South Africa Explorer Tour

21 days, Johannesburg to Cape Town, the best of South Africa, good company & good vibes

South Africa Explorer Tour

Wildlife you will see on safari in the Greater Kruger Park will captivate you

South Africa Explorer Tour

Stunning scenery will make this tour the most beautiful trip of your life

South Africa Explorer Tour

The best beaches will make this tour the most fun

Full tour itinerary

Day 1: Johannesburg - Hoedspruit

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 05h00

We leave Curiocity Backpackers in Johannesburg at 05:00 in the morning and head north towards Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park. On the way we pass the highlights of the Panorama Route – the Long Tom Pass, Pilgrim’s Rest, God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon. Our destination is a safari lodge in a private game reserve close to Hoedspruit. Here we will have the full bush experience and can spend some awesome times with the Big Five under the starry African sky!

Included: lunch, dinner, afternoon safari
Overnight stay: Thornhill Safari Lodge, Greater Kruger National Park


Day 2: Hoedspruit & the Kruger National Park

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

The safari lodge is hidden in the bush between the Thornybush and Timbavati Nature Reserves. We go on two Big Five game drives and a nature walk.

Accommodation is provided in en suite chalets. On hot days you can jump in the pool and have a beer at the bar.

Included: breakfast, lunch, high tea, dinner, two game drives
Overnight stay: Thornhill Safari Lodge, Greater Kruger National Park


Day 3: Hoedspruit - Ezulwini Valley, Swaziland

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 09h00

We leave Hoedspruit and pass the city of Nelspruit and several nature reserves before we reach the Ngwenya border post to Swaziland (game spotting while driving plus eye-candy included). After driving through the capital of Swaziland, Mbabane, we arrive at our destination – Lidwala Backpacker Lodge in the Ezulwini Valley. This stylish lodge is shaded by beautiful trees and is surrounded by massive boulders.

Overnight stay: Lidwala Backpacker Lodge


Day 4: Swaziland

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

We go on a tour of the Lobamba Village where we learn about the local history and visit the National Museum and the royal residence of the one and only King of Swaziland. You are free to spend the rest of the day exploring the surrounding area or relaxing.

Included: Lobamba Village Tour
Overnight stay: Lidwala Backpacker Lodge


Day 5: Swaziland - Drakensberg

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 08h00

We leave Swaziland and head south-west towards the Drakensberg mountains. Our destination is the Amphitheatre Backpackers - a fun spot with an exceptional location. You have the option of going rock climbing, horse riding or mountain biking at your own expense. Alternatively you can hit a couple of balls at the pool table in the bar or chill with other travellers at the pool.

Overnight stay: Amphitheatre Backpackers


Day 6: Amphitheatre Hike

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

The Tugela Falls is the highest waterfall in Africa and today we tackle the Amphitheatre hike to view the falls. After a successful conquest of the mountains, we celebrate with a drink in the bar and an African braai dinner - herbivores and carnivores welcome!  

Included: Amphitheatre hike, African braai for dinner
Overnight stay: Amphitheatre Backpackers


Day 7: Drakensberg - Durban

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 07h30

The beach is calling so we make our way to Durban. With its warm temperatures and golden Indian Ocean beaches, Durban has a subtropical flair. It’s wise to have a nap during the morning drive to recover from the night before. We head directly to our overnight accommodation, Happy Hippo Backpackers, which is right around the corner from the beach where you can enjoy a dip in the sea. Then you can explore the city, shop and visit the waterfront or World Cup stadium. The nightlife in Durban is legendary and there are many restaurants which offer amazing and international cuisine. We leave at nine the next morning, so nothing stands in the way of a party in Durban.

Overnight stay: Happy Hippo Backpackers Lodge


Day 8: Durban - Umzumbe, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 10h00

Next stop - paradise! After a really short drive we arrive at one of our top spots on the coast, Mantis & Moon Backpackers! The garden’s like a tropical jungle with a rock pool, tree house, en suites and a jacuzzi that is always ready. The beach is only two minutes away and the water is almost always warm and inviting – perfect for a swim or a surf. Later, you can win some drinking money from your fellow travellers at the bar’s little casino.

Overnight stay: Mantis & Moon Backpackers


Day 9: Umzumbe, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Today we offer an optional day trip to the Oribi Gorge, 25km inland. This 27km-long and 1km-wide gorge was shaped by the Umzimkulwana River over thousands of years and has breathtaking views. Apart from a few hiking trails, there are also some adventure activities on offer over the gorge like a swing and zipline that you can do at your own expense.

If you’re not in the mood for the trip, there are plenty of activities like beaching, surfing, diving and fishing available. But the sundeck at Mantis and Moon is a tempting place to spot dolphins or whales with a cold beer in your hand. We end a day in paradise with a fantastic African dinner.

Included: African braai
Overnight stay: Mantis & Moon Backpackers


Day 10: Umzumbe – Coffee Bay, Wild Coast

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 08h00

We leave civilization behind and head into the heart of the old Transkei, a part of the country that was supposedly self-governed in the dirty days of Apartheid. Today, the Wild Coast as it is now known, has kept its rural charm with soft hills which stretch right to the Indian Ocean. Here you can kick your shoes away and purely relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax!

Our destination, Coffee Shack in Coffee Bay, is a popular backpackers located where the Bomvu River meets the sea. So, you’re on the beach again.

Time is very relative at Coffee Shack: we will party, surf, relax and mission over the soft hills along the coast. Once in a while you will spot a group of dolphins as they make their way up the coast.

Overnight stay: Coffee Shack Backpackers


Day 11-12: Coffee Bay, Wild Coast

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

On Day 11 or 12 we will hike from Coffee Bay along the sea cliffs to the Hole in the Wall – a wall of rock in the sea about 100m from the beach with a large arch in the centre.

Otherwise, you can chill in the hammock with Afrotunes playing the background or stare at the ocean. Or try one of the plenty activities that are offered at Coffee Shack. OR just do nothing and relax!

Included: Hole in the Wall hike
Overnight stay: Coffee Shack Backpackers


Day 13-15: Bucanneers – Chintsa West, Wild Coast

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 08h00

From one stunning beach to another. We head down the coast to Chintsa West. The legendary Buccaneers Backpackers overlooks the Chintsa lagoon and the beach. This backpacker village has cottages all over the property, a pool house area with a volleyball field, a yoga and massage cottage and off course a bar that rocks around the clock. Activities are endless - game drives, horse riding on the beach, surfing and mountain biking, or just walking along the endless white beach. Clearly paradise mode! On top of that we will have one of our cracking BAD-TASTE PARTIES on one of the nights and we reckon a bonfire on the beach is definitely in order. Buccaneers Backpacker is one of the places you just wanna stay - so we are staying one day longer.

Overnight stay: Buccaneers Backpackers


Day 16: Jeffreys Bay

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 08h30

We will leave Buccaneers after a lekker breakfast on the sundeck with the view over the ocean. Our next stop is South Africa’s surf Mecca - Jeffreys Bay. Again, we stay on the beach at Island Vibe Backpackers which has a typical laid-back surfer style. Jeffreys Bay has many surf outlet factory shops ranging from Billabong to Quicksilver to Roxy, so you can use the rest of the day to shop for stylish clothes at low prices (the girls will go crazy).

Overnight stay: Island Vibe Backpackers


Day 17: Jeffreys Bay - Storms River (Tsitsikamma)

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 09h00

Next stop – the Garden Route and the evergreen Tsitikamma forest. Storms River Village, our overnight stop, is surrounded by pretty mountains and deep gorges covered in age-old indigenous forest. The famous Big Tree is just around the corner.

Overnight stay: Tube ‘n Axe Backpackers


Day 18: Storms River (Tsitsikamma)

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

After a trip to the Storm’s River Mouth, you can take advantage of the many activities on offer - the highest bungee jump in the world at the Bloukrans Bridge, tubing on the river, waterfall zip slides, canopy tours, snorkeing, mountain biking and much more! Or you can wander through the forest or relax and chill at Tube’n Axe Backpackers. To re-energise, we have another African braai - yummy!

Included: African braai, Storm’s River Mouth Tour
Overnight stay: Tube ‘n Axe Backpackers


Day 19: Storms River – Oudtshoorn

day19

Departure time: 09h00

We drive further down the coast along the Garden Route and then turn inland towards the Little Karoo - a semi-desert area with completely different vegetation. Oudtshoorn was once the centre of ostrich farming, and you can visit an ostrich farm, ride an ostrich, stand on an ostrich egg and of course, eat ostrich cuisine.

You can also explore the Cango Caves or wrestle with young cheetahs and other baby animals at the Cango Wildlife Range. The big thrill is cage diving with crocodiles.

Backpackers Paradise, our accommodation for the night, is close to restaurants, movies, bars and banks.

Overnight stay: Backpackers Paradise


Day 20: Oudtshoorn – Ruiterbos (Mossel Bay)

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 08h30

We drive through the Little Karoo’s desert landscape to the Outeniqua Mountains. The Robertson Pass has a very different landscape and is reminiscent of the dramatic mountains in the Lord of the Rings. Outeniqua Moon Farm is another favourite spot and here you are fully catered for around the clock. This guest farm and horse stud has the most beautiful horses you will see in your life.

Our stay here is the perfect time to sit back and relax at the pool with the view of the Outeniqua Mountains in the background and mellow down a little after the last weeks of action and fun in Africa. All of you have en suite rooms and will get fully catered by Chrissie and her amazing cooking. We also offer to give you a personalised horse experience with the giants and the little ones.

We spend the evening around the braai, watching the sunset over the mountains and sharing funny stories of the past few weeks spent together.

Included: lunch, braai dinner, horse experience
Overnight stay: Outeniqua Moon Farm


Day 21: Ruiterbos – Cape Town via Hermanus

Pangea Trails South Africa Explorer Tour

Departure time: 09h00

We start the final day of our tour with a bang and the whole day will be a cracker. We drive along the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountains in the direction Cape Town, but detour to Standford to taste some local beer at Birkenhead Brewery. Our next stop is Hermanus and if we’re there between May and December we can try to spot some whales.

After a quick look at the penguins at Stony Point in Betty’s Bay, we drive along the coast into False Bay (the biggest bay in South Africa). From here it’s a mere 45 minutes before we hit Cape Town. Our tour ends in Gardens, a suburb within walking distance of the city centre that also has Table Mountain right in your face.
We spend our last night at Ashanti Backpackers. This legendary backpackers is said to be THE spot in Cape Town, if not South Africa. The location, the view and the legendary parties have made travellers from all over the world enjoy this crazy backpackers. We finish the dream off with a braai at the pool at Ashanti or rock out for a dinner in one of Cape Town’s amazing restaurants.

Included: breakfast