8 Days
Melanie’s Kruger Safari & Cape Town

Tour Highlights

  • Greater Kruger National Park
  • Cape Town
  • Penguins at Boulders Beach
  • Big Five Safari
  • Table Mountain
  • Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
  • Birding
  • Cape Point

Client Review

My wife and I have just had a fantastic holiday in South Africa, all arranged by Melanie at Pembury Tours.  I wanted to surprise my wife for her 40th birthday so I had to do all the planning by myself.  This is where Melanie was so helpful as she suggested things that she thought Jane would like.  She was also very helpful in making sure we fitted the maximum amount of things into the short time we had available.  The whole holiday went according to plan thanks to Melanie’s organisation and we had a stress-free time.  We especially enjoyed the safari and are glad we stayed at two different lodges because we got the chance to stay in a tented camp and also in a thatched lodge.  Notten’s made a big fuss of Jane’s birthday, which was nice.  The game viewing was good and the rangers and trackers were very knowledgeable.  We saw so much in just four days.  It was nice to end off in Cape Town and we enjoyed having cocktails on the outside patio at Winchester Mansions, watching the sun setting over the sea.  Magical. We owe a big thank you to Melanie.

Matthew & Jane M

Tour Consultant's Overview

Matthew contacted me in July 2017 to arrange a holiday to celebrate his wife's 40th birthday the following January. He said that they would not have much leave as the holiday would be so soon after Christmas. They also wanted to limit the holiday to just over a week because they would be leaving their children with their grandparents for the duration of their holiday. I therefore recommended that they spend 4 nights on safari in the Kruger area and then finish off with 3 nights in Cape Town before flying home. I also recommended that they divide their time on safari between two lodges in different parts of Kruger in order to maximise their safari experience. As they only have three nights in Cape Town and as they wanted a hotel near the sea, I recommended that they stay in Sea Point so that they would have sea views and be a short shuttle bus ride from the V&A Waterfront. Again, as they would not have much time in Cape Town, I suggested that they pre-book their excursions so that no time was wasted. We booked a half-day guided City Tour and a full-day guided Cape Point Tour so that they would fit in the main sights in the city and around the peninsula. Jane's birthday fell during their stay at Notten's Bush Camp and I asked them to make sure it was a special day. Matthew managed to keep the holiday a secret until a month before departure.
Melanie Macphail
Day 1 Monday 15 January - Arrival In Timbavati Game Reserve

You are met at Johannesburg O R Tambo International Airport by our representative and assisted to your domestic flight to Hoedspruit, gateway to the central part of the Great Kruger National Park in the north-east of the country. You are transferred from Hoedspruit airport by road to your lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve. There is time to settle in before you set off on your first game drive.

Days 1 - 3 Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 January - Timbavati Game Reserve (2 Nights)

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”.

Day 3 Wednesday 17 January - Timbavati To Sabi Sand

After your morning game drive, you are collected from your lodge and are transferred by road southwards to the Sabi Sand 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.

Days 3 - 5 Wednesday 17 to Friday 19 January - Sabi Sands Game Reserve (2 Nights)

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.

Day 5 Friday 19 January - Sabi Sand To Cape Town

After your morning game drive, you are collected from your lodge and are transferred by road to Nelspruit Airport for your direct flight to Cape Town. You are met at Cape Town Airport and are transferred to your lodge on the Atlantic seaboard for a 3-night stay.

Days 5 - 8 Friday 19 to Monday 22 January - Cape Town (3 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 8 Monday 22 January - Departure

Today is at leisure in Cape Town for sight-seeing or some last minute souvenir shopping at the trendy V&A Waterfront. You could also catch a ferry across Table Bay to tour Robben Island or you could visit the Two Oceans Aquarium. You are transferred to Cape Town airport for your flight home.

Simbavati River Lodge

Simbavati River Lodge is an intimate and friendly camp built on the banks of the Nhlaralumi River. Shaded by age-old Jackalberry and Leadwood trees, Simbavati is warm and welcoming, with a generous contemporary design and accommodation for guests in luxury tented rooms or thatched chalets, all with en-suite bathrooms and private decks.

Guest common areas offer a generously proportioned open-air lounge, bar, boma (outdoor dining area) and extensive decks with breathtaking views. There is time to settle in and then high tea is served before you depart on your first game drive, returning to the Lodge after dark for a sumptuous safari cuisine dinner. Dinner is a festive event which is alternatively served around the campfire in the open-air boma or in the thatched dining area. Dinner consists of a blend of African and Western cuisine with exciting tastes for the more adventurous as well as various conventional options.

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 enjoy an afternoon siesta in your room.
A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting; the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance. Each suite has a private game viewing deck.

With splendid panoramic views, this private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation while watching animals meander past. Meals are a social event and guests gather in the enclosed boma around a log fire under a canopy of stars in winter or in the open plan summerhouse lit up with candlelight during summer. Meals are eaten together around one communal table, with the company of the Notten’s and their Notten’s Bush Camp team. This creates a wonderful atmosphere and an opportunity for the guests to share stories and conversation with other interesting people from South Africa and around the world.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Safaris are led by experienced rangers in open-top land rovers, offering an adventurous discovery of the region's prolific wildlife, including Big 5 game viewing. Unique walking safaris are offered daily giving guest the opportunity of discovering the hidden treasures of the region. This can be followed by lazy hours spent in the sparkling pool or having a massage at the Nature Spa.

Notten's Bush Camp

Notten’s Bush Camp, an exclusive and private safari lodge personally run by the Notten family. This beautiful, intimate safari lodge is situated within one of South Africa's finest natural sanctuaries the Sabi Sand Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park. It is a destination that will truly touch your heart and soul. Notten’s has 8 private suites, each elegantly styled, spacious and cooled by ceiling fans.

A magical atmosphere is created with the purposeful absence of electric lighting; the ambient candlelight and lanterns capturing an enchanting spirit of romance. Each suite has a private game viewing deck.

With splendid panoramic views, this private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation while watching animals meander past. Meals are a social event and guests gather in the enclosed boma around a log fire under a canopy of stars in winter or in the open plan summerhouse lit up with candlelight during summer. Meals are eaten together around one communal table, with the company of the Notten’s and their Notten’s Bush Camp team. This creates a wonderful atmosphere and an opportunity for the guests to share stories and conversation with other interesting people from South Africa and around the world.

The Sabi Sand Game Reserve is a remarkable natural sanctuary known for its exceptionally high concentration of animal and bird life. Safaris are led by experienced rangers in open-top land rovers, offering an adventurous discovery of the region's prolific wildlife, including Big 5 game viewing. Unique walking safaris are offered daily giving guest the opportunity of discovering the hidden treasures of the region. This can be followed by lazy hours spent in the sparkling pool or having a massage at the Nature Spa.

Winchester Mansions

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 most have either sea or mountain views. There are 51 classic or contemporary 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.

Children of all ages are welcome at the Winchester Mansions. A large variety of amenities and services are available to ensure a delightful stay for little guests.

Cape Point (Full Day)

Your journey to Cape Point takes you along the scenic Atlantic seaboard coastal road. You pass the pristine beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay with their soft white sand and azure blue water. The formidable 12 Apostles Peaks rise above the road on one side, while shear cliffs and incredible rock formations drop into the icy Atlantic Ocean on the other side.

There is no doubt the coast of the Cape peninsula offers magnificent scenery with its great biodiversity. You arrive at the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay with its imposing Sentinel.

Visit Seal Island (own account) or shop for souvenirs at the craft market at the harbor.

Your tour continues over Chapman’s Peak which offers amazing photo opportunities, and onto the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. This area is home to magnificent ‘fynbos’, many different species of buck and birds, the Cape Mountain Zebra, and mischievous baboons. These creatures entertain guests enjoying lunch at the restaurant which has splendid views of False Bay. Take the funicular (own account) to the lighthouse to see the meeting of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans at the Cape Point.

A photo stop at the Cape of Good Hope is a ‘must’, and your guide will do his best to assist in capturing that special moment for you.

You visit Boulders Beach to see the Jackass penguins (own account) before arriving at the naval base of Simonstown, and then venture inland to your last stop of the day at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

With the sun setting over the tall peaks of Table Mountain the last rays sparkle on the trees and flowers, and offer fitting end to a day filled with all the Cape has to offer.

Cape Town - City Tour (Half Day)

Table Mountain forms a natural amphitheatre around the city which is what make it unique and dramatic! You will discover why Cape Town is continually voted one of the top destinations in the world! Your first stop is to the Table Mountain cable station where we can ride the cable car to the summit (own account and weather permitting). The views are spectacular, and your guide will point out all the most important places.

Your tour continues over the mountain to the snowy white beaches of Clifton and Sea Point. The sharp cliffs plunge vertically into the ocean and magnificent mansions cling to the rock and seem to hang precariously over the edge.

You drive past Greenmarket Square with its vibrant flea market and souvenir stands, and take a refreshing stroll through the Company Gardens in the shade of 160 year old trees. The gardens are surrounded by old slave quarters, the Houses of Parliament and St Georges Cathedral, with its interesting history.

You drive past the Castle and Slave Lodge, and the beautiful City Hall, and then you're off to Bo Kaap, Cape Town’s Malay quarter with its quaint and picturesque houses and mosques. Your tour culminates on a high with the firing of the noon gun up on Signal Hill (excludes Sundays and Public Holidays) and you can see the Cape Town Stadium from here, where some of the games were played during the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010. You’ll be dazzled by the sparkle of diamonds before you return you to your hotel.

V&A Waterfront, Robben Island & Two Oceans Aquarium

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 is inclement on the first day, take the opportunity to go up Table Mountain.

Daily safari programme at Notten's Bush Camp

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.

Notten’s forms part of the southern section of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Its neighbours are Mala Mala on its eastern boundary and Sabi Sabi on its western boundary. Notten’s shares traversing with Sabi Sabi and has over 15000 acres of pristine land for game viewing. 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

A typical day at Notten’s begins at dawn with an early morning wake-up call. Guests gather either on the wooden deck to watch the sun rise or in the “boma”, under the Marula trees, where tea and coffee are served. After tea the guests are taken on an early morning game drive in an open Land Rover with an experienced game ranger and Shangaan tracker. On returning from the morning game drive, guests are treated to a hearty “bush feast” on the deck. After breakfast, a walk with a game ranger is an option for those wanting a closer encounter with the bush, while the day is still cool. The less energetic relax around the pool, have a deeply relaxing massage at the Notten’s Nature Spa or simply enjoy the solitude and tranquility. A high tea is served on the open plan deck before leaving for the evening game drive. As the sun sets it’s time for “sundowners” in the veld (meaning “bush” in Afrikaans). Driving through the bush at night in search of nocturnal predators, eyes are captured by the tracker’s spotlight as he scans the bush. A leopard, a herd of impala, a wary hyena, a ‘bush baby’ in a tree …. the element of surprise always there. On returning to Notten’s Bush Camp, a delicious dinner is served in the boma around a log fire, under a canopy of stars in winter, and in the summerhouse or dining room in the summer.

Daily safari programme at Simbavati

The Timbavati Reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger and lies nestled between the Kruger National Park on the east, the Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserves in the north and the Thornybush Private Nature Reserve in the west. As there are no fences between Kruger National Park and the Timbavati, the reserve enjoys a wide variety of game, including the big five.

Game viewing is exceptional, with an abundance of elephant, buffalo, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and warthog, together with their attendant predators: lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena.

Simbavati River & Hilltop Lodge offer game drives in the early morning and evening when animals are most active. Game drives are conducted by experienced field guides and Shangaan trackers in open 4X4 vehicles, with excellent photographic opportunities. You traverse over 12,000 hectares of the big-5 game country, with lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo as well as other species such as kudu, zebra, warthog, giraffe and monkey. Nocturnal animals, including the big cats, are regularly sighted on night drives. Bird viewing is spectacular, with over 360 recorded species including various eagles, vultures, kingfishers, woodpeckers, buzzards, herons, egrets, owls, weavers. The Timbavati Private Nature Reserve is one of the few places in the world where you have the opportunity to see the unique white lion in their natural environment. The resident lion prides of Timbavati carry the recessive gene "chinchillia' that is responsible for this unusual anomaly. Two white lions were born into resident prides near Simbavati, and guests have a great chance of seeing these cubs while visiting Simbavati.

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This itinerary started on 15 November 2017
When this tour took place, the cost per person sharing was: USD$ 2,700
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 Melanie Macphail
I tailor-made this itinerary for my client and can do the same for you.
Melanie Macphail
My direct contact details are EMAIL ME+27 87 353 7868
Pembury Tours office details +27 41 581 2581 EMAIL US
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