Explore South Africa, Swaziland, Mozambique

/ Source: ARTHUR FROMMER'S BUDGET TRAVEL

The Real Deal: This guided three-country adventure includes one night in Johannesburg, South Africa, in a two-bed tent at the Amadwala Lodge; two nights in Kruger National Park, one night in Hlane Royal National Park in Swaziland, two nights at a beach camp in Mozambique, and one night in St. Lucia Estuary, South Africa, before going to Durban for the day, all with accommodations in two-person dome tents with shared camp duties such as cooking, washing up, and collecting firewood; six breakfasts and six dinners; transportation by overland truck; and the services of an English-speaking group leader and driver; from $1,090 per person — including all taxes and fees.

When: Tour starts on Saturdays Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 20, Dec. 18, 2010, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, March 12, April 9, May 7, June 4, 2011; add $70 for July 3, 31, 2010.

The fine print: The starting rate includes an $80 cash payment due upon arrival. An entry visa for Mozambique can be obtained on arrival for about $25 per person; for details, check the Mozambique consular information sheet. Travel insurance is mandatory and can be arranged through Intrepid Travel starting at $25. Add a one-way airport-hotel transfer in Johannesburg for $12 per person for double occupancy or $40 for a solo passenger. Intrepid doesn't offer hotel-airport transfers in Durban, but you can take a shuttle bus for $6 each way or a taxi for $20 each way. Based on double occupancy; no single supplement. Group size ranges from four to 16 passengers. Refer to trip code UOE, and read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: 800/970-7299, intrepidtravel.com.

Why it's a deal: The cost of this package breaks down to about $156 a night and includes camping, some meals, sightseeing, game drives, and ground transportation by truck. Plus, an experienced English-speaking group leader will accompany you throughout the trip to help you make the most of your African adventure.

More: Optional activities include a two-hour boat cruise in St. Lucia Estuary ($21), white-water rafting in Durban ($50), and snorkeling in Mozambique ($21). Pre-tour nights at the Amadwala Lodge in Johannesburg start at $34 per person per night for a twin or double tent and $50 per person per night for a single. Post-tour nights at the Happy Hippo Backpackers Lodge in Durban start at $40 per person per night for a twin or double room and $56 per person per night for a single.