Saturday 26 August New Zealand – Sydney – Johannesburg
An early morning departure for Sydney from Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch. On arrival in Sydney, we transfer to our flight to Johannesburg, arriving late afternoon. After clearing Customs and Immigration formalities, we are met and transferred to our hotel, located in the exclusive Sandton area for a 2-night stay. The remainder of the day is at leisure to rest up after the journey from home.
Sunday 27 August Johannesburg (B, L)
Enjoy a day tour of Johannesburg city and the South-Western Townships, otherwise known as Soweto. On this day tour, we are treated to various sights and sounds of Soweto including Nelson Mandela House, the Apartheid Museum, as well as enjoying lunch at local restaurant.
Monday 28 August Johannesburg – Livingstone (Zambia) (B, D)
After breakfast, we are transferred by coach back to the airport in time to join the short flight to Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls. We’re met on arrival and transferred to our hotel where we enjoy a 2-night stay.
Tuesday 29 August Victoria Falls (B)
This morning, we enjoy a guided tour of Victoria Falls. Our Zambian guide enlightens us on the facts and history along the way, as we are guided around the falls. It is a truly awe-inspiring experience – we are able to view the largest falling sheet of water in the world – the sight, the sound, the smell, the humbling feeling that here indeed is Nature’s supreme masterpiece. For those that wish, there is time for a helicopter flight over the falls at the conclusion of our guided tour (additional cost). In the afternoon, we enjoy a sundowner cruise on the great Zambezi River.
Wednesday 30 August Livingstone – Vic. Falls – Chobe N.P, Botswana (B,L,D)
This morning we travel by road (100kms) to Botswana’s Chobe National Park, home to some of the largest herds of elephant in Africa, large numbers of crocodiles, hippos, as well as a large array of birdlife. After lunch at our lodge, we enjoy a game-viewing cruise on the Chobe River. This trip will definitely allow you to feel the pulse of Africa. This afternoon we arrive at Cresta Mowana Resort, situated on the banks of the mighty Chobe River, where we will stay for two nights.
Thursday 31 August Chobe National Park Botswana (B,L,D)
We rise early this morning to take part in another game drive – an excellent opportunity to start ticking off the Big 5! We’ll return to the hotel for lunch and relaxation before heading out again this afternoon to enjoy a river cruise.
Friday 01 September Livingston, Botswana – Johannesburg (B,D)
An early wake-up call today as we have breakfast at the hotel, before travelling back across the border to Livingstone Airport in time for the short flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, we return to our Sandton hotel for an overnight stay.
Saturday 02 September Johannesburg – Hazyview (B,D)
This morning, we depart Sandton and travel by coach to the Mpumalanga Province. This is approximately a 6-hour drive through both interesting and scenic countryside. Highlights include a short visit to the Blyde River Canyon, Three Rondawels, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, God’s Window and waterfalls. We arrive at our overnight accommodation located on the banks of the Sabie River.
Sunday 03 September Hazyview – Kruger National Park (B,L,D)
Today we awake and depart our hotel early to enjoy a full day game drive within Kruger National Park. Lunch is served out on the deck (weather permitting). Later this evening, return to our overnight accommodation located just 100m from the Paul Kruger Gate of the National Park. We enjoy dinner together at the lodge.
Monday 04 September Kruger National Park – Swaziland (B,D)
We again enjoy game viewing in open top vehicles early this morning, before we leave the reserve and continue to Eswatini, previously Swaziland, with sightseeing en-route. We also visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory (time permitting). Our overnight stay is in the heart of Swaziland’s most beautiful valley.
Tuesday 05 September Swaziland – Zululand (B,D)
After breakfast, we depart our hotel with time to enjoy the Swazi market, before crossing the border back into South Africa. We enjoy the beauty and splendour of Hluhluwe National Park, before arriving at our hotel at Shakaland for an overnight stay. Here, we experience one of South Africa’s most unique tourist attractions tucked away between aloes and mimosa tress, overlooking Umhlatuze Lake and originally created for the set of the film “Shaka Zulu”. The complex is now a living museum and cultural centre where Zulu folk pursue the customs and traditions of their forebears. Take a step back into the history of the Zulu people at the Great Kraal of King Shaka and experience the mystery and magic that is Africa.
Wednesday 06 September Zululand – Durban (B,D)
Today, we continue our journey to the coastal resort city of Durban and enjoy an afternoon tour of this seaside city. Drive along Marine Parade; see the Rickshaw pullers and the Harbour. We pass the Sugar Terminal, University of Natal and the Botanical Gardens. There also will be the opportunity to spend some time bargaining at the colourful Indian Markets. We have a 2-night stay in Durban, providing sweeping Indian Ocean views along Durbans sun-kissed beachfront.
Thursday 07 September Durban (B)
Today is left entirely free to relax and enjoy this wonderful city.
Friday 08 September Durban – Port Elizabeth – Knysna (B,D)
A very early start today as we transfer by coach from our hotel to Durban airport for the short flight to Port Elizabeth. On arrival, we join our coach and enter the Garden Route via the Tsitsikama Forest – dense indigenous forest renowned for a large number of giant yellowwood and stinkwood trees, forest ferns, clear streams, magnificent birds and fascinating walks. We visit the Tsitsikama National Park, comprising a glorious 10km stretch of wild and rocky coastline, characterised by massive cliffs, narrow isolated beaches and shady indigenous forest along the river valleys. We travel via Plettenberg Bay – an up-market resort with 3 beaches. We continue to the well-known seaside resort of Knysna, established by George Rex, reputedly the illegitimate son of George III. The town lies on the Knysna lagoon, the mouth of which is guarded by two promontories known as The Heads. Our Knysna accommodation can be found on the banks of the Knysna lagoon and offers views of thousands of hectares of beautiful indigenous forest. We enjoy a 2-night stay in Knysna. Dinner tonight is at local restaurant.
Saturday 09 September Knysna (B,L)
Knysna is one of the southern Cape’s most popular holiday destinations, located between lush forests and the sheltered waters of the lagoon. This morning, after a leisurely breakfast, we are taken on a tour of the Featherbed Nature Reserve, including lunch. We start with a 25-minute ferry ride during which a local guide shares fascinating tales about the lagoon, the shipping industry and oyster cultivation. On arrival at the reserve, we join a unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the reserve. While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our specialist guides share with us some fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while we enjoy the panoramic views. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Sunday 10 September Knysna – Oudtshoorn (B,D)
This morning, we leave Knysna and travel to Oudtshoorn, via Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay is the site of the first landfall made by the Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488, and today is a popular holiday resort. We then visit the Cango Caves for a guided tour. Regarded as one of South Africa’s foremost natural wonders, the fascinating calcite caves comprise an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites. We stay overnight at Oudtshoorn.
Monday 11 September Oudtshoorn – Cape Town (B)
After breakfast, we visit the nearby Ostrich farm for a guided tour before travelling along the R62 inland road to Cape Town, where we stay for 4 nights.
Tuesday 12 September Cape Town (B)
Our tour today sees us first at the Table Mountain lower cable station. Weather permitting, we board the cable car for a ride to the top of the mountain. Table Mountain is probably the most famous landmark in Cape Town, and offers spectacular views that stretch from Table Bay to False Bay and around the mountain to Hout Bay. On a clear day, one can see right across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountain range. It also offers a restaurant, from where you can enjoy the view. Return to central Cape Town for a tour of the mother city. Further highlights include the South African Museum – a window on the world of natural history and the Castle of Good Hope, built by the Dutch in 1666 and the oldest surviving building in South Africa. We also visit the Malay Quarter, which is a living cultural museum and home to the oldest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. For those that wish, there is the option to visit Robben Island for a guided tour.
Wednesday 13 September Cape Town – Cape Point Tour (B,L)
This morning, our full day tour commences as we make our way down to Cape Point via rugged coastlines, beautiful gardens and quaint villages. The Atlantic Seaboard stretches along Sea Point, Bantry Bay, Clifton and Camps Bay where some of Cape Town’s best beaches are found. The road follows the coastline between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Continuing along the coast, we enter the Cape of Good Hope section of the Table Mountain National Park and visit the Nature Reserve with its natural beauty and abundance of indigenous flora and fauna. We then go to Cape Point, the extreme tip of the Cape Peninsula where you may take a funicular trip to the lighthouse look-out point at the top of the cliffs. Lunch is enjoyed in Simon’s town, at a local restaurant. On the journey back to the hotel we visit Boulders Beach, famous for its African penguins and also the world renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
Thursday 14 September Cape Town – Cape Winelands Tour (B,D)
We have a full day tour of Cape Winelands today. Visit the city of Paarl, the largest town in the district with many well-maintained mansions and pretty Cape Dutch cottages. Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa, is famous for its university, tree lined streets and historical architecture, and is at the centre of the wealthy wine-growing area. Franschoek is the gourmet capital, surrounded by majestic mountains culminating in an awe-inspiring pass. Here, we visit the Huguenot Monument and Museum documenting their history. We finish the tour with dinner at a local wine estate.
Friday 15 September Cape Town – Johannesburg (B,D)
Sadly, it is time to farewell Cape Town this morning as we are transferred by coach to the airport, in time to join our flight to Johannesburg. On arrival, we are met and transferred to our accommodation at the airport for an overnight stay. We enjoy a final dinner together this evening.
Saturday 16 September Pretoria Tour – Johannesburg – Sydney (B, L)
Today is our final day in South Africa and this morning we travel to Pretoria to enjoy a half day tour of the nation’s administrative capital. The city of Pretoria has many historical sites, including the State Theatre Arts Complex, The Union Buildings housing the administrative seat of government and venue for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration, Melrose House where the peace treaty marking the end of the Boer War was signed, Kruger House Museum – once the modest well maintained official residence of Paul Kruger, a former president of the South African Republic, and the Voortrekker Monument which dominates the Pretoria skyline and commemorates the Voortrekkers (Pioneers) who left the Eastern Cape in order to escape British rule. Lunch is included today, and later this afternoon we return to Johannesburg Airport in time to join our overnight flight to Sydney.
Sunday 17 September Sydney – New Zealand
Our flight arrives in Sydney early afternoon, with time to connect with late afternoon flights to Auckland and Christchurch.