Western Cape Adventure – 1 night Johannesburg | 3 nights Cape Town | 2 nights Franschhoek | 3 nights Sabi Sand | 1 night Pretoria | 3 nights Rovos Rail | 3 nights Victoria Falls Zambia | 2 nights Chobe River
If you are planning a trip to Africa, please don’t hesitate to book with Tammy at Pembury Tours, South Africa. My husband and I normally plan all our trips online, but hesitated with Africa. I tried a couple of Tour groups in Australia, but found response too slow and uninformative. I decided to try Tammy and I am so glad I did! She responded to my emails with information required immediately. We wanted 5 Star all the way and Tammy helped make it happen. All transfers were on time and NOTHING went wrong for the entire trip. We traveled to Cape Town, Franschhoek, Sabi Sands, on Rovos Rail from Pretoria to Victoria Falls, and then a couple of nights on Chobe River (Zambezi Queen). We would love to return, but if not, we will have very special memories of Africa, and part of that is thanks to Tammy at Pembury Tours!
Upon arrival at Johannesburg airport you are met in the arrivals hall by a representative from Pembury Tours who will hand over your travel documents before transferring you to The Residence for the night. You check in and have the rest of the day to relax/recuperate after your international flight.
Johannesburg is South Africa’s largest city and is the financial and commercial capital of Africa. It is in this fast-paced metropolis that the country’s radical political and social transformation is most evident – this is the “Rainbow Nation” at work.
Transfer time: Johannesburg Airport to Johannesburg Hotel: approx. 1 hour
This morning you have an early breakfast before you are collected and transferred to the Johannesburg airport for your flight to Cape Town. Upon arrival at Cape Town airport, you are collected in the arrivals hall and transferred to your hotel at the V&A Waterfront. This evening you walk to the nearby Queen Victoria Hotel where you enjoy dinner at their in house Restaurant – Dash.
Transfer time: Johannesburg Hotel to Johannesburg Airport: approx. 45 minutes
Flight time: Cape Town Airport to V&A Waterfront: approx. 2 hours 10 minutes
Transfer time: Cape Town Airport to V&A Waterfront: approx. 35 minutes
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 mustvisit 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.
You enjoy an early breakfast this morning before you are collected and taken on a full day winelands tour. 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. Today the 48 Vignerons de Franschhoek members have become known as some of the most innovative and progressive wine producers in South Africa and have firmly established themselves as one of the best wine-producing areas in the Cape Winelands.
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. It is also filled with quirky shops.
You have an early start this morning. You are collected from your guest house and transferred to the Cape Town airport for your flight to Nelspruit. Upon arrival at Nelspruit airport you are collected and transferred by road to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve for your safari in this area.
Arriving at your lodge in the early afternoon, you are met by the lodge members and a refreshing welcome drink before you are taken to your safari chalet for your three night stay. There is leisure time before you depart on your first afternoon game drive in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Flight time: Cape Town Airport to Nelspruit Airport: approx. 2½ hours
Transfer time: Nelspruit Airport to Sabi Sand Game Reserve: approx. 2 hours
You have three days on safari at Singita Boulders Lodge. Over those three nights you will enjoy a total of six game drives.
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 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. 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.
This morning you enjoy your last game drive and breakfast before you are collected and transferred to Nelspruit for your flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival at Johannesburg Airport you are collected and transferred to your hotel in Pretoria for the night.
The City of Pretoria lies only 58 km (36 miles) north of Johannesburg and provides a complete contrast to the City of Gold. South Africa’s administrative capital was founded in 1855 and named after the Voortrekker leader, Andries Pretorius. Often referred to as the “Jacaranda City”, this nickname refers to the thousands of trees lining the streets, their purple blossoms heralding the approach of summer each October.
Transfer time: Singita Boulders Lodge to Nelspruit Airport: ± 2 hours
Flight time: Nelspruit to Johannesburg: ± 1 hour
Transfer time: Johannesburg Airport to Pretoria: ± 35 minutes
After an early breakfast this morning you are transferred to the train station where you check in and all the departure formalities will be conducted. Due to work being done on the rail infrastructure in the Pretoria area, you are then transferred from the Rovos Rail station by luxury coach to the Pyramid Station (17kms away) where the train and staff will be waiting for you.
The train departs and winds its way north through Warmbaths, so named for its mineral waters, and Nylstroom, christened by the Voortrekkers as the source of the Nile River as the town’s river happened to be north flowing. The train then passes the edge of the escarpment and crosses the Tropic of Capricorn en route to the border with Zimbabwe. After formalities at Beitbridge the next morning, the train travels towards Bulawayo, second city of Zimbabwe, capital of Matabeleland and industrial capital of the country. The following day sees the train travelling along one of the world’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114 kilometres – before traversing Hwange National Park, a rich and diverse wildlife sanctuary where animals can be spotted from the train and a game drive excursion is enjoyed. After a service stop at Thompsons Junction, the sojourn ends at the incomparable Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River. Depending upon railway capacity, this journey could be routed through Botswana.
Transfer time: 131 Herbert Baker to Rovos Rail Station: ± 25 minutes
You spend 3 glorious nights enjoying the lifestyle of a bygone era. Below I have supplied the basic itinerary for your time on the train.
Day 1: You depart Rovos Rail Station in Pretoria and are taken by luxury coach to Pyramid station where your train departs. Lunch is served in the dining cars as the train travels north through Warmbaths and Nylstroom, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn. Enjoy afternoon tea and dinner en route to Messina and Beitbridge for Zimbabwe border formalities.
Day 2: You have the day at leisure. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served as the train travels towards Bulawayo via West Nicholson. Overnight stop on board at Mpopoma.
Day 3: Breakfast is served as the train departs Mpopoma. Enjoy lunch while travelling along the eastern edge of Hwange Park on one of Africa’s longest stretches of straight railway line – 114km. Arrive at Kennedy Siding for a game drive at The Hide. Dinner is served in the dining cars en route to Thompsons Junction for the overnight stop.
Day 4: Breakfast is enjoyed while travelling towards the Zambezi River. Arrive at journey’s end in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
This morning you enjoy breakfast on the train while travelling towards the Zambezi River. You arrive at Victoria Falls and are collected here and transferred across the border to the Zambian side of the Falls. Here you check into your hotel for a three night stay.
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.
Victoria Falls has so much to offer in the way of activities. We have not included too much and you have quite a bit of free time which you can use to relax or you can book activities at the hotel activity desk.
You enjoy breakfast before you are collected this morning and transferred to the Kuzungula Border where you take the Kuzungula Ferry across to the Botswana side. You are then transferred to Kasane Immigration office where you meet up with the representative from the Zambezi Queen around midday. This afternoon you are taken to the Zambezi Queen where you can check in before heading out on a tender boat. You spend two nights on this luxurious boat, enjoying the views as you float along the river.
Transfer time: Royal Livingstone to Kazungula Border: ± 1 – 1½ hours
Ferry time: Zambia to Botswana: ± this can be a long or short process depending on how busy the border is.
Transfer time: Kazungula Border to Kasane Immigration: ± 20 minutes
The next couple of days are spent on board the Zambezi Queen. Moving along the banks of the great Chobe River, the Zambezi Queen is a five star, 42m long luxury houseboat offering unparalleled sophistication in one of the most remote locations on the planet.
Unlike a land-based lodge, the Zambezi Queen navigates roughly 25km of the Chobe River, allowing you to explore different vantage points and enjoy unparalleled game viewing. The banks of the Chobe National Park boast one of the densest populations of elephant on the African continent – estimated at approximately 120 000. The Park is also home to a large number of buffalo, leopard and lion, along with a variety of antelope and abundant birdlife.
The basic outline of the two night trip is as follows:
Day 1: Arrive at Kasane Immigration Office for a boat transfer to the Zambezi Queen followed by an introduction and lunch/snacks on board. The afternoon is at your leisure. In the evening you enjoy a three course dinner, after an informative map talk, familiarizing you with the Chobe area. Experience the quiet African night and an evening of relaxation.
Day 2: Coffee & tea is served from early morning and you can enjoy a comprehensive buffet breakfast in your own time. You have a choice of one of three activities, including a river safari, a fishing charter, or a village tour each morning and afternoon. Buffet lunch is served on board and there is time in the afternoon for some rest and rejuvenation. You are treated to a traditional African dinner for your last night on board.
Day 3: Coffee & tea is served from early morning. A buffet breakfast is served after which you disembark the Zambezi Queen for Namibia & Botswana passport control. Take a short road transfer to Kasane Airport for your onward flight.
Enjoy a morning cruise during breakfast as you do your last bit of animal spotting and take some memorable pictures. Bid farewell as you are transferred back to Botswana an then to the Kasane Airport where you check in for your flight to Johannesburg.
Upon arrival at Johannesburg airport you make your way to international departures for your flight home.