16 Days South African Essentials (CT-Jhb) is a 16 day / 15 night package tour by African Blue Tours

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Package Tour - 16 Days South African Essentials (CT-Jhb)

Categories: Nature / Sightseeing / Wildlife

Travel up South Africa’s coastline. Visit the Winelands, World Heritage Sites of Table Mountain and iSimangaliso Wetlands, interact with ostriches, the rugged Wild Coast and enjoy “Big Five” game viewing in the Kruger National Park.

At a Glance

Tour duration
16 days / 15 nights
Min / max group size
2 to 26 people per tour
Tour departs from
Cape Town, Hazyview, Johannesburg or Plettenberg Bay
From R27100 to R35900 per person

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Cape Town
Molo! Welcome to the beautiful city of Cape Town, iKapa.
A city with bountiful offerings of platinum beaches, an impressive mountain range, inviting night life, extensive shopping venues and art and cultural events, the Mother City has something for everyone to enjoy.
Today you will be at leisure or join an optional Table Mountain and city tour (own account). Table Mountain is a unique conservation area which presents its visitors the best views of Cape Town, ancient caves and some amazing hiking trails. It is also home to the Dassie or Rock Hyrax, a small, fury, guinea-pig like animal whose closest living relative is the African elephant. The Table Mountain Range is six times older than the Himalayas and five times that of the Rocky Mountains, and is estimated to be 260 million years old. Its original name was Hoeri ‘kwaggo, sea mountain, then named Taboa da Caba, Table of the Cape by Portuguese. Enjoy the revolving cable car ride up the mountain (own account and weather permitting) to marvel at its panoramic views.
Return to your hotel late afternoon where you will be met by your tourist guide for a tour briefing at 18h30. Dinner (own account) can be enjoyed at your hotel.

Please note:
The transfer from your Cape Town International Airport to the hotel is not included in the package price and must be booked separately.

Overnight: Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel or similar

Day 2: Cape Town
Cape Town lingers on the edge of Africa where oceans meet and cultures fuse under presence of the majestic Table Mountain. Cape Town is as diverse as its history and bursts with enticing activities.
After breakfast, spend the morning at leisure discovering your Mother City or join an optional guided, full day Cape Point tour (own account), which incorporates Cape Point, Boulder’s beach (entrance fee for own account) and Kirstenbosch Gardens.
This evening’s dinner can be enjoyed at the hotel or restaurant in town (own account).

Overnight: Radisson Blu Le Vendome Hotel or similar

Day 3: Cape Town to Stellenbosch
After breakfast we leave Table Mountain behind us and travel north to Stellenbosch through the Cape Winelands.
We first stop in the beautiful town of Paarl, South Africa’s third oldest town. Paarl gets its name from the enormous granite boulder is called Paarl Rock and is the second largest granite projection on the planet. At this Rock, we stop off at the Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument), where we learn more about this beautiful structure and museum.
Stop for lunch and a wine tasting (both for own account) at one of the many stellar wine farms in Paarl. Finding some of the world’s finest wines is an easy task in the Cape Winelands.
Journey further into the heart of the Winelands and arrive in the beautiful university town of Stellenbosch. Embark on a walking tour of Stellenbosch to see the town’s historic sites and colonial Cape Dutch architecture, and some of the country’s oldest buildings, along its leafy streets and mountainous backdrop. Check in at your hotel.
Take some time at leisure to enjoy the comfortable and luxurious settings and views before drinks and dinner (own account) at one the hotel’s restaurants.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Stellenbosch or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 4: Stellenbosch to Oudtshoorn
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before departing Stellenbosch. Travel to Oudtshoorn in the Klein Karoo via Route 62, an iconic route with intoxicating and ever changing landscapes. Running along orchard lined valleys, towering mountain ranges, rivers and indigenous fynbos, Route 62 bridges the Western and Eastern Cape and includes what is possibly the world’s longest wine route.
Next up on our trip is a visit to an award winning brandy distillery in Robertson, where you’ll experience a brandy tasting.
Lunch along the scenic Route 62 (own account). See the landscape change as we journey further into the semi-arid beautiful Klein Karoo onward to our destination of Oudtshoorn.
Enjoy leisure time when you arrive at your hotel for the night. Delight in the charming country setting as you enjoy a dinner (own account) of local fare and hospitality.

Overnight: Protea Hotel Riempie Estate or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 5: Oudtshoorn to Plettenberg Bay
After breakfast, our journey takes us south, via the Outeniqua Pass to Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay.
Our first stop outside Oudtshoorn, in the Cango Valley, is where we discover the spectacular subterranean world of the Cango Caves. This 20 million year old world wonder, features an impressive display of gold and vermillion dripstone stalagmites and stalactites. These calcite formations grow between 2-6 mm in length per one hundred years making it a true treasure and natural marvel.
Back above ground, we take a tour of a nearby ostrich farm where you will be introduced to these strange and exotic birds as well as the ostrich industry. Lunch at the ostrich farm’s restaurant (own account).
Traveling down towards the coast via Knysna, we drive over the Outeniqua Pass. This Pass was constructed by prisoners of war from 1943 – 1951 and now bridges the semi-arid Klein Karoo and the coastal Garden Route. In Knysna we stop for some wonderful photographic opportunities at the lookout points of the Knysna Lagoon and the Heads (weather permitting).
Your final stop is Keurboomstrand, near Plettenberg Bay at your hotel. Enjoy some time at leisure or take advantage of the resort’s private access on the 8km stretch of pristine beachfront. This evening, take pleasure in the oceanic ambience while you will dine at the resort’s elegant restaurant (own account).

Overnight: The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 6: Plettenberg Bay
Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure or venture on an optional excursion to a South African Heritage Site, Featherbed Nature Reserve and the Elephant Park in Knysna (own account, including lunch).
On arrival at the Knysna Waterfront, board the ferry that will take you to Featherbed Nature Reserve on the Western Knysna Head. On arrival at the reserve, board a Unimog-drawn trailer and drive up to the top of the reserve. While stopping at a scenic lookout point, our specialist guide will share fascinating tales about Knysna and the surrounding area while you enjoy the panoramic views. An optional 2.2 km guided nature walk takes you through the forest onto the cliffs into the caves and along the scenic coast. This is followed by a buffet lunch at the Forest Restaurant, a unique outdoor restaurant situated on the edge of the Lagoon under a canopy of Milkwood trees. After lunch depart for an educational elephant interaction experience.
Enjoy time at leisure before dinner (own account).

Overnight: The Dunes Hotel & Resort or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 7: Plettenberg Bay to Port Alfred
After an early breakfast at the hotel, travel to the marina town of Port Alfred along the Garden Route.
Travel further along the Garden Route to Storms River mouth where you will experience the wonderful views on the suspension bridge. Here you will observe the Storms River meeting the Indian Ocean in grand splendour. Tsitsikamma is the ancient San name meaning place of abundant water, an enchanting and fabled part of the country.
Drive along the coastal road to Port Alfred, at the heart of the Sunshine Coast on the banks of the Kowie River.
Arrive late afternoon at your riverfront hotel. Enjoy refreshing drinks (own account) before savouring the delightful local cuisine (own account).

Overnight: The Royal St Andrews or similar

Day 8: Port Alfred to Coffee Bay
After an early breakfast take a boat cruise (weather permitting) along the scenic Kowie River before departing the Sunshine Coast for the mystical beauty of Coffee Bay, via Nelson Mandela’s birthplace of Qunu.
Qunu, which is part of the former Transkei, consists of a number of little villages which have recently enjoyed much attention and growth as Mandela’s birth place. These are the green hills and pastures where Madiba herded sheep and cattle and which today still remains his family home. An area steeped in ancient Xhosa traditions and culture, taking you back to a simpler, humbler time.
We venture further north along the coastal road. Lunch en route (own account). Continue along the N2 highway to the Wild Coast also known as the Transkei or Pondoland, in the Eastern Cape. This drive will present you with incredible untamed views of green rolling hills and rugged cliff faces, dotted with colourful traditional rondawels and free roaming cows and goats. With an unassuming beauty hidden from the modern world, it is a place where “African Time” makes sense.
Our final port of call for the day is your hotel situated in Coffee Bay. The village of Coffee Bay derives its name from a ship that ran aground here in 1893 with a cargo of coffee beans. Admire the lovely views before gathering for a dinner of local fare in this friendly setting.

Overnight: Garden Court Mthatha or similar

Day 9: Coffee Bay
Awaken to the calming and refreshing sounds of the ocean and enjoy breakfast along with the views. Today is yours; enjoy a full day at leisure.
Spend the day taking part in the many optional activities offered in the area. Choose from hikes, snorkelling or fishing to the more adrenalin filled activities like abseiling, quad biking and rock climbing. Alternatively enjoy a more relaxed approach and spend the day on the beach, discover the legendary Hole-in-the-Wall with its mythology or shop around for local crafts, while meeting the friendly amaPondo people. Enjoy lunch at your own pace (all for own account).
Round off the day with pre-dinner drinks (own account) before savouring dinner at your hotel.

Overnight: Garden Court Mthatha or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 10: coffee Bay to Umhlanga
After an early breakfast at the hotel, depart Coffee Bay for Umhlanga in the Zulu Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal via the South Coast.
Leave the enchanting Wild Coast behind, and travel along the N2 highway towards Kokstad for lunch (own account). A few hours’ drive, along the South Coast’s many beachside hamlets and resort towns, takes you to the tropical and eclectic city of Durban for a short orientation tour. Check in at your hotel in Umhlanga. Enjoy some refreshing drinks (own account) before testing the local cuisine (own account).

Overnight: Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 11: Umhlanga to Hluhluwe
After an early breakfast we depart the hotel and travel up the North Coast to Hluhluwe via St. Lucia.
Drive up the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast and arrive at St. Lucia, the only town in South Africa that lies inside a nature reserve, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This park is a World Heritage Site and the largest estuarine system in Africa. Enjoy time at leisure or take an optional boat cruise (own account) around the estuary. With rare and wild birdlife, mangrove swamps and vegetated sand dunes it makes for an interesting and educational cruise. Savour the sensational views of the lake while enjoying lunch (own account).
Arrive in the late afternoon at Bonamanzi Game Park, this evening’s accommodation. After check in you will be whisked away on an open vehicle game drive to the nearby Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park. The historic hunting grounds of Zulu Kings such as Dingiswayo and Shaka, Hluhluwe and Umfolozi became the first game reserves in Africa. The two were linked by the Corridor Reserve in 1989. This park is the only area in KwaZulu-Natal where the “Big Five” can be found.
Return to the lodge in the late afternoon, relax and get ready for dinner and drinks (own account), at the lodge.

Overnight: Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 12: Hluhluwe to Hazyview
Wake up in this piece of paradise on the Elephant Coast. Today sees us travelling to Hazyview in Mpumalanga via Swaziland.
After an early morning breakfast, travel north along the N2 highway, entering the warm and welcoming Kingdom of Swaziland at Lavumisa Border post (visa own account). Swaziland is a beautiful and richly cultural country. An absolute monarchy and one of the smallest countries on the African continent, it measures about 193km from north to south and 130km east to west.
Stop for lunch (own account) at Nisela Safari Lodge. Our drive through Swaziland takes us through 1000 year old hardwood vegetation and shallower pans of the Hlane Royal National Park. Hlane is the Kingdom’s largest protected area and together with its neighbouring parks, makes up the vast bushveld expanse known as the Lubombo Conservancy.
Exit Swaziland at the Mananga Border post, enter Mpumalanga, the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces, which is blessed with magnificent lush beauty and many natural and ancient curiosities. After a comfort stop in the Malelane area, we make our way to Hazyview.
Arrive in the late afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the fringes of Hazyview. Relax before dinner at the hotel.

Please note: When entering the Kingdom of Swaziland, please ensure that you are in possession of a valid passport, and for nationals of certain countries, multi-entry visa terms and conditions will apply.

Overnight: Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 13: Kruger National Park
Depart after an early breakfast travel to the iconic Kruger National Park.
Enjoy a guided closed vehicle game drive prowling the bushveld looking for the “Big Five”, their friends and natural enemies, inside the legendary Kruger National Park, a place where elephants always have the right of way. The Kruger National Park covers 19,485km˛ and runs 360km from north to south. It supports a staggering variety of fauna and flora including 147 mammals and 507 birds species, some rare and indigenous to the area.
Staying inside the park, stop for lunch (own account) while enjoying the wild scenery at one of the park’s rest camps before continuing your bush adventure.
Exit the Kruger National Park in the late afternoon, and head back to the hotel to freshen up and enjoy pre-dinner drinks (own account) before dinner.

Please note:
Optional full day safari in an open safari vehicle available (own account and excluding lunch)

Overnight: Casa do Sol Hotel & Resort or similar – dinner, bed and breakfast

Day 14: Hazyview to Ohrigstad
Today’s excursion, after breakfast, will see you travelling along the Panorama Route via the Blyde River Canyon to Ohrigstad.
The Panorama route includes The Three Rondawels, Lisbon Falls, Bourke’s Luck Potholes, Wonderview (the highest viewpoint on this route), some of the country’s most beautiful views and cherished natural marvels. This route also includes the awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon, which may be the world’s largest green canyon due to its lush vegetation. Lunch (own account) en route.
We arrive in the afternoon at your overnight accommodation, on the outskirts of Ohrigstad. Relax before dinner (own account) at the lodge.

Overnight: Hannah Game Lodge or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 15: Ohrigstad to Johannesburg
Today your journey takes you from Ohrigstad to Johannesburg via Dullstroom.
This morning you will be taken on an optional nature drive (own account) on the reserve. On this nature drive, expect to see plains game such as the rare sable, oryx, giraffe, zebra and serval.
Enjoy lunch (own account) in the picturesque village of Dullstroom, renowned for its trout fly-fishing and natural beauty. Leave the rich poetic expanses of sub-tropical Mpumalanga and continue on our journey to Johannesburg, one of the fifty largest metropolitan areas in the world and also the world’s largest landlocked city. Founded in 1886, Johannesburg or Joburg has a rich and vibrant social and political history. A cultural melting pot, it is a place of opportunity and the African dream.
Arrive at your hotel in the afternoon. Enjoy dinner and drinks (own account) at the hotel or in the Rosebank precinct.

Overnight: Crowne Plaza – The Rosebank Hotel or similar – bed and breakfast

Day 16: Johannesburg
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel, enjoy the day at leisure discovering the vibrant Joburg, Egoli, Place of Gold, or alternatively embark on an optional guided Soweto morning tour (own account and excluding lunch). Soweto is the most metropolitan township in South Africa and a leader in politics, music, fashion and popular culture. In 1963 the acronym Soweto became its official name, adapted from South Western Townships. This tour highlights the political struggles and present day life style.
On arrival back at your hotel, we say Hamba kahle, good bye and go well.

Please note: The transfer to O.R. Tambo International Airport is not included in the package price and must be booked separately.

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