This combined culture and safari trip gives you the opportunity to experience Africa’s most impressive game reserve with the world’s largest concentration of wild animals, beautiful coastlines, sightseeing in big cities, as well as visits to local people in a local village and in a township. In short, a trip that gives you a fantastic insight into what South Africa has to offer:
When you have made it through passport control at the airport, your Danish Tour Leader, local guide and driver will be ready to welcome you. We continue today’s journey by driving towards the spectacular Soutpansberg mountain range in the northern Limpopo province, which is known as the gateway to the three neighbouring countries – Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana.
Arriving at our lodge, the afternoon is free to relax after a long journey. We spend the night at the 4-star hotel Shiluvari Lakeside Lodge, which is situated on 30 hectares of natural vegetation. We may be lucky to see waterbuck and kudu, which regularly visit the area.
After a good night’s sleep, it’s time for a special experience when we get to see how people live and live in this area. Because no journey to the African continent is complete until we have met the local population on their terms – an authentic encounter far removed from classic tourism. Then we spend the day in the village of Mphambo, inhabited by people from the Shangaan-Tsonga tribe.
The black South African population is divided into 4 major ethnic groups: Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa, Ndelebe and Swazi), Sotho, Venda, and Shangaan-Tsonga. In the village of Mphambo we will experience the same friendliness and hospitality that has always characterized the tribe. The men typically look after the cattle, while the women look after the cultivation of the land. When we arrive, we will meet the local chief who will introduce us to the village and its residents.
After a memorable day it is time to say goodbye to the village and drive to our lodge for the next 2 nights. We spend the night at the 4-star hotel Kubu Safari Lodge, located in a large private nature reserve just outside the Krüger National Park. While enjoying a sundowner and absorbing the day’s impressions, we may be lucky enough to see giraffes or antelopes parading by.
Today we have to get up early and have a full day’s game drive in South Africa’s largest national park, which has an area of almost 20,000 km². Krüger National Park was established in 1926 and opened its gates to the first 3 guests in 1927. In Day, the park boasts one of the world’s largest concentrations of animal species – more than 140 different mammal species, more than 100 different reptile species and more than 500 bird species.
So, on today’s game drive there is a great chance that we can experience The Big Five – the rhinoceros, the lion, the leopard, the elephant, and the buffalo. The term dates back to the 1800s, when big game was hunted on foot. The hunters judged that these five animals were the most difficult and dangerous to kill. So even though the term originates from a bygone era, nothing has changed in that it is still an achievement and requires a lot of luck to spot these five animals.
After a wonderful breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye to the wildlife at the Krüger National Park and head south-west. The destination for today’s journey is South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria. The city is also known as “Jacaranda City”, when the streets are lined purple from the many beautiful trees in September to November.
The town was originally founded in 1855 by the Voortrekkers and named after one of their leaders – Andries Pretorius. In 1860 the city became the capital of the Transvaal and in 1910 of the whole of South Africa. The functions of government in South Africa are geographically threefold – the Parliament (legislative) is located in Cape Town, the Supreme Court (judicial) is located in Bloemfontein and the state administration (executive) is located in Pretoria.
The guided sightseeing tour around the city takes us back in history. We must, among other things, experience the Voortrekker Monument, the Union Buildings and the Krüger House.
After breakfast we drive to Johannesburg. Without exaggeration, Johannesburg can be said to be the city of contrasts. “Joburg”, as it is often referred to, is South Africa’s largest city with a population of approx. 6.3 million people.
We are going to visit the famous and infamous township Soweto (Southwest Township) and get a little insight into the daily life here. It is estimated that there are approx. 2 million people in the urban area, which is about 65 km² in size. On our tour around Soweto, we will visit Nelson Mandela’s house. Already as a young law student, Mandela became involved in the freedom struggle against the white apartheid rule. He soon became one of the leading figures in the African National Congress (ANC).
After lunch, we finish the day’s sightseeing with a visit to the Apartheid Museum. Founded in 2001, the museum is recognized as the leading museum in the world dealing with the history of South Africa from the 20th century.
After a delicious breakfast, it’s time to drive to the airport, where our flight awaits us. The destination for today’s journey is the beautiful city of Knysna, nestled between the imposing Outeniqa Mountains and The Indian Ocean.
The afternoon and evening are at your disposal and can be used to explore the city with its historic charm. With its beautiful lagoon and sandy beaches, it is a perfect starting point to spend some time swimming, walking in the soft sand, fishing, watching the rich bird life or shopping in some of the small cosy shops.
After a lovely relaxing day yesterday, today is the time to get out and experience nature on foot. We start the day in the Robberg Nature Reserve, where we go on a short hike with our guide (approx. 2 km, walking time: approx. 45 minutes, medium difficulty). The area is a world heritage site, as the rocks from the region can be dated back as much as 120 million years.
After a pleasant hike in the higher air layers, we descend again at sea level when we go out to visit the local township in the city. The township was founded in the 1950s, as part of the increased segregation of blacks and whites during the apartheid regime.
On our tour around the township, we experience up close how real life in the “new” South Africa is lived. Our local guide takes us into the heart of this unique and quite peaceful city. We visit one of the families, where we are offered tea and hear more about the Xhosa lifestyle, customs, beliefs, and traditions. We also visit a small school so that we can get a closer look at the teaching at these latitudes. With our visit, we are helping to support Lukhanyiso Safe House, which is a refuge for abused women and children.
After a good night’s sleep, it is time for us to continue the journey west as we drive towards the Breede River Valley. The valley is home to some of South Africa’s major wine producing areas. We drive over the picturesque Outeniqua mountain pass and through the dry Little Karoo.
On the way we will visit the famous Cango Caves, an impressive labyrinth of stalactite caves, passages and rock formations. All the caves have extensive stalactite formations of impressive sizes. In the afternoon we arrive at our hotel for the night, where we will taste some of the wonderful grapes from the area.
After breakfast, we drive on to Franschhoek, which directly translated from Dutch means “the French corner”. The town is one of the oldest towns in South Africa and dates back to 1688, when French Huguenots settled here. The Huguenots were French Protestants, and members of the Reformed Church founded in 1550 by the French theologian John Calvin. Their history began in 1685, under King Louis XIV, when the Catholic rulers had the Edict of Nantes revoked, which had hitherto guaranteed them their freedom of belief and confession. They were thus faced with the choice between the heretical stake or exile, and by the thousands they left France and settled all over the world.
We visit the Boschendal Farm Estate, founded in 1685, which is one of the oldest wineries in South Africa. Here we will taste the house’s specialties when our hosts open the doors for us. We must, among other things, taste their award-winning vintage wines and the special chocolate wine. It is possible to buy handmade souvenirs and wines to take home as an eternal memory.
After we have indulged our palate in various delicacies, we continue our journey to Stellenbosch. The city is also known as the City of Oaks due to the large number of oak trees that the city’s founder Simon van der Stel had planted along the streets. It is an incredibly colourful and beautiful architectural city surrounded by mountains and vineyards.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. It is possible to stroll around the town centre and enjoy the beautifully preserved Afrikaans and Victorian architecture, as well as the many attractive art galleries, craft shops and gift shops.
After a good night’s sleep, it is time for another day full of experiences, where we will go out to see some of the most beautiful nature around Cape Town. We drive to the cosy town of Simon’s Town, where we go on a small city tour. From there we continue to Boulders Beach, where a colony of over 3000 Jackass penguins live. The penguins are extremely fascinating and ridiculously photogenic, so take the opportunity to take some unforgettable photos.
We drive on to the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point. Here, at the very tip of Africa, where one of the largest sea cliffs in the world plunges into a stormy sea, there is both drama and calm. Small coves and soft white sandy beaches offer the perfect conditions to experience various animal species such as antelopes, mountain zebras and ostriches. We take a walk around the fantastic surroundings and pose for photos in front of the world-famous Cape Point sign.
We continue our journey along the Cape Peninsula. The scenery is stunning with winding mountain roads that cut into the cliffs high above the roaring sea. We drive along Chapman’s Peak Drive, which is one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of road. In the sea we may be lucky to see migrating southern right whales. We stop at Hout Bay, where we will take an exciting 40-minute cruise to Duiker Island, where we can experience thousands of wild fur seals in their beautiful natural habitat.
We begin in the beautiful Company’s Garden, which is the country’s oldest park and surrounded by historic buildings. The garden was originally built as a supply station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company that rounded the tip of Africa on their way to Asia. After months at sea, their ships could be filled up with fresh produce grown in the garden – hence the name “the company’s garden”.
From there we move on to the lively Green Market Square, which is today Cape Town’s flea market. The square was established in 1696 during the Dutch occupation of the Cape Colony. In the more than 300 years, the square has served many purposes. Today, as mentioned, the square is a flea market where you can buy everything your heart desires, from clothes to African handicrafts.
We continue today’s sightseeing with a stroll through the colourful Cape Malay district of Bo-Kaap. The district originally dates from the 1760s, when many smaller houses were built and rented out to slaves. The inhabitants became known as Cape Malay, and came from Malaysia, Indonesia and the rest of Africa to work in the Cape Colony.
In the afternoon we drive to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. The harbour area is a veritable Eldorado for those who enjoy life, with its selection of specialty shops, markets, restaurants and entertainment. We have our farewell dinner at Restaurant Gold, a vibrant pan-African experience in the heart of Cape Town. We sit in a historic old courtyard, where our senses are awakened by a sumptuous feast of African specialties and local African rhythms.
Enjoy the last morning atmosphere in Cape Town. Take a dip in the hotel swimming pool or buy the last souvenirs before we get ready to go to Cape Town International Airport to begin our journey home to Denmark. Rested and filled with lots of lovely holiday memories, new friendships and, of course, unique spot shots.
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