Take in the highlights of intriguing South Africa with this perfect pairing for history, gastro and wildlife lovers. Hike up to Cape Town's Table Mountain for epic vistas and explore the cobbled streets of vibrant Bo-Kaap neighborhood. Journey along the Cape Peninsula spotting African penguins and hop on a cycling tour across the beautiful Cape Winelands. Top it off with stays at two premier game reserves, to spot the Big Five and over 350 bird species at Timbavati and see prolific wildlife at Sabi Sands.
Meet Mountain Travel Sobek staff at the door of your aircraft and get assisted through immigration, baggage and customs. Pair up with your guide and transfer to One&Only Cape Town at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This cluster of shops, restaurants and bars, historic buildings, world-class hotels and luxury apartments by the marina is one of South Africa's most visited destinations. Enjoy a welcome dinner this evening.
Set off for a guided Cape Point and Peninsula tour starting at the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay. Join an optional short cruise from Hout Bay to Seal Island to see the breeding colonies of Cape Fur seals. Drive to the Cape of Good Hope National Reserve via Chapman's Peak and board a cable car to see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Head back to Cape Town in the afternoon and, time permitting, stop for a stroll at the world-famous Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Take the aerial cableway to the top of Table Mountain, to set out for a two-hour guided walk. Start at the upper cable station and traverse the entire front table to Maclears Beacon - its highest point at 3,558 feet. Descend the mountain via different route, and drive through the colorful Bo-Kaap neighborhood to learn about Cape Malay heritage. Stroll through the tree-lined Company's Garden, a large public park and botanical garden in the city's heart, and continue to the Castle of Good Hope, the oldest building in South Africa.
Head to Stellenbosch, South Africa's second-oldest town located in the legendary Winelands region. Follow the culinary guide through its historic heart, sample traditional Cape food (like biltong and bobotie) and local wine. Enjoy a heritage lunch platter at the oldest hotel in the country, then visit the oldest shop in town. Head to the picturesque village of Franschhoek for a tasting at the 300-year-old Grande Provence Heritage Wine Estate. Enjoy dinner tonight at the award-winning Monneaux Restaurant, which serves a contemporary take on Mediterranean classics with Cape Malay touch.
Cycle through the beautiful Cape Winelands, with their pastoral landscapes of fertile farmland. Stop at two different wineries for tastings and end the tour with a delicious lunch at a country restaurant. Travel to Paarl at the foot of a cluster of granite domes, then head back to Franschhoek for a relaxed evening.
Transfer to Cape Town airport for a departing flight to Johannesburg. Connect to a Federal Air shuttle flight and take a four-wheeler to the safari lodging. Spot game en route and freshen up before the first afternoon game drive, followed by dinner. Home to all of the Big Five, Ngala Private Game Reserve - within the Timbavati Game Reserve - offers a rare opportunity to spot highly endangered African wild dogs; fewer than 3,000 remain today.
Rise and shine for another full day of wildlife and game drives in Ngala or Motswari Private Game Reserve. Look out for blue wildebeest with low hindquarters and handlebar horns. Known as the "clowns of the bushveld," these animals often engage in head-butting contests. In contrast, delight in the graceful sight of the African kudu with spectacular spiral horns and amazing jumping ability.
Depart for Sabi Sands Game Reserve via Panorama Route for a scenic 6-hour drive. The high escarpment offers stunning views of the Lowveld such as God's Window, a vista onto lush indigenous forests, and Lisbon Falls, the highest waterfalls in Mpumalanga. Upon arrival at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge or MalaMala Main Camp, enjoy high tea and get ready for an afternoon game drive.
Explore the 65,000 hectares of this reserve pioneered by the landowners in the 1950s, when a shared environmental program was put into place. Today, many of these third and fourth generation of landowner families have as their legacy the successful conservation of the highest density of big game in South Africa. Continue a day of game drives for close encounters and prolific sightings, particularly of the elusive leopard.
The Sabi and the Sand Rivers run through the Sabi Sands Game Reserve, adding a further dimension to the biodiversity of the area. Hop on morning and afternoon game drives or take a mid-morning walk. Come evening, unwind in the luxury of your lodge or camp, enjoying these last moments in the wilderness.
After the last game drive and breakfast, make your way to the Sabi Sabi airstrip for departure by Federal Air shuttle to Johannesburg, where you will transfer to the international terminal and connect to your flight home (schedule departing flights after 4pm).
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South Africa's private game reserves offer a chance to spot the incredible Big Five - lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo.
Luxury camps in South Africa's pristine wilderness provide prime game-watching paired with all the contemporary creature comforts.
The Best of South Africa journey blends varied highlights - from cultural and culinary heritage and wine tasting to spotting African wildlife.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Hikes and cable car rides, culinary and heritage tours, cycling through winelands, and enjoy thrilling game drives.
Luxury thatched-roof camps and lodges in the wilderness, paired with boutique country retreats and slick urban resorts.
October to February is characterized by hot, sunny weather and an average temperature of 69°F. Expect colder, crisper weather from May to July.
Yes, if you are not able to travel on the set departure dates listed, alternative departure dates can be arranged on for a minimum of one traveler as long as accommodations are available.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to enter South Africa.
Every season in South Africa has something special to offer and makes South Africa one of the few year round destinations in the world.
We recommend you speak to your doctor about vaccinations and malaria tablets well in advance of your safari. At present, certain areas of South Africa are affected by malaria.
The majority of South Africa is safe, provided that you take the safety precautions you would in all major countries and big cities.
The "Big Five" are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"The Best of South Africa exceeded my expectations. I loved everything about this trip, from sightseeing in Cape Town, to wine tasting in Franschhoek, to fantastic safaris in Nagaland and Sabi Sabi!"
MT Sobek Sobek, Best of South Africa
"Best holiday my family has had in years. Something for everyone. No television, family quality time as well as laughter that never ended."
MT Sobek Guest, Best of South Africa