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Duration: 9 days Visiting: South Africa
A showcase of beautiful wildernesses, eclectic cultures, warm hospitality and rich heritage, this life-changing journey will take you from cosmopolitan Cape Town into the heart of Big Five territory. Uncover the complex history of South Africa, while luxuriously travelling like the intrepid explorers of yesteryear. Along the way you’ll stay at the most sought-after addresses in the country, meet extraordinary local characters, and taste the Cape’s finest wines and culinary delights. Your journey concludes with a luxurious three-day safari in the Sabi Sands, known for having one of the planet’s highest concentrations of animal species.
Welcome to the Mother City.
Your Escorted Journey begins on Day1. Please make sure your flights arrive on or before this day. (Ask about our great deals). Welcome to Cape Town, the crown jewel of the African continent, with its spectacular scenery, exotic cultures and delicious flavours. On arrival at Cape Town International, you are transferred to the Table Bay Hotel, one of the most sought-after addresses in the city. This evening join your Travelling Concierge and travel companions for a dazzling Welcome Dinner, hosted at the hotel's Camissa Brasserie. Boasting unrivalled views of the harbour and Table Mountain, Cammisa Brasserie offers traditional fine dining inspired by the diverse cuisine brought to South Africa by its early settlers. West Coast mussels, wild rosemary lamb shank and parma-ham-wrapped springbok loin are some of the dishes to look forward to. Taste some of the Cape's top wines, as you drink a toast to your journey ahead
Cape Peninsula and Picnic in Cape Point.
Embark on one of the world’s most legendary drives, journeying from the city centre along the Cape Peninsula towards Cape Point. Look up at soaring mountain ranges covered in indigenous fynbos and marvel at cliff faces meeting the pounding Atlantic Ocean, which is home to Cape fur seals, great white sharks and southern-right whales. See the cosmopolitan suburbs of Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, continuing on to the fishing village of Hout Bay where you may have the chance to see a colony of Cape Fur Seals on Duiker island. Winding along Chapman’s Peak, the road takes you past colourful Kalk Bay with its bohemian cafes and on to the majestic Cape Point Nature Reserve, one of the world’s most pristine wildernesses. Stroll along the trails and keep an eye out for Reebok, Cape Mountain zebra, bontebok and the elusive eland. You’re invited to an exquisite picnic lunch served with Cape classic, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and presented with umbrellas, blankets and baskets. Should the weather turn, look forward to a three-course lunch at the elegant Harbour House in Kalk Bay, bringing you as close as possible to the water. Appreciate vistas of sea and mountain on your way back to the city and enjoy the evening at your leisure. You Travel Concierge is a treasure-trove of local knowledge and will happily make dinner reservations on your behalf at recommended restaurants.
Majestic Table Mountain.
Known for being one of Africa's most desirable and vibrant cities, Cape Town is yours to explore at leisure. Perhaps shop for trendy crafts at the award-winning Watershed, listen to indigenous music at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront or stroll along the popular Sea Point promenade? In the afternoon, meet you Travelling Concierge and travel to the base of Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders. Enjoy VIP private access to the famous cable car with 360-degree views of the city, before stepping off onto the summit just in time for drinks and a spectacular African sunset. This evening, dinner is served at the beautiful Greenhouse Restaurant, situated in the heart of the Constantia wine valley and surrounded by a canopy of treetops. Savour South African cooking at its best, as you taste local wines and feast on dishes inspired by the surrounding vineyards, seas and farmlands.
Historic Cape Winelands.
World famous for crisp white and French-style red wines, the fertile wine valleys of the Cape are also a treasury of rustic beauty and sprawling estates shaded by giant oak trees. Travel into the heart of the wine-lands, starting in historic Paarl and Stellenbosch and on to the beautiful town of Franschhoek, founded in 1688 by French immigrants fleeing the Huguenot religious persecution in Europe. These very settlers produced the fine wines once sought after by Napoleon, Bismarck and royalty such as Edward VII, the Prince of Wales. Wander through the lovely gardens of the Vergelegen Estate, appreciate the Cape Dutch architecture of the manor house and enjoy a private wine tasting hosted by the estate’s winemaker in a private cellar. Continue on to the Boschendal Wine Estate, one of the oldest farms in the country, for a delicious seasonal Farm-to-Table lunch served at The Werf Restaurant. Using only the finest local and ethically-sourced ingredients, the in-house chef will delight you with a menu that includes fermented breads, slow-roasted ribs sourced from the herd of local Angus cattle and house-smoked trout. In the afternoon, explore the sensibilities of Cape Dutch style at Grande Provence and enjoy a tasting of the estate’s award-winning wines. Travel back to your hotel and enjoy an evening at your leisure. Your Travelling Concierge is on hand to assist you with restaurant recommendations and reservations.
Amy Biehl Foundation and Robben Island.
South Africa has for centuries been a land of dreams and complexities, diversity and ideas, and intoxicating landscapes drawing travellers from afar. After breakfast, visit the Amy Biehl Foundation, a non-profit organisation, and witness how the lives of vulnerable young people are being transformed through a variety of empowering programmes. Visit a township and school where you’ll meet some of the inspiring beneficiaries. In the afternoon, join Manfred Jacobs, a former warden at the Victor Verster prison where Nelson Mandela spent the last 14 months of his 27-year-long imprisonment, for lunch at the V&A Waterfront and hear fascinating stories about one of history’s most heroic figures. Step aboard a ferry after lunch and journey to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Robben Island, best known for its prison where Nelson Mandela and many other famous anti-apartheid activists were imprisoned. Join a local guide for an insightful tour of the maximum security prison, meet an ex-political prisoner who will share personal anecdotes and explore the island on a guided coach tour. Return to the mainland and enjoy the evening at your leisure, perhaps dining on trendy Bree Street?
Luxury Safari Experience.
Fly from Cape Town into the heart of the African bushveld, as you touch down at Skukuza Airport. At more than 2 million hectares, the Kruger National Park is the same size as Belgium and one of the world’s largest game reserves. Enjoy a short drive through Big Five territory to the luxurious Lion Sands Lodge, located on the banks of the Sabie River, where lunch will be served with wine. Settle into your chic suite and enjoy time at your leisure. Meet for High Tea, followed by your first evening game drive, hosted by a FGASA-qualified ranger & tracker. Enjoy the drive on your private open-air safari vehicle, as you venture through the Lion Sands Game Reserve, which forms part of an ecosystem boasting the largest concentration of wild animal species in the Southern Hemisphere. Learn about the complexities of a termite colony or perhaps see a pride of lions roaming through the savanna, as your ranger shares fascinating insights into the lives of small and large creatures. Stop en route for a gin-and-tonic and snacks, served in the heart of the African bushveld. In the evening, gather round for a spectacular feast of slow-cooked meats, seasonal vegetables and sweet treats, before falling asleep to the distant calls of hyenas.
Looking for the Big Five.
Arise with sunrise to a cup of freshly-brewed coffee and depart on your morning game drive. Marvel at your tracker's skills, as he analyses animal spoor and reads the bush, like a book, in search of the Big Five. Keep your eyes peeled for leopard, as you pass rocky outcrops, and listen for the sounds of elephants munching on mopani leaves. See crocodiles and hippopotamus at watering holes and look out for the many exotic bird species found in the area. Return to your lodge just in time for a spectacular breakfast spread overlooking the river. Enjoy time at your leisure this afternoon, perhaps opting for a rejuvenating massage at the Africology Spa or embarking on a guided bush walk. Savour lunch and afternoon tea, before your second game drive for the day. Early evening is the ideal time to spot members of the Big Five, including rhinoceros, buffalo and lion. Sit tight, as your ranger leads the way to unforgettable game sightings. Drink a toast to nature’s bounties, as the sun dips beyond the savanna, returning to your lodge in time for yet another magnificent dinner. The in-house chefs specialise in a variety of cuisines and are able to offer you everything from vegetarian to traditional fare.
We're going on a Safari.
Awake with sunrise, the best time to spot predators, for your morning game drive. Huddle under blankets, as you’re driven through fresh morning mist in search of wildlife. Perhaps stop along the Sabie River to enjoy a cup of coffee, while keeping an eye out for buck and giraffes. On return to your lodge, savour breakfast, served on the deck, and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. Perhaps shop at the curio shop, go on a birding walk or enjoy a siesta, before lunch and afternoon tea are served. Join your ranger and tracker for your final evening game drive and soak up the magic of the African bushveld illuminated by the sinking sun. Raise a glass in the evening to an outstanding vacation, as you savour your Celebration Dinner beneath a blanket of stars.
Farewell South Africa.
Appreciate the skill and in-depth knowledge of your ranger and tracker on your final morning game-drive. As no day in the bushveld is the same, appreciate the site of a unique bird or perhaps a warthog running across the road with its tail upright. After breakfast, transfer to the Skukuza Airport for your flight back to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg where your Luxury Gold journey comes to an end. Please do not schedule onward flights before 18:00.
Cape Town (Traditional) - South Africa
Considered the best address in Cape Town, the Table Bay Hotel was opened in 1997 by former South African president, Nelson Mandela. Since then it’s set the standard for luxury hospitality, offering everything from chic accommodation and fine dining to luxurious spa treatments. Situated in the Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront, the Table Bay Hotel is metres away from the Atlantic Ocean, trendy shops and some of the best restaurants in the country.
Skukuza (Resort) - South Africa
Situated in the Sabi Sands, which boasts one of the planet’s highest concentrations of animal species, the Lion Sands Lodges offer exquisite treehouse-style rooms, luxury suites with private decks and plunge pools, and an open-air lounge and dining area overlooking the Sabie River.
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