Many faces of South Africa!

South Africa

10 Days

4 Stars

Johannesburg, Sun City, Sabi River, Storms River, Knysna, Oudtshoorn, Stellenbosch, Cape Town

This all-encompassing 10-day tour will take you from Johannesburg to Sun City, with a quick tour of Pretoria along the way.  Your stay in the Kruger National Park area will give you your first taste of Big 5 viewing.  En route back to Johannesburg you’ll drive through breathtaking landscapes and discover unparalleled views along the way.

After a short flight from OR Tambo International Airport to Port Elizabeth, you’ll be transferred to Knysna, via Storms River Mouth and the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park with its spectacular natural scenery.  Oudtshoorn is next on your itinerary with visits to the region’s iconic Cango Caves and a working ostrich farm.

You’ll explore the R62 on your way to Stellenbosch, where you will spend a night and then on to the Mother City for a tour of the city and visit to the world-renowned V&A Waterfront.

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ITINERARY

Day 1

Upon arrival at O R Tambo International Airport you will be met by your guide, welcoming you to the urban landscape of Johannesburg.  Continue on to the city financial hub, Sandton.

Accommodation is at the Garden Court Sandton City, on a bed and breakfast basis.  Garden Court Sandton City is ideally placed in the heart of Sandton, one of Johannesburg’s most prestigious suburbs.  Set across from Nelson Mandela Square with is alluring array of shops, restaurants and entertainment options, the hotel is also within walking distance of the Sandton City Shopping Centre, one of the most popular in the southern hemisphere.  The rooms on offer are all comfortably appointed in a modern style, offering high-speed internet connectivity.  Guests can make use of the sparkling swimming pool and the equipped gym, with many other facilities within close proximity to the hotel.

Dinner to be enjoyed at an Asian inspired restaurant in close proximity to the hotel.

Includes:  Airport transfer  and breakfast

Day 2

After breakfast, depart for Pretoria – the administrative capital of South Africa.

Pretoria City tour.  Pretoria is known for being an attractive city with leafy suburbs and in October and November each year, the city takes on a purple hue as the jacarandas blossom.  It is widely considered less cosmopolitan that the city of gold, Johannesburg but nonetheless has an impressive range of bars and restaurants that serve delicious local cuisine and the atmosphere is one of welcoming South African hospitality.  Pretoria was once the heart of the apartheid regime and since those dark days in South African history, the city has thrived in its diversity and creation of the rainbow nation.  The orientation tour includes passing by the Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument.

Continue to South Africa’s North West Province for an evening of entertainment at Sun City Resort.  Lunch to be enjoyed en-route.  Check in to The Palace at Sun City.  The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure to explore and enjoy the activities and facilities of the resort, where entertainment is the order of the day.  Restaurants, bars, sports, the Valley of the Waves, shopping, casino and adventure will keep you entertained.

Accommodation is at The Palace At Sun City, which includes breakfast and complimentary entry into the Valley of Waves and shuttle service within the resort.  The Palace is and African fantasy palace that indulges, inspires and is a grand affair.  The architecture is bold and the African influence is seen in everything from elephant fountains to the hand-crafted furniture that adorns the resort.  The Palace is set in an emerald green jungle landscape and makes you feel as though you have been plucked from the real world and placed into a wild adventure.  The Valley of Waves is one of the many highlights at the Palace.  It is an idyllic beach cove that creates its own waves surrounded by bush landscape .  The Grand Pool beckons with sun kisses and cocktails as you relax in one of Africa’s most envied destinations.

Relish in a western meal at the Sun City Resort.

Includes:  Breakfast, complimentary entry into the Valley of Wave, shuttle service within the resort.

Day 3 

An early morning departure sets you on your way to the Kruger National Park, an approximate 600km drive.  Enjoy a western meal en-route.

Accommodation from day 3 to 5 is at Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate, on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.    Protea Hotel Kruger Gate, set on the banks of the Sabi River, offers an affordable African safari experience as it is set just outside the famous Kruger National Park, offering a bird’s-eye view into the park from the viewing deck.  Guests can enjoy a buffet-style breakfast in the main restaurant and dine in style in the evening at the Lapa Restaurant around a roaring fire under the brilliant African stars.  The Pool Deck Bar also overlooks the river so no chances for game viewing are missed.

Enjoy an African dinner in the hotel’s Lapa Restaurant.

Includes:  Dinner, breakfast

Day 4  

Depart early morning with a packed breakfast to the famous Kruger National Park for a day of African wildlife exploration.

The Kruger National Park is situated in the South African provinces of Mpumalanga and Limpopo in the north-east of the country.  The park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa – approximately the same size of Wales or Israel.  The Kruger is particularly special due to the access and opportunities it provides visitors.  A wide road network makes self-drive very easy but there are also guided activities on offer.  The headline act is of course the animals, with the Big 5 taking centre stage.  There is however a huge supporting cast of more than 135 mammals and 500 bird species.  The sheer size of the Kruger National Park ensures an ever changing landscape as guests navigate the well-kept roads.  Each new habitat brings with it it’s own resident animals, making game viewing a quickly acquired skill and a fun challenge.

Full Day Game Drive.  This game drive experience in the world-renowned Kruger National Park is one you will never forget.  Explore the pristine wilderness in an open safari vehicle with a highly experienced ranger, who will ensure optimal game viewing with his in-depth knowledge of the African bush.  As you search for the Big 5, keep an eye open for the many other smaller creatures that live in this reserve, including over 500 bird  and 100 reptile species.  A western lunch will be enjoyed in the park.

Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5  

An early morning departure to Johannesburg will take you via the scenic Blyde River Canyon where you will have the opportunity to discover unparalleled views and breath-taking landscapes.  Stops will be made at God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes.  a western lunch will be served en-route.

God’s Window, located in t he Drakensberg escarpment in beautiful Mpumalanga, is a breath-taking natural rock formation that allows for spectacular views of the Lowveld and the ravine directly below.  From the vantage of the viewpoint, the cliffs plunge more than 700m to lush indigenous forest below.  From God’s Window, set at almost 2 000m above sea level, one can see the distant Lebombo Mountains as well as the Kruger National Park.  There is also a rainforest in the vicinity with a collection of fascinating aloe gardens and the weathered sandstone outcrops of rock are well worth a visit.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes were named after the gold digger Tom Bourke, who predicted that gold would be found in the area but never realised the rewards of his prediction.  This natural water feature with its cylindrical rock sculptures amid eddies of white, yellow and dark brown water is a popular destination in the region.  The massive potholes were formed by waterborne sand and rock grinding together propelled by the force of the Trueur River water as it enters the Blyde River.  It s a 700m walk from the Visitor’s Centre to Bourke’s Luck Potholes and it is worth lingering a while a the centre to learn about the natural and socio-historical features of the region.

Accommodation is at D’Oreale Grande Hotel, in a classic room on a bed and breakfast basis.   D’Oreale Grand is a masterpiece of luxury at Emperor’s Palace.  There is a palpable air of exclusivity and refinement with artwork that is designed to inspire and delight.  Aurelia’s Restaurant is fine dining.  Octavia’s Sensorium is a health and beauty spa that will rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.  Neptune’s Pool Bar is the place to sip a cocktail and savour an African burnt-orange sunset.  The hotel has full access to the casino, dining and entertainment facilities at the resort.  The swimming pool is set in verdant gardens and is an  enticing azure, the perfect place to read a book and have a dip on lazy days.

Dinner to be enjoyed at Emperor’s Palace.

Includes:  Breakfast

Day 6  

After breakfast, depart for O R Tambo International Airport for your onward flight to Port Elizabeth Airport.  From here depart for Storm’s River Mouth to enjoy a western lunch and marvel in spectacular river mouth views.

Tsitsikamma National Park – Sorm’s River Mouth forms part of the Garden Route National Park.  This is one of South Africa’s most diverse and protected natural areas that is a narrow bank of about 150 kilometres along the South Cape Coast.  There are rich protected marine areas, deep gorges, rock pools and waterfalls; it is pure and natural nirvana.  One of the many highlights of this area is the 77m long suspension bridge that crosses the Storm’s River Mouth.  The bridge has striking views and leads to a path that takes you to a popular lookout point.  This suspension bridge sways a little in the wind and is an exhilarating experience.

Continue to Knysna.

Knysna is found along the Garden Route in the Western Cape.  The forested town of Knysna grew around its large, warm-watered lagoon which is still the town’s principal showcase.  The lagoon is a protected marine reserve.  Outdoor attractions such as the beaches, rivers, mountains and lakes orbit around the town and with it, a host of activities.  The Knysna Heads are a mammoth attraction of sheer cliffs that guard entry into the lagoon:  Many ships have perished in an attempt to sail past the heads.  Scuba divers can still see the remnants of the Paquita that sank in 1903.  The town itself is an amalgamation of wealth and bohemian artistry with something for every kind of traveller.

Depart on a sunset dinner cruise on the Knysna lagoon

Paddle Cruiser Dinner Experience:  Enjoy the unique experience of drifting up the Knysna Lagoon towards the famous Heads on south Africa’s only paddle-driven vessel.  The 1.5-hour cruise begins in the early evening and guestsrelax on one of two enclosed decks, each with a bar and sophisticated décor.  The Mediterranean cuisine on offer for dinner from the 4-star on-board restaurant is accompanied by fine wine with which to toast the sinking sun.  This is wonderfully romantic and unforgettable experience.

Accommodation is at Protea Hotel by Marriott Knysna Quays, in a non-lagoon facing room on a bed and breakfast basis.   Set on the edge of the beautiful Knysna Lagoon located in one of South Africa’s most popular holiday destinations, Protea Hotel Knysna Quays offers comfortable accommodation and access to all the region has to offer.  The hotel is part of the Knysna Quays Waterfront and so close to shops, a variety of restaurants, pubs and nightlife options.

Includes:  Breakfast, dinner

Day 7  

After breakfast, depart of Oudtshoorn.

Oudtshoorn is the “Ostrich Capital” of the world and is the largest town in the Klein Karoo region, a semi-desert place with a reputation for its inspiring natural splendour.  The ostrich feather boom made nstant millionaires of ostrich farmers in the early 1900’s, when feathers were a sought-after fashion piece by royalty and the upper class.  Feather palaces were built in and around the town of Oudtshoorn and they even went as far as having ostriches pull Santa’s sleigh at Christmas.  Today Oudsthoorn is alive with activity that includes the longest wine route in the world (R62), the Cango Caves, nature adventures and museums.  The Cango Caves are one of the great natural wonders of the world, a subterranean world of limestone caverns and at the Wildlife Ranch, you could cage-dive with a crocodile.

Classic Ostrich Farm Tour with lunch.  The Safari Ostrich Farm is a working ostrich farm in the popular town of Oudtshoorn on the celebrated Garden Route.  It was established in 1956 and has been delighting visitors ever since.  It is often referred to as a must-see.  On a guided tour, you will learn and see all the aspects of ostrich farming as well as the ostriches themselves.  Everything from the miracle of hatching to the incubator room is shown and experienced.  The Safari Ostrich Farm is also home to the beautiful and rare White Ostrich.  There are two restaurants that serve delicious home-made ostrich dishes, if you want to try an ostrich fillet and shopping is a treat, with a wide range of well crafted ostrich leather products or intricate ornamental ostrich eggs.  Enjoy the taste of ostrich steaks for lunch.

Cango Caves Heritage Tour  Oudtshoorn’s famous Cango Caves can be explored on a guided tour (all guides are accredited) lasting an hour.  This is one of Africa’s most spectacular natural formations with vast caverns, beautiful, delicate and sometimes majestic stalagmites and stalactites and dripstone caverns.  The scenic tour, while not for the feint-hearted, is a relatively gentle stroll through the caves while marvelling at their uniquely dramatic rock formations. 

Accommodation is at the Queen’s Hotel in a standard room on a bed and breakfast basis.  Located in the heart of Oudtshoorn, the “capital” of the Klein Karoo, the Queen’s Hotel is the third oldest hotel in South Africa, dating back to 1880.  Accommodation is in carefully renovated rooms that retain the charm of yesteryear through elegant décor and stylish furnishings.  The rooms are all air-conditioned with modern facilities, including satellite TV.  In the expansive grounds, guest will find a swimming pool and in the lobby of the hotel, a curio shop, coffee shops, beauty salon, florist, wine shop and tourist information centre.

Dinner to be enjoyed at one of the restaurants in Oudtshoorn.

Includes:  Breakfast

Day 8  

After breakfast, depart along the famous R62 to Stellenbosch.  A western lunch to be served en-route

Stellenbosch is often described as the crown jewel of the Cape Winelands.  It is a world-class wine, art and hospitality destination and has excellent examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture along it’s oak tree lined streets.  It is the second oldest town in South Africa and was founded in 1679; it also boasts being the oldest wine rout in the country.  Stellenbosch has a youthful exuberance thanks to its prestigious University.  Today, it has a wealth of wine estates that beckon with the promise of pleasing palates as well as are galleries, designer boutiques and fascinating museums.  Gastronomy is an art form in Stellenbosch and plates are usually masterpieces of passion and creativity.

Accommodation is at Spier Hotel, in a Signature room on a bed and breakfast basis.  Spier Wine Estate is an all-encompassing experience the Cape Winelands, an area of noted natural beauty and the finest wine.  Spier Wine Estate has been growing grapes and making wines since the early 1700’s.  The hotel has an ambience that is sophisticated and funky with vibrant décor and an extensive contemporary South African art collection.  The estate has a variety of wining and dining venues, the popular Eagle Encounters, Segway tours, a 1000-seat open-air amphitheatre as well as audio tours of the Spier farmstead.  Dining options include Eight restaurant with produce sourced both on-site and locally from ethical and organic farmers, Eight To Go Deli for delicious ready-to-eat food and plenty of picnic sites.  The Camelot Spa is on site to offer quality and holistic health and beauty treatments.  There are regular art exhibitions held on the property as well as an extensive collection of African arts and crafts are for sale.

Dinner to be savoured at Spier.

Includes:  Breakfast

Day 9  

After breakfast, depart for Cape Town, travelling along the picturesque Cape Peninsula.

Cape Peninsula Tour:  The road takes you to Muizenberg, a surfer heaven;  the eclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay and then winds its way to the penguin colony that has made Simon’s Town home.  Continue to the famous Cape Point Nature Reserve at the very tip of the peninsula and then Cape Town with a stop at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, time permitting.

Accommodation at President Hotel in a standard mountain-facing room on a bed and breakfast basis.  A 4-star seaside hotel located along Cape Town’s platinum mile, the President boasts some of the best ocean and mountain views in the city.  The hotel overlooks Bantry Bay and allows easy access to the city centre, V & A Waterfront and the Camp’s Bay and Clifton beaches.  The hotel offers convenient facilities and comfortable accommodation.  Facilities at this luxury destination include rim-flow swimming pool surrounded by stylish deck and pool bar, the Islands Restaurant that serves up generous breakfasts, a gym, travel desk and a fully equipped business centre.

Asian inspired dinner will be enjoyed at the V&A Waterfront

Includes:  Breakfast, Cape Peninsula tour

Day 10  

After breakfast, depart for Cape Town International Airport where your guide will bid farewell before continuing with your onward travel arrangements.

Includes:  Breakfast, airport transfer

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