South African Spectacular – 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
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.
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