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south africa private villa safari

12-Day Independent Tour to Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route & Safari

This private villa safari elegantly melds independent travel, private villas, guided sightseeing and Big 5 wildlife safaris all in one. Designed for independent-minded travelers who also want to experience the very best, this safari starts with a stay in the “Mother City”, Cape Town, with guided tours and a stay at a boutique city apartment home. Next visit the winelands, then self drive the scenic Garden Route, enjoying overnights in private villas. Guests finish with a Big 5 wildlife safari, enjoyed from a private farmhouse/villa at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve.

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Day 1 – Arrive/Cape Town: On arrival at Cape Town International Airport, you are met and transferred to your accommodation. Enjoy a free afternoon. Overnight at More Quarters Redcliffe House.

Located in the suburb of Gardens in Cape Town on a quiet street away from the tourist hub but within walking distance of a variety of boutique stores, restaurants and bars, and Cape Town’s iconic Table Mountain, the Redcliffe House is a four-bedroom “home away from home”. The apartments are a combination of classic and contemporary with everything you could need: en-suite bathrooms, fully equipped kitchen with a full-size fridge, mini-bar and refreshments, tea/coffee station, air-conditioning, iPod docking station, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.

Day 2 – Cape Town/City Tour & Table Mountain: After breakfast, enjoy a private half-day city and Table Mountain tour, including the Houses of Parliament, the Castle (South Africa’s oldest building), the lively Greenmarket Square market, the Company Gardens, and of course Table Mountain, which will give you spectacular views over the city and the peninsula (cable car ride is weather dependent). Later, make a stop at Bo-Kaap, home to the Cape Malay community, with its cobbled streets and brightly colored houses (dinner on your own account). Overnight at Redcliffe House.

Day 3 – Cape Town/Cape Town Eats Walking Tour: After breakfast, enjoy a scheduled (group) half-day Cape Town Eats Walking Town. You will walk the streets of Cape Town with your guide and experience its history, its people and its culinary delights. En-route stop to taste a mixture of traditional food, South African street food and to visit some artisanal foodie and coffee shops serving African Soul food: pap, samp & beans, a meat stew and vetkoek Falooda – a traditional Muslim Rose milkshake; A Koesister – which is a traditional Cape Malay spicy doughnut “dhaltjies”/chili bites and a Cape samosa; A gourmet bunny chow, an Indian Cuisine; Coffee from one of the micro artisan coffee roasters; Artisan Chocolate; Bobotie pies – which both Cape Malay and white Afrikaner group refer to as their traditional dish. After a visit to Atlas Spices, return home to digest everything (dinner on your own account). Overnight at Redcliffe House.

Day 4 – Cape Town/Peninsula Tour/Franschhoek: This Cape Peninsula starts with the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, then Hout Bay where you may choose to join an optional boat cruise to Seal Island. Continue to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, where a funicular takes you to the top of the peninsula to witness the symbolic meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and enjoy spectacular views over False Bay. Stop for lunch in the area (on your own account), before continuing to Simonstown, the naval base, and then visit the African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach. On the return trip, enjoy a stop at the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Gardens before continuing at your house, located in the Winelands, late this afternoon. Overnight at The Explorers Club Villa.

The Explorers Club is situated in the heart of Franschhoek village, five minutes from the main street. Tucked within beautiful trees with a small adjoining vineyard, this sanctuary enjoys expansive views over the valley. There are four bedrooms sleeping up to six adults, and four children. The master bedroom boasts a king-sized bed, under-floor heating, and an open fireplace, plus a private verandah overlooking the pool, garden and vineyard. The second bedroom has a queen-size bed and an en-suite shower, while the third bedroom, with an en-suite bath, can be used for children. The fourth room is in the eaves and has two large skylights, a bath beside the window and glorious views. There is a vast open plan living room with two lounge areas and two open wood fireplaces. The open-plan kitchen is fully fitted and there is an indoor and outdoor entertainment area, an indoor wood BBQ, large solar-heated lap pool, secure off-street parking, and WiFi throughout.

Day 5 – Franschhoek/Winelands Tour: Enjoy a tour of the Winelands with your specialist guide, including Paarl with its mountain setting and Afrikaans Language Monument; Franschhoek, the culinary capital of South Africa, with its beautiful setting, French flair and charming cafe-lined streets and Stellenbosch, the second oldest town in South Africa, with canal-lined avenues and magnificent examples of Cape Dutch architecture. Wine tastings are included at premier estates and a stop will be made for lunch in a memorable location (on your own account). Overnight at The Explorers Club Villa.

Day 6 – Franschhoek/Self-Drive Garden Route/Knysna: Today, your rental car (Hyundai H1 or similar) will be delivered to your villa. Drive, at your leisure, to the lagoon side town of Knysna (drive time: approx. 5 hours, no stops), located on the Garden Route. The Garden Route stretches from Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to the Storms River in the Eastern Cape along the southeastern coast of South Africa. From June to November, the Southern Right Whales can be seen along the coast during their annual migration. Add a slight detour and visit Betty’s Bay to see the African penguins. Arrive at your villa and enjoy the remainder of your day at leisure. Overnight at Knysna Heights Villa.

Offering opulent accommodation with all the comforts and conveniences of a modern home, Knysna Heights Villa is situated on a ridge above the picturesque town of Knysna, near the town center. This luxurious three-level house boasts spectacular views across the waters of the Knysna Lagoon stretching to Knysna Heads and beyond. There are three spacious en-suite bedrooms, one on the upper level and two on the lower level. The living areas on the middle floor are all interconnected in an open plan layout to create a relaxed, holiday atmosphere. The ultra-modern fully-equipped kitchen is centrally positioned; the dining area extends into the spacious lounge which leads to out to the decks surrounding the villa. A second lounge provides a recreational space with satellite television, DVD player, and music system. The villa is fully serviced and breakfast is prepared and served daily. There are a fully equipped motorboat and skipper available for water skiing, wake-boarding, fishing or sunset cruises; double or single canoes for exploring the waterways or mountain bikes for exploring the surrounding forests (at an additional cost).

Days 7 & 8 – Garden Route/Knysna: Enjoy two days exploring the Garden Route and Knysna on your own (all entrance fees payable direct). There are many activities and attractions available from Knysna, such as: visiting Oudtshoorn and visit a local ostrich farm, where you’ll have a chance to sit and ride an ostrich, as well as feed them by hand; explore Cango Caves – an intricate underground wonderland with vast halls, dripstone caverns, and towering formations; and visit Robberg Beach, which stretches for miles between the Robberg Peninsula and Beacon Island, and offers the best shore-based seasonal whale watching in the area. Other activities in the areas include the boat cruises on the Knysna Lagoon, visiting Monkeyland and Birds of Eden sanctuaries, Tsitsikamma Forest and Storms River Bridge. Overnight at Knysna Heights Villa.

Day 9 – Knysna/Port Elizabeth/Kwandwe Private Game Reserve: Drive to Port Elizabeth Airport to return your rental car. Then, you will have a private transfer to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. This reserve is nestled in the heart of the Eastern Cape. It is a world-class Big 5 safari destination in 54,363 acres of pristine private wilderness and is malaria free. Depending on arrival time, enjoy lunch and an afternoon safari activity. Dinner and overnight at Kwandwe Uplands Homestead.

Kwandwe Uplands Homestead: This elegant farmhouse has been lovingly restored into a luxurious home and retains all the charm and grace of an “Out of Africa” experience without losing its warmth and ambiance. Décor and furnishings exemplify rich colors and textures and original antiques are complemented with glass and crystal lanterns, ceramic lamps and silver candlestick holders. The house is air-conditioned, there are three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, two of which have a ball and claw bath; a sitting and dining room, contemporary farm style kitchen, outdoor dining under the African stars, a large swimming pool and gazebo and a full contingent of friendly staff, including a dedicated chef and butler taking care of your every whim. Note: Kwandwe is closed during the month of June. An alternative house will be selected, at an additional cost.

Days 10 & 11 – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve: Enjoy two days of private safari activities in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve. Activities from Uplands Homestead include guided morning and afternoon/evening game drives, guided bush walks, fishing, and picnics. Optional extra activities include scenic coastal flights, rhino monitoring, big game walking safaris, private safaris, flight of the Blue Crane, and rhino darting. All meals and overnight at Kwandwe Uplands Homestead.

Day 12 – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve/Port Elizabeth/Depart: Enjoy a morning safari activity, then transfer to Port Elizabeth Airport for your onward flight.

Photo Credit: Kwandwe Uplands Homestead

Interested in this trip? Give us a call or drop us an email.

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Luxury Accommodations
  • Perfect for Families
  • Perfect for Big 5/Wildlife Sightings
  • Duration 12 days
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Deluxe private homes, apartments & villas
  • Fitness Rating Easy
  • Activities City, coastal, & wine tours, game drives, bush walks, fishing
  • Safari Type Family
  • Style Deluxe
  • Land-Only Price* $$

*Pricing is per person and an estimate. Contact a Journey Specialist for a customized quote.
$ = Call for Pricing | $$ = $5,000 – $9,999 | $$$ = $10,000 – $20,000 | $$$$ = >$20,000

Contact a Journey Specialist