Best of South Africa

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Best of South Africa

4,995.00 5,995.00

12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS

1 Night in Johannesburg at DAVINCI Suites
3 Nights at Timbavati Private Nature Reserve at Simbavati River Lodge
3 Nights in Cape Town at Kensington Place
2 Nights in Franschhoek at Angala Boutique Hotel
2 Nights in Whale Coast at Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge

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FROM $5,995 $4,995 PER PERSON

HIGHLIGHTS

Few countries possess the variety and natural beauty of South Africa. In fact, we'd be hard pressed to find one that even comes close! However, its resounding diversity can often leave travelers confused about how to plan the ultimate South African experience. That's where Craft Travel's Best of South Africa comes in.

This 12 day, 11 night itinerary takes you from north to south, including all of the country's must-see destinations. From luxury safari in the Greater Kruger area to winelands that put Napa to shame to a coastal retreat filled with flora and fauna, this itinerary keeps you active in nature, all while enjoying the utmost comfort in hand-selected boutique properties. Your stays in both Johannesburg and Cape Town will expose you to the vibrant culture and complex, fascinating history of a nation that is so often misunderstood. 

We spent months curating an itinerary that truly embodies the South African experience and have no doubt that this journey is one Craft Travelers will never forget. 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All ground transfers between airports and accommodations (internal flight to Hoedspruit not included)

  • All accommodations as per program (based on double/twin sharing room)

  • Twice daily game drives with English speaking naturalist guide at Simbavati (where applicable)

  • Drinks as specified by each accommodation (water, soft drinks, local branded spirits and beers, house wines)

  • All entrance fees as mentioned on tour

  • *Not included: gratuities, visas (if applicable), international or internal flights, meals and drinks not described above, items of a personal nature


 

DETAILED ITINERARY

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Day 1

DAVINCI Hotel & Suites Nelson Mandela Square,
Johannesburg

Upon arrival at O. R. Tambo Johannesburg Airport you will be met by our representative who will then take you to your vehicle.

Transfer to hotel for some well deserved leisure time after your long flight!

Overnight at DAVINCI Hotel & Suites (no meals)

DAVINCI Hotel & Suites offers guests all the luxuries and comforts they have come to expect from Legacy's extraordinary portfolio of hotels and resorts. Located on Sandton's prestigious Nelson Mandela Square, the DAVINCI Hotel & Suites has something for every taste. Take time to relax in the gym, infinity edge swimming pool, or simply let our therapists pamper you in the wellness spa. Enjoy fine cuisine at Maximillien restaurant located in Legacy Corner Mall. Situated in the heart of the Sandton business and shopping district, the hotel offers direct access to Legacy Corner Mall, Sandton City shopping mall, and Nelson Mandela Square, as well as easy access to the Sandton Convention Centre.

Johannesburg
Johannesburg is one of Africa’s biggest and most vibrant cities. It is the economic capital of Africa and the gateway to Southern Africa. Although not as famous as other South African destinations, there is plenty to do in Johannesburg and nearby Pretoria. The old city is a multi-cultural mixture of traditional medicine shops, Chinese restaurants, taxi ranks and ultra modern skyscrapers. There are excellent museums, art galleries and organised tours of historical and political interest. The shopping is Southern Africa’s best and the many restaurants cater to all tastes. The nearby township of Soweto is Johannesburg’s most popular tourist attraction.


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Day 2

Depart to Simbavati River Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

This morning after breakfast and check out, transfer back to Johannesburg Airport for your scheduled flight to Hoedspruit.

Upon arrival, transfer to the lodge for your first African bush experience.

This afternoon embark onto your safari in a search of the Big 5, which consists of elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino.

Overnight at Simbavati River Lodge (B, L, D)

Simbavati River Lodge is an exclusive African Safari experience situated in the world famous Timbavati Private Game Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park. The reserve is home to the famous White Lions and offers exceptional game viewing opportunities. An intimate and child friendly camp, Simbavati River Lodge places emphasis on relaxation. Our luxurious tented accommodation offers generous bush or water views from your own private viewing deck. Tents are spaced adequately far apart to ensure privacy, and they have all of the amenities to ensure a luxurious and comfortable stay.Chalets are comfortably furnished complete with air conditioning, further enhancing your tranquil African Bush experience. The lodge also offers a lounge, bar, restaurant and breathtaking views of the nearby Nhlaralumi river.

Timbavati Private Nature Reserve
Located in the Mpumalanga Province, north of the Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve, the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve shares a fenceless border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park. This 60,000 hectare reserve is best known for its two very rare white lions that were discovered here in the 1970s. The name ‘Timbavati’ refers to these two unique creatures, it means 'the place where something sacred came down to earth from the heavens'. It is home to a number of exclusive African-style bush lodges set amidst spectacular African savannah and abundant game that includes over 40 mammal species, 360 bird species and the famous Big Five. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of activities including: day time safaris, night game drives, guided bush walks, and bird watching.

Included: Full Board and Activities


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Day 3

Simbavati River Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Spend the day at the lodge which includes all meals, two game drives in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and a sundowner drink. Bush walks subject to availability.

Overnight at Simbavati River Lodge (B, L, D)


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Day 4

Simbavati River Lodge, Timbavati Private Nature Reserve

Spend the day at the lodge which includes all meals, two game drives in Timbavati Private Nature Reserve and a sundowner drink. Bush walks subject to availability.

Overnight at Simbavati River Lodge (B, L, D)


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Day 5

Departure to Cape Town - Evening Jazz Safari

After a morning activity spent in the bush followed by hearty breakfast, check out of the lodge and transfer to Hoedspruit Airport. Flight to Cape Town.  Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel located in the ultra chic and trendy Gardens neighborhood.  

Tonight join for 'Cape Town Jazz Safari' including dinner. On this special musical journey, travel deep inside the jazz culture of the city, by visiting local musicians in their homes. First, visit the home of a jazz musician for dinner, with music and conversation. Then, visit either the home of a second musician for a nightcap, or to a jazz venue for the late set. A typical itinerary could look like this:

  • 7:00pm: Arrive at starting point, enjoy a welcome drink from the bar, while the guide introduces the evening

  • 7:15pm: Tour departs

  • 7:40pm: Arrive at the home of the first host for dinner and a concert

  • 9:40pm: Arrive at home second host for nightcap concert

  • 11:00pm: Drop off at starting point or hotel

This specialty tour operates Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Overnight at Kensington Place (B, D)

Kensington Place is where Cape Town gets hip and comfortable! This contemporary private hotel combines cutting-edge design with a tranquil but prime location off trendy Kloof Street, below Table Mountain. Eight bespoke en-suite guest rooms with extra length king size beds (superior rooms) and private outdoor terraces. A team of friendly staff who are almost telepathic, its not such a stretch to feel you are staying in a private home. Yet this is a private home styled by someone with immaculate taste, the finest linens used on the beds, the thickest towels used in the bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and personal laptops with complementary Wi-fi access are just a few of the modern accessories.

Cape Town
Cape Town is perched between the ocean and a mountain, with a national park as its heart. There is nowhere like Cape Town. Also known as the "Mother City", it is the oldest city in South Africa. Large numbers of tourists flock to Cape Town to enjoy its fascinating history, interesting culture, natural beauty, award winning wines and laidback lifestyle. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, one of the city's main tourist attractions, offers the visitor a unique shopping and holiday experience on a scenic working harbour. A visit to Cape Town is synonymous with a visit to the peninsula south of the city, and for good reason. With pristine white-sand beaches, hundreds of mountain trails, and numerous activities from surfing to paragliding to mountain biking, the accessibility, variety, and pure beauty of the great outdoors will keep nature lovers and outdoor adventurers occupied for hours, if not days.


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Day 6

Kensington Place, Cape Town - Table Mountain

This morning you’ll head out early with your guide to hike the legendary Table Mountain. With your guide you can customize the difficulty and duration of your Table Mountain experience from a round trip cable car journey to a full-day hike. Enjoy water and snacks along the way, plus a beautiful picnic lunch at the summit. Your tour will also include a panoramic tour of Cape Town where you’ll get to know more about the city’s rich history and various neighborhoods. 

Please Note that Table Mountain Cable Car departures are dependent upon weather conditions.

Overnight at Kensington Place (B, L)


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Day 7

Kensington Place, Cape Town - Cape Point, Hout Bay & Cape of Good Hope

Today you’ll depart on a full day tour of Cape Point. Cape Point is a spectacular sight, covered in endemic fynbos and home to breathtaking bays, beaches and rolling green hills and valleys, just 60km outside of Cape Town. Cape Point falls within the Cape Floral Region, a World Heritage Site. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world – it is home to nearly 20% of Africa’s flora. Cape Point is open daily and is a must-see.  

We first flank the brisk Atlantic Ocean via boat en route to Hout Bay and Duiker Island, home to a vibrant seal population. Once a fishing community now one of the most popular residential areas, the harbour still has a charm of days gone by. Hout Bay’s active harbour serves a variety of fishing boats, charter boats and yachts. It is also the departure point for boat trips to the nearby Seal Island, home to a colony of around 6,000 Cape Fur Seals. The bustling port area also has a well-known seafood restaurant and a shop selling fresh fish.

Continue alongside the Indian Ocean, stopping to see the well-established Jackass penguin colony, which has become well established, at Boulders beach near Simonstown. Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is ideal for kids as immense boulders shelter the cove from currents and large waves - but please always take care. It is a rare pleasure to swim with the penguins!

Travel onwards until we reach Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. Said to be the romantic meeting place of the two mighty oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian, Sir Francis Drake the Explorer once called it "the fairest Cape that we saw in the whole circumference of the Globe”. And rightly so, it must be the highlight of any visit to the Mother City, if not South Africa. The Flying Dutchman funicular takes visitors at Cape Point up to the lighthouse, where there is an outstanding view of the point and ocean.  The funicular is named after a ghost ship whose destiny it is to sail the oceans forever. 

You will stop for a picnic lunch and wine tasting en route before returning to your hotel in the late afternoon.

Your day will also include scenic stops in various areas in the greater Cape Town area, including Clifton & Camps Bay, Twelve Apostles, Llandudno, Hout Bay Harbour, Chapmans Peak Drive, Noordhoek, Cape Point, Boulders Penguin Colony, Simons Town, Muizenberg and Constantia. 

Note: Boat Cruise to Seal Island & Picnic Lunch are weather dependent. In the case of poor weather, lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. Access via Chapmans Peak Drive subject to road being open.

Overnight at Kensington Place (B, L)


Angala Boutique Hotel Franschhoek natural pool and exterior view

Day 8

Angala Boutique Hotel, Franschhoek - Wine Tasting

After check out this morning, embark on a breathtaking journey through the winelands of the Cape. Witness the winemaking process from the vineyard to the bottle and visit the historic towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Stop over at Hugenot Museum.

Enjoy a scenic drive to the Franschhoek Valley. For lunch enjoy a Traditional Home-cooked Winelands Lunch experience in the magnificent Dwars River Valley, which lies between the towns of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek.

Take a break from the gourmet fare, and get in touch with indigenous narratives, history and heritage, over a delicious meal prepared from scratch in an intimate home restaurant. Meet and dine with Sienna Charles, your host. Sienna runs Beker en Bord (Cup and Plate in English), a quirky tea garden and home restaurant in Kylemore, one of the four towns in the Dwars River Valley. This community activist, grandmother, wife and entrepreneur is a terrific cook and storyteller.

Enjoy home-baked breads such as roosterbrood (bread baked over coals) or lepelbrood (spoon bread), locally produced jams, traditional meals such as tomato bredie (stew) and bobotie, and desserts such as koesusters (an aniseed doughnut ball), milktart, or malva pudding.
Check in to the breathtaking Angala Boutique Hotel in the late afternoon. Your stay will include a visit to Angala’s neighboring vineyard for a complimentary wine tasting, which can be done either today or tomorrow.

A VIP dinner tonight will also be included on site, prepared by Angala’s renowned chef.  

Overnight at Angala Boutique Hotel (B, L, D)

Angala Boutique Hotel is where cozy luxury blends with the pristine beauty of nature. Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands between magnificent mountains, Angala is a retreat for body, mind and spirit. Angala offers the feeling of serene remoteness, yet we are surrounded by prestigious wine farms and restaurants, and only a short drive from Franschhoek, Stellenbosch or Paarl. Indulge in the “fruits of the valley” from our in-house restaurant, offering gourmet cuisine throughout the day. Local and ethically sourced produce is used to create our uniquely Angala menu.

Pampered in luxury and surrounded by nature, you are able to absorb the magnificence and quality that nature can bring to one’s life. A lasting impression will linger long after your journey back home. Angala is your barefoot 5-star sanctuary at the foothills of the Simonsberg mountain. Make it your base for exploring the winelands or indulge in the harmony of our spacious suites and cottages. Whether you’re drawn to pure, natural surroundings or you just need to get away from it all, you’re guaranteed an unforgettable experience.
 
Franschhoek
Idyllically situated in the Cape Winelands, this peaceful country retreat is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. The once sleepy little village was named Franschhoek, meaning 'French Corner' as it was founded by French Huguenots. The fertile valley of Franschhoek boasts a rich heritage showcased at the fascinating Huguenot Memorial Museum and the Cape Dutch architecture in much of the village remains remarkably well preserved. The town’s proximity to Cape Town allows for pleasant day trips during which visitors can explore the area’s many world-class wine estates and impressive range of excellent restaurants or simply browse the quaint, upmarket boutiques strewn along the town’s lovely tree-lined avenues.  


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Day 9

Angala Boutique Hotel, Franschhoek - Choice of Activities

Today explore Franschhoek in the way that works best for you. Choose either of the following tours: 

Street Art Tour by Bike, Cape Winelands (group tour)

This four hour experience takes guests behind the scenes on a tour of all the works. Learn about the artists, the festival, and the history and heritage of the Dwars River valley. Many of the works tell stories of the valley’s past, while suggesting something of the future. Along the way, you will meet one of the artists whose work is featured.

The experience culminates in a light meal of traditional food at one of the home restaurants in the valley.

Notes: difficulty level is low, and the ride is suitable for most fitness levels. Duration is approximately 4 hours. Tour operates Monday through Saturday.

Tastes of the Valley Culinary Tour

Duration: 4 hours (approx)
Monday to Saturday

This most fertile of valleys is home to a wide selection of foods… from the fine wines and organic produce the wine estates offer, to the berries on the hills and the home-cooked traditional dishes favoured by the valley’s residents.
This four-hour Tastes of the Valley Culinary tour takes guests on a journey through the flavours, textures and stories of the valley, including restaurants, tasting rooms, home kitchens and corner cafes.

A typical itinerary could look like this:

  • 10:00am: Meet at starting point, welcome and overview of the tour

  • 10:15am: Course 1 - A gatsby in Pniel

  • 10:40am: Course 2 - Roosterbrood and moerkoffie at Sienna’s place in Kylemore

  • 11:30am: Course 3 - Berries and ice-cream at Hillcrest Berries

  • 12:30pm: Course 4 - Eleanor’s tamatiebredie in Pniel

  • 1:15pm: Course 5 - Wine tasting and biltong at Boschenda

  • 2:00pm: Return to starting point

Notes: guests are responsible for arriving to the starting point and returning to the hotel. Angala can provide these transfer services for you on request, or in some cases Uber may be available. Duration is approximately 4 hours. Tour operates Monday through Saturday. 

This evening we recommend venturing into Franschhoek for a dinner at one of the town’s iconic restaurants like Foliage.

Overnight at Angala Boutique Hotel (B, L)


Mosaic Lodge Cottage Room Views

Day 10

Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge, Whale Coast

This morning after breakfast and check out, make your way to picturesque Hermanus. Check in to Mosaic Lodge for a blissful end to your journey.

Your all-inclusive stay at this exclusive five-room property includes all meals, house beverages (including house wine, local beers and spirits) and snacks, as well as virtually every activity you could imagine, all with the assistance of an in-house naturalist guide. 

Some suggested activities include:

  • 4x4 Beach Excursion – Land based whale watching in season.

  • Boat Cruise & Kayaking – Bird watching on the Hermanus Lagoon.

  • Guided Quad Bike Excursions exploring magnificent flora, birds and lagoon wetlands.

  • Fat Bikes & Mountain Bikes.

  • Guided Nature Walks exploring birds and flora of the Cape Floral Kingdom.

  • Archaeological Cave Tour at the beach.

  • Wine Tasting at Springfontein Wine Estate next door.

  • 1892 Spookhuis - library, movies/sports/games/puzzles.

Overnight at Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge (B, L, D)

Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge is an experience for all the senses: on the water + by the sea + magnificent mountain views. Place yourself between ocean, lagoon and glistening mountains and you will arrive at Mosaic, a secluded gem on the famous Whale Coast, 2 hours SE of Cape Town, South Africa. For the ultimate private getaway, Lagoon Lodge captures the essence of tranquility with just five safari style suites woven into an ancient milkwood grove on the edge of the Hermanus Lagoon. A pampered stay here is all-inclusive of meals, adventure activities and house beverages/wine/beer/spirits. Fabulous massage, skin and nail treatments can be indulged in at the Mosaic Spa (either indoor or outdoor), using organic Rain Africa products (additional charges apply). Mosaic offers the most multifaceted experience in the area with 1000 hectares of conservation land on the beautiful Hermanus Lagoon. Activities at Mosaic include being immersed in awesome fynbos flowers and bird-life of the Cape Floral Kingdom, lagoon cruises, stunning beaches, fascinating marine life and some of the world’s most beautiful wine lands. This is topped off with warm smiling staff serving fresh cuisine paired with delicious South African wine. 

Mosaic is centrally located to whale watching, marine tours, shark cage diving and exploring the Overberg Wine Region. It is the perfect location for nature and activity lovers. At Lagoon Lodge, stone and glass walls open onto private decks for spectacular mountain views and bird watching. Soft bedding lies beneath romantic netting where one falls asleep listening to owls and wakes up to the sound of the African Fish Eagle. Each room has a bathtub large enough for two and a private outdoor shower for an African bush experience. Lagoon Lodge has only five chalets beautifully built safari style with stone and thatch harvested from Mosaic. A king bed or two twins can be accommodated. Rooms include pure linen & cotton towels, organic Rain bath amenities, ultra soft bathrobes, coffee plunger, bar refrigerator, wine, sherry and fireplace. Boardwalks under a canopy of ancient Milkwood trees lead to the lounge where drinks and meals are shared outdoors or by a fireplace that will warm your soul. A heated plunge pool overlooking the mountains is a favorite place to spot favorite water birds. And as evening falls, exquisite colors of the sun setting over the lagoon and the glorious expanse of the star-filled South African sky are witnessed. The cuisine at Mosaic is fresh, delicious and the creative mastery of our chef, our baker, our gardener, and local producers. Breakfast is a hearty fare with freshly baked muffins, homemade jams, fresh fruit and a hot meal. Lunch is served gourmet picnic style outdoors or around blazing fires when there is a chill in the air, at the Lagoon Cafe in the historic 1892 Spookhuis. Sumptuous dinners are prepared by our chef and built around organic vegetables from our garden and local seasonal ingredients…and best paired with fine South African wine from the Mosaic cellar!

Whale Coast
This rugged stretch of South African coastline snakes along the Atlantic Ocean, with magnificent mountains rising up on the other side. The spectacular scenery is made up of charming seaside villages, farms, rivers, coves and valleys, and during the right season, the region’s namesake – whales – can be seen cruising and wallowing in the coastal waters.


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Day 11

Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge, Whale Coast

Indulge in an amazing range of activities offered by the lodge or simply relax by the pool. You can also consider arranging activities through the lodge (at an additional cost) such as shark cage diving, whale watching, sea kayaking, wine tastings and helicopter tours.

Overnight at Mosaic Private Sanctuary Lagoon Lodge (B, L, D)


Mosaic Lodge Landscape Sunset Views

Day 12

Depart to Cape Town International Airport

After breakfast and check out it's time to say goodbye to beautiful Hermanus. Transfer to Cape Town Airport for your flight home. Upon arrival, continue with your ongoing arrangements. 

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