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A holiday in South Africa has many highlights: the scenic beauty of Cape Town, the gastronomic flair of the Franschhoek Winelands, the excitement of the world’s best whale watching in Hermanus and the thrill of tracking the Big 5 through classic bush in the Kruger National Park. This 13-day journey encompasses the country’s incredible cultural and natural heritage in a perfect itinerary that allows you to meander at your own pace.

Beginning in Cape Town at the delightfully chic Kensington Place, you can explore the many sights and attractions of the Mother City before driving to the picturesque Winelands of Franschhoek, where the culinary and wine-making artistry at La Residence will enthral your senses. You then continue to the beautiful seaside town of Hermanus, set on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay where southern right whales are often seen frolicking from the viewing decks of the stylish Birkenhead House. You then fly to Royal Malewane, located in the wilds of Thornybush Reserve alongside the world-famous Kruger National Park.

Perfect as a honeymoon trip or a fantastic getaway combining the best of South Africa in one seamless package, this journey promises to deliver the delights of the country’s culture and cuisine coupled with its incredible wildlife heritage.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Explore Cape Town & the Winelands
  • Whale watching in Hermanus (in season)
  • Incredible cuisine & vineyards
  • Experience the Big 5 in total luxury
  • Superb accommodation

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-4

Touch down in Cape Town

On arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you collect your hire car and make the short drive into the city to Kensington Place Boutique Hotel. This stylish hotel is located in the leafy enclave of Higgovale, high on the slopes of Table Mountain. With beautiful mountain and city views, and easy access to the attractions of Cape Town such as the V&A Waterfront, the beachside ‘Riviera’ of Camps Bay and the mountain cableway, this is a tranquil haven with the city at your fingertips.

For four carefree days you can do whatever takes your fancy in cosmopolitan Cape Town. Drive along the peninsula to Cape Point, then enjoy a delicious seafood lunch in quaint Kalk Bay, gazing out over the ocean, before heading back to Cape Town to ascend famous Table Mountain. The cable car to the top of the mountain rotates 360 degrees, offering incredible views of the city below. Arriving at the top, there are networks of paths to wander, with viewpoints dotted along the way. From here you can see Lion’s Head, Robben Island, the distant mountains of the Winelands and all the way to Cape Point in a series of breath-taking vistas.

The city itself has the attractions of the V&A Waterfront at your doorstep, stunning beaches on the Atlantic Seaboard and the delightful atmosphere of Camps Bay with its beachside café culture to absorb. Not to mention the delights of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, the endangered African penguin colony at Boulders Beach, snorkelling with Cape fur seals in Hout Bay or cruising on a powerful Harley-Davidson along the beautiful Chapman’s Peak Drive.

After hard day’s sightseeing and exploring, you return to Kensington Place to freshen up before hitting the fabulous restaurants and bars of Kloof Street just a short distance away.

Day 5

The wine country

Departing Kensington Place, you drive south to the spectacular scenery of the wine country, with the chance to visit several choice estates along the way. Historic estates offer world-class wine tastings overlooking centuries-old gardens and some bask in tremendous wrap-around views of vineyards, mountains and the ocean before descending into the Franschhoek Valley.

Franschhoek is the undisputed wine and culinary capital of South Africa. With its uniquely ‘French’ atmosphere, there are no fewer than eight award-winning restaurants gathered in the valley, and La Residence is one of them.

Arriving at this delightfully eclectic hotel, which is the creation of an interior designer and an art historian, you will find it to be grandly elegant, sumptuous and quirky at the same time, set within a location of jaw-dropping natural beauty.

Day 6

Explore Franschhoek

At La Residence, you have the opportunity to join the chef on a gastronomic adventure through Franschhoek as he gathers the fresh produce of the region for your culinary indulgence. With the best products in the country available here, you will find the cheeses, olive oils, herbs, vegetables and fruits, not to mention the charcuterie, bursting with flavour. You stop along the way at one of the estates for a delicious lunch and tasting of exquisite wines to refresh and fortify your endeavours before returning to La Residence, suitably prepared for your evening’s indulgence.

In the interactive kitchen, you can either join the chef in his preparations or simply relax in the candlelight with a glass of excellent wine as he prepares the feast before your eyes.

You then spend the evening indulging in the scrumptious fruits of your labours in the baroque elegance of the dining room or out on the terrace, sipping a fine vintage and enjoying the quietness of the countryside.

Days 7-8

The Whale Route

Departing La Residence and Franschhoek, you drive along the coastal route through spectacular mountain scenery to the small town of Hermanus. Set on the cliffs overlooking Walker Bay, Birkenhead House offers unparalleled service, cuisine and luxurious suites in an intimate boutique hotel setting.

The location allows you to take advantage of the world’s best land-based whale watching between July and September as well as perfectly position you to enjoy the many attractions of this incredibly scenic area. Hermanus has easy access to several golf courses, wine estates and beautiful, unspoilt beaches, while for more energetic pursuits, such as diving and horse riding, are right on your doorstep.

After a wonderfully relaxing day, there is no better way to round it off than an invigorating spa treatment before indulging in a candlelit dinner featuring world-class cuisine fresh from the ocean.

Days 9-12

Into the wilds

Leaving Hermanus and the Whale Coast behind, you take the scenic drive back to Cape Town International Airport for your flight to Johannesburg. A charter flight then takes you to the renowned wilderness region of the Lowveld, home of the famed Kruger National Park, and the adjacent Thornybush Private Reserve.

Your guide will meet you at the airstrip and take you on a game drive to Royal Malewane. Set in a stunning location deep in the African bush, this lodge will simply take your breath away. Six palatial suites feature air conditioning, a rim-flow pool and private verandahs to enjoy the sights and sounds of the surrounding wilderness. Raised walkways link the suites to the impressively elegant main buildings and spa. No elements of comfort or modern amenity are spared here, and the level of service and cuisine are of a world-class standard, located in a wilderness setting like no other. The spa treatments feature hydrotherapy using mineral-rich waters drawn from the springs deep below the reserve, which is guaranteed to soothe and revitalize you while relaxing in the warmth of the midday hours. Coupled with exceptional cuisine and attentive service from the friendly staff, Royal Malewane delivers unrivalled big game encounters on your twice-daily game drives.

Venturing out in the cool air of early morning or late afternoon, you will encounter a plethora of animals and birds here. While the Big 5 are sought-after animals to spot, there is so much more to absorb and experience than a mere checklist of species. Allow the magic of the wilderness to embrace you, and you will find an altogether holistic experience that is quite unlike any other. Your guide and tracker will draw on their immense knowledge and experience of the area to show you the intimate secrets of the wild, sharing their expertise in a manner that is both informative and engaging.

Up close and personal encounters with a variety of animals are bound to happen, and thrilling experiences await you in this most special of reserves. The leopards here are renowned for their relaxed behaviour, where they regally go about their lives disdainfully ignoring the clicking of cameras with the practiced ease of Hollywood celebrities. Nothing can prepare you for the awe you will feel at your first sighting of a pride of lions: the sheer presence of these magnificent cats, coupled with rippling muscles and their haunting amber eyes, will send a shiver down your spine.

Stopping at a scenic spot to allow you to stretch your legs, your guide will produce a hamper of ice-cold drinks and delicious snacks. In the last light of the setting sun, you gaze out over this spectacular wilderness, at peace with your surroundings as you toast the magnificence of an African sunset.

In the gathering dusk, you drive back to the lodge with the aid of a spotlight to seek out nocturnal animals as they emerge into the night. Glowing eyes reveal civets and genets moving acrobatically through the trees, while close to the ground the red eyes of a spotted hyena come into view. These often misunderstood animals are as fierce a predator as their competitors the lions, and with their easy loping stride they can tirelessly cover miles in pursuit of prey.

Returning to the lodge, you find it ablaze with light from lanterns, and the sumptuous colours of the furniture and fabrics glow richly, welcoming you home.

An indulgent feast awaits you for dinner, accompanied by the best wines from the sensational offerings in the cellar. As the sounds of the African night serenade you from outside, enjoy a convivial evening listening to easy conversation and tales of adventures in the bush from your guide. Moving out to the fireplace for a final nightcap, marvel at the shower of stars above you before slipping off to your suite. Drifting off in blissful slumber, you are serenaded by the distant roars of lions and the whoops of a hyena echoing through the stillness of the night.

Day 13

Til we meet again...

After a final morning game drive and a delicious brunch, the time arrives for you to depart. On your flight back to Johannesburg, you reminisce on your adventures and explorations of the previous days: the glorious view from the top of Table Mountain, the magnificent food wine and scenery of Franschhoek and Hermanus, and finally, the sheer wonder of encountering big cats in the wilds of Thornybush Reserve…

Inclusions

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 9 days luxury car rental
  • Regional flights - from Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga Int. Airport
  • Scheduled charter flights from Kruger Mpumalanga Int. Airport to Royal Malewane and back to Johannesburg.

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 02 Sep 2014 - 22 Sep 2014 $6420
  • 23 Sep 2014 - 13 Oct 2014 $6420
  • 14 Oct 2014 - 03 Nov 2014 $6420
  • 04 Nov 2014 - 24 Nov 2014 $6535
  • 25 Nov 2014 - 15 Dec 2014 $6535

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Carlien Parsons

Carlien Parsons

Product Manager

"Experience the best South Africa has to offer, by combining three classic destinations. You'll also stay at the country's best. A decadent, luxury journey awaits!"

From

$6420

Per person sharing

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