Day 1 - Sunday, October 16: Departure from Toronto
Evening departure from Canada en route to South Africa through Europe. Full inflight services including dinner and entertainment provided.
Day 2 - Monday, October 17: Layover in Europe
Morning arrival in Europe where there will be a lay-over before our connecting flight to Cape Town. Evening arrival in Cape Town will allow us to settle into our hotel, located at the world-renowned Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town. This will be our base for the next 4 nights.
Day 3 - Tuesday, October 18: Cape Town B, L, D
Breakfast followed by a city tour of Cape Town, also known as the Mother City. The tour of this beautiful city introduces us to a rich culture and history. Cape Town is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of different nationalities, indigenous tribes, and ethnic groups. Alongside high-rise office blocks, a harmonious blend of architectural styles has been meticulously preserved, including Edwardian, Victorian and Cape Dutch. Narrow, cobblestone streets and the Islamic character of the Bo-Kaap enhances the cosmopolitan ambiance.
During the tour we will see the Castle of Good Hope; this pentagon-shaped fort is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, and the Company's Garden; a large public park, originally Jan van Riebeeck's vegetable garden, which he grew to feed the original colony as early as 1652. A lunch of authentic Cape Malay flavours will be enjoyed in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood. After lunch we will visit the District 6 Museum and learn about some of Cape Town’s unsavoury past. In the late afternoon we take the short drive to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate. Established in 1684, the estate produced some of Napoleon’s favorite wines. A guided tour and tasting will be followed by dinner at the estate’s well-known restaurant Jonkerhuis. Return to the hotel following dinner.
Day 4 - Wednesday, October 19: Cape Town B,D
Breakfast at the hotel followed by an early transfer to Table Mountain where we take a cable car ride to the top (weather permitting). Marvel at the sights of Cape Town from the aerial cableway and plateau on Table Mountain. Views include: The Twelve Apostles, Lions Head, Devil’s Peak, Robben’s Island, and the Port of Cape Town. Table Mountain holds an unusually rich biodiversity and forms part of the Cape Floral Region, a protected area. Rock hyrax, or “Dassie” (closest living relative to the African Elephant) are often seen scampering through the scrub and sitting on the rocks. The cable cars depart every 10 to 15 minutes and rotate 360 degrees as they travel 0ver 1000 meters above sea level, giving passengers panoramic views over the city. Five minutes is all it takes to reach the summit and once there we can marvel at the views, snap our photos, or do a bit of shopping at the extensive curio shop.
After lunch we will join our guide on a culinary tour of Cape Town – Cape Town Culinary Tours showcases the rich cultural history that lies within the roots of Table Mountain. Tasting your way through this strikingly unique and multicultural city is an absolute must for any culinary enthusiast. Join us as we travel from the famous multi-coloured homes of Bo-Kaap, throughout the De Waterkant. Upon arrival, meet our fellow foodies and let your culinary journey begin. Fully guided from start to end with ample food and drink tastings included throughout the experience. Enjoy flavors from every corner of South Africa, with uniquely Capetonian twists, and find yourself immersed in the cultural history that has made Cape Town a global culinary hotspot. Set yourself up for an experience you won’t soon forget!
Day 5 - Thursday, October 20: Cape Town B,L
After breakfast, we travel to Cape Point by way of charming sea-side villages, towering peaks, and beautiful beaches far below. Enter the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, home to early spring flowers and the rare Bontebok, Eland, Red Hartebeest, Zebra, and ubiquitous Chacma Baboon. A funicular ride to the Point and a view of the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. Lunch at Two Oceans restaurant before heading to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town to see the African penguins then returning to Cape Town for an evening at your leisure.
Day 6 - Friday, October 21: Cape Town and Stellenbosch B,D
After breakfast we make our way to Robben Island, the infamous home for 18 of Nelson Mandela’s 27 years in prison. Robben Island was fortified and used as a prison from the late-seventeenth century until 1996, after the end of apartheid. The tour route includes the graveyard of people who died from leprosy, the Lime Quarry, Robert Sobukwe’s house, the Bluestone quarry, the army and navy bunkers and the Maximum-Security Prison where thousands of South Africa’s freedom fighters were incarcerated for years. The tour includes a viewing of Nelson Mandela’s cell. Many of the tour guides are ex-prisoners from the time of Nelson Mandela’s incarceration.
Once we have returned to port, we move inland to the heart of the Winelands, Stellenbosch. Lying at the foot of the Simonsberg mountains, Stellenbosch is internationally renowned for its award-winning wines, fantastic restaurants, trendy culture, and historic buildings. The town is the perfect place to explore on foot with its many side-walk cafes, tree lined streets, art galleries and shops. Outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of nature activities available to them at Jonkershoek. On our way into Stellenbosch, we will be stopping in at Ernie Els Wines for a light lunch and then moving down the valley to Rust en Vrede, one of South Africa’s top award-winning red wine producers for a tasting. Spier Hotel, on the Spier Wine Farm, will be our base for the next 3 nights. Time to settle in before having the remainder of the evening at your leisure.
Day 7 - Saturday, October 22: Stellenbosch B,L,D
Breakfast at the hotel before heading off to on a walking tour of Stellenbosch. Here we will learn about the history of Stellenbosch and how it came to be. Our lunch for the day will be enjoyed at the Jordan Wine Estate where weather allowing, it will be a picnic on the property. After lunch we will head across the valley for a private cellar tour at the famous De Toren wine estate. De Toren Private Cellar, a boutique winery specializing in world class Bordeaux styled wines is situated on the Polkadraai Hills overlooking the picturesque Stellenbosch, False Bay to the south and the renowned Table Mountain in the west.
After our cellar tour we will return to the hotel to freshen up and then meet for dinner at one of the many fine-dining restaurants in town.
Day 8 - Sunday, October 23: Stellenbosch B,
Breakfast followed by a short drive to the beautiful Babylonstoren Estate. Babylonstoren is one of the oldest Cape Dutch farms. It has an astounding fruit and vegetable garden of beauty and diversity with the Simonsberg, Du Toitskloof and Franschhoek mountains as majestic backdrop. Dating back to 1692, the fortunes of this historic fruit and wine farm took a turn ten years ago when it fell under the gaze of former magazine editor Karen Roos. Her passion for historic Cape Dutch style led to an authentic yet contemporary restoration that projects the farm into the future. After our morning spent discovering the wonders that are Babylonstoren, we will enjoy lunch in one of the two on site restaurants, paired with some of their fantastic wines.
After lunch we head into Franschhoek, a Huguenot established town also home to many world-class wine farms. Here there is time to explore the city and browse some of the boutique stores and permanent market. Franschhoek lies in one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world, just 45 minutes from Cape Town and within half an hour's drive of the Stellenbosch, Paarl, Wellington, and Somerset West wine routes. Originally known as the Valley of the Huguenots, a community of French Huguenots were granted land in this valley by the Dutch government of the Cape, after fleeing their homeland when Protestantism was outlawed in France in 1685. Today, many of the wine farms still bear their original French names and most of these farms have beautiful examples of Cape Dutch architecture.
Once we have completed our time in Franschhoek we will return to Stellenbosch, but not before stopping in at our second wine tasting of the day, the spectacular Oldenburg Vineyards. We then return to our hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure.
Day 9 - Monday, October 24: Victoria Falls B,D
An early breakfast before we transfer to Cape Town International Airport for our flight to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. On the day of our arrival in Victoria falls, we will enjoy a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River with drinks and snacks included.
Day 10 - Tuesday, October 25: Victoria Falls B,D
The following morning after breakfast, we will head to the Victoria Falls National Park, where we will spend the morning exploring the falls. With paved pathways leading from the Devils Cataract, past the Livingstone monument all the way to Danger point and beyond, there are many viewpoints and pathways to explore. We return to the hotel for lunch and then we are free to either relax at the hotel, catch up on photo editing or explore more of what the city and region has to offer.
Below are some of the optional extras:
Flight of Angels – flights over the falls
White water rafting, Bungee jumping or Gorge swinging for the adventurous
Explore the local markets
Half day Tiger Fishing excursions
Half day safari excursions
Dinner will be at the hotel on the second evening. After breakfast the following morning we head back to the airport to catch our flight to Johannesburg
Day 11 - Wednesday, October 26: Johannesburg & Sandton B
After breakfast we make our way to Victoria Falls international airport for our mid morning flight to Johannesburg, after which we will make our way straight to the Sandton City where we can settle into our hotel and have relaxing afternoon at the hotel or spend time exploring Sandton City.Defining the Sandton skyline and boasting some of the most exclusive retail and leisure experiences in Africa, Sandton City have firmly established themselves as leaders in innovation, fashion, and entertainment.This multiple award-winning shopping centre is located in the heart of South Africa’s financial district, and the very place that made this district so highly sought after.Home to over 300 of the world’s most in-demand brands Sandton City is a shopping centre tailored to the preferences of many. From an eco-fashionable Food District, a family-focussed Fun District, to a chandelier draped Diamond Walk which is home to many global luxury brands
Day 12 - Thursday, October 27: Johannesburg B,D
After breakfast we travel by coach to Maropeng, The Cradle on Mankind and The Sterkfontein Caves. The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. Take a journey through time, starting with the formation of the planet and moving all the way through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today. See fossils, learn about how humankind was born, view stone tools that are up to one million years old, and much more. This self-guided, interactive tour allows you to take all the time you need to ponder humanity’s fascinating origin story.
After lunch we head to the southwestern side of Johannesburg and the Apartheid Museum. The Apartheid Museum illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid: The racially prejudiced system that blighted much of its progress and the triumph of reason which crowned half a century of struggle. The Museum has been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, filmmakers, photographers, historians, and designers. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience. The museum is a beacon of hope showing the world how South Africa is coming to terms with the past and working towards a future that all South African's can call their own.
After our museum tour we head back to our hotel where the remainder of the evening will be at your leisure.
Day 13 - Friday, October 28: Greater Kruger National Park B, D
After breakfast, we are transferred back to Johannesburg International Airport where we will catch our flight to Hoedspruit Airport and the Gateway to this section of the Greater Kruger National Park. Our hosts will pick us up at the airport, transferring us to the andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve, part of the greater Kruger National Park, which will be our accommodation for the next 4 nights. Expert rangers and trackers have tailor-made our safari experience which will include daily game drives, sundowners, bush breakfasts and guided walks. Between game drives, relax at the lodge, take advantage of the facilities which includes a swimming pool, or take a game walk with experienced rangers and trackers as we enjoy the area in the rawest way possible. Between games drives on each day, you can enjoy time at your own leisure.
For those that are interested, we can arrange a trip to the Hoedspruit Centre for Endangered Species. The Centre is actively involved in research, breeding of endangered animal species, education of students and the general public in conservation and conservation-related activities, treatment, and rehabilitation of wild animals in need (including poached rhinos), and anti-poaching initiatives on the reserve.
We also have the opportunity to visit Nourish Eco Village - Nourish is a non-profit organization with a focus on developing resilient communities. The core goal is fighting poaching through fighting poverty and thus all their projects are integrated, holistic and sustainable.
Day 14 - Saturday, October 29: Greater Kruger National Park B,L,D
See Day 13
Day 15 - Sunday, October 30: Kruger National Park B,L,D
See Day 13
Day 16 - Monday, October 31: Kruger National Park B,L,D
Our last full day in the park.
Day 17 - Tuesday, November 01: Flight to Johannesburg and on to Toronto.
After the morning game drive and breakfast ,we return to the airport and fly back to Johannesburg where we board our flight home.