capital city of Pietermaritzburg onto the “Midlands Meander”. The Midlands Meander is what weavers, potters, woodcrafters, leather workers, artists, metalworkers, box makers, herb growers, cheese makers, beer brewers and pianos have in common. You will find them all, and a great deal more on the Midlands Meander map - South Africa's first, largest and most popular art and crafts route. From a very small beginning, the Midlands Meander has grown to well over a hundred stops on four routes. Originating with the arrival of the first settlers in the early 1800’s the area boasts many wonderful homes and barns, an attraction to lovers of architecture. As you tour the Midlands Meander you will also notice that this area is home to a number of the country’s most famous schools.
From here we travel inland, to the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains on the scenic route through the frontier towns of Bulwer, Underberg and Himeville, where we overnight at Moorcroft Manor (or similar). Moorcroft Manor offers classically decorated rooms all with bathrooms en suite. Lose yourself in the sheer comfort of their king-size beds, crisp vanilla scented linen and finest quality Makoti down duvets and pillows. Selected satellite television, ceiling fans, hairdryers and robes are available in all their rooms. All their bathrooms have under floor heating to keep away the midnight chill and in winter, a covered hot water bottle in your neatly turned down bed is a welcoming treat. Freshly brewed tea or coffee with homemade biscotti is delivered to your room each morning and can be enjoyed whilst marvelling at the uninterrupted views of the Giants Cup from the private patios which adjoin each room. The remainder of the afternoon you are at leisure.
Day 2 – Himeville - Sani Pass
This morning we transfer to our 4X4 vehicles for the ascent up the Sani Pass and into Lesotho. Breathtaking scenery and alpine conditions dominate this truly magnificent corner of this province. The Sani Pass is a spectacular mountain road that is a well-known entry point into Lesotho from South Africa’s Natal Drakensberg Park. It is the gateway to the ‘Roof of Africa’ scenic route that links the spectacular scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho. The Sani Pass is the only border post between Kwazulu-Natal and Lesotho. The Sani Pass was once a rough mule trail descending the Eastern Highlands of old Basutoland into Natal. Tough drovers brought wool and mohair down the Pass on donkeys and mules to be exchanged for blankets … clothing … maize meal … the essentials for life in a remote, impoverished country. And a young man had a dream … of operating a motor vehicle service up this fantastic Pass, using the 4-wheel drive vehicles he had seen on service in World War II. The Sani Pass was born. Once we have entered Lesotho we will stop off at a Basutho village where one can learn more about the life of these very friendly people, in this, one of the world’s poorest countries. Lunch will be at the “highest pub in Africa”, the Sani Top Chalet, for your own account. We will also have some time here to walk along the edge of the escarpment for stunning views into KwaZulu Natal, before descending the pass to Moorcroft Manor. *NB. Warm clothing is a must, no matter the season of the year! You will also need valid passports for the crossing into Lesotho. The ascent of the pass is subject to the prevailing weather conditions.
Day 3 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
After breakfast we make our way east of Ladysmith to the extraordinarily beautiful and geographically diverse Nambiti Private Game Reserve, home to elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino as well as over 30 other animal species. It is also rich in birdlife and indigenous flora. Extremely knowledgeable guides and trackers will plan a personal safari that takes into account your particular interests and requirements.
Please note that there are nine lodges to choose from, and lodges will be chosen in conjunction with your input.
Over a late afternoon tea, our ranger will discuss what you hope to see during the afternoon game drive. This game begins in the late afternoon and lasts until after dark, when spotlights are used for a glimpse into the nocturnal bush life. Listen to lions roar in the dark or admire the small nocturnal animals. Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon.
A mouthwatering dinner is waiting for you at your lodge's boma or in a surprising bush location.
Day 4, 5 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Today we follow the lodge programme, which usually includes a morning game drive, breakfast, sometimes a guided walk (which is optional), lunch, afternoon tea followed by the evening game drive and dinner. Game viewing here is very good, and generally close up sightings of their animals are usually experienced.
Day 6 – Nambiti Private Game Reserve - Durban
After our morning game drive and breakfast in this very productive private game reserve, we leave and head for Durban, arriving in the early afternoon. To relieve the excesses of the past few days, we will visit the Durban Botanic Gardens. The Durban Botanic Gardens traces its origins to colonial times, when it was founded in 1849 for the introduction and trial of potentially useful commercial crops. The gardens later developed collections of sub-tropical trees, palms and orchids. The Durban Botanic Gardens remains a classic botanic garden, reflecting the universality of the plant kingdom. It has, for over 100 years, had a fine mixed arboretum of African, Asian and American trees.
After our visit here we will drop you off at your overnight accommodation or at the King Shaka International Airport in time for your return flight.