South Africa is truly blessed with wildlife, both on the land and in the ocean, and this luxury tailor-made holiday will allow the nature lover to see it all – from the Kruger’s famous Big 5 to the Cape’s penguins, whales, turtles, and even vultures. The knowledge of expert guides Michael Klerck & Wildfred Chivell will only add to the sense of wonder.
Depart London on the direct overnight British Airways flight to Johannesburg.
Connect with the onward flight to Hoedspruit, and on arrival transfer to stay for two nights on full board basis, including safari activities, at NKaya Game Lodge.
On the crest of a hill which overlooks the Drakensberg Mountains and shaded by tall trees, this lodge offers a luxury private escape. There are just four spacious suites, each of which can be completely self-contained with private dining, relaxing and bathing areas. Set on the lawn under shady trees, each suite has thatched roofs and indigenous African decorations, and they are all built around a shared swimming pool. There is also a bar, wine cellar, dining and relaxing area at which to retire to after a hard days game viewing in the African bush.
An outside boma area is the perfect location for a delicious dinner – set with class and elegance at their best, guests enjoy amazing banquets by the fire-place, sipping a glass of good wine and sharing their safari stories with other guests. The days will be spent on morning and afternoon game drives in search of the Big 5 which call this area home. Guided bushwalks are also available for those wishing to get up close to nature.
Transfer to Hoedspruit airport to depart on the direct flight to Cape Town. On arrival transfer to stay for three nights on bed & breakfast basis at Kensington Place.
This small exclusive hotel is set on the foothills of Table Mountain in one of Cape Town's most prestigious residential areas. It offers breathtaking views of Table Bay, the harbour, city skyline and mountains. It is within easy access to the city centre, historical sites, beaches, vineyards and walks in the bordering nature reserve. Each of the eight rooms has been elegantly decorated using an eclectic mix of African and European styles. This modern, sensibility and sensuousness is accentuated by the room's exquisite marble bathrooms, private terraces and sitting areas. These luxurious surroundings coupled with professional, personalised service will ensure that your stay at Kensington Place is unforgettable. Services offered include breakfast, 24 hour room service & security, satellite television, laundry and valet, secretarial services, private dining and a private garden with terrace and pool.
This morning enjoy a private tour in the company of renowned local guide Michael Klerck. A born and bred Capetonian, Michael is passionate about showcasing all the very best which his home town has to offer the visitor.
Visits to some of the city’s highlights, including the Castle of Good Hope, Company Gardens & St George’s Cathedral, will be followed by a trip up to the city’s most iconic feature - Table Mountain. One of the new natural 7 wonders of the world, it is a mountain chain which stretches from Signal Hill in the north, to Cape Point in the South and is the single richest floristic area in the world. After taking the cable car trip up 1089 metres to the summit one can explore the summit further or just soak up the commanding 360-degree views of Cape Town, Table Bay and the nearby mountains
Today there will be the unique opportunity to enjoy a behind-the-scenes experience at the award-winning Two Oceans Aquarium. This is the chance to get up close and personal, in the water, with friendly loggerhead and leatherback rescue turtles, short-tail stingrays, black musselcrackers, giant guitarfish and nearly 200 other fish. The lucky few are accompanied by in-house experts who will share their knowledge of the animals and of the exhibit itself, as well as answering any questions and educating the visitor about the turtle rehabilitation-and-release programme.
A hire car will be delivered to the hotel this morning for the drive via the scenic coastal route around Walker Bay to Betty’s Bay, to visit the Stony Point Nature Reserve, home to the largest breeding colony of African (or Jackass) Penguins in the Western Cape.
Over 2000 breeding pairs of these comical birds can be viewed in their natural habitat, with a boardwalk winding its way around the edge of the breeding area, giving visitors a view of the rocky outcrops and swimming penguins on one side, and the shrubbery and nests on the other. Stony Point is also home to large numbers of three endangered species of cormorant - Bank, Cape & Crowned, the nests of which are all easily visible from the reserve’s elevated viewing platforms.
Continue onward to Stanford to stay for two nights on a bed & breakfast basis in the tranquil surrounds of the Blue Gum Country House.
Set amongst ancient Blue Gum trees alongside the Klein River, this country lodge and wine estate in Stanford near Hermanus is just the place for a tranquil country escape. A working farm, the estate has acres of vines, pastures, river frontage and mountain fynbos waiting to be explored, with guests able to swim, play tennis, walk on the guided paths, cycle or simply enjoy a game of croquet. The accommodation is housed in a selection of beautiful rooms, with the property renowned for its superb cuisine which always makes use of the finest local ingredients. Nearby Stanford and Hermanus both offer unforgettable experiences with many activities and attractions available year round.
Travel the short distance to visit the Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, which serves to act as an educational platform, creating awareness about conditions big cats face in captivity, and how animal welfare and enrichment play a vital role in giving them the best captive life possible. It is a true sanctuary with no cub petting, or breeding, but where visitors are encouraged to visit and to observe, photograph, enjoy and be educated about the resident lions, cheetahs, leopards, tigers and caracals.
Travel along the spectacular coastline to the small fishing village of Gaansbaai to join a marine boat trip with Wildfred Chivell to Dyer Island.
Wilfred is one of the leading experts in the ecosystem and the varied wildlife found on and around Dyer Island, and he has been the driving force behind a number of local conservation projects – creating 2000 artificial penguin nests, transporting countless injured and oiled marine birds to safety and rehabilitation, educating the local communities about the devastating results of pollution on wildlife, and initiating clean-up operations.
One of the richest sea bird and seal islands along the south coast of South Africa with breeding colonies of thousands of penguins, cormorants, terns and Cape fur seals, Dyer Island is an extraordinary experience of marine wildlife. The area is also prime calving territory for the Southern Right Whales, which can easily be spotted from August to December.
This afternoon set out on the Lady Stanford, an exclusive luxury boat cruise down the Klein River from Stanford towards the Hermanus Estuary. Perfect for any nature lover, indulge in the scenic beauty of the surrounding mountain ranges, while the experienced guides point out a wide variety of birdlife.
Drive onward to stay for two nights on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis at the De Hoop Nature Reserve.
This Nature Reserve covers 36,000 hectares and includes three nautical miles of marine protected area and, due to it being home to endemic species from the Cape Floral Kingdom and over 80 mammal and 260 bird species, it is a World Heritage Site. The pristine surroundings are perfect for learning about nature and the environment, with visitors able to enjoy the diversity of landscapes and a multitude of things to do. The reserve is wonderful for beach and dune walks, whale-watching, mountain biking and guided birding & fynbos walks, with tennis, star gazing and boat cruises also available.
This afternoon enjoy a guided interpretive marine walk through the Reserve, learning about the local coastal ecology and viewing the numerous birds. Also to be spotted easily from the shore will be the magnificent Southern Right Whales, who call these waters home for four months of every year.
Today begins with an adventure out to the cliffs of Potberg Mountain to view endangered Cape Vultures – the Western Cape’s last surviving colony of these amazing birds.
Travel through the fynbos and hike up to the Vulture Deck to watch these birds soar above.
This afternoon join a guided eco cruise boat trip and enjoy bird, game, otter and even porcupine sightings whilst drinks and snacks are served.
This morning journey through the reserve on a walking route which includes a diversity of habitats from dense coastal forests to exceptionally rich fynbos-covered hills. A guide will share their intricate knowledge of the reserve’s ecology and plant-animal relationships, as well as explaining how fire plays such an important role in the fynbos ecosystem.
Travel to Cape Town airport in time to return the hire car and depart on the direct overnight British Airways flight to London.
Arrive London early morning.
Chris joined Africa Travel directly from university in 1992 and knows both the company and Africa extremely well.Read more
Sales Advisor, London
Felicity, who joined Africa Travel in 2004, has worked in the travel industry for over 30 years and originally comes from South Africa's KwaZulu Natal provinceRead more
Sales Advisor, London
Emma got a taste of travelling when she was young, she has been travelling all around the world. However it was in Africa where Emma found her heart.Read more
Sales Advisor, Cape Town
Melissa joined Africa Travel in 2015, having worked in the travel industry for 10 years. Born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa, Melissa's favourite destinations are Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and the Garden Route.Read more
Sales Support, Cape Town
Shaun joined the travel industry just over 10 years ago, working first for an online travel booking portal and an ecotourism company, specialising in sustainable travel in Southern and East Africa.Read more
Sales Support, Cape Town
Debbie joined Africa Travel in May 2009 and has been in the travel industry for over 20 years, enjoying a number of roles, from airline ticketing to accounting.Read more
Tour Guide, Cape Town
Christine first came to Africa as a young woman and immediately felt a connection which has never allowed her to leave. She lived in Johannesburg and in Knysna on the Garden Route, but came to Cape Town 22 years ago and realised it was where she wanted to be!Read more
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