03 March - 21 March 2024 - € 5495 - p.p.
01 September - 19 September 2024- € 5495 - p.p.
What makes this Deon Meyer Group Tour so unique?
The Fever story is amongst other things a unique South African road novel. So in accordance with Deon Meyer we put together this itinerary with highlights from Fever, supplemented with places of interest that fit the Fever theme and the rhythm of the journey.
Admittedly: the writer made things easy for us. Deon: ‘I have only used existing placed in Fever, I made nothing up.’
On the road it’s always exiting. How does reality compare to the description that Deon planted in our reader’s head?
The Fever theme makes a trip through South Africa even more unique.
Deon: ‘Like all my novels, Fever was the end result of a puzzle with hundreds of pieces.’
An impressive amount of which fall into place on this unique Fever Trail group tour.
Arrival by your own means (contact us if we can help you with anything, for instance with a transfer).
We meet each other at O.R. Tambo, the international airport near Johannesburg.
Transfer with our luxurious coach to the east of South Africa.
In the province of Mpumalanga we enjoy dinner and accommodation in a typical South African setting.
The hills of Mpumalanga are strewn with remnants of a vanished distinguished civilisation in Southern Africa. In the Stone Circle Museum of Waterval Boven we hear astonishing stories about disasters that ended this civilisation long ago.
Transfer to our bush lodge in the vicinity of Hoedspruit, for an impressive encounter with South African nature and the animals therein.
Fever: On Hoedspruit airport Nico Storm and pilot Hennie find the orphan boy Okkie, that they take with them in their airplane to the Amanzi settlement.
Today we immerse ourselves in the colours and smells of African nature. In a specially converted all-terrain vehicle we go looking for the Big Five. Elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard and lion. They were called the Big Five in the days that hunters went on foot with guns instead of in game drive vehicles with tele lenses.
Fever: The wild animals have trodded down the fences of the Kruger park and reconquer the world from which they were chased away by mankind.
We pause at the visitor center of the Cradle of Humankind west of Johannesburg. Here the so far oldest remains of our human ancestors have been found.
Transfer to our accommodation, where different South African cultures come together.
Deon Meyer: ‘There are many different cultures in South Africa. But when we start telling each other stories we all become just humans with a common cause. That is a beautiful way to get to to know and respect each other in a multi cultural society.
Transfer to Parys on the Vaal river that marks the border between the provinces North-West and Freestate.
Parys is a charming little town. a weekend getaway for inhabitants of Johannesburg and Pretoria, with restaurants, art galleries and antique shops.
Diner on the bank of the Vaal river.
Deon Meyer: ‘The route of your group tour is perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. This tour takes people to many South African places that I love.
‘My books are a fairly accurate reflection of South African society and that is far from dark. South Africa is beautiful and light and full of great people.’
The Vredenfort Dome is the oldest and biggest crater on earth, caused millions of years ago by the impact of a meteorite.
Because of its enormous dimensions and because of erosion the crater not clearly visible from earth.
Fever: In the Vredenfort Dome Nico Storm and his father hide, first at a camp site and then in caves, to cure from their exposure to the anti-virus.
In Kimberley at the former diamond mine we see the biggest man-made hole on earth. We also visit the San Rock Center on a hill top, where the original inhabitants of this land left their drawings on rocks. Our route goes on via Jagersfontein and places in the city of Bloemfontein that figure in Fever.
Fever: Uncle Meklein, descendant of the San, learnt Sandra Bergman how to read tracks. According to Meklein, the Fever was a punishment from earth itself.
In Jagersfontein Nico’s father Willem Storm was bitten by the dogs at the petrol station. Bloemfontein also offers various scenes described in Fever.
Today we are surrounded by the vastness of the Karoo desert. On our route lay Trompsburg and the Gariep Dam that also figure in Fever.
Fever: Not all inhabitants of Amanzi share Willem Storm’s ideals and ideas. Nearly half of them follow pastor Nkosi Sebego to the new settlement New Jerusalem at the Gariep Dam in the Orange river.
Philippolis is one of those rural towns where citizens roll up their own sleeves to get things right. Historical buildings are therefore well maintained. Next to the church is the Laurens van der Post memorial Center, where memory is kept alive at one of South Africa’s most famous writers. The town also has a few eateries and galeries like the Karoo Artists Café from writer Juliette Whelpton. We meet all kinds of interesting people in Philippolis.
Fever: Pilot Hennie flies over the beautiful R717 road, about 60 kilometer east of Amanzi. Just outside of the completely lifeless and abandoned village of Philippolis the pilot spots the KTM-bikers ride into town, until they disappear underneath the big trees of the main street. Nest day the trucks with Spotter-teams Alfa and Bravo drive out of Amanzi to Philippolis and Jagersfontein, Bethulie and Springfontein, Trompsburg and Reddersburg. They find nothing.
Orania has a controversial reputation. We can all form our own opinion during a guided tour through the “Afrikaner settlement”.
Orania and Vanderkloof are not suffering from decay and criminality as other towns in South Africa.
One can also regard Orania as a kind of Amanzi for Afrikaners, with the Voortrekkers from Afrikaner mythology as the Survivers from Fever.
Fever: Orania was the last outpost of apartheid. According to Willem Storm most inhabitants of Vanderkloof secretly share the Orania-ideology of whites only or only Afrikaners. But they don’t want to get the same stigma as Orania stuck to them.
Via Luckhof we drive to the “Karoo Riviera” Vanderkloof at the Orange river, at the border between the provinces Northern Cape and Freestate. Vanderkloof, the eponymous reservoir and the surrounding shores of the lake are the epicentre of the Fever story and the setting of many scenes from the book. We take plenty of time to see with our own eyes the places that Deon Meyer described.
Fever: On the way to Vanderkloof we also pass over Havenga bridge and Luckhof, where other important scenes in Fever take place.
Vanderkloof is Amanzi: the beating heart of Fever.
Vanderkloof is the best place in the whole country for a new beginning, Willem Storm tells his son Nico.
Here is all structure required.
Deon Meyer: ‘I chose Vanderkloof as the spot where Amanzi would come. I did a lot of research of what a community would need, talked to a lot of smart people, and realised at last that Vanderkloof was probably the perfect spot.’
Without the N1 Hanover would be even more insignificant. But thanks to that highway the village now has two petrol stations and two hotels.
After the R398 untarred roads take us through the Karoo to Nieu Bethesda. That village in the middle of nowhere is loved by artists and people looking for peace and quiet. It has a modest tourist infrastructure and a museum with San artefacts and fossils that have been found here.
Fever: Sofia Bergman walks the farm road that her father adored. She spends the night on the veranda of an abandoned farm where she sees the helicopter. A saddle jackal walks for a while with her, the trip companion that compelled Sofia and Nico Storm later to commemorate by naming the Year of the Jackal after him. The N1, the former “mad house” is dead quiet, just like Hanover itself. Sofia spends the night in the abandoned Hanover Lodge Hotel.
We pass Cambedoo national park with its majestic mountains like Valley of Desolation and Spandau Kop on our way to Graaff Reinet. That was the fourth city founded by the Dutch East India Company in South Africa. The facades of the oldest houses face streets wide enough for a span of oxen to turn. Our next destination is Victoria-Wes, a stop over place in the middle of the Karoo. The Apollo theatre acts there like an oasis of culture in the desert.
Fever: In Graaff-Reinet Willem and Nico Storm meet a black man on a ladder, busy making paintings on the church. He also covered the walls of the Camdeboo Hotel, the former Drosdy, with a herd of realistically painted nguni cows. The painter does not want to come with them to Vanderkloof. He wants to stay with his art. In Victoria-Wes the Amanzi Spotters do not find the expected enemy but they encounter instead the group of 600 West Coasters chased from Lambertsbaai on their way to Amanzi. They meet up in Melton Wold, a former holiday farm.
Deon Meyer: ‘I honestly can’t remember how I got the idea of the nguni cows.Sometimes during the writing process magic things happen.’
From Melton Wold we head for Loxton. Deon Meyer put that Karoo town on the map. He used it in his stories, as a setting for movie scripts and organised events here.
After Loxton we drive west through the impressive primal landscape of the Great Karoo. Thousands of years the Khoisan roamed here free, until European colonists claimed the ground and built farms and churches on it. The town of Calvinia was named after the christian father of the church Calvijn.
Fever: Pilot Hennie puts off Sofia Bergman and Nico Storm on the road near Calvinia. From that town it’s a three days walk for them to reach Wupperthal. There they want to find the helicopter killers, the enemies of Amanzi.
After Calvinia we leave the tar road and follow Sonja’s and Nico’s trail via the untarred R355 via the Botterskloof over the Doring river and the Pakhuis Pass. Another untarred road then leads to Wupperthal through the rugged mountain scenery of the Cedar mountains. This Moravian mission post was founded in the first half of the 19th century by missionaries from the Rhine land. In Wupperthal nature is all powerfull and there is some small scale cultivation of tobacco and rooibos tea. The town is also known for the good quality veldskoene (“bush shoes”). A true shangri-la.
At the end of the day we reach via flower town Clanwilliam Lamberts Bay on the Atlantic Ocean.
Fever: Sofia and Nico spend the night in an abandoned farm on the Doring river. They tell each other stories over a camp fire. Next morning they cross the Doring river and on their way they spot a leopard.After a few hours they reach tar at the turn off towards Wupperthal.
After Fever Lamberts Bay also offered a new beginning thanks to the food from the ocean. Every year there was more fish and lobster, one could see how the sea comes totally right. Because there were fewer humans catching fish. The Fever was in fact a blessing for the world.
It gets busier on our way south. Instead of one fragile thin line on an earth coloured background the maps shows more and more roads and place names. Sights worth seeing. Infrastructure. Contemporary civilisation.
Stellenbosch was founded for the Dutch East India Company by governor Simon van der Stel, as the second town in South Africa after Cape Town. Stellenbosch is famous for its oak lined streets with white facades in Cape Dutch style. For its university. For its vineyards that lay around Oak City. For its art galleries, the wine boutiques, the restaurants, the life style.
Deon Meyer: ‘My father told us about Stellenbosch. The spectacular mountains, the streets lined with oak trees, the beautiful old Cape Dutch architecture, the serenity of Eerste Rivier (“First River’). I was in my twenties when I finally got to know Stellenbosch on a motorcycle tour. And it was exactly like my father had promised. Historic, beautiful, stylish. Magic.’
From Stellenbosch it is only fifty kilometer to Cape Town. This is where Dutch colonisation of South Africa started and this is where our Fever Trail ends. Cape Town crowns every South African journey with its incredibly beautiful decor of Table Mountain, signal Hill and Lions Head. The coast is lined between heaven and earth with places like Green Point, Camps Bay, Clifton and Hout Bay. The Mother City is a prominent background in many Deon Meyer stories.
Fever: On board of a ship in the Duncan dock Nico meets his mother Amelia.
Sofia Bergman: we are in Cape Town, in the harbour, there is Table Mountain, right in front of me, so beautiful! And there lies a ship, a big ship, ready for departure. On the ship stands Nico with a woman. And then I see: there Nico jumps into the water, there he dives of the ship and he swims to the quay. And then we go get Nico.
After breakfast we take leave of each other.
End of the Deon Meyer Fever Trail.
Return to your home country or continue exploring South Africa. We will gladly be of assistance.
Your safety and comfort is our priority, which will allow you to enjoy the journey and experience South Africa like never before.
You will be accompanied by senior personnel and a dedicated chauffeur, while travelling in airconditioned comfort.
Distances are vast, and temperatures can vary dramatically, and that is why we use a Mercedes Benz Sprinter bus (or similar) with a full tour.
Reservations and payments are safe, as ZA Trax is a member of SATSA (South African Tourism Services Association)
Be assured that all SATSA Members:
- Have Integrity: Adhere to a strictCode of Conduct
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- Are Insured: Appropriate insurance cover with minimum indemnity limits
- Are Bonded: Your pre-tour deposits are guaranteed
All resevations will be subject to ZA Trax Terms and conditions:
1 CONTRACT, BOOKING CONDITIONS & JURISDICTION– A contract will not exist between ZA TRAX and the participant/s until such time as we have received a completed / signed copy of our Terms and Conditions.
When the participant book with ZA TRAX, they agree that South African law (and no other) will apply to the contract and to any dispute, claim or other matter which arises between the participant and ZA TRAX. This is the case even if the booking conditions of a specific agent says otherwise.
2 DEPOSITS / FULL PAYMENT -Unless otherwise specified, a non-refundable and non-transferable deposit of 50% of the total tour / travel price, per person, is payable within seven days of making a reservation. The balance of the total tour price due is payable not later than 60 days prior to the departure, unless otherwise specified. The total amount due is payable immediately in respect of reservations received within 60 days of departure. Provisional reservations will automatically be cancelled if ZA TRAX has not received a signed participant Booking Form, together with the required deposit or full payment as applicable, within seven working days of receiving the reservation request.
ZA TRAX will accept payment by credit card (via PayGate and – a 4% surcharge applies), EFT or cash. If the card is a foreign credit card then the participant will be required to supply various additional details. All payments are to be made out to ZA TRAX. Any charges made to a client’s credit card (debits) whilst travelling abroad is the client’s responsibility. ZA TRAX will not be liable nor accept responsibility for having these charges reversed or corrected upon return.
3 CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS– Once a reservation request has been received in our office, it becomes liable for cancellation fees in accordance with the following scale, unless otherwise specified.
Cancellations made after confirmation email and deposits are subject to the following cancellation fees:• No show or cancellation within 14 days of commencement of tour – No refund due.• Cancellation between 15 and 30 days before stay – 50% of the deposit will be refunded.• Cancellation between 60 and 30 days before stay – 75% of the deposit will be refunded• Cancellation more than 60 days before stay – full refund.
All bookings are also subject to the terms and conditions specified by the individual suppliers of the services which the customer contracts for in terms of the booking. ZA TRAX will provide on request, the identity of the supplier and such supplier’s terms and conditions may include, but are not limited to, provisions regarding their cancellation fees or amendment charges as applicable to confirmed reservations, refunds /no refunds for no-shows / unused services; late booking fees; baggage allowances; confirmation of flights, etc. In the case of airlines the general minimum cancellation fee applicable to tickets issued, is 25% (twenty five per cent); the typical baggage allowance is 20kg; extension of ticket validity is not permitted and the customer must reconfirm his / her flight within 72 hours prior to departure.
Refunds will be made in ZAR, and will be based on the ZAR spot rate at the time of payment.
4 INSURANCE – Insurance is the participant’s responsibility and all participants are strongly urged to take out travel insurance, covering personal accident, medical expenses, baggage and loss of deposit through cancellation and / or default of the individual principal service providers.
5 NOT INCLUDED IN TOUR PRICE – The basic tour prices do not generally include the airport taxes (unless otherwise specified), local hotel tourism taxes & levies (where applicable), car rental contract levies (where applicable), costs of obtaining visas and passports, telephone calls, laundry, entertainment arrangements, meals / beverages and other items of a personal nature, unless actually specified to the contrary in the itinerary / tour program / relevant documentation.
6 OVERBOOKINGS – We undertake to inform you without delay if we are obliged to cancel your reservation for any unforeseen reason and we will offer you an alternative of a comparable standard subject to availability, or a full refund of the deposit paid within 21 days. We will take all reasonable steps to ensure that your accommodation as booked is available on your arrival at the destination. However if we become aware of an overbooking situation prior to the time of your departure we will inform you and offer you an alternative of similar standard (if available), or a full refund of the payment made to us. If we are not unaware of the overbooking at the time of your departure then we will arrange appropriate compensation if the alternative accommodation provided by the supplier is not similar to the standard of the accommodation originally booked.
7 TOUR ITINERARIES & PARTICIPATION – ZA TRAX is an adventure tour operator and run adventure tours. We often visit off-the beaten track destinations and routes where western infrastructure is lacking. We do our utmost to provide all the comforts to the participants and as indicated in the specific tour itinerary. Tour itineraries / travel arrangements may be subject to alteration where necessary according to local conditions en route, without prior notice. Due to various prevailing / unforeseen circumstances, tours are not always able to follow the provisional / suggested routing as set out in the tour brochure or published itinerary. Information contained therein should therefore be regarded as a basic guide only. While it is possible for the participant to break away from planned holiday itineraries after departure it is understood that extra expenses incurred as a result of such a breakaway will be for the participant’s account and any unused service cannot be refunded. Amendments and cancellations en route must be made with our operators directly.
While every effort is made to keep to all pre-confirmed itineraries, we reserve the right to make changes for your convenience. As we plan arrangements in advance; do not own or control the airlines, hotels and /or other supplier companies who will provide participants holiday components, changes and even cancellations may occasionally become necessary. In the event that the hotel accommodation, excursion, service, flight, cruise, rail journey etc. has been properly confirmed by ZA TRAX but subsequently becomes unavailable for any reason whatsoever, ZA TRAX do not accept any liability for such unforeseen circumstances. Air transportation will be economy class unless otherwise specified. No refund will be considered for any unused services irrespective of whether they form part of the basic inclusive tour price or whether they are in respect of pre-booked optional arrangements.
Participants on a ZA TRAX tour will get more out of the trip if they are willing to participate with cooking, cleaning, getting vehicles unstuck etc. When we camp the participant is expected to erect the tents themselves. The tour leader will show the participants how.
8 AMENDMENT FEE – An amendment fee of R500 per party, per amendment, will be charged. Domestic travel bookings will be subject to a R250 charge.
9 LATE BOOKINGS – A minimum late booking fee of R500 per booking, will be charged in respect of all reservations received within ten working days of the departure date in order to cover urgent communication / administration expenses.
10 DOCUMENTATION – It is the personal responsibility of each participant to ensure that they are in possession of the correct documentation prior to departure. The company shall not accept responsibility or liability for any consequences of any nature whatsoever arising from the participant failing to ensure that he / she has complied with the necessary health / passport / visa requirements.
11 RECONFIRMATIONS – Participants are reminded about the importance of reconfirming their onward / return flight reservations, on arrival of each destination. Failure to do so may result in cancellation of reservations by the airline.
12 PASSPORTS, VISAS, VACCINATIONS AND INOCULATIONS – The responsibility to obtain proper, current and valid passports, visas, vaccinations, inoculations and the like as and where required, is that of the customer alone. ZA TRAX shall not be responsible or liable for any consequence of any nature arising from the customer failing to ensure that he / she has complied with all such requirements. The Customer must ensure that their passport is valid for at least six months beyond the end of the travel period. South African residents traveling on a foreign passport must ensure that they have correct documentation from Home Affairs for re-entry to the country. ZA TRAX accepts no responsibility for incorrect passport or immigration documentation.
13 TRAVEL DELAYS – ZA TRAX does not hold itself responsible for any delays prior to departure, or during the course of its tours, brought about by technical difficulties, strikes, weather conditions or any other unforeseen circumstances which are beyond its control. It is understood that any expenses relating to these unscheduled extensions (e.g. hotels, meals, airfares, telephone calls, etc.) will be for the participant’s account. Losses due to travel delays may not be refundable, however we will always do our best to negotiate refunds on behalf of participants.
14 FORCE MAJEURE (SUPERIOR FORCE) – ZA TRAX does not accept liability or pay you compensation where the performance of our contractual obligations is affected by “force majeure” (included but not limited to war, threat of war, riot, civil or political unrest, industrial dispute, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disasters, fire, adverse weather conditions, closure of ports or airports, air traffic control delays, technical problems), or other circumstances amounting to “force majeure”. The company will always do its best to assist participants where necessary and or possible.
15 UNUSED SERVICES – No refunds will be considered for any unused services irrespective of whether they form part of the basic package, or whether they are in respect of pre-booked optional arrangements. No refunds can be considered on partially unused hotel accommodation, flights or car rentals.
16 SPECIAL REQUESTS – Should you have any special requests these should be conveyed to us at the time of booking. ZA TRAX will endeavour to comply with special requests however we cannot guarantee that these special requests will be met.
17 INDEMNITY – All tour participants will be required to complete a standard indemnity form on arrival at point of departure. The participant will not be allowed to depart on the tour if the indemnity form is not signed and if the personal travel insurance details are not provided.