This South Africa holiday takes in all of the highlights the spectacular country is known for. Wildlife encounters aplenty, the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, history, culture, wine and some of the best driving roads on earth.
South Africa holiday price and dates:
- 1-19 December departure: £2688pp (includes saving of £310 per person)
- 5 Jan-24 March: £2,944pp (includes saving of £226 per person) – free upgrade to Pumba Water Lodge available if preferred!
Duration: 13 day
Offer includes: International flights, luggage, internal flights, accommodation, Table Mountain and Robben Island tickets, day trip to either Cape Peninsula or the Winelands, all safari game drives and car hire
This is just one of many tempting offers we’ve managed to secure for 2021 holidays. See them all here.
Day One – Overnight British Airways flight to Cape Town
After holidays have been off the agenda for so long, just browsing the duty free and indulging in an airport meal is going to be a real moment! You have an overnight British Airways flight to sit back, relax, rest up and get excited about the adventure ahead.
Day Two – Check in to your luxury Cape Town hotel, ready to explore
Fresh (hopefully) off your flight, you’ll be met by your private driver and transferred into the heart of cosmopolitan Cape Town.
We have included complimentary early check-in to your luxury room at the lovingly restored Abbey Manor Guest House, nestled on the slopes of Table Mountain. So, you can unpack and settle in for the next four nights before heading out to explore this amazing city.
Built in 1905, your French Boudoir-style guest house boasts sweeping panoramas of Table Mountain and the city and a beautiful solar-heated swimming pool. Whether you choose to unwind in the tranquil garden setting or head up to the roof top terrace to enjoy the sensational views, it’s the perfect, luxury base from which to start your South African adventure.
Day Three – Table Mountain and Robben Island
Morning – The iconic Table Mountain
What better way to start your first full day in South Africa, than a trip up to the top of the iconic Table Mountain. Head up in the morning to beat the crowds. Plus, it’s more likely to be clear in the mornings, giving you the perfect opportunity to take in the far-reaching views across the city and panoramic views down the rocky spine of the Cape Peninsula.
The cable-car ride up is an experience in itself. As you ascend, the car slowly rotates 360 degrees, offering magnificent views all the way to the top. Keep your camera handy!
If you’re the active type, why not take a more adventurous route to the top and head up under the steam of your own two feet? As you hike up Table Mountain, your guide will lead you up along our favourite route that offers adrenaline boosts and breath-taking vistas a plenty. Think steep rocky trails and a section of vertical rock face that you ascend with the help of chains and staples. It’s a challenge, but one that is well worth it when you make it to the top and pat yourself on the back.
Whilst you amble along the walkways of Table Mountain National Park, keep your eyes peeled to see if you can spot a dassie… These local furry residents look like shrew-faced rabbits, but are in fact more closely related to the elephant! (Despite being an awful lot smaller and hairier!)
Afternoon – Walk in Mandela’s footsteps on Robben Island
A visit to Cape Town wouldn’t be complete without hopping on a boat ride to Robben Island. Best known for being the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of his 27 years behind bars, you’ll learn all about South Africa’s struggle against apartheid. Your tickets for this fascinating afternoon are included.
One of our favourite things about a Robben Island tour is you’ll be guided around by a former inmate. Learning about the prison from someone who has actually experienced life on Robben Island, who can pepper your experience with first-hand insights, really does make this a memorable excursion.
Your tour will take you around the prison grounds via an old prison bus. You’ll see how the prisoners lived, the infamous quarry where they worked and of course, ‘Cell Number 5’, where Mandela called home. You’ll also venture out into the small outdoor common space where the prisoners were allowed their one daily hour of exercise. Now called ‘Mandela’s Garden’, this is where Nelson Mandela secretly wrote the first draft of his famous autobiography Long Walk to Freedom before hiding the papers underground in tin containers.
Day Four – Explore the Cape Peninsula or treat yourself in the Winelands
Today you have two choices of small group tours included in your South Africa holiday. Your only worry will be choosing which one tempts you more!
Day-trip to the Cape Peninsula
The Cape Peninsula is amazing stretch of land, just a short drive from Cape Town, with a wealth of stunning bays and beaches, nature trails, quaint villages and wildlife to explore. The drive itself is spectacular and one of the best driving roads on earth. As you wind around the scenic Chapman’s Peak coastal road, the huge expanse of blue ocean to your right and jagged cliffs to your left, it’s no M25! Expect to get acquainted with the suited and booted penguins at Boulders Beach (you can even take a dip in the ocean with them if you’re brave enough!) and venture to the Cape Point Lighthouse where the views of the coast are sure to wow.
Cheers to your holiday in the beautiful Cape Winelands
If you’re partial to a tipple (or two), a day-trip to the stunning Winelands might tickle your fancy. Wine tasting is, obviously, high on the list of things to do, but the characterful towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek will be highlights of your day too. The beauty of nearly all the estates from the large, visitor-focussed places to the tiny garagistes, is that they’ll readily show you around and talk you through their wines, even if you drop in unannounced. As well as the wine and the scenery, the towns in this region offer cafes, art galleries, craft shops and museums; not to mention the amazing restaurants, as the Winelands quite rightly claims the crown of gourmet capital of South Africa. Altogether, you’ll return from your day in the Winelands wiser, more relaxed, slightly broader round the waist and carrying a couple of bottles of a magical vintage you’ve managed to unearth.
For your last evening in magnificent Cape Town, have a chat with your specialist about where might be best to go for dinner. With a spectacular and multi-cultural food scene in the city, you won’t be short of delicious dining options.
Day Five – Short flight to the Eastern Cape, safari adventures await
This morning you will be transferred back to Cape Town airport, where you take a short flight to the Eastern Cape region. Your private driver will be waiting for you at the other end to transfer you to drive you into the wilderness to your luxury safari lodge on Amakhala game reserve for a few days of goosebump inducing, pinch-yourself-moment-filled safari adventure. All game drives are included in this South Africa holiday!
Luxury chalet, Woodbury Lodge
High on a ridge overlooking the “Little Serengeti” plains of the reserve, the thatch-and-adobe suites of Woodbury Lodge have some of the best views in Amakhala. Whether on your private deck, in the pool or on one of the lounge decks, you can grab your binoculars and try to spot game on the plains, without having to leave the comfort of the lodge! The suites are decorated in a contemporary African style to compliment the traditional architecture and finished to a high standard. Put it all together and it’s easy to see why Woodbury Lodge is one of our favourite places to stay on the reserve.
An afternoon on safari in the Eastern Cape
This afternoon you’ll head out with your expert guide for your first taste of the unbeatable wildlife South Africa is so known for.
The beautiful Amakhala Private Game Reserve is around 7,500 hectares big and offers excellent game viewing. Four of the heralded Big Five are routinely sighted in the park, so keep your eyes peeled for elephant, rhino, lion, and buffalo. Leopards live up to their elusive reputation here, but you never know! The wildlife encounters aren’t all this park has to offer though, with the Bushman’s River cutting a swathe through the reserve, this wonderful scenery makes the perfect backdrop to your animal spotting.
Days Six to Seven – Wildlife adventures
Morning game drives
Safari drives are always scheduled for early morning and late afternoon, when the wildlife is most active. Both mornings you’ll be wakened by a call from your ranger, who will have a freshly brewed tea or coffee waiting for you before you climb aboard the safari truck.
Your ranger will use his skills and extensive experience of the bush, plus information from other rangers out on game drives, to pinpoint the best game viewing for you. He (or she!) will also teach you about the animals you are seeing – it is truly amazing how much information they are able to pass on, they really know their stuff!
Your morning game drive will last around three hours before dropping you back at your lodge for an impressively large, and well earned breakfast.
Relax by the pool
After your early start, you’ll be looking forward to a few hours at leisure, soaking up the sun by Woodbury Lodge’s pool. We don’t doubt you’ll have a long list of mesmerising animal encounters to relive whilst you enjoy some downtime.
Safari bush walk
In between your game drive experiences, you’ll have the chance to soak up the atmosphere of the reserve in a very different way. There’s something quite special about exploring a game reserve on foot. Without the noise of the safari trucks, you’ll feel that little bit closer to nature and at one with the wild environment around you. Your guide will teach you about the trees and plants, as well as their uses as bush medicine and bush craft and, if you’re lucky, you may even come across some animal tracks! There’s nothing more thrilling than walking in the footsteps of lions who may have passed by just a few hours earlier.
Evening game drives
After a day at leisure (or walking through the bush!) your ranger will meet you again for afternoon tea, before whisking you off for your evening safari. More wildlife encounters, a sundowner and then a final hour of night safari, using a flashlight to spot nocturnal animals and you’ll be dropped back at your lodge for a delicious dinner.
Day Eight – Roadtrip along the beautiful Garden Route
Time for a final early morning game drive and leisurely breakfast to follow before you are transferred the short distance back to the airport. Here you will pick up your hire car and drive down to the coastal region of the Garden Route for your final few days to relax and enjoy your time in South Africa.
The Garden Route
The Garden Route is one of the most popular destinations in South Africa, and after a couple of days of exploring it, you’ll understand why! With the gorgeous juxtaposition of a heavily wooded landscape with a shoreline peppered with lagoons, long beaches, canyons and crashing waves, it’s a truly special place. It is the lush greenness of it all that gives the Garden Route its name, and taking the back roads through the forests, across picture-perfect stone bridges that date back over a hundred years in your own car is a great way to get off-the-beaten track here.
Robberg Beach Lodge
Your luxury lodge, The Robberg Beach Lodge comprises four neighbouring houses just off the Robberg Beach in one of the most desirable suburbs of Plettenberg Bay.
Each house has a number of large rooms and apartments, all furnished in a modern fashion designed to reflect the light and airy surrounding seaside environment. Breakfasts are taken in Beachy House, and each building has an honesty bar for guests as well (we love that!). On the roof of The Robberg is a terrace with wonderful views over the beach and ocean. It’s mere moments from the beach, so just a short skip over the road and you’ll have your toes in the sand.
Day Nine to Twelve – Roadtrip along the stunning Garden Route
With the freedom of your own car, enjoy time on the Garden Route after your safari adventures. Time here can be spent exploring the local highlights including the world heritage Tsitsikamma National Park, wildlife sanctuaries on the Crags, walking the suspension bridge across Storms River or simply unwinding on the sweeping beaches.
Day Thirteen – Overnight British Airways flight home from Johannesburg
A leisurely drive back to the airport today because after an incredible, adventure-filled adventure around this staggering country, it’s time to fly home (via Johannesburg). Always a sad day, but we suspect the memories of wildlife encounters and photographs will lighten your travel blues!