South Africa Hiking Tour
South Africa Hiking Tour

South Africa Hiking Tour

15 days

Lone antelope met in South AfricaZebras in Kruger National Park visited on guided hiking tour in South AfricaWoman standing in Drakensberg Mountains in South AfricaBeautiful mountain views in Northern DrakensbergGroup of hikers in South Africa posing in front of expansive viewsGolden Gate National Park visited on guided South Africa hiking tourCouple enjoying Leshiba viewLeshiba views in South Africa seen on guided hiking tour

Hike through South Africa and eSwatini

South Africa is an unforgettable destination, but it’s even better if you’re looking to hike! From towering mountain ranges to vast valleys and canyons, the South Africa Hiking tour covers every corner of this world-class country.

The South Africa Hiking tour whisks you away from Johannesburg to the Soutpansberg Mountains, where you’ll hike among lush trees in massive forests. Stopping in Kruger National Park shows you one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in Africa, teeming with wildlife and just waiting for you to explore. After bush walks and game drives, the South Africa Hiking tour takes you through Hazyview, where you’ll be one of a crowd of people hiking, ziplining, tubing, and rafting. Hike through canyons and past waterfalls, ride up the Graskop Gorge lift, and soak up the natural splendour of this place. The South Africa Hiking tour takes you to eSwatini, the tiny landlocked kingdom jam-packed with unforgettable valleys, savannahs, animals, and cultural heritage. Then, hike high into the mountains of Drakensberg and spot big cats in the Eastern Free State. At every turn, the South Africa Hiking tour offers unparalleled hiking in some of Africa’s most astounding scenery.

Highlights of the South Africa Hiking Tour

Hike in a variety of settings, from expansive mountain ranges to waterfall-filled canyons.
Spot native wildlife on drives through the ever-changing landscape, including zebras, rare birds, and more.
Wander through far-flung towns and villages, each with their own colourful and storied past.
Spend time in the tiny country of eSwatini, formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland, full of natural beauty.

Prices

From $2,295USD
15 days
Difficulty
Guided
Hotels
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South Africa Hiking Tour

South Africa Hiking Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in South Africa

Welcome to South Africa! You’ll touch down in Johannesburg, the economic capital of South Africa, where your guide will meet you and take you to the hotel. You’re free to enjoy the rest of the day as you please- Johannesburg has plenty of interesting galleries and museums, as well as plenty of restaurants reflective of its multicultural population. Enjoy!
Overnight Location: Hotel in Johannesburg
Distance: None
Meals: None

Day 2 Johannesburg to Soutpansberg Mountain Range

After breakfast, you’ll be hopping in the car towards the Leshiba Wilderness in Soutpansberg, South Africa’s northernmost mountain range and part of the UNESCO-designated Vhembe Biosphere Reserve. You’ll stop in a sleepy local town for lunch before reaching your hotel. After some time to freshen up, you can enjoy a stunning viewpoint over the mountains. Time it right and you’ll be enjoying one of the best sunsets of your life!
Overnight Location: Lodge in Leshiba
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 3 Hike in Soutpansberg

Good morning! Enjoy an early cup of tea before a 7 AM departure for your first hike of the tour. You’ll ascend through a lush forested area to old Venda ruins, where you can explore the ancient stone walls and marula trees. You’ll be back in Leshiba for brunch, enjoy some free time to do as you please, and then depart on an afternoon hike. The exact trail is up to the group and will be chosen over brunch. Have fun out there!
Overnight Location: Lodge in Leshiba
Distance: 4-hour morning hike, 3-hour afternoon hike
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 4 Soutpansberg to Central Kruger

Day 4 begins with an early morning drive into Kruger National Park, one of the top tourist destinations in all of South Africa. This park is home to lions, cheetahs, elephants, zebra, and many more native species. Keep an eye out while you’re driving, as you’ll get an included game drive while you travel. A lunch break at a local rest camp will give you a chance to stretch your legs and enjoy the view of the river before the last leg of the drive to your accommodation.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Kruger National Park
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Central Kruger

Today, you’ll get the exhilarating chance to travel the bush on foot, learning about the local animals and plants firsthand. You’ll depart with a ranger through the Olifants River area, watching the sunrise over the plain as you hike. Breakfast will welcome you back to the camp, and then you’re free to relax before a sunset game drive. The beauty of the bush changing from day to night is unforgettable, and you’re likely to run into both predators and prey as they prepare for nighttime hunting.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Kruger National Park
Distance: 3-4 hours, distance flexible
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 Central Kruger to Main Kruger

Day 6 of your South African hiking tour begins with a casual drive after breakfast. You’ll stop in at the Satara rest camp to enjoy the fever trees, which house several species of very tame birds. Maybe you’ll make a new feathered friend! Should there be an interesting group of animals nearby, your guides will adjust their route from here to stop by the action. Keep your eyes out the window for wildlife along the way to your lodge.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Kruger National Park
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 7 Kruger area hike

Lace up your boots for a hike on the Bushpig trail, which begins 1535m above sea level and continues through a forest of native trees, waterfalls, and splendid views. You’re likely to run into a baboon along the way! The countless native bird species will sing you along to your picnic spot, where you can enjoy a packed lunch and the sounds of the forest. Then, it’s back to the car to return to the lodge for a pre-dinner shower and post-hike beer.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Kruger National Park
Distance: 4 hours, 8.5km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 8 Kruger area to Hazyview

Breakfast is on the go this morning as you drive to Hazyview, a small farming town surrounded by subtropical fruit orchards known for its wonderful scenery and exciting outdoor recreation opportunities. You’ll stop for a hike at the Blyde River Canyon, a stunning trail with fantastic canyon views. Then, it’s back in the car for a road trip to Bourke’s Luck Potholes, a natural water feature with swirling whirlpools. The next stop is at God’s Window, an area with awe-inspiring canyons, rock formations, waterfalls, and overall splendor. Bring a camera for this unforgettable spot. Finally, it’s time for a ride down the Graskop Gorge Lift, where you’ll be lowered 51 meters down the face of a gorge into the forest down below, where wooden pathways and suspension bridges beckon. Enjoy the interactive exhibits or just explore at your own pace.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Kruger National Park
Distance: 3 hours, 8km
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 9 Hazyview to eSwatini

The next leg of your hiking tour of South Africa takes you into the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland (recently renamed to eSwatini), a landlocked country with rich cultural and historical heritage. You’ll stop in Kaapschehoop, a town known for free-roaming wild horses and eccentric artists. Romantic, right? The first hike of the day starts at the Escarpment trailhead, where it’s rumored that hosts from the Anglo Boer war haunt at night. It’s daytime, so you should be just fine. The trail passes several unique rock formations before plunging dramatically into the Barberton Valley. From here, you can see all the way to Mozambique on a clear day! It’s a truly jaw-dropping view. After the hike, you’re welcome to find a café lunch in Kaapschehoop and spend some time enjoying the 1880s Victorian architecture. Then, it’s time to cross the border into eSwatini and head for the hotel.
Overnight Location: Lodge in eSwatini
Distance: 2 hours, 4km
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 10 Hike in eSwatini

Good morning! Day 10 of your South African hiking adventure begins with an early drive into the Malolotja Nature Reserve, where an exciting hike awaits. You’ll climb to viewpoints of the stunning Malolotja and Majolomba Falls, see the Silotfwane Mountains, and run into zebra, redbuck, and blesboks. What a hike! Then, you have time to recoup and relax at the lodge.
Overnight Location: Lodge in eSwatini
Distance: 4 hours, 12km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 11 eSwatini to Northern Drakensberg

Today has a long drive ahead with several exciting stops. Your end goal is Northern Drakensberg, an area with mountains reaching up to 3000m, sandstone caves with San rock paintings, flowing waterfalls, and more. This UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best hiking and sightseeing locations in the world. To get there, you’ll pass through Vryheid, a town in KwaZulu-Natal with a ranching past, where you’ll buy water and snacks. Then, it’s on to the Spioenkop Battlefield, a historic site that serves as the entryway to the valley bushfield and thorn savannah that lead to the Drakensberg Mountains. Here, you’ll take a short hike to the site of the battle and back before continuing on to your hotel.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Northern Drakensberg
Distance: 30 minutes, 3.5km
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 12 Hike in Northern Drakensberg

Today’s a big day! You’ll spend the morning and afternoon hiking in the Royal Natal National Park with a hiking guide, exploring Mahai Falls and the trails below the towering mountains. After your hike, you can enjoy free time for the rest of the day.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Northern Drakensberg
Distance: 6 hours, 19km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 13 Hike in Northern Drakensberg

Didn’t get enough of the park yesterday? No worries, because you’ll spend today exploring another part of Royal Natal by foot. The hike will take you up to Policeman’s Helmet, an otherworldly rock formation on top of a mountain.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Northern Drakensberg
Distance: 6 hours, 19km
Meals: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Day 14 Northern Drakensberg to Eastern Free State

Enjoy breakfast before departing to Golden Gate National Park, where you’ll take on the Holkrans hike. The trail leads to an impressive hollow crag resembling a cave. Enter if you dare! Then, you can enjoy lunch at a nice local restaurant before checking in at tonight’s accommodation. Enjoy the stunning highlands of the area, which are bathed in golden light in the evening and home to zebra, springbok, bald ibis, and bearded vulture.
Overnight Location: Lodge in Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Distance: 2 hours, 7km
Meals: Breakfast & dinner

Day 15 Farewell, South Africa!

All too soon, it’s the last day of your hiking tour. Enjoy some downtime in Clarens before departure to the airport in Johannesburg, where your guide will help you check in and see you off. Safe travels!
Overnight Location: None
Distance: None
Meals: Breakfast

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South Africa Hiking Tour Price and Dates

This guided hiking tour of South Africa is always run as a custom tour for your group only and the pricing always depends on the size of the group.

The South Africa Hiking tour is available from January to the end of October. South Africa experiences generally hot summers and winter can be cool or rainy/snowy depending on the region, so many travellers enjoy visiting in the late spring or early fall. Keep in mind that winter in South Africa is from June-August and summer is from December-February.

Private Guided South Africa Hiking tour

Have your own private tour with just your group! Prices below are per person:

  • Guided Groups of 2-4: $5,925 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 5-7: $3,075 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 8-9: $2,550 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 10-12: $2,475 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 13-14: $2,350 USD per person
  • Guided Groups of 15-16: $2,295 USD per person
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Accommodation on the South Africa Hiking Tour

This tour is based in 3-star hotels and park lodges. Hotels and lodges offer comfortable rooms with great locations. Rooms are double occupancy, and single travellers will pay a supplement.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other, comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
You can pay a supplement of $425 USD to have a private room in a hotel. Contact us and we can try and match single travellers up where possible.

Hotels on Standard Tour

The Aviator Hotel in Johannesburg ★★★

The Aviator Hotel is a comfortable lodge near the airport in Johannesburg, offering a nice pool and well-equipped rooms.

H12 Leshiba in Soutpansberg Mountains ★★★

This game and nature reserve lodge is nestled into the trees in a beautiful corner of the park, offering a relaxing and vibrant ambiance.

Olifants Main Camp in Central Kruger ★★★

This lodge is situated on a hill overlooking the Olifants River in Kruger National Park, offering fantastic views and plenty of recreation opportunities.

Timbavati Safari Lodge in Kruger Private Reserves ★★★

This lodge is only a stone’s throw from the heart of Kruger National Park. The rooms are traditionally decorated, spacious, and comfortable.

Gecko Lodge in Hazyview ★★★

Gecko Lodge offers ensuite rooms with beautiful gardens, and is known for its peaceful atmosphere.

Maguga Dam Lodge in eSwatini ★★★

Maguga Dam Lodge offers ensuite bathrooms, TV, air conditioning, a pool, and a great restaurant.

Amphitheatre Backpackers Lodge in Jagersrust ★★★

This lodge offers an array of rooms, from camping spots to deluxe ensuite rooms. There is a great outdoor pool, a hot tub, a bar, and a restaurant onsite.

Kiara Lodge in Eastern Free State ★★★

The Kiara Lodge is part of an expansive retreat, with huge pools, activities, and proximity to nearby attactions. The rooms are clean and well-equipped.

What’s Included in the Kruger National Park Area Tour?

Meals

14 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 11 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodation for 14 nights is included.

Transportation during the Tour

Personal and luggage transfer to and from the airport is included, as well as all the transfers during the tour.

Also Included

  • English-speaking guide
  • Conservation fees
  • National park entrance fees

Not included

  • Visas if required
  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to and from Johannesburg
  • Tourist taxes if applicable
  • Personal equipment
  • Porter fees if desired

Optional Extras

  • Single room supplements
  • Solo traveller supplements
  • Any additional nights before or after the tour

Frequently Asked Questions about South Africa Hiking Tour

Highline Tours and Travel is a tour operator that explores exotic destinations: South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, East Africa, Mozambique, to name a few. They offer phenomenal safari, activity and adventure, and romantic getaway tours that will undoubtedly leave a vivid, lasting memory.

The tour guides for Highline Tours and Travel have a magical way of elevating tours from lovely to personable and memorable. They believe in creating a dynamic, encouraging, and fun environment.

Highline Tours and Travel’s vision is to provide the best holiday possible for all clients in hopes that they will become ambassadors for the stunning African continent.

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South Africa Hiking Tour Map

Click map for a larger version

Is this tour for me?

We rate this tour as a 3 / 5. Most hikes are 4 hours or less and you will not hike every day of the tour, but you should still be comfortable hiking and have an above-average fitness level to enjoy the tour.

Local Guide

Machiel Breedt, Highline Tours and Travel
Machiel Breedt
South Africa, Namibia, Botswana

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