Forget the mainstream checklist, this trip is its own Big Five - BIG on wildlife, BIG on the outdoors, BIG on culture, BIG on views and BIG on having a sick time. Oh, and the wine here is pretty bloody good too. On this one, adventure is seriously an understatement.
Touch down in Johannesburg, meet your fellow Topdeckers and get excited for the incredible adventure ahead. We’ll kick the trip off in true African style with an included 4X4 game drive this afternoon. Oh hey, Simba! Tonight, we’ll gather around the campfire after dinner and soak up all those nature vibes. Phew! What an epic start to the trip.
Rise and shine adventurers! We’ve got two full days of 4X4 safariing to get on board with. This place is home to 500 species of birds, 148 species of mammals, a variety of reptiles and the Big Five (of course) so we hope you packed your camera! If you’re lucky you’ll see buffalos grazing, rhinos frollicing in the mud, lions on the hunt and elephants having a bath. Sing the ‘Circle of Life’ all the way back to camp before we swap safari stories over the campfire. This is livin’, Barry.
Dig into breakfast, then it’s back to the park for our second day’s game driving. If you didn’t lose a few jealous Facebook friends yesterday, you definitely will today! With our eagle-eyed guide at the wheel, you’re sure to spot more than a few animals doing their thing. GoPros at the ready! Tick off as many of the Big Five as you can before tucking in to a delicious feast back at the camp. You can thank us later.
We’ll get one last chance to lap up all the Lion King vibes on an included bush walk through Kruger before rolling into the kingdom of Swaziland. Taking the scenic route doesn’t get much better than our drive today (cue epic panoramic views). We’ll stop in at Blyde River Canyon for a jaw-dropping photo op. Then: it’s onto Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary we go. Flanked by the dramatic backdrop of mountains and stretches of forests, Mlilwane is what eco-dreams are made of. Ahhh the serenity.
Get a taste of traditional Swazi culture on an included Esitjeni village walk today. Wander around the perfectly crafted beehive huts, shake hands with the locals and get a taste of day-to-day life in the community. If you want, you can opt to meet the village chief as well. Later, why not jump on board a sunset game drive for some epic views over the mountain ranges or play ‘I, spy’ on a sunset guided walk? Or maybe a spot of mountain biking or horse riding would float your boat? Just be back for an included dinner with the crew later.
The adventuring continues as we make tracks toward the coastal town of St Lucia. Get excited, ‘cos this afternoon we’re going to hop on a boat cruise and get floaty on the river – cue frolicing hippos and lazy crocodiles hanging out on the sandy river banks. Filled your SD card again? Don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to filter out the good ones at an included dinner tonight.
Next up: Durban. Located on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, South Africa’s third largest city is buzzing with activities to sink your teeth into. You could meet the dolphins at uShaka Marine Park or check out the living fossils at the Botanic Gardens. Then: hit the beaches along the Golden Mile. With over 300 days of sunshine every year it’s the perfect place to work on your tan, go for a swim or hit the surf. And, go!
Yay! You’ve got another day to explore Durban. Why not get on board an optional tour to the Valley of 1000 Hills for some epic views and an insight into the lives of the Zulu people. Or you could hire a surfboard and practise your best shaka along the coast. Does a cruise around the bay or visit to the local art gallery sound more like your jam? Let us know, we’ll sort it. Tonight, hit the streets for some delicious food stall options – it’s popular for a reason!
Sling your stuff in the truck, we’re off to Drakensberg after breakfast. A mountain range that extends over 600 miles across South Africa, the Drakensberg is a truly awe-inspiring sight. A literal mixing bowl filled with wildlife, flora and stunning scenery this place deserves all the heart eye emojis. After an afternoon of exploring, we’ll bed down for the night surrounded by mountains and waterfalls in the heart of the Royal Natal National Park.
Make sure you get your fill at breakfast because we’ve got a full day of exploring planned for today. Say hi to The Amphitheatre – a five kilometre long cliff face that looms dramatically over the national park. Then: there’s an optional hike to Tugela Falls (the second-highest waterfall in the world) if you’re up for it. The views are worth the sore legs tomorrow – trust us. Later, take a refreshing dip in the dam near our accommodation. Look at you, adventuring like a pro.
See ya later, Drakensberg – we’re off to Malealea, where we’ll camp out for the next two nights.
Today is your day, your way. Optionals? Soak up all the nature vibes on a guided hike, pony trekking or mountain biking experience. For a truly unique cultural experience why not have all your questions answered at a Sangoma appointment? Or discover the local way of life on a local village tour. Whatever you choose, we have a feeling you’re going to love it here.
South Africa, we meet again. What do you think you'll see at the Mountain Zebra National Park? We'll give you one guess! Later, why not earn your stripes (LOL) on an optional 4x4 game drive?
From one African local to another – don't say we don't spoil you! Home to over 350 elephants brought back from the brink of extinction, today we'll have the chance to meet Dumbo and his friends on an included 4x4 sunset game drive through the park. Want more? There's a nighttime experience on offer too.
Ready to get your adrenalin pumping? Good! Not only does Storms River have an awesome name, but it’s also got a bunch of awesome optionals to choose from, too. Check out the suspension bridge hanging just seven metres from the churning waters below or paddle your way down the river in a kayak. Prefer to keep your feet on solid ground? There’s plenty of hiking trails to explore as well.
Wakey wakey! Time to kick it to Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world (for real). Today we’ll hit up the Cango Caves, Africa's largest show cave system. Ooh, mysterious! You can even opt in to visit the cute lil’ critters at Cango Wildlife Ranch afterwards. Tonight, we’ll tuck into one last group dinner – Quick! Snap a pic of your new Topdeck fam.
Relaxed and revitalized, we’ll head to Hermanus, a town that’s famous for its whale and dolphin sightings. But first, we’ll make a pitstop at Cape Agulhas – Africa’s southernmost tip. Later, put your palets to the test with an included wine tasting. Hope you left room in your suitcase for a commemorative bottle (or two).
It’s our last day but there’s still plenty of time to spot the Marine Big Five on an optional cruise to Dyer Island. Want something a little more thrilling? A Great White Shark cage dive should do the trick! Our trip will wrap up in Cape Town *sad face*. Swap numbers those socials, we know you’ll be back.
If you’re between 18-30 something, don’t miss the opportunity to travel with this awesome travel company. Topdeck was born in 1973 when Skroo Turner and his mates bought a double-decker bus and drove across Europe to Morocco. They now offer over 330 amazing tours in 65 countries, so they will definitely have a touring adventure to whet your appetite.
A collective of explorers who are devoted to travel, they strive to open minds, shift perspectives, learn new things and make a difference. Their passion is to inspire young people through life-changing travel experiences. Their business is to make travel dreams a reality. They know what works. And they’re not afraid to shout about it. They refuse to sacrifice quality, independence and freedom, and believe solo adventures should go hand in hand with unforgettable moments with like-minded travellers. They offer variety, comfort and value for money, and promise a hassle-free holiday, loaded with authentic local experiences.
They are lively, curious, knowledgeable and dedicated; driven with the desire to laugh and have fun. They build the trips. You build the memories. Go on, jump on board and discover what it means to be a #Topdecker!
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