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Best of South Africa Safari


TOURDESCRIPTION1 Best of South Africa Safari

Experience all the wonders of South Africa on this 17 day South Africa safari.  Enjoy all the highlights of South Africa including Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve, Zululand, Swaziland and the infamous Cape Town on this panoramic tour.


SAFARISNAPSHOT1 Best of South Africa Safari
Day 1 Travel Day – To Africa
Day 2 Johannesburg
Day 3 Mpumalanga
Day 4 Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Day 5 Hazyview
Day 6 Swaziland
Day 7 Zululand
Day 8 Durban
Day 9 Port Elizabeth
Day 10 Knysna
Day 11 Knysna
Day 12 Oudtshoorn
Day 13 Stellenbosch
Day 14 Cape Town
Day 15 Cape Town
Day 16 Cape Town
Day 17 Your Journey Ends
SAFARIHIGHLIGHTS Best of South Africa Safari
  • The Big Five
  • Garden Route
  • Zululand
  • Winelands
  • Cape Town

DAY 1 TRAVEL DAY – TO AFRICA

Your safari beings today as you board your international flight to Africa!


DAY 2 JOHANNESBURG

Welcome to Africa! On arrival in Johannesburg, South Africa, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the Gadton City Shopping Centre and Nelson Mandela Square.rden City Sandton for your one night stay.About the Garden Court Sandton: The hotel is suited in close proximity to the Sandton Convention Centre, San
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel located in the Sandton district of Johannesburg.
Guest Accommodations: 157 en-suite rooms, each complete with modern facilities, including individually air conditioning, TV and internet connectivity.

About Johannesburg
Johannesburg is the largest and most populous city in South Africa. It is also the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral rich Witwatersrand range of hills.

Overnight: Garden Court Sandton (B)


DAY 3 MPUMALANGA – PANORAMIC ROUTE

Early this morning, you will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby and transferred for your full day, magnificent Panorama tour in Mpumalanga, best known for its cultural heritage and dramatic landscapes. Later this afternoon, you will be transferred to the Sabi River Sun for the evening.

On your panoramic tour, you will depart eastward toward the famous Blyde River (Happy River) Canyon. You will pass through Middelburg as you continue to the small town of Belfast, famous for its sheep and trout farming. This afternoon, you will continue through the small village of Dullstroom and travel toward Lydenburg. After lunch you will make your way to Lydenburg for the Three Rondawels, South Africa’s 2nd most photographed natural phenomenon after Table Mountain. Depart for God’s Window, travelling through Eucalyptus and Pine plantations. On arrival to God’s Window, enjoy the view from the edge of the escarpment taking in Kruger National Park and the huge plantations of the so-called Lowveld.

About Sabi River Sun: Located in the middle of natures, rooms are found in close proximity to the infamous Kruger National Park.
Accommodation Type & Location: Resort situated on the banks of the Sabi River in the picturesque Lowveld, in close proximity to landmarks such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s window and the Blyde River Canyon.
Guest Accommodations: Each of the 60 standard rooms comes fully air conditioned, with en-suite bathroom facilities.
Activities: Game drives and bush safaris, unrivalled sporting facilities including an 18 hole golf course, 5 swimming pools, 3 floodlit tennis courts, a bowling green, a squash and volleyball court, and a jogging trail

About the Panoramic Route
One of the major highlights of the region is the Blyde River Canyon Reserve, home to spectacular wildlife and birdlife and some of the best views in South Africa. The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon of its kind in the world. Other highlights include the exquisite waterfalls in Graskop and Sabie, the Echo Caves that speak of Africa’s powerful tribes such as Pedi, Mapulane and Swazi, trails left behind by the Voortrekkers in regions such as Lydenberg and Ohrigstad, ancient artistic footprints left by indigenous peoples of Africa and the Gold Rush territory, Pilgrim’s Rest, home to the early gold prospectors.

Overnight: Sabi River Sun (B)


DAY 4 SABI SAND PRIVATE GAME RESERVE

After breakfast, travel through Kruger National Park, enjoying game viewing en-route. At Skukuza Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred into the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve for lunch. Enjoy your day at leisure, before you depart on your afternoon game drive. Return to Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge for your one night stay.

About Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge: The lodge is home to huge viewing decks ideal for relaxing, spotting game, or bird watching. Enjoy a dip in the swimming pool, the perfect escape from the afternoon heat. It also features artistically designed courtyards with spectacular wooden carvings.
Accommodation Type & Location: Luxury Safari Lodge set in the heart of the Sabi Sabi bushveld overlooking a waterhole and African plains.
Guest Accommodations: 25 spacious, air-conditioned thatched suites with en-suite bathrooms, both al-fresco as well as glass front indoor showers, affording wonderful views of the bushveld.
Activities: Morning and evening game drives in open 4×4 Land Rovers and guided walking safaris.
Wildlife: Over two hundred different species live in abundance, whilst the ever changing bird life provides even the most experienced ornithologist with rare finds. The wildlife viewing is second to none and includes the big five. The Sabi Sand Reserve enjoys good quality viewing of leopard, elephant, lion, rhino, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a vast variety of antelope and other species. In fact, a checklist of the reserve would yield no fewer than 330+ tree species, 45+ fish species, 30+ amphibian species, 110+ reptile species, 500+ bird species and 145+ mammal species!

About the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve
The Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve forms part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, a vast and growing area, currently covering 6 million acres and incorporating the famous Kruger National Park. This rich, wild wonderland assures exceptional game drives and a true wilderness experience

Overnight: Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge (B, L, D)


DAY 5 HAZYVIEW

Start your day with an early morning game drive, followed by breakfast at the lodge. After breakfast, you will be transferred back to Mpumalanga for your visit to a local Children’s Care Center in the Hazyview area. Transfer back to the Sabi River Sun, to enjoy the rest of your evening at leisure.

About Sabi River Sun: Located in the middle of natures, rooms are found in close proximity to the infamous Kruger National Park.
Camp Type & Location: Resort situated on the banks of the Sabi River in the picturesque Lowveld, in close proximity to landmarks such as Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s window and the Blyde River Canyon.
Guest Accommodations: Each of the 60 standard rooms comes fully air conditioned, with en-suite bathroom facilities.
Activities: Game drives and bush safaris, unrivalled sporting facilities including an 18 hole golf course, 5 swimming pools, 3 floodlit tennis courts, a bowling green, a squash and volleyball court, and a jogging trail

Overnight: Sabi River Sun (B)


DAY 6 SWAZILAND

This morning, enjoy an early breakfast before you depart Hazyview for the Kingdom of Swaziland. Today you will spend your time traveling through the beautiful countryside and plantations, before arriving to Lugogo Sun, where you spend the night.

Enjoy a stopover at Komati Valley look-out point for scenic photo opportunity. Make your way across the rolling landscape to Ngwenya, arriving to a glass blowing factory, where you can watch the talented glass blowers create a range of enchanting African animals, birds and fish, as well as tableware made from 100% recycled glass that is collected by the children of Swaziland. You will have time to explore the factory through the viewing deck, where you can buy various products, should you wish. This afternoon, you will have the opportunity for a complimentary excursion to a Swazi candle factory to watch Swazi wax artists make beautiful candles.

About the Lugogo Sun: The Lugogo Sun is part of the heavenly Royal Swazi Sun Valley in the tiny African country of Swaziland, and is just a few minutes’ drive from the flagship hotel, the Royal Swazi Sun. It is especially geared to suit groups and families.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel located in the Royal Swazi Sun Valley in Ezulwini, Swaziland.
Guest Accommodations: 202 rooms, consisting of 199 twin rooms and 3 mini suites. All of the standard rooms, have two double beds with en-suite bathroom and shower, and are equipped with television, radio, hairdryers and telephones.
Optional Activities: Hiking in Swaziland, golfing, and game drives tracking Hlane Big Cats and Mkhaya Endangered Species (cost available upon request).

About Swaziland
Rich, vibrant and utterly picturesque, the Kingdom of Swaziland is a most diverse tourism destination. As you travel through this African land, you’ll discover its mountains, its savannahs, its populace- a people so warm and welcoming, you may feel you’ve been here a lifetime. You are invited to explore traditions and discover the culture of which Swaziland is so proud. And you are encouraged to traverse the landscape and experience a beauty that is incomparable to any other in the world.
Please note: The Swazi people do not like photos taken of them. In their culture, every photo takes away the spirits of their ancestors.

Overnight: Lugogo Sun (B)


DAY 7 ZULULAND

Today your adventure continues as you spend the afternoon in Zululand, later arriving to the Protea Hotel for your one night stay.

Just after Big Bend, enjoy a refreshment stop along the riverside before you cross the Swazi-Zululand boarder. As you enter northern Zululand, you will arrive at Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve for a game drive, which contains an immense diversity of fauna and flora and is particularly famous for its conservation of black and white rhino.

About the Protea Hotel Umfolozi River: Dining facilities include a restaurant and bar. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool and a lapa area.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel Ideally located in the Greater Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve area, only 40km north of Richards Bay.
Guest Accommodations: 68 spacious, air-conditioned rooms/chalets, as well as 2 family chalets, with satellite TV.
Optional Activities: Nearby activities include the Greater St. Lucia Wetlands Park, Hluhluwe/Umfolozi Game Reserve, world-renowned birding spots, whale and dolphin watching, boat cruises, horse riding, golf, fishing, kayaking, beaches and quad bike trails (Cost available on request).

About Zululand
The majestic Kingdom of Zululand, in the northern region of KwaZulu-Natal, borders on Swaziland and stretches to the Indian Ocean and the busy seaport of Richards Bay. The sheer majesty of Zululand will take your breath away. Under the hot African sun, the cobalt blue Indian Ocean, mangrove swamps and limpid lagoons give way to rolling green hills and indigenous forests which shimmer in the distance before they reach the Drakensberg Mountains.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Umfolozi River (B)


DAY 8 DURBAN

This morning, your guide will transfer you to a traditional Zulu village to both interact with the people and learn their customs. You will then continue to Dumazulu/Vula Zulu/Shakaland for lunch. During your meal, enjoy a presentation on Zulu culture, including traditional dance. As you transfer to Durban, take in the breathtaking landscape as you pass traditional Zulu kraals, Eucalyptus plantations and sugar cane fields. If time allows, enjoy a stop in Umhlanga Rocks en-route. Upon arrival in Durban, you will be transferred to the Southern Sun Elangeni for your one night stay.

About the Southern Sun Elangeni: Breathtaking views over Durban’s Golden Mile can be appreciated from the comfort of your room at the
Southern Sun Elangeni. Renowned for fine service, excellent food and reputable hospitality, this hotel is a preferred destination for both business travellers and holidaymakers wanting the space and comfort of home, right at the sea.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel situated on Durban’s Golden Mile, just two hundred meters from the beach and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.
Guest Accommodations: 449 en-suite, air-conditioned rooms are well furnished and offer every amenity you may require, including room service, internet and telephone.
Optional Activities: Juma Masjid Mosque, Botanic Gardens, Wilsons Wharf, Francis Farewell Square and Ushaka Marine World (cost available on request).

About Durban
Durban is all about the beach! High up on the east coast, Durban is South Africa’s sub-tropical beach getaway. The city center overlooks a long, golden beach that is probably the single most culturally diverse spot in Africa. Here you will find frolicking families of every hue, elegant sari-clad matrons strolling on the sand and buff surfers running into the waves. Durban is the closest seaport to Johannesburg and is also an integral part of the city. It has a great little cultural spot right in the middle of the harbor – the BAT center. Short for the Bartle Arts Trust, the BAT Center is a hotbed of local visual art and musical creativity mixed in with some good restaurants, coffee shops and pubs. All overlooking the small boat harbor so you can sip cappuccino while watching.

Overnight: Southern Sun Elangeni (B & L)


DAY 9 PORT ELIZABETH

Transfer this morning to Durban Airport for your South African Airways flight 1336 to Port Elizabeth, departing at 12:30pm. On arrival in Port Elizabeth at 1:55pm, you will be met by your guide and transferred to the Garden Center Kings Beach for the night.

About the Garden Center Kings Beach: Spectacular views over Algoa Bay, highlighting the scenic beauty of Port Elizabeth’s unspoiled beaches.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel located in the center of Port Elizabeth
Guest Accommodations: 280 en-suite rooms, each including individual air conditioning, satellite TV and internet connectivity. Selected rooms offer spectacular sea views.
Activities: The hotel is located in the center of the city in close proximity to many different styles of restaurants, cafes, pubs, bistros and coffee shops. There are famous shopping plazas within a thirty minute drive by car from the hotel grounds. The beach is also a short drive away.

About Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth is South Africa’s second oldest city and also the commercial capital of the Eastern Cape. It is situated on the South Eastern Coast of South Africa (most southern country on the African continent). The area forms part of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro which also includes the towns of Uitenhage and Despatch.

Overnight: Garden City Kings Beach Hotel (B & D)


DAY 10 KNYSNA

Enjoy your morning at leisure. At time to be advised by your guide, you will transfer west towards Knysna, where you will enjoy your one night stay at Knysna River Club.
During your drive, you will drive westwards along the Garden Route, which follows the Indian Ocean coastline and is bordered inland by soaring mountain ranges and indigenous forests. You will have the opportunity for a refreshment stop at Storms River Bridge, with time to take in the view and peruse the curio shop. This afternoon, you will continue your drive through Tsitsikamma Forest, until you arrive at Blaauwkrans, where you can stop to watch fellow travellers bunji jumping. Make your way to Groot River Pass and onward to Knysna, arriving around 4:00pm.

About Knysna River Club: Surrounded by shady trees and well-tended gardens, the resort offers security, privacy and comfort for guests looking to unwind, and is the ideal venue from which to explore the quaint lagoon-side town of Knysna.
Camp Type & Location: Boutique Hotel situated on the water’s edge of the Knysna Lagoon, Knysna River Club is a private enclave of charming, luxury self-catering log chalets in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route coast.
Guest Accommodations: One and two bedroom wooden chalets on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon, each with an open living area with kitchen, dining counter and lounge. Kitchens are fully equipped and the lounge has a sleeper couch, two armchairs and a television. Private verandah and weber grill also provided for alfresco dining.
Optional Activities: Visits to Elephant Park, Monkeyland or other sanctuaries in the area, curio market shopping, and more extreme activites such as skydiving treetop tours and abseiling can be arranged (cost available on request).

About Knysna
Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland. Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good music. It’s a place where you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by.

Overnight: Knysna River Club (B)


DAY 11 KNYSNA

After breakfast, transfer to the ferry for your cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the western head in Knysna. This premier eco-experience takes you on a trailer ride up to the top of the Western head, stopping at spectacular viewpoints along the way. En-route, learn about the lands history, fauna and flora. This afternoon, you will return to Knysna for lunch. This afternoon is at your leisure to further explore this charming town set around a natural harbor lagoon.

About Knysna River Club: Surrounded by shady trees and well-tended gardens, the resort offers security, privacy and comfort for guests looking to unwind, and is the ideal venue from which to explore the quaint lagoon-side town of Knysna.
Accommodation Type & Location: Boutique Hotel situated on the water’s edge of the Knysna Lagoon, Knysna River Club is a private enclave of charming, luxury self-catering log chalets in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route coast.
Guest Accommodations: One and two bedroom wooden chalets on the edge of the Knysna Lagoon, each with an open living area with kitchen, dining counter and lounge. Kitchens are fully equipped and the lounge has a sleeper couch, two armchairs and a television. Private verandah and weber grill also provided for alfresco dining.
Optional Activities: Visits to Elephant Park, Monkeyland or other sanctuaries in the area, curior market shopping, and more extreme activites such as skydiving treetop tours and abseiling can be arranged (cost available on request).

About Knysna
Knysna nestles on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route of South Africa. It is surrounded by a natural paradise of lush indigenous forests, tranquil lakes and golden beaches, making it a real natural wonderland. Knysna is a vibrant town, buzzing with creativity and energy, and the pulse of good music. It’s a place where you can enjoy the mellow atmosphere of street cafes, watching the world go by.

Overnight: Knysna River Club (B & L)


DAY 12 OUDTSHOORN

Depart this morning for Oudtshoorn, via the Outeniqua Pass, with a photo opportunity along the way at Dolphin Point. Visit an ostrich farm en-route, before continuing on to the Cango Caves for a tour. Take time here to explore these vast limestone caverns. This afternoon you will arrive to the Queens Hotel for your one night stay.

About the Queens Hotel: The Queen’s Hotel is the third oldest hotel in South Africa, originally built in 1880. The atmosphere embodies colonial style accommodation and service.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel nestled in the heart of Oudtshoorn, South Africa and is situated in close proximity to a multitude of restaurants, curio and coffee shops.
Guest Accommodations: 40 stylishly decorated en-suite double bedrooms providing individually controlled air-conditioning, television, telephone and wireless internet.
Optional Activities: Wine tasting (cost available on request)

About Oudtshoorn
Oudtshoorn is the principal town of the Little Karoo, where you will be welcomed with hospitality. Situated on the edge of the Garden Route, between the Outeniqua and Swartberg Mountain Passes, Oudtshoorn is an exciting halfway stopover when traveling between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, with the coastal town of George about 56 km’s away. One of South Africa’s eight wine regions, the Klein Karoo is large in area but small in production and these wines are classed with the best in the South African Context. Visit numerous estates on the Klein Karoo Wine Route from Montagu in the West to Meiringspoort in the East.

Overnight: Queens Hotel (B & D)


DAY 13 STELLENBOSCH

Travel this morning to Stellenbosch and the d’Ouwe Werf Hotel Stellenbosch for the evening.

As you depart Oudtshoorn, you will pass through Little Karoo towards Cape Town via Ladismith and the Huisrivier Pass. Along the way, enjoy a community visit and farm school in the Barrydale area before continuing n to Montagu. Enjoy lunch in Montagu. This afternoon, you will depart to Stellenbosch via the Du Toits Kloof Pass. On arrival in Stellenbosch, you will have the rest of your day to explore the area.

About d’Ouwe Werf Hotel Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch is famous as the premier wine region of South Africa.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel situated in the historical core of the university town of Stellenbosch, only 45km from Cape Town, 20km from the sea and surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Guest Accommodations: 32 en-suite bedrooms and 6 Courtyard Apartments (self-catering, optional) which are individually styled with antiques collected over the years.
Activities: Golfing, optional guided historical village walks, optional Winelands tours and a variety of other activities that can be arranged from the hotel. A myriad shops, museums, art galleries and beautiful examples of Cape Dutch architecture are within easy walking distance of the hotel (cost available on request).

About Stellenbosch
The town of Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town) and developed from a colony of Dutch settlers to whom land had been granted on the banks of the Eerste River. In 1652, the Dutch East India Company developed an experimental vineyard below Table Mountain in the Company’s Gardens. The first wines produced in South Africa came from this vineyard. In 1685, Groot Constantia in the Constantia Valley was established and is recognized as the oldest wine estate in South Africa still in operation. Today, Stellenbosch, along with Constantia, Paarl, and Durbanville are world famous South African wine regions producing red, white, sweet and fortified wines.

Overnight: d’ouwe Werf Hotel Stellenbosch (B)


DAYS 14, 15, 16 CAPE TOWN

Enjoy the day wine tasting in one of Stellenbosch’s renowned wineries. After your Winelands tour, you will be transferred to Cape Town and the Southern Sun Cape Hotel for your final three nights in Africa!

About the Southern Sun Cape Sun: The hotel offers spectacular view over Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay. Amenities also include a gym, with splash pool.
Accommodation Type & Location: Hotel situated at the southern tip of Africa in the center of Cape Town, with spectacular views over Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay.
Guest Accommodations: 368 spacious rooms with private en-suite bathrooms, with spectacular sunsets over Table Bay.
Optional Activities: Cape peninsula tour, Table Mountain tour, Hermanus tour and Robben Island tour (cost available on request).

About Cape Town
Consistently named the most beautiful city in Africa, Cape Town combines a mild Mediterranean climate, gorgeous ocean front setting, spectacular mountain backdrop, dramatic white sand beaches, world class winning and dinning and outstanding shopping and nightlife to make it a must see attraction on any South Africa itinerary.

Overnight: Southern Sun Hotel (B)


DAY 17 YOUR JOURNEY ENDS

Enjoy some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you transfer to the airport for your international flight back to the USA.

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