Best of South Africa | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Best of South Africa

Trip Length 11 days

From $6,995

  • Explore South Africa for an in-depth, behind the scenes perspective crafted exclusively by MTS
  • Immerse yourself: bike the wine country, hike Table Mountain, and savor cuisine in the home of South Africa’s best known chef
  • See the Big 5 (GUARANTEED!) and experience two dramatically different ecosystems (most tours only offer one), including Sabi Sands which has the world’s densest leopard population

Whether you love history, scenery, cuisine, wildlife, or all of the above, South Africa has it in abundance. On our exclusive tour you’ll delve deep into the many nuances of this intriguing country. Hike to the peak of Table Mountain, explore the cobbled streets of Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap district, and enjoy an unforgettable meal with a renowned chef. Commune with African penguins on the Cape Peninsula. Cycle and taste your way through the winelands. Spot cheetahs, rhinos, and other fauna on game drives through the bush. Relax at some of South Africa’s finest hotels. With expert guides accompanying you all the way, your only worry is choosing which highlight you like best.

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town! You will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be shown to your awaiting transfer vehicle, and introduced to your guide.

 

Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbor, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has become one of South Africa's most visited destinations. Since 1988, the harbor is continually undergoing changes, with the redevelopment of land and the restoration of buildings surrounding the original Victoria & Alfred Basins, creating a mix of shopping and entertainment venues, intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments in the residential marina. Aside from the myriad of shops, restaurants and bars, there is a more cultural side to the Waterfront, focused around the historic Clock Tower, which was the original Port Captain's Office in 1882 and part of a collection of well-preserved turn of the century buildings. It is near here that the ferries depart for Robben Island (from the Nelson Mandela Gateway), while the Two Oceans Aquarium is a short walk from here.

  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 2: Cape Peninsula

Set off this morning on a guided Cape Point and Peninsula tour. Start at the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay and then cross over to Hout Bay, where you can join an optional short cruise to Seal Island to see the breeding colony of Cape Fur Seals. From here, drive to the Cape of Good Hope National Reserve via Chapman’s Peak, where you will board a funicular (cable car) for an excellent vantage point from which to observe the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as spectacular views over False Bay. Continue to the naval base at Simonstown and visit the African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach.

For lunch, enjoy an extra-special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: lunch at the BoatHouse. (This is mainly a seafood lunch, please specify your dietary requirements). After an exciting lunch and some intriguing conversation, head back to Cape Town, stopping along the way for a stroll at the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens (time permitting).

Enjoy dinner at one of Cape Town's trendy restaurants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 3: Table Mountain Hike & City Tour

You will be transferred from your hotel to the lower cable car station at Table Mountain, to ascend the Mountain in the aerial cable car. The walk begins at the upper cable station and traverses the entire front table to Maclears Beacon – the highest point at 3,566 feet. The walk returns via a different route providing a variety of vistas. The walk takes about 2 hours, with an accredited walking / hiking guide. The routing of the hike is dependent on the cable car being operational.

Once you descend the mountain, you will be transferred to the colourful Bo-Kaap to enjoy a traditional lunch.  Learn about the heritage of the Cape Malay people and drive through the cobbled streets of the Malay Quarter as well as the city of Cape Town.

Enjoy a stroll through the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town, the oldest garden in the country.

In the tree-lined garden, are a number of important buildings such as the South African Museum, which was established in 1852. From here you will continue to the Castle of Good Hope which is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, home to the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks.

Return to your hotel in the late afternoon to freshen up before dinner at one of Cape Town's best venues.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 4: Winelands

Today we head into the Winelands to South Africa’s 2nd oldest town, Stellenbosch. Here you will join your culinary guide as she leads you through the historic heart of Stellenbosch. You’ll have a chance to sample some traditional Cape food and wine (biltong, Bobotie, koeksisters and melktert) while meeting a host of colourful characters en-route! You’ll enjoy a heritage lunch platter at the oldest hotel in the country and visit the oldest shop in town (doesn’t operate on Sundays). 

After lunch we head over the scenic Helshoogte Pass to Delaire Graaf wine estate where we’ll enjoy a wine tasting at their state of the art tasting room. We then continue into the picturesque village of Franschhoek, with its café lined streets to enjoy a tasting at the 300 year old Grande Provence wine estate, before heading to our accommodation.

Enjoy dinner this evening at the award winning Monneaux Restaurant, a Cape culinary classic.  The restaurant serves an inspired contemporary take on Mediterranean classics influenced by local Cape Malay flavours which is skilfully blended into signature dishes and complimented by fresh seasonal produce sourced from the winelands area.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Franschhoek Country House

Day 5: Winelands

Set off this morning on a morning cycling tour through the Winelands.  A relaxed, scenic ride, much of which is on farmland right in amongst the vineyards, will be interspersed with stops at two different wineries for tastings, and ending off with lunch at a country restaurant.  This trip is a great combination of beautiful wineland settings, lovely wines, and tasty local produce.

This afternoon, travel to Paarl at the foot of a cluster of remarkable granite domes where you enjoy two wine tastings at local estates, before heading back to Franschhoek for an evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Franschhoek Country House

Day 6: Fly to Ngala Private Game Reserve

Transfer to the airport in Cape Town for your departing flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will connect with your Federal Air shuttle flight to the Timbavati Airstrip. You must book the South African Airways #316 departing Cape Town at 8:50 AM to Johannesburg (arriving at 10:50 AM) directly to make your scheduled shuttle flight to the Timbavati Airstrip (Ngala Private Game Reserve).  *September departure needs to book the following South African Airways #314 departing Cape Town at 7:30 AM to Johannesburg (arriving at 9:25 AM)

Please note: Passenger baggage allowance 20kg per person, hand baggage included to be carried in soft bags only.  Please note that excess baggage will be charged for and will only be carried if weight and space permits.  NB** Should a lodge hop be cancelled due to bad weather, Federal Air will provide a road transfer where possible and there will be no refund on the flight.

Upon arrival you will be transferred by 4x4 vehicle to your safari accommodations spotting game en route. Check in upon arrival and relax before your first afternoon game drive followed by dinner.

Ngala Private Game Reserve is within the Timbavati Game Reserve and is home to all of the Big Five - particularly known for its elephant, buffalo and rhino, as well as its packs of African wild dog. Leopard and cheetah are also often encountered. The largest of all land mammals, the African elephant, is most often spotted leisurely browsing on the vegetation. Elephant are completely dependent on water and will travel considerable distances to a watering hole, making this the perfect place to watch out for them. Elephant, as well as buffalo, are often encountered in the reed beds around the Timbavati River.

Although its numbers are not decreasing as steadily as before, the African wild dog is still highly endangered, with fewer than 3 000 remaining animals. Ngala is one of few reserves to offer regular opportunities to view this rare animal and its fascinating social structure. 

Packs of African wild dogs operate along a strict hierarchy, with all members taking responsibility for the feeding of any pups. Although meat is obtained for the pups, the entire pack remains sedentary until they are old enough to join in the hunts. 

The blue wildebeest, with their low hindquarter, handlebar horns, as well as their cantankerous nature live up to their reputation as the clowns of the bushveld, cavorting and engaging in head-butting contests. In contrast, the statuesque kudu enthral with their spectacular spiral horns, as well as their prodigious grace and jumping ability. Striking zebra with their vibrant stripes and intriguing social system are a common sight among the bushveld savanna. The typical raised tails of warthog act as a signal device for groups, allowing each warthog to follow the one ahead of it.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ngala Safari Lodge OR Motswari Private Game Reserve

Day 7: Ngala Private Game Reserve

Today you will enjoy game drives and activities in Ngala Private Game Reserve.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ngala Safari Lodge OR Motswari Private Game Reserve

Day 8: Drive to Sabi Sands via Panorama Route

Depart for Sabi Sands Game Reserve, traveling via the scenic Panorama Route. The high escarpment offers stunning views of the Lowveld and features a host of natural wonders such as God’s Window and Lisbon Falls. This is more or less a six hour scenic drive. Arrive at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge in time for “high tea” and an afternoon game drive.

The Sabi Sand Reserve is a 65,000 hectare reserve, pioneered by the landowners in the 1950’s, when the internal fences were dropped and a shared environmental management programme was put in place. Today, many of these families are now third and fourth generation land owners, their legacy being the successful conservation of the highest density of big game in South Africa.

Even though there is a 50km unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park, the game in the Sabi Sands reserve is well habituated resulting in unforgettable close encounters and prolific sightings, particularly of the elusive leopard. The Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the reserve, which add further dimension to the bio-diversity of this area.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge OR MalaMala Main Camp

Days 9-10: Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Discover the prolific wildlife of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve on morning and afternoon game drives and mid-morning walks.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge OR MalaMala Main Camp

Day 11: Fly to Johannesburg & Depart

After a final morning game drive and breakfast you will be transferred to the Sabi Sabi Airstrip for your departing Federal Air shuttle flight to Johannesburg.

Passenger baggage allowance 20kg per person, hand baggage included to be carried in soft bags only.  Please note that excess baggage will be charged for and will only be carried if weight and space permits. NB** Should a lodge hop be cancelled due to bad weather, Federal Air will provide a road transfer where possible and there will be no refund on the flight.

Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will be transferred to the international terminal where you will connect with your international flight home. You have Shongololo Lounge passes for your convenience to await in comfort for your departing flight.

  • Breakfast

Jul 14 - 24, 2017

Sep 15 - 25, 2017

Jun 17 - 27, 2018

Aug 28, 2018 - Sep 07, 2018

Sep 25, 2018 - Oct 05, 2018

pricing

2017 Best of South Africa Prices, per person
July and September Departure
$ 7,295 (6-10 members)
$ 1,800 single supplement

Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double/twin accommodations.

If you prefer single accommodations, you must pay the single supplement Fee. If you’re traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we’ll try our best to find you a roommate. If that’s not possible, we will only charge you half of the single supplement.

This pricing does not include the scheduled internal flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Upon confirmation, Mountain Travel Sobek will send you our preferred airfare consolidator's contact details to book this flight. All 2017 trips will need to book the South African Airways flight #1241 departing Cape Town at 9:10AM to Hoedspruit (arriving at 12:20PM)

2018 Best of South Africa Prices, per person
June, August and September Departure
$ 6,995 (6 members)

This pricing does not include the scheduled internal flights.  All 2018 trips will need to book flights from Cape Town to Hoedspruit SAA #1241 on day 6 and Skukuza Airport to Johannesburg SAA #8862 on day 11.

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Franschhoek Country House — Franschhoek

This stunning, French Provencal-styled boutique hotel is located a short walk from the town of Franschhoek. A country retreat that enjoyed a former life as a perfumery in the late 19th century, the hotel retains its historical charm in the original Manor House. Guets will appreciate uninterrupted views of the vineyards and mountains from the private deck of their luxurious room. Twelve opulent Villa Suites each feature a spacious lounge, a large balcony, a separate bedroom, dining area, fireplace, entertainment center and radiant floor heating. Known for its award-winning Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House and Villas consistently receives praise for the chefs' creative interpretations of modern French/South African cuisine.

MalaMala Main Camp — Mala Mala Game Reserve

A private, family owned reserve, the 13,200-hectare Mala Mala Game Reserve is strategically sandwiched between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park. Located on the western banks of the Sand River is the classic Mala Mala Main Camp, designed to appreciate and enjoy the view of the surrounding bush and wildlife.

This oasis in the middle of the bushveld boasts 19 luxury thatched rooms and suites. Pathways wind their way around the perimeter of the camp to reveal the individual ochre units tucked into the greenery which flanks the Sand River. Classic and elegant the rooms and suites are spacious with en-suite his and hers bathrooms, air-conditioning, minibars and tea and coffee facilities. Family rooms accommodating two children are available on request. The impressive lounge (filled with relics from safari days of old),air-conditioned dining room and historic bar are conducive to sociable evenings. There is an air-conditioned library with satellite TV, DVD player and internet connectivity. The large wooden safari deck in the shade of a Jackalberry Tree overlooks the wildlife rich Sand River; there is an infinity pool, small gym, boutique gift shop, fully stocked wine cellar and massages on request (additional cost).

Mala Mala Main Camp offers early morning and afternoon game drives with only six guests per vehicle.

Motswari Private Game Reserve — Timbavati

Situated in the unspoilt Timbavati, Motswari Private Game Reserve is a warmly welcoming family-run lodge. This down-to-earth lodge provides a relaxed environment to enjoy a top game experience with professionally guided game drives and bush walks.

15 luxurious bungalows offer spacious, naturally furnished interiors and stunning bush views. Socialise around a fireplace in comfortable central areas or sip cocktails whilst appreciating the views from the deck. Perhaps take respite from the heat of the summer sun in the pool. Delicious meals are served in the lodge, under starry skies in the bush, or in the traditional boma.

Ngala Safari Lodge — Timbavati Game Reserve

The magic and mystery of Africa come alive in the colonial ambiance of elegant Ngala Safari Lodge. The lodge’s 21 classic safari cottages overlook a private waterhole frequented by wildlife, and style and grace mingle faultlessly with the rugged natural beauty of the setting—as manicured lawns give way to dense mopane thickets and wild animals saunter down to drink at the waterhole. A timeless, unhurried atmosphere, combined with the quaint traditions of a bygone era, creates an aura of romance and nostalgia

One&Only Cape Town — Cape Town

In the heart of Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with stunning views of Table Mountain, this contemporary resort combines chic island design with African flair. With an emphasis on world class culinary experiences, the resort boasts two restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs: Nobu serves refined Japanese cuisine and Reuben's serves sophisticated but simple bistro fare. Relax in the Vista lobby lounge and bar, which connects the two restaurants, and enjoy the impressive glass and steel tri-level Wine Loft. The hotel's 131 spacious rooms and suites have clean lines, dark African woods and contemporary artwork by local artisans, plus oversized baths, rain showers and dual marble vanities. Additional resort facilities include a spa, beauty, fitness and yoga center.

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge — Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Located in the south western sector of the 65,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is the private concession of Sabi Sabi, where Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is located. Bordering the unfenced Kruger National Park, game roams freely between the reserves and the slightly elevated position of Bush Lodge provides uninterrupted bushveld views. Using soft earthy tones and hints of African ethnic decoration the 25 thatched suites merge seamlessly with their surrounds. Suites include en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, king beds draped with mosquito nets, air-conditioning and fans, lounge, private patio, minibars and tea and coffee facilities. With two open sided thatched viewing decks the main lodge area is the perfect place to relax, overlooking the waterhole. Other amenities include a a lounge, dining room and bar, wine cellar, two swimming pools, and a spa.

"The Best of South Africa exceeded my expectations. I loved, loved everything about this trip, from sightseeing in Cape Town, to wine tasting in Frenshoek, to fantastic safaris in Nagaland and Sabi Sabi!! Can't wait to take my family someday!!" Camille Baum   

"Best holiday my family has had in years. Something for everyone. No television, family quality time as well as laughter that never ended." Jencie Fagan

  • Explore South Africa for an in-depth, behind the scenes perspective crafted exclusively by MTS
  • Immerse yourself: bike the wine country, hike Table Mountain, and savor cuisine in the home of South Africa’s best known chef
  • See the Big 5 (GUARANTEED!) and experience two dramatically different ecosystems (most tours only offer one), including Sabi Sands which has the world’s densest leopard population

Whether you love history, scenery, cuisine, wildlife, or all of the above, South Africa has it in abundance. On our exclusive tour you’ll delve deep into the many nuances of this intriguing country. Hike to the peak of Table Mountain, explore the cobbled streets of Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap district, and enjoy an unforgettable meal with a renowned chef. Commune with African penguins on the Cape Peninsula. Cycle and taste your way through the winelands. Spot cheetahs, rhinos, and other fauna on game drives through the bush. Relax at some of South Africa’s finest hotels. With expert guides accompanying you all the way, your only worry is choosing which highlight you like best.

reviews

"The Best of South Africa exceeded my expectations. I loved, loved everything about this trip, from sightseeing in Cape Town, to wine tasting in Frenshoek, to fantastic safaris in Nagaland and Sabi Sabi!! Can't wait to take my family someday!!" Camille Baum   

"Best holiday my family has had in years. Something for everyone. No television, family quality time as well as laughter that never ended." Jencie Fagan

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Cape Town

Welcome to Cape Town! You will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be shown to your awaiting transfer vehicle, and introduced to your guide.

 

Situated between Robben Island and Table Mountain in the heart of Cape Town's working harbor, the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront has become one of South Africa's most visited destinations. Since 1988, the harbor is continually undergoing changes, with the redevelopment of land and the restoration of buildings surrounding the original Victoria & Alfred Basins, creating a mix of shopping and entertainment venues, intermingled with imaginative office locations, world-class hotels and luxury apartments in the residential marina. Aside from the myriad of shops, restaurants and bars, there is a more cultural side to the Waterfront, focused around the historic Clock Tower, which was the original Port Captain's Office in 1882 and part of a collection of well-preserved turn of the century buildings. It is near here that the ferries depart for Robben Island (from the Nelson Mandela Gateway), while the Two Oceans Aquarium is a short walk from here.

  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 2: Cape Peninsula

Set off this morning on a guided Cape Point and Peninsula tour. Start at the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay and then cross over to Hout Bay, where you can join an optional short cruise to Seal Island to see the breeding colony of Cape Fur Seals. From here, drive to the Cape of Good Hope National Reserve via Chapman’s Peak, where you will board a funicular (cable car) for an excellent vantage point from which to observe the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as spectacular views over False Bay. Continue to the naval base at Simonstown and visit the African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach.

For lunch, enjoy an extra-special, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: lunch at the BoatHouse. (This is mainly a seafood lunch, please specify your dietary requirements). After an exciting lunch and some intriguing conversation, head back to Cape Town, stopping along the way for a stroll at the world famous Kirstenbosch Gardens (time permitting).

Enjoy dinner at one of Cape Town's trendy restaurants.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 3: Table Mountain Hike & City Tour

You will be transferred from your hotel to the lower cable car station at Table Mountain, to ascend the Mountain in the aerial cable car. The walk begins at the upper cable station and traverses the entire front table to Maclears Beacon – the highest point at 3,566 feet. The walk returns via a different route providing a variety of vistas. The walk takes about 2 hours, with an accredited walking / hiking guide. The routing of the hike is dependent on the cable car being operational.

Once you descend the mountain, you will be transferred to the colourful Bo-Kaap to enjoy a traditional lunch.  Learn about the heritage of the Cape Malay people and drive through the cobbled streets of the Malay Quarter as well as the city of Cape Town.

Enjoy a stroll through the Company Gardens, a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town, the oldest garden in the country.

In the tree-lined garden, are a number of important buildings such as the South African Museum, which was established in 1852. From here you will continue to the Castle of Good Hope which is the oldest surviving building in South Africa, home to the famous William Fehr Collection of historic artworks.

Return to your hotel in the late afternoon to freshen up before dinner at one of Cape Town's best venues.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:One&Only Cape Town

Day 4: Winelands

Today we head into the Winelands to South Africa’s 2nd oldest town, Stellenbosch. Here you will join your culinary guide as she leads you through the historic heart of Stellenbosch. You’ll have a chance to sample some traditional Cape food and wine (biltong, Bobotie, koeksisters and melktert) while meeting a host of colourful characters en-route! You’ll enjoy a heritage lunch platter at the oldest hotel in the country and visit the oldest shop in town (doesn’t operate on Sundays). 

After lunch we head over the scenic Helshoogte Pass to Delaire Graaf wine estate where we’ll enjoy a wine tasting at their state of the art tasting room. We then continue into the picturesque village of Franschhoek, with its café lined streets to enjoy a tasting at the 300 year old Grande Provence wine estate, before heading to our accommodation.

Enjoy dinner this evening at the award winning Monneaux Restaurant, a Cape culinary classic.  The restaurant serves an inspired contemporary take on Mediterranean classics influenced by local Cape Malay flavours which is skilfully blended into signature dishes and complimented by fresh seasonal produce sourced from the winelands area.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Franschhoek Country House

Day 5: Winelands

Set off this morning on a morning cycling tour through the Winelands.  A relaxed, scenic ride, much of which is on farmland right in amongst the vineyards, will be interspersed with stops at two different wineries for tastings, and ending off with lunch at a country restaurant.  This trip is a great combination of beautiful wineland settings, lovely wines, and tasty local produce.

This afternoon, travel to Paarl at the foot of a cluster of remarkable granite domes where you enjoy two wine tastings at local estates, before heading back to Franschhoek for an evening at leisure.

  • Breakfast/Lunch
  • Accommodation:Franschhoek Country House

Day 6: Fly to Ngala Private Game Reserve

Transfer to the airport in Cape Town for your departing flight to Johannesburg. Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will connect with your Federal Air shuttle flight to the Timbavati Airstrip. You must book the South African Airways #316 departing Cape Town at 8:50 AM to Johannesburg (arriving at 10:50 AM) directly to make your scheduled shuttle flight to the Timbavati Airstrip (Ngala Private Game Reserve).  *September departure needs to book the following South African Airways #314 departing Cape Town at 7:30 AM to Johannesburg (arriving at 9:25 AM)

Please note: Passenger baggage allowance 20kg per person, hand baggage included to be carried in soft bags only.  Please note that excess baggage will be charged for and will only be carried if weight and space permits.  NB** Should a lodge hop be cancelled due to bad weather, Federal Air will provide a road transfer where possible and there will be no refund on the flight.

Upon arrival you will be transferred by 4x4 vehicle to your safari accommodations spotting game en route. Check in upon arrival and relax before your first afternoon game drive followed by dinner.

Ngala Private Game Reserve is within the Timbavati Game Reserve and is home to all of the Big Five - particularly known for its elephant, buffalo and rhino, as well as its packs of African wild dog. Leopard and cheetah are also often encountered. The largest of all land mammals, the African elephant, is most often spotted leisurely browsing on the vegetation. Elephant are completely dependent on water and will travel considerable distances to a watering hole, making this the perfect place to watch out for them. Elephant, as well as buffalo, are often encountered in the reed beds around the Timbavati River.

Although its numbers are not decreasing as steadily as before, the African wild dog is still highly endangered, with fewer than 3 000 remaining animals. Ngala is one of few reserves to offer regular opportunities to view this rare animal and its fascinating social structure. 

Packs of African wild dogs operate along a strict hierarchy, with all members taking responsibility for the feeding of any pups. Although meat is obtained for the pups, the entire pack remains sedentary until they are old enough to join in the hunts. 

The blue wildebeest, with their low hindquarter, handlebar horns, as well as their cantankerous nature live up to their reputation as the clowns of the bushveld, cavorting and engaging in head-butting contests. In contrast, the statuesque kudu enthral with their spectacular spiral horns, as well as their prodigious grace and jumping ability. Striking zebra with their vibrant stripes and intriguing social system are a common sight among the bushveld savanna. The typical raised tails of warthog act as a signal device for groups, allowing each warthog to follow the one ahead of it.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ngala Safari Lodge OR Motswari Private Game Reserve

Day 7: Ngala Private Game Reserve

Today you will enjoy game drives and activities in Ngala Private Game Reserve.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Ngala Safari Lodge OR Motswari Private Game Reserve

Day 8: Drive to Sabi Sands via Panorama Route

Depart for Sabi Sands Game Reserve, traveling via the scenic Panorama Route. The high escarpment offers stunning views of the Lowveld and features a host of natural wonders such as God’s Window and Lisbon Falls. This is more or less a six hour scenic drive. Arrive at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge in time for “high tea” and an afternoon game drive.

The Sabi Sand Reserve is a 65,000 hectare reserve, pioneered by the landowners in the 1950’s, when the internal fences were dropped and a shared environmental management programme was put in place. Today, many of these families are now third and fourth generation land owners, their legacy being the successful conservation of the highest density of big game in South Africa.

Even though there is a 50km unfenced boundary with the Kruger National Park, the game in the Sabi Sands reserve is well habituated resulting in unforgettable close encounters and prolific sightings, particularly of the elusive leopard. The Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the reserve, which add further dimension to the bio-diversity of this area.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge OR MalaMala Main Camp

Days 9-10: Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Discover the prolific wildlife of the Sabi Sands Game Reserve on morning and afternoon game drives and mid-morning walks.

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge OR MalaMala Main Camp

Day 11: Fly to Johannesburg & Depart

After a final morning game drive and breakfast you will be transferred to the Sabi Sabi Airstrip for your departing Federal Air shuttle flight to Johannesburg.

Passenger baggage allowance 20kg per person, hand baggage included to be carried in soft bags only.  Please note that excess baggage will be charged for and will only be carried if weight and space permits. NB** Should a lodge hop be cancelled due to bad weather, Federal Air will provide a road transfer where possible and there will be no refund on the flight.

Upon arrival in Johannesburg you will be transferred to the international terminal where you will connect with your international flight home. You have Shongololo Lounge passes for your convenience to await in comfort for your departing flight.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Franschhoek Country House — Franschhoek

This stunning, French Provencal-styled boutique hotel is located a short walk from the town of Franschhoek. A country retreat that enjoyed a former life as a perfumery in the late 19th century, the hotel retains its historical charm in the original Manor House. Guets will appreciate uninterrupted views of the vineyards and mountains from the private deck of their luxurious room. Twelve opulent Villa Suites each feature a spacious lounge, a large balcony, a separate bedroom, dining area, fireplace, entertainment center and radiant floor heating. Known for its award-winning Monneaux Restaurant, Franschhoek Country House and Villas consistently receives praise for the chefs' creative interpretations of modern French/South African cuisine.

MalaMala Main Camp — Mala Mala Game Reserve

A private, family owned reserve, the 13,200-hectare Mala Mala Game Reserve is strategically sandwiched between the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the Kruger National Park. Located on the western banks of the Sand River is the classic Mala Mala Main Camp, designed to appreciate and enjoy the view of the surrounding bush and wildlife.

This oasis in the middle of the bushveld boasts 19 luxury thatched rooms and suites. Pathways wind their way around the perimeter of the camp to reveal the individual ochre units tucked into the greenery which flanks the Sand River. Classic and elegant the rooms and suites are spacious with en-suite his and hers bathrooms, air-conditioning, minibars and tea and coffee facilities. Family rooms accommodating two children are available on request. The impressive lounge (filled with relics from safari days of old),air-conditioned dining room and historic bar are conducive to sociable evenings. There is an air-conditioned library with satellite TV, DVD player and internet connectivity. The large wooden safari deck in the shade of a Jackalberry Tree overlooks the wildlife rich Sand River; there is an infinity pool, small gym, boutique gift shop, fully stocked wine cellar and massages on request (additional cost).

Mala Mala Main Camp offers early morning and afternoon game drives with only six guests per vehicle.

Motswari Private Game Reserve — Timbavati

Situated in the unspoilt Timbavati, Motswari Private Game Reserve is a warmly welcoming family-run lodge. This down-to-earth lodge provides a relaxed environment to enjoy a top game experience with professionally guided game drives and bush walks.

15 luxurious bungalows offer spacious, naturally furnished interiors and stunning bush views. Socialise around a fireplace in comfortable central areas or sip cocktails whilst appreciating the views from the deck. Perhaps take respite from the heat of the summer sun in the pool. Delicious meals are served in the lodge, under starry skies in the bush, or in the traditional boma.

Ngala Safari Lodge — Timbavati Game Reserve

The magic and mystery of Africa come alive in the colonial ambiance of elegant Ngala Safari Lodge. The lodge’s 21 classic safari cottages overlook a private waterhole frequented by wildlife, and style and grace mingle faultlessly with the rugged natural beauty of the setting—as manicured lawns give way to dense mopane thickets and wild animals saunter down to drink at the waterhole. A timeless, unhurried atmosphere, combined with the quaint traditions of a bygone era, creates an aura of romance and nostalgia

One&Only Cape Town — Cape Town

In the heart of Cape Town's Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, with stunning views of Table Mountain, this contemporary resort combines chic island design with African flair. With an emphasis on world class culinary experiences, the resort boasts two restaurants run by Michelin-starred chefs: Nobu serves refined Japanese cuisine and Reuben's serves sophisticated but simple bistro fare. Relax in the Vista lobby lounge and bar, which connects the two restaurants, and enjoy the impressive glass and steel tri-level Wine Loft. The hotel's 131 spacious rooms and suites have clean lines, dark African woods and contemporary artwork by local artisans, plus oversized baths, rain showers and dual marble vanities. Additional resort facilities include a spa, beauty, fitness and yoga center.

Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge — Sabi Sands Game Reserve

Located in the south western sector of the 65,000 hectare Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve is the private concession of Sabi Sabi, where Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge is located. Bordering the unfenced Kruger National Park, game roams freely between the reserves and the slightly elevated position of Bush Lodge provides uninterrupted bushveld views. Using soft earthy tones and hints of African ethnic decoration the 25 thatched suites merge seamlessly with their surrounds. Suites include en-suite bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, king beds draped with mosquito nets, air-conditioning and fans, lounge, private patio, minibars and tea and coffee facilities. With two open sided thatched viewing decks the main lodge area is the perfect place to relax, overlooking the waterhole. Other amenities include a a lounge, dining room and bar, wine cellar, two swimming pools, and a spa.

Dates and Pricing

Jul 14 - 24, 2017

Sep 15 - 25, 2017

Jun 17 - 27, 2018

Aug 28, 2018 - Sep 07, 2018

Sep 25, 2018 - Oct 05, 2018

pricing

2017 Best of South Africa Prices, per person
July and September Departure
$ 7,295 (6-10 members)
$ 1,800 single supplement

Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double/twin accommodations.

If you prefer single accommodations, you must pay the single supplement Fee. If you’re traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we’ll try our best to find you a roommate. If that’s not possible, we will only charge you half of the single supplement.

This pricing does not include the scheduled internal flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg. Upon confirmation, Mountain Travel Sobek will send you our preferred airfare consolidator's contact details to book this flight. All 2017 trips will need to book the South African Airways flight #1241 departing Cape Town at 9:10AM to Hoedspruit (arriving at 12:20PM)

2018 Best of South Africa Prices, per person
June, August and September Departure
$ 6,995 (6 members)

This pricing does not include the scheduled internal flights.  All 2018 trips will need to book flights from Cape Town to Hoedspruit SAA #1241 on day 6 and Skukuza Airport to Johannesburg SAA #8862 on day 11.

Activity Level Easy to Moderate
Trip Length 11 days

From $6,995

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Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure

Award-winning journeys recognized by Travel +Leisure