Start: Johannesburg Finish: Cape Town
Physical rating: Low
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans, Meat, Kosher, Jain, Halal
Tour code: 250
Group size: 3 - 14
Tour operated in:
Extra tourhub saving: $148
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Johannesburg to Cape Town
You’ll track the steps of the Big 5 in the Kruger National Park with expert safari guides and enjoy a mix of remote safari camps and lodges on your journey up the most renowned national park of South Africa.
Location: Johannesburg, HAMILTON HOUSE
Meals: Lunch, Dinner
Your trip leader will welcome you early-morning in the international arrivals hall of Oliver Tambo Airport in Johannesburg. After gathering the rest of your group, we’ll board a short flight taking us to our first destination – Hamiltons Lodge, Malelane. This family-owned, well-appointed lodge offers a relaxed casual atmosphere and is perfectly situated to explore the south of the Kruger National Park, with everything a birding and wildlife enthusiast would want at their doorstep. Large en-suite rooms overlooking a beautiful garden, a sparkling pool and a pleasant breakfast room complete this picture. You’ll have a chance to settle in before we set out on a short afternoon drive for our first glimpse of Kruger National Park, one of the largest in South Africa and arguably the 'Jewel' in the crown. As we cross the Crocodile River you’ll notice a distinct contrast between the farmland we’re leaving behind and the granite koppies of the Malelande Mountain Bushveld, hinting at the wilderness ahead. Keep an eye out for giraffes, kudu, duiker and, despite heavier vegetation, the BIG 5 are also often spotted here along with a great white rhino population.After a sneaky preview of what’s to come in the days ahead, we’ll head back to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks before heading to the dining restaurant adjacent to the lodge where they'll take care of us this evening, serving up sumptuous meals to suit all taste buds and excellent wine pairing as well. Our senses will be delightfully full by now, and it won’t be hard to drift off to sleep – resting for our first full day of game driving tomorrow.Hamiltons Lodge, Kruger National Park (Lunch, Dinner)
Location: Kruger National Park
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
This morning we’ll dust off the cobwebs with a refreshing cup of coffee and light snack at sunrise ready for our first full day game drive. After dipping our toes into the park yesterday, you’ll be eager to get started and there’s no better way to brush off any remaining jet lag. Our game drive today will see us retrace our steps through the Malelane gate and venture further into the park, the diversity of landscapes unfolding before our eyes is simply breathtaking. Fruit bats and thick-tailed bushbabies have the day off, though not to worry as we’re heading straight into the heart of BIG 5 territory, and this particular stretch is a favorite hang out for the local lion population, so there’s a good chance you’ll be lucky today. The vegetation surrounding Berg-en-Dal attracts a wide variety of grazers - including the White rhino, kudu, impala, giraffe and more!We’ll take a lunch stop at Skukuza Main Camp for its favourable location, and here you’ll find paintings from the only remaining remnants of the traditional San (bushmen) people who once lived and hunted in this area in surrounding hill shelters along the bushman track. As we depart the National Park for the day, the adventure doesn’t stop here! We'll settle into the authentic African ambience of the Protea Hotel, with grounds woven around the Jackal berry trees, on the banks of the Sabie river – this is the perfect location to experience wildlife first-hand while enjoying a sundowner on the deck before dinner. Watch Vervet monkeys playing in the trees, elephants and antelopes parading the riverbed, or simply enjoy the company of an incredible variety of birdlife from the tree-house like verandas.Protea Hotel by Marriott Kruger Gate (All meals)
Location: Kruger National Park, Phalaborwa
With the local baboons acting as our morning wake-up call, we'll be up early and preparing to makethe most of another delightful day ahead. By now, hitting the trail at sunrise will be getting easier and after a hearty breakfast, we’ll make our way north to the Phalaborwa gate and right into the heart of Kruger National Park. With refreshments at Tshokwane, an area rich in archaeological sites and named after an old Shangaan chief, we'll be right in the thick of it as it holds more game than any other square metre of the reserve, so get those cameras ready!A perfectly timed lunch stop at Letaba will make sure we’re keeping our tanks full - this is one of the oldest and largest camps on the Savannah highway. With tall shady trees and located close to multiple major dams, it’s another birders paradise. You’ll also experience game viewing at its best as this thriving green oasis is on the banks of the Letaba River, attracting many large predators. This afternoon, prepare yourselves to become experts on all things elephant - there’s no better place to brush up on our knowledge with a visit to the local Elephant museum and here you’ll see the ivory from eight of Kruger's greatest tuskers. Bushveld Terrace Hotel is our home for the night, just 400m from the park entrance with spacious rooms, private decks and the potential of seeing game in the adjacent bush! Take the time to freshen up before dinner, enjoy a sundowner with some good company and stories around the fire pit – an epic end to an incredible day.Bushveld Terrace Hotel and Guesthouse on Kruger (All meals)
Location: Makuleke Contract Park
Accommodation: Lodge, Lodge
Being nature-loving individuals, you’ll be in your element as we move further north. Today is a mix of familiar trails and new frontiers and we’ll ease into our day at the usual time. With a comfort stop at Letaba, we’ll then make our way to Shingwedzi Rest Camp, the local stomping ground for the Magnificent seven, with game viewing along the way. Leaving the riverine vegetation of the camp environment for the open Mopane shrub, we’re in prime buffalo and elephant country. We might be treated with sightings of a larger breeding herd, the whoop of a hyena or the rare tsebbebe and sable.We'll make our way towards Punda Maria Rest Camp for lunch, an interesting spot due to its shared border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe and the confluence of the Limpopo and the Luvuvhu rivers. With a history of Ivory poachers and smugglers, this area has a rich historical heritage and is a definite drawcard for visitors. Now it’s time to make our way to Pafuri Camp Lodge where the peace and tranquillity are unsurpassed. If you’re feeling adventurous, get ready for an afternoon walk or you can rest for the afternoon and join us for late afternoon game drive – followed by sundowners and a mystical night drive out in the African wilds back to camp! Pafuri Camp Lodge will be our home for the next 3 nights, its located in the far north of the Kruger National Park and it is here, on the ancestral land of the Makuleke people, that a unique partnership and a collection of superb safari experiences has been built. The camp is situated in the low-lying floodplains near the confluence at Crooks’ Corner where huge herds of elephant, buffalo and other game congregate, especially when the surrounding bush lies parched before the rains.You’ll meet your walking guide for the next couple of days. Get ready to embark on an immersive experience like no other. Every day, you’ll wake-up for a pre-sunrise coffee and snack, pack your gear and head out for a 3 to 4-hour walk accompanied by two armed guides, with the lead guide one of the best in South Africa. The distance and pace of the walk will depend on what animal activity is taking place in the area. The focus is on experiencing the African bush on foot and learning about big and small animals along the way. This is BIG 5 terrain and when tracks of any of these are encountered, your guide might decide to track and find the animal. You’ll return to camp for a well-earned brunch late morning, followed by a few hours of free time you can use to read, get a ‘warm wash’, nap or swap stories. Get a late lunch before heading back out for another 2 to 3-hour walk. Game drives will b available if you'd prefer this option too. A crackling fire and a traditional dinner await you, before you can fall sound asleep under the stars.Pafuri Luxury Camp Lodge (All meals)PLEASE NOTE: Children under 16 years of age will not be able to do the walking safaris. However, there will be game drives available for them and others that prefer not to walk.
Location: Cape Town
After an early breakfast at Pafuri Camp Lodge, it will be time to say farewell to the savannah and transfer to Hoedspruit Airport for your flight to Cape Town. Your driver will await you at the airport to transfer you to your hotel, and the afternoon is yours to explore as you wish. Tomorrow starts with a tour of the city, so you can choose to just take it easy this afternoon in a cafe or at your hotel, before enjoying dinner at your leisure. Tomorrow you’ll get to know South Africa’s legislative capital city - a little known fact is that South Africa actually has three capital cities, the other two being the administrative and judicial capital cities!The Cape Milner Hotel, Cape Town (Breakfast)
Today you’ll embark on a driving tour highlighting the dramatic history of Cape Town. You’ll visit the bustling streets of the city, old buildings and squares, and learn about the story of Dutch and British rule, slavery and apartheid, freedom and democracy. Highlights of the tour include the Greenmarket Square, Adderley Street and Flower Sellers, Grand Parade, City Hall and Castle of Hood Hope, the Story of District Six and Bo-Kaap (Malay Quarter), Slavery precinct (Slave Lodge, Slave Tree Site, Church Square), and Company’s Garden (Parliament, Tuynhuys, St George’s Cathedral). You’ll enjoy a relaxed lunch by the waterfront before heading for Table Mountain, which you’ll have the chance to ascend either by cable car or on a guided hike offering brilliant views over Cape Town to Camps Bay and the 12 Apostles. If you’re not out of breath by then, you’ll have the option to continue to the highest point before coming down by cable car, enjoying 360-degree views on the way. This day will conclude with a gourmet dinner at GOLD Restaurant. This 14-course set menu is a ‘taste safari’ that will transport you from Table Mountain to Timbuktu. The culinary experience is accompanied by unique interactive traditional entertainment.The Cape Milner Hotel, Cape Town (All meals)Hiking Distance: 2.5 kilometres (1.6 miles), 2-4 hoursElevation Gain: 800 metres (2625 feet) (Down via the cable car!)
Location: Winelands Cottage
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
After breakfast, you’ll hop on a 2-hour drive to Franschhoek, from where you’ll depart on a leisurely cycle tour. This picture-perfect town was founded by the French Huguenots in the late 1600’s and still retains its French charm in its café lined streets and small boutique atmosphere, with plenty of art galleries, cheese factories and wine estates. Surrounded by the dramatic Groot Drakenstein Mountains, it is home to internationally acclaimed wines from nearby estates such as La Motte, Moreson and Graham Beck. This cycling tour will have you exploring the scenic back roads of the winelands while indulging in a bit of wine tasting. After some refreshing time at the hotel pool, you’ll then head back to town for a last group dinner at Rueben’s, an exquisite glass-fronted eatery with a sophisticated dining offering. Franschhoek is a culinary capital in South Africa, boasting numerous award-winning restaurants. Reuben Riffel is one of these celebrity chefs, and you’ll discover why!Protea Hotel Franschhoek (Breakfast, Dinner)Leisurely Cycle Tour: 2-3 hours
Sadly, our last day is already here, so following breakfast you will be transferred to Cape Town International Airport to say farewell to your travel companions and your beloved trip leader. You’ll go home with your mind full of amazing safari stories to tell, and probably hundreds of incredible pictures to share.(Breakfast)
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Yes, Johannesburg to Malelane and Hoedspruit to Cape Town
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