Essence of South Africa (14-Day)

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $12,790
  • Length: 14 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Africa, South Africa
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Tour Description

Experience the contrasts of South Africa - from the lush green wine valleys of Franschhoek, to vibrant cities alive with history and the stunning barren landscapes of a private reserve in the Kalahari Desert hiding some of the most prized endangered species in the world. Spend three days at the fabled Londolozi Private Game Reserve with game drives at dawn and dusk. Visit the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and see a stunning variety of beautiful plants and flowers.

  • Ascend Table Mountain by aerial cableway for stunning views of the city bowl and Table Bay
  • Dine with a South African family in Cape Town
  • Taste the best wines of the Winelands region at a private tasting
  • Experience luxury rail travel onboard the legendary Blue Train
  • Be pampered at the luxurious and stylish Londolozi private safari camp

Itinerary

DAYS 1 - 3

Cape Town, South Africa

Upon arrival in Cape Town on Day 2, you will be met and transferred directly to your luxury hotel. Cape Town is steeped in rich history and is a cultural melting pot with a diverse and vibrant character. Explore modern Cape Town, with its extended seafront, underground malls and soaring skyscrapers. Its many fascinating museums and historical buildings reflect the cultures shaping the city and the province it serves. Drive to the lower cableway station on the slopes of Table Mountain where, weather permitting, you ascend the mountain by aerial cable car. From a height of 3,425 feet, view the city and Table Bay below, along with Robben Island, the Atlantic Seaboard and most of the spectacular Cape Peninsula. On the evening of Day 3 you will be invited to a private home for dinner, where you can meet and mingle with local South Africans.

Cape Grace Hotel, Cape Town

DAYS 4 & 5

The Cape Peninsula Franschhoek

Spend the day exploring the remarkable Cape Peninsula. In the Cape Point Nature Reserve, indigenous flora and fauna are conserved in a priceless wilderness area. At Cape Point, take the funicular to the top of the mountain for a panoramic view of the point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans “meet.” Proceed to the incredible Jackass Penguin Colony, home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African birds, where you may view the penguins in their natural habitat. Next, drive to the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanic Gardens, home to over 5,000 indigenous plants. Continue on to Franschhoek in the Winelands region. Relax and spend the next two nights in lovely country manor accommodations.

Guests on the February and March departures will enjoy an exploration of Franschhoek and wine tasting in Stellenbosch on Day 5. October and November departure guests will embark on a whale-watching expedition to see the southern right whales in Hermanus’ Walker Bay.

Franschhoek Country House Villas, Franschhoek

DAY 6

The Blue Train

Depart early this morning for a drive back towards Cape Town to board the world-renowned Blue Train, and an unforgettable journey to view spectacular scenery not visible by any other means of transportation. The Blue Train combines the luxury of the world’s leading hotels with the charm of train travel. Follow on the northbound tracks of Cecil John Rhodes, who dreamed of a railroad extending from the Cape to Cairo. Pass through the wine lands of the fertile Hex River Valley, in the shadow of imposing mountains, up and inland to the endless sweeping landscapes of the Karoo. In the twilight hours, the train approaches the mining centers on the Gold Reef, and comes to a stop in Pretoria.

The Blue Train

DAY 7

Pretoria Johannesburg

Disembark The Blue Train in Pretoria, one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa and its administrative capital. Drive to the De Wildt Cheetah Centre for a private tour. Learn how the center is breeding cheetahs, wild dogs and other endangered species, then releasing them into the wild. Continue to Johannesburg, where you will spend the night.

D’Oreale Hotel, Johannesburg

DAYS 8 - 10

Londolozi Private Game Reserve

The morning of Day 8 drive to Johannesburg airport where you will take a one-hour flight to Londolozi’s own private airstrip. Londolozi is one of the most sought-after ecotourism destinations in the world. A collection of wondrous excursions provide the means for exploring the endless horizons of the African bushveld. The range of activities includes discovery hikes, bush baths, leopard tracking and many more adventures. There are games drives each day at dawn and dusk - at the best times to view game on the move. The drives are conducted in open 4-wheel-drive vehicles, which allows for total freedom of movement and the ability to leave the road to track down Africa’s Big Five - the most sought-after and dangerous of the world’s big game.

In addition to the game viewing, just a short walk from your camp is the staff village and model Shangaan Cultural Village. The village is a thriving community with many families having lived here for over thirty years. Throughout your stay you can enjoy Londolozi’s excellent cuisine in your choice of the camp dining room, around the boma campfire or in the bushveld under a starlit sky. On your last evening in Londolozi, enjoy a farewell cocktail and dinner party.

Londolozi Varty Camp

DAYS 11 & 12

Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve

Tswalu Kalahari is South Africa’s largest private game reserve, covering an area of over 247,000 acres. When the Oppenheimer family became custodians of this extraordinary land, they helped implement change - during the last decade hunting stopped, hundreds of buildings and fences were removed, and new land was added to extend and protect habitats and territories. Gradually, indigenous game such as the critically endangered desert black rhino and huge, black-maned Kalahari lions were brought home. To secure the future of this land and its people, Tswalu created a sensitive and sustainable model of tourism, allowing only a maximum of 30 guests at a time to witness its beauty. As one of the privileged few, spend the next two days discovering the beauty of this landscape, its diverse wildlife, and the serenity of what may well be South Africa’s last great wilderness.

Tswalu offers sightings of some of South Africa’s rarest and most extraordinary wildlife, including desert black rhinos, black-maned Kalahari lions, meerkats, cheetahs, antelopes and more. There are more than 70 species of mammals and 230 species of birds, including endangered raptors. Watch for cheetahs as they roam on the open savannah, spot rare antelope such as roan, sable and tsessebe. You may also choose to take a walking safari led by an experienced field guide and tracker, or explore the region on horseback accompanied by an equestrian guide. In the evening, spoil yourself with a 5-course gourmet menu paired with South Africa’s finest wines.

Tswalu Kalahari: The Motse

DAYS 13 & 14

Johannesburg and Depart for Home

Enjoy your morning at leisure at Tswalu Kalahari. After lunch you will be taken to the local airstrip for your flight to Johannesburg on Day 13. From Johannesburg fly home (arriving the following day) or on to your next destination.

Departures

Pricing Information

February 9, 2012

From $12,790.00 per person double occupancy.

From $6,290.00 single room supplement.

March 15, 2012

From $12,790.00 per person double occupancy.

From $6,290.00 single room supplement.

September 27, 2012

From $13,290.00 per person double occupancy.

From $6,590.00 single room supplement.

October 25, 2012

From $13,290.00 per person double occupancy.

From $6,590.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Deluxe rooms in the best available hotels
  • Three meals per day, including our unique Dine-Around program that lets you enjoy any restaurant you choose with à la carte dining, or relax with room service when available*
  • A professional Travel Director as your personal concierge
  • Local sightseeing with professional English-speaking guides with unparalleled knowledge, including entrance fees for places visited
  • Active participation and up-close encounters to experience the cultures of your journey
  • Bottled water, soft drinks, coffee and tea included with meals; bottled water during sightseeing excursions
  • All gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff and local guides and drivers Group or individual airport transfers on arrival and departure flights
  • TheTravcoAssist Travel Protection Plan, including emergency medical evacuation insurance coverage for injury or illness, and 24-hour Worldwide Live Travel Assistance through Travel Guard Assistance

*Due to remote or undeveloped locations on some journeys, accommodations may not always meet Western standards. Dine-Around opportunities will be limited in remote or unsecured locations.

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes