E1 - Cradle of Humankind Tour

 

Visit the Sterkfontein caves, the Robert Broom museum, and see a replica of Mrs. Ples, described in 1947 as “the most perfect pre-human skull ever found”.  Fossil finds yield much information on the area and its former inhabitants that lived in South Africa about 2.5 – 3 million years ago.  Continue your trip back in time via Swartkrans.  Then enjoy a Zulu dance at dinner at the Aloe Ridge hotel with ‘star-gazing’ included, before returning back to Johannesburg/Pretoria.

 

E2 - Cave and Wildlife Tour

 

Visit the Wonder Cave (guided 50 minute cave tour) in the Sterkfontein area, drive through the Rhino and Lion Park (a relaxing peaceful game drive, over 600 wild animals, more than 20 species such as lion, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, crocodile and many antelope), lunch in Magaliesburg, visit the Blaauwbank Gold Mine (guided underground tour, gold panning), before returning back to Johannesburg/Pretoria.

 

E3 - Indigenous Cultural Tours

E3.1 - Ndebele Village and Loopspruit Wine Estate Tour

The Ndebele Village depicts the progressional life style of the Ndebele.  The village tour includes handcraft demonstrations, traditional dressing, beadwork and weaving. Dancing can be viewed on request.  Enjoy traditional lunch at the Loopspruit Wine Estate.  The estate produces five white and two red wines, as well as traditional firewater, "witblits" and "mampoer".  The tour includes a cellar tour and wine tasting.

 

 

 

 

E3.2 - Rainbow Nation Cultural Village Tour

 

The Lesedi Cultural Village is set in the bushveld at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountains. It is here where Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, and Basotho families live in traditional homesteads.  Share in the fascinating traditions and customs.  Enjoy a traditional African style feast and share in the traditional dancing and singing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E4 - Hartbeestpoort Dam Tour

 

Visit the Snake and Reptile Park, enjoy a Cable Car ride or a boat ride on the Hartbeespoort Dam, enjoy lunch at Sophia's Tavern (shebeen) in the Rainbow Cultural Village that endeavours to depict the modern day South Africa with her different cultures as they exist today. Bushman huts and Ndebele dwellings can be observed. Round off the Hartbeespoortdam tour at the local flea market to buy last-minute South African arts and crafts.

 

The 55000 ha Pilanesberg National Park, the fourth largest national park in South Africa, is situated on the eroded remains of an ancient volcanic crater, one of only three such extensive craters in the world.  The park consists of numerous hills, wooded ravines and open plains.  Pilanesberg is well stocked with game including the "Big Five" (elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo), as well as cheetah, hippo, giraffe, a large variety of antelope and over 350 species of birds.  The park is in a malaria-free area.  View game in the morning, stop over at the Mankwe hide, lunch at Bakubung lodge, late afternoon trip around park and then return to Johannesburg/Pretoria.

 

E6 - Pilanesberg and Lost City Tour

 

Visit Pilanesberg National Park to view the "Big 5", lunch at the Bakubung Lodge.  Visit Sun City (where the fun never stops) and the Lost City, a fantasy world conjured out of the myths and legends of Africa, complete with ruins of old temples, grottos, simulated earth tremors, and 25 hectares of mysterious jungle threaded by adventure paths which wind between tumbling streams, waterfalls and lakes.  Dinner optional.

 

E7 - Suikerbosrand and Blesbokspruit Tour

 

The Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve covers a surface of 13 337ha. The reserve is named after the Transvaal Sugerbush: Protea caffra.  The Suikerbosrand mountain range is a dominant feature of the reserve. Larger mammal species include Eland, Oribi, Steenbok, Black Wildebeest, Common Duiker, Red Hartebeest, Common Reedbuck, Brown Hyena, Chacma Baboon, small spotted Genet, Cape Fox, Zebra, Grey Rhebuck, Kudu, Springbok, Leopard, Blesbok, Mountain Reedbuck, Black-backed Jackal, Aardwolf, Porcupine and Aardvark. Reptiles, frogs and insects are prolific.  Over 200 bird species have been identified.  A picnic/barbecue will be arranged after a 4 hour hiking trail through the reserve.  Relax in the pools in the afternoon.  Drive back to Johannesburg/Pretoria via the renowned Blesbokspruit Wetland, which is a Ramsar site (Convention on Wetlands of International Importance especially as Waterfowl Habitat).

 

E8 - Krugersdorp Game Reserve Tour

 

Just outside Krugersdorp, grassy hills and bush-filled ravines provide a widely varying habitat for animals in this game sanctuary.  White rhino, giraffe, kudu, sable and roan antelopes, buffalo and baboons can be seen.  Watch the lions feed in the afternoon in the lion park enclosure.  Picnic/barbecue under the trees, late afternoon swim to cool off, return to Johannesburg/Pretoria.

 

E9 - Botanical Tour

 

Enjoy the splendour of the South African flora.  Visit the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden set in an incredibly beautiful spot with its magnificent high cliffs pierced by a waterfall.  Over 600 species of flowering plants, 230 species of birds (including a magnificent breeding pair of Black Eagles), as well as a number of reptiles and small mammals occur here naturally.  Enjoy lunch in Melville, adjacent to the Melville Nature Reserve.  Then we travel to the Pretoria National Botanical Garden to observe the splendour of the bushveld.

 

E10 - Ornithological Tour (Bird Watching)

 

As Southern Africa is so diverse, with a great number of vastly different habitats, the birdlife is considerable.  This makes the sub-region a popular bird watching destination with over 900 species on the list.  Start the bird watching tour at the Kareebosrand Conservancy, situated between Johannesburg and Pretoria, with a guided bird walk with champagne breakfast. This particular walk takes place on a private game farm – a beautiful location.  Proceed to the western part of Johannesburg to visit the Witwatersrand National Botanical Gardens where, apart from a pair of black eagles, some 230 bird species can be observed.  Continue to the East Rand Mall where lunch will be enjoyed before travelling to the Rondebult Bird Sanctuary, an urban bird sanctuary in Eastern Gauteng.  Rondebult has a total of 192 bird species, 72 species are associated with wetlands and 12 common species of migratory birds have been noted.  Bird watching takes place from centrally located hides.  Good walking shoes (terrain is rough) and hats are highly recommended, as well as binoculars and photographic equipment.  Checklists, books and water bottles will be provided.

 

E11 - Tswaing Crater Tour

 

The only crater museum and the first enviro-museum in South Africa. Visitors are taken to the impressive 1,4km diameter crates where the cosmic (meteorite) and geological forces that caused the phenomenon is explained.  Some 200 000 years ago a blazing meteorite slammed into the earth's crust. The impact formed a huge crater, 1,4km in diameter and 200m deep. This crater, known as the Pretoria Saltpan (or Zoutpan), is situated 40km to the northwest of Pretoria. It is one of the best-preserved meteorite impact craters anywhere in the world. The name Tswaing means, "place of salt ".

 

As early as 120 000 years ago Stone Age people, and later ancestors of the San, inhabited the area. About 1000 years ago, black people who spoke African languages like Tswana and Sotho moved into this area. Major attractions, besides the crater, are the herd of indigenous cattle, preserved here as a gene pool (Royal Nguni Cattle), the large variety of plant species, representing different plant communities, and the 300-odd species of birds found at this site. From the various layers of the sediment which accumulated in the crater over 200 000 years, the most detailed history of climatic change in the Southern Hemisphere can be read.