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The African Travel Experts

South Africa Safari Surprise (15 days / 14 nights)

PACKAGE 1 - Cape Town Image
from $$3,995 pp

This 15 day tour takes in the best of South Africa and more – a country that will surprise you with its variety, fun and adventure. Tour highlights include the famous Kruger National Park, Blyde River Canyon, Zululand, Durban, Port Elizabeth and finishing in gorgeous Cape Town.

This is the ideal tour as a first time holiday to South Africa. Encompassing everything you would look for in a safari: wildlife, scenery, good food and wine, great company and wonderful value for money.

Come on a journey of exploration, where you will marvel at awe-inspiring vistas such as the Blyde River Canyon and God’s Window. Spend time in the company of lions and elephants in The Kruger National Park, and walk – or even crawl – through the legendary Cango Caves with their iconic dripstone formations of stalactites and stalagmites.

Our South African Safari Surprise offers you the finest taste of the country, where each day presents another contrast, another opportunity, another facet of life – from the cosmopolitan beauty of Cape Town, to an unforgettable ostrich ride in the ‘Feather Capital of the World’, to a hike or stroll in the awe-inspiring Drakensberg Mountains, to St Lucia’s memorable lakes and their inhabitants. You’ll buy African curios at a traditional craft market in the Kingdom of Swaziland, tour the cultural melting pot of Durban city, and journey through the Eastern Cape, the birthplace of South Africa’s most famous citizen – Nelson Mandela. You’ll travel by luxury bus, you’ll walk, you’ll ride, you’ll stroll through the ancient trees in the Tsitsikamma National Park … and yes, you’ll relax in the beauty of it all. South Africa is an extraordinary country and over fifteen glorious days, you will get to know the warmth and hospitality of this fantastic nation.

Price for 15 day / 14 night package:
  • From $3,995 per person twin share
  • Save a further $200 pp if you book and pay by 30 Oct, 2014
Departure Dates

Ex Australia – 2014 – 11 Oct and 15 Nov & 2015 –  17 & 31 Jan, 14 Feb, 7 & 21 Mar, 4 & 18 Apr, 16 May, 13 June, 11 Jul, 15 Aug

Excludes 16 Nov, 2014 – 16 Jan 2015

Includes

  • Return airfares and taxes from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide via Perth, or Perth direct to Johannesburg
  • Itinerary includes some optional tours which you can purchase from Australia at a discounted price of $400 per person in total (see below)
  • Transportation in luxury air-conditioned vehicles
  • The services of a qualified, professional guide
  • 3 and 4 star lodge style accommodation throughout all with private facilities
  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Breakfast daily
  • 5 Dinners
  • Full day visit to the Kruger National Park
  • Kruger Park Conservation Levy
  • Sightseeing/orientation in East London and Port Elizabeth
  • All touring and sightseeing as per itinerary, porterage and VAT

Itinerary

Day 1: Sunday – Johannesburg

Upon arrival at Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International Airport you will be met at and transferred to your hotel.  You have free time until 7pm where you will meet your fellow travellers in the foyer for a tour briefing and introduction.

Accommodation: Protea Hotel O.R. Tambo or similar

Day 2: Monday – Johannesburg to Hazyview

This morning we head west towards the province of Mpumalanga, dropping several hundred feet into the lush subtropical region known as the “ Lowveld”. We travel along the circular Panorama Route via the small town of Graskop. Along the way, we will visit the viewing sites of the Blyde River Canyon and marvel at the view from God’s Window, where on a clear day, you can see all the way over the expanse of the Kruger Park, then finally a visit to Bourke’s Luck Potholes before heading to Hazyview.

Accommodation: Hippo Hollow Country Estate or similar  Meals: [B, D]

Day 3: Tuesday – Kruger National Park

Bright and early start to the day in order to enjoy the wonders of exploring the Kruger National Park in your closed vehicle. We enter the park and keep our eyes peeled for the elusive predators, while looking for these we are sure to see an abundance of other magnificent creatures. The Kruger National Park is an internationally renowned game reserve of nearly 2 million hectares and supports the largest variety of wildlife species on the African continent. Spend the day in search of game before returning to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hippo Hollow Country Estate or similar  Meals: [B]
Optional Tour Suggestion: Full day open safari vehicle game drive in Kruger National Park.

Day 4: Wednesday – Hazyview to Swaziland

After breakfast, we check out and depart on our journey to the small Kingdom of Swaziland. We proceed south through the town of Malalane and then cross the border into Swaziland, visiting the National Museum before arriving at the hotel.

Accommodation: Lugogo Sun Hotel or similar    Meals: [B]

Day 5: Thursday – Swaziland to St Lucia & Surrounds

This morning we journey through Swaziland before once again crossing the border back into South Africa, entering the province of KwaZulu-Natal, also known as ‘Zululand’. Along the way, we will have an opportunity to put our bargaining skills to the test as we negotiate the high finance world of curio purchasing at one of the many roadside markets. Our journey continues into the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal where ancient traditions and modern cultures of both Zulu and Settler have combined into a vibrant society living in peace and harmony. Arrive this afternoon in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Park (pronounced shloo-shloo-we) for our overnight stay.

Accommodation: Protea Hotel Umfolozi or similar  Meals: [B]
Optional Tour Suggestion: Optional afternoon safari in an open vehicle following game in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Park.

Day 6: Friday – St Lucia and surrounds then to Durban

Today we have the choice of  having  a relaxing lie in or taking an optional morning boat cruise (own account) on the St Lucia estuary where you will get up close and personal with Hippo’s, Crocodiles and an abundance of birdlife. Later in the morning, we will set off towards Durban. We will visit the Botanic Gardens and have a city orientation tour before arriving at our hotel in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Docklands Hotel or similar  Meals: [B, D]
Optional Tour Suggestion: Morning St Lucia Boat Cruise.

Day 7: Saturday – Durban to Drakensberg

Today we head into the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountain range.  This area is beautiful and boasts the highest peaks in South Africa, the tallest being  the 3482 m mountain Thaba Ntlenyana, which directly translated means ‘beautiful little mountain’. We visit the 300 feet high Howick Falls before continuing through the Southern Midlands Meander Route, arriving at our hotel mid afternoon. The rest of the afternoon is yours to soak up the surroundings or go fishing, hiking and even horse riding in the crystal clear mountain air.

Accommodation: Drakensberg Gardens Hotel or similar [B, D]

Day 8: Sunday – Drakensberg

Full day at leisure to enjoy this beautiful area. Optional activities are on offer (own expense) or you may want to just relax or take a stroll around the gardens.

Accommodation: Drakensberg Gardens Hotel or similar [B, D]

Optional Tour Suggestion: 4×4 Adventure tour up Sani Pass and into Lesotho (passport and light jacket required). This spectacular mountain road is the gateway to the scenic ‘Roof of Africa’ route that links dramatic scenery of the Drakensberg with the mountains of northern Lesotho.

Day 9: Monday – Drakensberg to East London

This morning we depart and continue south to the small city of East London, the only river port in Southern Africa.   En route we enter the fourth of the provinces, the Eastern Cape, the birth place of Nelson Mandela (fondly known as Madiba) also seeing the old traditional way of life in the homeland area known as the Transkei. We stop for lunch just outside the capital of the Eastern Cape, Umtata and then continue on to Mvezo, Nelson Mandela’s birth place. We arrive late afternoon in East London and check-in at our hotel.

Accommodation: The Kennaway Hotel or similar [B]

Day 10: Tuesday – Port Elizabeth

After breakfast we travel through East London for a short orientation tour then continue through ‘Settler Country’ via Port Alfred, towards Grahamstown. We visit the 1820 Settler Memorial before continuing to Port Elizabeth. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. Port Elizabeth’s beaches are magnificent and justifiably, world famous. The bay has a perfect combination of warm water, calm sea and fine weather providing a haven for the water enthusiast and beach lover. The hotel is situated right in the middle of the shopping district for some excellent retail therapy and with restaurants at your doorstep there’s something to suit all tastes.

Accommodation: The Paxton Hotel or similar [B]

Day 11: Wednesday – Port Elizabeth to Knysna

Today our journey continues ever southwards towards the Cape. We are now heading into the area known as “the garden route”. The scenery is sure to bring a smile to your face and a sense of serenity to your soul. We visit the Tsitsikamma forest, where you can walk among the giant yellow-wood trees or a short stroll to the Storms River Mouth offers some magnificent views of the gorge and river below. Arrive in Knysna late afternoon for check in at our hotel, our base for the next 2 nights.

Accommodation: Knysna Hollow Country Estate or similar [B, D]

Day 12: Thursday – Oudtshoorn

After breakfast, we travel inland over the spectacular Outeniqua Pass to Oudtshoorn, known as the ‘feather capital of the world’ because of the huge Ostrich farms in the area. We visit an Ostrich Farm and have the opportunity to ride one of these giant birds, then on to the Cango Caves. The Cango Caves are South Africa’s oldest tourist attraction and although they have been known to man since the early stone age, the first recorded visit to the caves took place in 1806. We return to Knysna after yet another wonderful day.

Accommodation: Knysna Hollow Country Estate or similar [B, D]

Day 13: Friday – Knysna to Cape Town

Today’s journey ends in Cape Town. On the way we stop off in Mossel Bay to visit the famous Post Office Tree, an old Milk wood tree that has been used as a ‘post office’ since the 1500’s by the early spice traders that used these waters. It is tradition to mail a letter or post card home from here. We also visit the Bartholomeus Diaz Museum and Shell Museum then drive via Swellendam, Worcester and through the Huguenot Tunnel arriving in Cape Town in the late afternoon.

Accommodation: Protea Hotel Sea Point Hotel or similar [B]

Day 14: Saturday – Cape Town

Day of leisure in the ‘Mother City’. The Cape has many attractions including the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront (V&A) with its numerous boutiques, restaurants, cinemas and live entertainment. The famous Table Mountain Cable Way and the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton are but a few minutes away. South Africa’s best wine regions are also just a leisurely drive away.

Accommodation: Protea Hotel Sea Point Hotel or similar [B]

Optional Tour Suggestion: Full day Winelands or Peninsular tour.

Day 15: Sunday – Cape Town

This morning after breakfast, check out of the hotel by 11am after which the remainder of the day will be under your own arrangements. We can arrange any further nights in Cape Town and also book any additional activities you may want to experience.

Accommodation: Own arrangements      [B]

Optional Tours and activities that are available for this itinerary

These can be pre-purchased in Australia at the discounted price of $400 per person in total.

  • Full day open vehicle game drive in Kruger Park
  • Open vehicle pm game drive in Hluhluwi-Umfolozi game reserve
  • Morning boat cruise on the St Lucia estuary
  • 4X4 Adventure tour into Lesotho up Sani pass
  • Full day wine lands or Peninsula tour
Full Day Open Vehicle Safari

Experience the thrill of seeking out the elusive ‘Big 5’ as our experienced game rangers take you into South Africa’s largest game reserve, the Kruger National Park in specially modified open safari vehicles.  This game reserve is unrivalled in its variety of wildlife and you will be sure to see a great many of them.

Boat cruise on Lake St Lucia

A world Heritage Site, St Lucia, offers you the chance of spotting crocodile, hippo and a huge variety of birdlife from the comfort of a catamaran as you cruise up the estuary.  The eerie cry of the African Fish Eagle; the grunt of the hippo; and the stately Goliath Heron all under the watchful eye of the Nile Crocodile is an experience not to be missed.

3 Hour Open Vehicle Safari

Hluhluwe is the oldest proclaimed Game Reserve in Africa!  View the game in our specially modified open safari vehicles, keeping an eye open for the White Rhino which has been saved from extinction through the efforts of the rangers in this world renowned park.

Sani Pass 4×4 excursion (Subject to availability)

Passing through the rolling hills of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, we board a 4×4 vehicle and head up the steep Sani Pass to the top, which is in the Kingdom of Lesotho.  Visit a traditional Sotho Village and enjoy lunch while admiring the incredible views. (Passports required)

The Cape Peninsula Tour

Drive to Hout Bay (optional Seal Island cruise, time permitting) along scenic Chapman’s Peak Drive (if open) to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve.  View the penguins at Boulders Beach before heading to Simon’s Town then returning to Cape Town late afternoon.

The Cape Winelands Tour

Tour the Winelands of Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch and view the Huguenot Monument in Franschhoek.  On to Stellenbosch, via the Helshoogte Pass, for a look at this historic town, a cellar tour and wine tasting.  Head back to Cape Town.

 

The obligatory disclaimer:

We take great care in preparing our itineraries however sometimes factors beyond our control may require modifications at a moment’s notice.

ENQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR NOW