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19 Day
Fully Guided Tour
South Africa

Other Fully Guided Tours
12 Day Tour of South Africa
20 Day Tour of South Africa/Victoria Falls
26 Day Tour of South Africa/Victoria Falls


Investment:
From
NZD8,300 per person sharing
AUD6,900 per person sharing
USD6,430 per person sharing


Prices subject to currency fluctuations
Pricing based on exchange rates as of 30 April 2008



View tour map



Day 1
– Arrival in Johannesburg

You are met at Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo International) and transferred to a Hotel in Sandton, a comfortable 4-star hotel offering one-bedroom luxury suites. It is situated near the trendy shopping precinct of Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square and the hotel operates a shuttle service should you wish to do some shopping. The rest of the day is at leisure to recover from your international flight.

Overnight: Hotel in Sandton. Basis: Bed & Breakfast


Day 2 – Johannesburg to Lalibela

You are collected from your hotel this morning and transferred back to Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo International) to fly to Port Elizabeth. At Port Elizabeth Airport you are met and transferred to the Big Five game reserve, Lalibela. Upon check-in at 14h30, you are transferred by Landrover to your Lodge. At each of Lalibela’s lodges, secluded
thatched chalets are placed where magnificent indigenous gardens merge into the surrounding bush. Each en-suite unit has a private observation deck to make the most of the views. The lodges also all boast a large lounge, viewing deck and a sunny swimming pool where you can spend a lazy afternoon. They also have an outdoor dining
“boma” for fireside dinners and open-air brunches. After high tea (tea and coffee with sweet and savoury eats),
you are taken on your first game drive at Lalibela.
This late afternoon/evening game drive is an opportunity to search for nocturnal animals, such as the elusive bat-eared fox, aardvark, black-backed jackal, aardwolf and the curious spring hare. You return to the lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner.

Overnight: Lalibela Game Reserve. Basis: Fully Inclusive


Days 3 & 4 – Lalibela Game Reserve

The next two days are spent on safari. In the mornings after a light breakfast you are taken on another game drive. Game drives at Lalibela bring you face to face with
a multitude of game species, ranging from the mighty Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard) to tiny
blue duiker and rock Hyrax. Lalibela is also home to cheetah, African wild dog, hyena, hippo, giraffe, zebra, warthog and numerous species of antelope.
You return to the lodge for a grand brunch.
There is time to relax around the sunny pool, do some bird-watching from the observation deck, or read a book
in the peace of your room
’s private deck.
After tea you set off on another night drive, returning again in time for dinner.

Overnight: Lalibela Game Reserve. Basis: Fully Inclusive


Day 5 – Lalibela Game Reserve to Cradock

This morning you are taken on your last game drive at Lalibela. After brunch you bid farewell to this African wonderland and are transferred by Landrover to reception, where your tour guide and coach will be waiting for you. You drive north to Cradock on the edge of the great Karoo. The vast and arid Karoo has a fascination and beauty all of its own: from wide open plains to brooding wind-eroded mountains, from isolated farmhouses to historic towns and villages and from ancient rock art to abundant wildlife. In the late afternoon we enjoy a game drive in the Mountain Zebra National Park, which provides a sanctuary for the Mountain Zebra, one of the most endangered mammals on earth. This evening we overnight at a B & B in a fascinating street of tastefully restored Victorian houses. An elegant dinner is served.

Overnight: B & B in Cradock. Basis: Dinner, bed & breakfast


Day 6 – Cradock to Port Elizabeth

This morning we visit the farm of the Antrobus family. The farm runs 4,000 head of sheep in addition to 3,000 pecan trees. There will be a chance to view the flock and inspect the orchards. We depart Cradock and head south through typical Karoo hills and mountains with their distinctive dolerite caps and strange rock formations. We reach Port Elizabeth in the late afternoon and check into a 4-star hotel on the beachfront overlooking the sun-drenched sands of Port Elizabeth’s famous Hobie Beach. Many of the luxury en-suite rooms have sea views over Algoa Bay. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Overnight: Hotel on the Beachfront. Basis: bed and breakfast


Day 7 – Port Elizabeth to Knysna

Set on the sweeping shores of Algoa Bay, the “Friendly City” provides a unique mix of long golden beaches and a rich historic heritage. We set off this morning to a dairy farm just outside Port Elizabeth – Bushy Park. Bushy Park is one of the dairy farms that have been successful in marketing its dairy products direct to the local market instead of selling to the likes of Parmalat. After the visit to the farm, we set off down the Garden Route, travelling via the Tsitsikamma forest, an indigenous primeval forest with towering ancient yellowwood trees, lush vegetation and deep gorges. In the Tsitsikamma Forest we visit a protea and fern farm which supplies flowers to the cut-flower market. We drive down the steep pass to the aptly-named Storms River Mouth. We will also visit the 800-year old “Big Tree”. We then enjoy a scenic drive over spectacular single-span bridges and down the breath-taking Grootrivier Pass to Natures Valley and then to Plettenberg Bay. We reach Knysna in the late afternoon and check into a Hotel on the shores of the Knysna Lagoon. This award winning hotel offers exclusive comfort in relaxed surroundings of incomparable beauty. You are accommodated in Cape-style cottages offering a comfortable lounge with fireplace, en-suite bedrooms and wide verandahs offering beautiful views of the gardens and Knysna Lagoon.

Overnight: Hotel in Knysna. Basis: bed & breakfast


Day 8 – Knysna

Today is spent exploring Knysna. This morning we board
a ferry on the Knysna Lagoon, which will take us out to
the Featherbed Nature Reserve. A 4x4 trailer takes us to the top of the Western Head, one of the large sandstone cliffs guarding the narrow mouth to the lagoon. From here you can either enjoy a guided nature walk down through indigenous vegetation or you can ride the trailer again. Enjoy lunch under the Milkwood trees on the edge of the lagoon before returning to Knysna. The rest
of the afternoon is at leisure. Restaurants in Knysna specialise in locally-caught fish and this evening we have the chance to sample the catch of the day.

Overnight: Hotel in Knysna. Basis: dinner, bed & breakfast


Day 9 – Knysna

Today is at leisure to relax by the pool or to take a stroll through Knysna. This old-world seaside village is full of arty-crafty shops to browse through. There are also some excellent roadside curio stalls. In the grounds of your hotel, you can dine in the historic restaurant and enjoy superb cuisine and Cape wines, or relax in The Bell Tavern (for own account).

Overnight: Hotel in Knysna. Basis: bed & breakfast


Day 10 – Knysna to Oudtshoorn

This morning we check out of your hotel and catch the historic Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe steam train. The Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is the last steam hauled scheduled passenger train operating in Southern Africa. The route of the Choo-Tjoe is from Knysna, Goukamma, Sedgefield, Wilderness and Victoria Bay to George and encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery in South Africa in the heart of the Garden Route lake district. The section from Victoria Bay along the cliff side and over the Kaaiman’s River viaduct to Wilderness is the highlight of the journey. When the railway line was opened to traffic in 1928 it was regarded as one of the most expensive sections of line in the world - today it is rated the most beautiful. You are met by the tour bus at George station and we continue the journey over the protea-covered Outeniqua Mountains to Oudtshoorn in the Little Karoo. We check into The Country Lodge, situated on the route between Oudtshoorn and the Cango Caves. The homestead and outbuildings date back to the 1800's and reflect the typical Klein Karoo architectural style. They have been gracefully restored to their original splendour, and equipped with all modern conveniences. The dining room reflects the warmth and hospitality found here, and overlooks the sparkling swimming pool. The picturesque Schoemanshoek Valley provides a breathtaking backdrop. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. This evening we have the opportunity to sample ostrich meat or famous Karoo lamb.

Overnight: Country Lodge in Oudtshoorn. Basis: dinner, bed & breakfast


Day 11 – Oudtshoorn and surrounds

This morning we drive to the nearby Cango Caves, where you embark on a magical journey through massive caverns and fascinating limestone formations. We then continue through the spectacular Swartberg Pass, where the road winds under overhanging rocks in steep, zigzag curves. The Swartberg Pass takes us out of the Little Karoo and into the sweeping plains of the arid Great Karoo, where we stop at the quaint hamlet of Prince Albert. Prince Albert is typical of small farming towns found all over South Africa. On a short walking tour we admire the many examples of the unique “Prince Albert gable” on the town’s historical buildings. We return to the Little Karoo via the alternative route of Meiringspoort. Here the road follows the cleft forced through the Swartberg Mountains by the Groot River. Sandstone precipices, eroded into odd shapes and coloured a rich red by iron oxides, tower on both sides of the road. The road crosses the river 30 times in 13 kilometres. Near De Rust, we stop for a wine tasting at Mons Ruber Wine Estate, where we taste some of their wines and view the mementos of the Royal Visit in 1947. Mons Ruber specialises particularly in fortified wines. We return to Oudtshoorn in the late afternoon.

Overnight: Country Lodge in Oudtshoorn. Basis: bed & breakfast


Day 12 – Oudtshoorn to Winelands

We visit Safari Ostrich Farm for a tour of the show farm to gain an insight into the world’s largest bird. We depart Oudtshoorn and journey through the unique landscape of the arid Little Karoo, passing through Calitzdorp and Barrydale. We enter the verdant Breede River Valley, the largest of the Western Cape’s fruit and wine producing valleys. As we follow the “fruit route”, we enjoy magnificent mountain views, vineyards, orchards and indigenous flora. Stops will be made at roadside farm stalls to purchase fruit. The breath-taking Du Toit’s Kloof Pass brings us over the mountains and into the Cape Winelands. We reach the town of Stellenbosch and check into a historic Country Inn. Charm and ambience are the bywords of this historic country inn, the oldest in South Africa. The stylish Georgian entrance sets the tone for the interior which exudes an atmosphere of warmth, where gleaming wood and antiques combine with soft mellow colours. We enjoy dinner in the hotel’s in-house restaurant.

Overnight: Historic Country Inn, Stellenbosch. Basis: dinner, bed & breakfast


Day 13 – Winelands

Today we explore the Winelands with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges and lush valleys. We enjoy a wine and cheese tasting at Fairview Estate on the Paarl Wine Route and then enter the Franschhoek Valley where we visit the memorial to the French Huguenots, who sought refuge from religious persecution in Europe and settled here in the late seventeenth century, bringing vine root stock with them. We stop for a wine tasting, cellar tour and tour of the vineyards at Boschendal on the Franschhoek Wine Route. A scenic drive over the Helshoogte Pass (Hell’s Heights) brings us back to Stellenbosch, the “town of oaks”, for a short guided tour
of South Africa
’s second oldest town. At Spier Estate on the Stellenbosch Wine Route, you will have the
opportunity to get up close to the cheetahs in their
cheetah-breeding programme. Throughout the tour, you have the chance to purchase some of the wines you taste. We return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

Overnight: Historic Country Inn, Stellenbosch. Basis: bed & breakfast


Day 14 – Winelands to Cape Town

We check out of the Country Inn and enter the fairest city of all, Cape Town. We check in at a hotel, which is situated on the Atlantic seaboard with uninterrupted sea views. It is five minutes’ drive from the trendy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This charming and gracious hotel offers its guests understated elegance and service. The luxurious rooms have sea or mountain views. Sip sundowners whilst viewing the spectacular ocean sunsets and relax around the decked pool. There is an in-house spa offering health and beauty treatments. This afternoon you are taken on a city tour of the one of the world’s most beautiful cities. We will visit the historic Castle and the Bo-Kaap Malay Quarter with its narrow cobbled streets and colourful mosques. We view the Houses of Parliament and the historic Dutch Reformed Moederkerk and the Cathedral of St George. We end the tour with a ride up the cable car to the top of Table Mountain to enjoy the panoramic sunset views over the Mother City and across Table Bay to Robben Island.

Overnight: Hotel in Cape Town. Basis: bed & breakfast


Days 15 & 16 – Cape Town – at leisure

The next two days are at leisure to relax and soak up the Cape Town atmosphere. We recommend you take a ferry from the Waterfront across Table Bay to Robben Island. An ex-prisoner takes you on an extensive tour of the prison, which includes a visit to Nelson Mandela’s cell, the limestone quarry and the old leper colony. You could also visit the Waterfront’s Two Oceans Aquarium, which is highly recommended for the insight it gives into life in the two oceans off the southern tip of Africa – the cold
Atlantic Ocean and the warm Indian Ocean. Alternatively, you may want to spend a day at leisure on one of Cape Town
’s beautiful beaches. There are the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay a five minute taxi ride from the hotel, or you may wish to drive over to the warmer Indian Ocean side. Museum lovers can wander through the South
African Museum and the National Gallery, while shopaholics can return to the shops at the Waterfront.

Overnight: Hotel in Cape Town. Basis: bed & breakfast


Day 17 – Cape Point

We take a drive along the Atlantic seaboard via glamorous Clifton to the quaint seaside village of Hout Bay. We continue via the scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive to Cape Point. Looking at this dramatic promontory jutting into the sea gives one an idea why early sailors nicknamed it the Cape of Storms. We then follow the coastline northwards via Simonstown, where you can visit the penguin colony of Boulders Beach. We also visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which is dedicated to the extraordinary variety of plants found in the Cape Floral Kingdom. A leisurely drive through the leafy southern suburbs will bring us back to the hotel in the late afternoon. If the weather was inclement on our first evening in Cape Town, this evening would be a good opportunity to go up Table Mountain. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner at a quayside restaurant at the Waterfront.

Overnight: Hotel in Cape Town. Basis: dinner, bed & breakfast


Day 18 – Cape Town to Johannesburg

Today you bid farewell to your tour guide and fly to Johannesburg. From Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo International) you are transferred back to your hotel in which you stayed on arrival. This afternoon you are collected from the hotel and taken on a guided tour of Soweto, the largest township in South Africa. The tour offers a face-to-face introduction to black South Africa today. Shrouded in myth and controversy, vibrant Soweto is a city of surprise and contrast. A visit to this vibrant community includes the current home of Winnie Mandela, the Hector Peterson Memorial, the wealthy Beverley Hills residential area, informal settlements and street markets. We also visit Vilakazi Street in Orlando West, which boasts the former homes of two well-known Nobel Peace Prize winners – Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu. You are dropped off at the hotel after the tour.

Overnight: Hotel in Sandton. Basis bed & breakfast


Day 19 – Johannesburg

This morning is at leisure to explore the shops at the nearby trendy shopping precinct of Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City to look for last minute presents. You are transferred back to Johannesburg Airport (O.R. Tambo International) in time for your flight back home.

Includes:
All accommodation
All meals as mentioned in itinerary
All transfers
Services of a registered Tour Guide
Half Day Soweto tour
Porterage

All entrance fees and excursions as per itinerary:

  • Mountain Zebra National Park

  • Antrobus Family farm near Cradock

  • Bushy Park Dairy Farm near Port Elizabeth

  • The Fernery Protea & Fern Farm

  • Tsitsikamma National Park and Storms River

  • Big Tree

  • Featherbed Nature Reserve (includes lunch)

  • Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe train

  • Cango Caves

  • Mons Ruber wine tasting

  • Safari Ostrich Farm

  • Fairview cheese & wine tasting

  • Boschendal vineyard & cellar tour and wine tasting

  • Huguenot Memorial

  • Adult cheetah encounter at Spier

  • Cape Castle

  • Table Mountain cable car

  • Cape Point and funicular

  • Penguin colony

  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Excludes:
Meals not mentioned above

Personal items and extras
Gratuities

The above quote is subject to availability at time of confirmation


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