This magnificent tour will take you to South Africa’s most well known highlights and “off the beaten track” places! From hectic Johannesburg to the beautiful cosmopolitan city of Cape Town. With 3 unique wildlife game reserves which offer extremely delicate & diverse ecosystems. The Garden route, Karoo, Swaziland, high mountains, deep canyons & enchanting activities. This private holiday offers you a concentration of wonderment. A journey to the delights that South Africa & beyond has to offer.
You’ll go to South Africa & Swaziland
You’ll visit Soweto (Johannesburg), Blyde River Canyon (Panorama Route), Kruger NP, Ezulwini Valley (Highlight), Lake St. Lucia (iSimangaliso WP), Hluhluwe-iMfolozi GR, iSimangaliso WP, St Francis (Town), Knysna (Garden Route), Oudtshoorn (Garden Route), Cape Town (City), Cape of Good Hope (Cape Peninsula), Stellenbosch (Cape Winelands) & Cape Town Airport
This tour starts and ends in Johannesburg
This afternoon we visit Soweto with an experienced local. We visit Soweto township, Freedom Square and Hector Peterson Memorial.
A walking tour and drive will take us to and past various points of interest. Home of Mandela, Winnie Mandela and the FNB stadium. Lunch is at a local African restaurant on Vilakazi Street, the most visited street in Soweto. Home to the late former president, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Then it’s the Apartheid Museum which illustrates the rise and fall of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression, and is an absolute must-see. Time permitting, Lilliesleaf, which was the farm used secretly by African National Congress activists in the 1960s and was the location where many prominent African National Congress leaders were arrested, leading to the Rivonia Trial. Nowadays Liliesleaf Farm is a Museum and world-famous Heritage Site, attracting many visitors annually. Nelson Mandela was captured here which lead to the famous Rivonia trial.
We depart for the beautiful Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga.
We follow the scenic Panorama Route and admire God’s Window, Three Rondavels, Blyde River Canyon, Bourkes Luck Potholes and the various Canyon waterfalls. Pilgrim’s Rest is an authentic historical village dating from the first South African gold rush and now a National Monument.
Time permitting, a swim in the beautiful MacMac pools to cool off.
Accommodation is near the edge of the canyon.
This morning we finish our tour of the ”Panorama route” before departing for the famous Kruger Park. The rest of the day is spent on safari with your guide looking for the abundance of fauna and flora. The Kruger is renowned for being the richest
animal kingdom on the planet. Thereafter a glorious 4×4 sunset safari with a professional ranger pursuing the Big 5 and other rare and endangered species.
You enjoy a great traditional South African barbecue dinner made by your guide.
Accommodation in National Park chalets.
Early morning safari walk. You get to experience the Kruger on foot, the rangers will show you all sorts of amazing things such as plants, insects, tracks, and offer superb information on all of them. You encounter large and small mammals on your walk and get close enough to them to experience these ultimate encounters. Return to camp for a hearty breakfast.
For the rest of the day you will witness the African Savannah and wildlife in all its splendor with your private guide.
Later enjoy dinner overlooking the Sabie river. If accommodation is outside the Kruger Park, a full day 4×4 safari will replace the 2 x 3 hour game drives.
“Look deep deep into nature & you shall truly understand” Albert Einstein.
This morning we leave early and enjoy our last safari before leaving the park. Breakfast on route. We then depart for the Kingdom of Swaziland (passport required). The landscapes are very similar to those of Switzerland. We will visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and the oldest mine in the world. Time dependent we can visit a fantastic example of San (Bushman) rock art created by indigenous people that once roamed Southern Africa alone. Or we can visit Swaziland’s oldest game reserve (optional and other activities would need to be revised). At Mbabane, capital of Swaziland, we will admire the Royal Palace, Parliament, and the Kings Mausoleum all from our vehicle. We overnight in the Ezulwini Valley which is the Kingdom’s main tourist area offering a wealth of attractions. Ezulwini means ‘place of heaven’, and the valley that bears this name certainly has its share of hedonistic delights.
After breakfast we visit the Swaziland candle factory and “House of fire”. Before departing for St Lucia situated along the tropical coast of Zulu land. En route we visit a typical Swazi village and orphanage run by a lady who has no NGO or governmental aid but some how has given hope to many orphan children. An authentic experience that will leave us with fond memories of her courage.
Lunch on the way.
Upon arrival we take a cruise (included) on the St. Lucia wetlands, home to a multitude of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and a World Heritage Site. It is in this complex ecosystem where bush meets beach, mangrove and sand forests are home to a stupendous diversity of wildlife and flora. We have the opportunity to encounter hippos, crocodiles, eagles and maybe even the elusive leopard.
Luxury B&B in the heart of the St Lucia wetland park.
St Lucia Wetlands
Early morning start for St Lucia for Hluhluze / Umfolozi Park, the 2nd oldest national park in the world and home to the Big 5. The park is world renowned for saving the white rhino from extinction!
You will spend the day exploring this vast reserve accompanied by a professional ranger in a 4×4.
In the afternoon around 4 pm you return to St Lucia village. Time to visit the beautiful beaches close by or browse the shops in this beautiful village
Dinner is at a restaurant of your choice.
This morning we head into iSimangaliso Wetland Park (the worlds most diverse) where we visit the western and eastern shores exploring the incredible diversity with the opportunity to snorkel the world’s southern most coral reefs, home to hundreds of fish species. This is also the place where one can dive with the dolphins at Cape Vidal.
Or if the conditions are appropriate we can head north to Sodwana Bay where we have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins, snorkel among the richest coral reefs on earth or if you have your PADI qualification, scuba dive.
The coastline of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park is the only remaining nesting site in Africa where Loggerhead and Leatherback turtles still lay their eggs. In the summer season you can partake in a night safari to visit these endangered marine animals.
This morning after a hearty breakfast we head South along the KZN coastline to Durban “King Shaka” airport. Time permitting we can do a historical tour of the Durban, known for its African, Indian and colonial influences. Refurbished for soccer’s 2010 World Cup, the seafront promenade runs from uShaka Marine World, a huge theme park with an aquarium, to the futuristic Moses Mabhida Stadium. The Durban Botanical Gardens showcases African plant species.
On arrival in Port Elizabeth we continue on our journey to the Eastern Cape’s holiday village of Cape St Francis known for it’s beautiful beaches, lagoons and a as a surfers paradise.
This morning we leave for the Tsitsikamma National Park where we walk in the indigenous forests and cross the mouth of the Storms river via a suspension bridge. Beautiful scenery of the dramatic coastline.
We then visit the “Big tree” one of South Africa’s biggest and oldest Yellow woods. An indigenous and our national tree.
A short drive brings you to the outskirts of Plettenberg Bay, a luxurious resort village. You view the famous Bloukrans bridge where bungee jumping is the highest in the world.
Various activities and experiences are available alone the way. Like monkey land and a huge ”free flight” Bird sanctuary Experience a walk or ride with Elephants with panoramic views of the Outeniqua mountains and Knysna forest.
We arrive in Knysna, where you enjoy a sunset cruise on the iconic lagoon. A walk around the Waterfront then dinner there sampling the famous oysters perhaps.
Before leaving on our journey we admire the view of the “Heads” which is formed by two cliffs creating a narrow passage at the entrance of the lagoon.
We pass through the ancient indigenous forests which was and possibly still is, home to the last of the forest elephants.
Thereafter we take the road over the famous “Outeniqua Pass” which leads down into the semi arid region of the Karoo.
This afternoon we visit the Cango caves where an knowledgeable and accredited Caves guide will take us on a tour of the caves, a series of underground tunnels and galleries with impressive limestone formations.
We arrive at our guesthouse and enjoy a well deserved break whilst watching a Karoo sunset.
A hearty home cooked dinner at the farm’s restaurant awaits, time now to study the solar system, it’s well known that the Karoo offers the best star gazing in the Southern Hemisphere, if not the world!
This morning visit and tour one of the world’s oldest and biggest working ostrich farms and view the famous “feather palaces”
We continue on a most memorable journey, Route 62, to Montagu passing quaint villages, farms and mountain passes.
A charming small town founded in 1851 that has maintained old-world charm with fascinating Cape Dutch and Georgian architecture. This peaceful town is steeped in history and is famous for its awe inspiring rock formations and healing hot mineral springs.
We continue to Cape Town via the Cape’s famous wine lands in the Breede River Valley.
Robertson, heart of Route 62 wine route, has more than 50 registered wine cellars. Brilliant mauve jacarandas trees shade the streets. The first French Huguenots settled here in 1666 and developed the wine making tradition still present today.
We carry on through the mountainous Hex river valley passing through Africa’s longest tunnel.
Finally on our last stretch to Cape Town arriving late in the Afternoon.
This Region is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its exceptional floral diversity. We follow the west coast via Clifton with a stop at Maiden’s Cove to enjoy a magnificent view of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay then to Hout Bay, a charming little town where we enjoy a cruise to Duiker Island, home to the worlds largest fur seal colony.
The Chapman’s Peak Pass offers breathtaking scenery.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is where the cold Atlantic waters meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This famous landmark was named by the early Portuguese mariners.
Journeying down to the False Bay coast, lunch is at the old harbor of the historical naval port of Simon’s Town. After lunch we visit the well known Boulders beach, home to Africa’s largest penguin colony.
We finish our day with a visit to Groot Constantia (optional), South Africa’s oldest Cape Dutch manor house and wine farm built by the first Governor of the Cape.
We end the day with a dinner at the “V & A Waterfront”.
We drive to Stellenbosch, a fertile area where oak trees, wheat and vines quickly replaced the giraffes, elephants, Hottentot and Khoisan peoples.
Today, Stellenbosch is known for its beautiful varied architecture, renowned wines and university where the language of instruction is still mainly Afrikaans.
We visit a historical South African shop and partake in a cellar tour before travelling over the beautiful Hels Hoogte Pass on our way to Franschoek.
Lunch and a visit to the Huguenot Museum.
At an exceptional boutique wine farm we taste local vintage including a Pinotage which is South Africa’s own unique cultivar. At Paarl we stop in front of Mandela’s statue at the entrance to the prison from which he was liberated in 1990.
Paarl means “Pearl”, in Dutch, and refers to the imposing granite mountains surrounding the town. The Taal monument, dedicated to the Afrikaans language, is the world’s only monument to a language.
We end the day with a dinner at the “V & A Waterfront”.
Today you have the opportunity to explore Cape Town with the “Hop on Hop off ” bus which can take you to visit Cape Town’s historical places, like the Dutch East Indian Garden, Castle of Good Hope, the South African Museum, Malay quarter, District 6 and Green market square.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is recommended. It is the only botanical garden situated in a world heritage site. It has more endemic plant species than any other in the world. You also have the opportunity to visit Robben Island (half day) and/or Table Mountain (2 hours). We can organize activities that might interest you, including Shark cage diving, Paragliding, Whale cruise and others at our preferential rates, discounted by around 20%.
Tonight an authentic African dinner of many culinary dishes from across the continent, accompanied by dance, music and theater. (optional).
Transfer to the airport for your air transport home.
Depending on your departure time, various activities can be arranged.
Like Robben Island, Table mountain, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa or even the Two Oceans Aquarian.
Optional activities will be offered to you at our preferential rates, discounted at around 20%. They include: Helicopter flips, Hot air ballooning, Shark cage diving, Whale cruises and more.