Call us: +44(0)1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • Expert local leaders throughout
  • Experienced and highly knowledgeable trail guides
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Good standard of accommodation in hotels, lodges, fixed tented camps and seasonal, full-service bush camps
  • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Sightseeing and activities as specified
  • Entry fees to national parks
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (Flight Inclusive option)
  • Single, timed, group airport transfers for international flights on arrival and departure
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle or a free Mountain Kingdoms fleece

Eswatini, Kruger & Wild Pafuri Walking Safari Wildlife

Walking & Trekking

Swaziland, South Africa | Walking & Trekking

Eswatini, Kruger & Wild Pafuri Walking Safari
Gentle

Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle ? Gentle
Duration:  14 days from the UK  
Walks on: 10 days (safari walks 7 days)

Flight inclusive from £3,615,
Land only from £2,855

Book now or call 01453 844400

Experience the stunning landscapes of Eswatini and unparalleled walking through the remote wilderness of Kruger’s far north.

Highlights

  • Spend five days exploring remote Pafuri in the far north of Kruger on foot - a unique safari experience.
  • Track the Big Five on guided jeep safaris and bush walks in a game-rich private reserve within southern Kruger National Park.
  • Explore Eswatini's wonderful natural landscape with day walks in the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and Malolotja Mountain Reserve.
  • Discover the colourful Swazi culture
  • Stay in characterful accommodation including a beautifully located eco lodge, a historic mountain lodge, a boutique hotel and authentic safari camps

Reviews          

Two distinctly different countries offering a wild and varied combination of picturesque landscapes and unforgettable wildlife encounters. Swazi culture, stunning day walks, adrenaline fuelled night drives, classic Kruger and remote northern Kruger - what a wonderful adventure!
Kerry Robins, Mountain Kingdoms

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On this outstanding new walking safari, we discover the colourful culture and superb walking trails of the Kingdom of Eswatini, combined with a wild and remote on foot exploration of South Africa’s remarkable Kruger National Park.

The stunning mountainous and flatland scenery of Eswatini offers exceptional walking opportunities. Here we explore two distinctive natural environments, Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ezulwini Valley (the Valley of Heaven), and Malolotja Mountain Reserve, a hiker’s paradise and home to wildflowers and a wonderful variety of animal life.

Travelling north, our adventure continues in the wilds of South Africa as we arrive at the legendary Kruger National Park, home to the big five and supreme wildlife viewing. Taking jeep safaris and guided bush walks we first discover southern Kruger and its impressive natural habitat, before heading to the remote north, to less-visited Pafuri, for unmatched, on foot, wilderness exploration.


At a glance

Grade: Gentle
Gentle

Duration:  14 days from the UK  
Walks on: 10 days (safari walks 7 days)

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 8

Land only joining city: Johannesburg

Accommodation types: Hotels, Lodges, Tented Safari Camps

Meal arrangements: 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners. Where meals are not included the guide will stop at cafes/markets/restaurants and guests can order snacks/meals and try some local cuisine.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1-2
Fly to Johannesburg. Arrive Johannesburg or Tambo airport. Transfer to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland).
3
Walk to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ezulwini Valley (the Valley of Heaven). Walk to historic Execution Rock along the Machobane Trail.
4
Transfer to north-western Eswatini. Guided day walk in the Malolotja Mountain Reserve.
5
Day at leisure at Phophonyane Eco Lodge with option of a short walk.
6
Road transfer to Mantobeni Safari Lodge. Late afternoon walking safari.
7
Morning and evening jeep safaris and guided bush walks.
8
Road transfer to Pafuri entering Kruger National Park at Punda Maria Gate. Afternoon walk.
9-11
Big Five guided walking safari through wild areas of Pafuri, the Luvuvhu River and Lanner Gorge.
12
Morning walking safari. Road transfer to Louis Trichardt.
13-14
Return to Johannesburg. Fly UK.
Leader: Local Leader, Eswatini & South Africa
Local Leader, Eswatini & South Africa

Throughout your African adventure you will be escorted by an experienced local guide and a driver. If your group size is four there will only be one guide/driver.

Your walking and jeep safaris in South Africa are led by experienced, English speaking guides based in each camp the guides are highly knowledgeable and their expertise is broad. Specialists in their field, they have excellent knowledge of the terrain, bird and wildlife found in Kruger National Park. The quality of the guides on this walking safari will ensure that you get the most out of your safari experience.

On walking safaris you will also be accompanied by an armed guide.


Eswatini, Kruger & Wild Pafuri Walking Safari Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Fly London to Johannesburg.

    Depart London on your overnight flight to Johannesburg in South Africa.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  2. Day 2 - Arrive Johannesburg OR Tambo airport. Group transfer to the Kingdom of Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) - 5 hours.

    Arriving at Johannesburg OR Tambo airport you will be greeted by your local guide and transferred by road to the beautiful Ezulwini Valley in Eswatini. Bordering Mantenga Nature Reserve and tucked beneath Sheba's Breast Mountain, you will spend your first night in style at Mogi Boutique Hotel where you'll enjoy mountain and valley views and have time to relax after your overnight flight.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Mogi Boutique Hotel, Ezulwini
  3. Day 3 - Morning walk to Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ezulwini Valley and optional afternoon walk along the Machobane Trail - 6 hours.
    swaziland kruger and wild pafuri walking safari reillys rock mlilwane swaziland.

    After a delicious breakfast, your guide will drive you a short distance to the boundary of the famous Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary. Mlilwane is best known for being the birth place of nature conservation in Eswatini, however it is also renowned for its unique walking trails and beautiful setting in Eswatini's Ezulwini Valley - the Valley of Heaven. The sanctuary itself is quite small yet it is home to a wide variety of animals and birds. During your walk it is common to see animals such as impala, nyala, zebra, warthogs, blesbok, kudu and roan antelope. The walking trails in Mlilwane are popular and the animals have become used to humans, meaning that you are able to get close to most of the wildlife. This makes for a unique, intimate and rewarding wildlife experience.

    The morning trail starts out on the southern boundary of the park and works its way down into the shallow Mhlambanyatsi River Valley, across the river and up to a hippo pool. This is a great spot for finding wallowing hippos and basking crocodiles. The trail then leads to the sanctuary's main camp where you can stop for a rest and visit a mini museum which presents an interesting history of the formation of the sanctuary and key personalities and pioneers of conservation in Eswatini. From the camp the trail cuts across the plains and marshlands of the western sector of the sanctuary before following the beautiful Mhlambanyatsi River upstream towards the base of the Mlilwane Hill where a short climb leads through a shaded forest to the famous Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge. Here you will be reunited with your bags, shown to your cosy rooms and treated to lunch on the verandah.

    After lunch you have two options. The first option is to relax at Reilly's Rock and enjoy the beautiful gardens filled with aloe plants and succulents that attract many different birds. Alternatively, you can choose to join an afternoon guided walk along the base of an impressive mountain peak to the north of the lodge called Execution Rock. The route is called the Machobane Trail; a 5km circular route which rises gently up the base of the peak and then follows a contour (an old aqueduct) along the base of the rocky peak. The trail itself is interesting with many bridges, ladders and platforms making it fun and interactive. There are amazing views across the Ezulwini Valley along the whole route but perhaps the highlight is the ancient cave that houses the faint remains of bushman paintings on its rock facades. This cave would have been a prime location for people living in this bountiful valley many thousands of years ago.

    In the evening, dinner is served inside the Reilly's Rock dining room next to a roaring fire.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Reilly's Rock Hilltop Lodge, Mlilwane
  4. Day 4 - Transfer to north-western Eswatini - 1.5 hours. Guided day walk in the Malolotja Nature Reserve - 3 hours.
    swaziland kruger and wild pafuri walking safari malolotja nature reserve.

    You'll wake up at Reilly's Rock and start the day with breakfast on the verandah with great views out over the eastern plains of Mlilwane onto the Royal Mdzimba Mountains, the sacred burial grounds of the Swazi Kings. While enjoying breakfast it's common for birds to be attracted to the nearby bird tables and often one can catch a glimpse of small, rare antelope such as Klipspringer that are also attracted by the bird's activities. Across the plains, it's not only wildlife that can be spotted, the Swazi Kings' traditional royal residence of Eludzidzini, in the old village of Lobamba, is also within view.

    After breakfast you'll pack up and drive out of Mlilwane up the escarpment and northwards towards the beautiful Malolotja Nature Reserve in Eswatini's north western highlands. Malolotja provides protected wetland, woodland, highveld grassland and mistbelt forest habitats for a wide variety of plant and animal life. The reserve's hiking trails rank among Southern Africa's finest as they offer not only a sense of true wilderness with their magnificent rugged country, but also a fascinating variety of fauna and flora. Malolotja has also been recognised as one of southern Africa's important bird areas due to the significant number of threatened species recorded here. The reserve is particularly important for breeding groups of endangered species such as blue swallow, blue crane, bald ibis and Stanley's bustard. Mammals to look out for include eland, black wildebeest, blesbok, rhybok, rock hyrax, baboons and the rare and elusive aardwolf.

    On arrival at Malolotja you will have the choice of two guided trails. Both trail options are scenic walks as opposed to walking wildlife safaris and the focus is on experiencing the breathtaking scenery of the reserve. One option is the Majolomba Trail, a 5km loop route starting from the Malolotja picnic site following the beautiful and gently sloping grasslands of the Majolomba Valley. This is a relatively easy trail which descends gently down the valley crossing the Majolomba stream six times as it weaves through beautiful grassland and vlei. At the trails midpoint some magnificent views of the majestic Malolotja Valley open up to the north and there is ample opportunity for some classic scenic photography. The second half of the trail climbs back up the opposite side of the Majolomba Valley and is relatively steep in places before it joins the road head which leads back to the picnic site.

    The second option has the Malolotja Waterfalls as its focus and is a short 3 km out-and-back trail which begins from the Logwadja start point and descends steeply into the main Malolotja River Valley. The trail is short but strenuous as it is relatively steep on the way in and out. The effort is worth it however, as the views across the entire Malolotja Valley and beyond are very impressive and rewarding. The Malolotja Falls themselves are the highest waterfalls in Eswatini (90m) and although it is only a small river the setting for the falls is quite spectacular.

    After the trail you will leave Malolotja and drive for just 45 minutes to the secluded Phophonyane Eco Lodge where you will settle into your rooms and prepare for dinner in the spacious dinner area.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge
  5. Day 5 - Day at leisure at Phophonyane Eco Lodge with optional guided day walk.

    Today is one of relaxation at Phophonyane Eco Lodge with an optional guided day walk in the mountains of Phophonyane Nature Reserve. The reserve protects the immense biodiversity of the increasingly threatened habitat and is rich in botanical diversity. It is home to a remarkable 240 species of birds and some of the world's most interesting geological features. You can walk along the magical forested trails and hear the mysterious hoot of the scarlet and emerald feathered narina trogon, the curious whistle of the red duiker, and bark of the elusive bushbuck. Rest and breathe the revitalizing air and enjoy the sight of the famous Phophonyane waterfalls and cascades which tumble over several kilometres of beautifully exposed ancient gneiss, the world's oldest rock, formed over 3.6 billion years ago.

    Dinner will be enjoyed in the lodge's comfortable dining room.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge
  6. Day 6 - Road transfer to a Mantobeni Safari Camp - 5 hours. Late afternoon walking safari in the Big Five savannas of western Kruger.

    After enjoying a lovely breakfast looking out on pretty views across the reserve, you will drive through the northern border of Eswatini into wild and wonderful South Africa. You'll almost immediately notice the contrasts between the tiny kingdom you're leaving behind and the more advanced infrastructure of South Africa. Today's drive reveals stunning landscapes as you drive alongside scenic mountain sights, numerous nature reserves and rich vibrant orange groves, before arriving at Mantobeni Safari Camp in time for lunch. You'll have time to relax and prepare for your first late afternoon walking safari in the Big Five savannas of western Kruger.

    Mantobeni is situated on the pristine Manyeleti Game Reserve which borders Kruger National Park, Timbavati and Sabi Sands Reserve. Game viewing here is outstanding and you can expect to see a wealth of sightings, including elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog, together with their predators - lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena. African wild dog, which is a critically endangered species, is also a visitor here.

    In the afternoon, accompanied by an experienced armed ranger, you set off on you first walking safari through the deep bush. Your ranger and guide will talk knowledgably about this magnificent reserve, the landscapes you explore and the wild encounters you experience.

    Dinner is plentiful and the food here is a highlight. Meals are a communal activity, usually served at a long table with log fires and torches to create a really authentic feel. Simple homemade dishes, using predominantly local produce, are exquisitely presented.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Mantobeni Safari Camp
  7. Day 7 - Mantobeni Safari Camp - morning and evening jeep safaris and guided bush walks.
    swaziland kruger and wild pafuri walking safari mantobeni sunset.

    Today brings the full safari package and more - with exciting game drives in open game viewing vehicles, in the early morning and late afternoon/evening, alongside two adrenaline fuelled bush walks.

    Mantobeni Walking trails can be hot work, but it's very exciting - seeing the animals from a vehicle just doesn't seem to compare. With a varying landscape and mixed vegetation Mantobeni is a natural extension of the bush and an impressive expanse of pristine wilderness just waiting to be discovered.

    Your late afternoon and evening drives include sundowner drinks, views over the Mohwareng Hills, and glimpses of impressive nocturnal creatures as they hunt and graze. Bigger game that are regularly sighted in the reserve include elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and hippo, and in between meals and drives, you can watch the game and birdlife pass by while relaxing by the pool deck or in your comfortable tented safari accommodation.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Mantobeni Safari Camp
  8. Day 8 - Transfer to Pafuri entering Kruger National Park at Punda Maria Gate - 6 hours. Late afternoon walking safari - 1-3 hours.

    This morning you will set off on an early morning road transfer to northern Kruger, entering the Park at Punda Maria Gate and travelling through the park to Pafuri. As you drive through keep your eyes peeled for, elephant, zebra, wild dogs and kudu and notice how the population of birdlife becomes increasingly abundant; Arnot's Chat, eastern nicator, yellow-billed oxpecker and grey-headed parrot are common to this area.

    The Pafuri region is a unique natural environment with a huge diversity of animal, plant life and natural habitats. It is steeped in history and dotted with ancient archaeological sites from early Africa civilisations which add to the character of this mystical corner of old Africa. You'll notice how the landscape changes from woodland to riverine forests, mountains, floodplains and pans where animals roam freely. It is here that you will find forests of fever trees, groves of baobabs and vast herds of wildlife. Highlights of the your five day experience include visits to Crook's Corner, where the Luvuvhu and Limpopo Rivers meet, Lanner Gorge and the Luvuvhu fever tree forest.

    Arriving at Pafuri Wilderness Trails Camp for lunch you will settle in and acclimatise to your wilderness surroundings, meet your highly knowledgable and experienced trail guides and take part in a briefing and introduction to the area before departing on a late afternoon short introductory walk that will give you a taste of what's to come over the next few days.

    Returning to camp you'll enjoy dinner and a roaring campfire under the impressive African night sky.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pafuri Camp
  9. Day 9 - Big Five guided walking safari through wild areas of Pafuri - 6 hours.

    Each day, during your Big Five guided bush safari, you will wake early to enjoy stunning sunrises and the unique feeling that comes with a new day in a truly wild environment. You'll also maximise your wildlife spotting opportunities by being out in the bush before the heat of the day takes effect.

    Today, after a light breakfast, you will head to Mangala in Luvuvhu west. Your camp crew will pack snacks for you to carry in your backpacks, alongside your 1-2 litres of water recommended for your walk. A fabulous walking experience awaits and you will be guided from the bottom to the top of the incredible Lanner Gorge. If the river levels are low enough you can walk barefoot through this perennial river. If the water levels are higher, you will keep to the riverbank, sometimes having to walk through thicker bush and on slightly tougher terrain to keep clear of the crocodiles. Lanner Gorge was named after the Lanner Falcon that nest high in the cliffs. The walk is long but rewarding, especially when you get to the top of the gorge and look down onto the beautiful Baobab forest and glimpse Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the distance.

    Lunch is served at the top of Lanner Gorge where spectacular views spread across the horizon giving you a true sense of the wilderness tht is Pafuri.

    You'll return by vehicle to camp for a welcome bush shower and time to relax and enjoy dinner under the stars.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pafuri Camp
  10. Day 10 - Big Five guided walking safari through wild areas of Pafuri - 6 hours.

    Departing early you head out in a safari vehicle for another exciting day in Pafuri. Heading to Banyini pan, you will walk for 3-4 hours to Mabyeni. Makuleke is considered a Ramsar wetland of global importance and Banyini Pan is a true birders' paradise. The pan, sometimes overflowing with water after heavy rain, attracts all types of wildlife. Here you will be able to see many water birds and aquatic life, grazing buffalo, roaming elephant bulls among clusters of marula trees and impala springing elegantly across the grassland. Discovering these mystical settings on foot is very exciting and, to a degree, a beautiful and peaceful experience.

    You return to camp for brunch before an afternoon walk in the fever tree forest - a really magical experience. These magnificent trees only germinate after floods or after exceptionally heavy rains and some of the guides will tell you that the forest has its very own mood. If you're lucky enough you may come across a herd of graceful eland or a lone bull elephant walking through this special place.

    Before dinner, you'll enjoy sundowners and snacks at Crooks Corner in the dry Limpopo riverbed, ending a perfect walking day.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pafuri Camp
  11. Day 11 - Big Five guided walking safari through wild areas of Pafuri - 6 hours walking.

    Your final full day in Pafuri takes you on a trail to Hutwini Gorge, along Hutwini Mountain and on to Mashisiti.

    At the base of Hutwini mountains you will find some ancient ruins called the Hutwini ruins. These are smaller than, but similar to, those of Thulamela (ruins of a kingdom that existed between 1240 AD and 1700 AD in north-eastern South Africa). This gorge does not have any water flowing through it and is frequented by animals walking towards the river to drink. Mashisti is a popular spring that has water all year round.

    Surrounded by stunning views, you conclude your morning walk with lunch at the top of Mashisiti before returning to camp to relax before you prepare for a short afternoon walk.

    Dinner is served as you spend our final night under Pafuri's unforgettable night sky.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Pafuri Camp
  12. Day 12 - Morning walk/safari in Pafuri - 1-3 hours. Road transfer to Louis Trichardt - 5 hours.

    There are no excuses for sleeping in this morning as sunrise brings the most wonderful shades of light, energising waking sounds and an exhilarating air, and you will not want to miss your final opportunity to experience wild Pafuri. Taking a short morning jeep safari and guided walk you conclude your wilderness safari in this unforgettable region. Saying goodbye to your extraordinary trail guides and comfortable wilderness camp, you hit the road and travel south leaving behind the wilds or Kruger National Park for a more urban South Africa.

    Your final afternoon/evening will be at Madi a Thavha Lodge situated in a scenic and peaceful valley in the Soutpansberg Mountains. With stunning mountain views, here you'll have time to relax and enjoy the lodge's grounds and facilities and enjoy dinner either in the cosy lounge or outside on the verandah.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Madi A Thavha Mountain Lodge
  13. Day 13 - Group transfer to Johannesburg airport. Depart South Africa.

    After a lazy breakfast and the option of a short walk, you will transfer from the Soutpansburg Mountains to Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport for your overnight flight home.

    Overnight iconOvernight: In flight
  14. Day 14 - Arrive London.

    Arrive London.

Map

Map Key

  • AirportAirport
  • General point of interestPoint of interest
  • Mountain RangeMountain Peak
  • TrekDay walk in this area
  • FlightsFlights
  • Internal TransfersInternal Transfers
  • Trek routeTrek

2019

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sat 6 Jul - Fri 19 Jul 2019 Available£2855 Book£3615 Book
Sat 17 Aug - Fri 30 Aug 2019 Available£2855 Book£3615 Book

Hold your place

Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room Supplement
    From £345
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £124
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • Expert local leaders throughout
  • Experienced and highly knowledgeable trail guides
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Good standard of accommodation in hotels, lodges, fixed tented camps and seasonal, full-service bush camps
  • 11 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 11 dinners
  • Sightseeing and activities as specified
  • Entry fees to national parks
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK & UK Departure Tax (Flight Inclusive option)
  • Single, timed, group airport transfers for international flights on arrival and departure
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle or a free Mountain Kingdoms fleece

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Immunisations
  • Tips to camp staff, safari guides and scouts (guidance will be given in your dossier)


Review your holiday

Reviews

Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 1 reviews)

Cultural Swaziland and Wild Kruger          

Two distinctly different countries offering a wild and varied combination of picturesque landscapes and unforgettable wildlife encounters. Swazi culture, stunning day walks, adrenaline fueled night drives, classic Kruger and remote northern Kruger - what a wonderful adventure!


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

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