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Pearls of Limpopo (11 days)
11 days duration
Limpopo, South Africa's vibrant northern-most province is authentic Arica in all her glory. Here you will discover the Pearls of Limpopo amidst a backdrop of vast savannas, swaying golden grasslands, rugged mountain ranges, rich local culture and a truly dazzling array of wildlife. The Pearls themselves are a collection of four beautiful lodges that epitomize the enchanting wonder and magnificence of this very special part of South Africa. The world famous Kruger National Park and Botswana's Northern Tuli Game Reserve are also within easy reach. The Pearls of Africa collectively showcase a stunning combination of wildlife, culture and history set within the most generous and dramatic of African landscapes. Each lodge, with individual flair and unique styling, is a hallmark of tranquillity, privacy, spacious accommodation, excellent service and outstanding cuisine.
On arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you will be met by a representative who will hand you all the travel documentation and assist you to the rental car kiosk where you pick up your rental car.
From Johannesburg you will travel north to the Limpopo Province and the Kololo Game Reserve (approx. 3.5 hours). Situated in the heart of the malaria free Waterberg biosphere and neighbouring the Big 5 Welgevonden Game Reserve.
You have the rest of the day at leisure. (D)
You have each day at leisure to enjoy the lodge.
Kololo Game Reserve offers the ultimate African safari situated in the beautiful Waterberg and affords guests the chance of seeing a wide variety of free ranging wildlife including giraffe, kudu, eland and impala. Enjoy the game drives, walks or mountain bike rides assisted by Kololo's friendly and knowledgeable rangers. Visit the neighbouring Welgevonden Game Reserve, a "Big Five" region, where elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard abound along with a range of other animals and an abundanct and thriving variety of birds. Relax at the pool, enjoy a bush BBQ or sip a drink while soaking in the view from the lookout decks. (BLD)
After breakfast you continue your journey into Limpopo to Mopane Bush Lodge situated close to the Mapungubwe National Park.
Set right up against the northern border of South Africa, uniting Botswana and Zimbabwe, lies Mapungubwe National Park - an extensive savannah landscape situated at the meeting place of the Limpopo and Shashe rivers. This is the land of sandstone formations, mopane woodlands, brooding baobabs, ancient floodplains and unique riverine forests that form a dramatic backcloth for the wealth of animal life - elephant, giraffe, buffalo, white rhino, gemsbok and other antelope, extensive bird life, and the more elusive mammal like hyenas, leopards and lions. Mapungubwe is South Africa’s first kingdom, a highly complex society that marked the heart of a pre-Shona kingdom between 1220 AD and 1290 AD, only to be abandoned at the end of the 13th century. The Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape - the virtually untouched remains of the palace sites, the settlement area dependent upon them, and two capital sites that remain - was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003 and forms part of the Mapungubwe National Park.
Guests will have the afternoon and evening at leisure to relax after their drive. Guests are welcome to go for walk on a trail in the Mopane bushveld leading to a hide at the dam. (BLD)
You will have each day at leisure to enjoy your time at the lodge.
Mopane Bush Lodge, a tranquil bush retreat, inspired by traditional African design. Stay in a thatched en suite chalet, beautifully appointed within its own kraal and complete with an additional outdoor shower. Languish at the pool or in the lapa while sipping a sundowner. Dine under the stars in the boma or at tables lavishly set on the lawn. Mapungubwe National Park and World Heritage Landscape is adjacent to Mopane Bush Lodge. The region is filled with awe inspiring sandstone landscapes, imposing thousand year old baobabs and herds of African wildlife. This primordial wilderness was home to the San bushmen and several Iron Age Bantu cultures and their rock paintings and artefacts cover this evocative space and bare testament to an era lost in the sands of time. Explore these wondrous sites with experienced interpretation guides. Soak in the breath-taking vistas from the Treetop walk and Confluence viewpoint adjacent to the mighty Limpopo River where three African countries converge. Ancient Africa awaits you. (BLD)
After breakfast you continue your journey to the Soutpansberg and Leshiba Wilderness.
The approximate boundaries of the Soutpansberg Region include the Tropic of Capricorn to the south, the Limpopo River to the North, the Magalakwen River to the West and the Kruger Park/Mozambique border to the east. The most prominent features of this area are the mountains - Soutpansberg (named after the large salt pans found at the base of the north-western slopes of the mountain) - and the Limpopo River system, the life blood of the arid mopaneveld. As the region consists of a combination of plains, mountain areas, bushveld and subtropical lowveld, agriculture vary greatly from crops like potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables to cotton, paprika, bananas, avocados, mangoes, litchis, papaws, pineapples and various nuts. In the old Venda there are a number of tea and coffee plantations. The northern region is mainly cattle country with game farming becoming increasingly popular.
After checking in at Leshiba Wilderness Lodge, you will have the afternoon and evening at leisure to relax. (BLD)
You will have the day at leisure to enjoy your time at the lodge.
Leshiba Wilderness is tucked away on top of the Soutpansberg Mountains. You can attempt the steep drive up the mountainside to Leshiba or alternatively, lodge personnel can collect you at the bottom in a 4x4 and escort you into this mountain paradise. This is truly one of South Africa’s most evocative and beautiful landscapes. The lodge is built on the foundations of an old Venda village. Although an authentic African village at first glance, the interiors are both comfortable and luxurious. Leshiba is also a tantalizing collection of stunning Venda inspired artworks that blend in to the very buildings themselves. The mountain views are stupendous and the scenery spectacular. Walk or take a ride on horseback through this enchanted forest and mountain wilderness.
Leshiba, quite simply a hidden paradise on top of the Soutpansberg Mountains. Languish in this luxurious living sculpture and marvel at the magnificent views of the surrounding area. Experience Venda culture, hiking / walking or just relax and enjoy the abundant game and birdlife. (BLD)
Afterwards breakfast you continue your journey in the Soutpansberg region to Madi a Thavha.
Madi a Thavha Mountain Lodge is situated in the Soutpansberg Mountains, where it lies resplendent in a beautiful valley against a dramatic mountain backdrop. Here one can relax while enjoying warm hospitality amid the rich diversity of local arts and crafts. Immerse yourself in an exposition on the Venda and Tsonga cultures and learn how traditional tools have evolved into contemporary arts and crafts. Explore the Venda tradition and lifestyle on a day tour through this incomparable region and visit workshops where local artists have developed strong creative skills in wood carving, textile design and ceramics. (BLD)
You will have the day at leisure to enjoy your time at the lodge. Madi a Thavha lies against a vast and beautiful mountain backdrop. Immerse yourself in the vivid colour and rich splendour of Venda and Tsonga culture and tradition. Learn about the people, their art, crafts and tribal folklore. (BLD)
After breakfast at the lodge continue onwards back to Johannesburg where you will drop off your rental vehicle at O.R Tambo International Airport for your onward flight home. (B)
Inca Tours does not own any of the hotels, lodges or service providers utilised in making up the tours. As a result Inca Tours is only acting as an agent for the operators and as such does not accept responsibility for any negligence, omissions, errors or differences in standard experienced by passengers when utilising the operators' products or services. Please Note: for full booking terms and conditions please see the back of our booking form.
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