19 day itinerary especially prepared for Hoda Rafik:

  • Johannesburg
  • Panorama Tour
  • Sabi Sabi Wildlife safari
  • Durban and surrounds
  • Great White cage diving
  • Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula and Cape Winelands

A wildlife safari at Londolozi

Day 01

Arrive OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, own arrangements. After clearing customs and immigration you will be met by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the short road transfer to the City Lodge,  Katherine Street which is situated in the “posh” northern suburb of Sandton. As we do not know what time your flight lands we have not included any activities for this afternoon. Overnight at the City Lodge, Katherine Street, Sandton on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 02

After breakfast you will be collected from the City Lodge by your driver / guide at 09h00 for your personalised tour of the City of Gold – Johannesburg. In the afternoon you will tour the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng which is a world Heritage Site. Overnight at the City Lodge, Katherine Street, Sandton on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 03

Your second day spent sightseeing / touring in the City of Gold. After breakfast you will again be collected from the City Lodge by your driver / guide at 09h00 for your personalised tour of SOWETO the sprawling black township north of Johannesburg which is home to millions of black South Africans and which is the home of Nelson Mandela and Bishop Tutu amongst others. In the afternoon you will visit the Apartheid Museum. Overnight at the City Lodge, Katherine Street, Sandton on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 04

After breakfast you begin your 400 km tourney to the town of Hazyview which is situated on the border of the Kruger National Park. Your journey will take you via The Panorama Route. This includes visiting the Blyde River Canyon which is the 3rd largest canyon in the world after The Grand Canyon and The Fish River Canyon and which is the largest “Green Canyon” in the world, God’s Window, Burkes Luck – Pot Holes, The Pinnacle, and a number of spectacular water falls such as The Lisbon Falls, The Berlin Falls, The Bridal Veil Falls and The MacMac Falls. This is a full day tour and you will reach Rissington’s in the late afternoon. Overnight at Rissington’s on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Day 05

At about 10h00 you will be collected from Rissington’s by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 1 hour road transfer to the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and Sabi Sabi’s Little Bush Lodge. On arrival at Sabi Sabi's Little Bush Lodge at about 11h00 you will check into your chalet before gathering on the deck for lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free until 15h30 when afternoon tea or coffee is served on the deck before going on the afternoon/evening game drive in open 4x4 safari vehicles. The Sabi Sand Private Reserve borders on the Kruger National Park and there are no fences separating the two reserves. This allows the animals to roam freely from the Sabi Sands into the Kruger Park and visa versa. At sunset you will stop somewhere in the bush for sun-downers before continuing on into the night looking for the nocturnal animals with the aid of a powerful spot lamp. Depending on the animal activity you will return to camp at about 20:30 for dinner in the "boma", around a roaring log fire, under the African stars. Overnight at Sabi Sabi’s Little Bush Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.

Day 06

Full day spent game viewing at Sabi Sabi. You will be woken by the beat of African Drums for early morning, tea and coffee which is served at the Lodge before venturing out for the early morning game drive. Again, depending on the animal activity you will return to camp at about 09:00 for breakfast. After breakfast you are free to enjoy the tranquillity of the African Bush. You can either go for a bush walk in "Big 5" country with your armed Ranger & Tracker, or sit quietly on the deck and watch the game come down to drink at the water-hole which is situated across the river from the lodge, spend the time bird watching in and around the camp or just laze by the pool. After afternoon tea and coffee you will again set out for the afternoon/evening game drive. Overnight at Sabi Sabi’s Little Bush Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.

Day 07

Another magic day spent in the wilds of Africa whilst being pampered by the staff of Sabi Sabi. The days activity follows the same routine as yesterday. An early wake up, tea and coffee on the deck, the early morning safari, breakfast, relax and maybe a bush walk, lunch, relax, afternoon tea and coffee, afternoon / evening safari; dinner, bed. Overnight at Sabi Sabi’s Little Bush Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.

Day 08

Your last full day on safari, Overnight at Sabi Sabi’s Little Bush Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.

Day 09

After the early morning game drive and breakfast you will be collected by Dive The Big 5 for another full day on the road. Today’s journey takes you through the tiny independent Kingdom of Swaziland into the heart of Zululand. This is about a 6 hour drive through some diverse and interesting country. Overnight at Hluhluwe River Lodge on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Day 10

Your African adventure continues. Today your destination is Durban, 300 km’s down the road, but with 2 interesting places of interest to visit on the way. The first being Duma Zulu a Zulu Cultural Village which gives visitors the glimpse of what a Zulu Village was like a hundred years ago, After the village tour we will continue onto the St Lucia Estuary for a 2 hour boat cruise up the river to view the hundreds of hippo and Nile Crocodiles that have made this estuary their natural home. The St Lucia Estuary is a World Heritage Site. You will arrive at Durban’s Golden Mile in the late afternoon. Overnight at Protea Hotels, The Edward, on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 11

You will be collected from The Edward by a representative of Dive The Big 5 at 09h00 for your morning City Tour of Durban after which you will head off on the tour of the Valley of a 1000 Hills. Overnight at Protea Hotels, The Edward on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 12

After breakfast, depending on your flight departure time you will be collected from The Edward by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 1 hour road transfer to the King Shaka International Airport which is situated on the outskirts of Durban to connect with your 2 hour domestic flight to Cape Town. Own arrangements. On arrival in Cape Town you will be met by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 2 hour road transfer over the spectacular Sir Lowry’s Pass to “The White Shark Capital of The World”  – Gansbaai.  Overnight at Saxon Lodge on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 13

After an early breakfast you will be collected from Saxon Lodge by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the short 10 minute transfer to Kleinbaai. After signing the mandatory indemnity forms at The White Shark Diving Co.’s dive shop you will walk the 100 meters to the dive boat for a minimum of 3 hours at sea in the vicinity of Dyer Island and Geyser Rock for your Great White Encounter, weather permitting; The exact amount of time spent at sea is dependant on Shark activity and sea / wind conditions. Please note that Great White cage diving is weather dependant. Your safely is the main concern. After the morning’s activity you will return to the dive shop for a light lunch, watch the video of the morning’s activities and transfer back to Saxon Lodge. Afternoon free to explore Gansbaai which is quite easily done on foot. Overnight at Saxon Lodge on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 14

After an early breakfast and check-out you will be collected from Saxon Lodge by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 10 minute transfer to Kleinbaai. After signing the indemnity forms at The White Shark Diving Co.’s dive shop you will walk the 100 meters to the dive boat for a minimum of 3 hours at sea in the vicinity of Dyer Island and Geyser Rock for your second Great White Encounter, weather permitting; After the morning’s activity you will return to the dive shop for a light lunch, watch the video of the mornings activities and transfer to the Cape Town suburb of Tamboerskloof and Leeuwenvoet House which is situated in the shadow of Table Mountain.

One of the “must sees” in Cape Town is Table Mountain, and visitors to Cape Town must seize the first opportunity to go up the Mountain whilst the weather is good. So if the Mountain is “open” you will take the cable car to the summit and view the City and beautiful Cape Peninsula from the top of Table Mountain. If the weather has closed in, preventing the cable car from running we will take the very next opportunity of going up the Mountain, no matter what day it is. This is a must see. Overnight at Leeuwenvoet House on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 15

Cape Town is rated as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, along with Sydney and Vancouver. You can never spend enough time in Cape Town, the Mother City!

As I said previously, the weather in Cape Town is so fickle that a visitor to the City must never say, “we will do the Mountain tomorrow”. In Cape Town, tomorrow has a habit of never coming. You must do the mountain as the first opportunity. If you were unable to go up the Mountain yesterday, we will make a plan for you to go up today, or any other day, when its possible, whilst you are in town.

But today we have a City Tour of Cape Town planned for the morning and a tour of Robben Island, the “home” of Nelson Mandela for 17 years, planned in the afternoon. This is also weather permitting as often, if the wind is blowing and the sea too rough, the ferry to the island does not run.

Your City tour will include all the highlights such as The Castle, the oldest permanent building structure in South Africa, The Company Gardens which were established by the Dutch East India Company way back in 1652 to supply fresh produce to their fleet of sailing ships which had to round the Cape en route from Holland to India, The Houses of Parliament, The Cathedral, The Slave Quarters, the City Hall, Signal Hill, Bo Kaap, the Malay quarters and many, many other places of interest like museums and art galleries, depending on your individual interests. After lunch, which would be for your own account you will board the ferry, weather permitting, for the infamous Robben Island, the island prison that was home to Nelson Mandela for 17 years. Overnight at Leeuwenvoet House on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 16

Another full day spent touring the beautiful Cape Peninsula.

You will be collected from Leeuwenvoet House by your dedicated driver / guide at 09h00 for your full day Peninsula Tour. You will travel along Sea Point and Clifton, along the Atlantic seaboard under the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range to the quaint fishing village of Hout Bay. Here you will board the boat for a short cruise to the entrance of the natural harbour of Hout Bay to visit the colony of Cape Fur Seals at the harbour entrance. From Hout Bay you travel over Chapman's Peak Drive, which is quite spectacular, and onto the Cape Point Nature Reserve. Chapman's Peak Drive is often closed due to falling rocks, especially in winter after heavy rain, but your guide will know if its open or closed to traffic. Cape Point Nature Reserve is spectacularly beautiful in its wind-swept barrenness, and if you are a romantic, you can actually see where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans "meet"! Included in the cost of the tour is the ride to the old lighthouse at the Point in the funicular. You get the most amazing views of the Peninsular from there. Lunch, which is for your own account is usually enjoyed here, at the Two Oceans Restaurant, but I prefer the Black Marlin, a little further on towards Simon's Town. After lunch you then visit the African "Jack-ass" Penguin Colony at Boulders Beach before you return to Leeuwenvoet House. If time permits, as this is a very full day, you could visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. This is one of the best known Botanical Gardens in the world and is well worth the visit. Overnight at Leeuwenvoet House on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 17

And you thought the Peninsula Tour was spectacular, wait till you see what today has in store for you.

After breakfast you will be collected from Leeuwenvoet House at about 09h00 for your personalised dedicated guided Winelands Tour. From Leeuwenvoet you will head north to the town of Paarl. The first stop this morning is for the morning wine tasting at Nelsons Creek Estate. After a tour through their cellars with a chance to sample some of their local wines as well as a cheese tasting, a brief city tour of the historical town of Paarl follows, before you make your way to Franschoek with a photo stop at the Groot Drakenstein Prison where Nelson Mandela was released in Feb 1990. The little village of Franschoek is nestled amongst the mountains and can easily be mistaken for being in Switzerland. After a short tour of the village, a second wine tasting will follow at a local wine estate followed by a lunch stop (lunch is for your own account) – you might wish to savour some of the fresh trout that Franschoek is known for. After lunch the tour continues through to  Stellenbosch. It is easy to understand why Simon van der Stel decided to establish a village amongst the mountains of the area. The backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains, the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads and the oak lined streets and lanes all blend in to give Stellenbosch a charm that will not be quickly forgotten. Time permitting, a third and final wine tasting in the region will be included before returning to Cape Town and Leeuwenvoet House. Overnight at Leeuwenvoet House on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 18

Day free to spend shopping at Cape Town’s famous Waterfront for those last minute gifts for the loved ones back in the States. Overnight at Leeuwenvoet House on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 19

After breakfast, at a time dependant on your flight departure out of Cape Town International Airport, you will be collected from Leeuwenvoet House by a representative of Dive The Big 5 for the 1 hour road transfer back to Cape Town International where you will board your return flight to the States. End of services.

Costs

Cost based on 2 people sharing: ZAR 57 300 per person sharing.

In order to complete the above itinerary the following domestic flights would need to be booked. The cost of these domestic flights have NOT been included in the costs above.

Day 12 of the itinerary.
King Shaka International Airport – Durban (DUR) to Cape Town International Airport (CPT):
Flight SA 79669 departing Durban @ 12h10 and arriving Cape Town @ 14h25.
Between ZAR 1 533 and ZAR 2 126 per person one way, depending on how far in advance you book.

Sometimes it could be cheaper to book these domestic flights when you book your international air as your international carrier usually has partnership agreements with the South African domestic airlines.

Otherwise we can book this domestic flight for you, on your behalf, direct with the airline concerned, using your credit card details which you have supplied to us with the specific purpose of booking your domestic flights. We book these flights directly on line with the airline concerned at the cheapest possible rate on the day concerned using your credit card. The charge will reflect on your credit card statement as coming directly from the airline and not from Dive The Big 5. We offer this as a service and do not charge a commission for this service.