- 2 Nights at Cape Town’s VINEYARD HOTEL & SPA – Rich in history, and situated along the Liesbeek River, it is minutes away from both City Centre and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
- 3 Night at OUDE WERF HOTEL - South Africa's oldest and most historic hotel and has defined hospitality and fine dining for centuries. Their guests enjoy the wonders of the Cape Winelands from the repose of their luxurious accommodation.
- 3 Nights at SABI BUSH LODGE – Hidden on the river banks, this 5-star lodge provides all of the comforts and some of the most exotic sights Africa has to offer. Each of the 25 spacious, air-conditioned thatched suites is beautifully appointed, featuring exquisite ethnic décor in keeping with the bushveld environment.
- 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners, including special boma feasts
- Airport transfers, including a ‘Meet and Greet’ service on arrival into South Africa.
- Welcome dinner with a six-course tasting menu and wine pairing.
- Private touring including Table Mountain, historic Robben Island, and a full-day excursion to Cape Point including a visit to the Boulders Beach penguins
- Private touring including olive and chocolate tastings in addition to an afternoon wine safari
- Thrilling morning and afternoon game drives at Sabi Game Reserve in specially designed open safari vehicles
Johannesburg, South Africa
Your exciting adventure begins today, as your board your international flight, bound for South Africa.
Johannesburg, Cape Town
Touchdown in Johannesburg this morning. Proceed through Customs and then board your connecting flight to Cape Town – the ‘Mother City’.
Upon arrival into Cape Town you will be met by our Great Safaris representative and transferred to your reserved hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure.
The Mother City has a peculiar habit - once a day, Capetonians check their watches. Now, this in itself is not very unusual. The strangeness comes into the fact that everyone looks at their watches at exactly the same time without consciously thinking about it. At exactly 12:00 pm every day, a loud bang fired from cannon on Signal Hill announces to the city that midday has arrived.
The Cape was established by the Dutch East India Company (VOC) as a halfway house along the trade route between the East and Europe. This became a place to mend ships, rest and heal weary visitors and most importantly to collect fresh produce grown by farmers in the area in order to feed famished sailors and soldiers before heading off again for the second leg of their arduous sea voyage.
Cape Town grew quickly and soon earned the reputation as the ‘Tavern of the Seas’. Today Cape Town is still a thriving port and never ceases to enthrall visitors with its unique beauty, ethnic diversity and energetic vibe.
With its iconic Table Mountain backdrop, Cape Town is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An eclectic mix of architectural styles reflects both the area’s history and the more pragmatic realities of the 21st century. The city’s Edwardian and Victorian buildings have been carefully preserved, and many excellent examples of Cape Dutch architecture are found in the city and its environs.
The ability to make something that is both functional and beautiful has long been a proud aspect of the African culture. Cape Town boasts some of the most original and creative handmade arts & crafts and can be found at markets and shops all over Cape Town. You'll find something that caters for any taste or style at the V&A Waterfront or at one of the many shops that open their doors in the surrounding Cape Town area.
Being a coastal town, the ocean plays an important part in everyday lives, beyond the calming effect for which it's famous. There is an incredible diversity of marine life to be discovered and many fun filled activities can be planned to make use of the bountiful Atlantic and Indian Oceans surrounding Cape Town.
Gather this evening for a welcome dinner at Myoga Restaurant consisting of a six-course tasting menu and wine pairing, carefully selected by the sommelier.
ACCOMMODATIONS: THE VINEYARD HOTEL AND SPA (Mountain Facing Deluxe Room)
With over 200 years of history within its walls, this deluxe 207 roomed hotel is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland on the banks of the Liesbeek River. Located in the lush leafy suburb of Newlands, the Vineyard Hotel & Spa is within easy walking distance of the up-market Cavendish Shopping Centre and is just 10 minutes away from the City Centre and the popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
This beautiful establishment comprises the original home of Lady Anne Barnard and new bedrooms designed by highly acclaimed architects Jack Barnett and Revel Fox. It is filled with works by leading South African artists and offers rooms ranging from single to family suites, both mountain and courtyard facing.
The Vineyard Hotel & Spa boasts two outstanding restaurants, 'the Square', a great favorite for breakfast and dinner, as well as a popular sushi bar and Myoga Restaurant run by well-known executive chef - Mike Bassett, renowned for his contemporary fusion style of cooking, and is open for lunch and dinner.
The hotel offers its guests two swimming pools - one outdoor, surrounded by loungers and one heated indoor pool. The addition of a Health & Fitness Centre and an international Angsana Spa operated by the world renowned Banyan Tree Group contributes to the Vineyard Hotel’s position as ‘The Perfect Setting'. (Dinner)
The owners of the Vineyard Hotel, the Petousis family, possess a special love of nature, and it is obvious to all who visit the hotel and see the glorious gardens they have established and the great effort they have taken to include the natural elements indoors. The tall gracious trees growing inside the Square Restaurant, the tinkling waterfalls plus the huge expanse of glass windows in the Square Restaurant, Garden Lounge and both conference and health centers all pay tribute to this. As children, the young Petousis’ often accompanied their father on his weekend hikes up Table Mountain and today they still spend as much time outdoors as they can. Once a month they form part of a Vineyard team who battle under the African sun, removing alien vegetation from an area the Vineyard Hotel have committed to looking after, just over 21 acres in Silvermine, part of the Table Mountain National Park.
The results of the hotel’s green initiatives speak for themselves: a new laundry system installed in 2012 has already achieved a 35% saving in consumption in comparable time periods – working out to a 5% saving on the total energy consumption for the hotel. “We are giving life to our brand by ‘Living Green’, which is a key objective for the hotel,” says the head of their green initiative.
As part of the broader Responsible Tourism banner under which the sustainability initiatives fall, a number of bespoke voluntourism packages have also been introduced to allow guests to get hands-on in making a difference to the lives of local communities by helping kids with homework, cooking food for the hungry or assisting with special care at a local clinic. The Vineyard continues to lead the charge as a pioneer in sustainable tourism with the recent installation of 80 new 250 watt solar panels on the hotel’s pool deck and fitness center roofs.
After breakfast, depart for Table Mountain. Since the first person laid eyes on Table Mountain, it has exerted its powerful and charismatic pull, enchanting and drawing any and all who fall under its spell. The best views of Cape Town are seen from the top of Table Mountain. The Cableway summit is under 10 minutes and the cable car’s rotating floor ensures that all passengers have an aerial view of the city. Table Mountain is a sandstone plateau rising up above the Cape Flats. The top is almost 2 miles wide, and at its highest point, Maclear’s Beacon, rises to 3600 feet. Over the centuries it has become one of South Africa's most famous landmarks. The steep cliffs and rocky outcrops of the mountain play home to a number of plants and animals. The mountain is home to approximately 1470 species of plants; more than the entire British Isles! Complimenting this vast array of flora is a stunning range of fauna, some, like the Table Mountain Ghost Frog, being found in no other place in the world.
It is wise to enjoy the mountain during the early morning hours, when the clouds have not yet gathered over the mountain top (or, as the locals say, before the “white tablecloth has been spread over Table Mountain”.)
Descend from the mountain and continue to the V&A waterfront, Cape Town’s tourist showpiece. There is a historic walking tour, time permitting or a variety of high quality arts and crafts.
Grab a bite of lunch at one of the numerous restaurants and food stalls – a favorite is Belthazar Restaurant - and make your way across the plaza to where the ferry departs for Robben Island.
On arrival guests will be met by their guide – an ex-political prisoner. You will be taken on a 45-minute bus ride with a guide providing commentary. Stop and visit the infamous Maximum Security Prison as well as the Murray's Bay Harbour precinct attractions, such as the Muslim shrine, or kramat, and the Museum Shop. For nearly 400 years, Robben Island, 7.5 miles from Cape Town, was a place of banishment, exile, isolation and imprisonment. It was here that rulers sent those they regarded as political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society. During the apartheid years Robben Island became internationally known for its institutional brutality. The duty of those who ran the Island and its prison was to isolate opponents of apartheid and to crush their morale. Some freedom fighters spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for their beliefs.
This famous island has captured hearts and minds around the globe. Situated just a few kilometers from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, it was “home” to Nelson Mandela for some 17 years. Today it has become a symbol of freedom, the transformative power of forgiveness and a place of political pilgrimage. The tour includes a 7-mile boat trip, which takes about half an hour each way and the tour lasts about three hours.
Afterwards, you are transferred back to your hotel.
ACCOMMODATIONS: THE VINEYARD HOTEL AND SPA (Breakfast, Lunch)
Cape Town - Cape Winelands
Depart the hotel this morning to commence your tour of the Cape Peninsula. First you will travel via the 12 Apostles and Hout Bay, to Chapman’s Peak. This is one of the region’s most dramatic mountain drives and offers amazing panoramic views over the city and environs. Descend the mountain pass and continue on to the coastline.
This strip of the peninsula’s shoreline, commonly known as the Atlantic Seaboard, stretches some 34 miles from the waters of Table Bay along the western coast to the nature reserve at Cape Point. The exceptional beaches and rugged mountains along this coastline not only make this a popular drive, but also provide outstanding views across the Atlantic Ocean, with some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.
The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve comes to an end at majestic Cape Point. Situated at the junction of two of earth’s most contrasting water masses – the cold Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast, the Cape of Good Hope is popularly perceived as the meeting point of the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. Guests will take the funicular to the vantage point from where they will be able to witness the “meeting of the two oceans”.
Today’s attractions include Boulders beach, which is home to a colony of endangered jackass penguins in Simonstown. Technically, these are African penguins…but early settlers thought that their braying sound was more like a four-footed pack animal than a two-footed bird!
You will also have the (optional – cost not included) opportunity to visit the colony of seals on the aptly named Seal Island, before continuing to your hotel in the winelands.
ACCOMMODATIONS: OUDE WERF HOTEL (Luxury Room)
Established in 1802, Oude Werf is South Africa's oldest and most historic hotel and has defined hospitality and fine dining for centuries. Their guests enjoy the wonders of the Cape Winelands from the repose of their luxurious accommodation, situated in the historical core of the university town of Stellenbosch, only 27 miles from Cape Town, 12 miles from the sea and surrounded by beautiful mountains. Stellenbosch is famous as the premier wine region of South Africa.
Located on vibrant Church Street, Oude Werf retains the graceful ambience of Georgian style throughout. Soft hues and antique furniture have been tastefully aligned with the comforts of modern living to create a calm haven from which to base your exploration of Stellenbosch.
The hotel consists of 58 rooms which are individually styled with antiques collected over the years. Modern facilities, and staff who pride themselves on their friendly, personal and professional service, make each visit an enjoyable and memorable one.
Oude Werf’s dining history began with the hearty 19th Century country dishes of legendary Hotel owner, Tant Betje Wium. Today, our Chef explores the region’s many flavors and vintages at a splendid new restaurant with in-situ kitchen, fireside interior and vine-covered courtyard – just off our poolside bar/coffee lounge and our famous ‘voorstoep’ on Church Street. Breakfast, dinner, lunch and high tea is offered daily.
Sit back and sip sundowners in the tranquility of a lovely verdant garden, or bask in the sun on the wooden deck. For those who feel a bit more energetic, there are signature golf courses in close proximity to the town, guided historical village walks, wine 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. (Breakfast, Lunch)
This morning, guests will enjoy a delicious breakfast before beginning our exploration on the winelands. It’s a superb wine-producing area, and indeed the best known in South Africa. The magnificent mountain ranges around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek provide ideal microclimates for the vines.
There’s been colonial settlement here since the latter half of the 17th century, when the Dutch first founded Stellenbosch and the French Huguenots settled in Franschhoek. Both towns pride themselves on their innovative young chefs, many based at wine estates, and the region has become the mainspring of South African cuisine.
Along with Paarl, these towns make up the core of the Winelands, but there are many more wine-producing places to explore. Pretty Tulbagh, with its many historical buildings, is known for MCC (Méthode Cap Classique – the local version of Champagne), and Robertson's scattered wineries offer unpretentious, family friendly places to taste.
Enjoy a tasting of five olive oils, balsamic vinegar, olive pastes and olives paired with wine at Tokara Wine Estate
Tokara’s Olive Shed upholds the traditional union that is a vineyard and olive grove, and, every year, produces tens of thousands of litres of premium extra virgin olive oil. The fertile soils here support three different olive varieties – mission, leccino, and fantoio – and it’s from the fruits of these groves that Tokara produces five lusciously creamy and zesty olive oils. These are available for tasting (complimentary) at Tokara’s Delicatessen, which affords visitors absolutely beautiful views of the vineyards, olive groves, and Simonsberg Mountain.
Afterwards, the guests will enjoy lunch at the Hussar Grill Restaurant. Hussar Grill is situated in one of South Africa's oldest wine regions, Stellenbosch. The front entrance boasts a beautiful façade complete with brass lettering and leaded windows, leading onto the traditional-style grill room. The restaurant also offers sheltered tables outdoors on the piazza for al fresco dining in the warmer weather.
After lunch, the guests will continue to Stellenbosch to the Waterford Estate Wine Drive Safari.
The Wine Drive Safari is a unique three hour trip on our safari-type vehicle, through the 120-hectare Estate on the beautiful slopes of the Helderberg Mountain. This experience allows the chance to taste our award-winning Estate wines amongst the vineyards of their origin, and you will be expertly guided through all the aspects of what makes this area so biologically diverse and viticulturally unique. The wine tasting will be accompanied by various light snacks, which are well suited to pair with the individual wines. The experience will culminate with the Wine and Chocolate Tasting, back at the winery.
Tonight, guests will enjoy in Stellenbosch for their own account.
ACCOMMODATIONS: OUDE WERF HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Ease into the day with the delicious breakfast buffet. Afterward breakfast, the guests will transfer for a Bread Making Course followed by a light lunch.
Learn how to fill your own kitchen with that famous freshly baked bread smell and become the baker you always knew you could be.
The course kicks off at 09h30 sharp
Upon arrival each participant will receive their very own apron, recipe book and ingredients
Hands-on, with a bit of guidance you will make 4 different types of dough- focaccia, soda bread, sour dough and olive oil brown
We will quench your thirst with water
While your breads are baking we send you off to taste the wines
By now you have worked up an appetite
Light Lunch will be served with some of your very own baked breads
More wine to be had
Take-homes include: recipes and an apron.
Return to hotel to spend the rest of the day at leisure.
ACCOMMODATIONS: OUDE WERF HOTEL (Breakfast, Lunch)
Cape Winelands - Kruger Park
After breakfast, check out of your hotel. You are transferred to the Cape Town Airport in time for your flight from Johannesburg to Kruger Park. A short overland transfer delivers you to your private game lodge.
As you exit from your vehicle at the lodge entrance, you will be warmly greeted by the camp staff and escorted to your luxurious accommodation, in the heart of South Africa’s most famed wildlife area.
The Sabi Sands Reserve was formed in 1950 and comprises many private game farms covering an area of 215 square miles. Sabi Sands offers a spectacular African safari experience with superb volume of game and quality of sightings. The Sand and the Sabi Rivers’ supply much needed water to the region, creating an incredibly high and biodiverse wildlife population. The reserve is also situated on a doleritic dyke, which ensures that the resulting soils are high in nutrition, producing one of the best grazing and browsing Habitats in southern Africa. Sabi Sands was at the forefront of the development of the open vehicle Safari where qualified guides provide a safari experience that is both personal and highly informative, affording close contact with the fauna and flora of the region.
Return from your afternoon activity with some time to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner cocktails. Then, join your fellow safari-goers at the dining table and share stories on your wildlife adventures while enjoying the lodges’ superb cuisine.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SABI SABI BUSH LODGE
For decades Bush Lodge has been Sabi Sabi's flagship lodge, famed for its warmth, vibrancy and legendary hospitality. A favorite amongst travelers in search of luxury accommodation, Bush Lodge is a luxurious safari escape set in the heart of the Sabi Sabi bushveld overlooking a waterhole and an African plain.
Each of the 25 spacious, air-conditioned thatched suites is beautifully appointed, featuring exquisite ethnic décor in keeping with the bushveld environment. The en-suite bathrooms feature al-fresco as well as glass-fronted indoor showers, affording wonderful views of the bushveld.
Huge viewing decks are the ideal setting to relax while spotting game, bird watching, or cooling off in the filtered pools. Meals, including the wonderful dinners in the open air boma, are heralded by blasts on a kudu horn, a summoning to delicious food. This luxury safari lodge also features artistically designed open courtyards with spectacular wooden carvings by renowned South African sculptors, created from uprooted trees and wood salvaged from the surrounding bushveld. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Sabi Sands Reserve (Greater Kruger Park)
You rise early to greet the dawn and ride out into the bush just as the animals are stirring and beginning to forage and hunt in earnest. This is Big 5 country (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) all of which are possible to see over the next two days at Sabi Sabi Game Reserve.
There are also many other species to be seen, large and small, as well as fascinating plants and colorful birds. Stop halfway through the morning game drive for hot drinks and rusks from the Land Rover snack box and return at around 9am for breakfast. During the rest of the day, you are likely to see wildlife like nyala antelope and vervet monkeys around the lodge.
In the late afternoon safari-goers convene for high tea, before departing with the same ranger/tracker team for the days second African bush safari.
Enjoy a sundowner drink along the way and get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs and watch the sun go down over the distant mountains. As darkness descends it's time to return to the safety of the Land Rover and let the tracker scan the landscape with a spotlight picking out the glinting eyes of nocturnal animals.
Return to the lodge after nightfall, where there is time to freshen up before dinner. Safari game drives have the habit of giving you a raging appetite so forget the diet and dig into specialist dishes like warthog stew and kudu casserole, impala sausages and mild oxtail curries. Fish eaters have options on the menu and vegetarians are well catered for with fresh African vegetables and fruits.
ACCOMMODATIONS: SABI SABI BUSH LODGE (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Greater Kruger | Johannesburg | Departure
Enjoy a final game drive this morning, then bid ‘farewell’ to the African bush as you transfer to the airport and fly to Johannesburg for your onward departing flight. (Breakfast)
Arrive home today – with memories and photos to last a lifetime!
Important Notes: South Africa: An entry permit will be issued to you upon arrival into South Africa. South Africa requires two blank visas pages in your passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay. There are no required inoculations for entry to South Africa on this itinerary. However, malaria tablets are highly recommended. You may obtain these pills by prescription, from your regular physician.