2 nights Victoria Falls | 3 nights Sabi Sand | 2 nights Timbavati | 4 nights Cape Town | 2 nights Franschhoek
- Victoria Falls Adventure
- Sunset Boat Cruise on the Zambezi
- Sabi Sand Game Reserve
- Big Five Game Drives
- Timbavati Game Reserve
- Cape Town City Tours
- Cape Winelands Tour & Tastings
- Exploring Franschhoek
A trip of a lifetime!
Words can’t describe the experiences we had on our South African vacation. Heidi, our tour consultant, was responsive and extremely helpful from the first point of contact. We emailed back and forth for months to ensure our itinerary was exactly the way we wanted it. Heidi also provided many itinerary options, made suggestions and took the time to get to know the kind of vacation we were expecting. She selected premium hotels, safari camps, tour guides and drivers. Careful attention was given to inter country flights, timing of activities and drivers between airports, hotels and longer drives within Kruger. The safari portion of the trip (six nights at two camps) was perfect! We saw the big five along with too many other amazing animals and birds to name. The camps were small and very comfortable with absolutely delicious food in an environment surrounded by watering holes and animal viewing via binoculars right in the middle of the bush. In summary, everything was absolutely perfect! We were amazed at Heidi’s attention to detail and selection of tours, hotels, drivers, guides and flights! You can’t go wrong with Pembury!
Tour Consultant's OverviewBonnie initially enquired about a tour for herself and her husband, shortly afterwards her brother was excited about the tour and decided to join his sister and brother-in-law on a trip to Africa. I was excited to be booking a family tour and after a few options, Bonnie decided on a tour visiting Victoria Falls, Kruger National Park & Cape Town.
This morning you are met at your hotel by our representative and transferred to Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport. You will connect to your flight to Victoria Falls airport. Upon arrival at Victoria Falls Airport you met transferred to your hotel.
Transfer time: Hotel to Johannesburg Airport – approx. 45 minutes
Flight time: Johannesburg to Victoria Falls Airport - approx. 1¾ hours
Transfer time: Victoria Falls airport to Hotel - approx. 25 minutes
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 met by our representative at TBA and transferred to Livingstone Airport where you connect with your flight to Nelspruit. You are met at Nelspruit Airport by our representative and transferred to your lodge in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, forming part of the Greater Kruger Park.
Transfer time: Hotel to Livingstone Airport – approx. 1 hour
Flying time: Livingstone to Nelspruit – approx. 2 hours
Transfer time: Nelspruit Airport to Sabi Sand Lodge – approx. 2¾ hours
Forming part of the Greater Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Reserve has no fences and the wildlife is able to cross freely between the Sabi Sands and the rest of the Greater Kruger National Park. The safari experience in the Sabi Sand is highly personalised because game drive vehicles have exclusive traversing rights in their area. The Sabi Sand Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Close contact encounters are guaranteed as the animals are not threatened by the presence of vehicles thanks to sound conservation management policies. Safaris are led by experienced rangers coupled with local Shangaan trackers. With exceptional sightings of leopard (usually the most elusive of cats), lion, rhino, elephant and buffalo during game drives - visitors are never lacking in exciting photographic content.
You will head out on dawn and late afternoon game drives in the company of dedicated and highly knowledgeable rangers and trackers. The fact that the Sabi Sand is a private Kruger reserve 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, you are collected from your lodge and transferred by road northwards to the Timbavati Reserve, also part of the Greater Kruger National Park. There is time to settle in at your new lodge before setting off on the afternoon game drive.
Transfer time – Sabi Sand to Timbavati: approx 3 hours
The Timbavati forms part of the 2 million hectare Greater Kruger National Park. It was the first private game reserve to be incorporated into the Kruger National Park and is part of one of Africa's most innovative conservation partnership agreements. The Timbavati is 14 700 hectares (36 300 acres) and shares an unfenced boundary with Kruger National Park. Track the Big Five, as well as a rich variety of other game such as antelope, zebra, warthog, giraffe and hippo, in the company of an armed ranger and local Shangaan tracker. Bird viewing is spectacular, with over 360 recorded species including various eagles, vultures, kingfishers, woodpeckers, buzzards, herons, egrets, owls, weavers. The Timbavati is also home to the world-famous “White Lions of Timbavati”.
After your morning game drive, you bid farewell to this African wonderland. You are met and transferred by road to Hoedspruit Airport for your direct flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival at Cape Town airport you are met by our representative and are transferred to your hotel for a four night stay.
Transfer time: Timbavati to Hoedspruit Airport - approx 1 hour
Flight time: Hoedspruit to Cape Town - approx 2½ hours
Transfer time: Cape Town airport to Cape Town hotels - approx 35 minutes
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.
This morning you are met and taken on a Cape Winelands Tour, visiting some of South Africa’s finest wine farms. After your tour you are transferred to your Guest House for your one night stay in Franschhoek.
Enjoy all Franschhoek has to offer for your last two days in South Africa.
This morning you enjoy your breakfast and check out of your hotel. You bid farewell to The Mother City of Cape Town. You are met by our representative and transferred to Cape Town Airport for flight home.
Transfer time – Franschhoek hotel to Cape Town International Airport – approx. 45 minutes
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 recognised as one of the finest at the Falls. Relax around the swimming pool or enjoy a drink at the open-air bar.
Situated in the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, part of the 2.2 million hectare Greater Kruger National Park, Elephant Plains offers comfortable style and affordable luxury. The lodge overlooks a waterhole on the banks of the Manyeleti River and the pool deck guarantees excellent viewing of animals moving from the plains to drink. Elephant Plains is proud of the standard of its tasty international cuisine and South African specialities. Breakfast and lunch are enjoyed in the dining room or on the pool deck, overlooking the open area. Dinner is served around a log fire in the boma, whilst enjoying the mystical nocturnal sounds under the African sky. There are two swimming pools, and an African Spa.
Accommodation is provided in six luxury suites, five rondavels and one honeymoon suite. Decorated in warm, earthy tones, the natural design and architectural flow of the six glass-fronted luxury suites fall softly on the eye. These exclusive, open-plan suites each have a lounge, double bedroom, en-suite bathroom and a private viewing deck that offers spectacular views over the riverbed and open area. The five rondavels are set in the beautifully landscaped garden of the original family holiday camp and one can still feel the old bushveld charm upon entering. The five rondavels have been renovated and redecorated and have sundecks and en-suite bathrooms. The Manyeleti honeymoon suite provides honeymooners, or guests that are just romantic at heart, with elegance, privacy and a stunning view. This glass fronted suite has all the regular luxuries and also boasts a private splash pool and daybed, ideal for a mid-morning nap. All accommodation is air-conditioned.
Over many years strict conservation policies and successful habitat management have resulted in a rich diversity of fauna and flora. Here you will come face to face with Africa’s Big Five and may be lucky enough to encounter other rarer species such as the endangered wild dogs and cheetah.
Enjoy magnificent views of the bush, the Nhlaralumi River and the distant foothills of the Drakensberg Mountain Range from the vantage point of the beautiful small koppie on which the lodge is situated.
Accommodation is pure African safari, and comprises of 8 individual pavilion-style luxury tents, arranged to create a unique village feel. Each suite comprises two individual tents – one for the main bedroom, and a separate bathroom, which is linked by a passage that can be opened up on one side – allowing for an indoor or private outdoor shower experience. Privacy is guaranteed thanks to the careful placement of the tented-suites, ensuring a tranquil and intimate stay. The main lodge has a game-viewing deck overlooking the river and there is an infinity pool, with panoramic views of the bushveld and Drakensberg Mountains. A covered pool lounge provides shaded outdoor relaxation. Dinner of African-inspired cuisine is served on the deck, or – weather permitting – around the fire in the open-air boma.
Early morning and evening game drives are conducted by experienced rangers and Shangaan trackers in open 4x4 vehicles, offering excellent photographic opportunities. The Timbavati is also home to the world-famous “White Lions of Timbavati”. White cubs have been born into the resident prides on Simbavati and there is an excellent chance of spotting these “ghost lions” during game drives. Between game drives you have time to unwind. The lounge area is the perfect place to relax on a comfortable couch with a book, or you can enjoy an afternoon siesta in your room.
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. There is a complimentary shuttle service between the hotel and the V&A Waterfront.
This picturesque guest house is just an hour’s drive from Cape Town, situated in the peaceful Winelands country also known as the Franschhoek Valley. Avondrood’s original Victorian Cape-Dutch home offers guests a beautiful peaceful stay with a rich historical feel of French Huguenot culture combined with all of the modern luxuries and amenities you desire.
Just a short stroll down the road you will find the main village of Franschhoek with world-renowned restaurants, charming gift shops, cafes and magnificent historical buildings and museums to explore.
If rest is what you need, stay in and enjoy the tranquil gardens at Avondrood. Private and scenic the 2000sq meter gardens surround a large pool, heated jacuzzi and outdoor breakfast veranda which boasts views of the mountains. Inside the main house you can relish in the spacious lounge next to the grand fireplace or settle into your favourite cocktail at the fully stocked bar and watch the game.
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.
Follow in the footsteps of David Livingstone and travel up the Zambezi River above the Falls. There are several companies offering boat trips on the Zambezi River. Especially recommended is an evening sundowner boat cruise or a dinner cruise. As afternoon fades into twilight, animals come down to the river to drink as you go by.
White Water Rafting on the Zambezi River is acclaimed as the best one day white water rafting trip available in the world. Commercial rafting first commenced on the Zambezi River in 1981. The Zambezi River is classified as a high volume, pool-drop river i.e. there is little exposed rock either in the rapids or the pools below the rapids. The morning section of the river is classified as Grade 5 "extremely difficult, long and violent rapids, steep gradients, big drops and pressure areas". The afternoon section is slightly less challenging and is of a lower grade. There are different options for rafting depending on the time of year and the level of water in the river. It is possible to do a full day’s rafting or a half day’s rafting.
The Sabi Sand Reserve is part of the largest conservation area in South Africa and it is the oldest of all the private reserves. It was formed in 1950 and comprises of many privately owned game lodges, covering an area of 65 000 hectares (153 000 acres) of savannah thornveld. It is now part of the Greater Kruger National Park and there are no fences between them, so the game moves freely through this enormous natural reserve. This is one of South Africa’s most treasured natural sanctuaries. The Sabi Sand Reserve enjoys good quality viewing of leopard (the most elusive of predators), as well as elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species. In fact, there are more than 330 tree species, 45 fish species, 30 amphibian species, 110 reptile species, 500 bird species and 145 mammal species, including the Big Five.
Upon arrival at your safari lodge you are given a welcome drink and your safari experience will be explained to you by your lodge host. There will be time to settle in before afternoon High Tea followed by your first game drive. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when animals are most active. Night game drives provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the predators, particularly the leopard for which this area is renowned. You return to your lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. The next day after a light snack you are taken on a morning game drive. 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 verandah. After High Tea you set off on another evening game drive, returning again in time for dinner. On your day of departure, you will do a morning game drive and will leave the lodge after brunch.
Upon arrival at your safari lodge you are given a welcome drink and your safari experience will be explained to you by your lodge host. There will be time to settle in before afternoon High Tea followed by your first game drive. Game drives take place in the early morning and evening to ensure game viewing when animals are most active. Night game drives provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the predators, particularly the leopard for which this area is renowned. You return to your lodge in time for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. The next day after a light snack you are taken on a morning game drive. 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 veranda. If you are feeling more active, you can go on a bush walk with your ranger. After High Tea you set off on another evening game drive, returning again in time for dinner. On your day of departure, you will do a morning game drive and will leave the lodge after brunch.
The Timbavati is brimming with various species of fowl and beast, including the sought-after Big Five, namely lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino. The reserve also boasts over 40 other species of mammals. Creatures of every shape and size abound during the day, and by night visitors to the reserve are likely to see smaller, nocturnal mammals - such as porcupines, servals, civets and genets. Bird-lovers would struggle to replicate this calibre of bird watching anywhere else in the world, with the Timbavati featuring over 360 different species.
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.
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.
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.
You are collected from the 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.