Cultural Explorations - vacations and travel

Drumbeat Of South Africa

South Africa, Africa

from $2,895* per person 13 Days Year-round
Boutique accommodations Exertion level: 4
Operator: Cultural Explorations 24 people max
  • Cape town international airport, cape town, western cape, south africa
  • Culture & Nature trips
This is a country as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, captivating you with the spirit of its people as much as with its stunning landscapes. The view from Cape Town's Table Mountain is a preview of what awaits you on this South African journey. In one sweeping panorama you'll capture mountains, city, ocean and unspoiled wilderness. You'll start your trip with three nights in this fascinating city touring the sights and travelling around the striking Cape Peninsula.

You'll leave the city on Route 62, a road traveller's dream, passing through the Breede River Valley and Klein Karoo, past wine and port estates, ostrich farms and orchards, to the ostrich feather capital of the world at Oudtshoorn. You'll venture into primary forests of rare yellowwood, ironwood and stinkwood trees up to 800 years old and enjoy the amiable little town of Knysna, nestled along a lovely lagoon. This is the Garden Route, known for its lush vegetation, indigenous forests and pristine beaches.

Jo'burg is a quick flight away. The economic heartbeat of the country, this is a dynamic and cosmopolitan city thanks to its mineral rich hills. Then it's off overland again to "the place where the sun rises," Mpumalanga, the gateway to the Kruger National Park. You'll spend three days in the park, the true jewel in South Africa's crown. World-famous as the biggest reserve in South Africa, it is home to Africa's Big Five. There's a grand choice of accommodations here from intimate family run lodges to luxurious tented camps. Expert game rangers will whisk you off on game drives and walking safaris, tracking the wildlife in their natural habitat.

Locations visited/nearby

South Africa, Africa

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Special information

  • Accommodates certain types of disabilities. Contact the operator for more information.

Itinerary

Day 1:     Arrive in Cape Town
Upon arrival at the airport you will be met and assisted by our local representative and transferred to your hotel. Cape Town, the oldest city in South Africa, is spectacularly set at the foot of Table Mountain. Between beautiful Cape Dutch homesteads, traditional dancers with painted faces performing in the streets, the smell of spicy Malay cooking and the taste of a well-made wine, this city will fill your senses.
Overnight: Cape Town

Day 2:     Cape Town
Your drive to the city centre takes you past famous landmarks such as the Castle of Good Hope, built in 1666 by the Dutch East India Company and the City Hall, a baroque building opposite the Grand Parade.

As you follow the city's main thoroughfare, Adderley Street, you will see St George's Cathedral, and the Anglican Diocese of Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You'll visit the South Africa Museum, noted for its natural history and anthropology collection.

You'll visit the Company Gardens and the Malay Quarter (also known as Bo-Kaap, meaning "Above Cape" because of its location against the slopes of Table Mountain). In the early 18th century, thousands of slaves from Java, Ceylon and other far Eastern regions were brought to Cape Town. After slavery was abolished their descendants, known as Cape Malays, settled here.

Your route then takes you to Kloof Nek and the magnificent Table Mountain. You'll ascend to the top (weather permitting) by the new revolving cable car. Here you will see wildflowers and the famous silver tree, and marvel at the birds-eye view of the city and its beaches. On a clear day it is even possible to see Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, on one side, and Cape Point on the other. Descend to your waiting vehicle and proceed around Table Bay to the Milnerton Lighthouse. From here you can see Table Mountain from the same perspective as the early settlers did when they sailed into Table Bay.
Overnight: Cape Town
Meals: Breakfast

Day 3:     Cape Peninsula
Today's tour begins with a scenic drive along the Atlantic coast, passing through the cosmopolitan suburb of Sea Point and Camps Bay with its glorious views of the Twelve Apostles, part of the Table Mountain range. From here you will travel to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, comprising over 17,300 acres of indigenous flora and fauna. Following the coastline of False Bay, you'll head back to Cape Town by way of Simon's Town naval base, where you will visit the penguin colony at Boulders Beach, as well as Fish Hoek fishing village and Muizenberg Mountain. You will stop at Stellenbosch Winelands for a wine tasting before returning to Cape Town.
Overnight: Cape Town
Meals: Breakfast

Day 4:     Cape Town-Oudtshoorn
After breakfast, travel through Little Karoo and Montagu, a picturesque and historic spa town. En route, stop in the little town of Barrydale where you will have the opportunity to visit a local farm school, interact with the children and teachers and learn more about the local farming community. Continue to Oudtshoorn, the "ostrich feather capital" and centre of the world's ostrich farming industry.
Overnight: Oudtshoorn
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5:     Oudtshoorn-Knysna
This morning you will visit an ostrich farm for a guided tour before visiting the spectacular limestone caverns of the Cango Caves, one of the world's great natural wonders. This afternoon, continue to Knysna, known as the oyster box of South Africa and nestled on the banks of a beautiful lagoon in the heart of the Garden Route.
Overnight: Knysna
Meals: Breakfast

Day 6:     Knysna
After a leisurely breakfast, enjoy a lagoon cruise to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, where you can take a trailer ride to the top of the Western Head to enjoy panoramic views of the town and lagoon, returning for lunch under the milkwood trees. This afternoon is at leisure to further explore this charming town on your own.
Overnight: Knysna
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7:     Knysna-Port Elizabeth
Today you'll head eastward along the Garden Route, which follows the Indian Ocean coastline and is bordered inland by soaring mountain ranges and indigenous forests, to Port Elizabeth. Port Elizabeth, known as the "friendly city," has a wonderful climate and is well known for its oceanarium and snake house. You'll arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.
Overnight: Port Elizabeth
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8:     Fly Port Elizabeth-Johannesburg
After breakfast, travel to the renowned Addo Elephant National Park, which offers some of the most spectacular elephant viewing in the world. Antelope species are also abundant in the main game area, including red hartebeest, eland, kudu, and bushbuck. Gemsbok, black wildebeest, springbok, buffalo and black rhino are found in the arid nama-karoo area. Afterward, you'll be taken to Port Elizabeth Airport for the flight to Johannesburg, where you will be met and taken to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Johannesburg
Meals: Breakfast

Day 9:     Johannesburg-Kruger National Park
This morning you will head east via Nelspruit, White River and Hazyview to spectacular Mpumalanga, arriving at your safari hotel set in indigenous forests. You'll have time to freshen up before your African safari begins in the afternoon. Enter the world famous Kruger National Park, unrivalled in its diversity of flora and fauna, and spend the afternoon game viewing in an open safari vehicle.
Overnight: Mpumalanga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10:     Kruger National Park
Have an early breakfast before experiencing the spectacular Panorama Route, with views the 26-kilometre long Blyde River Canyon, historic God's Window, and a breathtaking view (weather permitting) of the edge of the escarpment taking in Kruger and Lisbon Falls, the highest waterfall in the area. You'll return to the hotel in time for lunch and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Mpumalanga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11:     Kruger National Park
Enjoy an early morning open vehicle game drive through the park. Kruger offers some of the best game viewing and wildlife opportunities in the world. Breakfast will be served upon your return to the lodge. You will have time at leisure to enjoy the lodge facilities before joining another game drive in the early afternoon.
Overnight: Mpumalanga
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12:     Kruger-Johannesburg
After a leisurely breakfast, check out and depart for Johannesburg. You'll travel via Sabie and over the Long Tom Pass to Lydenburg. Continue via Dullstroom to Johannesburg, arriving in the early evening.
Overnight: Johannesburg
Meals: Breakfast

Day 13:     Depart Johannesburg
You'll have some time for last minute shopping or sightseeing on your own before you are transferred to the airport for your flight.
Meals: Breakfast

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