Twana Adventure

South Africa & Swaziland Tour
South Africa & Swaziland

Countries visited: South Africa & Swaziland

 

This tour gives you the best of South Africa and Swaziland.  From Pretoria we head to the Drakensberg for 2 full days.  Drakensberg is considered the premium hiking destination in South Africa, you can do a hike to the highest country in Southern Africa, Lesotho.  Drakensburg also has the higest consentration of rock art in the world and has the 2nd highest waterfall on the planet.  From here we head to the east coast for snorkling, diving or just taking a relaxing walk on the beach.  Swaziland is the next stop, for more hiking, horse riding and mountain biking.  We head to the famous Kruger National Park, where we keep our eyes peeled for the Big 5.  We then head to Hoedspruit for some fun activities like visiting the Moholoholo Rehab centre, Kinyonga Reptile Center and a visit to the famous Jessica the Hippo! We make our way back to Pretoria via the breathtaking Blyde River Canyon.

 

Tour Code: SASWA
Tour Price: € 1.625,-

 

Tour price includes: All transport in our fully equiped Overland vehicle, camping equipment, cooking equipment, all meals. Full day hike to Tugela Falls in Drakensberg, Shark dissection, Boat cruise in St Lucia,all game drives in Kruger in our vehicle, the interactive tour at Kinyonga Reptile center in Hoedspruit, morning visit to Jessica the Hippo and afternoon Moholoholo Rehabitation centre in Hoedspruit.

 

Tour price excludes: Visas, flight ticket, additional spending money, Optional Activities, sleeping bag & pillow.

Per person price is based on a minimum of 6 students.

 

 

Departure Dates 2018:

13/07/2018 - Guaranteed Departure 

 

 

Looking for an adventure coming year? 

Would you like to do something completely different?

And have you always wanted to explore the exciting nature and wildlife of Southern Africa?

 

Then join one of the Student Safaris (3 ECTS)! This year, you can choose to travel to South Africa and Swaziland (start 13/07/2019) or Botswana and Zimbabwe (start 8/07/2019). With fellow students and experts in the field, you will explore African nature and wildlife, while learning about the diverse habitats, culture, and conservation issues.

 

To find out more, please visit the next info-meeting:

Date                                        : Tuesday 27 November 2018

Time                                        : 12.30-13.15h

Location                                  : Forum Building, Wageningen University

Room                                      : C104

 

You can also look for more info on www.twana.com, contact us via studentsafaris@gmail.com, and/or add me as a friend on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/africastudenttours/.

 

Hope to see you soon :)!

 

 

Depart: Pretoria
End: Pretoria

 

Day 1: Drakensberg (South Africa)

Day 2: Drakensberg (Full day hike to Tugela Falls)

Day 3: Drakensberg

Day 4Durban

Day 5: St Lucia (Shark dissection)

Day 6: St Lucia (Boat cruise)

Day 7: St Lucia

Day 8: Sodwana Bay

Day 9: Sodwana Bay

Day 10: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary (Swaziland)

Day 11: Swaziland

Day 12: Komatiepoort (South Africa)

Day 13: Kruger National Park

Day 14: Kruger National Park (full day game drive)

Day 15: Kruger National Park (full day game drive)

Day 16: Hoedspruit (Kinyonga Reptile Centre)

Day 17: Hoedspruit (Jessica the Hippo & Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre)

Day 18: Sabie (via Blyde River Canyon)

Day 19: Twana Lodge

Day 20: Flight Home

Day 1: Drakensberg
Driving day to the Drakensberg
Day 2:

Drakensberg

Tugela Falls - Included
Tugela Falls is widly regarded as one of the most impressive clif faces on earth as well as the 2nd highest waterfall on the planet!  Spend a full day with an experienced guide trekking the 12km hike to experience breathtaking beauty and if you lucky the endangered Bearded Vulture!

Day 3:

Drakensberg
Bushman paintings 
We take a short hike around the side of one of the hills to see ‘San’ bushman paintings, learning about the geology of the area and history the paintings (optional activity)

  

Hike to ‘The Cascades and Tiger Falls’ 
We travel to the Park hike along the foot hills of the Drakensberg to the ‘Tiger Fall’s and the ‘Cascades’, this hike takes about 4hrs and everybody will manage (optional activity)

 

Horse riding 
You have the option of horse riding in the surrounding foothills of the Drakensberg mountains. Experienced and non-experienced horse riders can be accomodated (optional activity)

 

Lesotho
The option of a visit into the meigbouring country Lesotho. You will be accompanied by local guides and have the oppertunity to interact with the local ‘Basotho’ people of the area (optional activity)

 

The Sentinal
This is is a hike/climb up one of the the Drakensberg’s famous peaks (optional activity)

 

Cultural village tour 
If available you will have the oppertunity to visit the local village just outside the Park at the foothills of the Drakensberg (price depends on the number of people wanting to to this tourand number of places that we visit (optional activity)

Day 4:

Durban
Durban is South Africa’s third largest city and popular with holiday makers for its long beaches. It is also one of many beaches protected by shark nets. Each morning the Natal Sharks board goes out to check the nets and release any sea life caught in the nets. Today is a drive day, we continue south to the coast, if time allows to the beach for a quick visit.

Day 5:

St Lucia
This morning we visit the Kwa-Zulu Natal Sharks board and attend a shark disection demo.  Afterwards we head to CROW, Durbans only registered Wildlife Rehabilitation centre dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of all indigenous wildlife found in KwaZulu-Natal. We then continue on to St Lucia. This town originated as a result of the good fishing in the area. The estaury is acombination of fresh and sea water and has its own unique ecosystem.

Day 6:

St Lucia
We have the morning to do a boat cruise down the St Lucia estuary exploring the beauty of the birdlife as we travel up one of the largest Estuarine systems in Africa as well as being South Africa's very first World Heritage Site. 

Day 7:

St Lucia 

Hluluwe/Imfolozi National Park are actually two parks that have been joined together. These National Parks are one of South Africa’s ‘Big five’ parks. Rhino breeding projects have been taking place here for years, and has resulted in the White rhino being reintroduced into many parks as far north as Kenya (optional activity)

Day 8: Sodwana
A 100km drive to Sodwana Bay where you can do some kyaking on Lake Mzuzi – well known for its bird life
Lake Mzuzi is situated in a protected wildlife area and is a favorite with birding enthusiast 
Day 9:

Sodwana
A free day at the beach or the option to dive or snorkel weather permitting. If available a talk about turltes will be given. If there are whales around, you can hire a boat to get up closer. Sodwana Bay is situated along side a World Heritage Site called Isamango Wetland. Snorkeling and diving takes place inside the Park along the east coast. A popular spot for divers and anglers because of the warmer Indian Ocean and abundance of fish and reefs. (optional activity) 

Day 10: To Swaziland – Mlilwane Game Reserve
Today is a drive day and we cross the border into Swaziland – if time allows we will visit a local market where you can buy some gifts to take home.
Day 11:

Swaziland – Mlilwane Game Reserve
Today you have the day free to wonder around on foot the Game Reserve amonst the animals, do some horse riding or mountain biking. The reserve has a lake with hippos and crocodiles and a variety of antelope and hiking trails. A must see is the Roan antilope breeding project that was intruduced a few years ago.

(optional activity)

Day 12: To Komatipoort
A travel day again, crossing the border back into South Africa, whe we stop to do some shopping and camp just out the entrance to Kruger National Park.
Day 13:

Kruger National Park
We head off to Kruger National Park for the next 3 nights, where we sleep in the park listening to the sounds of the wild animals!

Day 14:

Kruger National Park
Spend the day game driving looking for animals, such as Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Rhinos and Leopard.  Don't just focus on the Big 5, but also see the beauty in the small things.  

Day 15:

Kruger National Park
Full day game drive in our own vehicle is included.

Day 16: Hoedspruit
We leave the park this morning and continue to Hoedspruit for the next 2 nights, but first stopping at the Kinyonge Reptile centre for an interactive tour.
Day 17:

Hoedspruit

 

Jessica the Hippo 
This baby hippo was was down the river in the 2000 floods, This little orhan of only a few days old was rescued by a game ranger and given a second chance, we get the chance to meet her and touch and feed her

 

Moholoholo Rehab centre 
This is a rehabilitation centre for injured and sick animals, those that can get released back into the wild and those that are unable to be released are cared for by the Rehabilitation centre

Day 18:

Sabie

We head to the town of Sabie via the Blyde River Canyon.  We sleep at Merry Pebbles camp site.

 

Bourkes luck Potholes 
This is with rocks that have been eroded by whirlpools. It was named after Tom bourke who staked a gold claim nearby. Although he did not find any gold here, he was correct in predicting that the was gold in the area

 

Three Rondavels 
Here we stop for a view of Swadini/Blyder river Dam –which covers an area of 370 hectares and a view of the ‘Three Rondavels’ - these are three quartzite /shale peaks which protrude more than 700m above the landscape

 

Gods Window 
On a clear day we stand onthe edge of the escarpment and experiece a beautiful of the vally below. It is a 900m drop and we experiece the view from around 1750m above sea level

 

Blyde river Canyon
We drive along south Africa’s largest canyon enjoying the views along the way

 

Waterfall 
We visit one of the many waterfalls for which the area is famous for

Day 19:

Twana Lodge

We head back home to Twana Lodge for our last evening together.

Day 20:

Flight Home

Your airport transfer will take you back to the airport for your flight home.

 

 

See full route map

Student Safaris are accredited (3 ECTS) Field Courses for university students that provides field experience with conservation issues, ecology, wildlife and plants in Southern Africa, while focusing on the importance of wildlife conservation and understanding actual conflicts concerning protection of wildlife species and their habitats. The course will provide a deeper understanding of the structure and functioning of animal communities, population control, translocations, wildlife diseases and animal behaviour. From experts in the field, students will learn more about wildlife conservation, doing ecological research, and the management of national parks during visits of protected areas, research institutes and other field excursions.

To facilitate an understanding of conservation on Southern Africa, students will prepare presentations that will be giving on site. These presentation will mainly focus on biodiversity, conservation, human-wildlife conflicts and ecology in certain areas and habitats.

Students will gain knowledge about wildlife, habitats, flora and the applicability of all of these to ecological studies. The course will provide a unique opportunity for students to learn new skills and concepts. This course enables students to orient themselves on a potential internship, thesis or research project and will trigger them to evaluate their ambitions and further steps in their academic career.

 

Learning goals

- Student presentations

- Final discussion on assignment: GPS sightings/monitoring rare species/body condition scores

- Certificate for overall participation and motivation

- Final report per group

 

Qualification of guides General guides

The guides that accompany the students during the complete trip have nearly 20 years of experience with overland travels in Southern Africa. Therefore, they have a varied general knowledge on the nature, culture and the geological background and history of all the locations. The guides also stimulates the students in reflecting on their career aspirations, give them some life experiences and flexibility when working in developing countries. Local guides Qualified, certified local guides and game rangers are arranged at all specific sites. They offer essential knowledge of the park, nature and animals present.

 

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- critically discuss and evaluate the conservation and management of wildlife/ problems in wildlife management

- understand species distribution and adaptation to specific climate circumstances and resource availability

- understand the major physiological and behavioural adaptations of animals in different habitats and ecological systems

- describe different strategies aimed at prioritizing areas for conservation and effective management - discuss human-wildlife issues on an academic level

- student can set up a small experiment and analyse and discuss collected data

- explain some of the techniques relevant for the management of wildlife populations

- present the results in an understandably way for both managers and policy makers.

 

Activities:

The course consists of one week preparation and three weeks in the field in which students from different disciplines will be exposed to a large diversity of mammals, birds, invertebrates, fish, reptiles and amphibians.

 

- preparing for field trip and oral presentation

- Presentation of results in an oral presentation (field practical)

- Plenary discussions;

- Writing a final report based on the acquired knowledge

All activities are mandatory.

 

Examination:

- Oral presentation

- Final group report

- Overall motivation and participation

 

Optional Activities for South Africa & Swaziland Tour:

 

Drakensberg Optional Activities:

Hiking to Lesotho - R900,-

Cathedral Peak Summit climb - R1000,-

Rock Climbing - R1000,-

Pocolane Peak Absail - R650,- 

 

Durban Optional Activities:

Visiting Ushaka Marine World - R209,-

 

St Lucia Optional Activities:

Full day Cape Vidal game drive (inc. Lunch) - R700,-

Zulu Cultural evening (inc. Dinner) - R400,-

 

Sodwana Optional Activities:

Scuba diving - R410,-

Snorkling - R 350,-

 

Swaziland Optional Activities:

Horse riding - R200,-

Mountain biking - R450,-

White water river rafting - R1300,-

Quad biking - R600,- 

Adventure Caving - R1900,-

 

Kruger National Park Optional Activities:

Night Drive - R450,-  

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