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.
Spend a day at leisure in Cape Town. Then sample some wines in the Cape Winelands and explore historic Stellenbosch. Follow the scenic Route 62 to Oudtshoorn visiting the Cango Caves and an Ostrich farm.
Spend a day at leisure in Knysna on the Garden Route or take an optional day excursion to the Featherbed Nature Reserve and a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Explore Storms River Mouth before heading to Port Alfred on the Sunshine Coast. Continue to the Transkei’s rugged Wild Coast. At Qolora Mouth you can spend a day on, or next to, a pristine beach or do an optional excursion to a traditional Xhosa homestead.
Travelling through the district where Nelson Mandela was born and eventually laid to rest you reach the KwaZulu-Natal coastline. At St Lucia you do a game drive in iSimangaliso (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and board a cruise on hippo-infested waters. Journey through the Kingdom of Swaziland. Back in South Africa you reach the massive wilderness that is the Kruger National Park. You’ll spend many hours game-driving in the Park. Enroute to Johannesburg you travel along the magnificent Panorama Route.
For a version of this tour guided in German go to: 16 Day Spectacular South Africa 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 Spectacular South Africa Private Guided Tour
For a SELF-DRIVE version of this tour (1-7 people), go to: 16 Day Spectacular South Africa Self-Drive Tour
R37,500 per person sharing
R8,000 single supplement (±US$ 576 )
Duration: 16 days , 15 nights
Tour Type: Scheduled tours
Luxury Level: *** / ****
Accommodation: Seven 4-star hotels (10 nights) and four 3-star hotels (5 nights)
Transport: Luxury sedan or minibus (2-14 people per vehicle)
Group sizes: minimum-2 average-8 max-14
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: All entrance-, excursion- and conservation fees are included, unless indicated as 'optional' or 'for own account'. Your international return flights to and from South Africa (incl. connecting flights), as well as tour arrival and departure airport transfers are for your own account (we'll assist with arrangements if requested). Travel insurance, all optional activities, gratuities or other personal expenses are for your own account.
Highlights: Cape Town , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Oudtshoorn , Route 62 , Garden Route , Knysna , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Cango Caves , Sunshine Coast , Wild Coast , Transkei , KwaZulu-Natal , iSimangaliso Wetland Park , St. Lucia , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Panorama Route .
Starting dates: Tour departs on selected Saturdays, 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! Transfer from the airport or elsewhere to The Townhouse Hotel in Cape Town. The city is regularly ranked amongst the top world cities to visit in leading international travel publications.
Your arrival time will determine the program for the day. You may decide to leave the day open to recuperate from your travels or you may elect one of the optional (half-) day tour options set out in ‘Day 2’ below. We'll gladly book these for you ahead of time.
Meet your tour guide and the other tour group members in the hotel at 18:30. Dinner is at your own leisure, either at the hotel or elsewhere in Cape Town (own account).
Note: Getting to the tour's starting point, The Townhouse Hotel, is for your own arrangements and cost. We will gladly assist with arrangements if requested.
Extending your Cape Town 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.
Explore some of greater Cape Town's attractions on an optional half- / full day tour (own account) or opt to spend a day of leisure on the beach, shopping or exploring the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
To view day tours on offer go to 'explore tours' at the top-left of this page, in 'duration' select ‘day tours’ and 'Cape Town' in 'starting destination'. We'll gladly arrange and pre-book whatever you decide on, or if need be recommend an option (own account).
You can't go wrong choosing either The Table Mountain & Cape Town City Half Day Tour or The Cape Peninsula Full Day Tour (you'll be heading to the Cape Winelands tomorrow).
Accomodation: Protea Hotel Stellenbosch
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Wine tastings at estates in South Africa , Paarl wine estates .
Travel north from Cape Town to the Cape Winelands. Your first destination is Paarl, a town situated at the foot of Paarl Mountain. Visit the Afrikaans Language Monument, which offers great views over the valley.
Spend time at one of the many excellent wine estates in the Paarl area where you may enjoy a guided wine tasting and lunch (both own account).
From Paarl you travel through vineyard country to historic Stellenbosch, the main town of the Winelands and the second oldest town in South Africa. It boasts a large number of historic Cape Dutch buildings alongside Oak-lined streets. Do a walking tour of Stellenbosch before checking in at your hotel. Enjoy dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants or opt for a street café in town (for own account).
After breakfast you depart for Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo (“Little Karoo”). The route takes you through the Huguenot Tunnel and then on to the scenic Route 62. The first part of the route passes through the picturesque Breede River Valley (“Wide River Valley”), which is a wine, fruit and olive producing region.
On reaching the town of Robertson you make a stop at the Klipdrift Brandy Distillery (or similar) for an enjoyable tasting experience. From there your journey takes you to the Kochmanskloof (a kloof is a narrow gorge through the mountains) to enter the semi-arid Klein Karoo. You drive along ever changing landscapes through valleys and among majestic mountains. Along the route you will make a lunch stop (own account).
Route 62 continues through the Huisrivier Pass (House River Pass) and on to Oudtshoorn, also known as the ostrich capital of the world. Check in at your hotel and relax in the country style surroundings of the hotel. Dinner at the hotel (own account).
Travel along the Cango valley into the Swartberg Mountain Range to explore the Cango Caves. You will encounter huge naturally formed halls, narrow passageways and drip-stone stalagmites and stalactites that were formed over millions of years. Return through the valley and tour an ostrich farm. These unique birds are the largest avian species in the world. Lunch is at the ostrich farm restaurant (own account).
From Oudtshoorn you head to The Garden Route. The route takes you over the magnificent Outeniqua Pass and -Mountains. There’s a photo-stop at Dolphin Point / the Map of Africa with scenic views towards Wilderness. Journey further along the beautiful Garden Route through Wilderness, past a number freshwater wetlands and through quaint Sedgefield before arriving in Knysna..
Check into your hotel for a two night stay. Enjoy dinner at the hotel or at one of a selection of restaurants at the nearby Knysna Waterfront (own account).
Accomodation: The Rex Hotel
Meals included: breakfast, (the optional day tour includes lunch)
Attractions include: Knysna , Knysna Estuary , Featherbed Nature Reserve , Knysna Heads .
You may enjoy a day of leisure in Knysna (browsing, shopping, dining, etc.), OR join an optional full day tour that includes the Featherbed Nature Reserve, lunch and a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
Optional full day tour (own account): Take a ferry cruise on the Knysna Estuary to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. The estuary mouth is framed by two prominent headlands, known as the Eastern and Western Heads. The Western Head is conserved within the private Featherbed Nature Reserve. On arrival at Featherbed, board a tractor-trailer that will take you to the top of the Western Head for breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean and the Knysna lagoon.
From there you do a scenic hike of about 2km (1.5mi). It provides elevated views across the estuary and ocean, access to two twin sea caves and then meanders along the western banks of the estuary back to the Featherbed jetty. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the open air restaurant under the shade of Milkwood Trees, before boarding the return cruise to the town of Knysna. The optional day tour continues with a visit to a wildlife rehabilitation centre a short ways out of town.
Enjoy dinner at the hotel or at one of a selection of restaurants at the nearby Knysna Waterfront (own account).
Continue your travels along the Garden Route. The Garden Route, named for its abundance and variety of indigenous plants, lies between the Tsitsikamma Mountain Range and the Indian Ocean. Visit Storms River Mouth within the Garden Route National Park. You have the option to 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).
Leaving the Garden Route you travel through the outskirts of Port Elizabeth and soon afterwards find yourself on the Sunshine Coast. Travel through rolling green hills and over tidal rivers to the British Settler Town of Port Alfred. It lies on the banks and at the mouth of the tidal Kowie River and is blessed with beautiful beaches.
Your hotel is located next to the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
On departing Port Alfred you travel across a number of tidal rivers, through some rural communities and onwards through the small coastal city of East London. Cross the Kei River to enter the Transkei region, home to South Africa’s Xhosa people.
Your destination for the next two nights is a short distance beyond the Kei River at Qolora Mouth, a country-style, laid-back hotel fronted by a beautiful pristine beach with the Qolora River to one side and WIld Coast hills as backdrop.
Your two-night stay includes dinner and breakfast.
South Africans who enjoy getting off the beaten track often gravitate to the Eastern Cape's beautiful Wild Coast. It provides a combination of beautiful coastline - mostly rugged but interspersed with alluring sandy beaches -, a mountainous interior and a rural and traditional life-style that is refreshingly different from urban city life.
Today you get to experience a bit of that in your own corner of the Wild Coast. You may opt to take a leisurely pace by lounging next to the pool or on the beach. The hotel also offers various activities including 'extreme' golf and lagoon cruises (own account). For the more active there's the option of hiking along the coastline.
Optional excursion (own account): For an introduction to local Xhosa culture you may opt to join a guide from the local community for a visit to a nearby traditional homestead. All funds raised go the local community.
After breakfast you take your leave of the Wild Coast and head into the Transkei interior and onwards to Mthatha (a.k.a. Umtata).
En route you travel through rural country. Much of the local 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.
Arriving in Mthatha, the main town of the Transkei, you head to the Nelson Mandela Museum. If time allows you’ll also visit some other sites in town.
Cross into the neighbouring province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) before arriving at your overnight destination, Ingeli Forest Lodge - a country style hotel in KZN’s rolling hills between the small towns of Kokstad and Harding. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Destination: St. Lucia
Accomodation: Forest Lodge (St. Lucia)
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: KwaZulu-Natal , Zulu people of South Africa , KwaZulu-Natal North Coast , KwaZulu-Natal South Coast .
Travel up the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) South Coast, passing dozens of small coastal holiday resorts and towns, until you reach the coastal port city of Durban. From Durban you venture onto the KZN North Coast.
KwaZulu means ‘home of the Zulu’. Journey through lush green vegetation, interspersed by commercial wood and sugarcane plantations. Continue to St. Lucia in the Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a World Heritage Site, with the largest estuarine system in Africa.
Arrive at your hotel in sub-tropical St Lucia in the late afternoon. Dine at your hotel or in town (own account).
Destination: Ezulwini Valley
Accomodation: Mantenga Lodge
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: iSimangaliso Wetland Park , St. Lucia , Swaziland , St. Lucia Estuary & Lake , St. Lucia boat cruises , Swazi Candles , Ezulwini Valley .
Embark on an early-morning game drive and short walk in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main feature of iSimangaliso is the 360 square km Lake St. Lucia. For more info click the ‘iSimangaliso’ link above. Enjoy breakfast followed by a boat cruise on the St. Lucia Estuary, known for its large population of hippo’s, crocodiles and a multitude of birds.
From St. Lucia you travel northwards to enter the Kingdom of Swaziland and continue onwards to Swaziland’s beautiful Ezulwini Valley, popular with locals and expats alike. In addition to one or two western-style shopping malls and golf resort hotels, it features a number of worthwhile African curio stops and informal markets. Lunch (for your own account) will be enjoyed enroute.
Pay a visit to Swazi Candles, for hand-made multi-coloured candles and African curious before heading to your country-style hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel or elsewhere in the Valley (own account).
Please note: Passing through the independent Kingdom of Swaziland requires that you have a valid passport. Nationals of some countries also need multi-entry visas.
From Ezulwini you travel north, skirting the capital city, Mbabane, before continuing through rolling hills and landscapes dotted with rural traditional homesteads. Re-enter South Africa at the Jeppe’s Reef Border Post (multi-entry visa required).
Another ±40-mins’ journey see you entering the Kruger National Park (KNP) through the southern Malelane Gate. Welcome to a wilderness area roughly the size of the Netherlands. Pristine Lowveld bushveld roamed by the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo & elephant), and a myriad of other species.
Spend a couple of hours slowly driving through southern KNP in search of wildlife, taking a break for lunch at one of the ‘rest camps’ (own account). Once you’ve been to ‘Kruger’ you’ll always want to return. Exit the Park in the afternoon and head to your hotel just beyond the Lowveld town of Hazyview.
You’ll spend two nights in the village-style country hotel with dinner and breakfast included.
Enjoy an early breakfast before entering the Kruger National Park for a full day game drive in your ‘enclosed’ tour vehicle. You will endeavour to 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.
After an enjoyable day in the African bush observing wild animals in their natural surroundings, you exit the Park in the east and travel past Hazyview back to your hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
Optional: Instead of the game drive in our ‘closed’ tour vehicle, you could opt for a full day game viewing in an open safari vehicle. (own account and excluding lunch)
Destination: Sandton (Johannesburg)
Accomodation: Protea Hotel Balalaika
Meals included: breakfast
Attractions include: Panorama Route , Three Rondavels Viewpoint , Wonder View , Bourke's Luck Potholes .
After breakfast travel to the nearby Panorama Route. The Route includes a number of scenic vantage points - click on the various ‘attractions’ links above for more more info.
The Three Rondavels Viewpoint is perched high above the Blyde River Dam and -Canyon, providing spectacular views of both. At the origin of the Canyon you’ll visit the unique Bourke’s Luck Potholes.
Beyond the Blyde River Canyon you’ll make a stop at Wonder View. It’s the highest point on the Panorama Route and located on the edge of a steep escarpment, with views over the Lowveld far below. Enjoy lunch enroute (own account). Arrive in Johannesburg late-afternoon or early-evening. Have dinner at your hotel or head for a night out at one of the nearby malls (own account).
The departure time of your flight back home will determine your program for the day. Should time allow you could consider one of a number of optional morning or full day tours (own account). We can assist you with advice and arrangements. To view day tours on offer go to 'explore tours' at the top-left of this page, in 'duration' select ‘day tours’ and 'Johannesburg' in 'starting destination'.
Transfer to OR Tambo International Airport for your flight home. We are confident that you leave South Africa with precious memories and the intent to return soon!
Note: On enquiring about, or booking, this tour you may request us to quote for extending your stay in Johannesburg, with or without pre-booked touring.
Airport transfer: The transfer to OR Tambo International Airport is not included in the package price and must be booked separately. We will gladly assist.