Fly direct to Johannesburg. Collect your car and drive 45 minutes to the Balalaika Hotel which is situated in the northern suburb of Sandton, which is also the Financial District and a shopping and restaurant mecca.
After relaxing overnight, leave early in the morning for the 4 1/2 hour drive along good roads to the Madikwe Game Reserve. This has been one of the success stories in wildlife management in South Africa with a number of endangered species reintroduced successfully into their natural habitat. You will stay in the wonderfully luxurious Etali Safari Lodge, which is family owned and run with some of the highest standards of accommodation and service in the industry. While you are in Madikwe, you will be able to enjoy two 4 hour game drives a day and bush walks are also available. You will encounter the ‘Big Five’ as well as Cape Wild Dog. This is non-malarial.
After you early morning game drive, you will have time to drive back to Johannesburg Airport and catch a late afternoon flight to Upington in the Northern Cape. This sleepy town straddles South Africa’s longest river – The Orange River. After collecting your 4X4 rental car, you will stay by the river at a comfortable B&B, River Place Manor.
After breakfast you will drive 2 1/2 hours across the dusty plains of the ‘Green Kalahari’ to the entrance to the Kgalagardi Transfrontier Park at the remote village of Twee Rivieren, the roads to here are paved and in good condition. Approximately 2 hours drive along a sandy, gravel road from the entrance, you will be met by a driver from !Xaus Lodge. This is pronounced with a click at the beginning which is a common feature of the language of the local San people who were previously called Bushman. You will see an amazing amount of animals in this dry region including the wonderfully majestic Kalahari Black Mained Lion. While you are at the lodge you will have game drive each day as well as being tutored in how the San survive in this fairly inhospitable wilderness.
After you early morning game drive, you will retrace your journey, stopping halfway to Upington to stay at Rooipan Guest Farm. This is a very special experience and consistently is highly rated on Trip Advisor. The warm Afrikaans hosts will welcome you and they provide an interesting sunset drive across the semi desert viewing the strange flora of the region and spying some interesting animals.
After a hearty farm breakfast, you will drive approx 2 hours past Upington to the pretty riverside village of Keimoes. You will be stay in The Overlook which literally overlooks the village and the sultana groves along the banks of the Orange River. You will stay here for three nights and from here you can visit the spectacular Augrabies Falls where the mighty Orange River literally falls over the side of the high interior plain of South Africa as it makes its way to the Atlantic Ocean. You can also dive easily into the arid semi desert to a ‘forest’ of the weird Kokerboom ‘trees’. These are, in fact, social aloes that grow from one stem to conserve energy and water needs in this harsh climate. You can also drive to the Cathedral in the desert at Pella which must rank as one of the most remote religious outposts anywhere.
Your journey to Upington Airport is just 1 hour away and you will take a late afternoon flight to Johannesburg to connect with your overnight international flight home full of wonderful memories.
Price starts from $8,200 ( £6,300) for our British clients), is quoted for two adults and includes international and domestic economy flights, fully comprehensively insured car hire (based on a 4X4 vehicle from Upington), accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis, except for Etali and !Xaus which are all inclusive of meals and drinks and game drives and Rooipan which includes dinner. The quote also includes the South Africa Sun booking fee and you will receive the unique South Africa Sun Care Package.