BEST OF SOUTH AFRICA + THE DESERTS OF NAMIBIA
PRICE: 3750 dollars per person based on 4 people sharing
PRICE: 2375 dollars per person based on a self-drive tour based on 2 people
14 days include:
– All entrance fees to national parks, museums, cultural activities and wine tastings
– 2 game drives with professional rangers
– 1 boat cruise (Hout Bay)
– All breakfasts, 3 dinners, 1 barbecue
– 1 full time South African guide
– 1 local guide in Soweto
– Accommodation : B & B or similar *** or ****
– Flight Johannesburg-Cape Town-Johannesburg
This tour offers the bulk of South Africa combined with some of the finest sites in southern Namibia, between forest and desert, natural, cultural and historical beauties, not to mention so exceptional fauna and flora and enchanting African.
- Johannesburg / Soweto located in Gauteng (country of gold in Sotho). A sprawling capital, symbol of wealth and crime.
- The Blyde River Canyon, 40 km long, is third largest canyon in the world consisting of a wide variety of geological formations offering a breathtaking spectacle.
- Kruger National Park is famous for exceptional wildlife, incredible diversity, as well as being one of the largest, most famous and oldest game parks in the world.
- Swaziland is the smallest country in the southern hemisphere and is one of the last African Kingdoms. The country is home to several national parks with a rich flora and fauna.
- The Wine route stretches over many valleys with winelands along large meandering rivers.
- The French and Dutch settled here in the 1700s bringing their viticutural skills and knowlegde. This area is known for its exceptional 17th century Dutch architectural manor houses and village homes.
- Cape Peninsula is a stretch of land lying between two oceans, dominated by our famous Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve with beautiful forests, vineyards, beaches and historic buildings.
- Kalahari Kalahari Desert is a large area semi-arid area with little rainfall but not completely devoid of vegetation, and is also home to many animals and birds.
- Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert is a bowl covered with a salt crust and surrounded by huge dunes of red ocher sand giving a surreal landscape of great beauty. Here the dunes are among the highest in the world, it is even said that “big daddy” with its 385m high is the highest in the world.
- Windhoek Namibia’s capital is placed on the central plateau of Namibia at about 1600m. It is a medium-sized city in the quiet atmosphere, architectural styles mingle, historic buildings are of Germanic influence.
Afternoon Tour in Soweto with local guide
Hector Pieterson Museum
Visit to a township
Freedom Square and memorial
Walking tour and drive to various points of interest … home of Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Winnie Mandela, the FNB stadium
Accommodation, a B& B
We depart for the beautiful Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga.
We folow the scenic route and pass through places such as God’s Window, Three Rondavels, Blyde River Canyon, Long Tom Pass, the battlefields, Bourkes Luck Potholes, MacMac waterfall, and Pilgrim’s Rest which is a historical authentic village dating from the first South African gold rush and now a national monument.
Accommodation is on the edge of the canyon.
We arrive in the morning at the famous Kruger Park and begin our visit with lunch on the banks of the mighty Sabie River.
A 4×4 sunset safari with professional ranger
Time to relax and can enjoy a typical South African Braai/barbecue
Around 4.30 am we leave camp for a 3hr morning 4×4 safari with a professional ranger to witness the African savanah and wildlife in all its splendor.
Return to camp for a hearty breakfast followed by a safari with your guide
Accommodation in National park chalets.
Departure for the Kingdom of Swaziland (passport required). The landscapes are very similar to those of Switzerland. We visit the Ngwenya Glass Factory and the oldest mine in the world, time permitting.
Next is the capital Mbabane; we admire the Royal Palace, Parliment, the Kings Mausoleum and a craft market in the Ezulwini Valley.
Overnight “hotel de charme” bed and breakfast.
Day 6: Johannesburg / Cape Town
This morning we depart Swaziland through Southern Mpumalanga
Leave for O R Tambo for our flight to Cape Town.
We arrive in Cape Town in the late afternoon for a sunset stroll along the Seapoint promenade and a visit to the V & A Waterfront for dinner.
Day 7: The Wine Route
We head out to Stellenbosch, the second largest town in South Africa which was an outpost established in 1682 by Governor Van der Stel. He was amazed at how fertile the area was and encouraged French Huguenot and Dutch settlers to start farming there. Here oak trees, wheat and vines quickly replaced the giraffes, elephants, Hottentots and Khoi San peoples.
Today, Stellenbosch is known for its beautiful and varied architecture ( Cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian style), renowned wines and its famous university where the language of instruction is still mainly in Afrikaans.
We visit the Bugerhuis museum, the famous Oom Samie Winkel, partake on a cellar tour and winetasting. We head over the beautiful Hels Hoogte Pass on our way to Franschoek where the original French Huguenots settled and today is the culinary capital of South Africa. After lunch we visit the Huguenot museum and Memorial.
Thereafter we visit an exceptional boutique wine farm and taste a local vintage including a pinotage which is South Africa’s own unique cultivar.
We make our way to Paarl, with a stop in front of Mandela’s statue at the entrance to the prison from which he was liberated in 1990.
Day 8: The Cape Peninsula Tour
This Region is a UNESCO world heritage site for its exceptional floral diversity. We follow the west coast via Clifton with a stop at Maiden’s Cove to enjoy a magnificent view of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay then to Hout Bay, a charming little town where you take a cruise to Duiker Island home to the worlds largest fur seal colony.
Thereafter we drive along the scenic Chapman’s Peak Pass offering breathtaking scenery.
Eventualy we enter the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve where the cold Atlantic waters meet the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. This famous landmark was named by the early Portuguese mariners.
Thereafter we journey down to the False Bay coast, and have lunch at the old harbor of the historical naval port of Simon’s Town. After lunch we visit the well known Boulders beach home to Africa’s largest land based jackass penguine colony.
We finish our day with a visit to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest Cape Dutch manor house and wine farm built by the first Governer of the Cape.
Dinner at client’s expense
Today we visit Cape Town, historical places and parks, Dutch East India Garden, Castle, South African Museum, Malay quarter, District 6 and Greenmarket square. Before noon we take the opportunitiy to visit the noon gun in action on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is the world’s oldest canon still in action.
After lunch Kirstenbosh National Botanic Garden the only botanical garden situated in a world heritage site which has more endemic plant species than any other in the world.
In the late afternoon we head along the west coast towards Blouberg where we enjoy a “postcard” view of Table Mountain, Robben Island and Table Bay.
Tonight we offer * an authentic African dinner of more than thirty culinary dishes from across the continent.
This morning we leave from Cape Town International and fly to Windhoek. On arrival we will drive across vast expanses of arid bush and riverbeds to Mariental.
At kilometer 90 we will pass the Tropic of Capricorn and drive through the Kalahari Desert. Kalahari means “place of thirst” in Khoi language.
Lunch at Hardap Dam, largest reservoir in Namibia.
Mention the word Kalahari and it evokes images of flowing red dunes; herds of majestic gemsbok; pronking springbok; black maned lions; colossal weaver nests; twisted camelthorn trees and endless horizons. Just as the warm red sand creeps between your toes, the Kalahari will take hold of your heart and draw you back time and again.
Safari time to discover desert animals from small mammals to large antelopes.
A morning walk with a local guide who will share his knowledge of the flora and fauna of the region as well as the traditional hunting methods of the Bushman people.
Our journey takes the Zaris Pass between the mountains and the plateau down towards the Namib Desert known to be one of the finest, largest and oldest desert in the world.
We reach Sesriem, Afrikaans for “six belts” referring to the number of leather belts attached together settlers of old in order to lower buckets down into the canyon to scoop up water. Sesriem is a small settlement close to the southern end of the Naukluft Mountains
Dinner a grill buffet of local meats.
Day 12: Sesriem
After breakfast we will head to Sossusvlei, a sea of sand stretching over 300 km long and 150 wide, covering 32,000 km2. It includes some of the finest and highest dunes in the world not to be ignored.
We marvel at the sunrise when the extraordinary play of light and colour on the dunes creates a striking picture.
We reach Dead Vlei a dry lake where once camel thorn trees grew, climate changed, trees died and the remaining skeletons of the trees believed to be about 900 years old, are now black due to the intense heat.
We enter the Southern National Park Namib-Naukluft and visit the Sesriem Canyon where water was more valuable than diamonds for Herero, Nama and Damara people of this region.
We head back to the lodge in the late afternoon.
This morning we travel to Windhoek by following one of the most beautiful trails in Namibia. The Spreetshoogte Pass leads to a peak with a spectacular view of the desert.
We relax at Solitaire, a small settlement featuring the only gasoline station, post office, bakery, and the only general dealer between the dunes and the coast. The name Soitaire can mean a single diamond or a unique precious but also a solitary place!
We tour the capital,Windhoek, which is often described as one of the cleanest capitals in Africa. The charm of the city lies in its harmonious blend of African and European cultures and the friendliness of its people. It offers all modern amenities that conform to some of the world’s highest standards.
Hotel and dinner.
Day 14: Johannesburg
We sadly depart for Johannesburg.
We leave with the wonderful memories so generously offered by the African continent.