Jo’burg, Madikwe and Timbavati

Johannesburg | Pilanesberg National Park | Madikwe Game Reserve | Hoedspruit | Timbavati Game Reserve

Destinations Duration Approx. 7 days
Destinations Destinations Johannesburg
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Safari, Luxury, Family, Conservation, Photography, Birdwatching

Fly into Johannesburg before making the short drive to Pilanesberg National Park. Situated on the remains of an ancient volcano, this fully-fenced national park is home to all of the Big Five and more than 350 bird species, making it an excellent introduction to safari life. Three hours northwest of Pilanesberg is the Madikwe Game Reserve. Sitting on the border with Botswana, this reserve is an excellent place to spot rhinos, as well as other members of the Big Five. From here, fly to Hoedspruit and transfer to Timbavati Game Reserve, which shares borders with the more famous Sabi Sands and Kruger National Parks. All the showstoppers are here, but look out for the incredibly rare white lion. Make sure to take a specialist bush walk a birding tour.

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Hluhluwe-iMfolozi and Phinda Game Reserve

Durban | Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve | Phinda Game Reserve | iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Destinations Duration Approx. 4 days
Destinations Destinations Durban
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Safari, Luxury, Family, Conservation, Photography, Birdwatching

Start from Durban and follow the coast north to Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, which is one of South Africa’s oldest reserves and is a great place to see the endangered southern white rhinoceros, cheetahs and wild dogs. The following day, make the short drive to Phinda Game Reserve for your Big Five fix. Get closer to the bush — and animals — on a walking safari, or get out under the stars on a night safari expedition, before relaxing in your luxurious lodge. Next, head to the vast iSimangaliso Wetland Park near the border with Mozambique and Swaziland for birdlife, where you can snorkel, scuba dive and kayak. End your trip back in Durban.

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Jo’burg, Kruger and Sabi Sands

Johannesburg | Nelspruit | Kruger National Park |Thornybush Game Reserve | Manyeleti Game Reserve | Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Destinations Duration Approx. 9 days
Destinations Destinations Johannesburg, Sabi Sands, Kruger National Park, Nelspruit
Activity Activity Nature & Wildlife, Safari, Luxury, Family, Conservation, Photography, Birdwatching

Starting from Johannesburg, head east to Nelspruit, gateway to the Kruger National Park before driving the Panorama Route to take in the breathtaking scenery of Blyde River Canyon, God’s Widow, Pinnacle Rock and much more. Start your safari experience in the family-friendly Thornybush Game Reserve, home to the Big Five as well as cheetahs, spotted hyenas and hippos. Next, head deeper into Kruger for the Manyeleti Game Reserve (the only game reserve open to black people during apartheid), where you can try footprint tracking and visit local communities. Two hours’ drive from Manyeleti lies Sabi Sands Game Reserve, one of the most exclusive safari destinations in Africa. Explore the wildlife in intimate groups with world-class rangers — safari doesn’t get much better than this.

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Why Horizon Guides?

Expert travel guide

Expert travel guides

Our guides are written by the leading experts in their destinations. We never take payment for positive coverage so you can count on us for reliable and impartial travel advice.

Authentic experiences

Authentic experiences

We curate exceptional trips in underrated places, organised by the very best tour operators who live and breathe their destinations and are passionate about authentic, responsible tourism.

Give back to mother nature

Give back to mother nature

We'll plant 50 trees for every trip booked via the Horizon Guides site in partnership with the International Tree Foundation, who carry out sustainable community forestry projects in Africa.