On this SCHEDULED guided tour you join up with your guide and other travellers for a journey through the most popular areas of South Africa. The tour will introduce you to various highlights, including cities, game reserves, scenic drives and beaches.
Travel via the Panorama Route to the Kruger National Park region, for two full days of game drives. Thereafter head for Hluhluwe in KwaZulu-Natal, travelling through the Kingdom of Swaziland en route. A game drive in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and a cruise on the St. Lucia Estuary - home to 800 plus hippos - await..
Spend some leisure time at the Wild Coast Sun Resort - with access to a pristine beach. Venture into the Transkei region where Nelson Mandela was born and spent his early years. Then it’s ‘Settlers Country’, with a night in Port Alfred (Sunshine Coast) - including a boat cruise on the beautiful Kowie River (weather permitting).
On the Garden Route you stop over at the scenic Storm’s River Mouth and continue to Keurbooms, near Plettenberg Bay. You have a full day at leisure to spend on the beach or you may opt for a day tour to scenic Knysna (own account). Cross the Outeniqua Pass to the Cango Caves and a nearby ostrich farm. On Route R62 you do a brandy tasting. A walking tour of historic Stellenbosch is followed by visiting a Cape Winelands wine estate, from where you head for iconic Cape Town. You have at least a day (or more depending on your departure flight) for leisure time and touring in the ‘Mother City’.
For a version of this tour guided in German go to: 16 Day South African Highlights Scheduled Tour (German)
For a PRIVATE guided version of this tour, e.g. for a private group that you put together (1-14 people), go to: 16 Day Highlights of South Africa Private Guided Tour
For a SELF-DRIVE version of this tour (1-7 people), go to: 16 Day Highlights of South Africa Self-Drive Tour
R32,500 per person sharing
R10,900 single supplement (±US$ 785 )
Duration: 16 days , 15 nights
Tour Type: Scheduled tours
Luxury Level: *** / ****
Accommodation: Six 4-star hotels (8 nights) and five 3-star hotels (7 nights)
Transport: Depends on group size. Luxury Sedan, Minibus or Luxury Tour Coach.
Group sizes: minimum-2 average-7 max-26
Languages (guides): English , German
Tours are English or when demand requires bilingual - English & German. Other languages available on private tour basis.
Countries: South Africa , Swaziland
Notes: While there is a leisure day for OPTIONAL touring in Cape Town, the tour assumes that if you want to explore Johannesburg and/or Cape Town you will arrive before tour commencement and/or depart after the tour’s end. We’ll assist with any further arrangements as required (own account). Meals and excursions included as per the itinerary. Items for your account are indicated with ‘own account’ and/or ‘optional’. International flights are for your own arrangements and cost. More information and terms & conditions available on request.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , iSimangaliso Wetland Park , Transkei , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Paarl , Cape Town .
Starting dates: Tour departs on selected Mondays, indicated by the highlighted dates in the calendar below. **Click on your preferred date in the calendar below to make a booking enquiry for that date**
Available starting dates: Nov 2017 - Oct 2018
Welcome to South Africa! Your tour starts at the hotel where you will spend your first night, in Sandton- Johannesburg.
Your arrival time will determine the program for the day. You may decide to leave the day open to recuperate from your travels or, if you're scheduled to arrive on an early flight, you may elect an optional (half-) day Johannesburg-area tour. We'll gladly advise you on options and book for you ahead of time (own account).
At around 18:00 you meet up with your tour guide for the trip, as well as the other tour members. The tour guide will give an overview of your upcoming tour and confirm arrangements for the evening and departure tomorrow morning. He or she will answer any questions you may have.
Thereafter dinner is at your own leisure, either at the hotel or at one of the host of restaurant options nearby (own account).
Note: Getting to the tour's starting point, The Protea Hotel Balalaika, is for your own arrangements and cost. We will gladly assist with arrangements if requested.
Extending your Johannesburg stay: Should you be scheduled to arrive a day or two before the tour commences, we’ll gladly assist you with all arrangements - including accommodation and touring.
Accomodation: Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort
Meals included: Dinner and Breakfast
Attractions include: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Three Rondavels Viewpoint , Wonder View , Graskop , Bourke's Luck Potholes , Mpumalanga Lowveld .
After breakfast you travel to the Mpumalanga province in the north-east of South Africa where you get to explore the Panorama Route. The Three Rondavels Viewpoint is perched high above the Blyde River Dam and the Blyde River Canyon - providing spectacular views of both. A little further, at the origin of the Canyon you’ll visit Bourke’s Luck Potholes, where an early explorer discovered alluvial gold.
Moving beyond the Canyon you’ll make a stop at Wonder View, the highest point on the Panorama Route, located on the edge of a steep escarpment. Enjoy lunch at nearby Graskop (own account), before descending the escarpment towards Hazyview.
Near Hazyview you check in for a two night stay at your village-style country hotel. Dinner is at the hotel's restaurant that includes outside seating in the lush garden.
Enjoy an early breakfast before leaving for the nearby Kruger National Park for a full day game drive. You will try and spot as many of the large variety of animals as possible. Lunch will be at one of the rest camps in the park (own account).
The Kruger National Park is huge. It covers 19,485 square kilometres and the distance from its southern to northern borders is 360km. It boasts a remarkable variety of fauna and flora. More than 500 bird and 147 mammal species have been identified. These include the ‘Big Five’ - lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.
After an enjoyable day in the African bush seeing wild animals in their natural surroundings, you return to your hotel for dinner and a relaxing evening.
After an early breakfast you check out of your hotel before travelling a short distance to- and spending another full day in, the Kruger National Park. Once again you’ll travel with your air-conditioned tour vehicle in search of the Big Five and the myriad of other game that roam the Park. Lunch (own account) will again be at one of the rest camps in the Kruger National Park.
Late afternoon you exit the Park via Malelane Gate on the Kruger’s southern border. Your overnight accommodation is a hop, skip and a jump away - right on the Crocodile River. You may opt for pre-dinner drinks (own account) on the resort’s pool / viewing deck, with views onto River and into the southern Kruger. With a bit of luck you may spot elephant, hippopotamus, crocodiles or other animals. Dinner is to be enjoyed at the resort's own restaurant.
Accomodation: DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village
Meals included: Breakfast
Attractions include: Swaziland , KwaZulu-Natal , DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village , Ezulwini Valley .
After breakfast you head south to enter the kingdom of Swaziland. Travel through rolling hills, dotted with rural traditional homesteads, past Swaziland’s capital city Mbabane and onto the beautiful Ezulwini Valley.
The Valley is a popular destination for national head offices, leisure developments and expats. It features one or two western-style shopping malls, golf resort hotels and a number of worthwhile informal markets. Lunch (for your own account) will be enjoyed enroute. Continue southwards to re-enter South Africa.
You are now in the beautiful subtropical KwaZulu-Natal province. KwaZulu means ‘home of the Zulu’. Close to the town of Hluhluwe you arrive at your overnight stop. Enjoy dinner at the DumaZulu Restaurant (own account).
Accomodation: DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village
Meals included: Breakfast
Attractions include: Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , Zulu people of South Africa , DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village .
In the morning you head to the nearby Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve for an open-safari-vehicle game drive. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is the only public reserve in KwaZulu-Natal that features the ‘big five’ (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino). This Reserve is famous for successfully saving the endangered white rhino in the past - a species that is once again under threat. Hluhluwe-Imfolozi is different from the Kruger National Park in terms of climate (subtropical), as well as vegetation and is generally quite hilly.
Return to DumaZulu where you have the rest of the day free to relax and recuperate. You may also explore the DumaZulu Cultural Village for an introduction to the Zulu people and -culture, including traditional dances. DumaZulu also has a small bird & reptile park.
Destination: Port Edward
Accomodation: The Wild Coast Sun
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: St. Lucia , iSimangaliso Wetland Park , St. Lucia Estuary & Lake , St. Lucia boat cruises , KwaZulu-Natal South Coast , Hibiscus Coast .
Depart after breakfast for St. Lucia in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, containing the largest estuarine system in Africa. On arrival you join a cruise on the estuary, known for its large population of hippo’s, as well as crocodiles and a multitude of birds. Enjoy lunch in St Lucia (own account).
From St. Lucia you travel down the N2 Coastal Highway, passing the outskirts of Durban, a coastal city, before venturing onto the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. It is a popular holiday destination for South Africans with dozens of small holiday towns and resorts all along the subtropical coastline.
Your overnight destination is at the southernmost end of the South Coast. Your hotel is located within the expansive Wild Coast Sun resort. Enjoy dinner at your own leisure at one of the resort’s various restaurants.(own account).
Enjoy some morning leisure time in the expansive Wild Coast Sun Resort. You may opt to go hiking on the beach or even head out on horseback (own account).
Late-morning you journey into the Transkei, home to South Africa’s Xhosa people. This is rural country and much of the Xhosa people’s traditional lifestyle is still retained. The countryside is dotted by small compounds of traditional (circular and often thatched) rondavels. Many people travel on foot and you will probably encounter free roaming cattle and goats along the way. Enjoy lunch en route (own account)
Nelson Mandela grew up in Qunu in rural Transkei. Driving through the rolling hills and on arriving in Mthatha you are also tracing some of his footsteps. You’ll explore this theme further before checking into your Mthatha-based hotel for the night.
Destination: Port Alfred
Accomodation: The Royal St Andrews Hotel & Spa
Meals included: breakfast and dinner
Attractions include: Transkei , Port Alfred , Kowie River , Nelson Mandela , Sunshine Coast .
On leaving Mthatha you travel via Qunu, the birthplace of former President Nelson Mandela. Qunu consists of a number of small villages. This is where he grew up, herded cattle and went to school. He never lost touch with this region which was dear to him and where he was eventually buried.
From Qunu you continue to East London, a small coastal harbour city, where the Sunshine Coast begins. You continue to Port Alfred, founded by British Settlers who were brought into the country in 1820 to serve as a buffer between the British Cape Colony and the Xhosa people. The town and it’s Royal Alfred Marina is centred around the Kowie River and beautiful coastline. Check in and relax. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Accomodation: The Dunes Hotel & Resort
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Tsitsikamma , Storm's River Mouth suspension bridge , The Big Tree (Tsitsikamma) , Kowie River boat cruises , Keurboomstrand .
Enjoy an early breakfast before joining a river cruise for a scenic trip up the Kowie River (weather permitting). On your return, you take your leave of Port Alfred and travel further along the Sunshine Coast, crossing tidal rivers and passing through rolling green hills.
Continue your travels to the Garden Route, named after the abundance and variety of indigenous plants. The Garden Route lies between the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range and the Indian Ocean. At Storm's River Mouth you may hike along specially constructed boardwalks to three pedestrian suspension bridges that spans a small bay and the actual river mouth. Lunch will be enjoyed en route (own account).
Arrive in the afternoon at Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay. Check in at your hotel and enjoy some time on the 8km-long pristine beach, behind which the hotel is located. Dinner is at the hotel (own account).
Enjoy a day of leisure at the resort and on the beach.
Optional day tour (own account) Visit nearby Knysna. At Featherbed Nature Reserve, situated on the Western Head of the Knysna lagoon and reached by ferry, take a tractor-trailer ride to the top of the Heads for breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean and the Estuary. Hike along a scenic pathway (±2 km) through a Milkwood Tree Forest, past sea caves and finally along the tranquil Estuary river banks. Arriving back at the Featherbed jetty you enjoy a buffet lunch (included in the optional tour) at their open air restaurant.
On returning to Knysna by ferry, pay a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Dinner is at the hotel (own account).
Today offers various photo opportunities. Before departing Knysna you will have beautiful views over the Indian Ocean and the Knysna lagoon from the Knysna Heads. Leaving Knysna you pass through Sedgefield and Wilderness and past various inland freshwater lakes. Next up is the town of George from where you pass the Outeniqua Mountains, beyond which you enter the arid Klein Karoo.
Travelling onwards you reach Oudtshoorn and visit one of the ostrich show farms outside town. Lunch to be enjoyed at the ostrich farm (own account).
Journey further to the Cango Caves, that extends deep into the Swartberg Mountains. Do a guided tour (1h) that include chambers with large dripstone stalactites and stalagmites. Return to Oudtshoorn and your country hotel for the evening. Dinner at the hotel (own account).
Today you travel from Oudtshoorn to Stellenbosch via the iconic Route 62. The latter mostly follows the Little Karoo, an extended valley between two major mountain ranges. This makes for ever changing scenery that includes mountain passes, gorges and valleys with vineyards and orchards. Route 62 is also known as the longest wine route in the world.
Enjoy lunch at a restaurant overlooking quaint Barrydale (own account) before continuing to Montagu. At Robertson you stop at a distillery (Klipdrift or similar) for brandy tasting before continuing through the magnificent Du Toit's Kloof and eventually the Huguenot Tunnel into the Cape Winelands and on to Stellenbosch.
Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa. It is known for it's historical architecture, Oak-lined streets, it's viniculture and local University. Check in at your hotel on the edge of Stellenbosch. Dinner is in one of the hotel's restaurants (own account).
Destination: Cape Town
Accomodation: The President Hotel
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Paarl , Paarl wine estates , Afrikaans Language Monument , Stellenbosch walking tour , Paarl Mountain , Wine tastings at estates in South Africa .
After breakfast enjoy a walking tour of Stellenbosch, rich in culture and history. Wander along the oak-lined streets and stop at some of the historic old buildings in typical Cape Dutch style. Depart Stellenbosch for Paarl in the Cape Winelands. You visit one of the many wine estates around Paarl for wine tasting and lunch (both for your own account).
Paarl is South Africa's third oldest city, after Cape Town and Stellenbosch. The name ‘Paarl' is old-Dutch for ‘pearl’ and is derived form the huge granite boulders on top of the Paarl Mountain that shimmer like pearls in the sun after rain. Paarl is renowned for viniculture and has some outstanding wine estates in the vicinity. It is also known for the role it played in the recognition of Afrikaans as an official language. Visit the "Afrikaanse Taalmonument" (Afrikaans Language Monument) on the lower slopes of Paarl Mountain..
Continue to Cape Town at the foot of the majestic Table Mountain. Your hotel is situated just above the shoreline of Bantry Bay (suburb) and below Lion’s Head (buttress). Enjoy dinner at the hotel (own account).
Cape Town is a truly remarkable city, it is regularly ranked amongst the top cities to visit in the world in publications such as Condé Nast Traveller and similar. One could stay for a week and still not experience all that the city has to offer. Today, you have the opportunity of exploring some of greater Cape Town's attractions (own account).
Consult our 'tour finder' (see left menu) or go to the 'Tours & Safaris' link at the top of this page and click on 'Day Tours' in order to view a range of possible half-day and full-day touring options in and around Cape Town. If you choose not to extend your Cape Town stay we'd advise that you choose from one of the following options, the typical tours for a three-day Cape Town stay: Table Mountain & Cape Town City Half Day Tour, The Cape Peninsula Full Day Tour or the Cape Winelands Full Day Tour. You'll find many other options as well by following the links discussed above, or you may of course decide to spend a day on one of Cape Town's spectacular beaches, go shopping or whatever tickles your fancy.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. How you spend this day will depend on the departure time of your flight back home. If time allows, we recommend that you consider one of the touring options discussed on Day 15 above..
Your transfer from the hotel to the airport is not included in your tour price and should be arranged separately. We will gladly assist with that (for your own account). Should you decide to extend your stay in Cape Town with an extra day or two you may request us to quote for this on enquiring about or booking this tour.
Return back home enriched with your experience of South Africa, hopefully to return again soon!