You will be met at your airport by a member of the team before your overnight flight to Johannesburg.
On the first morning of your escorted tour in South Africa, we travel to the Apartheid Museum, a truly fascinating exhibition describing the journey through the years of segregation to the first democratic elections. Afterwards we continue to the four-star Indaba Hotel in an affluent suburb in the north of the city. This evening we will enjoy a lovely welcome dinner that includes some local specialities, where you have the chance of meeting and getting to know your dedicated tour manager, as well as the like-minded solo travellers of the group.
After breakfast this morning, we follow the wonderfully scenic Panorama Route to Kruger National Park. One of the most stunning drives in the world, we follow the rim of Blyde River Canyon – a gorge over 600 metres deep, where intricate rock formations created by centuries of erosion separate temperate grasslands from dusty savannahs. We continue to our three-star superior hotel, Hippo Hollow Country Estate, set in a lush forest on the edge of the park, where we will stay for the next three nights. Our 2019 tours stay at the four-star Sanbonani Resort.
Our early morning venture into the Kruger National Park will be rewarded with a most spectacular safari experience. Expert rangers will take us around in specially adapted four-wheel-drive vehicles to the best spots for catching a glimpse of the amazing wildlife that call this place home – elephants, cheetahs, leopards, warthogs, zebras, and numerous more species. Make sure you have your camera on hand to seize the very moment when these magnificent creatures make their wonderful appearance.
Today we have the opportunity to do as we please. Some may wish to relax and use the hotel’s excellent facilities, whilst others may wish to try something a little more exciting – there may be opportunities for a helicopter journey or even some rafting.
After breakfast we will head south to the tiny country of Swaziland. A picturesque drive leads us to the capital Mbabane where we will pass the Royal Palace. We continue back to South Africa and on to Kwazulu Natal, where we will stay at the simple three-star Battlefields Lodge for two nights.
We will today head to South Africa’s Battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift. Made famous by a number of films, these two battles were hugely significant for the British Empire. Our specialist Zulu guide will share thrilling stories of how masses of Zulu armies took on the British Army in 1879. Later this afternoon, we return to our hotel.
After breakfast we return to Johannesburg airport, flying to George in the Western Cape and at the heart of the gorgeous Garden Route. We take the short drive to the coastal town of Mossel Bay and our hotel, the charming three-star superior Diaz Hotel & Resort with breakfast. The comfortable rooms all boast excellent sea views. Dinner at a local restaurant is included this evening.
Today we head inland, through stunning mountain scenery of the Ruitersbos Nature Reserve to the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. Here we’ll visit the spectacular Cango Caves, formed over millions of years in the soft limestone and South Africa’s best-known caves. Next we head to the small town of Oudtshoorn, a centre of ostrich farming since the 19th century. We’ll have the opportunity to see these fascinating creatures close up and learn about their habits. After an included lunch, we head back to Mossel Bay.
Today is a scenic travelling day as we head toward the country’s fine Winelands. Arriving late in the afternoon, we will check into the lovely four-star Devon Valley Hotel, which boasts wonderful views as well as lush gardens and a lovely shaded terrace area. Departures between July and November will take us via Hermanus, one of the best places onshore to witness whales playfully cavorting in the sea.
Today we tour the awesomely beautiful Winelands. Set in a valley backed by majestic mountains, rows of manicured vines and orchards stretch into a distance studded by lime-washed, often thatched, 300-year-old wineries built in the unique Cape Dutch style, seemingly mirroring the undulations of the surrounding countryside. Our first stop is elegant Stellenbosch, established 300 years ago and home of South Africa’s most prestigious university. Period buildings and historic streets reinforce the town’s dignified atmosphere. We have time to explore this delightful town before enjoying a fascinating cellar tour and tasting at the Neethlingshof Wine Estate. After that, we visit the small town of Franschoek, set at the head of a valley. Tonight we’ll enjoy an included typical South African BBQ or Cape Malay buffet dinner at our hotel.
Leaving Knysna behind, we will visit the incredible botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch, a stunning living gallery of the plant species native to the area. We then continue on to Cape Town, where we stay at the excellent four-star Southern Sun Waterfront Hotel, ideally located a short walk from the historic V&A waterfront area.
Today we head towards the famed Cape of Good Hope after breakfast today. On our way we will pass by pretty fishing harbours, pristine beaches, and rugged seascapes. We will stop at the Cape of Good Hope, noted as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, before moving on to Cape Point, where we’ll see the point that the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean. We will also call in at Boulders Beach, where adorable penguins can be seen. Later this afternoon, we head back to Cape Town.
Cape Town is a city of many influences – British, Dutch and Cape Malay most notably, but Mother Nature has left the legacy on the city in the form of the stunningly unique Table Mountain, where you can catch the iconic cable car ride to the top. The infamous Robben Island also comes highly recommended if weather conditions permit. We have plenty of time today to explore the city at our own pace, whether on your own or in the company of your new-found friends. Your expert tour manager will ensure that you have all the information you need to make the most of your time here.
At the appropriate time we will transfer to the airport for our flight home
We will arrive back today after a journey of wonder and discovery with memories that will last a lifetime.