Itinerary in brief:
- 1 night Johannesburg
- 2 nights Cradle of Humankind
- 2 nights Pilanesberg National Park
- 2 nights Madikwe Game Reserve
- 1 night Johannesburg Airport
Day 1: Arrive South Africa
On arrival in South Africa you will pick up your rental car before driving to your hotel in Johannesburg, where you will stay for one night.
Day 2: Johannesburg to Cradle of Humankind
Spend the morning in Johannesburg where you can explore at your leisure or we can book a tour for you exploring the township of Soweto. Here you can see Africa’s largest hospital, the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the street where both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu have lived.
In the afternoon you’ll drive an hour to the Cradle of Humankind, just north of Johannesburg, where you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Day 3: Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is an anthropological site, where the bones of ancient hominins have been found, from the famous skull, nicknamed “Mrs Ples” and the 15 skeletons found in the Rising Star Cave. The name is due to these fossils being some of the oldest hominin bones ever found, some over 3.5 million years old. Spend the day exploring the site – you can learn about the caves and their contents as well learning about your early ancestors. It is a fascinating place to spend the day and will give you a glimpse into a time when apes and humans were starting to become individual species.
If you want to add a tour or a hot air balloon ride we can arrange this for you – just ask!
Day 4: Cradle of Humankind to Pilanesberg National Park
After breakfast, you’ll drive towards Pilanesberg National Park, where you’ll check into your lodge for two nights. The malaria free Pilanesberg is home to the Big 5 and a great place to enjoy some of South Africa’s famous wildlife close to Johannesburg. This afternoon you’ll enjoy a game drive, looking out for elephants and antelope as they make their way to the waterholes for a drink in the heat. Enjoy dinner at the lodge in the evening before heading to bed, ready for day looking for wildlife tomorrow.
Day 5: Pilanesberg National Park
Head off early for another drive through the bush, where you might spot nocturnal creatures like pangolins and porcupines returning home in the morning light as well as giraffes and zebras waking up to a new day. Spend a couple of hours enjoying the park before spending the rest of the morning at the lodge, enjoying the pool and relaxing in the beautiful surroundings. Embark on another game drive this afternoon where you can keep an eye out for hippos fighting in the river and cheetah cubs playing in the tall grasses.
Day 6: Pilanesberg National Park to Madikwe
Today you’ll drive even further north towards the Botswanan border to visit the Madikwe Game Reserve, a small area where a huge range of wildlife makes its home. Check into your lodge for two nights and enjoy an evening game drive through the bush as the sun sets before tucking into dinner underneath the treetops.
Day 7: Madikwe
Today you’ll spend time exploring the reserve with a morning and evening game drives, looking out for zebras grazing in the bushveld and leopards lazing in the acacia trees. Madikwe is famous for its resident packs of wild dogs and you’ve got a good chance of spotting these endangered creatures on your drive, as well as well as hippos cooling off in the river and lions sunbathing on the huge rocks. In the evening each out for caracals as they wake up to go hunting and warthogs as they retreat to safety in their burrows.
Day 8: Madikwe to Johannesburg
After an early morning wakeup call you’ll take one final exciting game drive through the bush before driving back to Johannesburg, where you’ll check into your hotel for one night. Why not head to Wombles for a steak to enjoy your final night in South Africa.
Day 9: Depart South Africa
Today is your last day in South Africa, return your car hire to the airport in time to catch your onwards flight.