16 Day fly tour from Heathrow or Manchester
Classic South Africa
THE WHOLE WORLD IN A COUNTRY
Stunning sights, Big Five game safaris, the Garden Route, the Cape Winelands and beautiful Cape Town.
Experience the wonders of extraordinary, surprising, incredibly varied and totally absorbing South Africa. Encounter the ancient traditions and cultures of its people before discovering some truly awe-inspiring scenery en route to famous Kruger National Park. Search for Big Five game, visit tiny Swaziland and the Zulu War battlegrounds, fly to friendly Port Elizabeth and head along the exquisite Garden Route before the verdant Cape Winelands and glorious Cape Town complete your unforgettable holiday.
Enjoy a full day's game drive in Kruger National Park
Spend three days in delightful Cape Town
Spend a night in a game lodge
Discover regional traditions at the Lesedi Cultural Village
Visit the Apartheid Museum
See stunning scenery on the Panorama Route, including God's Window
Visit tiny Swaziland
Follow the beautiful Garden Route to Knysna
See the extraordinary Cango Caves and visit an Ostrich Farm
Stay in the heart of the scenic Winelands
Enjoy a wine-tasting tour
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
14 nights' bed and breakfast accommodation in Lesedi Cultural Village (2 nights), Hazyview (1), Kruger National Park (2), KwaZulu Natal (1), Newcastle (1), Port Elizabeth (1), Mossel Bay (2), Stellenbosch (1) and Cape Town (3), plus two nights on the aircraft
Three lunches and four dinners
Return flights to Johannesburg (returning from Cape Town via Johannesburg)
An internal flight from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel throughout
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager
Day One - Fly to South Adrica
Fly overnight to Johannesburg.
Day Two – Arrive in Johannesburg and visit Liliesleaf Farm
Meet your tour manager and transfer to the Lesedi Cultural Village. You'll spend two nights here in traditional surroundings – but in rooms with modern conveniences – in the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. On the way, you'll visit Liliesleaf Farm, a 28-acre farmstead that served as the underground headquarters of the African National Congress. Once in Lesedi, relax and enjoy your first meal under the African sky.
Day Three – Included visit to Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum
Today you'll visit Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum, which provides the moving historical background to today’s democratic South Africa.
This evening, enjoy the hospitality of your Lesedi hosts – Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele tribespeople – who will introduce their cultures, show you their homes and demonstrate traditional music and dancing.
Day Four – Follow the Panorama Route to Kruger National Park
After an early breakfast, bid farewell to Lesedi and travel from Gauteng province into Mpumalanga, the awe-inspiring Land of the Rising Sun bordered by the vast Kruger National Park. Our journey to Mpumalanga takes us via the Panorama Route, one of Africa’s most scenic drives, and the mountain passes overlooking Blyde River Canyon – the world’s third largest.
Take in the stunning view from God's Window (weather permitting) and see the towering grass-covered peaks of the Three Rondavels and the colourful, water-worn rock formations of Bourke's Luck Potholes before arriving at your hotel, just 25 minutes away from Kruger National Park.
Day Five – Spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park
Today you’ll head into famous Kruger National Park, Africa’s oldest wildlife conservation area. Enjoy the full game-drive experience from your open-topped vehicle. With luck (and depending on the route you take) you might encounter impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra, and the Big Five of lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards and buffalo. Whichever species crosses your path, the memories will linger on. After your game drive, you’ll leave the Park and drive to your nearby accommodation.
Day Six – Included bush walk and sunset game drive
Begin another unforgettable day with a guided bush walk and bush breakfast. Then relax and enjoy the lodge’s facilities, before embarking on a final game drive at sunset in the nearby Madelane Private Game Reserve. You'll return to your lodge for a traditional Boma dinner (weather permitting).
Day Seven – Included visit to Swaziland
Today you’ll cross the border into the tiny Kingdom of Swaziland. A British Protectorate until 1968, and still mixing a colonial feel with its traditional heritage, the Kingdom offer a warm welcome to visitors. You’ll stop at curio shops and cultural centres, before returning to South Africa and heading to KwaZulu-Natal and your next hotel.
Day Eight – Included visits to Zulu battlefields and Rorke’s Drift
A fascinating day sees you join a specialist battlefields guide who will introduce you to the tumultuous history of the Zulu Wars, and to the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift – the latter immortalised (not necessarily wholly accurately) in the 1964 movie, Zulu. After a fascinating day that includes lunch, you'll continue to your hotel in Newcastle.
Day Nine – Fly to Port Elizabeth
You'll have an early start this morning as we return to Johannesburg airport and fly south to Port Elizabeth, the Friendly City.
Day 10 – Travel along the Garden Route to Knysna
This morning you’ll begin your journey along the famously scenic Garden Route to Knysna. Set on the bank of a beautiful lagoon, against a backdrop of wooded hills, Knynsa is a town of Victorian and Georgian houses that brims with character and style. An included tour, here, includes a ferry crossing to the Featherbed Nature Reserve across the lagoon, which is home to some 200 species of fish as well as a particularly rare species of seahorse. Enjoy a nature drive to Western Head for spectacular views and lunch in the shade of milkwood trees, then continue to your hotel in Mossel Bay.
Day 11 – Visit Cango Caves and see the Ostriches in Oudtshoorn
Today sees you visit the world-renowned Cango Caves and sunny Oudtshoorn, in the heart of the Little Karoo plain. Oudtshoorn has been christened the Ostrich Capital of the World, and the world’s strangest, largest (and often most valuable) bird has been farmed here for 130 years, first for its plumage and more recently for its high-protein, low-cholesterol meat, samples of which will be offered at lunchtime.
Later, enjoy another relaxing evening exploring Mossel Bay's pretty, welcoming waterfront.
Day 12 – The whales of Hermanus and the penguins at Stony Point
Today’s drive, though long, is hugely rewarding. Head west along the Garden Route to the sleepy, historic harbour town of Mossel Bay, then on to the Atlantic coast town of Hermanus. Hermanus is a famed whale-watching centre from July to November, and with luck you'll see the mighty mammals from the shoreline before making a stop at Stony Point Penguin Colony.
From there we'll continue into the verdant Cape Winelands region, for an overnight stay in your hotel overlooking the Stellenbosch Mountains.
Day 13 – Tour the winelands of the Western Cape
Enjoy today’s tour of the rolling vineyard-covered hills and valleys dotted with villages built in Cape Dutch, Edwardian and Art-Deco styles. After exploring Stellenbosch, you’ll call at Franschhoek, first settled in 1688 and now regarded as the culinary capital of the Western Cape, and scenic Paarl at the foot of a vast granite outcrop. During the day, there will be a wine tasting, a cellar tour, and the opportunity to purchase some
Afterwards you'll continue to Cape Town, for a three-night stay in one of the world’s most beautifully located cities.
Day 14 – Visit Cape Point
On your last touring day, you’ll travel along the Atlantic coast and (weather permitting) take the Chapman’s Peak Drive, one of the world’s most thrilling coastal roads, into the Cape Point Peninsula. See treacherous Cape Point, in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and stop for lunch in Simon’s Town, overlooking False Bay. You’ll also visit the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, nestled at the eastern foot of Table Mountain.
This evening, explore the shops, theatres, bars and restaurants of Cape Town's Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, the city’s most popular attraction.
Day 15 – Free day in Cape Town
Today you're free to rest, relax and enjoy the city. Why not join a walking tour past the Dutch colonial houses of the Bo-Kaap district, stroll along the tree-lined paths of The Company's Garden, catch a catamaran to the prison at Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, ( early booking highly recommended!) or make an unforgettable ascent of Table Mountain, taking in the 360° panorama from a rotating cable car as it climbs to the 1,000-metre high summit?
Day 16 – Overnight flight back to the UK
Make the most of your last morning in Cape Town. In the afternoon you'll transfer to the airport to check in for your overnight flight home via Johannesburg.
Day 17 – Arrive in the UK
Arrive back in the UK at the end of a wonderful South African experience.
Classic South Africa Touring Hotels
The hotels used on our tours will meet the standard of a good, three-star European hotel. Rooms will have private bathrooms, telephones and TV. The vast majority will also have tea- and coffee-making facilities. There will always be a bar or restaurant on site or nearby.
Lesedi Cultural Village, near Johannesburg (nights 2-3)
Immerse yourself in the traditions of the local Africans whose homes are open to visit as you stay in the heart of the bushveld. The village has a restaurant and bar, and the rooms are all in separate buildings beautifully decorated in the styles of five different tribal homesteads, and each room has a private bathroom.
Casa do Sol, Hazyview (night 4)
This gem of a property is located just 25 minutes west of Kruger National Park. With a Spanish influence, the property offers a pool, lush, tropical gardens and a popular restaurant.
Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve, Kruger National Park (nights 5-6)
Boasting a beautiful setting surrounded by endless hills and bush, and just a short drive south of Kruger National Park, this lodge has a pool and restaurant.
Goodersons Natal Spa, Paulpietersburg in KwaZulu Natal (night 7)
Located in a large area of bushland, this hotel offers beautiful views of the Bivane River. The hotel has a choice of two restaurants and a pool.
Grey Goose Game Lodge, Newcastle night 8)
Family owned, and close to the city of Newcastle, this lodge boasts beautiful gardens where (if you are lucky) you can spot zebra and horses. Facilities at the lodge include a swimming pool, a bar and a restaurant.
Kelway Hotel, Port Elizabeth (night 9)
Just a short walk from the beach this hotel has a restaurant, a rail-themed bar and an outdoor swimming pool. The rooms are comfortably furnished and have modern facilities.
Ilita Lodge, Mossel Bay (nights 10-11)
This hotel offers panoramic Southern Ocean views from a hill overlooking Great Brak River. A sun terrace with sun-loungers surrounds the pool. The guest rooms are air-conditioned and have private balconies with sea views. Each has a mini-bar, seating area and satellite TV. (On selected departures you will stay at the Premier Resort the Moorings, instead.)
Kleine Zalze, Stellenbosch (night 12)
Built in the Dutch vernacular style, this lodge is surrounded by greenery and vineyards beside the first fairway of the De Zalze Golf Club. It has a swimming pool and a restaurant - both boasting stunning views - and a bar. The guest rooms are have private facilities, TV and tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Hilton Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town (nights 13-15)
Situated at the foot of Table Mountain in the historic Bo-Kaap, close to the V&A Waterfront, the modern Hilton Cape Town is surrounded by many shops and restaurants. The hotel has a swimming pool, a restaurant and a café. (On selected departures you will stay at the Commodore Hotel, instead.)
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in conveniently located, alternative hotels of a similar standard.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visas
A visa is not required for UK citizens travelling to South Africa, but your passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of entry to the country and have two adjacent blank pages. Special entry rules apply for children under 18 years.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.