South Africa is one of the very best safari destinations one can imagine. In South Africa you will not only see the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) but in addition you’ll relish the beautiful indigenous plants and flowers in the flora capital of the world. Iconic Table Mountain which is the backdrop to stunning Cape Ton, plus two of the world’s most dramatic coastal roads will make your jaw drop in awe. Add the vineyards carpeting the Cape Winelands, and some perfect hospitality, and you’ve got a trip of a lifetime. South Africa simply has it all. Friendly people, mountains as well as the sea, wild animals including penguins and whales, some of the world’s best hotels and lodges and world-class wines, fabulous food and stunning shopping. If you’ve not been yet, you are missing out.
Your guide and facilitator on this adventure is Jean who hails from South Africa. She now lives in Australia but her home country still holds her true heart and soul. Jean is just about the most charming person you’ll ever meet with stupendous taste in hotels and everything else – you will surely be in good hands with her.
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria.
The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra-modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organized tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater for all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.
Upon arrival at OR Tambo Int Airport, you will be met and transferred to The Peech Boutique Hotel.
Rest and unpack.
The Peech Hotel is set amid two acres of lush, landscaped gardens, located in the desirable residential neighborhood of Melrose in Jo-Burg. Centrally located, yet a calm and tranquil escape from the busy nearby shopping hubs of Sandton, Rosebank and Melrose Arch.
For our first meal together at dinner, we’ll sample the owner’s tasting menu and toast to our first of many unforgettable meals together.
Overnight: The Peech Hotel
Adjacent to the Kruger National Park, the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is THE private premier animal viewing destination. It was the first-ever private nature reserve established in South Africa. The landscape features 65 000 hectares of savannah-covered land interspersed with watering holes, dry riverbeds, Lowveld woodlands, and the perennial Sabi and Sand rivers.
This spectacular reserve offers exceptional game viewing opportunities with frequent sightings of the renowned Big Five as well as cheetah, zebra, giraffe, and a variety of antelope. Visitors can enjoy excellent wildlife viewing, dining under the stars, guided bush walks and enjoying a stay in some of South Africa’s most luxurious safari lodges.
After breakfast and checkout procedures, you will be collected and transferred to OR Tambo International Airport.
We’ll hop on a scheduled short flight from OR Tambo Int Airport to Skukuza Airport.
On arrival you will be met by a representative from Notten’s Bush Camp and transferred to the lodge.
Notten’s Bush Camp is a jewel within the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in Mpumalanga. Notten’s is an exclusive and private safari lodge personally run by the Notten family. The beautiful and intimate lodge is situated within one of South Africa’s finest natural sanctuaries the Sabi Sand Reserve and Greater Kruger National Park.
Each private suite is elegantly styled, spacious and cooled by ceiling fans with both indoor and outdoor showers. With splendid panoramic views, the private game lodge is the perfect place for peace and relaxation while watching animals meander past. Unique walking safaris are offered daily giving guests the opportunity of discovering the hidden treasures of the region. This can be followed by lazy hours spent in the sparkling pool or having a massage at the Nature Spa.
Under the cloak of nightfall, guests can enjoy the sounds of the African night, while dining in the enchanting candlelit boma (fire) beneath a canopy of stars.
Three meals, accommodation, two game drives and bush walk per day, local soft drinks, house wines and beers are all included.
Your early morning wakeup call is to be cherished as there is no better time of day than a beautiful fresh start with the rising sun, while you are surrounded by bird songs and calls of the wild. Your game drive safari sets off in an open-top Land Cruiser guided by an experienced and knowledgeable game ranger and his tracker.
5.30am – 6.00 wakeup call
Tea and coffee served in the Summerhouse
6.30 am game drive departs
9.30 Return from game drive
10.00 breakfast in the Summerhouse
Bush walk offered after breakfast
Plus, optional extras are available throughout the day
14.45 pm High tea in the Summerhouse
15.30 Afternoon game drive departs
Watch the sunset with a sundowner in hand
19.30 Dinner is served
The afternoon game drive is at days end and coincides with grazers, after lying low in the heat of the day, they come out from the thickets to feed. In the midst of the African bush, sundowner drinks will be served with the setting sun and in conclusion, a night drive is conducted with a spotlight and while predators emerge to begin their patrols, we also search for the elusive creatures of the dark.
The bush walk is conducted following your hearty breakfast and is not essentially a game viewing experience but rather a guided walk amongst the tranquil setting of bushes and trees, taking a route along sand roads and game trails. Walkers have the pleasure of learning about the finer details that make up their surroundings, while participating in analyzing wildlife tracks, identifying birds and bird sounds. You will also identify trees, bushes, plants and seed pods and any traditional bush craft and medicinal uses that apply. While you enjoy the walk at a leisurely pace, you will always have playing out in the back of your mind, the thrill of knowing you are walking in Big 5 wilderness, of course all safety precautions will be taken.
Each day and night you have on safari is thrilling. While you check off all the animals that you see, you’ll learn much about their habitat, how and when they mate, their eating habits and so much more. It is beyond exciting to capture the wild animals on film and video. There might be nothing one can do on this planet that makes you feel more alive or more connected to nature than a safari game drive or bush walk.
Resting at the confluence of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, situated between the slopes of the iconic Table Mountain and the glistening sapphire waters of Table Bay, the exceptionally scenic city of Cape Town is in a class of its own. Some cities boast rich culture, vibrant nightlife, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and extraordinary architecture, while others boast breath-taking landscapes and extraordinary natural wonders. Cape Town is fortunate to be blessed with all of these attractions and so much more. With its bustling harbor, world-class beaches, top-notch vineyards, and its mountainous surroundings brimming with diverse flora and fauna, Cape Town consistently captivates the hearts of all who visit.
After your last morning game drive and breakfast at Sabi Sands, you will be transferred back to Skukuza Airport. Scheduled flight from Skukuza Airport to Cape Town International Airport
On arrival in the Mother City, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight: Kensington Place
Kensington Palace is located in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Higgovale situated below Table Mountain. The hotel offers spacious suites that feature Wi-Fi access, a television and private outdoor terrace that overlooks the city and its harbor. Guests can enjoy delicious meals at the onsite restaurant as well as unwind with a refreshing drink at the bar. The hotel also offers a lush quiet garden and an intimate outdoor swimming pool.
Bed and Breakfast + Dinner included tonight (drinks are extra).
Beginning with elevated views of the city from the iconic Table Mountain, this days’ focus is on exploring the Atlantic Seaboard and the cosmopolitan delights that the city has to offer. Following in the footsteps of ‘Stan the Strandloper’ we will take in the city sites all the while seeing them from a local’s perspective. We’ll head up to the top of Table Mountain by cable car to soak in the stunning view. On top of Table Mountain, we’ll do a short hike away from the crowds where we will enjoy an afternoon picnic whilst our guide brings alive the history of Cape Town combining the elevated view over the city with turn of the century photographs to highlight the changes of the city.
With a better understanding of the city layout, we descend and wander through the inner city, soaking up the magical vibe of Cape Town, through a combination of tales of the past juxtaposed with modern-day culture, and meet some of the absorbing communities which form the town’s vital building blocks. From here we make our way to the colorful Bo-Kaap area in the historic city centre. Here we will spend time exploring the cobbled streets and spice markets to experience a lively suburb filled with brightly colored houses from as early as the seventeenth century, Muslim saint shrines and many beautiful Mosques.
There will be optional afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel, the place to take high tea. (this is extra). A truly traditional treat, dine on sumptuous cakes, pastries and sandwiches stacked in tiers, live piano music sets the scene.
The remainder of the afternoon will be spent at the V&A Waterfront, undoubtedly one of the best-known spots in Cape Town, and there’s plenty more to it than shopping. Take a relaxed ramble along the harbor and search for some of its numerous historical landmarks – some famous, others often overlooked, and all certainly offering a fresh perspective of the Mother City. Explore Cape Town via its inspirational people making a difference in people’s lives, meet inspiring township artists along the way and exploring the meaning behind the art works, that in itself unravels the history of Cape Town and South Africa. Taking in the stories of the apartheid era struggles to the founding of a new democracy, wildlife conservation and more. Urban life is full of surprises, so if you enjoy a spot of people watching as we go, this is certainly a great choice.
Dinner tonight will be back at our hotel.
The aim of the day is to explore the highlights of the Cape Peninsula, looking for any excuse to embrace the ocean and the great outdoors in this unique and spectacular habitat to explore one of the most unique marine habitats in the world.
We will start our morning off with a visit to the Kirstenbosch Gardens, one of the world’s most scenic botanical gardens which is home to an incredible array of the Western Cape’s unique floral kingdom species. With winding walk ways through the tree canopy, to exhilarating hikes through the forest, to its lush rolling lawns, Kirstenbosch offers an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself on the slopes of the Table Mountain range.
From Kirstenbosch we will wind our way along the beautiful coastline, to the charismatic village of Kalk Bay. Kalk Bay is best known for its working fishing harbor and bohemian feel. Browse the arts and crafts on offer, perhaps do a bit of shopping in the quirky fashion boutiques and enjoy the antiques and collectables along the main strip. Get a feel for the local fisherman community at the harbor where you will encounter a few seals eagerly awaiting fish scraps as the boats come in.
For lunch, we will head over to a local restaurant in the heart of the seaside town of Scarborough. You will enjoy a healthy, delicious lunch (included) made using fresh ingredients that are ethically and locally sourced.
We will then continue on to the Cape of Good Hope. In the peninsula reserve, we will enjoy a gentle hike/walk exploring secluded beaches, shipwrecks and this region’s unique wildlife while on the hunt for the Cape 5 (Ostrich, Baboons, Mountain Zebra, Bontebok and Tortoise).
Wind the afternoon down with a visit to the local Noordhoek Farm Village where you can all enjoy a delicious artisanal ice cream at Kristen’s Kick Ass Ice Cream, before heading back towards the city center along the most scenic drive of all: Chapman’s Peak.
End your day on one of the city’s most scenic drives as you wind your way along Chapman’s Peak drive, along which we will stop at a magical surprise location taking in the vast Atlantic Ocean.
Dinner tonight is on your own.
We explore one of the most scenically beautiful areas in SA, visiting fascinating towns and taking a look into off-the-beaten-track farms which revel in their old-world roots and influences. Today is about so much more than just sipping the wines we’ll also stroll through the vines, learning about farming methods and techniques.
Today, we uncover the natural beauty of the Winelands, an area known for its rows of vineyards and stunning estates dominated by forests, gardens and historic architecture. Our active exploration, on bike or foot, provides an intimate and fun opportunity to see this region – all at your own pace.
We start our day exploring the charismatic town of Franschhoek for a gentle stroll to explore this French inspired town. Uncover the true essence of the Franschhoek Valley – picturesque vineyards, breath-taking scenery, warm hospitality, world-class cuisine, fine wines and a 300-year history. We visit some of the smaller, boutique and family-owned wine estates for a more intimate wine tasting.
From here, we will continue our morning adventure at Le Lude’s custom-built winery is one of the few cellars in South Africa exclusively used for making Cap Classique.
Sit down to a lovely lunch at Chef’s Warehouse (included) set in the heart of the Franschhoek valley at Maison Estate. Elegant and inviting, the name “Maison” comes from the French word for “house” and their motto is “make yourself at home”.
After lunch we make our way to Boschendal Wine Estate, the historic Cape vernacular Manor House dates back to 1812 and is home to a premier wine tasting experience. Partake in a wine tasting in the refurbished Manor House where the history and antiques of the house pair beautifully with the estate’s wines.
Signature experiences are presented from a private room and include a Historic Tasting of 5 wines representing the history of Boschendal and a Connoisseur Tasting of 5 limited release wines of which we will partake.
Drop off at Babylonstoren Hotel for check-in.
Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. It has a fruit and vegetable garden which is both beauty and diverse. It’s a unique accommodation with fine food and a sense of wellbeing. The hotel is actually a 250-hectare (approx. 500 acre) working wine and fruit farm that dates back over 300 years. It’s truly a place so beautiful, a welcome so warm it’s an experience quite unlike any other situated in a quiet corner of the Cape that is surrounded by majestic mountains on three sides.
Comfort is key in the one-bedroom Farmhouse suites where a moody interior theme comprising swarthy four-poster king-size beds, dusted moss walls, luxurious en-suite marble bathrooms and generous walk-in cupboards are paired with contemporary furniture and accessories such as extra-length MDF Italia sofas. In addition to the underfloor heating, each room is fitted with a cast-iron stove. Bookshelves filled with a wonderful selection of books and free Wi-Fi are just a few of the things that await you. A well-stocked personalized bar fridge, as well as breakfast, are included in the room rate.
Dinner included tonight at the hotel (not drinks)
After breakfast and checkout, you will be collected and transferred to Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse for a day of rest and relaxation. Here you can enjoy their pool, walk through the beautiful gardens, check out the farm animals or simply just sit, read and relax. A welcome antidote to the go-go of the days before.
Overnight: Bartholomeus Klip Farmhouse
Bartholomeus Klip is a charming small hotel on a working wheat and sheep farm just over an hour away from Cape Town – ideally situated for exploring the famous winelands. There is a 4 000 hectare fynbos (local flora) nature reserve, with a spectacular backdrop of mountains, to be explored on game drives or by mountain bike, and beautiful gardens with a unique swimming pool. The food is renowned, with lavish brunches and high teas, and a gourmet three-course dinner.
Each of the comfortable guest rooms comes with an en-suite bathroom, air-conditioning and under-floor heating, as well as a king size bed – which in some rooms can also be converted into a twin bed. In addition, several of the Double Rooms open out onto private balconies.
Full country brunch & 3 course dinner, afternoon tea, snacks & sundowners, morning coffee & pastries, two daily activities, use of mountain bikes, canoes & other facilities as well as free Wi-Fi.
All beverages, telephone calls, gratuities, laundry & valet, shop purchases and extra activities.
This morning, you will be collected and transferred back to Cape Town Int Airport in time to connect with your onward flight home.
PASSPORT INFORMATION: Please note that anyone traveling to South Africa or any African country you will be required to have two consecutive blank pages in your passport that lie side by side when the passport is open per country entered (i.e. a left and a right-hand page). Please make sure your passports are valid for at least 6 months after your return.
MALARIA TABLETS are recommended for some areas – please consult your doctor or pharmacist. In these areas we highly recommend Insect repellent such a Peaceful Sleep or Tabard, as an added deterrent to mosquitoes – Lodges supply these.
YELLOW FEVER: You will not need a yellow fever certificate if you are entering South Africa except if you have been in a country where yellow fever occurs within the last 6 months (EG Zanzibar, Kenya, Tanzania). If you have been in these countries, you will need to present your Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate on entry to South Africa. In these instances, please ensure you take this with you.
GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!
NOTE -> Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.
Trip Cost: 136,320 ZAR*
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If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.
If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.
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