Enjoy the cosmopolitan Cape Town, with rugged beaches, Table Mountain, African penguins, Cape of Good Hope, and wine touring. Then spend time at a luxury private game reserve in the Sabi Sand area of the Kruger National Park on a world-class safari and track the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, rhino). This tour is guaranteed to become a highlight of your life.
No other South African city combines the heart stopping beauty with the historical importance as Cape Town. This chic waterfront city with Table Mountain towering above it, is known for its Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, and is defined by elegant Cape Dutch buildings, big whitewashed gables, often a thatch roof, and shuttered windows and imposing monuments to Britain's imperial legacy. In the Bo-Kaap neighborhood the call to prayer echoes from minarets while the sweet tang of Malay curry wafts through the cobbled streets.
The Table Mountain
The Table Mountain which towers above the city of Cape Town is a natural phenomenon. Quite often, its completely flat top, stretching 2 for two miles and bordered by impressive cliffs, is covered in clouds which seem to rest on the mountain, spilling down at several places. This enigmatic cloud cover is referred to as the "tablecloth", and legend attributes this visual spectacle to a smoking between the devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks. When the table cloth is seen, it symbolizes the contest. Table Mountain is at the northern end of a sandstone mountain range that forms the spine of the Cape Peninsula.
Cape of Good Hope
The rocky headland that for centuries was considered the southern tip of Africa and the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans is the Cape of Good Hope. Even though Cape Agulhas is further south, the first rounding of the cape in 1488 by Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias was a milestone in the attempts to establish direct trading route with the Far East in the Era of Discoveries and Spices (although Herodotus proves that some Phoenicians had done so much earlier).
Wine in South Africa
In 1659, the Dutch settlers produced the first wine in South Africa. To say that it was bad, would be an understatement. But soon, they were joined by the French Huguenots, and by 1685, Simon van der Stel's Constantia winegrowing estate was producing reputable whites and reds. Constantia became a favorite of European kings and emperors, from Frederick the Great to Napoleon. Today, the worldwide appreciation for South African wines continues, and the region is recognized for its crisp Sauvignon Blancs, and the signature smoky red Pinotage, a blend of Pinot noir and Cinsaut.
Blyde River Canyon
The Blyde River's spectacular canyon is one of South Africa's most impressive natural formations. It is located within the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve which follows the escarpment above the Blyde River as it carves its way down to the lowveld. Along the river, there are many wonderful viewpoints and endless hiking possibilities. Some of the most impressive sights are: the Pinnacle rock formation, the Wonder View and God's Window with amazing vistas of the canyon, the strange cylindrical holes carved in the rock by whirlpools and called the Bourke's Luck Potholes...
One of the pleasures of the African safari is staying in the jungle. The safari lodges are synonymous with gracious style, exotic "African chic" decor and fine dining. They combine the warmth and the wild African beauty with the comfort expected from fine hotels. Surrounded by the jungle, they are the ultimate escape from the stressful world. After the safaris tracking the wildlife in their natural habitat, you'll enjoy the champagne sun-downers in the cooling dusk of the African bush. In the afternoon, there is the formal afternoon tea, and dinner with excellent South African wines is served around a roaring boma fire, under the millions of stars. The Djuma Bush Lodge in the Sabi Sand part of the Kruger National Park, is unlike any place in the world. Made of wood and thatch, it offers magnificent views of the surrounding African veld. The pool is in a small grove of Tamboti trees and is always delightfully cool. Two viewing decks over the waterhole afford the view of the animals as they come to drink. The luxury chalets are artistically elegant, filled with unique African crafts, teak decks and private plunge pools to create a memorable ambience, which along with the exceptional service and hospitality assure that its magic will stay with you forever.
The roar of lions and the sound of crickets traveling across the endless space under a star-studded sky, the smell of wild elephants, the sharp outlines of exotic trees against the setting sun... This is the savannah, a park-like vista of grassland dotted with thorny, flat-topped acacia trees, the quintessential African landscape so often depicted in movies and imagined by travelers. Savannah, with its diverse natural kingdom, is the place where time began. It holds secrets and mysticism that have captured poets, painters, dreamers and explorers.
The Big Five
An African safari is a journey crafted in the tradition of wealthy 13th-century traders who first hunted the plains of Africa for wild game trophies. Today's adventurers hunt for photo opportunities instead, but they encounter the same scenes that have fascinated the early explorers: thousands of zebras migrating across emerald grasslands, flocks of florescent flamingos creating a field of color across a shining lake, lions feasting on a hard-earned kill. Many travelers trek to Africa in search of the "big five": buffalo, lions, leopards, elephants and rhinoceroses.
January 20 - 29, 2020
10 Days / 9 Nights
Tour starts and ends in Johannesburg (or in New York or Washington DC with the optional airfare purchase)
$5,580 double occupancy $1,480 optional single supplement $920 optional airfare from JFK or IAD (add-on airfare from your city may be available) $340 optional additional night in Cape Town, including private airport transfer (per room) Includes all fees and taxes