South Africa: The Grand Tour

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Availability : Select Dates, All Year

South Africa: The Grand Tour

Highlights Include:

  • Safari in the Kruger National Park, one of the most famous safari areas in Africa
  • Visiting Cape Town, Johannesburg, Swaziland, Port Elizabeth, and the Garden Route
  • Up-close experiences with elephants at the Knysna Elephant Park
  • Tasting some tantalizing wines in the Winelands 
Tour Details

From: $4,000 per person | Single supplement on request

14 days

2019 Departures: Select Dates
January 1 – August 31, from $4,000
September 1 – December 19, from $4,250
December 20 – 31, from $5,050

Experience all that South Africa has to offer and at an extraordinary value! Guided by a professional English speaking driver/guide, this small group tour will be staying in modest but diverse and well-chosen accommodations. The itinerary spans quite a distance over the famous highlights of South Africa.

While this itinerary involves a lot of driving, it is an ideal journey for anyone who wants to see this unforgettable country in an intimate and affordable way! If time permits, we recommend adding on a few additional days in the beautiful Cape Town to relax and explore on your own.

 

Itinerary
This is an escorted tour. Our Destination Specialists will work with you to customize any pre- or post- tour arrangements.

Day 1Johannesburg to Mpumalanga via the Panorama Route| Meals: D

Depart Johannesburg early morning and travel to the Land of the Rising Sun – Mpumalanga – via the magnificent Panorama Route. You will have the opportunity to see the Blyde River Canyon, which is the most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route and gives you a view of the 20-mile gorge. Time and weather permitting, you will also stop at God’s Window and the Mac Mac Falls. You arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon to check in and freshen up before dinner. Overnight in Mpumalanga

Day 2Safari in Kruger National Park | Meals: B D

This morning is an early start as you join your ranger in an open safari vehicle and head into the Kruger National Park!

The world-renowned Kruger National Park offers a wildlife experience that ranks with the best in Africa. At nearly 7,800 square miles, the reserve is the flagship of South African National Parks and is home to an impressive number of flora and fauna.

Return to your hotel in the afternoon and spend the remainder of the day at leisure. You will have the option to return to the Kruger National Park to absorb the tranquil beauty of an evening safari (additional charge). Overnight in Mpumalanga

Day 3The Kingdom of eSwatini (Swaziland) | Meals: B L

Travel to the royal kingdom of eSwatini (formerly Swaziland). This tiny mountainous kingdom is filled with bygone African traditions and culture, and offers beautiful scenery and attractions such as game reserves and arts & crafts outlets, to name a few. Enjoy a showcase of the traditional Swazi culture followed by lunch at the Matsamo Cultural Village. Continue to the Ngwenya Glass Works to see master craftsmen create beautiful sculptures and artwork from molten glass. Overnight in eSwatini

Day 4Exploring Zululand | Meals: B D

Enjoy a morning visit to the Swazi Candle Factory, where each candle is made and finished by hand using the age-old technique “millefiore.” No two are the same, and the range boasts an astonishing array of patterns, shapes and designs.

Continue via Big Bend into KwaZulu Natal. Arrive at your lodge in the afternoon, in time to embark on an afternoon scenic drive up the Ubombo Mountains, which offer views over Lake Jozini. At the summit and as the setting sun transforms the sky into a tapestry of colors, stop for sundowners. The drive will be combined with a visit to a local and authentic Zulu homestead for a glimpse into Zulu life in today’s world. Return to the hotel for dinner on the terrace (weather permitting) or in the classically-styled restaurant. Overnight in Zululand

Day 5Safari in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve | Meals: B D

This morning is at your leisure, with the option to go on a morning activity if you wish (on own account).

This afternoon, transfer to the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve for an afternoon game drive. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve covers a combined area of 350 square miles, and it was here that the white rhino was saved from extinction.

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight. Overnight in Zululand

Day 6Journey to Durban | Meals: B

Continue the journey along the Elephant Coast of KwaZulu Natal to St. Lucia, located at the southern extremity of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage site. Here you embark on a boat trip where you have the opportunity to see crocodiles, hippo and numerous bird species, including the elusive African kingfisher eagle in its natural habitat.

Continue to Durban, where east meets west; a city beneath which beats the pulse of Africa. Arrive during the afternoon at your hotel, which is located on the Gold Mile, Durban’s distinctive beach front. Dinner on own account, we recommend one of the many Indian restaurants. Did you know Durban is home to the largest populations of Indians outside of India? Overnight in Durban

Day 7Durban City Tour and Fly to Port Elizabeth | Meals: B

This morning embark on a brief Durban city tour to get a feel for the cultural and historical contrasts of the city.

Check in at Durban International Airport for your afternoon domestic flight to Port Elizabeth (flight cost not included). On arrival at Port Elizabeth Airport, transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Port Elizabeth

Day 8Follow the Garden Route to Tsitsikamma National Park | Meals: B D

Depart Port Elizabeth and travel via the coastline to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park. Described as the “garden of the Garden Route,” the Tsitsikamma actually deserves a more vivid description to encapsulate its beauty. Enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across the Storms River mouth gorge, which offers visitors incredible views and photo opportunities. Continue to Plettenberg Bay for dinner and overnight. Overnight in Plettenberg Bay

Day 9Knysna Elephant Park, Birds of Eden, and Whale & Dolphin Boat Experience | Meals: B D

After breakfast, get up close and personal with nature at the Knysna Elephant Park. With the help of the resident African elephants and the well-informed guides, you will learn about the sad and mystical story of the Knysna elephants. The visit presents an opportunity for us to support this herd and to sensitively interact with these gentle giants.

After lunch (on own account), travel to Plettenberg Bay for a visit to Birds of Eden, the largest free-flight bird aviary in the world. Birds of Eden stems from the need to create a safe environment in which to release a large collection of free-flight African birds. The sanctuary also enables bird owners to apply to release their pet birds into the sanctuary, after undergoing rehabilitation. Time permitting; you have the option for a Whale & Dolphin Boat Experience (weather permitting; cost not included) before returning to the lodge. Overnight in Plettenberg Bay

Day 10Cruise Through Knysna Heads and Ostrich Farm Visit | Meals: B D

Continue to the lagoon-side town of Knysna, the gem of the Garden Route. Enjoy some time at leisure at the Knysna Waterfront before embarking on a fun and adventurous cruise to the Knysna Heads (weather permitting) on board the Three Legs Rivercat, one of the most advanced river cruisers ever built.

On return to the mainland, continue to Oudtshoorn, the “feather capital” of the world due to its large ostrich industry. Visit a working ostrich farm for a guided tour. Check into your hotel in the late afternoon before enjoying dinner. Overnight in Oudtshoorn

Day 11Cango Caves Tour and Travel to Cape Town | Meals: B

Enjoy a morning tour of the Cango Caves before departing Oudtshoorn. The Cango Caves is one of the natural wonders of the world, and has become a major drawing card to the Karoo area.

Afterward, travel via the scenic Route 62 to Barrydale for lunch (on own account). Arrive in Cape Town around 6:00 p.m. Overnight in Cape Town

Day 12Cape Point & Peninsula Tour | Meals: B

Enjoy a full day Cape Point & Peninsula tour, an awe-inspiring tour passing magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, and picturesque coastal villages to the towering headland known as Cape Point.

Evening at leisure. Overnight in Cape Town

Day 13Cape Winelands Tour | Meals: B

Full day Cape Winelands tour. This is a delightful drive, which winds its way into the heart of the Cape Winelands through superb mountain ranges, vineyards, and Cape Dutch homesteads. Three wine tastings are included, as well as time for a lunch stop (on own account).

Return to Cape Town late afternoon. Overnight in Cape Town

Day 14City Tour and Depart Cape Town, South Africa | Meals: B

Breakfast and check out of the hotel. This morning you will be collected from the hotel for a city tour, a geographical and cultural extravaganza showing you Cape Town from its historical beginnings to its dazzling modern shopping malls of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Your tour ends with a drop off at the Cape Town International Airport for your onward arrangements.

Included
  • Thirteen nights’ accommodation
  • Experienced tour guide throughout
  • Transfers as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner)
  • Game drives in Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve
  • Swazi Candle Factory Visit and Zulu Homestead Visit
  • Boat trip in iSimangaliso Wetland Park
  • Durban City Tour
  • Entrance to Knysna Elephant Park and Birds of Eden Aviary
  • Knysna Heads Boat Cruise and Ostrich Farm Visit
  • Cango Caves Tour
  • Full day Cape Point and Peninsula Tour
  • Full day Cape Winelands Tour
  • Cape Town City Tour
Not Included
  • All flights and related taxes
  • Travel insurance (emergency medical & evacuation coverage required)
  • Fees for passports, visas, or health vaccinations
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Gratuities
  • Items of personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
Notes
  • A pre-night hotel stay in Johannesburg is recommended as this itinerary departs in the early morning; Borton Overseas can assist with booking these arrangements.
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