1 night Johannesburg | 2 nights Knysna | 2 nights Franschhoek | 4 nights Cape Town | 3 nights Okavango Delta | 3 nights Chobe | 2 nights Victoria Falls | 2 nights Hazyview | 3 nights Thornybush Game Reserve
- Garden Route
- Whale Watching & Shark Cage Diving
- Cape Winelands Experiences
- Okavango Delta
- Chobe National Park
- Thornybush Game Reserve
- Big 5 Game Viewing
- Sunset Boat Cruises
Anya was truly the best! No stone was left unturned. She took care of the WHOLE PROCESS.
What can I say about Africa? What a vastly beautiful and amazing continent, with soooo many wonderful sights and beautiful people. Wanda and I would like to Thank You Anya for taking the time to create the BEST trip we have ever taken. Anya was accessible throughout the whole trip from the beginning to end. She never failed to get back to us. All aspects of the trip were perfectly planned. We never felt alone or lost during our 28 day trip. We had a total of 3 safaris planned. Each was unique and different in its own special way. We loved the guides, the food, the scenery. Anya perfectly broke up the trip with local venues and exotic getaways. From wine trams, to safaris, to table mountain, to penguins to food, to great locations and lodgings. We would like to thank you Anya for the very best trip of our lives. See you soon Africa and Anya as well.
Tour Consultant's OverviewI was contacted by David G in early August 2018. He advise that he was planning a 30 day tour around Africa and need assistance in this. Originally, he wanted to cover Southern Africa, East Africa and Egypt. The travel date was around the corner, I immediately put together a proposed itinerary and quotation for David and his partner to review. After they reviewed the itinerary, they had advised they would prefer a shorter stay in Africa. Based on this information, I decided to look at the flights between each destinations, the cost of the flights as well as the times between each flight. After studying the various flights, I suggested we focus on Southern Africa only as it would reduce the cost of travel and allow for less flights. I sent them an updated itinerary to review. David & Wardalina decided to book the updated itinerary for a 23 Day Tour focusing on the highlights of Southern Africa.
Upon arrival OR Tambo International Airport you are met by our representative who will hand over your travel documents and you are transferred to your hotel in the leafy suburbs of Houghton. You check in at your hotel for your overnight stay where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
Transfer time: OR Tambo International Airport to Hotel – approx. 40 minutes
This morning you are collected from your hotel and transferred to OR Tambo International Airport. Upon arrival at OR Tambo International Airport, you are assisted with your onward flight to George.
Upon arrival at George Airport, you are met by your driver/guide. You travel along the coastal road to Knysna – the gem of the Garden Route. Enjoy a scenic drive past beautiful beaches, lagoons and lakes to the beautiful town of Knysna. You check in at your hotel on Thesen Island for your two night stay.
Flight time: Johannesburg to George - approx. 2 hours
Transfer time: George Airport to Thesen Island, Knysna - approx. 1 hour
Knysna is the perfect base for exploring the Garden Route. Set on the shores of the beautiful Knysna lagoon and surrounded by the Knysna Forest, which form part of the Garden Route National Park, Knysna is blessed with great scenic beauty. This quaint seaside town is brimming with quirky arty-crafty shops and markets.
Find yourself in foodie-heaven – with superb fine dining restaurants, legendary Knysna oysters and bustling wholefood markets.
This morning you enjoy a breakfast at your hotel. You are met by your driver and depart the Garden Route gem travelling on through to the Cape Winelands. You depart Knysna and drive through the scenic Lakes District, passing through the towns of Sedgefield and Wilderness en route.
Later in the day you leave the Garden Route behind and travel through undulating wheat fields, where pairs of South Africa’s national bird, the Blue Crane, can be spotted. Continuing along the N2 and R43 highways you pass the town of Villersdorp and approach the scenic mountain pass to the town of Franschhoek. Upon arrival at your Guest house in Franschhoek, you check in for your two night stay. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the village of Franschhoek.
Transfer time: Thesen Island; Knysna to Franschhoek - approx. 5 hours
The village of Franschhoek is at the heart of the Franschhoek Wine Route and is surrounded by craggy mountains and verdant vineyards. Many of the 42 wine estates on the Franschhoek Wine Route offer informative guided wine-tastings to the public as well as cellar tours or tours of the vineyards. Some of them also make cheese, chocolate and olive oil and offer tastings of these products alongside their wines. Many of them have on-site restaurants offering food that ranges from gastronomical delights to picnic hampers to enjoy under the oak trees. There is a hop-on hop- off Wine Tram, which visits some of these estates.
Franschhoek village, South Africa’s “French Corner”, has a distinct French feel and is undoubtedly South Africa’s gourmet capital, with several of South Africa’s Top Ten restaurants situated here. It is also filled with quirky shops for you to browse at leisure.
After breakfast, you are collected from your Guest House and transferred to your hotel along the Seapoint promenade. En route to your hotel, you are taken on a tour of the Cape Winelands, with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges, lush valleys and verdant vineyards. Upon arrival at your hotel along the Seapoint promenade, you check in for your four night stay and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Transfer time: Franschhoek to Cape Town - approx. 1 hour
Welcome to Cape Town, the Mother City of Africa, and the Western Cape; an area which is regarded as one of the most beautiful regions in the world. The City is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of Indonesian, French, Dutch, British and German settlers, the local Bushman and Hottentot tribes and the Bantu tribes from the North.
The impressive presence of Table Mountain stands proudly above the city, flanked by the legendary Devil's Peak and historic Signal Hill. Beautiful white sandy beaches along a peaceful coastline frame the Cape Peninsula, which is famed for its unique floral kingdom, bountiful rivers and dams as well as for it’s magnificent countryside. The surrounding area extends far into the winelands, green in summer and red-gold in autumn.
The Mother City boasts a multitude of entertainment options, ranging from outdoor activities and adventures in the sun to a roaring night life under neon signs. The vast range of shopping opportunities includes haggling with shop holders at Greenmarket Square Flea Market, as well as breezing through sophisticated and stylish shopping malls. The huge variety of restaurants reflect the multicultural history of the Cape and caters for everyone's taste, from fast-food outlets and casual meals to chic cuisine to very elegant fine dining.
This morning is an early start as you are met by your driver and transferred to Cape Town International Airport for your direct flight to Maun; Botswana.
Upon arrival at Maun Airport you will be assisted to your onward light aircraft transfer to the Okavango Delta. You land at the Vumbura airstrip near your camp and you are transferred by game viewing vehicle to your lodge.
Upon arrival at your lodge, you have time to settle in before departing on your first afternoon and late evening game drive in the Okavango Delta.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana with its richly diverse wildlife species is one of the premium destinations in the world for a dynamic safari experience. This 22,000 square kilometre area offers a truly unique wilderness safari in Africa. The Delta forms where the Okavango River disappears beneath the sands of Botswana. Although the periphery is semi-arid, the Okavango Delta itself is a patchwork of cool clear streams, lagoons, floodplains and forested islands.
In the dry winter season vast numbers of wildlife flock to where the floodwaters infiltrate the Delta, providing one of the world’s most spectacular sights. The world-renowned Moremi Game Reserve covers part of the Delta and is known as the 'predator capital of Africa'. It is also home to the Big Five and large herds of elephant and buffalo. Famed for its big cat and bird population, the Delta is a peaceful haven where animals have been protected for decades.
Watch giraffe and other plains game march across the savannah. You might even catch a glimpse of rare wild dogs stalking the plains. Wide grassy floodplains are host to a magnificent array of wild animals, including the specially adapted sitatunga and lechwe antelopes. Within this lacework of channels, game viewing and bird watching is frequently guided from mokoro (dugout canoes) or more commonly, environmentally-friendly fibreglass replicas. In these slender flat-bottomed craft, guests are propelled by expert polers, many of whom were born in the Okavango Delta and know the winding waterways and their inhabitants intimately.
After breakfast and your game viewing activity, you will be transferred to the airstrip for your light aircraft transfer to Kasane Airport. On arrival at Kasane Airport, you will be met by a lodge staff member and will be transferred by road to your lodge in the western area of the Chobe National Park.
There is time to settle into your new lodge before you depart on your afternoon game activity.
Chobe National Park on Botswana’s north-west border is a pristine wilderness of open plains, baobab trees, ancient woodland, swamps and flood plains and is home to the greatest concentration of game in the entire southern African subcontinent. One of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, the Chobe River forms the Park’s northern boundary.
The Chobe riverfront area is most famous for its large herds of elephants and buffalo, which come down to the river en masse to drink during the dry winter months. During this season, one may see hundreds of elephants at one time. Other species include waterbuck, lechwe, puku (this is the only part of Botswana where they can be seen), giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators: lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. Over 460 bird species have been recorded in the park, making it one of Africa’s premier venues for bird safaris. A highlight of Chobe is taking a river cruise, which allows you to get up close with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds. You also get really close to animals that come down to the river to drink in the midday heat.
After breakfast, you will be transferred by road to your hotel in the town of Victoria Falls. You are met by your driver and transferred through the Kazungula border to your hotel.
There is time to settle into your hotel before you are collected for your guided tour of the Victoria Falls.
Transfer time: Kasane to Victoria Falls – approx. 1 ½ hours (excluding time at the border)
Besides being one of the seven natural wonders of the world and a World Heritage Site, Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available. At 1708 metres wide, Victoria Falls is the most expansive curtain of water in the world and drops more than 100 metres into the sheer Zambezi Gorge. Straddling the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, these Falls and the Zambezi River are the central points in an area of spectacular scenic beauty: from the Falls themselves to the broad, picturesque course of the Zambezi River upstream, the rainforest adjacent and the stark jagged gorge downstream, the power and timelessness of nature's forces are evident throughout.
The falls’ local name, Mosi-Oa-Tunya - "the Smoke that Thunders" - more accurately defines the essence of the place: the rising, shining spray that can be seen 30km away. This vapour has the effect of adding moisture in the form of humidity to the air in the "splash zone", so that a unique, small rainforest ecosystem clings to the edge of the falls, providing a toehold for no less than 70 shrub and 150 herbaceous species, as well as trees such as pod and Natal mahogany, ebony, Cape and strangler fig and Transvaal red milkwood.
There are two National Parks in the vicinity: the Zambezi National Park in Zimbabwe and the Mosi-oa-Tunya Zoological Park in Zambia, which means that herds of big game such as elephant and buffalo, as well as smaller species and even predators such as lion persist in the area.
This morning is at leisure to catch a last glimpse of the Falls, until you are picked up from the hotel and transferred to Livingstone Airport to catch your direct flight to Nelspruit. You are met at Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport and are transferred to your country lodge in Hazyview for your two night stay.
Transfer time: Victoria Falls hotels to Livingstone Airport – approx. 40 minutes
Flight time: Livingstone to Nelspruit – approx. 2½ hours
Transfer time: Nelspruit Airport to Mpumalanga Lowveld – approx. 40 minutes
Hazyview is a small farming town in Mpumalanga, South Africa and is renowned for its banana industry. Close to the Kruger National Park, the town's name is derived from the shimmering haze that occurs during the heat of summer. Hazyview boasts an array of delightful restaurants and pubs. The Windmill Wineshop offers a wonderful selection of wine and good food and for beer lovers, The Brewery and Summerfields Kitchen are not to be missed as they brew their own different beers!
This morning you enjoy breakfast at your country lodge, before you are met and transferred northwards to your game lodge in the Thornybush Game Reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park. Upon arrival at your lodge, you have time to settle in before you set off on your first afternoon game drive.
Transfer time: Hazyview to Thornybush Game Reserve - approx. 2 hours
Africa is the heartbeat of our planet, hailed as the origin of mankind. Its contrast of breath-taking beauty and brutal survival fascinates us and we are drawn to the bush almost in response to a primordial call. Sunset over the African bush defies description - the majestic vistas fill you with a sense of peace as you witness the splendour of nature.
Thornybush Game Reserve is situated on 14,000 hectares of Big Five territory adjacent to the Kruger National Park. It shares a fenceless border with the equally famous Timbavati Game Reserve, so Thornybush is prime big game habitat featuring open savannah woodland with patches of tangled thicket and thorny scrub. Game viewing in the reserve ranks as some of the best in Southern Africa and visitors to Thornybush are virtually guaranteed encounters with the Big Five within a day or two. It is no surprise that Animal Planet chooses to film wildlife documentaries in Thornybush!
You will head out on early morning and late afternoon game drives in the company of dedicated and highly knowledgeable rangers and trackers. The fact that Thornybush is a private reserve within the greater Kruger National Park means that guests can enjoy activities not normally permitted in the Kruger Park itself. Your ranger will go off road for close-up views of special sightings and once darkness falls, you'll be treated to thrilling spot-lit night drives in search of rare nocturnal creatures and big cats on the move. Guided nature walks complete the spectrum of safari activities.
After your morning game drive and brunch, you bid farewell to this African Wonderland. You are met by your driver and transferred by road to Hoedspruit Airport for your direct flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival OR Tambo International Airport, you make your way to the International Departures Terminal for your flight home.
Transfer time: Thornybush to Hoedspruit Airport - approx. 30 minutes
Flight time: Hoedspruit to Johannesburg - approx. 1 hour
The Residence is an extraordinary boutique hotel that is truly one of a kind. A warm, hospitable welcome awaits you at The Residence, located in the historic suburb of Houghton, which is also home to many famous residents including former president Nelson Mandela. The Residence exudes a charming air of quiet dignity, with an abundance of bougainvillea blossoms cascading down the terraced gardens. This is a blissful oasis where guests are treated with personalised service and are invited to make themselves at home. No effort has been spared in creating the most sublime surroundings to surpass your greatest expectations. Take a stroll through the manicured gardens and enjoy a game of tennis or swim a few lengths in the outdoor pools. Guests can work out in the fitness room.
The entrance hall leads through to the sumptuous lounge and sitting room with doors opening onto the long, spacious veranda offer a cool respite from the warm African sun. The air-conditioned suites are generously proportioned and designed for ultimate comfort and privacy, leading out to spacious balconies with tables, chairs and sun loungers shaded by large sun umbrellas. Here you can sit back and take in the views of the garden, tennis court and pool.
The Sky Bar on the top floor offers spectacular views over the surrounding suburbs and Johannesburg’s renowned urban forest towards the city skyline beyond. What better place to enjoy sundowners while taking in the spectacular African sunsets, or sipping stylish pre-dinner cocktails. The comfortable relaxation areas invite you to lounge away a few hours, interspersed with socializing in the Jacuzzi or cooling off with a refreshing dip in the swimming pools. Fine dining is offered throughout the day.
This exceptional boutique hotel in Knysna is situated on the picturesque Thesen Island, within the scenic Knysna Lagoon. The Turbine Hotel and Spa was an ambitious project which transformed an old power station into a unique 5 star boutique hotel. All the old machinery which was used in this power station has been loving restored and forms an integral part of the hotels aesthetics.
The Turbine Hotel and Spa offers guests the choice of 17 standard rooms, 6 luxury rooms, a honeymoon suite and the self-catering Water Club apartment. All rooms boast beautiful, individual décor and artwork, comfortable split extra-large king beds, and air-conditioning. All rooms are also en-suite, and equipped with a separate shower and bath, two basins and heated towel rails.
The 90-seater Island Cafe restaurant at the Turbine Hotel and Spa overlooks the stunning canal, and serves up extraordinary dishes from a diverse a la carte menu. The Tapas and Bar Deck, on the other hand, allows guests to enjoy watching the sun go down, whilst sipping on something from the extensive drinks menu, and filling up on a wide variety of bite-sized snacks. Also featured on-site is the recently established Col'caccio pizzeria, which produces mouth-watering Italian cuisine.
The Amani Spa is one of the finest on the Garden Route, offering guests a wide variety of relaxing treatments: massages, facials, hydrotherapy treatments, and more.
Another popular feature of the Turbine Hotel and Spa is the Turbine Water Club, which has partnered with prominent adventure companies to provide guests with the best Knysna water-based activities, including pontoon cruises, fishing charters, eco-safaris and kayak hire.
Built in 1870 and sprinkled with ornate wrought-iron decorative ‘broekie lace’, Avondrood is a much-loved 5-bedroom guesthouse set in a massive, leafy garden in the heart of Franschhoek, South Africa’s gourmet hub. Dripping in thoughtfully-selected art – including a whimsical elephant statue at the cerulean swimming pool – Avondrood manages to combine gracious, old-school living with modern charm and convenience.
The Standard Deluxe room, like all rooms, has an extra-length, king-sized bed and is conveniently situated in the main house. All rooms at Avondrood are done in a restful ‘country-casual’ style and have air conditioning, LDC TVs with CD / DVD players, iPod docking stations and hairdryers. The spacious en suite bathrooms have cosy under-floor heating, free-standing tubs, Hans Grohe Rain Dance showers and aromatic rooibos (red bush tea) amenities.
With an unbeatable location that is within strolling distance of Franschhoek’s best eateries, art galleries, boutiques and off-beat, family-run shops.
Winchester Mansions Hotel is an iconic Cape Dutch building and is the leading sea front hotel on Sea Point’s Promenade facing the Atlantic Ocean. It is two minutes’ drive from the trendy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront and is unique amongst Cape Town hotels for its spectacular seaside location. This charming and gracious hotel offers its guests grace, style and contemporary flair. It is a multiple winner of the “Best Luxury Hotel” category at the annual AA Travel Guide Awards and is a winner in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice 2013 Awards, making the list of the Top 25 hotels in South Africa.
The rooms are spacious and elegant and all of them have either sea or mountain views. There are 51 classic or contemporary loft style rooms and 25 suites, including one presidential suite.
Sip sundowners on the terrace whilst viewing the spectacular ocean sunsets and enjoy signature dishes from Harvey’s Restaurant. The Winchester’s beautiful colonnaded Courtyard, built in the style of an Italian piazza, is a tranquil oasis. Encircled by palm trees and water fountains, it makes a perfect setting for a romantic dinner under the stars. You can relax around the decked heated swimming pool and there is an in-house spa offering health and beauty treatments.
Kadizora Camp truly offers the ultimate Okavango Delta experience, with a wide range of activities, a beautiful location, diverse wildlife and warm, local hospitality. Kadizora Camp is situated between the Vumbura River and Selinda Spillway. It lies in the remote northern part of the Okavango Delta over-looking a panoramic seasonal floodplain. Giant Marulas, Sycamore figs, Jackalberries and Rain trees provide a canopy of shade throughout the camp.
The bar, lounge, reception and dining area form a horse-shoe shape around the sandy fire pit. From there, a decked walkway leads you to an inviting swimming pool with a view over the floodplain.
The Camps accommodation consists of 8 luxury tents and x4 standard tents’ with either twin or a conversion to a double bed. Each tent is well-positioned for ultimate privacy and seclusion. All tents feature a luxurious en-suite bathroom and outdoor decking, with spectacular views for a true ‘out of Africa’ experience.
Kadizora Camp also facilitates open vehicle safaris, walking safaris and boating. Mokoro (dug-out canoe) excursions provide a fabulous and traditional way to explore the meandering water channels. Float quietly amongst the water-lilies and experience a spectacular bird lovers’ paradise.
Meru-style tents form the common area and open onto a central deck and fire pit.
The bar at Kadizora Camp is on a raised deck with a panoramic view of the floodplain. Enjoy a picturesque Delta sunset, with your favourite sundowner, watching the colours intensify long after the sun has set.
The inviting camp fire is the focal point from dawn to dusk, and it is the perfect place to chat about the day’s adventures.
Elephant Valley Lodge lies between the Chobe National Park in Botswana and the equally impressive Matetsi wildlife conservancy within the Kasane Forest Reserve. The lodge lies beneath a forest of sturdy knob thorn trees and overlooks an extremely productive water hole. It is within these tree tops that the largest colony of white back vultures occurs. Open-air guest areas, an outdoor dining Boma, a secluded hide and a refreshing swimming pool provide plenty of opportunities for relaxation. There are 20 “Meru”’ style luxury safari tents situated around the gardens or along the edge of the valley. Your tent also ensures that you are able to hear the multitude of night sounds as you drift away with vivid memories of the experiences of your day on safari. The tents have twin beds, an en suite bathroom and a private, shady deck.
The Chobe region is home to the largest population of wild elephant in the world. Their sometimes daily passage takes them from Zimbabwe through Chobe and across the river into Namibia before returning. Elephant Valley Lodge lies along one of these routes. The camp perimeter is fenced to keep the elephant from moving through the camp. Instead, now they move around the camp boundary, along their well-worn paths to and from the Chobe River.
Activities include daily safaris open landrover safaris and boat cruises into the Chobe National Park
Ilala Lodge offers distinguished yet affordable accommodation in a gracious and secluded ambiance. The decor evokes a bygone era of adventure and the quest of discovery in Africa. This small hotel is ideally situated and is the closest to the Victoria Falls as well as the town centre. The Victoria Falls National Park borders the front of property and wild animals often graze on the hotel lawns with the spray of the falls in the background.
Ilala Lodge offers 32 standard rooms and 2 deluxe suites. The rooms are all spacious with railway sleeper teak furnishings and patio doors leading onto either open lawn or a balcony where you are afforded a view of the spray of the falls from the upper level rooms. All standard rooms at Ilala Lodge have got 2 x ¾ beds, an ensuite bathroom, air-conditioning and an overhead fan. The deluxe suites have a king-size bed and have room for a child’s bed.
The in-house Palm Restaurant is recognized as one of the finest at the Falls. Relax around the swimming pool or enjoy a drink at the open-air bar.
Situated on the banks for the Sabie River in Hazyview, this Lodge has an authentic "Out of Africa" feel about it.
At Hippo Hollow guests are accommodated in unique thatched Garden and River Chalets and Courtyard Hotel Rooms, which either overlook the beautiful gardens or the impressive Sabie River. All rooms and chalets have en-suite bathrooms and tea/coffee facilities and are furnished with touches of local wood for a traditional finish.
The in-house restaurant offers a variety of delicious dishes accompanied by a selection of South African wines. Indulging in the sight of kingfishers and other beautiful water birds or the grazing of the hippopotamus on the lawn against the backdrop of a beautiful African sunset.
The beautifully maintained gardens, with two swimming pools, is home to a wonderful variety of bird species, and the Sabie River attracts hippo, crocodiles, monkeys, waterbirds and even elephants from the Elephant Whispers sanctuary.
Located next to Greater Kruger National Park, within the famous Thornybush Nature Reserve is the award winning Monwana Game Lodge. This elegant lodge is the ideal getaway for honeymooners, couples and families wanting to experience 4-star accommodations, gourmet cuisine and the ultimate in "Big Five" game viewing.
Monwana Game Lodge is designed with Africa in mind, from draped bed posts to wraparound wooden verandas. During the day, guests can enjoy the deck at one of the two central living areas which overlooks the banks of the dry Monwana River bed, the ecological backbone of the Thornybush Nature Reserve. The Boma offers a three course dinner or traditional braai accompanied by a choice of superb Cape wines to be enjoyed under the African night sky. Monwana Game Lodge also has an outdoor swimming pool just a minutes' walk from all suites and central Gazebo. Guests can soak up the delicate sounds of birds chirping and cicadas singing under the African sun on comfortable pool loungers in between game drives.
Monwana Game Lodge is Thornybush Nature Reserve collection's most homely operation, ensuring personal service, unpretentious comfort and World Class Safaris. Whilst the size of the Lodge and central Boma and Gazebo decks attract relaxed socialising, the configuration of the self-contained luxury suites provides for privacy and a pleasurable retreat. There are 4 suites in total; 2 Family suites, 1 luxury King size suite and 1 elegant Honeymoon suite each with its own private deck or patio overlooking rugged bushveld or the peaceful Monwana watering hole. All suites boast full en-suite bathrooms with both bath and shower facilities. S weeping panoramic views over the untamed bushveld and ever active waterholes can be viewed from the large glass windows.
Enjoy a sundowner cruise on the Knysna Lagoon, which is actually an estuary at the mouth of the Knysna River. The estuary covers 18 sq. kilometres. The exceptionally beautiful lagoon is home to the endangered Knysna seahorse, the delicate Pansy shell, and a large diversity of marine life, including at least 200 species of fish. Sandbanks and salt marshes teem with life and in turn provide food to an immeasurable number of organisms. Dominated by the craggy sandstone bastions of the twin Knysna “Heads”, the lagoon has borne witness to centuries of trade in timber, ivory and gold.
The John Benn, a historic wood-panelled ferry will take you out to the Heads, the large sandstone cliffs guarding the narrow mouth to the lagoon. From here the views out to sea and back inland over the lagoon are spectacular. You can enjoy local oysters and craft beer while on board.
The rugged and beautiful coastline of Knysna has so much to offer. Venture through the sheer Knysna Heads as it draws you into a fascinating setting of panoramic coves, caves and bays. Amongst this natural beauty the dolphins, seals, penguins and birdlife reside in harmony in their natural habitat.
Get up close and personal with these majestic giants that inhabit our vast and pristine Indian ocean. These migratory mammals, Southern Right and Humpback whales, grace us with their presence from June to November annually showing off their acrobatic skills while nurturing their young.
Approaching a whale requires incredible skill and understanding of the behaviour of these wild creatures. The skippers are well aware of the strict guidelines set in place by the permit and respect that they are in the whale’s domain.
Enjoy a marine safari that will showcase Knysna’s natural assets and beauty.
The Whale Watching Cruise departs daily in three different time slots, 09h00, 12h00 and 15h00 and each tour lasts approximately 2 hours.
The Franschhoek Wine Tram hop-on hop-off tour is one of the best ways to discover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley – picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300 year history.
Passengers aboard the hop-on hop-off tour will experience a unique and leisurely way to see the Franschhoek Valley as they journey through rolling vineyards in an open-side tram and open-air tram-bus stopping in at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates. A combination of tram and tram-bus transports passengers around a loop of stops allowing them to hop-off at each stop and experience the activities on offer, be it wine tasting, a cellar tour, lunch or simply a stroll through the vineyards and when they are ready, hop-on to continue the tour. The tour takes passengers right into the heart of the Franschhoek Valley, with a narration focusing on the history of Franschhoek and wine cultivation in the valley, complimentary wine tastings and unparalleled views of the valley and vineyards.
The Blue Line visits the following estates: Mont Rochelle, La Couronne, Holden Manz, La Bourgogne, La Bri, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence. The Red Line visits the following estates: Maison, Eikehof, Leopard's Leap, Dieu Donne, Chamonix, Rickety Bridge and Grande Provence.
Departure Times: Tours depart every 15 minutes from 10:00am until 12:45pm daily.
You are collected from your hotel this morning and are taken on a Full-day tour of the Cape Winelands, with its backdrop of majestic mountain ranges and lush valleys. We stop for wine tastings at a minimum of two wineries and you have the chance to purchase some of the wines you have tasted. We visit Stellenbosch, the “town of oaks” for a short guided tour of South Africa’s second oldest town.
A scenic drive over the Helshoogte Pass (Hell’s Heights) takes us to the Franschhoek Valley. French Huguenots settled in the Franschhoek Valley in the late seventeenth century, seeking refuge from religious persecution in Europe and bringing with them precious root- stock to establish the wine-growing industry in South Africa. After the tour you are dropped off at your hotel along the Seapoint Promenade.
Spend time today at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. You can 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. The V&A Waterfront is South Africa’s trendiest shopping precinct and is full of great restaurants and bars. If the weather was inclement on the first day, take the opportunity to go up Table Mountain today.
A tour guide takes you on a city tour of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. You will visit the historic Castle and the Bo-Kaap Malay Quarter with its narrow cobbled streets and colourful mosques. You will also visit District Six, site of forced removals during the Apartheid era. You view the Houses of Parliament, the City Hall and the Slave Lodge and will enjoy a walk through the Company Gardens. Weather-permitting, you will ride the cable car up Table Mountain to enjoy the view over Cape Town and across Table Bay to Robben Island. If the weather is inclement, you will be taken on a scenic drive up Signal Hill.
You are collected from your hotel by a tour guide and taken on 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 city bowl in the late afternoon.
You are collected from your hotel in Cape Town and taken to Simons Town for your shark cage diving experience. The best time for this activity is between the months of April to September when 4 to 5 sharks are usually encountered in a day. You will be immersed in the cage for about 15 – 20 minutes and will have a good chance to see a number of sharks. You might even have the opportunity at a second chance once everyone has had a turn.
The shape of the Cape Peninsula and the backdrop of the mountains means that there is always a sheltered beach to enjoy. On both sides of the Peninsula there are white sandy beaches which are extremely popular for sunbathing, relaxing and recreational sports, such as surfing, kayaking and kite surfing. Cape Town beaches range from secluded bays to long, open stretches of sandy beaches. We recommend:-
Camps Bay beach is lined with palm trees and is backed by Lions Head and Table Mountain. Behind the beach there is the very popular Camps Bay promenade with top class restaurants, cocktail bars and cafés. Its close proximity to most hotels, spectacular scenery and the beautiful people who favour it makes this a beach paradise. Camps Bay is on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Peninsula, so the water can be chilly.
Fish Hoek beach is a family-orientated beach with plenty of space for beach games, swimming and exploring. The waves are gentle and the water is warmer than the Atlantic Ocean beaches. A stroll along the boardwalk will reveal some fascinating rock pools which will offer you hours of exciting exploration.
Clifton’s white sandy beaches range from 1st to 4th, each beach being a cove separated by granite boulders. Clifton 4th beach is the largest of the four and the most popular. The water is a refreshing cool blue, but you are not at Clifton to swim – you are there to be seen. The beach is an extremely popular hangout for international jet setters and trendy and beautiful locals.
St James Beach is one of the smaller beaches along the False Bay coastline but this doesn’t detract from its charming appeal. The colourful beach huts and the large tidal pool are a trademark of St James. The beach area is not that big but there are rock pools on either side of the tidal pool. The tidal pool is calmer and warmer than the sea making for very pleasant bathing conditions.
Awake to a gentle tap on your cottage door at dawn. After tea or coffee and a few biscuits or rusks, your guide will be on hand to discuss your game activity hopes in eager anticipation of taking you on an adventure of a lifetime. Hop into an awaiting safari vehicle or motor boat and set off on an enthralling morning game drive.
The Okavango Delta is home to a large number of species adapted to the semi-aquatic lifestyle, such as the elegant red lechwe and shy sitatunga. Lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog may be encountered, while families of hippo hide in the deeper channels and lagoons. The area supports the continent’s largest surviving concentration of elephant and buffalo, while roan and sable antelope roam the open woodlands.
Upon your return to your Lodge, a delicious breakfast is ready to be served. Enjoy a leisurely walk near the camp with an armed guide or simply savour the sights and sounds of the lodge and surrounds in the comfort of your exclusively luxurious cottage ahead of a scrumptious lunch. Indulge in a refreshing dip in the lodge pool or treat yourself to an afternoon siesta. Late afternoon tea will then be served ahead of another enthralling game drive experience where you can observe the wildlife of the area and their habits as the day begins to end.
Alternatively an afternoon boat ride adventure can be enjoyed on a mokoro dug-out canoe or a motorised boat, allowing you the opportunity to explore the Delta at eye level. Upon your return a mouth-watering dinner will be served under a canopy of stars and the African velvet sky above.
Chobe's wildlife roams in abundance and diversity and it is home to the largest concentration of elephant in Africa. During the dry season these large herds, as well as vast herds of buffalo, congregate along the fertile flood plains of the Chobe River where they come to drink, bathe and play. Sightings of lion, African wild dog, puku, red lechwe, sable, giraffe and roan antelope are frequent reported in the area.
At Elephant Valley Lodge you enjoy a morning cruise along the Chobe River, which allows you to get up close with hippo, crocodile and a mind-boggling array of water birds. You also get really close to any animals that come down to the river, especially elephants and buffalo.
In the afternoon you enjoy a game drive in a 10-seater open vehicle in both the Chobe National Park and the Kasane Forest Reserve. In addition to elephant and buffalo, species that might be seen on game drives include waterbuck, lechwe, puku, giraffe, kudu, roan and sable, impala, warthog, bushbuck, monkeys and baboons, along with the accompanying predators: lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. It is during the late afternoon that game becomes most active. During the game drive a stop is made for sundowner drinks along the river to capture the sunset on camera.
As you approach the Falls and hear the water pounding and witness the vapour rising, you quickly understand why local tribesman called the Falls “Mosi-oa-Tunya” (the smoke that thunders) and why the explorer David Livingstone exclaimed that a scene “so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight”. The great columns of spray rising from the tumultuous falls can be seen from 80 kilometres away on a clear day. If you are lucky enough to be there at full moon, a "moonbow" can be seen in the spray instead of the usual daylight rainbow. Because the Victoria Falls fall into a chasm, rather than falling down an escarpment, it is possible to walk along the opposite side of the chasm, at the same height as the top of the Falls. From the unique walking trails the magnificence and glory of the Falls are head on and only about 60 metres (200 feet) away. The spray falls on the trails like soft rain, feeding the lush vegetation.
The Ra-Ikane is a small luxury cruise boat that is out-fitted to suggest, in exquisite detail, an ambiance of a bygone era. This cruise boat is exclusive (14 guests only) and personalised - period decor, historic memorabilia, fine cuisine and refreshments offer a level of comfort and grace unsurpassed on the Zambezi. As afternoon fades into twilight, animals come down to the river to drink as you go by.
Victoria Falls is the unchallenged adventure capital of Africa with more than 50 activities available. Here is our selection of the best:
Spend a half day on the Zambezi River fishing for one of the great freshwater game fish - The Tigerfish. These powerful, swift predators are truly thrilling to catch.
Paddle slowly down the Zambezi River in a canoe with some of the best wildlife guides in Africa and enjoy the beauty, peace and wildlife of this unique place. Explore islands and waterways and learn about the birds and animals you come across along the route.
Flight of Angels Helicopter Flip over the Falls:
At ground level you can feel the enormous power of the Victoria Falls as tremendous volumes of water pound into the chasm below. But it is only when you take to the air that you can take in the whole panorama and enormity of this mighty spectacle.
Bungi jump off the 111 metre high railway bridge into the Zambezi gorge, stopping just metres from the rushing water of the Zambezi River. This is a wild jump! There are two bungi options: A single jump on your own or a tandem jump with a partner.
White Water Rafting:
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River is acclaimed as the best one day white water rafting trip available in the world. There are different options for rafting depending on the time of year and the level of water in the river.
Jet Boat Extreme:
Speedboats powered by huge jet engines shoot down the rapids below the Victoria Falls at 100 km an hour. Enjoy a thrilling half hour spent “flying” over the water.
Based at Hippo Hollow Country Estate in Hazyview, the Shangaan River Club welcomes all to the festivities under the thatched Boma where traditional South African and Shangaan cuisine form a feast in the true sense of the word.
An African banquet with an impressive selection of Shangaan and South African mouth-watering dishes served from traditional cast-iron pots completes your enlightening and entertaining Shangaan experience. Immerse yourself in a wealth of culture with a night of Shangaan dance and song enthusiastically provided by children from a local AIDS orphanage, which provides shelter and education for abandoned street children.
The children’s participation ensures they are re-united with their true African heritage, thus preserving the legacy for generations to come. With each song, the local chief narrates a song or proverb from tribal legend, sharing the rich heritage and customs of the Shangaan people.
THE RIVER CLUB FEAST
Salad; 3 Bean Salad, Cabbage & Raison Salad, Beetroot & Apple Salad, Kernel Corn & Feta Salad
Chicken Liver Paté with Toast
Sweet Potato Fritters with Sweet Mango Chutney Marhupu (potato)
Soup with Croutons
Selection of Condiments
Warthog Ribs with Lavender Basting Beef Boerewors
IN THE POT
Cape Malay Chicken Curry Venison Hot Pot
SELECTION OF CONDIMENTS
Roast Butternut | Caramelised Root Vegetables | Fired Corn on the Kob (mielies) | Samp & Beans | Ethnic Flavoured Rice | Pap & Sheba
HOT BUFFET CONDIMENTS
Pinotage Marmalade | Amarula Jelly Marogo & Pumpkin Seed SalsaTomato & Chili Jam | Sambals | Peach Chutney
Van der Hum Pancakes filled with Banana Traditional Malva Pudding | Koeksisters Milktart | Fruit Kebab | Vanilla Anglaise
The Panorama Route in Mpumalanga has breath-taking vistas around every mountain corner, waterfalls plunging down faces of sheer rock, memories of the gold rush and an endless river canyon. One breath-taking view after another – that's South Africa's famous Panorama Route, where you'll experience mountains, sky, forests and the truly impressive Blyde River Canyon, one of the world's largest canyons.
Scenic landmarks with evocative names like God's Window, Wonder View, the Pinnacle, Bourke's Luck Potholes and the Three Rondawels beckon. The Blyde River Canyon's lush subtropical foliage makes it the world's largest 'green canyon’, thread your way along the cliff tops 800m above the Blyde River Canyon, and at God's Window, be sure to walk in the thick, indigenous mist forest that's often among the clouds.
There are several beautiful waterfalls on the Panorama Route; The Lisbon Falls is 94 metres (308 ft) high. The Berlin Falls is on the Sabine River and falls 80 metres (260 ft), pouring into a circular basin flanked by red cliffs. The falls have the shape of a candle, with the first short drop forming the wick, and the remaining, broader drop being the candle body. The Mac Mac Falls are 70 meters (229 ft) and is situated near the site where payable quantities of gold were first found in 1873. The diggings became known as Mac-Mac because of large number of Scottish diggers at the camp.
The gold rush town of Pilgrim's Rest gives you the chance to relive the 1873 gold rush in surroundings of unparalleled beauty. You can even try your hand at panning for gold.
Thornybush Game Lodge offer unique exclusive safari experiences in both open Land Rovers, and on foot. The private reserve is home to an abundance of species: 147 mammals including the "Big Five", 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 336 trees. The reserve is predominantly open savannah and with a near perfect year round climate, it is the ideal African safari holiday destination.
The day starts as dawn breaks over the African bushveld. After your early morning wakeup call, coffee, tea & rusks are served on the main deck overlooking the riverbed. Shortly after, you depart in your open Land Rover with your experienced Rangers and Trackers who will share their extensive knowledge of the bush with you. After an exhilarating hunt for tracks to see what the animals have been up to during the night, and tracking down whatever you find, you will stop somewhere out in the bush for a break of coffee & tea. After a sumptuous breakfast is served either back at the camp or in the riverbed or bush, guests are offered walks to suit their interests and fitness levels and are accompanied by an armed ranger and tracker. Walks allow guests a better chance to see some of the smaller creatures of the bush as well as an opportunity to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region & to have a chance to follow tracks in more detail. The local Shangaan trackers will enthral you with their explanations of the medicinal and other uses of the numerous plants and trees along with tales of traditional folklore.
The rest of the day is spent at the discretion of the guest for other activities that we offer, with a delicious lunch being served. The afternoon game drive is preceded by high tea and extends into the evening to view seldom seen nocturnal species by torchlight. Upon returning for a gourmet 3 course dinner, either in the boma, bush or lodge - guests can socialize with a cognac, single malt or cigar around the campfire or lounge before returning to bed for another day's adventure.