The whole world in a country
South Africa boasts some of the most diverse and spectacular landscapes and wildlife in the world. Venture into its wild heart in search of the Big Five at Kruger National Park. Visit Swaziland and the battlefield at Rorke's Drift, fly to Port Elizabeth to follow the Garden Route to Knysna, and complete your travels with a tour of the Winelands District and the chance to explore Cape Town.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Johannesburg
Fly overnight to Johannesburg.
Day Two: Arrive in Johannesburg and visit Liliesleaf Farm
Meet your Tour Manager and transfer to Lesedi Cultural Village. You'll spend two nights here in traditional surroundings, staying at the heart of the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Enjoy a light meal and your first night under African skies. En-route to your hotel you'll visit Liliesleaf, a 28-acre farmstead, once the underground headquarters of the ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe.
Day Three: Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum
Discover the history behind the democratic South Africa of today as we visit Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum.
This evening, enjoy the hospitality of your Lesedi hosts, who will introduce their cultures, welcome you into their homes and perform traditional music and dances.
Day Four: Follow the Panorama Route to Kruger National Park
Today we'll follow Mpumalanga's Panorama Route to the gold-rush town of Pilgrim's Rest and the mountain passes overlooking the vastness of Blyde River Canyon. Take in the enormous view from God's Window on the Drakensberg escarpment, the towering grass-covered peaks of the Three Rondavels and the colourful water-worn rock formations of Bourke's Luck Potholes before arriving at your hotel.
Day Five: Kruger National Park
After an early breakfast we'll head to Kruger National Park, Africa's oldest wildlife conservation area. The reserve is the natural habitat of some of the world's most recognisable wildlife, and with luck you'll encounter impala, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra - as well as the Big Five (lions, rhinos, elephants, leopards and buffalo) on a game drive in an open-top vehicle. You'll spend the night surrounded by the endless landscape of the bush at Kwa Madwala Private Game Reserve, not far from the south entrance of the Park.
Day Six: Spot the Big Five in Kruger National Park
Start your day with a guided bush walk and bush breakfast, then spend the day relaxing and enjoying the facilities at your lodge. In the late afternoon, head into nearby Madelane Private Game Reserve for a sunset game drive, then return to your lodge for a traditional Boma dinner.
Day Seven: Cross the border into Swaziland
A British Protectorate until 1968, Swaziland's culture still mixes colonial ideas with its strong tribal traditions. Cross the border and spend a day visiting cultural centres and craft shops before crossing back into South Africa and through the northern valleys of Kwazulu-Natal on your way to your next hotel, where you'll be able to soak away a day on road in its pools and hot springs.
Day Eight: Zulu battlefields and Rorke's Drift
Discover the true stories of the Zulu wars, as you explore the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift in the company of a specialist guide. This fascinating day includes lunch. Later, continue to your next hotel, in Newcastle.
Day Nine: Fly to Port Elizabeth
You'll have an early start this morning as we return to Johannesburg airport and fly south to Port Elizabeth. You'll be transferred to your hotel by coach and then have the evening free to explore this popular beach resort, which still retains traces of its Victorian colonial past and boasts a vibrant and varied dining scene.
Day 10: Travel along the Garden Route to Knysna
This morning you'll follow the Garden Route to Knysna, a town of Victorian and Georgian houses on the wooded banks of a beautiful lagoon. Take the ferry to Featherbed Nature Reserve, home to some 200 species of fish as well as a particularly rare species of seahorse, and take a drive through the natural beauty of Western Head to have lunch in the shade of milkwood trees.
Day 11: See ostriches in Oudtshoorn
Sunny Oudtshoorn has been christened the Ostrich Capital of the World. The world's strangest, largest and often most valuable bird has been farmed here for 130 years. First for its plumage and now for its high-protein, low-cholesterol meat - samples of which will be offered at lunchtime.
Later, enjoy another relaxing evening exploring Knysna's pretty, welcoming waterfront.
Day 12: See the whales in Hermanus
Head west along the Garden Route to sleepy Mossel Bay and on to Hermanus. Between July and November, the waters here teem with whales and you'll have the chance to see them from the shore before turning inland into the Cape Winelands to spend the night at a lodge looking out across Cape vineyards to the Stellenbosch mountains.
Day 13: Tour the winelands of the Western Cape
Today's tour of the Winelands will take you through a rolling landscape of vineyards and villages. Explore Stellenbosch, Franschhoek (now regarded as the culinary capital of the Western Cape) and Paarl. During the day, there will be winetasting, a cellar tour, and the opportunity to purchase some excellent wines.
Later we'll head to Cape Town, and check in to our final hotel for a three-night stay.
Day 14: Visit Cape Point and the penguins at Boulder's Beach
Our final day of touring takes us along the Atlantic coast (weather permitting, following the winding cliff-side Tarmac of Chapman's Peak Drive), into the Cape Point Peninsula. See Cape Point, in the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and the colony of jackass penguins at Boulder's Beach. Enjoy lunch overlooking False Bay, and visit magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden at the eastern foot of Table Mountain.
Back in Cape Town, this evening, explore the shops, theatres, restaurants and bars of the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.
Day 15: Free day in Cape Town
Today you're free to enjoy Cape Town. Why not join a walking tour through the Dutch colonial houses of the Bo-Kaap district, stroll along the tree-lined paths of The Company's Garden, catch a catamaran to the prison at Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years in prison, or take in the unforgettable views from a rotating cable car as it climbs to the peak of Table Mountain?
Day 16: Overnight flight back to the UK
Make the most of your last morning in Cape Town, then transfer to the airport to board your overnight flight home.
Day 17: Arrive in the UK
Arrive back in the UK at the end of a wonderful South African adventure.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately one hour.
Passports and visas
A visa is not required for UK citizens travelling to South Africa, but your passport must be valid for six months beyond the date of entry to the country and have two adjacent blank pages. Special entry rules apply for children under 18 years.
Foreign Office Travel Advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
In developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, but rough road surfaces and unexpected traffic (in the form of wildlife) can still lead to extended journey times - though the scenery is almost always worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads.