Group Size: 2 - 16 passengers
Departs: Weekly on Sundays
This 14-day tour showcases the splendour of South Africa. Starting in the Mother City, Cape Town is the birthplace of South Africa that boasts some of the world’s best scenic drives. Continue the journey along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth, the most beautiful stretch of South Africa’s coastline. Spend a few days in the bustling city of Johannesburg, which is in a major urban revival and transformation – a metaphor of the socio-political advances being made in South Africa before experiencing the magnificence of the landscapes and wildlife viewing that this varied country has to offer.
Day 1 - Cape Town
Upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you will be met by an Ilios Travel representative and assisted with your transfer to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day at leisure.
Situated in the exclusive and wind-free suburb of Bantry Bay, The President Hotel is a peaceful haven just a step away from the buzz of Cape Town’s CBD. Experience four star luxury living in the hotel’s 349 rooms and apartments that make up the beautiful Urban Resort in Cape Town. The President Hotels light, airy, and tranquil rooms and apartments combine contemporary sophistication and comfort with spaciousness. Each and every guest room is beautifully appointed with all the luxury facilities you would expect in a world-class hotel. Enjoy endless views across Table Bay and the Atlantic shoreline while Lion’s Head looms magnificently above, whilst relaxing and soaking up the seaside aromas and stunning views of Cape Town’s beachfront.
Day 2 - Cape Town
Enjoy your morning at leisure. (B)
This afternoon at 13h30 you will be collected from your hotel by your Ilios Travel guide for a scheduled City Tour – a geographical and cultural extravaganza showing you Cape Town from its historical beginnings to the dazzling, modern city it is today.
Day 3 - Cape Town
This morning you will be collected for your scheduled full day Cape Point & Peninsula Tour. Travel along the Atlantic Seaboard via Sea Point, Clifton and Camps Bay, stopping at a Llandudno look-out point before continuing to Hout Bay, a quaint village and fishing harbour with magnificent mountain views and beach (optional boat trip to Seal Island – at own expense). Continue via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, to Cape Point and the Good Hope Nature Reserve. After lunch at a nearby restaurant (at own expense), we go on to historic Simon’s Town – a village with charming Victorian architecture, a naval base and a large penguin colony at the beautiful Boulders Beach. Boulders Penguin Colony is home to a growing colony of the vulnerable African Penguin. (B)
End the day with a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens which is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape Flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The tour ends upon return to your hotel during the late afternoon.
Day 4 - Cape Town
Today you will embark on a scheduled full day Cape Winelands Tour. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way to the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch homesteads. Head off to the wine country via the N2 to the heart of South Africa’s wine industry, Stellenbosch, boasting great beauty and culture that is steeped in South African history. With the sheer vastness of wine estates on offer, you’re truly spoilt for choice when you enjoy your first wine tasting of the day. Travel over the Helshoogte Pass to the town of Franschhoek. Billed as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa, this charming town, in a most picturesque valley, retains a French Huguenot style. Enjoy a wine tasting before taking time to enjoy the fabled culinary skills of the Franschhoek chefs at one of the many award winning restaurants (at own expense). Time permitting, a visit to a Paarl region estate would be included to round off the day’s wine-tasting experiences before heading back to Cape Town. (B)
Day 5 - Oudtshoorn
This morning at 08h00 you will depart Cape Town and travel along Route 62 to Barrydale for lunch (at own expense). Continue to Oudtshoorn – the ‘feather capital’ of the world. Visit a working ostrich farm for a guided tour. Check into your accommodation in the late afternoon before enjoying dinner. (BD)
Situated at the foot of the majestic Swartberg Mountain range (a UNESCO World Heritage site) in the Klein Karoo, Surval Boutique Olive Estate offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Schoemanshoek Valley. Encompassing 23 luxurious and individually decorated suites and bedrooms. Each room is individually styled, and offers an indigenous South African feel. All rooms are spacious, with the finest furniture and fabrics, wooden shutters providing total privacy, offering you a luxurious experience of style and space.
Day 6 - Knysna
Enjoy a morning tour of the Cango Caves. Continue to the lagoon side town of Knysna – the ‘Gem of the Garden Route’. Enjoy some time at leisure at the Knysna Waterfront before proceeding to The Crags near Plettenberg Bay. Embark on an informative cruise up the Keurbooms River before arriving at your accommodation where you will spend the following two nights. Freshen up before dinner at the lodge. (BD)
Just 18km east of the coastal town of Plettenberg Bay along the renowned holiday destination of the Garden Route is Hog Hollow Country Lodge, set on the edge of indigenous forest with breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and Tsitsikamma Mountains.
Day 7 - Knysna
After breakfast, get up-close-and-personal with nature at the Elephant Sanctuary. With the help of the resident African elephants and the well-informed guides, you will learn about the sad and mystical story of the Elephants. After lunch (at own expense), travel to Plettenberg Bay for a visit to Birds of Eden – the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world. Birds of Eden stems from the need to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds and the sanctuary also enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation. (BD)
Day 8 - Port Elizabeth
After breakfast and check-out formalities, journey along the final leg of the Garden Route to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge which offers visitors incredible views and photo opportunities. Arrive in Port Elizabeth at approximately 18h00 with drop-off at the hotel. (B)
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Port Elizabeth perfectly balances its contemporary architecture and urban interiors with spectacular Indian Ocean surroundings, offering an ideal stay for every kind of traveller. The 173 rooms and suites provide conveniences like free high-speed, wireless Internet and treat guests to memorable sea views. Enjoy delicious dining options, including local cuisine and delicious pizza, and head to the on-site Camelot Spa and the gym for a day of rejuvenation and invigoration.
Day 9 - Johannesburg
This morning you will be transferred to Port Elizabeth Airport for your flight to Johannesburg. (B)
Own flight arrangements (flight cost not included).
On arrival at Johannesburg Airport, you will be met by an Ilios Travel representative and transferred to the hotel. This afternoon you will be collected from your hotel for a scheduled afternoon Johannesburg City Tour. Johannesburg is a booming, happening city and the area close to City Hall, Newtown Cultural Precinct and Maboneng Precinct, which has completely transformed the Market Theatre and surrounds, now forms the heart of urban revival. Visit the Ghandi Memorial, see how art is being used to revitalise and uplift the inner city of Johannesburg and get a bird’s eye view of Johannesburg from the top of Carlton Centre. Return to your hotel for remainder of the evening at leisure. (B)
The Protea Hotel Balalaika on Maude Street, in Sandton, is located in Johannesburg’s economic heartland. The hotel’s charming colonial theme is accentuated with wooden elements and delicate floral accents. Each of the 330 classically-styled rooms make guests feel as though they never left home – with a king-size bed, LCD television, electronic safe and a full en-suite bathroom with a walk-in shower.
Day 10 - Johannesburg
This morning you will be collected for your scheduled morning Half Day Soweto Tour. Soweto is a cluster of townships located at the South Western flank of Johannesburg. It is from here that most of the struggle was fought against the injustices of the apartheid regime and is home to sites of historical importance. The tour ends with lunch at a local township tavern before proceeding to spend the remainder of the afternoon exploring the exhibit at The Apartheid Museum. The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th Century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story. The exhibits include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the epic saga. For anyone wanting to understand and experience what apartheid South Africa was really like, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is fundamental. (BL)
Day 11 - Hazyview
Depart Johannesburg and travel to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ – Mpumalanga – via the magnificent Panorama Route. The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at ‘Bourke’s Luck Potholes’ and ends at the ‘Three Rondavels’. Time and weather permitting, stop at God’s Window. Late afternoon arrival at your hotel. Check in and freshen up before dinner. (BD)
Perry’s Bridge Hollow is set in beautiful grounds just minutes from Kruger National Park and close to the Panorama Route – a dramatically scenic region home to highlights such as Blyde River Canyon, Pilgrim’s Rest, God’s Window and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. Perry’s Bridge Hollow is a delightful stop-over or holiday destination with something of interest to suit every kind of traveller, both young and old. The 31 spacious rooms offer relaxed, yet sophisticated accommodation in a beautiful indigenous garden setting. The colonial-styled custom furnished, air-conditioned rooms each feature satellite television, indoor and outdoor showers, minisafes, tea and coffee making facilities, minifridges and private patios with Lowveld vistas. Time spent at the swimming pool in this beautiful garden setting is bound to leave you feeling refreshed and revived.
Day 12 - Manyeleti Reserve
After breakfast and check-out formalities, you will be transferred to the Manyeleti Game Reserve, sharing unfenced borders with the Kruger National Park, for an authentic African bush stay. The camp offers a breathtaking wildlife experience whilst still pampering the senses with meticulous service and superb cuisine. Morning and evening game drives in open 4X4 vehicles bring you into close contact with the ‘Big Five’ as well as the other aspects of our wildlife. Highly experienced guides will take you on foot to bring into clear focus the magic of the bush with its myriad of busy insects and resplendent birdlife during your stay. (BLD)
Honeyguide Mantobeni Camp is designed to reflect Hemingways’ Africa. The tents at Mantobeni Camp are furnished with king size beds (which can be converted to twins if required), mosquito nets and soft leather couches. Each tent has an en-suite bathroom with a sunken concrete bath, double shower, his and hers basins and a separate toilet. The tents are each set on a wooden platform that has 5 steps leading up to the tent.
Day 13 - Manyeleti Reserve
Enjoy a full day of being treated like African Royalty whilst creating a memorable safari experience on the scheduled game viewing activities on offer. (BLD)
Day 14 - End of Highlights of South Africa Tour
Time permitting, embark on your final early morning game viewing activity before returning to camp for breakfast followed by check-out formalities. You will be collected for your transfer to Hoedspuit or Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport where the tour ends. (B)
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.
The tour price excludes Port Elizabeth/Johannesburg domestic flight. We recommend booking this flight no later that 10h00 from Port Elizabeth. You can book this through Bench.
SPECIAL OFFER: The discount has been applied to the website pricing, on selected dates in June, July and August. This special offer is valid for all new bookings made in May and June 2017.