Johannesburg circle trip taking in Rorke’s Drift and Kruger

Click here for a google map that shows the route

This fly-drive holiday includes the Zulu War battlefields, the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) and the Greater Kruger National Park. An extension to the coast for some beach time is very possible as are any other changes you might like.

Day 1: Your holiday starts in comfort in a lounge at Heathrow before your overnight flight to Johannesburg.

Day 2: You will be met on arrival and assisted to your transfer and Johannesburg hotel. As there is no time difference between the UK and South Africa, we have included a city tour this afternoon.

Day 3: A day to relax and enjoy the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg. You might like to visit Soweto or Pretoria. Just let us know and we will help you arrange it.

Day 4: Your car will be delivered to your hotel in good time for the 5-hour drive to the Drakensberg mountains where you will stay at Champagne Castle, nestled just below the third highest peak in South Africa for two nights. This will give you time to explore this glorious area, a Mixed World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the San rock paintings, the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site on the borders with Lesotho or the Falcon Ridge Birds of Prey Centre. If you want to stretch your legs, go to the Monks Cowl Nature Reserve where there are some incredible hiking trails or if you just need to relax, we recommend you to the hotel spa.

Day 6: Drive through Ladysmith to Rorke’s Drift where you will stay for two nights at Fugitives Drift Guest House. This hotel is renowned for its excellent battlefields tours and your holiday includes a Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana Tour. Tours are led by registered tour guides who are superb storytellers and make the history of that 1879 day come alive. Learn of the bravery and mobility of the Zulu army that defeated the British Army at the Battle of Isandlwana and listen at sunset to the famous story of Rorke’s Drift, where 139 British soldiers were attacked by 4000 Zulu warriors; a British victory which saw the award of more Victoria Crosses than in any other battle in history.

Day 8: Drive into the Kingdom of Eswatini (Swaziland) for two nights. This small country is known for its wilderness reserves, the Lebombo Mountains and many colourful festivals. You can either stay in the charming Foresters Arms or in the Ezulwini valley where you will find a wealth of attractions such as craft shops, fruit and vegetable markets and one or two of the several nature reserves which you can explore by vehicle, on foot, mountain bike or horseback.

Day 10: Return to South Africa and head for Hazyview where you will spend two nights. This will give you time to explore God’s Window and the Blyde River Canyon. Here you will find adventures as diverse as hot air ballooning to riding an elephant! Hazyview also has some of the best eateries in the Lowveld.

Day 12: A short drive today will take you to one of the many highlights of this holiday: The Greater Kruger National Park. There are many lodges to choose from in the adjacent private reserves. The park itself is enormous – the size of Wales – but we have selected the Umlani Bushcamp. While absolutely nothing is guaranteed, you have an excellent chance of seeing the Big Five as well as possibly the very rare white lion. We have included 3 nights here as we believe that two nights is just too short! Please do discuss this important part of your holiday with us.

Day 15: Bid a sad farewell to the animals and start your journey back to Johannesburg. It is 5 ½ hour drive (300 miles) so we suggest you either stop somewhere enroute such as Dullstroom or have a last night in the city to allow for some last minute shopping prior to your overnight flight back to the UK.

Total miles covered: 1330.

Recommended hotels:
We have chosen 4* hotels but of course you can alter to either increase the luxury or decrease the price. It must be stressed that this itinerary is purely a starting point. Frontier Travel will tailor-make your holiday just the way you want it.

Johannesburg - Hotel Da Vinci (BED AND BREAKFAST)
The DaVinci is a contemporary hotel is on Nelson Mandela Square in the heart of Sandton with all its shops and restaurants on your doorstep. The ground floor boasts a private art collection: the hotel also has the renowned Maximillien Restaurant and a swimming pool.

This resort hotel is adjacent to the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site. Rooms have mountain or garden views, and come with TVs, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. Some have patios, while suites have kitchens, fireplaces, whirlpool tubs and BBQs. Mountain-facing chalets have kitchens and separate living areas. Other amenities include a bar, an outdoor pool, a spa and a games room, as well as a petting zoo. Horse-riding, tennis and lawn bowling are available.

Rorke’s Drift: Fugitives Guest House and Lodge (FULL-BOARD)
Set in a Game Reserve which overlooks the battlefield of Isandlwana and is home to giraffe, plains game and numerous birds. YOU CAN UPGRADE TO THE LODGE.

The Lodge houses a veritable museum of memorabilia, artefacts and relics. In a stunning setting overlooking Isandlwana and the Buffalo River, the spacious Harford Library provides a contemporary venue for lunch, parties or simply to relax. Both the Lodge and Guest House have extremely comfortable and spacious cottages, each with a verandah. Both have swimming pools, surrounded by tranquil indigenous gardens. Friendly, personal service and good food create a relaxed atmosphere.

ESwatini: Foresters Arms (HALF BOARD)
Set in stunning mountain countryside, Foresters Arms Hotel is a pretty 40-minute drive from Eswatini’s capital, Mbabane, the perfect base for exploring all the attractions of this majestic Kingdom. Dating from colonial times, this country hotel is a traditional haven of comfort and a place of great character and charm. Set within extensive, beautiful gardens rich in native flowers and trees, Foresters Arms offers exceptional accommodation, excellent food and a genuine caring & friendly service.

Hazyview: Nut Grove (BED AND BREAKFAST)
An Intimate Five Star Boutique Hotel, Nut Grove Manor, built in 1924 as a farmhouse, is a hidden gem in the Lowveld where you can unwind in a laid back, family atmosphere. Its location just outside White River, is conveniently close to the best that the region offers and yet is just far enough from the beaten path to offer peace and quiet. The lovely subtropical garden has panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. Each of the 10 suites are furnished in colonial style with either a patio or secluded garden as well as an en-suite bathroom, air conditioning and quality amenities.


There are many lodges in the Timbavati Reserve varying in price and facilities. RockFig is one of the most luxurious: Umlani has less facilities but is still extremely comfortable and comes highly recommended by the Frontier team.

Umlani Bushcamp (FULL BOARD)
Founded in 1989, Umlani was built to encapsulate the true African adventure: the owner’s vision of how a camp would blend into its surroundings so used only natural materials and local designs to build their lodge. There are four family huts with one double and two single beds and four double huts as well as one eco-hut. They all have en-suite facilities including an outside shower, crisp white linens and an outside patio. Your stay will include two daily game drives as well as an optional morning bush walk. One of Umlani’s special treats is a tree house about 2 miles from the camp overlooking a dam where you can spend an hour or two relaxing and watching. When not on a game drive you will be able to laze by the pool or on the deck overlooking the riverbed and watering hole. Evenings are special at Umlani, after drinks in the boma, dinner is served either in the candlelit dining room or out on the riverbed surrounded by flares and cauldron fires.

Prices start from only £2999 per person low season – Please call 020 8776 8709 today or email to discuss your holiday or click the link below to make an online request about this South African fly drive holiday.


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