Price Starting at $8,995.00
The provincial capital, Cape Town, is a sophisticated city with plenty to see and do, particularly around the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront area, where delightful buildings of the Cape Dutch and Victorian-era architecture have been restored as shops, restaurants, museums and pubs, as the busy water traffic of the docks goes on unabated. Cape Town, which faces north across Table Bay, has thrived from its birth, first as a Dutch settlement in 1652 when Jan van Ribeeck established it as a supply station for ships of the Dutch East India Company, and later, under the British as a port supplying ships with food and fresh water from the perennial mountain streams.
Your home for the next three nights, the Vineyard hotel and Spa, with over 200 years of history within its walls, is situated in six acres of attractive landscaped parkland on the banks of the Liesbeeck River. Located in the lush leafy suburb of Newlands, the Vineyard Hotel & Spa is within easy walking distance of the up-market Cavendish Shopping Centre and is just 10 minutes away from the City Center and the popular Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. This beautiful establishment comprises the original home of Lady Anne Barnard and new bedrooms designed by highly acclaimed architects Jack Barnett and Revel Fox. It is filled with works by leading South African artists and offers rooms ranging from single to family suites, both mountain and courtyard facing. Overnight at the VINEYARD HOTEL AND SPA.
Continue on to Boulders Beach where the African (Jackass) penguins can be seen – also known as the black-footed penguins. These flightless seabirds are found only on the coast of Southern Africa and the only penguins found on this continent. Enjoy a delightful walk on a specially-built platform onto the little sheltered beach where they nest among the rocks, and “waddle” up and down into and out of the sea. Since the penguins are accustomed to human presence you can safely get within a few feet of them as you stand on the platform, and it is sometimes possible to view them nesting behind rocks and bushes.
Your final stop is Groot Costantia for a late afternoon tasting at this historic wine estate. Groot Constantia dates back to 1685, when the land was granted to Simon van der Stel – thus making it one of the oldest wine farms in South Africa. Wander through the Orientation Center in the Jonkershuis complex, look at the carriages on display in the Coach house and in the wine cellar, walk through the wine museum and the Manor house with its exhibition of furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, brass, and copperware; all providing a glimpse into the life of a successful 18th to late 19th century Cape farmer. South Africa is well known for acclaimed wine estates and award-winning wines, and this is your opportunity to indulge in a wine tasting.
Return to Cape Town in the evening, where you have some time to relax before your welcome dinner at the Gold Restaurant, a vibrant, eclectic Pan-African spot in the heart of Cape Town. Enjoy cuisine from Cape Malay and African kitchen which is served by the magnificently adorned staff bearing your banquet in baskets perched on their heads.
Overnight at the VINEYARD HOTEL AND SPA.
Next stop is Cape Malay Quarter, or ‘Bo-Kaap’ which sprawls along the slopes of Signal Hill, bordering Cape Town, presenting a scenario of enduring historic and cultural significance. It’s certainly worth taking the time to explore the area when you come to Cape Town. Bo-Kaap’s attractive, brightly colored, flat-roofed houses, decorative mosques and the sound of the muezzin calling over the city streets have remained relatively undisturbed for all this time. The major threat facing this attractive area is now not forced removals, but gentrification, as image-conscious yuppies move into and renovate the lovely old buildings, taking advantage of the sea views and proximity to the city center.
Here, you will have a hands-on, practical lesson on how to cook like a real Cape Malay ‘Auntie!’ Learn how to fold samoosa’s and mix masala for that perfect pot of Cape Malay curry!
A local woman will host you at her home, where you will not only learn secret cooking techniques, but also get an insight into daily life in the Bo-Kaap. The workshop ends with lunch where you can share your experiences with the group whilst indulging in a mouth-watering traditional meal.
Lastly, get a feel of what Cape Town is all about by taking the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, the signature of this city, easily one of the most recognizable mountains. This tour is very dependent on the wind factor, as well as the clouds. Many times a cloud covers this flat-topped mountain, which rises to 3,563 feet above sea level and the locals affectionately say it’s a white tablecloth. Legend has it that a retired pirate, on climbing the mountain met up with the devil. In order to preserve his soul, the pirate challenged the devil in a smoking contest. So they stoked up their pipes and have been smoking ever since. For centuries Table Mountain has been a guiding beacon to mariners rounding the Cape of Southern Africa. Sir Francis Drake described it as “the most stately thing and the fairest cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth.” Despite its formidable appearance, it is possible to hike up Table Mountain. The first recorded ascent was in 1503 by the Portuguese navigator Antonio da Saldanha who, confused by the Cape Peninsula geography, climbed to the summit via the frontal cleft, now known as Platteklip Gorge. For nature lovers, the birding is awesome, and the wild flowers include agapanthus, watsonias and red nerines which poke out from rock crevices amid a scrub of ericas and gnarled proteas. More than 1400 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the mountain which makes it a spectacular sight in the spring. Cute guinea pig-like creatures known as rock dassies, or hyraxes, (genetically, the closest living relatives to elephants) scuttle everywhere. They are not afraid and scamper among the tourists seeking to be fed.
Overnight at the VINEYARD HOTEL AND SPA.
DAYS 5/6/7 - FRIDAY/SATURDAY/SUNDAY ~ OCTOBER 5/6/7 CAPE TOWN /SKUKUZA/KRUGER NATIONAL PARK ~ LUKIMBI LODGE
Lukimbi Safari Lodge is situated on one of the private concessions in the southern section of the Kruger National Park. Your luxury lodge is comprised of 16 spacious suites that meander along the banks of the river Lwakahle and offers every creature comfort, and more. All rooms have tea and coffee facilities, mini bars, safes, telephones and laptop connections. The rooms are air-conditioned and have en-suite bathrooms and inside and outside showers. Other facilities include a full conference center, a library, a private chapel, a fully equipped gymnasium and a swimming pool. Night drives may afford you a glimpse of elusive nocturnal animals such as the armadillo like pangolin and African wildcat. Animal tracking, bird watching and stargazing are other available activities.
Overnights at LUKIMBI LODGE.
The Fairlawns Boutique Hotel & Spa in Sandton is situated in the heart of Sandton, the exclusive residential and business area north of Johannesburg. Set in an attractive, landscaped garden with an outdoor swimming pool, the hotel provides an informal atmosphere which is combined with efficient service. There are 40 opulent, world-class suites, individually decorated with beautiful hand-painted techniques, high corniced ceilings, sumptuous fabrics and custom designed period furniture. A large, fully equipped gym and a newly built Balinese spa promotes the principles of holistic healing in a pampering environment. A large crystalline swimming pool is set in the expansive tree-lined garden.
Overnight at FAIRLAWNS SANDTON HOTEL.
Occasionally, Carmine Bee-eaters build colonies in the sand banks of the floodplains where they nest in their thousands. There are over 90 species of fish in the local waters, and if you’re so inclined, an activity you might wish to partake is fishing.
A major feature of Chobe National Park is its overabundance of elephant often seen at the river front bathing in the water. Vast numbers of elephant come down to drink in the late afternoons and it is possible to see as many as 1,000 of these magnificent animals in a twohour wildlife drive. The Chobe elephant comprise part of what is probably the largest surviving continuous elephant population, covering most of northern Botswana and northwestern Zimbabwe. Botswana’s elephant population is currently estimated at around 120,000, which has built up steadily from a few thousand in the early 1900s and has escaped the massive illegal off take that has decimated other populations in the 1970s and 1980s. These elephants are migratory, making seasonal movements of up to 124 miles from the Chobe and Linyanti Rivers, where they concentrate in the dry season, to the pans in the southeast of the park, to which they disperse in the rains. The elephants in this area have the distinction of being the largest in body size of all living elephants though the ivory is brittle and you will not see many huge tuskers among these gentle giants.
You will stay at the legendary Chobe Game Lodge, the only lodge located within the reserve, which served as the honeymoon spot for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s second marriage. The lodge is beautiful with yellow-gold stucco décor, open and colonial in style. The rooms have electricity, air conditioning, minibar and balconies. Relax in the luxury of your bedrooms affording breathtaking views of the Chobe River, or cool down in the landscaped swimming pool. Overnights at the CHOBE GAME LODGE.
An afternoon sundowner cruise will be a highlight as you glide along the Zambezi River, watching hippos snort, elephants drink on the riverbank, monkeys jump from branch to branch, birds fly overhead or pose for a photograph on the branches, and much more. Enjoy your gin and tonic, cool beer, or drink of choice, and see a panoramic sunset as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the whole area in unbelievable colors of brilliant reds, yellows, purples and mauves.
Old Drift Lodge opened in January 2018 and is your home for two nights. This luxurious lodge is located within the Zambezi National Park and has 10 double suites and four family suites all decorated with stylish furnishings, fitting of a bygone era, and blend in seamlessly with the natural environment. The spacious canvas en-suite rooms have a private lounge, viewing and “sleep-out” deck, indoor and outdoor showers, plunge pool and an outdoor bath overlooking the Zambezi. The main lodge area has 360-degree views, north facing onto the Zambezi and south facing onto a water hole.
Activities here center on morning and afternoon game drives in 4 x 4 game viewing vehicles that take you along the Zambezi River. You can also explore by river on boats and on foot. Game that can be seen include elephant, buffalo, kudu, giraffe, zebra, eland, impala, warthog, lion, wild dog and on occasion, cheetah. Tea baskets and snacks will be taken on the morning drives and Sundowners and snacks on the afternoon game drives.
Overnights at the OLD DRIFT LODGE.
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