South Africa and Swaziland 2019
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We are delighted to announce our second Wild Fibers Tour to South Africa and Swaziland, offering an outstanding 15-day itinerary in a land one could spend a lifetime exploring. We will spend time learning about wild fibers (Did you know South Africa is the world's leading producer of mohair?) along with some extraordinary opportunities including: three completely different safari experiences, from the luxurious to the educational; a visit to the largest fiber mill in South Africa; two nights at a working silk farm.; two nights at the idyllic Gorah Lodge in Addo Elephant Park, sundowners and traditional dance at an eco-lodge in Swaziland and more, more, more.
Without question, every day is absolutely wild!
Depending on whether you choose to explore other parts of South Africa before the tour begins, we will officially gather at our guest house in Port Elizabeth by 4:00 pm and proceed to the Mohair South Africa's headquarters. Our host will be Deon Sayaman, managing director of Mohair South Africa who will brief us on the mohair history and also serve as our guide for the next three days as we tour several mohair farms and artisans.
It's all about mohair!
Beginning with a tour or the warehouse where hundreds of tons of mohair is shipped, sorted and auctioned, we will learn about all phases of mohair production.
After the warehouse, we visit Stucken Mill, which processes wool and merino, and customized blends including making mohair horse bridles for the Saudis. The day ends with a visit to Hinterveld, one of South Africa's leading weavers of mohair blankets and garments.
November 7 and 8
Less than three hours from Port Elizabeth, our home for the next two nights will be at Wheatlands, an eight generation mohair farm. We will stay in the original farm house which traces its roots to whiskey and ostrich feathers. Dinner that night will be with some of South Africa's top mohair producers We rise early to enjoy coffee from the mountain tops - overlooking the Karoo (and goats!) and In the afternoon, travel to Desolation Valley.
November 9 and 10
Addo Elephant Park
Addo Elephant Park has the largest elephant population in Africa. Our 5-star accommodations provide the perfect setting for both personal comfort and extraordinary game viewing. There will be four game drives total during out stay each one lasting 3-4 hours.
After our morning game drive, we return to Port Elizabeth for a bit of shopping or time at the beach, just a five-minute walk from the hotel. (Everyone is on their own for dinner.)
November 12,13, and 14
PIggs Peak, Swaziland
We fly out of Port Elizabeth early and then drive to Piggs Peak in Swaziland, arriving in time for tea and a traditional Swazi welcome dance. For three nights, we will stay at Phophonyane Falls Eco Lodge by the river's edge.
We have been invited to spend the morning at Tintsaba, a traditional sisal basket weaving company started in 1984, employing more than 700 women. We will learn how they spin, dye, and weave sisal, including a hands-on workshop. The following morning we visit Coral Stephens Handweaving. Murrae Stephens will be our hostess, treating us to cocktails and dinner from her spectacular home, Boshimela, near the top of the mountain.
We spend one night at a working silk farm, set amongst thousands of acres of managed forest land.
November 16, 17
South Africa's Panorama Drive features the third largest canyon in the world, not far from where the major gold rush took place in the late 1800s at Pilgrim's Rest. Our final destination is Moholoho Wildlife Center, offering an important understanding about the realities of safaris and game farming. We will have a private tour of the facility.
November 18, 19
Greater Kruger National Park
The day begins with a walking safari at sunrise, followed by breakfast back at the camp where nyala's roam freely about. After breakfast, we leave for Manyeleti Game Reserve, part of Greater Kruger National Park. We have reserved the entire safari camp for our group, allowing us to fully make ourselves "at home" in the wilds of South Africa. We will have four game drives, each one lasting 3-4 hours. As part of Greater Kruger Park, the animals in Kruger can freely roam in between the different private reserves, but only guests at private lodges can go on safari. This arrangement dramatically improves the quality of the game viewing experience, eliminating all the tour buses that can make Kruger so congested.
Our farewell dinner will be a traditional African boma under the stars and the tiki torches.
We will fly from Hoedspruit Airport after our morning game drive, arriving in Johannesburg in time for flights home departing after 7:00 pm.
Maximum Group Size: 11 adults
Tour cost: $5495* (US)
Single supplement: tour price plus 30%
Please read brochure for a full description.
Please contact Linda Cortright for questions and availability.