12 Days
Gail’s Fun With Friends on Madikwe Safari with Blue Train Luxury

4 nights Cape Town | 2 nights Blue Train | 1 night Johannesburg | 4 nights Madikwe

Tour Highlights

  • Cape Town Waterfront Accommodation
  • Cape Town City & Winelands Tours
  • Blue Train Luxury Rail Experience
  • Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Big Five Game Viewing
  • Abundant Birdlife

Client Review

Our First Trip to South Africa was FANTASTIC!!!!

Pembury Tours, Gail, did a great job putting this together! She promptly answered all of our questions in a professional manner. When we arrived in Cape Town our Guide, Ian was there to meet us and transfer us to the V&A Hotel, it exceeded our expectations. The next morning Ian showed us Cape Town, Cape Point, & Cape of Good Hope, this guy was brilliant!! After 4 days in Cape Town we were transferred to the Blue Train, our first train trip, this train is first class. After 3 days aboard the Blue Train, we flew out to Madikwe Game Reserve, Impodimo Game Lodge, this place was amazing! The food, staff, our guide and tracker, everyone was eager to make our stay memorable. The game drives were the highlight, Impodimo just finished it off perfectly, the hide by the water hole, we spent hours in there with all the comforts of home. The entire 2 week trip was fantastic!! Gail of Pembury Tours made it all happen. Thank you!!

Tom & Betty

Tour Consultant's Overview

Tom & Betty contacted me looking for a tailor made tour with some unique requests for their South African holiday. Their plan was to meet up with friends for the safari portion of their stay and this we organised in the world class Madikwe Game Reserve basing them and their friends at Impodimo Game Lodge. Before their safari they spent four nights in Cape Town ticking off some of the items on their bucket list which included a train journey to Pretoria from Cape Town on board the luxurious Blue Train. They thoroughly enjoyed their time in South Africa and hope to return soon with more of their friends next time.
Gail Davis
Day 1 Arrival in Cape Town

Upon arrival at Cape Town airport, you are met by our representative and are transferred to your hotel at the V&A Waterfront. Spend the afternoon relaxing and spending time at the V&A Waterfront.

Transfer time – Cape Town airport to Cape Town hotel: approx 35 minutes

Day 1 to 5 Cape Town (4 nights)

Explore the Mother City and the Fairest Cape – from the oldest buildings in South Africa to trendy waterfront shopping; from majestic Table Mountain to sun drenched beaches; and from dramatic seascapes to verdant vineyards. Cape Town regularly tops many lists of world must-visit destinations and Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain has recently been voted one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Cosmopolitan and fashionable, the relaxed atmosphere and pavement café culture give Cape Town a Southern European feel – but with a distinctive African twist.

Day 5 to 7 Blue Train - Cape Town to Pretoria (2 nights)

This morning after a leisurely breakfast, you can spend the morning exploring the Waterfront or spending some time at the beach before being collected in the afternoon and transferred to the station in the city centre. After welcome drinks at the Blue Train Departure Lounge, your butler will escort you to the train. You can then relax and watch South Africa pass by your train window en route to Pretoria.

Day 7 Johannesburg (1 night)

On arrival in Pretoria Station, you will be met by a driver and transferred by road to your hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg for your one night stay before you fly out to Madikwe Game Reserve for your safari the next day.

Transfer time – Pretoria Station to Sandton: approx 35 Minutes

Day 8 Johannesburg to Madikwe Game Reserve

This morning after breakfast you will be collected and transferred by road to the Federal Air terminal at OR Tambo International Airport for your shuttle flight to Madikwe Game Reserve. You are met at the Madikwe airstrip and transferred to your lodge.

Transfer time: Hotel to OR Tambo International Airport – approx 30 minutes

Flight time: OR Tambo International Airport to Madikwe Game Reserve – approx 1 hour

Day 8 to 12 Madikwe Game Reserve (4 nights)

The 76,000 hectare Madikwe Game Reserve is one of South Africa’s biggest wildlife sanctuaries and is home to the Big 5 and over 340 bird species. It is especially famous for its packs of African Wild Dog – and it is malaria-free. It is about 4 hours by road from Johannesburg. Madikwe is situated in the transition region between two vegetation types: Lowveld bushveld and Kalahari thornveld. As a result, the region is able to host to an incredible diversity of species. In addition to wild dog, cheetah, lion, white and black rhino, buffalo and elephant, Madikwe is home to a wide range of plains game, such as giraffe, zebra and many antelope species. Madikwe’s game viewing is of a very high standard, aided by the fact that all game rangers are in radio contact with one another. There is a strict code of conduct and animal sightings are generally limited to a maximum of 3 vehicles at one time in order to maintain the feeling of exclusivity and to ensure the animals’ well-being.

Day 12 Madikwe Game Reserve to Johannesburg

After your morning game drive and brunch, you will bid this African wonderland goodbye and are transferred to the airstrip for your shuttle flight back to Johannesburg. On arrival at the Federal Air Lounge at OR Tambo, you will be transferred through to international departures to check in for your flight home.

Flight time: Madikwe Game Reserve to OR Tambo International Airport – approx 1 hour

Cape Town: Victoria & Alfred Hotel

The Victoria & Alfred Hotel is situated in the heart of the trendy Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Built in 1904 as the North Quay Warehouse and converted in 1990 to a luxury hotel, this privately owned hotel is renowned for the highest international standards. This landmark hotel offers spectacular views of the working harbour and Table Mountain.

It's the detail that gives the V&A Hotel its elegance, intimacy, romance and reputation, the wooden staircase, the telescope, flowers and the service – friendly and efficient yet never intrusive. There are 94 spacious, air-conditioned, en-suite bedrooms spread over three floors. All the creatively-styled rooms have spectacular views over Table Mountain, the harbour’s Alfred Basin or the Piazza. Relax alfresco on the quayside terrace and enjoy the unique atmosphere, watching buskers and entertainers go by. There is a designer spa and state-of-the-art gym facilities, as well as a pool area in a beautifully manicured garden, where you can escape from the buzz of the busy Waterfront.

The V&A Hotel’s in-house restaurant, OYO Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, is arguably the finest dining location in the V&A Waterfront. In addition to OYO, there are also four sister restaurants conveniently located in close proximity to the hotel and lunch and dinner at the sister restaurants can be billed to your room at the V&A Hotel.

Blue Train: Deluxe Suite

The world-famous Blue Train is rail travel in the grand old tradition. Since the 1920’s the Blue Train name has been synonymous with the ultimate in luxury rail travel and personal service, and kings and presidents have travelled on this magnificent moving five-star hotel. The Blue Train follows the northbound tracks of Cecil John Rhodes, who dreamed of a railroad from Cape to Cairo.

You check in at the Blue Train departure lounge at Cape Town station. After pre-departure drinks and snacks, you board the train. A butler ushers you to your luxury suite before the train eases out of Cape Town station and begins its journey to Pretoria.

Johannesburg: Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton

Established in 1949, the Protea Hotel Balalaika Sandton is a privately owned Premier hotel, set in the heart of the trendy suburb of Sandton. This recently refurbished and stylish 330-bedroomed property has two private gardens and two swimming pools, lending a distinctive atmosphere of luxurious tranquility to the hotel. Each of the rooms is tastefully furnished to portray the ultimate in comfort and style. There is an in-house restaurant, a coffee shop and a cigar bar.

Each room is air-conditioned and tastefully furnished in a classic, comfortable style with its own en-suite bathroom. The trendy shopping precinct of Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City are situated metres from the hotel. There is a complimentary shuttle between the hotel and the Gautrain.

Madikwe Game Reserve: Impodimo Game Lodge

Impodimo Game Lodge is set along a rocky ridge commanding stunning vistas of the reserve. It is also located at the source of a natural spring, which provides the lodge with elevated views as well as riverine serenity. The lodge offers dawn and dusk safaris. The safaris are carefully timed to ensure optimal seasonal comfort. Whilst Impodimo has 10 suites, its capacity is 16 guests, each of the suites have been carefully positioned to ensure absolute privacy. Spacious in design, each includes a closed system fireplace, climate control air conditioner, mini bar fridge, tea & coffee making facilities and full en-suite bathroom and outside shower. Your private deck allows uninterrupted views of the Madikwe Game Reserve.

The owner / manager team of Steve and Debbie are ideally suited to tailoring the most memorable safari experience, Whilst Steve is a highly qualified expert ranger, Debbie adds impressive culinary qualifications to the team. The team has gone to great lengths to ensure that guests have as much choice as possible in enjoying their experience, for example, 7-seater land rovers are used instead of the traditional 10 seater type. Impodimo is the first lodge in Madikwe Game Reserve to have qualified Shangaan trackers as part of the team. This adds a different dimension to the safari experience ensuring consistent big game sightings. With fewer guests on land rovers the team encourages guests to maximise optimal game viewing times.

Included in price Cape Town: Half Day City Tour

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. You will be taken on a scenic drive up Signal Hill.

Included in price Cape Town: Full Day Cape Point Tour

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.

Suggested Cape Winelands: Full Day Winelands Tour

You can follow the Franschhoek Wine Route and stop for tastings at wine estates along the way. You will have the chance to purchase and ship home some of the wines you have tasted.
South African wine has a proud history dating back to 1659, when the first wine recorded in South Africa was produced by the founder of the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck. 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. By the time of Napoleon, wine produced by Constantia, a vineyard near Cape Town, was considered by Europeans to be one of the greatest wines in the world. Anti-apartheid sanctions hit the wine industry hard, but since independence in 1994, access to international markets has unleashed a burst of new energy and new investment, and South African wines are once again winning awards across the world.
Each wine route has a wide range of wine estates and wineries: ranging from historical to avant garde and from garagiste to large scale producers. Many of the wine estates 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.

Suggested Hermanus: Whale Watching & Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Hermanus is a quaint and pretty seaside town about 1½ hours from Cape Town and is accessed via a dramatically scenic drive over a mountain pass and along the coastal cliffs.

Hermanus is best known for the Southern Right whales which travel up from the Antarctic during the winter months to give birth in the bays and inlets along the Southern Cape coast. Hermanus offers the best land-based whale watching in the world as the steep cliffs offer a grandstand view of the whales, who are often only metres off shore. The village even has a Whale Crier, who announces where the day’s best sightings are. Watch the whales from the clifftops or take a boat out into the bay with one of the licensed whale watching operators to get a closer view.

We also visit the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens, which has 200 hectares of the finely bushed plants endemic to this area, known as fynbos, 190 hectares growing naturally and the rest cultivated. These botanical gardens lie within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, South Africa's first UNESCO-proclaimed biosphere reserve. The vivid Disa uniflora is one of many rare plants featured in these gardens, and to experience it when it is in bloom, make sure you visit the gardens between December and January. You should also not miss South Africa's national flower, the King protea, which blooms in spring. There are over 100 species of birds to be spotted in these botanical gardens, including colourful sunbirds.

Madikwe Game Reserve: Daily Safari Programme at Impodimo Game Lodge

After an early-morning wake-up call, you set off on your morning game drive. Madikwe is one of South Africa’s largest sanctuaries and has a rich biodiversity of mammals, such as Africa’s Big Five, cheetah, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena, oryx, eland, springbok & ostrich. You return to the lodge for a mid-morning brunch. There is time between game drives to relax on the deck with a good book, do some bird-watching (Madikwe has more than 250 recorded species of bird) or, if you are feeling more energetic, do a game walk with your game ranger. High tea is served in the late afternoon, before you set off on an evening game drive through the untamed wilderness of the Kalahari Thornveld. The late evening is when predators are more active and it is also an opportunity to see animals such as aardvark and caracal. You return to the lodge for a safari cuisine dinner in the open-air boma.

This itinerary started on 21 July 2019
When this tour took place, the cost per person sharing was: USD$ 4,200
Remember, this is an actual itinerary, 100% tailor-made to meet this client's expectations. We can use this itinerary as a starting point for you.
I'm Gail Davis
I tailor-made this itinerary for my client and can do the same for you.
Gail Davis
My direct contact details are EMAIL ME+27 87 353 7869
Pembury Tours office details +27 41 581 2581 EMAIL US