Nightjar Tours and Safaris
Nightjar Travel is a comprehensive guide to things to do and places to visit in South Africa. It is the ideal companion to travellers who want to assemble, book and manage their own travels. But sometimes a little help could be quite useful. If you are a first time visitor to the country, or need something done in a hurry, it is sometimes easier to let somebody else do the legwork.
Our tours and safaris
In this section we present a number of tours and safaris that we have built around the iconic self drive routes in South Africa. Each of these tours tries to give the traveller a fairly comprehensive overview of the region. In many cases, it involves a fair amount of travel. However, we have tried to keep the distances reasonable, so that each tour strikes a good balance between time in the car and time on your feet.
If you would rather spend most of your time hiking, or mountain biking or rummaging around museum or rock art sites, you will probably be best served to book a single venue and explore from there. That is what the rest of the site was designed to do. In any event, if you are unsure, drop us a mail by clicking on “Contact” in the menu strip above.
Why do we do it?
Road trip. Just the mention of the word conjures up romantic images of the modern day explorer, or the great escape from a demanding job. At Nightjar, we are quite fond of our road trips. And, if you asked us how we plan them, we will probably tell you that a road trip starts off by pointing the nose of the car out of the driveway and asking: “Left or right?”
The reality, of course, is a bit more mundane. In the first place, you aren’t really exploring, but taking leave, and usually have to be back at work the following Monday, or the Monday after that. So, it is normally best to plan in advance to make the best of the time available. More so when the chorus “Are we there yet?” is shouted out from the back of the car every ten seconds.
There are many jewels in the country, but unless you know an area really well, you will often drive right past them without even knowing they are there. This is even more the case when you are exploring an area for this first time. We think it is actually indispensible to have a basic idea of the lay of the land before you set out on any journey. It helps ensure that you “hit the good spots” first time around and don’t spend the week just figuring out where to go.
With this in mind, we have pre-assembled a number of routes for you to leaf through. We have also linked in a number activities and attractions along these routes. In most instances, we have focused on the more popular ones. For more specific items, feel free to browse the pages of our Travel Guide. We have over 2000 of them listed in these pages.
The Nightar Team
Distances and times
We have provided a distance and a time guide for each of the legs of our routes. These timings assume that you drive the whole stretch at a reasonably leisurely pace, and make the odd stop here and there. In other words, it assumes you are in holiday mood. However, it does not account for longer breaks like lunch stops, scenic detours or shopping excursion. You need to factor this into your time allocation.
Things to do & see
For each tour, we have 'tagged' a number of general activities and attractions along the route. You will find them in the tab called "To do & see". These are usually the better known listings in the region. We have tried to keep the list short-ish. But even so, in many cases it's far too much for an average road trip. So, do read through the listings beforehand and decide on your own shortlist. For more specialised fields of interest, please consult our general listing pages (under Activities, Attractions and Parks in the menu strip above).
When we put together our routes, we worked on the assumtion that the last thing you want to do after a busy day's exlporation is to spend an hour in the kitchen putting together a meal. So, in most cases, the accommodation is on a Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis. A few of our preferred establishments do not provide dinner. We have clearly indicated who they are in the itinerary write-up.
We guarantee that the price of this trip will not exceed the sum of the individual components were you to book it direct. The 'From' price is based on accommodation mid points. It may be a little more expensive in peak season and a little cheaper in low season. In a few cases single supplements apply, which may increase the price if you are travelling alone, or in odd numbered groups. Kids usually get discounts, which will reduce the price if you are travelling with youngsters. We pass on all discounts offered by the accommodation venues at the time of booking to our clients.
We apply a competitive 8% commission on car rentals and flight bookings. This commission is often offset entirely by our corporate deal on car rentals and by being vigilant about getting the best deals on flights. Furthermore, we will make sure you get the right car for the tour you chose, like a car with high ground clearance for tours that involve lots of dirt roads, or a car with lots of boot space if you are travelling in larger groups.