Create your own life-changing, tailormade, luxury holiday itinerary; South Africa boasts a plethora of natural wonders and cultural heritage. From Cape Town's vibrant and multi-cultural atmosphere to the diverse landscapes of the Garden Route its easy to understand why South Africa is called a 'World in One Country'. Luxury Holiday Tours to South Africa take in all the diverse experiences this land has to offer and along with the warm welcome make it a special and enriching destination.
THE WORLD IN ONE COUNTRY
Days 1-4 Leopard Hills Private Game, Sabi Sand
Arrive in Johannesburg and fly by scheduled airline to the heart of the bushveld. Game drives with knowledgeable rangers, delicious cuisine and relaxing spa treatments will ensure your African adventure starts with a truly memorable experience. The enviable hilltop position on the border of the Kruger National Park means game viewing from your romantic glass-fronted suite with private deck and plunge pool will provide the possibility of witnessing the incredible wildlife from the comfort of your room.
Days 5-7 One&Only Cape Town
Fly on to Cape Town, the vibrant 'Mother City', and settle into one of her finest hotels. A day at your leisure and two full day private excursions will see you sampling the best of the renowned wines of the region, taking in the views from atop Table Mountain and visiting the World Heritage Site of Robben Island, where the late Nelson Mandela was jailed. One&Only Cape Town sits elegantly at the foot of Table Mountain and offers a prime spot for enjoying the attractions of the V&A Waterfront.
Days 8-9 La Residence, Franschhoek
Your choice of self-drive or private transfer into the Franschhoek Valley, where rolling vineyards are backed by craggy mountain peaks to create a view that's near perfection. Whether activity or relaxation is your choice, you'll relish in your time here. La Residence is an opulent haven of luxurious accommodation and fine dining close to Franschhoek, with just 11 luxuriously appointed suites, exquisitely decorated with ornate antiques and an eclectic mix of artworks.
Days 10-11 Birkenhead House, Hermanus or Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Your choice of self-drive or a private transfer to the outskirts of Hermanus. Spectacularly sited overlooking the world-renowned whale watching haven of Walker Bay and less than two hours from Cape Town, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is South Africa’s premier marine and flora destination. The 23 luxury suites set amongst indigenous gardens and ancient Milkwood trees are characterised by spaciousness, warmth and supreme comfort. The lodge also offers an array of guided activities included in your stay.
Your choice of self-drive or a private transfer back to Cape Town for departure to your onward destination.
Majestic, magnificent and awe-inspiring are just three of the words suited to describing the Southern Right Whales that frequent Walker Bay from July to December each year. View them from land or from the ocean with excursions from Birkenhead House or Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.
The Garden Route is one of the best places in South Africa to play golf. Pezula has its own championship course but golfing enthusiasts can also take advantage of the Resort's helicopter to make a flying visit to play one of the neighbouring courses - including perhaps local hero Ernie Els's home course at Fancourt.
Whether you regularly hire your own car on holiday or whether this is the first time that you've considered it, South Africa's Garden Route is ideally suited. The roads and directions are straightforward and of course the absolute beauty of hiring your own car is the flexibility to stop as often as you like if something catches your eye - and plenty will do in this region, we assure you.
Restaurants in and around the city of Cape Town are plentiful and you'll be is spoilt for choice. The pick of the crop are Aubergine (French style) Baia (sea food specialities), and The Brasserie (Indian food). Twenty minutes out of the city one there are even more exciting eateries worth a visit. Harbour House (sea food on the waters edge), La Colombe (French cuisine in the Constantia wine belt) and Kitmas (outstanding Asian cuisine)
The number of wine farms that have become lodges or hotels of the highest quality over the past decade is astonishing - until, you take a look around at the gifts nature has blessed the region with. Picture postcard scenery, quaint villages, an abundance of superb local produce with which chefs of international standing create their masterpieces on a daily basis and all, of course, can be enjoyed with a glass of wine in hand.
More than the 'Big Five'
The so called 'Big Five' of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo can sometimes overshadow the immense variety of wildlife to be found in South Africa's fabulous game reserves. The Madikwe Reserve is another great option if you're trying to catch a glimpse of the elusive wild dog. And once you've experienced a 'Big Five' safari, an alternative such as Samara, a pristine wilderness destination in the Karoo, or conservation-minded Tswalu Kalahari in the northwest of the country, will give you a fascinating complementary perspective.
The Battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift
Fascinating, moving, thought-provoking and wholly memorable - the battlefield tours and talks given by the hugely knowledgeable lecturers at Fugitives' Drift Lodge are more than mere talks. Given in the open air on the very battlefields that they describe, it would be more accurate to describe them as an experience for all of your senses. Whether you have a deep passion for history or merely a passing interest, they will live long in your memory.
Royal Malewane, Greater Kruger
Royal Malewane is the definition of luxurious bush chic. Resplendent in its crisp, white linens and celebrated for unforgettable gourmet cuisine, this private lodge is in game-rich territory adjacent to the Kruger National Park. Venture out of your luxurious cocoon for daily game drives and guided bush walks, returning to an invigorating massage followed by a Malewane silver and crystal dinner or the never-to-be-forgotten experience of a sumptuous braai under the stars. The jewels in the lodge's crown are the Royal and Malewane Suites, accommodating up to four guests, offering 2,100 square feet of self-contained indulgence that includes a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room and a large pool, together with the services of a private chef, butler, and game ranger.
One&Only Cape Town, Cape Town
With One&Only's world-renowned quality, luxury and vitality inherent in every aspect of its design and operation, it offers a true resort experience at the heart of the city's vibrant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront - especially if you choose to stay in a suite on the beautifully landscaped island at the centre of the resort. Trademark One&Only experiences enhance your holiday, including a Spa, a Kids' Club and butler service, while dining in Nobu is complemented perfectly by a selection from the 5,000 bottle tri-level Wine Loft.
Discerning travellers will appreciate the understated opulence inherent in every aspect of this haven of luxurious accommodation and fine dining. The beauty of its backdrop - the vineyards and mountains of the Franschhoek Valley - are more than matched by the elegance of the hotel, so while activities such as golf, fishing and wine-tasting can be arranged, perhaps the best activity of all is to sit by the infinity-edge pool or on the terrace and simply drink in your surroundings.
Birkenhead House, Hermanus
Sophistication and glamour are the watchwords here as guests luxuriate in opulent accommodation enhanced by rich fabrics and antiques. Perched high on the Hermanus Cliffs, the design of the House encourages a grand, house-party-style atmosphere while for those seeking greater privacy, sole use of the adjacent Villa will be ideal. Spotting Southern Right Whales from the perfect vantage point of the cliff edge pool or the terrace is a relaxing way to while away an afternoon before indulging in yet more exquisite cuisine.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, Walker Bay
This pristine piece of South African wilderness offers a choice of two luxurious lodges, one traditional in feel the other contemporary, both of which have simply breathtaking views over unique flora and deserted beaches to the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. The gastronomic experience is superb and although the complimentary activities include everything from 4x4 flower safaris and horse riding to nature walks and beach picnics, the highlight for many is a taste of the works of the Grootbos Foundation.
Time difference: GMT +2 hours
Flight duration: 11 hours 30 minutes to Cape Town (direct). 11 hours Johannesburg (direct).
Currency: South African Rand
Cape Town and the Garden Route are at their glorious summer best from November to March but if you prefer a more temperate climate or want to see the flora in fine bloom, the spring months of August and September are perfect. The dry season from May to August is particularly good for safaris because vegetation is sparse and the animals frequent watering-holes, while for whale-watching off the Cape Coast, visit from July to the beginning of November.
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and South African Airways fly direct from London Heathrow to Cape Town and Johannesburg. Flights via the Middle East are available with Emirates and Etihad.