South African Essentials 16 Days Southbound (TIRB-S)
Travel down South Africa’s coastline. Enjoy the Panorama Route sights and encounter the “Big 5” at the Kruger National Park. Revel in the rugged Wild Coast, visit significant Mandela sites, experience a rare interaction with ostriches and visit two World Heritage Sites.
Day 1 | Monday
DAY OF ARRIVAL (±30km)
Once you arrive at the hotel (transfer own account), enjoy the day at leisure or alternatively take an optional guided afternoon city tour of Johannesburg (own account and excluding lunch). Share highlights of our City of Gold and its great historic and modern significance bridged by Nelson Mandela, joining two cultures and erecting the pillars of our Constitution. Return to your hotel late afternoon, where you will be met by your tourist guide for a tour briefing at 18h30. Tonight enjoy dinner (own account) at your hotel.
Crowne Plaza – The Rosebank Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast
NOTE: The transfer from OR Tambo International Airport to the hotel is not included in the package price and must be booked separately.
Day 2 | Tuesday
JOHANNESBURG to HAZYVIEW via PANORAMA ROUTE (±500km)
After breakfast, you will travel through the Panorama Route to Hazyview. The awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon and Three Rondawels, which may be the world’s largest green canyons, is the first stop along the beautiful Panorama Route. You will also visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes and Wonder View. These are some of the country’s most beautiful views and cherished natural marvels. Stop for lunch (own account) in Graskop. Arrive in the late afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the fringe of Hazyview. Relax prior to a leisurely dinner at the hotel. Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast
Day 3 | Wednesday
FULL DAY IN KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (±250km)
Leaving the hotel after an early breakfast, we travel to the iconic Kruger National Park.
Enjoy a guided closed vehicle game drive, searching for the “Big 5”, inside the legendary Kruger National Park. The Park covers 19,485km² and runs 360km from North to south. It supports a variety of fauna and flora including 147 mammals and 507 birds species. Staying inside the park, enjoy lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps, before continuing on your bush adventure. Exit the Kruger National Park and head back to your hotel to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) before dinner. Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast
Day 4 | Thursday
HAZYVIEW to MALELANE via KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (±200km)
Enjoy an early breakfast before spending a second day on a guided closed vehicle game drive in the Kruger National Park. Lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps, before continuing your journey to the Malelane Gate. Arrive in the late afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the fringes of the famous park. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) on the deck overlooking the Crocodile River and Southern Kruger National Park before dinner at the hotel.
Pestana Kruger Lodge or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast
NOTE: Optional full day safari in an open safari vehicle available (own account and excluding lunch)
Day 5 | Friday
MALELANE to HLUHLUWE via SWAZILAND (±420km)
Depart your hotel after an early breakfast and travel to Hluhluwe via the Kingdom of Swaziland. Swaziland is a beautiful and culturally rich country. Ezulwini Valley is commonly known as the ‘Valley of Heaven’. The Valley contains a number of notable wildlife sanctuaries and crafts markets. Enjoy lunch (own account) en route. Exiting Swaziland, we enter the sub-tropical Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu- Natal, in South Africa and make our way to Hluhluwe. Arrive early evening at the lodge in time for dinner (own account). DumaZulu Lodge & Cultural Village or similar – bed and breakfast.
NOTE: When entering the Kingdom of Swaziland, please ensure that you are in possession of a valid passport, and for nationals of certain countries, multi-entry visa entry and conditions will apply.
Day 6 | Saturday
HLUHLUWE to SAN LAMEER via ST LUCIA (±465km)
Leaving the lodge after an early morning breakfast, you will travel to the South Coast via Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park and St Lucia. Enjoy a game drive in an open safari vehicle in the nearby Hluhluwe- Umfolozi Park. Once you have arrived at St Lucia, enjoy some time at leisure or take an optional boat cruise (own account) around the estuary. See rare wildlife and birdlife, mangrove swamps and vegetated sand dunes that make for an interesting and educational cruise. St Lucia is the only town in South Africa that lies inside a World Heritage Site, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. Savour the sensational views of the lake while you enjoy lunch (own account). A few hours’ drive down the South Coast, arrive in the town of San Lameer, on the warm Indian Ocean. This evening enjoy dinner out (own account) at one of the many local restaurants. Peermont Mondazur Resort or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 7 | Sunday
SAN LAMEER to COFFEE BAY via MTHATHA (±370km)
Sit down to an early breakfast at the resort, before departing San Lameer for Coffee Bay via Mthatha. Pass through the many beachside hamlets and take in the magnificent views towards Coffee Bay. Enjoy lunch (own account) en route. This drive will present you with incredible untamed views of green rolling hills, rugged cliff faces, dotted with colourful traditional rondawels and free roaming cows and goats. Our final port of call for the day is your hotel, situated in Coffee Bay. The village derives its name from a ship that ran aground here in 1893 with a cargo of coffee beans. Admire the lovely views before dinner in this friendly setting. Ocean View Hotel or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast
Day 8 | Monday
FULL DAY AT LEISURE
Awaken to the calming and refreshing sounds of the ocean and enjoy breakfast along with the views. Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure. Spend the day taking part in the many optional activities offered in the area (own account). Choose from hikes, snorkelling or fishing to the more adrenalin filled activities like abseiling, quad biking and rock climbing.
Alternatively, enjoy a more relaxed approach and spend the day on the beach, discover the legendary Hole-in-the-Wall with its mythology or just shop around for local crafts, while meeting the friendly amaPondo people. Enjoy lunch (own account) at your own pace or at a venue in the area. Round off the day with pre-dinner drinks (own account) before savouring dinner at your hotel. Ocean View Hotel or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast
Day 9 | Tuesday
COFFEE BAY to PORT ALFRED via SUNSHINE COAST (±460km)
An early breakfast and departure will see you travelling from the mystical beauty of Coffee Bay to the marina town of Port Alfred via Qunu, where Nelson Mandela was laid to rest. Qunu, which is part of the former Transkei, consists of a number of little villages. These are the green hills and pastures where Madiba herded sheep and cattle and which today is still recognised as his family home. An area steeped in ancient Xhosa traditions and culture, taking you back to a simpler and humbler time. Venture further South along the coastal road to East London. Lunch en route (own account). The coastal road brings you to Port Alfred at the heart of the Sunshine Coast, on the banks of the Kowie River. We arrive late afternoon at your riverfront hotel. Enjoy refreshing drinks (own account) before savouring the delightful local cuisine (own account). Halyards Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 10 | Wednesday
PORT ALFRED to PLETTENBERG BAY via EastERN GARDEN ROUTE (±380km)
After an early breakfast we take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the scenic Kowie River before leaving the Sunshine Coast and travelling inland along the Garden Route. Tsitsikamma is the ancient San name meaning place of abundant water, an enchanting and fabled part of the country. Enjoy lunch in Tsitsikamma (own account) before taking a short walk to experience the wonderful views on the suspension bridge of the Storms River Mouth. Here you will observe the Storms River meeting the Indian Ocean in grand splendour. Arrive at your hotel in Keurboomstrand. Enjoy time at leisure or take
advantage of the resort’s private access to an 8km stretch of pristine beachfront. This evening take pleasure in the oceanic ambience while you dine at the resort’s elegant restaurant (own account).The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 11 | Thursday
FULL DAY AT LEISURE
Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure or venture on an optional excursion to a South African Heritage Site, Featherbed Nature Reserve and the Elephant Park in Knysna (own account, including lunch). On arrival at the Knysna Waterfront, board the ferry that will take you to Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Knysna Head. Our specialist guide will share fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while you enjoy the panoramic views. An optional 2.2 km guided nature walk takes you through the forest onto the cliffs into the caves and along the scenic coast. This is followed by a buffet lunch at the Forest Restaurant. After lunch we depart for an educational elephant interaction experience where you have the opportunity to feed and touch these gentle giants. Enjoy time at leisure before dinner (own account). The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 12 | Friday
PLETTENBERG BAY to OUDTSHOORN via CANGO CAVES (±160km)
After a hearty breakfast depart Keurboomstrand for Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo via the scenic Knysna and surrounds. This morning’s excursion presents you with photographic opportunities at the lookout points at the Knysna Lagoon and the Knysna Heads. Travel inland to the ostrich capital of the world, Oudtshoorn, driving over the Outeniqua Pass. Enjoy lunch (own account) at an ostrich farm on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn. A tour of the farm will introduce you to these strange and exotic birds and the ostrich industry. In the Cango Valley we discover the spectacular subterranean world of the Cango Caves. This 20 million year old world wonder features an impressive display of gold and vermillion dripstone stalagmites and stalactites. Arrive at your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure. Delight in the charming country setting as you enjoy dinner (own account) and hospitality.
Protea Hotel Riempie Estate or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 13 | Saturday
OUDTSHOORN to STELLENBOSCH via ROUTE 62 (±410km)
After breakfast, our journey takes us West, via Route 62 to Stellenbosch in the heart of the Cape Winelands. Route 62 is an iconic route running along orchard lined valleys, towering mountain ranges, rivers and indigenous fynbos. Lunch en route (own account). Next up is a visit to an award winning Brandy distillery in Robertson, where you’ll have a fun and educational experience in brandy tasting. We journey further into the heart of the Winelands and arrive, late afternoon, in the beautiful and heritage proud town of Stellenbosch. Leisure time to enjoy the comfortable and luxurious settings and views before drinks and dinner (own account) at one the hotel’s restaurants. Protea Hotel Stellenbosch or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 14 | Sunday
STELLENBOSCH to CAPE TOWN via CAPE WINELANDS (±100km)
After a walking town tour, venture further into the Winelands via Paarl and onto the city of Cape Town. Embark on this morning’s walking tour of Stellenbosch. Explore the town’s historic sites and colonial Cape Dutch architecture and some of the country’s oldest buildings, along its leafy streets and mountainous backdrop. Visit the house that Nelson Mandela lived in for the last 3 years of his 27 years that he spent in prison at the Drakenstein Correctional Centre. Stop for lunch and a wine tasting (both own account) at one of the many stellar wine farms in Paarl. A huge granite pluton makes up Paarl Mountain and is the second largest granite projection on the planet. We stop off at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument), which is located on Paarl Rock, where we learn more about this structure and museum. Arrive at your hotel. This evening’s dinner can be enjoyed at the hotel (own account). Inn on the Square or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 15 | Monday
FULL DAY AT LEISURE in CAPE TOWN
After breakfast, spend the morning at leisure discovering your Mother City or join an optional guided, full day Cape Point tour (own account), which incorporates Cape Point, Boulder’s beach (entrance fee for own account) and Kirstenbosch Gardens. This evening, enjoy more of the Cape’s cuisine and wines, when you dine out or alternatively at your hotel (own account). Inn on the Square or similar – bed and breakfast
Day 16 | Tuesday
DAY OF DEPARTURE
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before spending the last day of the tour at leisure. Alternatively select an optional Table Mountain and city tour (own account). Table Mountain is a unique conservation area which presents its visitors the best views of Cape Town. Enjoy the revolving cable car ride up the mountain (own account and weather permitting) to marvel at its panoramic views. Travel through the Malay Quarter, city centre and Company Gardens and if time permits, the Castle of Good Hope. NOTE: The transfer to Cape Town International Airport is not included in the package price and must be booked separately.
Validity: 1 November 2014 – 31 October 2015
Single Supplement R6085.00
Departure Times Selected Monday
Johannesburg - Rosebank Hotel ± 07h30
Collection times vary subject to hotel collection route
Languages Bilingual – English & German
Other language guides available on request if booked on a private basis
Participants 2-26 per vehicle
Accommodation 3*-4* Hotels
Vehicle Luxury Sedan, Minibus or Coach
15 Breakfasts; 5 Dinners
Blyde River Canyon; Bourkes Luck Potholes; Wonder View; Kruger National Park conservation fee; Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park conservation fee; Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park open safari vehicle morning game drive; River Cruise; Garden Route National Park conservation fee (Storms River Bridge); Ostrich Farm; Cango Caves; Brandy Tasting; Stellenbosch Walking Tour; Taal Monument and the Drakenstein Centre
Optional Tours En Route Afternoon tour of Johannesburg City; Game drives in an open safari vehicle in Kruger National Park; 2hr Boat Cruise and game viewing on the St Lucia Estuary; Full day tour to Featherbed Nature Reserve and Elephant Park in Knysna; Full day tour of Cape Point; Morning tour of Cape Town City and a visit up Table Mountain