14 Days The Land of Gold - South Africa

By: come-to-africa.com  01-13-2011
Keywords: African Safaris, Kruger Park Safaris, South African travel

In brief: Visit Johannesburg – the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region - and Mpumalanga where you will enjoy safari trips into the Kruger National Park. Travel via Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route and the famous Cape Winelands on to the final destination of this trip, Cape Town.

Tour Duration: 14 days
Start: Johannesburg International Airport
End: Cape Town International Airport 
Price: subject to a minimum of 2 persons sharing

In brief: Visit Johannesburg – the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region – and Mpumalanga where you will enjoy safari trips into the Kruger National Park. Travel via Port Elizabeth, the Garden Route and the famous Cape Winelands on to the final destination of this trip, Cape Town. Tour Type: African Safari, Guided  Regions covered: Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Western Cape, Kruger Park – MP, Cape Town & Surroundings, Johannesburg Region, South Africa 

Tour details:

Day 1: Arrive Johannesburg International Airport (O.R. Tambo International Airport). After collecting your baggage, proceed through security control to the arrivals hall where you will be met by our representative who will assist you with the transfer to your hotel. The transfer to your hotel will take approximately 40 minutes. You will have the opportunity to unpack and freshen up before being collected from your hotel at approximately 1300 for a tour around the fascinating and vibrant area of Soweto. With a population of over 2 million, Soweto (South Western Township), is the largest black residential area in South Africa and is fascinating contrast to the Northern Suburbs in which you are staying. Your tour will include a visit to Orlando West, which is the only area in the World to have been able to boast of two Nobel Peace prizewinners living in the same street – former President Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will also visit the memorial of Hector Pietersen – a poignant reminder of the 1976 student uprising which started in Soweto but spread to the rest of South Africa. Enjoy lunch in Soweto before returning to your hotel for an evening at your leisure.Overnight: Garden Court Sandton – Breakfast Included.

Day 2: After breakfast at your hotel, depart for a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Beginning in 1948, the white elected National Party government implemented the policy of apartheid. This policy turned 20 million people into second-class citizens, damning them to a life of segregation and abuse. Their liberation in 1994 with the election of Nelson Mandela, the prisoner who became president, is a climax in the saga of a nation’s resistance, courage and fortitude. The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. Return to your hotel for an afternoon and evening at your leisure.Overnight: Garden Court Sandton – Breakfast Included.

Day 3: Enjoy breakfast before checking out of your room and continuing with your onward journey to Phalaborwa. Lunch (own account) will be taken in the historic mining town of Pilgrims Rest. Alluvial Gold was discovered in Pilgrims Rest by Alex Patterson in 1873 and mining continued until 1972. Many of the buildings have been restored to create a living museum with historic structures such as the St Mary’s Anglican Church, the Royal Hotel, Miner’s Cottages, Joubert’s Bridge and the graveyard.Overnight: Ezulwini Game Reserve – Breakfast and Dinner Included.

Day 4: Start the day with a leisurely breakfast before departing for a tour of this area including the Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Luck Potholes and God’s Window. The Blyde River Canyon is the third largest canyon in the world and its spectacular peaks and ravines mark the drop from the great Highveld plateau to the Lowveld. At the centre of the canyon are the fast-flowing Blyde River and various smaller tributaries. The canyon is home to a diversity of plants, many endemic to the area, as well as many animal species. Bourke’s Luck Potholes are a natural water feature marking the beginning of the Blyde River Canyon. They have occurred where the Treur River plunges into the Blyde River and the resulting swirling whirlpools have caused waterborne sand and rock to grind huge, cylindrical potholes into the bedrock of the river. God’s Window is a lookout providing a superb view of the Lowveld. At the top of the walk is a lush natural rain forest with beautiful indigenous trees, ferns and flowers.Overnight: Kruger Park Lodge – Breakfast and Dinner Included.

Day 5: This day will be devoted to game drives in the Balule Nature Reserve.Overnight: Paradise Camp – Breakfast and Dinner Included. Day 6: This day will be devoted to game drives in the Balule Nature Reserve.Overnight: Paradise Camp – Breakfast and Dinner Included.

Day 7: There will be an optional dawn game drive before breakfast. After breakfast depart the lodge for the return journey to Johannesburg – this will take approximately 4 hours. Late afternoon depart on your flight to Port Elizabeth Airport. After collecting your baggage, proceed through security control to the arrivals hall where you will be met by our representative who will assist you with the transfer to your hotel.Overnight: Hacklewood Hill Country House – Breakfast Included.

Day 8: Depart the hotel after breakfast to commence the journey west for a visit to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Forest. Tsitsikamma is a Khoisan (early inhabitants of the area) word meaning, ‘place of much water’. The forest is a vast protected conservation area supporting a diverse ecosystem of plant and animal life. There will be an optional walk (approximately 1 hour) starting at Sandy Bay and along a winding boardwalk through indigenous forest to the mouth of the Storm River where there is a famous suspension bridge, the Storms River Mouth Cave (Khoisan Heritage Site) and the Spirit of Tsitsikamma boat jetty. Lunch (own account) will be taken in the forest before continuing on to Plettenberg Bay.Overnight: Beacon Island Hotel – Breakfast Included.

Day 9: After breakfast checkout and depart the hotel for the 20 minute journey to Knysna. Knysna is surrounded by the Outeniqua Mountain range and engulfed by indigenous forests and the protected 21 square kilometre marine reserve, better known locally as the ‘Lagoon’. Take a ferry trip on the Lagoon before enjoying some lunch (own account) at the scenic look out point of ‘The Heads’. Continue on to George and then through the magnificent Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn. Oudtshoorn is the capital of the Klein Karoo and is spread along both banks of the Grobbelaars River, a tributary of the Oliphant’s River. Its fertile valleys are encompassed by the Swartberg Mountains to the north and the Outeniqua Mountains to the south. Relax and enjoy dinner at your hotel.Overnight: De Opstal Country Lodge – Breakfast Included.

Day 10: After breakfast the first visit of the day will be to the spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo – the Cango Caves. The caves are situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the Swartberg Mountains and the tour will include a look inside a few of the natural chambers, which each display a limestone masterpiece created purely by the forces of nature. The tour will proceed to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, which is the oldest and largest cheetah contact centre in the world. At this ranch visitors can see, and often touch, more than 47 species of animals and reptiles. The ranch includes Cheetahland, which is actively involved in the plight of the endangered cheetah and also the Cango Crocodile Farm, home to a large crocodilian population. Lunch (own account) will be taken at the ranch. After lunch there will be a tour of a working ostrich farm, which will include seeing large flocks of birds at different stages of development, an explanation of the farming process, the opportunity to ride an ostrich, stand on an ostrich egg and possibly experience the hatching of an egg. Return to the hotel to freshen up before dinner at the lodge. Overnight:De Opstal Country Lodge – Breakfast Included.

Day 11: This morning you will depart Oudtshoorn and head along the Route 62. Lunch (own account) will be taken in the picturesque town of Barrydale before continuing on to Swellendam. You will have the opportunity to explore the town and take a visit to the Drostdy Museum. Swellendam is the third oldest town in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch) and the Drostdy was built as the seat of the Landdrost (magistrate) in 1747. Known as one of the best in the country, the museum comprises a collection of buildings with characteristic Cape Dutch architecture, period furniture, beautiful gardens and an ambagswerf (trades yard). A stroll around the complex will include indoor as well as outdoor areas and some of the most picturesque streets in the town. Continue on via Elgin, through Sir Lowry’s Pass, to Cape Town.Overnight: Portswood Hotel – Breakfast Included.

Day 12: After breakfast depart on for a tour of the Cape Peninsula – one of the most dramatic coastal drives in the world. This tour heads down the west side of the Peninsula, along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point and the magnificent beaches at Clifton and Camps Bay. There will be a stop at Llandudno to take in the breathtaking views before continuing on to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour, where there will be the opportunity to take an optional boat trip to Seal Island (seasonal / not included in cost). Further down the coast, enter the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, which is home to a wide variety of plant, bird and animal life and the most southwesterly point of the African continent – the towering headland known as Cape Point. After exploring this magnificent area lunch will be taken at a nearby restaurant (own account). The tour will continue up the east side of the Peninsula to Simon’s Town, a village with a naval base and Boulders Beach – home to a large Jackass penguin colony. Finally, there will be a visit to the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Return to the hotel for an evening at your leisure.Overnight: Portswood Hotel – Breakfast Included.

Day 13: After breakfast, depart on a tour of the Cape Winelands. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way to the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. There will be a brief visit to the historic town of Stellenbosch (Dorp Street and Oom Samie se Winkel) before a Wine tasting and Cellar tour in the area. Lunch (not included in cost) will be taken in Franschhoek after a visit to the Boschendal Manor House. After lunch there will be another opportunity for some additional wine tasting (wine tasting not included in cost) before continuing on to Paarl to visit the Fairview Wine Estate for wine and cheese tasting. Return to the hotel for an evening at your leisure.Overnight: Portswood Hotel – Breakfast Included.

Day 14:After breakfast checkout of your hotel room and have your luggage stored before departing on a city tour of Cape Town. This tour commences with a trip up Table Mountain (this trip is weather permitting and cable car fee of approximately R110 is payable locally) and continues into the city for visits to Company Gardens, the South African Museum, the Castle of Good Hope and the vibrant and arty flea market in Greenmarket Square. The tour ends with a drive through the picturesque area of Bo-Kaap, returning to the hotel at approx 13:00. On return to the hotel you will collect your luggage and transfer to the airport.

Included in tour all accommodation as stated in the itinerary meals as stated in the itinerary park-entrance fees domestic flight from Johannesburg International Airport to Port Elizabeth Airport
all mentioned excursions
2 Afternoon Game Drives and 2 Morning Game drives in Open top 4WD vehicles
airport transfers the services of an experienced tour guide

Not included in tour
visas international
air fares
gratuities drinks personal, medical and travel insurances and expenses
Table Mountain Cable Car fee
optional excursions anything not included as an inclusion.

Keywords: african destination travel, African Safaris, Kruger Park Safaris, South African travel,