Day 1 - Tuesday, August 03: Flight from Toronto
Evening departure from Canada on route to South Africa via Frankfurt. Full inflight services including dinner and entertainment provided.
Day 2 - Wednesday, August 04: Frankfurt
Morning arrival in Frankfurt where there will be a lay-over before our overnight, connecting flight to Cape Town. Day rooms will be provided to those who wish to relax and freshen up.
Day 3 - Thursday, August 05: CAPE TOWN
Mid-day arrival in Cape Town will allow us to explore the waterfront with a quiet, restful evening at 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 4 - Friday, August 06: CAPE TOWN (B,D)
Breakfast followed by a city tour of Cape Town, also known as the Mother City. Cape Town is a rare cultural gem, resulting from the amalgamation of different nationalities and indigenous tribes. 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, a pentagon-shaped fort that 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. Lunch will be enjoyed in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood, where we will get the chance to try some authentic Cape Malay flavours. The tour of this beautiful city introduces us to a rich culture and history. In the late afternoon we transfer to Groot Constantia, South Africa’s oldest wine estate. Established in 1684, the estate produced some of Napoleon’s favorite wines. Guided tour and tasting followed by dinner at the estate’s well-known Jonkerhuis restaurant. Return to the hotel following dinner.
Day 5 - Saturday, August 07: CAPE TOWN ( B,L)
After breakfast, we travel to Cape Point along the famous Chapmans Peak Pass by way of charming sea-side villages, towering peaks, and seas far below. Enter 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 across the open ocean. Lunch at Two Oceans restaurant before heading to Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town to see the African penguins before returning to Cape Town. Evening at leisure.
Day 6 - Sunday, August 08: CAPE TOWN ( B)
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a 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) as they are locally known, 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 up to 302 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. The cableway only operates when weather permits. Balance of the afternoon at leisure.
Afternoon Opportunities include:
• Kirstenbosch Gardens
• Helicopter flight around the bay or Cape of Good Hope
• Shopping in the world-renowned V&A Waterfront
• Robben Island – Infamous prison that housed Nelson Mandela
• Museums and many more
Day 7 - Monday, August 09: STELLENBOSCH (B,L)
This morning we say goodbye to Cape Town as we make our way to 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 and buzzy student vibe, owing to the large and prestigious university that is an icon of the Stellenbosch culture. Art lovers can explore the copious galleries while outdoor enthusiasts have plenty of nature activities available to them at Jonkershoek. On our way into Stellenbosch we will be stopping in at Rust en Vrede, one of South Africa’s top award-winning red wine producers. After our tasting we will be crossing the valley to the famous Ernie Els Estate where we will enjoy lunch and some excellent wines that are on offer. Guided tour of the city before arriving at our home for the next three nights, Oude De Werf hotel in the center of Stellenbosch. There will be time to settle in before having the afternoon to explore the city at your leisure and choose from many of the local restaurants for dinner on your own.
Day 8 - Tuesday, August 10: STELLENBOSCH (B,L,D)
Breakfast at the hotel before heading off to Babylonstoren for the morning. Babylonstoren is set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables. The big garden there is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the historic Company’s Garden in Cape Town, which supplied sailing ships of the Dutch East India Company with fresh vegetables and fruit during the days when the Cape was a halfway station between Europe and Asia. But we also link back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon. Those were thought to have been created by Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century BC, for his wife who longed for the mountains and valleys of her youth. After a tour of the gardens, lunch will be enjoyed in one of their excellent restaurants that get all their seasonal produce from the gardens.
After lunch we head to Kanonkop for some red wine tasting and then to Uva Mira for sundowner tasting overlooking the Stellenbosch valley and beyond. On a clear day, both oceans can be seen. A group dinner will be enjoyed at one of the top restaurants in town.
Day 9 - Wednesday, August 11: FRANCHHOEK (B,L)
Breakfast followed by an exploration of the French corner of the Cape. 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. On our trip to Franschhoek we will enjoy the morning walking the streets and browsing the markets. Leopards Leap is the stop for lunch where we will spend a relaxed hour of food and wine conversations around the generous kitchen table, with the Chef preparing the food and sharing the stories and history of the dishes. A well-informed Wine Tasting Ambassador will join the meal to introduce us to Leopard’s Leap wines and their unique South African attributes. After lunch we will take a slow drive to Oldenburg for our second tasting of the day before heading back to the hotel for the evening.
Day 10 - Thursday, August 12: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE (B,D)
An early breakfast before we transfer to Cape Town International Airport and our flight to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe where we will experience one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Victoria Falls. Locally known as Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning ‘the smoke that thunders’ this stunning 1.5km wide and 108m high waterfall will leave you awestruck.
After arriving at the hotel, The Victoria Falls Safari Lodge, and having a relaxing afternoon, we will head out on a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi River. While on our cruise we must be on the lookout for elephant, hippo, crocodile and possibly more. Drinks and snacks served on the cruise.
Day 11 - Friday, August 13: VICTORIA FALLS, ZIMBABWE (B)
After a leisurely breakfast we will catch a shuttle to the Falls where we will have time to explore the Falls on the Zimbabwe side. All the way from the Livingstone monument to Danger Point and around the gorge to the bridge. We then have the option to head back to the hotel for lunch and a relaxing afternoon by the pool or pick from an array of activities from rafting to bungee jumping, helicopter rides or half day game drives. After returning from our afternoon activities we have the evening to ourselves.
Day 12 - Saturday, August 14: SANDTON B
After breakfast we head to Victoria Falls airport for our flight back to Johannesburg. Due to the infrequency of flights to the Kruger region, we will be spending the night in Sandton City before returning to the airport around midday the following day. Sandton City is Africa’s most iconic shopping centre. Defining the Sandton skyline, this prestigious setting is home to over 300 of the world’s most coveted retail brands, and embodies all the glamour of world-class shopping, dining, and leisure.
Day 13 - Sunday, August 15: Kruger National Park (B,D)
After breakfast we will head to OR Tambo International Airport for our flight to Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit. Arrival in Hoedspruit and immediate transfer to our Private Bush lodge situated in the Timbavati Private Game Reserve. The Timbavati shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park allowing animals to roam free and ensuring guests to the area the opportunity to view the greatest diversity of wildlife that Africa has to offer. Guests are able to view the big game from open vehicles, on foot or from the comfort of your room as we experience timeless Africa. Home to the Big 5 (elephant, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhino), hyena, cheetah and the elusive African wild dog amongst others, the Timbavati provides endless opportunities for game viewing as well as having over 360 different species of birds. This is also a malaria area so proper precautions are necessary. Time to check in before heading off on our first game drive. Mid drive sundowners followed by a after dark drive back to the lodge where dinner will be waiting for us next to a fire under the African sky (weather permitting).
Day 14 - Monday, August 16: Kruger (B,L,D)
Over the next several days we will enjoy an early morning game drive, followed by a full breakfast upon return. Relax at the lodge, take advantage of the facilities including the swimming pool, take a game walk with experienced rangers and trackers as we enjoy the area in the rawest way possible. For those that are interested we can arrange a trip to the Hoedspruit Centre for Endangered Species or Camp Jabulani. The Centre is actively involved in research; breeding of endangered animal species; the education of learners, students and the general public in conservation and conservation-related activities; tourism; the release and establishment of captive-bred cheetahs in the wild; the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals in need (including poached rhinos); and anti-poaching initiatives on the reserve. Camp Jabulani is home to 15 elephants – 8 adults (including Jabulani and the rescued adults from Zimbabwe); 5 babies born over the years; and 2 young orphans. After a tour of the facility we will return to the lodge for a light lunch before getting ready for our evening game drive. Return to the Lodge following sundowners for dinner prepared by our chef. Evenings are meant for sharing pictures and stories of the day’s events. Quite simply a chance to relax and enjoy your surroundings
Day 15 - Tuesday, August 17: Kruger (B.L.D)
Day 16 - Wednesday, August 18: Kruger (B,L,D)
Day 17 - Thursday, August 19: RETURN FLIGHTS (B)
Final early morning game drive and breakfast at the lodge. Check out and head to Hoedspruit Airport where we will fly back to Johannesburg to catch our connecting flight home. (Please note arrival in Toronto will be August 20th following a change of planes in Zurich.)