overview

Ideal for families or a group of friends travelling together, this 10-day journey incorporates the stunning natural beauty of the southern Cape, and the lively city of Johannesburg with thrilling big game adventures in Madikwe Game Reserve.

You begin your journey at Morukuru Ocean House in the De Hoop Nature Reserve. Considered the finest coastal reserve in Southern Africa, De Hoop is a pristine fynbos environment teeming with endemic flora and fauna, as well as being a nursery for southern right whales between July and October every year. Next, you travel to the bustling city of Johannesburg, where you spend two nights at the luxurious Athol House, and take a tour of vibrant Soweto, where a large part of the country’s recent history was made. Leave the city lights behind as you fly to Madikwe Game Reserve, where you enjoy thrilling and intimate big game encounters while staying at Morukuru Farm House.

With private villa accommodation throughout, this is an adventure that can be taken entirely at your own pace and schedule, while enjoying the very best hospitality and cuisine in South Africa’s most beautiful scenic settings.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Private villa accommodations throughout
  • Private chefs & dedicated staff
  • Dedicated professional guides
  • Sleep under the stars at Morokuru Hide
  • Whale watching in season
  • Guided nature walks & mountain biking
  • Private gardens & swimming pools
  • Tour fascinating Soweto
  • Day & night game drives at Madikwe
  • Safari walks
  • Family-friendly activities

Day to Day Itinerary

Days 1-3

De Hoop dreams

Arriving at Cape Town International Airport, you will be met for the scenic drive to De Hoop, through mountain passes and rolling farmlands interspersed with glimpses of the Indian Ocean. Passing small towns and villages in the open countryside, you arrive at De Hoop and continue to Ocean House. Nestled on a slope richly vegetated with indigenous fynbos, this stone-clad villa stands overlooking the ocean just a short walk from the pristine beach.

With a private staff and chef to ensure that all your needs are met, your time is entirely yours to do with as you wish, where you can be as active or as relaxed as you like. Spend lazy days at the pool with chilled drinks, or take a picnic down to the beach while you explore the rock pools and the colourful life they contain, or take a mountain bike on one of the many scenic trails.

Your guide is at your disposal to take you on a variety of excursions, from a 4x4 trip to learn of the unique fynbos ecology of the area, birding and sightseeing, to nature walks along the coastal zone. With 51 kilometres (32 miles) of beach, dunes and limestone cliffs to explore, there is a wealth of things to do! In the whale calving season (about July to October), southern right whales can be seen from the beaches and cliffs as they breach and display with their calves in the crystal-clear waters of the bay.

Days 4-5

Electrifying Johannesburg

Landing in Johannesburg, you will be whisked to Athol Place in the quiet and leafy enclave of Sandton. Set in expansive grounds with an established garden, large trees and a beautiful swimming pool, the villa is a delightful blend of understated elegance and glamour. The friendly and welcoming staff include a host, manager and a private chef to ensure that your experience is of relaxation and indulgence in utterly tranquil surroundings. The upmarket shopping and dining precincts of Mandela Square and Sandton City are a stones throw away for any last-minute shopping or to sample a variety of fantastic cuisines.

Once you are ready, a guide will collect you for a tour to the vibrant neighbourhood of Soweto. This is where a large part of South African history was made, and it is a microcosm of life in South Africa, from colourful and bustling ‘shanty towns’ to the affluent suburbs of wealthier residents, which have included luminaries such as Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. You will see the Hector Peterson Memorial and the Apartheid Museum, which stand as testament to the triumph of the human spirit.

Days 6-8

Into the wilds

Returning to the airport, you will board a charter flight to Madikwe Private Game Reserve, where your guide from Morukuru Farm House will meet you.

The 5-suite Farm House is an oasis surrounded by luscious green lawns, and set within a 100-hectare fenced-in safe area that is home to harmless game, so children can play and roam at will, and you have the freedom to walk and explore. This generously proportioned house is elegant yet unpretentious, giving a wonderful sense of a home away from home.

Madikwe is the fourth largest in South Africa and is home to a large diversity of bird and animal species in a beautifully scenic region. You are likely to encounter the Big 5, as well as a host of other large game, including the critically endangered African wild dog. These enigmatic predators are high up on any safari-goers list of encounters, and seeing them in the wild must rank as one of the most thrilling experiences to have. Highly social and incredibly efficient hunters, they bring down their prey using a combination of dazzling speed and teamwork, and quickly and silently feed in a strict hierarchical order, making sure that their puppies are fed first. Once the meal is done, they rapidly depart before rival predators arrive to scavenge.

Elephants in Madikwe are coated in the red dust of the iron-rich soil. Like ochre-clad giants they march across the landscape to the Marico River, increasing their pace as the smell of water reaches their nostrils. As the herds draw near, the youngsters cannot contain their excitement and gleefully splash into the shallows to drink, tussle and play, while their elders slurp slowly, keeping a watchful yet indulgent eye over their boisterous offspring. Only the splashing of water is heard, until a deep rumble from the matriarch signals that it is time to go. As silently as they arrive, the herd move as one, a phalanx of grey and red bodies guarding the young as they melt off into the woodlands again.

The fenced area around the Farm House is the perfect place for kids to take a nature walk with your guide, learning of the many fascinating facets of the wilds, identifying antelope tracks, observing the smaller creatures like dung beetles or examining the complexity of a termite mound. Outside the fence, it is big game territory, and a walking safari out here is nothing short of exhilarating. The rustle of wind in dry grass, the cackle of a francolin, the smell of earth and dust all mingle with the sound of your breathing as you scan your surroundings with new eyes. Your guide and tracker’s expertise combine to show you the secrets of the wilderness, the freshness of spoor upon the ground, the flattened grass where a lion lay down, the warning call of a go-away bird.

Taking these sensations to another level, you have the opportunity to sleep out under the stars at the Morukuru Hide, a raised platform overlooking a popular waterhole. Combined with a candlelit dinner at an impeccable linen-clad table, beds are made up below billowing mosquito nets where you lie in perfect safety beneath the stars, while the life of the African night surrounds you.

Day 10

Stay well, South Africa

The time finally comes for you to depart: after a final morning game drive or walk, you enjoy a delicious brunch before setting off back to the airstrip. Full of happy memories and indelible experiences of the previous days, the flight back to Johannesburg drifts by as you reminisce on deserted sun-kissed beaches at De Hoop, whales frolicking in the azure water beyond the breakers; the sight of ochre-clad elephants drinking in a line on a riverbank…

Inclusions

  • 3 Nights at Morukuru Ocean House on fully inclusive basis
  • Flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg
  • Return transfer from Cape Town International Airport to Morukuru Ocean House
  • Return transfers from OR Tambo International Airport to Athol Place Boutique Hotel
  • Return air charter from OR Tambo International Airport to Morukuru Farm House
  • Half Day Soweto Tour
  • 3 Nights at Morukuru Farm House on fully inclusive basis
  • 3 Nights at Athol Place Boutique Hotel on bed and breakfast basis

Exclusions

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

Additional Tour Notes

Please note that Morukuru Ocean House is closed from 15 May until 30 June (annual closure).

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 09 Jan 2017 - 28 Feb 2017 $5130
  • 01 May 2017 - 14 May 2017 $4480
  • 01 Sep 2017 - 31 Oct 2017 $4480
  • 01 Nov 2017 - 15 Dec 2017 $5130

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.

Ashley Gerrand

Ashley Gerrand

Africa Safari Expert

"This is the perfect family vacation combining a magical Big 5 safari experience in Madikwe with an incredible Marine and nature experience in De Hoop Nature reserve. Both areas are malaria free making them ideal locations for children and these amazing properties offer such awesome activities for the whole family. With the add on to Johannesburg and the Soweto tour you get a taste of the culture and history of our beautiful country."

From

$4480

Per person sharing

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