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2by2 for holidays that will change your life
2by2 for holidays that will change your life
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Kruger National Park Safari Holidays Tours South Africa Big Five Guides

Holidays: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa + Karoo + Durban + Lowveld

South Africa's Botanical Gardens (self drive)
SCO18J
18 NIGHTS
FROM £2,290
Per person sharing
International flights + car hire quoted separately
Holidays Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa Karoo Durban Lowveld

Explore the floral kingdom of this beautiful country on one of our self drive holidays, including the famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa as well as visiting botanical gardens in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Nelspruit in the Lowveld, famous for  its cycads. Enoy a safari in the Kruger Park, before flying to Durban with its orchids and the Cape, home to Harold Porter's fynbos & the succulents of the Karoo.

Holidays Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa Karoo Durban Lowveld
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Botanical Gardens, South Africa
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Johannesburg
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Lowveld, Nelspruit
• 
Kruger Park Safari
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Durban
• 
Cape Town
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Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
• 
Harold Porter Gardens
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Karoo National Park
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Holidays, South Africa
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Botanical Gardens, South Africa
• 
Johannesburg
• 
Lowveld, Nelspruit
• 
Kruger Park Safari
• 
Durban
• 
Cape Town
• 
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
• 
Harold Porter Gardens
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Karoo National Park
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Holidays, South Africa
Day 1
Arrive at Johannesburg Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel in this thriving city.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue South African skies in the city of gold.
Day 2
Today drive 45-minutes west of Johannesburg to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Krugersdorp (pay entrance fee locally).
 
The area around the Witpoortjie Falls forms the backdrop to the Botanical Gardens, which consist of 30 hectares of landscaped garden and 270 hectares of natural rocky highveld grasslands. The gardens feature a waterwise garden, a cycad garden, succulent rockery, fern garden and arboretum. There is also a breeding pair of black eagles in the cliffs above the waterfall.
 
The best time to visit the garden is late September to February when the flowering shrubs are in bloom.
Day 3
Today drive 1-hour to Pretoria Botanical Gardens, the headquarters of the South African National Botanical Institute (pay entrance fee locally).
 
These beautiful gardens are divided in two sections by a high quartzite rocky outcrop, with the colder south-facing aspect and warmer north-facing aspect supporting quite different flora. The 50 hectares of developed garden are devoted entirely to South African plants, including savanna, forest and fynbos biomes.
 
Afterwards we recommend a visit to the impressive Voortrekker Monument.
Day 4
This morning leave Johannesburg and drive 5-hours to Mpumalanga - "the place where the sun rises", travelling eastwards through Witbank, before dropping several hundred feet into the subtropical Lowveld and the scenic Drakensberg Panorama Route.
 
Check into your hotel in this region famous for its wildlife.
Day 5
Today drive to Lowveld Botanical Gardens in Nelspruit, renowned for its cycads (pay entrance fee locally).
 
These gardens have spectacularly rocky river scenery, with the Crocodile River and Nels River creating some wonderful cascades. The 25 hectares of cultivated gardens are surrounded by a much larger area of sour lowveld bushveld vegetation, with the river banks dominated by evergreen forest belts and rain forest. The gardens are also an interesting archaeological site dating back to pre-historic man.
Day 6
This morning enjoy more of the splendour of the Drakensberg Panorama Route as you drive 3-hours through the green Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world.
 
Enjoy wonderful views from Pinnacle Rock, Wonder View and the Three Rondavels lookout, with the option to take the Graskop Gorge lift (which involves a fairly strenuous walk with plenty of steps & crossing a suspension bridge). Also visit the Lisbon Falls and the unusual Bourkes Luck Pot Holes - cylindrical holes formed from the swirling waters of the Blyde and Treur Rivers.
 
If you arrive before 2pm, we suggest a visit to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre where you have the unique opportunity of viewing wild lion, leopard, cheetah, eagles and vultures at close quarters. Animals found injured, poisoned or orphaned are given a second chance and released back into the wild (pay entrance fee locally). Afterwards check into your lodge in this region famous for its wildlife.
 
Note: Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre is closed on Sundays.
Day 7
Today enter the world famous Kruger National Park.
 
Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately and hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even giraffe before you reach your rest camp.  
 
The Kruger National Park offers a choice of self-catering rest camps, each situated in a different section of the park with its own unique flora and fauna - e.g. Skukuza, Letaba, Olifants, Lower Sabie, Pretoriuskop, Satara and Berg-en-Dal. Accommodation is in simple but comfortable thatched game park bungalows, with each camp having a restaurant and a small shop. Check in, settle in and relax in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide (park fees payable locally on entrance).
 
Note: You will need your passport to enter the Kruger National Park.
Day 8
Today is devoted to self-drive game viewing in the Kruger National Park. We recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (04h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day.
   
Explore this vast 2-million hectare game sanctuary that is the size of Wales and offers magnificent game viewing opportunities, with the highest concentration of lion in the whole of Africa. Hope to see several of the Big Five today - lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard and rhino - as well as many other species before returning to your rest camp for breakfast (or buy provisions at camp and cook breakfast at a picnic spot).
 
The rest of the morning is free to relax at your rest camp, before setting out again at the time of your choice - usually the late afternoon - for another game drive. With nearly 150 different species of mammals and over 100 species of reptiles in the Kruger National Park, you can hope to see cheetah, giraffe, hippo, kudu, crocodiles, sable antelope, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, wild dogs and many other interesting animals. Outstanding bird watching is also guaranteed, with over 500 different bird species including many different eagles, kingfishers, vultures and storks.
  
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
 
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in South Africa.
Day 9
Enjoy some final early morning game viewing in the Kruger National Park.
 
Afterwards drive 2-hours to Mpumalanga Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive at Durban Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel on the warm North Coast, renowned for its wonderful beaches and warm holiday weather.
 
Check in and relax on the shores of the Indian Ocean.
Day 10
Today drive to Durban Botanic Gardens which is home to a wide collection of sub-tropical trees, palms and orchids. It has a lake with water lilies and pink lotus, an orchid house and an interesting collection of cycads.
 
Afterwards we recommend a visit to uShaka Marine World situated in the old harbour area that is being extensively re-developed. Here you have the opportunity of viewing large indigenous sharks of the Indian Ocean and a wide variety of other marine animals, including the opportunity to interact with dolphins, seals and penguins.
Day 11
Today drive 1.5-hours to Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens in the Natal Midlands.
 
These beautiful gardens are situated on an ancient floodplain and hillside, at the edge of a mist belt that creates a wonderful atmosphere when the mists roll in. They were originally established to conserve rare and endangered indigenous plants, and today are filled with lush vegetation and seasonal blooms such as bougainvillea that thrive in the intense heat of this part of the world.
 
 
 
Day 12
Drive to Durban Airport for your onward flight.

Arrive Cape Town Airport, collect your hire car and drive to your hotel in this beautiful city, within sight of Table Mountain.
 
Check in and relax in your magnificent surroundings.
Day 13
Today is free to explore the "Mother City" of Cape Town.
 
To orientate yourself, you can purchase a pass onboard the convenient Red Route Hop-Off Bus, which stops at all Cape Town’s key sights and attractions, including the Table Mountain cable car (discounted tickets are sold on the bus). Here you can ascend and enjoy one of the world's most famous views.
 
Note: Don't let the colour of the bus confuse you. All buses are red, but they run two different routes - the Red City Route and the Blue Kirstenbosch Route.
Day 14
Today drive to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens regarded as one the most beautiful botanic gardens in the world, nestled on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain (pay entrance fee locally).
 
Bequeathed to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes, the garden was established 1913. There is an avenue of camphor trees, a beautiful protea and fynbos garden, useful plants garden, sculpture garden and a dell garden as well as a world class collection of indigenous South African flora. Wonderful summer sunset concerts are held in the gardens on Sunday evenings from December to March.
Day 15
Today we recommend spending the day exploring the beautiful Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve peninsula.
 
Start with an optional short boat trip from Hout Bay to view Cape Fur seals at Seal Island and continue via Chapman’s Peak Drive to spectacular Cape Point where you may see baboons, ostrich and perhaps even dolphins or whales in season (July/November).
 
On the return journey we recommend driving through naval Simons Town and visit the resident penguin colony at Boulders Beach. You can also make a short stop at the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.
Day 16
Today drive 2-hours from Cape Town through spectacular semi-desert scenery to Karoo Desert Botanical Gardens, the only true succulent garden in the southern hemisphere (pay entrance fee locally).
 
Set in magnificent surroundings at the foot of the Hex River Mountains near Worcester, Karoo Desert Botanical Gardens showcases plants from the arid regions of South Africa including tree aloes, euphorbias, wild grapes and a great variety of smaller species. The gardens offer a kaleidocscope of colour from August to mid-October, when Namaqualand daisies and vygies provide a dazzling display.
Day 17
At leisure to relax and explore more of the beautiful city of Cape Town.
 
Many optional activities are available in this beautiful city. You can explore the vibrant Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned (advance booking essential in season).
 
You can also take the Hop Off bus (Blue Route) to visit world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens, enjoy a city tour or simply relax on golden Camps Bay Beach.
Day 18
Today drive 2-hours from Cape Town along the scenic coastal route through Gordon’s Bay and along the False Bay coast to the small seaside town of Betty's Bay.
 
Here you can visit Harold Porter Botanical Garden, which is renowned for its fine collection of fynbos (meaning "fine bush"). Situated between the mountains and the sea, in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region, it lies in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve and comprises 10-hectares of cultivated fynbos garden and 190-hectares of natural fynbos shrubland vegetation. The walk through the gorge and down to the waterfall is particularly rewarding.
 
You can also visit the Stoney Point Penguin Colony outside Bettys Bay (pay all entrance fees locally).
 
From July to November, you can continue to Hermanus to see southern right and humpback whales which come here to breed each year. Hermanus is regarded as the best location for land-based whale watching in the world. Afterwards return to Cape Town, driving through Sir Lowry's Pass.
Day 19
Drive to Cape Town Airport for your flight home.