Highlights of Southern Africa


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    With boutique wineries, immense canyons, thriving game parks, bustling cities and ancient cultures, Southern Africa truly has it all.

    Never before have the highlights been quite so bright. Experience the best of Southern Africa from the windswept dunes of Namibia to Zimbabwe’s thundering Victoria Falls, with visits to some of the region’s most famous game parks, cities and towns on the way through. Take in the immensity of Fish River Canyon, spot the Big Five at Greater Kruger National Park and sample South Africa’s finest grapes in Stellenbosch, all in the name of adventure.

    Highlights

    • Witness the wildlife in Etosha National Park on a full days Game Drive.
    • Rise early and witness the colourful sunrise and a picnic breakfast from the edge of Fish River Canyon, the second largest chasm of its type in the world, before returning to Canyon Lodge, a feature stay on this trip.
    • Step inside Faldela’s Purple House in the Bo-Kaap region of Cape Town for an authentic home-cooked dinner. Taste some of the traditional dishes such as ‘Bredie’, ‘Chilli Bites’ and ‘Koesisters’.
    • Taste South Africa’s acclaimed wine heritage with a special Wine tasting in the Cape Winelands, where ducks form part of the workforce and hand-crafted wines are waiting to be sampled.
    • Experience some of the world’s best whale watching without leaving dry land. Hermanus’ coastal walkways have the perfect spots to sit and watch the whales as they frolic in in the bay.
    • Cruise out on to the emerald waters of the Knysna Lagoon and taste some of the freshest, most delicious local produce on an Oyster Tour
    • Take the ultimate South African wildlife adventure. Explore the South Africa’s biggest reserve, Kruger National Park, in 4x4s with an expert local guide.
    • A afternoon river cruise along the Chobe river get you up close and personal with hippos, crocodiles, elephant and buffalo.
    • The thundering Victoria Falls is one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, a phenomenon of sight and sound. Then return to the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, our feature stay on this trip, for views over their watering hole.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: Windhoek
    Your journey begins with a welcome meeting.

    Day 2: Etosha National Park
    Travel to our lodge located just outside Etosha National Park.  On arrival the afternoon will be free to relax at the Lodge, as tomorrow we will have a full day in the Park.  (B, L, D)

    Day 3: Etosha National Park
    Rise early and enjoy a full day of game viewing in the truck. Return to the lodge and reflect on the day’s adventures with your fellow travellers over dinner.  (B, L, D)

    Day 4: Damaraland
    Enjoy a morning Game Drive in the Park then venture off the beaten track as you head into the heart of Damaraland. (B, L, D)

    Day 5: Damaraland
    Spend the morning visiting the surrounding sights such as Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest. Continue on to the Living Museum of the Damara, which aims to reconstruct and preserve the ‘lost culture’ of the Damara. Return to the lodge around 2pm, with the rest of the day free to relax by the pool, with a book or a nap. (B, L, D)

    Day 6: Swakopmund
    Travel on through the Namibia Desert today to reach the Atlantic Ocean coastline. Your destination is the beachside town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Upon arrival at Swakopmund, you will check into your hotel and have free time to enjoy this interesting township of German-Namibian atmosphere. The accommodation is within walking distance of the town, and you can enjoy a walk on the beach, or visit the open-air markets or local museum. (B, L)

    Day 7: Swakopmund
    With free time today, you may wish to take an optional trip north to Cape Cross, a breeding site for Cape fur seals. There are also a number of optional activities available here (at extra cost) for those who are interested. (B)

    Day 8: Sesriem
    Depart your coastal retreat in Swakopmund and head south today towards Sesriem. Walvis Bay is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory birds, most notably flamingos. Continue on past moon valley; an eerie rocky granite valley, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Stop by the small settlement of Solitaire before arriving at your lodge. (B, D)

    Day 9: Sossusvlei / Sesriem
    Make an early-morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. Climbing to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with spectacular vistas of the surreal desert landscape. After breakfast, travel to Dead Vlei, a clay pan best known for the iconic postcard like images that many snap here. In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, a tranquil natural corridor that you can walk through and explore. Return to the lodge for the evening. (B, L, D)

    Day 10: Fish River Canyon
    Depart Sossusvlei early this morning and travel to Fish River Canyon. Your accommodation for the next two nights is a gem hidden in this rugged environment. A fusion of farmhouse flavour and natural splendour, walkways lead to 25 natural stone chalets nestled amongst granite boulders and perfectly landscaped gardens. After checking into the lodge you may like to cool off in the stunning pool, wrap up the day with a short excursion to our very own ‘local’ mountain, or simply have a drink and watch the sun go down. (B, L, D)

    Day 11: Fish River Canyon
    Rise early and witness the colourful sunrise from the edge of Fish River Canyon. You will stop at various lookouts, which offer spectacular views and photographic opportunities. After capturing all the photos you like, make your way to the main viewpoint and sit down to enjoy picnic breakfast with an unforgettable view over the canyon. Return to the lodge and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (B, L, D)

    Day 12: Orange River
    Farewell Fish River Canyon and head on to Orange River.  Set off this afternoon on a 10-kilometre canoe journey down the Orange River. The canoe trip will be done in 2-man canoes with a local guide. It is a slow paced, easy trip, and you should be travelling simply downstream for most or all of the trip. (B, L, D)

    Day 13: Trawal
    Leaving Namibia behind, you will cross the border and travel into South Africa.  The drive will be south of the Orange River to a wine farm in Trawal. This evening you’ll enjoy a unique wine tasting, taking in seven of the regions finest wines with your experienced and knowledgeable host ‘Sparky’. (B, L, D)

    Day 14: Cape Town
    Continue on to the South African capital, Cape Town. The rest of the day until the evening is at your leisure. This evening you’ll enjoy a memorable dinner with the group in the Bo-Kapp region of Cape Town. Known for its brightly coloured houses and situated at the foot of Signal Hill, Bo-Kaap is the spiritual home of the Cape’s Muslim community. Learn about why the houses are painted in bright colours and how the community supports each other from your story-telling host. (B, L, D)

    Day 15: Cape Town
    Today is a free day to enjoy all that Cape Town has to offer. (B)

    Day 16: Cape Town
    Today is another free day to explore Cape Town.  (B)

    Day 17: Stellenbosch
    Depart from Cape Town after breakfast and head towards lovely Stellenbosch. Visit Vergenoegd winery, a unique estate where you’ll get to meet the waddling workforce of runner ducks used to assist in the control of the snail and pest population in the vineyards. This is a practice the estate have been refining since 1984, and a big part of why Vergenoegd proudly carries WWF biodiversity certification. You arrive in time for the 9:45 am duck parade and enjoy a cellar tour and wine tasting. Also stop in at the Lanzarac Winery, the home of the first bottled Pinotage, and enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. There will be time for lunch in either Vergenoegd or Lanzarac, and the evening is at your leisure once you arrive in Stellenbosch. (B)

    Day 18: Hermanus
    Drive to Hermanus, a coastal town famous for southern right whale watching during the winter and spring. You travel there via Bettys Bay, stopping to visit the Penguin Colony at Stoney Point and the Harold Porter Botanical gardens where there is time to have lunch. Upon arrival in the coastal town of Hermanus, around mid-afternoon, there will be a chance to visit the Heart of Abalone, a working abalone farm. This is a chance to not only taste this sought-after delicacy but also get a glimpse behind the scenes of the industry. The rest of the evening free for you to relax and unwind. (B)

    Day 19: Hermanus
    Enjoy a free day in Hermanus. (B)

    Day 20: Oudtshoorn
    Drive to Oudtshoorn, via Mossel Bay. In the afternoon, enjoy a wine and port tasting at Boplass in Calitzdorp. Arrive in Outdshoon, which is known as the ostrich capital of the world. (B, D)

    Day 21: Oudtshoorn
    Spend some time with some meerkats today. On a fun 2–3 hour excursion, head to the burrows of these cheeky meerkats, pull up a chair and sip coffee while the sun comes up and the meerkats climb out into the sunshine. Return to the Lodge and enjoy breakfast before driving to the Swartberg Mountains. Descend into the town of Prince Albert, a contender for South Africa’s most charming town, full of the architecture of the 18th to 20th centuries. Return to the lodge via the Cango Caves, where you learn about their formation and history from a local guide. Browse the weird and wonderful rock formations including ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’. (B, D)

    Day 22: Knysna / Tsitsikamma National Park
    On your way to Tsitsikamma, stop in Knysna for an afternoon boat cruise to Knysna Heads, sampling local oysters and wine along the way. Arrive in Tsitsikamma and take in its magnificent raw beauty. (B, D)

    Day 23: Tsitsikamma National Park
    Enjoy a hike in Tsitsikamma National Park today. The return trek is approximately 9 kilometres and should take around half a day. However, there will be scenic options along the boardwalk for a shorter trek without the group if you are concerned about your fitness. Keep an eye out for fauna such as cape clawless otters, dolphins, tortoises, southern right whales (in season), baboons, monkeys and various birds. (B, D)

    Day 24: Kariega Game Reserve
    Travel to Kariega Game Reserve, a Big 5 private safari reserve, with elephants, lions and leopards. Upon arrival freshen up in the beautiful lodge before lunch. The experienced game rangers will then drive you out on safari this afternoon/ evening in an open game-drive vehicle, traversing the valleys, grassy plains and African bushveld to bring you close to the Big 5 and other game roaming freely in their natural habitat. The private reserve incorporates 10,000 hectares of pristine African wilderness, as well as two abundant rivers – the Kariega and the Bushmans rivers. (B, D)

    Day 25: Johannesburg
    Enjoy a morning game drive before transferring to Port Elizabeth Airport for your flight to Johannesburg.  Your day is free to explore Joburg or Jozi (as the locals call it). (B)

    Day 26: Greater Kruger National Park
    Set off early for a drive to Greater Kruger National Park, arriving just in time for lunch. The afternoon and evening will be spent in a neighbouring game reserve searching for game by spotlight. After the game drive, return to your intimate lodge tucked away in the park. It faces a waterhole and has a view of the bush and the Drakensberg Mountains, as well as a swimming pool and an inviting bar. (B, L, D)

    Day 27: Greater Kruger National Park
    An early start today sees the group heading into the Kruger National Park itself. The lodge is within the Greater Kruger region and upon entry, you’ll find yourself in the perfect position to catch a glimpse of one, or hopefully all, of the ‘Big Five’: lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant. Take breakfast at a picnic spot then proceed with a full day of wildlife safari, stopping off at waterholes and various other points to observe these animals in their natural habitat. The group will return to the lodge in the late afternoon and have a free evening to swim, relax and relive their favourite moments from the day. (B, D)

    Day 28: Greater Kruger National Park
    Return to Kruger National Park for another game drive. This is an opportunity to catch a glimpse of any animals the group didn’t see the day before. Today’s game drive will finish in time for sunset on the deck at your lodge – sparkling wine in hand to compliment a locally sourced platter, including biltong. (B, D)

    Day 29: Johannesburg
    Rise early once more for a guided walk through the local bush, during which you’ll learn about identifying trees, tracking animals and the local birds. The group will then begin the drive back to Johannesburg. (B)

    Day 30: Chobe National Park
    Fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls then follow the Zambezi across the Botswana border and on to Chobe National Park. Afterwards, take a cruise along the Chobe River looking for saddle-billed storks, malachite kingfishers, fish eagles and bee-eaters, as well as hippos, crocodiles and elephants. You’ll be joined on this cruise by other travellers and there’s a small bar onboard, so you can enjoy a G&T as the sun sets over the river. (B, L, D)

    Day 31: Chobe National Park
    Take a game drive through Chobe National Park, the first designated national park in Botswana. Chobe is known for its huge population of elephants and buffalo and you may well see them drinking at the local watering hole during the drive. Head back to the lodge then enjoy a free afternoon during which you may like to take another river cruise (optional activity), walk through Kasane town dodging local warthogs, or take it easy at the pool near the river’s edge for a seriously special sunset.  (B, L, D)

    Day 32: Victoria Falls
    Head out on an optional game drive in Chobe National Park or alternatively take a leisurely breakfast at the lodge. In the afternoon, visit the indescribable Victoria Falls, one of the world’s true natural wonders forming the largest sheet of falling water in the world when in full flow. The guide will take you on a tour through the area and explain the history of the falls and their surroundings. Once the tour has finished, head back to you lodge and look out for elephants drinking from the private watering hole while sipping a sundowner. (B)

    Day 33: Victoria Falls
    Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. (B)

    Inclusions

    • Meals: 32 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 21 dinners
    • Transport: Custom-built overland vehicle, 4WD safari vehicle, Private vehicle, Boat, Plane
    • Accommodation: Hotel (9 nights), Lodge (13 nights), Cabin (1 night), Feature Stay Lodge (5 nights), Feature Stay Hote (2 nights), Village Inn (2 nights)

    Included activities

    • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
    • Etosha National Park – Overland Vehicle Game drives
    • Damaraland – Twyfelfontein Bushman Paintings
    • Damaraland – Twyfelfontein Heritage Site
    • Damaraland – Petrified Forest
    • Damaraland – Living Museum of the Damara
    • Sesriem – Sesriem Canyon
    • Sesriem – Dune 45
    • Sesriem – Sossusvlei Salt Pan
    • Fish River Canyon – Sunrise and Picnic Breakfast
    • Orange River – Canoe trip
    • Trawal – Olifants Wine & Cheese Tasting
    • Cape Town – Cape Malay Cooking Class
    • Complimentary airport arrival transfer
    • Stellenbosch – Vergenoegd Duck Parade & Wine Tasting
    • Stellenbosch – Lanzerac Wine and Chocolate Tasting
    • Betty’s Bay – Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
    • Betty’s Bay – Penguin Colony
    • Calitzdorp – Boplaas Port and Wine Tasting
    • Oudtshoorn – Meerkat Experience
    • Oudtshoorn – Cango Caves Guided Tour
    • Knysna Lagoon – Oyster Tasting Boat Cruise
    • Tsitsikamma National Park – Half Day Hike
    • Kariega Game Reserve – Afternoon 4×4 Game Drive
    • Port Elizabeth – Included Flight to Johannesburg
    • Private Game Reserve – 4×4 Game Drive
    • Kruger National Park – Open Safari Vehicle Game Drive
    • Morning Guernsey Bush Walk
    • Panorama Route – Bourke’s Luck Potholes
    • Panorama Route – God’s Window
    • Chobe National Park – River Safari Cruise
    • Chobe National Park – 4×4 Game Drive
    • Victoria Falls – Entrance & Visit

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    Images courtesy of IntrrepdiGroup