South Africa

  • Enjoy elegant Cape Town, one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Cradled by Table Mountain, and a private Cape Peninsula tour
  • Explore the Southern Cape, unspoiled coastline between the Cape Winelands in the West and the Garden Route to the East, that has some of the finest land-based whale-watching in the world
  • Sample South Africa’s celebrated wines during a private Winelands tour, during which you learn about the winemaking process and see the rich historical and architectural traditions of the region.
  • Track big game in a private reserve that offers game drives, nature walks, birding, rhino tracking and community visits
  • Go off the beaten track to Thonga Beach in the heart of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a magical place with a long sandy beach, snorkeling reefs, coastal forest and shimmering lakes

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town, South Africa

On arrival at Cape Town airport, look out for the Big Five representative, who will be holding a name-board with your surname on it. You then will be escorted to your hotel, the lovely Cape Grace, situated on a private quay overlooking the yacht marina in Cape Town’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Cape Town is one of the most beautifully situated cities in the world. Cradled by Table Mountain, it has immense charm and historical interest while it’s unique cultural blend; part African, part European and part Asian, makes for a cosmopolitan dining experience. Cape Grace Hotel – Luxury Room (Breakfast included)

Day 2: Cape Town

On your private Cape Peninsula tour, travel along the coastal road through the chic suburbs of Clifton, Camps Bay and onto the picturesque fishing community of Hout Bay. Next, enjoy a scenic drive along Chapmans Peak as it hugs the cliff side and continue south to reach Cape Point in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, said to be the romantic meeting point of two mighty oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian. Sir Francis Drake, the famous explorer, once called it “the fairest Cape that we saw in the whole circumference of the Globe.” Returning along the Indian Ocean, visit the unique penguin colonies at Boulders beach, often a highlight of your time in Cape Town, and meander through the historic naval base of Simonstown and onto Kirstenbosch Botanical gardens, surely be some of the finest gardens in Africa, nestling on the lower slopes of Table Mountain. Walk through the gardens where 4,000 of the 22,000 Southern African flowering plants are cultivated in a setting of mountain streams, pools and rolling lawns. In the late afternoon, you are dropped off at your hotel. Cape Grace Hotel – Luxury Room (Breakfast included)

Day 3: Cape Town / Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

You will be transferred by road to Grootbos Nature Reserve. The Southern Cape is a bountiful area of gentle rolling green pastures, vineyards, forests and unspoiled coastline between the Cape Winelands in the West and the Garden Route to the East. The southern coast boasts some of the finest land-based whale-watching in the world with sightings of Southern Right Whales that come into the bays to give birth, between July and December, (normally peaking in August and September). Enthralling sightings are a daily occurrence with spectacular breaches and whale songs. Secluded sandy beaches are backed by velvety mountains covered with exceptional fynbos vegetation. The wild flowers are particularly enchanting. Walking trails follow the coast for whale-watching, or take you into the mountains. The more adventurous can dare cage diving among the sharks at Gansbaai (optional cost may be involved). More relaxing pursuits include shopping in local arts and craft boutiques in Hermanus and enjoying the panoramic views of Walker Bay while dining alfresco. A visit to Cape Agulhas, the southernmost tip of Africa and nearby Arniston are also possibilities. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – One Bedroom Luxury Suite (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Day 4: Grootbos Nature Reserve

Enjoy some of the activities offered by the lodge. Grootbos Nature Reserve, located amidst the spectacular fynbos and ancient dunes of the southern coast, is an award-winning gem. Overlooking Walker Bay, it is a nature-lovers paradise, with inclusive activities such as guided fynbos 4×4 drives, milkwood forest walks, horse riding, beach visits and guided land-based whale-watching as well as the optional activities whale watching by boat or plane and shark cage diving. A dedicated team including marine biologists and conservationists help you to appreciate what makes this area so special. Grootbos consists of two lodges, the family-friendly Garden Lodge with one and two bedroom suites and the new contemporary Forest Lodge. All of the suites, nestled in the milkwood forest, have a separate lounge, full bathroom, private wooden decks with panoramic sea or mountain views, filter coffee machines, minibar, fruit basket, fireplace and underfloor heating. Each lodge has its own swimming pool, telescope for whale-watching, library, restaurant and environmental centre. Grootbos combines excellent service, with supremely comfortable accommodation and delicious food. Grootbos Private Nature Reserve – One Bedroom Luxury Suite (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Day 5: Grootbos / Winelands

You are collected by your private guide for a private Winelands tour. A combination of the favorable effects of the two major ocean currents meeting off the Cape makes the climate in the Winelands perfect for the acres of vineyards. The stunning backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the tree-lined streets and the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads all blend in tranquil harmony. Visit a wine estate for a fascinating tour of the winemaking process. Here is the perfect opportunity to sample Cape wines and experience the rich historical and architectural traditions of the region. Continue to Stellenbosch, where it is easy to see why Simon Van Der Stel decided to build a village in such a charming spot. Walk up Dorp street, one of the longest rows of old Cape Dutch buildings in South Africa. Visit the Village Museum, a collection of preserved houses that provide insight into the lives of the early settlers in Stellenbosch through to the Victorian era. Then, enjoy a scenic drive over the majestic Helshoogte Pass to the charming village of Franschhoek for lunch and a little time for browsing in the galleries and shops. The origins of this charming and beautifully situated village date back to 1688 when French Huguenots, fleeing religious persecution settled in the valley, later known as French Corner or ‘Franschhoek’ in Afrikaans. The tour ends at your hotel, an intimate country inn, known for its extraordinary culinary experiences as defined in its two distinctive restaurants. Le Quartier Francais – Auberge Room (Breakfast inlcuded)

Day 6: Winelands / Cape Town / Durban / Phinda

You will be met by our representative and transferred by road to Cape Town Airport for your flight to Durban. On arrival, you are met and transferred to Phinda Game Reserve, north of Hluhluwe and the St Lucia wetlands. Rich both in game and in stunning scenery, Phinda encompasses the diversity of seven contrasting ecosystems, including sand forest, mountain bushveld and wetlands. Phinda offers a winning combination of soft adventure, thrilling game viewing and inspired lodge design. The lodge is a sophisticated harmony of ethnic décor, superb cuisine, and personalized service. Additional facilities include a dramatic open air “boma” enclosure; shaded swimming pool and lookout deck for relaxation; and bird and game watching. Phinda Mountain Lodge – Suite (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Day 7: Phinda

Today, enjoy activities offered by the lodge. Guests can enjoy game drives, nature walks, birding, rhino tracking, boat cruises, canoeing, and community visits. Wildlife attractions include lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, rhino, hippo, an abundance of general game, and prolific bird life with more than 400 species recorded. Given the reserves proximity to the Indian Ocean, optional extras include coastal flights, beach excursions and snorkeling. Phinda Mountain Lodge – Suite, (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)
Thonga Beach Lodge

Day 8: Phinda / Thonga Beach

Today, enjoy a private road transfer from Phinda Game Reserve to your lodge in the Coastal Maputaland area. Head to the lush Maputaland region in the far northern point of KwaZulu Natal, just south of Mozambique. The Maputaland Marine Reserve stretches 200km from Lake St Lucia, one of the world’s finest marine sanctuaries teeming with water birds, crocodiles and hippo, to Kosi Bay near the Mozambican border. Within this, the Kosi Forest Coastal Reserve is an unspoiled wilderness region of pristine golden beaches backed by forested dunes and captivating freshwater lakes. This truly is a magical area, untouched by large-scale tourism development. Sustainabel tourism practices involve significant local community involvement. Their activities mostly revolve around the ocean and the lake system with snorkelling for tropical fish, canoeing and evening excursions in the summer to view the rare giant leatherback turtles as they lay and hatch their eggs (Oct to Feb). This area is also a Mecca for keen divers, with spectacular coral formations and a number of magnificent reefs teeming with tropical fish. Thonga Beach Lodge is a stylish and relaxed beach lodge on the shores of the secluded Mabibi Bay in Coastal Maputaland. Thonga Beach Lodge – Standard Room (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Thonga Beach Lodge

Day 9: Thonga Beach

Today, participate in some of the activities offered by the lodge. Thonga Beach Lodge lies in the heart of the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with no other lodges nearby. Mabibi Beach is a magical place with a long sandy beach, snorkeling reefs, coastal forest and shimmering lakes behind. The lodge, in the canopy of the dune forest, offers panoramic ocean views. It has a spacious, relaxed beach feel with a stylish outdoor eating area, a secluded upstairs seating area with a DVD player for children, a chic open air bar and wooden walkways leading to the rooms. Activities revolve around the ocean and nearby Lake Sibaya. There is a board at the bar indicating activities offered for the following day and you sign up for whatever takes your fancy. Complimentary activities include snorkeling from the beach, bird-watching and sundowner cruises or guided canoe trips on Lake Sibaya and turtle tracking walks. The white sandy beach is about 25 meters away via a board walk with an extended deck area with sun loungers overlooking the beach. Turtle tracking is a highlight for summer visitors from November to February. Additional activities include scuba diving, diving courses, cultural village visits and boat-based turtle tracking are optional. We also recommend the Ocean Experience looking for whales and dolphins, which involves at exciting boat launch in the surf followed by a whale-watching cruise to a reef site for some leisurely snorkeling. Children are welcome at Thonga Beach Lodge and one child can share with parents or two or three children can take a separate chalet close to their parents. Thonga Beach Lodge – Standard Room, (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

Day 10: Thonga Beach / Richards Bay / Johannesburg / Depart

Today you have a private road transfer from Thonga Beach Lodge to Richards Bay Airport where you connect with your flight to Johannesberg. On arrival in Johannesburg you connect your onward flight home. (Breakfast included)

from $6,850 (land only, double occupancy)