South Africa - Contrasts in Majesty

Charming, elegant and mysterious, South Africa awaits you on an exciting safari of cultural and natural treasures. Feel the warmth of the African sun while exploring Cape Town’s immense cache of unrivaled beauty and exotic botanical gardens, up the Cape Peninsula to the Cape of Good Hope and the endearing penguins of Boulder Beach. Explore Table Mountain and the verdant winelands, richly complemented by Dutch colonial architecture. Feel the rush of seeing Africa’s Big 5 up-close in Kruger National Park while surrounded in comfort. South Africa’s tumultuous struggle to end apartheid is on display when you visit the Nelson Mandela House and Apartheid Museum. The post extension takes you to Zimbabwe and the glorious roar of Victoria Falls. Explore and rejuvenate the soul in South Africa.

Degree of Difficulty - Two Paws

Slightly Active. May involve some walking and climbing.

Weather Reports - When To Go

No matter when one visits South Africa, it is a stunning country and one is sure to delight in its offerings. South Africa is affected by the waters surrounding the country, and thus there’s variation in the weather pattern depending on what part of the country visited. In Cape Town, the winter months (June-August) are mild and changeable; this is also the time when most of the rainfall occurs in the Cape. Summer months (January-March) around Cape Town are generally dry. On the high veld, in the center of South Africa around Johannesburg, there are sharp differences of temperature between day and night and it can be quite cold during the winter months. During the summer months at Kruger (December-March,) there can be sporadic rainfall in the form of quick thunder showers, but wildlife viewing is superb no matter when visited. April through August represent the winter months in Southern Africa which in turn means very little rain in most of the country, except for the Cape. South Africa is incredible to visit, particularly the Cape, during the Spring, when the wildflowers are in bloom – generally mid-August through September. Marine enthusiasts should consider visiting between June and November when the Southern Right Whale congregates in the waters.

Days 1/2 USA/CAPE TOWN

Your journey begins as you board your overnight flight to Cape Town, arriving the next evening. Your historic hotel is a combination of rich history and elegant contemporary architecture, and is located in the heart of the city, next to the pedestrian precinct, St. George’s Mall, and across from the Parliament. THE TAJ CAPE TOWN. (Meals Aloft)

Day 3 CAPETOWN

Discover a cornucopia of culture, natural beauty and history around every bend on your drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. See quaint seaside towns, rugged shorelines and majestic rock formations. At Cape Point, see rare proteas, the endangered sago-belly frog and endemic species such as Cape grysbok, Cape mountain zebra and Cape fox. Get up close to African penguins at Boulders Beach. Explore world-renowned Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Enjoy a welcome dinner at the Mint Restaurant. THE TAJ CAPE TOWN. (B,L, Welcome D)

Day 4 ROBBEN ISLAND/CAPE FLATS (OPTIONAL)

Enjoy a day at leisure in Cape Town to explore on your own. Or avail yourself to a cultural day (at additional cost) with a visit to one of the most significant and moving sights in South Africa, Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela spent 17 years, imprisoned for his beliefs. After lunch, visit the Townships, a tour that offers an insight and interaction with different cultures, communities and individuals. Tour District Six at Cape Flats with a township guide, and Langa, the oldest formal black township in Cape Town. Witness the living accommodations created at the height of the apartheid era, and end your tour with a visit to Khayelitsha (“new home”). THE TAJ CAPE TOWN. (B, L-if taking optional tour)

Day 5 TABLE MOUNTAIN/WINELANDS

Ascend Table Mountain in a cable car and experience the magnificent views. This World Heritage Site features some 1,470 plant species. Afterwards, leave Cape Town behind and delve into another world: A tapestry of vineyards interwoven with the historic towns of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek at the base of the Boland Mountains is the cradle of the South African fruit and wine industries. Visit Waterkloof Estate where as an option (at additional cost) you can experience the winelands on horseback and enjoy a 3-course lunch in the cellar in the sky, inspired by the seasons. At the Waterford Estate, enjoy a unique wine and chocolate experience. Your exclusive hotel is situated at the foot of the magnificent Paarl Rock and has the award-winning Bosman’s Restaurant on the premises, one of South Africa’s best. Overlooking vineyards and mountains, there’s also a golf course nearby. The unique, individually named suites are spread over landscaped gardens in the midst of a working wine farm. You can walk to the nearby village to shop, or just relax by the pool and take in the beautiful views and fantastic service. GRANDE ROCHE HOTEL. (B,L;B)

Days 7/8/9 KRUGER NATIONAL PARK

Return to Cape Town and fly to Hoedspruit, where you transfer to your luxury camp located within Kruger National Park. Crisscrossed by five rivers, Kruger serves as refuge for 300 different types of trees, 49 species of fish, 34 types of amphibian, 116 different reptilian species, 505 species of birds and 147 species of mammals. Your guide will interpret the ecosystems and animal behavior, and help you to identify the strands in the web of life. Your lovely lodge is set on the banks of the Nwatswitswonto River. Experience the colonial delights of four o’clock tea, succulent evening meals, cigars and brandy. All suites are beautifully appointed with luxuriant furniture and imported linen. Spacious decks offer stunning salas and private plunge pools with views over the river bed and onto the plains beyond. IMBALI SAFARI LODGE. (B,L,D Daily)

Days 10/11/12 JOHANNESBURG/SOWETO/USA

A last chance to discover the wildlife of South Africa before your flight to Johannesburg and your luxury hotel, The FAIRLAWNS, situated in the heart of Sandton. Set in an attractive, landscaped garden with an outdoor swimming pool, the hotel provides an informal atmosphere which is combined with efficient service. Next day, immerse yourself in South Africa’s complex history at the Mandela Family Museum, the Apartheid Museum and Hector Peterson Square. Reflect on the fight for equality as you view eye-opening photographs, artwork and exhibits with memorabilia from world leaders and scholars, and enjoy lunch in a traditional shebeen in Soweto. Late this afternoon, transfer to the airport for your return flights home, arriving the USA next day. (B; B,L; Meals Aloft)

POST EXTENSION TO VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE

Another adventure awaits as you fly to Victoria Falls. Five separate cascades plunging more than 300 feet with a thunderous roar comprise this awesome spectacle, the world’s largest waterfall. Feel the mist on your face during a guided tour and enjoy a sundowner cruise along the Zambezi River. Visit a native village to experience their way of life and shop in the African marketplace for those last-minute souvenirs. Stay at the “Grande Dame” of the Falls where Edwardian splendor is recalled in period art and antique furniture, world-class service and fine dining. Your farewell dinner is at the Boma for a very unique African experience.

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • Roundtrip flights between Johannesburg & Victoria Falls on the extension.
  • Superior accommodations throughout at hotels and lodges as listed in the itinerary, or similar.
  • Breakfasts daily, all meals while on safari and other meals as indicated in itinerary.
  • All transfers in Southern Africa in deluxe motor coaches.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4x4 open-air vehicles in South Africa.
  • Specialist guide will accompany the group with 10 travelers.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles and during meals.
  • All applicable hotel/lodge gratuities and taxes.
  • All park entry fees.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
Prices starting at $4,495. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.