South Africa’s Big Five, Wine & Conservation Safari

11 days
4.9 /5
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Highlights

  • Explore the malaria-free Marakele National Park
  • Delight in the food, wine & history in Franschhoek
  • Enjoy a safari at the scenic Kwandwe Private Game Reserve
  • Make a positive impact by supporting conservation initiatives
  • Encounter endangered rhino species & assist with vital conservation efforts
  • Expert & knowledgeable guides take care of your safari from beginning to end
  • Armchair safari experiences
  • Guided walking safaris

Overview

Each destination on this Trip with a Purpose shares a strong conservation ethos to preserve the country’s vulnerable wildlife and enrich the local communities. A great option if you are eager to make a positive impact with your travel spend.

Marataba Explorer’s Camp, part of the greater Marakele National Park, and Kwandwe Private Game Reserve’s Great Fish River Lodge combine for the ultimate safari experience on this tour. Each immaculate malaria-free location showcases its own unique biodiversity. Walking safaris and game drives provide thrilling game viewing and magnificent views of the reserves’ striking landscapes. Both destinations offer the unique opportunity for guests to take part in various projects run by passionate conservation teams. Most notably, their rhino conservation efforts.

In between the two safaris, sojourn in the scenic town of Franschhoek. The dubbed ‘gourmet capital’ of South Africa is renowned for its phenomenal food, wine, and art, as well as breathtaking landscapes and quaint architecture. La Clé Lodge will be your base from which to enjoy the Cape Winelands. Whether you’re after romance, adventure, quality family time, or all of the above, this tour is perfect for you. It’s an incredible way to make a difference, while enjoying every creature comfort of a luxury safari holiday.

 

Why Is This a Trip with a Purpose?

  • At Marataba, take part in identifying, monitoring, tracking and collecting data on mega fauna such a rhinos and elephants, as well as predators like cheetah. Get involved in habitat rehabilitation through wire-barking special trees to prevent damage caused by elephants. Help set up a camera trap and take a behind-the-scenes look at what happens during the day and night.
  • La Clé is a foundation sponsor of the The Kusasa Project and continues to support them long term. They work within the Franschhoek community to break the cycle of poverty by engaging disadvantaged children during the very important early childhood learning phase. Enjoying the meals at La Clé, prepared by Mel Shepherd the manager and chef, who supports local producers within a 30km radius.
  • At Kwandwe, re-plant spekboom, a wonder plant that is endemic to the Eastern Cape, on game drives and walking safaris and observe flora rehabilitation in action.  Volunteer your time by reading or telling a story during the pre-school morning ring, helping in the vegetable garden, assisting at afternoon homework club, or offering basic computer training for children and staff.

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 11 Days

Accommodations Visited

Cape Winelands, Franschhoek, South Africa

La Cle

3 Nights

Top Reasons to Visit

  • Scenery
  • Food and wine
  • Wildlife and safari
  • Private concessions and conservancies
  • Walking safaris
  • Cultural interactions
  • Bird watching
  • Sunset cruises and boating
Day to day

Itinerary

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Day 1–5: Embark on Your First Safari Adventure

Marataba Explorer's Camp
Detailed breakdown

Day 1–5: Embark on Your First Safari Adventure | 4 Nights

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Marataba Explorer's Camp

A warm welcome to South Africa! After your arrival in Johannesburg, meet your driver for the commencement of your journey on South African soil, a road transfer to your first safari destination.

Kick off your safari at the beautiful Marataba Explorer’s Camp, just a 3.5-hour drive from Johannesburg. The majestic Waterberg mountain range will serve as a backdrop to your first four days of an enlightening, conservation-driven safari. Marataba uniquely offers a wide range of activities apart from your usual daily game drives. Enjoy thrilling walking safaris and leisurely boat cruises on the river—great for keen birders.

The highlight is getting involved in the various conservation efforts on the reserve. This includes participation in various wildlife interventions, such as identification, monitoring, tracking, and behavioural assessments of the resident wildlife. Marataba is home to critically endangered white and black rhinos, both species under immense pressure from many threats. It is a fascinating and critical subject to take part in during your stay.

If you wish to connect with some welcoming locals, pop in for a tour of the community vegetable garden. Help harvest freshly grown produce for a delicious lunch and enjoy the warm company of those involved in the project.

While not out on the many experiences on offer, find a shady spot at the lodge to relax and enjoy the exquisite views and meandering wildlife. Enjoy your meals under the shade of the iconic Acacia trees of the bushveld, delighting in the attentive service of the friendly staff. A day out in Marataba will no doubt have enriched your knowledge of this reserve and its precious wildlife. As the evening arrives, settle around the fire to swap stories from the day while gazing upon a starry night sky.

Day 5-7: Sojourn in the Cape Winelands! | 3 Nights

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La Clé Lodge

After an enlightening safari experience at Marataba, make your way to the historic town of Franschhoek - a wine and food lover’s paradise. Just a short stroll from town centre, La Clé Lodge is a superb base from which to enjoy this picturesque corner of the country. The staff, and particularly the Chef, are wonderful and will ensure your stay is memorable.

There is plenty to do in Franschhoek and its beautiful surrounds. Sample wines at world-renowned wine estates. Enjoy diverse and award-winning restaurants. Wander the markets and shops or admire remarkable art collections within the many galleries. Car enthusiasts will enjoy the extensive collection on display at the Franschhoek Motor Museum. And the many mountain trails, gardens, and the local fynbos–endemic to the Cape will enthral nature lovers.

By enjoying the town and all the activities, you are supporting the tourism dependent local community. Your travel spend at La Clé will also contribute to an incredible cause—the Kusasa Project. This initiative supports local children in raising school fees to ensure they have the opportunity for education.

Day 8-10: End Off With a Luxurious Eastern Cape Safari | 3 Nights

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Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge

Despite an incredible time in the Winelands, you will no doubt be craving the enticing safari air once more - the feeling of rising with the sun to head out on a game drive in the crisp morning air. And concluding your days out in the bushveld, sipping a sundowner, watching the horizon change colours as the cicadas serenade the ensuing night sky. Your next and final destination brings you back on safari.

After a short flight from Cape Town to Gqeberha (formerly known as Port Elizabeth), your driver will meet you for a road transfer to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, an approximate 2-hour drive. Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge will be your home away from home for the rest of your trip.

The luxurious suites at the lodge provide all the comforts for an indulgent stay. Cool off in your private plunge pool on an expansive deck overlooking the Great Fish River. Keep cosy in the evenings in the main lodge area next to a crackling fire, while sampling the wines from the well-stocked cellar.

Kwandwe is a pillar of conservation in the Eastern Cape, and you can get involved. Home to a population of rhino, Kwandwe takes on the critical responsibility of protecting these gentle giants from poaching and other threats to ensure the longevity of the species. Join in on tracking, monitoring, and other tasks involved in their safekeeping. A more in-depth rhino conservation safari is available at an extra cost for those wanting to experience larger scale endeavours such as DNA sampling, ear notching and micro-chipping.

Kwandwe also cares deeply for their people and the local community. To learn about how the community is being supported, you can visit the Mgcamabele Centre and the Ubunye pre-school in the Kwandwe Reserve.

Day 11: Bid Farewell!

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Savour your last morning in Kwandwe’s tranquillity before your driver arrives to transfer you back to Port Elizabeth International Airport for your departure home, or the next leg of your safari adventure - with memories to cherish for years to come.

Inclusions tick icon

Inclusions

  • Transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • Flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town
  • Flight from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth
Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

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

Rates

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Dates Price
2023-03-01 — 2023-04-30 $7,270
2023-05-01 — 2023-05-31 $6,480
2023-06-01 — 2023-06-30 $6,385
2023-07-01 — 2023-09-30 $7,050
2023-10-01 — 2023-10-31 $8,285
2023-11-01 — 2023-11-30 $7,625
2023-12-01 — 2023-12-31 $8,595
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.