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Madikwe Game Reserve South Africa: Malaria Free Safari Holidays Sun City

Guided Tours, Oman + South Africa Safari Holiday: Muscat + Sea Turtles + Wahiba Sands

Exploring Oman + South Africa Safari (Madikwe)
DPS12M
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,798
Per person sharing
International flights quoted separately
Guided Tour Oman South Africa Safari Holiday Muscat Sea Turtles Wahiba Sands

This privately guided tour of Oman combines with South Africa for an exciting safari holiday. Explore old Muscat & the lush Green Mountains, stay overnight in a desert camp at Wahiba Sands & view green turtles on the beaches of Ras Al Hadd. Then fly to South Africa for a thrilling Big Five safari holiday at the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve. English speaking guide, all transfers, sightseeing & game drives included.

 

Guided Tour Oman South Africa Safari Holiday Muscat Sea Turtles Wahiba Sands
• 
Guided Tour Oman & South Africa
• 
Muscat & Grand Mosque
• 
Green Mountains
• 
Nizwa & Bahla Fort
• 
Wahiba Sands Desert
• 
Turtles, Ras Al Hadd
• 
South Africa Safari Holiday
• 
Madikwe Game Reserve
• 
Luxury Big Five Safari
• 
Malaria Free
• 
Guided Tour Oman & South Africa
• 
Muscat & Grand Mosque
• 
Green Mountains
• 
Nizwa & Bahla Fort
• 
Wahiba Sands Desert
• 
Turtles, Ras Al Hadd
• 
South Africa Safari Holiday
• 
Madikwe Game Reserve
• 
Luxury Big Five Safari
• 
Malaria Free
Day 1
You will be met at Muscat Airport by your driver/guide and transferred into the capital city of Oman, with its characteristic low-rise white buildings.
 
Check into your hotel and enjoy the culture of this ancient port that has been an important trading link between the east and the west since the 1st Century.
 
In the evening enjoy a 2-hour Sunset Cruise, sailing along Oman's spectacular coast in a traditional wooden Arab dhow, passing the Muttrah Corniche, the old harbour, medieval forts and sleepy villages.
Day 2
This morning enjoy a half day private tour of the modern city Muscat (meaning ‘anchorage’ as it is a natural harbour), that exists in harmony with its traditional culture.
 
Our first stop is the enormous Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque with its magnificent central dome and five minarets. The huge central chandelier is made from Swarovski crystal and the prayer mats are made from pure Persian silk. Rajasthani sandstone and the finest Italian marble were used in its construction.
 
We then drive along the Mutrah Corniche, which is flanked by attractive latticed buildings and mosques, where we visit the fish market and walk around the colourful 'souk' (traditional market). We continue down the coast to Old Muscat, where we visit the Bait al Zubair Museum, which has an extensive collection of ancient weapons, household equipment, Omani national dress and jewellery. Outside the museum there is a full-scale Omani village and souk.
 
From here we drive to Al Alam Palace, the official home of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, and the historic 16th century Portuguese Forts of Mirani and Jalali which still guard the harbour. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore more of the city independently.
 
Note: When visiting the Grand Mosque, your body must be fully covered, including wrists and ankles, and women must wear a scarf covering the hair and neck. The Grand Mosque, Royal Opera House and Bait al Zubair Museum are all closed on Fridays.
Day 3
We leave Muscat this morning and travel 4,5-hours to the dramatic Jebel Akhdar Mountains (known as the Green Mountains). Before we leave the city we visit the Amouage Perfume Factory, where you can see the working behind one of the most luxurious perfume brands in the world.
 
We then drive to the 400-year old well preserved mountain village of Al Hamra, with its traditional mud brick houses. Here we visit the Bait al Safah living history museum that showcases Omani culture. Our next photo stop is at the immense ruined Bahla Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage site located at the foot of the Jebel Akhdar Highlands. Originally built in the 13th century as a mud-walled fortified oasis in the Omani Desert, it was extensively rebuilt in the 1600s. Today Bahla is called the 'City of Magic', as it is rumoured that its potters have magic in their fingers.
 
Afterwards we visit to the 300-year old Jibreen Castle, built on a flat plain close to the city of Nizwa and considered the most beautiful historic castle in Oman. A picnic or lunch in a local restaurant is included today.
 
At Birkat Al-Mawz we start our uphill journey to the vast Saiq Plateau situated at over 6,500 ft (2,000 m) above sea level, travelling on roads suitable only for 4x4 vehicles. Here you can see crumbling abandoned houses clinging to the mountainside, cultivated wadi beds where garlic is grown in the clay soil and pomegranate trees clinging to the rocks. You may even see the famous Jebel roses. On arrival we check into our hotel in the beautiful Green Mountains.
Day 4
This morning explore more of the beautiful Green Mountains with your guide, including the 400-year old town of Al Hamra, the mountainside village of Misfat Al Abriyyin and the atmospheric Tanuf Castle ruins.
 
A picnic or lunch in a local restaurant is included today, with your afternoon at leisure to relax in this scenic region.
Day 5
We leave the Green Mountains this morning and drive 5-hours to Sharqiya Sands (still referred to locally as Wahiba Sands) - a region of spectacular Omani desert, driving on roads suitable only for 4x4 vehicles.
 
Our first stop is at the ancient city of Nizwa, the capital of Oman in the 6th and 7th centuries and the birthplace of Islam in the Sultanate. Surrounded by lush greenery fed by ancient water channels (known as 'falaj' irrigation systems), the city is full of rivers, orchards and date palms. Nizwa souk is central to the life of the city and is lined with handicraft stalls and silversmiths working in small shops. Here you can taste Omani 'halwa' (a sweet desert) and buy a ceremonial 'khanjar' (traditional dagger). On Friday mornings you can even watch the goat and cattle auctions – a very authentic cultural experience. You can also climb up to the 17th century Nizwa Fort, whose 40 m central tower soars above the rest of the building. The views of the city and mountains beyond will make up for the short climb.
 
We continue driving through the inland towns of Manah and Ibra, one of Oman's oldest cities that was once a centre of trade, religion, education and art. It was famous for its fine horses and horsemen and the old quarter holds the remains of many stately mud-brick mansions, mosques and watch towers. A unique feature of Ibra is the ‘Wednesday Souk’ run entirely by women. A picnic or lunch in a local restaurant is included today.
 
The desert will then open up as we drive towards Wahiba Sands - named after the Bani Wahiba tribe. Home to the Bedouins, these windswept ever-shifting sand dunes offers a glimpse into a traditional way of life that is rapidly disappearing, as modern conveniences limit the need for a nomadic lifestyle involving raising livestock in this incredibly harsh environment. Living a life far removed from that of most Omanis, the Bedu women are bold, brightly dressed and often seen behind the wheel of an ancient pick-up truck driving up and down dunes.
 
On arrival at our Bedouin camp, check in and relax in this unique environment. Here you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of their nomadic lifestyle while sharing traditional coffee and dates with a Bedu family, admiring their colourful handcrafts and maybe having some henna art painted on your body. You can also choose to go for a camel ride or do some ‘dune bashing’ – hurtling down the sand dunes in a 4x4 vehicle with an experienced desert driver. You will see the desert at its most glorious as the sun sets, then relax around the campfire under a glorious canopy of stars.
Day 6
After rising early to see the sunrise over the dunes, we leave Wahiba Sands and travel 4.5-hours to our beach hotel on the Southeast Coast.
 
Along the way we stop at the desert oasis ('wadi) at Bani Khalid, where you can swim in emerald pools surrounded by a rugged ravine and date palms. Remember to dress modestly when swimming (women must avoid bikinis and wear at least a T-shirt and shorts / men must avoid skimpy briefs).
 
We also stop at the windblown town of Al Kamil Wal Wafi, which has some interesting old architecture, including crumbling watchtowers and a castle museum. A picnic or lunch in a local restaurant is included today.
 
We continue driving to our hotel on the sparkling shores of the warm Arabian Sea on the southeast coast.
Day 7
At leisure to relax at your beach resort on the Southeast Coast which attracts snorkellers and divers to its coral reefs, as well as those wanting to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
 
The town of Ras al Hadd has a 7.5-mile (12 km) beach that is an important breeding ground for endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles. During the turtle nesting season (June to November) on one evening you will be able to participate in turtle watching.
 
Optional activities vary by hotel but usually include dhow cruises, dolphin trips and fishing.
Day 8
Today we travel 3.5-hours to Muscat, but first we explore Sur - the capital of the Sharqiya region and once one of the most important ports in the region, trading with East Africa and India. This city is encircled by forts and watchtowers and its shipyards, which still produce traditional wooden dhows, played a pivotal role in Oman’s maritime past.
 
We then travel along the coastal road and through the lush Wadi Tiwi - a magnificent oasis with deep gorges cut into the mountains that run to the sea. With many inviting pools of emerald water and numerous farms and plantations, birds and butterflies abound here.
 
We also stop at gorgeous Fin's Beach - the most photogenic beach in Oman with its beautiful cliffs, pebbly shore and incredibly blue seas. This is a wonderful place for beachcombing and you should see seagulls and flamingos. A picnic or lunch in a local restaurant is included today.
 
Our next stop is at the dazzling turquoise waters of Bimmah Sinkhole (meaning 'falling star'), where you can have a quick swim, as long as you don’t mind a fish pedicure when you dip your toes into these clear waters.
 
Continuing past the impressive Wadi Dayqah Dam, we drive through the small fishing village of Quriyat with its 200-year old fort and triangular watchtower overlooking the corniche. This town has a thriving fishing industry and is also known for its basket making. On arrival in Muscat you will be dropped off at your hotel.
Day 9
Transfer to Muscat Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Johannesburg Airport and escorted to the Federal Airlines kiosk situated in the Bus terminal behind the Intercontinental Hotel. From there you will be transferred to the Fedair Terminal for your light aircraft flight to the beautiful malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve.
 
After checking in to your lodge, enjoy your first thrilling safari drive in an open-top game viewing vehicle accompanied by a lodge ranger. Game viewing opportunities should present themselves almost immediately in this vast game sanctuary. Hopefully you will see several species of antelope, zebra, wildebeest and maybe even wild dogs - as well as several of the Big Five today. Then dine under the stars in the atmosphere that only the African bushveld can provide.
 
Note: As you will be flying in a light aircraft, you can take only soft sports bags that will fit into the aircraft baggage pods, with a maximum weight of 20 kg that is strictly enforced for safety reasons and not exceeding 16 x 12 x 24 inches (40 x 30 x 60 cm) in size. You can also take 5 kg in hand luggage. Rigid suitcases can be stored at the Fedair terminal in Johannesburg free of charge.
Days 10 To 12
Rise at dawn to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, as you enjoy a thrilling open-top game viewing drive with your lodge ranger in the Madikwe Game Reserve. Explore the vast plains, which offer magnificent game viewing and the opportunity to search for all of the Big 5 - Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino - before returning to your lodge for breakfast.
  
The rest of the morning is free to relax by the swimming pool or enjoy bird watching, before setting out again in the late afternoon for another game drive. With numerous different species of mammals and reptiles in the 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!
  
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: Children < 6 are not allowed on open top game drives at most lodges, but child-friendly lodges are available on request.
Day 13
Enjoy a final early morning game drive in Madikwe Game Reserve, before your light aircraft flight to Johannesburg Airport for your flight home.
 
Note: As you will be flying in a light aircraft, you can take only soft sports bags that will fit into the aircraft baggage pods, with a maximum weight of 20 kg that is strictly enforced for safety reasons and not exceeding 16 x 12 x 24 inches (40 x 30 x 60 cm) in size. You can also take 5 kg in hand luggage.