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12 Days Cycling Tours and Safaris in South Africa and Botswana

Botswana and South Africa Safari

This cycling tour starts and ends in Johannesburg and will lead you along the famous Panoramic Route to Kruger National Park and to the stunning landscapes of Botswana. Join Trouver Africa for this fantastic holiday to explore the amazing nature and animal habitats as well as broaden your knowledge about new things that you may have never seen before.

Highlights

  • Daily cycling trips
  • Swadini Dam boat trip
  • Game drives in open vehicles
  • Moholoholo Rehab center tour
  • Gate, entrance, and conservation fees
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Daily specific meals
  • All transportation

Skill level

  • Intermediate

11 cycling days in English
Spoken languages: French, German, English
The maximum participants in the group is 6
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Accommodation

During this safari, you will stay overnight at various accommodations in standard rooms. Single supplements are applied.

Program

Day 1 - Johannesburg

Upon arrival in Johannesburg early morning, a shuttle will pick you up and bring you to your accommodation in Melville. In the afternoon, you will be picked up by a guide who will take you to Soweto, the Apartheid Museum, and give you a general insight into the history of the Gauteng Province and the city itself.

In the evening, you are welcome to explore the safe surrounding of your lodging and to try one of the many cozy restaurants in the vicinity.

Day 2 - Panoramic Route

The next morning, you will leave Johannesburg early and travel in an easterly direction towards Mpumalanga, land of the rising sun. You will stop in the quaint village of Dullstroom and later have lunch in Lydenburg before continuing along the dramatic Eastern Escarpment of the Drakensberg ("Dragon Mountains").

You will visit Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Blyde River Canyon for spectacular views of the Blydepoort Dam and the Three Rondavels before arriving at your overnight accommodation in time for an afternoon game drive or dinner then an evening game drive.

Moholoholo nestles on the slopes of the 1,944-meter-high Mariepskop, one of the highest peaks of the Drakensberg range in this area. This affords a breathtaking view of the towering mountains and vertical cliffs on one side and the rolling Eastern Transvaal Lowveld savannah towards Kruger National Park on the other.

Visitors to Moholoholo can experience both Lowveld woodland as well as indigenous mountainous rainforest without leaving the game farm.

Day 3 - Moholoholo

After the coffee and rusks, you will take an early morning bush walk, followed by breakfast. Afterwards, you will visit the Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and learn about the work with animals and birds they are doing. One of the guides leads you through the center and shows you the birds and animals that are currently in Moholoholo’s care.

You will have a chance to feel the weight of a white-backed vulture as it lands on your gloved arm. Moholoholo always has a surprise in store for guests.

An afternoon cycle to the Swadini Dam is an option, or alternatively, you will drive to the dam, where you will go on a one-and-a-half-hour cruise. You will see the second largest tufa waterfall in the world, commonly known as the “weeping face of Africa”. The cycling distance is 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 3/10.

Day 4 - Kruger National Park

After breakfast, you will check out of the camp, then cycle about 15 to 20 kilometers towards the Reptile Park for an optional visit. You will rack bikes here and drive to Phalaborwa, where you will have lunch and then check into your accommodation.

Set against the seemingly endless savannah landscape of the African Bushveld with its intense blue skies and the perpetual background song of cicadas, you will find your lodge offering guests an authentic experience in the heart of the bush.

Recognized as the jewel of Phalaborwa, your guest house is unrivaled luxury four-star accommodation located a mere stone’s throw from the Kruger National Park. This is an oasis of calm and tranquillity in the hot surroundings of the majestic Limpopo Province. You will settle in and meet for a late afternoon game drive and bush barbecue in the Kruger National Park. The cycling distance is 15 to 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 3/10.

Day 5 - Kruger National Park

Early start to the day as you will enter the park at the Phalaborwa Gate and proceed to the drop off point. The potential to cycle into the big five including elephants, buffaloes, rhinos, lions, and leopards is ever present, so the number of guests is limited to six.

You will be fully briefed before setting off on your ride. The terrain is rough so you will have to be fairly fit as you will be going over rocks, soft sand, and through mopani trees. The route is approximately 20 kilometers and traverses between the Tsutsui River and Sable Dam in the Kruger Park.

This takes about four hours. You will be provided with your breakfast and water on the safari. Once back at the lodge, a sparkling pool beckons the riders. An afternoon visit to the Amarula factory is an option before sundowners and dinner. The cycling distance is 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 7/10.

Day 6 - Louis Trichardt

An early morning walk or another cycle is planned for today. The park rangers will entertain and impress you with their expansive knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Kruger National Park. You will depart at your lodge at 9:30 or 10 a.m. and stop at a huge baobab tree before continuing towards Tzaneen and Louis Trichardt, where you will have lunch.

Then you will be driven over the Soutpansberg (the only freestanding mountain in South Africa) to Musina and on to your next lodge which lies within a private nature reserve close to the World Heritage Site of Mapungubwe. This entire area is earmarked for inclusion in the enormous transfrontier conservation areas of greater Mapungubwe and greater Limpopo. The cycling distance is 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 6/10.

Your accommodation is the ideal base for exploration to the Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Site, a rich cultural landscape in both heritage and scenic beauty. This exclusive four-star lodge provides gracious living and fine dining with true South African warmth and hospitality.

Mopane Bush Lodge is personally managed and hosted by its owners and their management team, constantly ensuring attentive service, and an authentic African experience, true to the hallmark of a classic safari, fellowship, fine food, and the adventures of the day retold while seated around a flickering fire.

Day 7 - Mapungubwe

After the breakfast, you will do a guided bush walk. Walking amongst the many massive, century’s old baobab trees, you will have ample opportunities to admire the scenery that is dominated by bizarre rock formations. Whilst you walk, you look out for plains game and birds that may cross your path. After your walk, you will visit Mapungubwe, one of the richest archaeological sites in the country.

You will be able to learn how people lived in this area 800 to 1,000 years ago. Bushman paintings, San Rock Art is an afternoon option. These fascinating stories told around the Bushman spiritual world are well worth a visit, less than five kilometers down the road. In the evening, you will savor your sundowners amongst the impressive baobab trees or enjoy a game drive in Masepu Nature Reserve. The cycling distance is 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 3/10.

Day 8 - Mobile tented camp Botswana

You will meet your guide on the South African side at Pont Drift Border Post at 1 p.m. Once done with border formalities, you will prepare your bikes, load the support vehicle, and enjoy a light lunch. Then you will bike to your first wilderness camp. After an exhilarating afternoon ride, you finally arrive to chilled drinks, a hot bucket shower, and a wholesome dinner.

Your temporary, low impact, fully equipped wilderness camp provides for an unforgettable night's rest after a hard day's cycle. Meals are prepared on open fires. Starlit skies and night sounds will awaken your senses, and a night under canvas will inspire your instincts. The cycling distance is 15 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 7/10.

Day 9 - Mobile tented camp Botswana

After a night under the stars, you will awake early to fresh brewed coffee and breakfast, prepare your bikes, and head off to uncharted terrains. You will discover new skills as rocky outcrops, sandy riverbeds, and open plains test biking abilities.

You will break for a tea or drinks stop along the route and arrive back at camp for lunch. A welcome afternoon siesta follows. The late afternoon will bring the chance to ride or drive to a nearby sundowner point.

Day 10 - Mobile tented camp Botswana

Today brings a new dawn and you bike out towards Kgotla, your last camp. Testing terrain and changing landscapes make for a great ride. A pasta lunch and hot showers welcome weary legs and an opportunity to sit back, relax, and savor that sense of achievement.

After an afternoon of leisure, you will head off for a short walk to a nearby cliff for a sundowner. You will return to an open fire prepared meal, fireside stories, and a restful night's sleep under the stars concludes the safari on a high. The cycling distance is 20 kilometers, and the difficulty level is 7/10.

Day 11 - Soutpansberg

After the breakfast, you will depart by vehicle to Pont Drift by 10 a.m. and carry on to your last stop in the Soutpansberg. You will enjoy the unique atmosphere of Mashovhela Lodge in Morning Sun Nature Reserve, sited between cliffs where Black Eagle's nest. This natural heritage site is situated in the scenic, malaria-free Soutpansberg Mountains of the Limpopo Province in South Africa.

You will savor the unique mythology and the magic of the sacred Mashovhela rock pool. Let the friendly staff pamper you whilst you relax in the cozy Venda style lodge, which is recognized for its eco-friendly principles and sustainable energy usage.

In the afternoon, you will take a stroll to the sacred lake of the Venda people and if the time allows, you will visit a spectacular spot high on a rocky hill for sundowners. In the evening you will be treated to the dancing and music of the local villagers.

Day 12 - Back to Johannesburg

After the breakfast, you will depart for the airport in time to catch your flight to your home country or you move onwards to your next destination.

Included excursions

During this holiday, you will take part in a privately guided Soweto and Apartheid museum tour, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Three Rondawels, Moholoholo Rehab center tour, and a Swadini Dam boat trip.

Location

The safari will take place in South Africa and Botswana. Various areas are in the north of South Africa and bordering Botswana.

Food

You will have 11 breakfasts, four lunches, and 10 dinners included in the prices. You will be served a breakfast for the first day; three meals on day three, four, nine, and 10; breakfast and dinner on the second day; and breakfast and dinner on the fifth, sixth, seventh, eight, and eleventh days.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Cycle safaris with armed rangers
  • Private Soweto and Apartheid Museum tour
  • A visit to Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Three Rondawels
  • Moholoholo Rehab center tour
  • Swadini Dam boat trip
  • Registered, professional guides
  • Game drives in open vehicles
  • Kruger National Park gate and entrance fees
  • Conservation fees
  • Mapungubwe entrance fees
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Daily specific meals
  • All other walks or cycling
  • All transportation in air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bike hire

What's not included

  • Airfares
  • Lunches unless specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks
  • Vaccinations and visas (where applicable)
  • All insurances
  • Entrance fees to optional activities (Reptile Park and Marula factory)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 75 days before arrival.
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