11 nights/12 days from £7,495 per person (excluding international flights)
Day 1 – Arrival Cape Town
Your Avventura Representative will meet you in the Arrivals Hall at Cape Town International Airport to introduce you to your driver, ready to start your Southern African adventure. A little over half an hour later you will be at your first resting place, the MORE Quarters Apartment Hotel. Located within Cape Town’s city bowl, MORE Quarters Apartment Hotel provides the privacy of apartment living with the service and hospitality of a hotel. Settle in and relax or take a stroll into the city centre where the boutique shops and restaurants of Kloof Street are a few steps away.
Day 2 – Cape Town
After breakfast, meet your Avventura Tour Concierge and head off to the Table Mountain Cable Way to make your way up to the top of the famous peak by cable car. This is your opportunity to hike around the hidden dams and valleys usually not seen by visitors to Cape Town’s most famous landmark. From here you will walk down to the wine farms of the Constantia Valley, through the low pass called Constantia Neck to Klein Constantia. Wine has been made here since 1685. Set among ancient trees on the foothills of the Constantiaberg Mountain, this must be one of the most beautiful wine farms in the world. Find out why soil type has such a significant impact on taste and how the vines are looked after before heading off by bike for stunning views of the valley en-route for Groot Constantia, another of the country’s oldest wine estates. Your Avventura Tour Concierge will then select a mystery wine farm where you can taste the fruits of their labours for yourself.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon for an evening to explore the area more or just to relax.
Day 3 – Cape Town
After breakfast you will travel along the coast to take a boat to Seal Island. Put on your wetsuit and swim with these enchanting and friendly animals in their natural Atlantic Ocean environment. Sitting a little under six kilometres (three and a half miles) off the northern beaches of False Bay, Seal island is home to upwards of 60,000 Cape fur seals, all crowded in to just 800 metres by 50 (approximately 2,600 by 160 feet). Look closely at the rocks and you’ll see names carved into the island’s granite by seal hunters almost a hundred years ago or just watch the seals weaving in and out of the kelp forest beneath the waves.
If the weather is poor or the swell too great there will be a hike to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the reserve is home to more than 250 species of birds as well as otters, baboons, steenbok and Cape mountain zebra.
You will then be taken along the spectacular coastal route of Chapman’s Peak for incredible views of where the mountains meet the sea. Lunch will be at the Noordhoek Farm Village where you can enjoy some taste sensations courtesy of the food-pairing experts at the Foodbarn Restaurant. Renowned chef, the aptly named Frank Dangereux, will delight you with his seafood inspired six-course wine-paired menu.
After lunch you’ll follow the coast to Simon’s Town where an expert local conservationist will share their insight on the African penguin colony that has settled at Boulders Beach. If the weather allows, mount a stand-up paddleboard or kayak to get closer to these adorable birds. If you prefer to stay on dry land, take a conservation walk to see if you can find a penguin splinter colony away from the crowds.
Leaving the penguins behind you’ll move on to Kalk Bay Harbour to see the seals and meet the local fishermen who work from the harbour. Enjoy a sundowner either in Kalk Bay or one of the neighbouring beaches before returning to your hotel.
Day 4 – Cape Town
Take today to enjoy the pleasures of Cape Town in your own time. The city nestles in a natural bowl with the harbour to one side and Table Mountain looming on the other. Also known as the Mother City, Cape Town is an extraordinary place with so much to see from riotous street art and the brightly painted frontages of the Bo-Kaap to the bathing chalets of Muizenberg. You could take a trip to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned or stroll along the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. From nature at her most serene to man at his most intense, you will be captivated by this remarkable city and its inhabitants.
Day 5 – Cape Town to Marakele National Park
After breakfast you will be driven to Cape Town Airport for your scheduled flight to Johannesburg where you will be met for a four hour drive to Marakele National Park. Your home for the next three nights will be Marataba Safari Lodge which borders the park, sitting at the foot of the stunning Waterberg Mountains in Limpopo province.
Spend your afternoon relaxing at the lodge or enjoy game viewing activities.
Days 6 and 7 – Marakele National Park
For the next two days you will experience the delights of the Marataba Game Reserve, a malaria-free, private section of the Marakele National Park. This is your chance to see the “big five” as they should be seen. The lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and Cape buffalo were given this title because they were the most challenging beasts to track.
On one of the days you will explore the reserve on foot. Expert Field Guide Association of South Africa accredited guides will lead you through hiking trails discovering different eco-systems. Look out for the critically endangered black rhino, and rare plant species of yellowwood and cycad trees. Marakele is also home to one of the world’s largest colonies of endangered Cape vultures.
The guides have many years of experience in leading hiking trails within ‘big five’ territories. As well as their extensive knowledge of the flora and fauna, safety is their first priority and they will carry first-aid kits and satellite telephones at all times.
The Iron Age past of this area is only just beginning to yield its secrets, but the 67,000 hectares (260 square miles) of the park is all about the wildlife. This area is known as the Waterberg Biosphere and is recognised by UNESCO as being of global importance.
Day 8 – Marakele National Park to Johannesburg
After three exhilarating days enjoying the wildlife of Marakele, today you will hit the road, making the trip to Johannesburg to stay at the award-winning Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in the exclusive residential suburb of Morningside Manor.
After lunch at the hotel, you will visit the fascinating Apartheid Museum which tells the story of South Africa’s struggles from tyranny to freedom. The path through the museum leads you on a journey beginning with the racial segregation introduced in 1948 which formed the cornerstone of apartheid. It takes you back through the history of the various cultures converging during the pre-apartheid era, the years of race classification and the detentions and oppression of the nationalist regime.
After the museum tour you will return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Day 9 – Johannesburg
This morning you will take a private guided graffiti walking tour. This tour focuses on the street art and graffiti of Johannesburg’s Inner City. Johannesburg has a unique graffiti culture with artwork brightening up the city. The walking tour will be run by a specialist guide and will include art by local and international artists who have contributed to this unique industry.
Once a byword for violence and poverty, Soweto is an area on the up and, after lunch, you will take a bike ride though the streets and neighbourhoods, exploring the sights including Nelson Mandela’s house. A young and vibrant community emblematic of the new South Africa, Soweto sets the fashion, dance, music and political agenda that much of the country now follows. This is the perfect opportunity to meet some local people and learn more about the area’s pivotal history in the Apartheid struggle.
Return to the hotel with the rest of the evening at your leisure.
Day 10 – Johannesburg to Victoria Falls
Today you will fly from South Africa to Zimbabwe where you will be met and driven to the Stanley & Livingstone Boutique Hotel in the middle of a private game reserve, a stone’s throw from Victoria Falls. You will be staying in one of only sixteen luxury garden suites in the heart of the parkland. The 6,000¬ acre (24 square kilometres) Victoria Falls Game Reserve borders the Zambezi National Park where you are only ever feet away from the rich wildlife of Africa. The intrepid Victorian explorer, David Livingstone, gave the Falls their name which in the local Tonga dialect means, “the smoke that thunders.”
In the afternoon you’ll be taken on a sundowner cruise along the legendary Zambezi River before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 11 – Victoria Falls
After breakfast, you will be taken for your guided tour of Victoria Falls. These are the largest falls in the world being one and a half times wider than Niagara Falls and twice as high. Parts of the adjacent rainforest have the distinction of being the only place on earth where it rains all day, every day. This is due to water vapour rising from the Falls immediately turning to rain. One of the seven natural wonders of the world, a staggering five million tonnes of water crosses the Falls every minute. To really appreciate the scale of this enormous geological feature you need to see them from the air. You will now experience the “Flight of Angels,” an unforgettable helicopter ride over and around the Falls. The title for this experience of a lifetime comes from the words Livingstone wrote on first seeing this unique place. He said it was, “a sight so wonderful that Angels must have gazed down on it in flight.” Your highly skilled pilot will fly you round the Falls from both sides so you can film or photograph them from every conceivable angle.
The rest of the day is free so you might also consider a tour round the jungle canopy or a guided visit to a local village. Depending on water levels there may also be the chance to go white-water rafting on the mighty Zambezi.
This evening there will be a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Day 12 – Depart Victoria Falls
After breakfast you will be driven to Victoria Falls Airport for a scheduled flight to Johannesburg for your international flight home.