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9-Day Safari Celebrating South Africa’s Cultural and Natural Diversity

This fantastic tour takes travelers to some of the most important and interesting historical and cultural sites in South Africa to experience them in fresh and exciting ways. Explore ancient and modern-day history, including many sites that featured prominently in Nelson’s Mandela’s life, experience diverse and exciting cultures, and expand your knowledge and love of Africa’s unparalleled flora and fauna. In Johannesburg and surrounds, retrace the roots of Apartheid and its abolishment – including a visit to Soweto township, home to 2 Nobel Prize winners – and explore caves that produced some of the oldest human fossils ever found. In KwaZulu-Natal, you’ll experience a Big 5 game safari to one of the premiere game viewing areas in the country. In Cape Town, you will be treated to the Mother City’s dramatic coastline, rich and diverse culture, and fascinating history including visits to South Africa’s oldest building (dating from the 17th century) and Robben Island, the prison where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 years.

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Day 1 – Johannesburg: Upon arrival at Johannesburg O.R. Tambo International Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at The Peech Hotel.

The Peech Hotel is a boutique hotel offering 32 well appointed guest rooms. Guest rooms are spread throughout lush gardens, with locally inspired interior style. Bathrooms are modern and well-appointed, and bedrooms provide plenty of fresh air and natural light, with excellent quality King beds (available as twin also), air-conditioning, desk area and comfortable seating inside and outside, tea/coffee making stations, flat screen TV’s and high-speed WiFi. 

Day 2 – Johannesburg: Your Soweto & Apartheid Museum Tour begins in Johannesburg, visiting Hillbrow and Braamfontein, home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Continue to the heart of Soweto township, which produced two Nobel Peace Prize winners. Places of interest include the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath taxi rank, Freedom Square, Hector Pieterson Memorial, Ghandi’s old house ‘Satyagraha’ and Nelson Mandela’s former home. After lunch with local residents (on your own account), visit the Apartheid Museum to retrace the roots of apartheid from the oppression of the black tribes in the Cape Colony of the 1800s. Overnight at The Peech Hotel.

Day 3 – Pretoria & Cradle Of Humankind Tour: After breakfast, your tour of Pretoria begins at the Voortrekker Monument honoring the early pioneers, then on to the Kruger House Museum and Church Square. The next stop is at the imposing Union Building, housing the offices of the State President, Deputy President and Minister of Foreign Affairs. This afternoon, visit the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage site, considered to be the place where humankind originated as it has produced both the most and the oldest hominid fossils ever found. Overnight at The Peech Hotel.

Days 4, 5, & 6 – Phinda Private Game Reserve: After breakfast, fly to Richard’s Bay (flight priced separately) and drive to the award-winning Phinda Game Reserve, boasting Big-5 game viewing in seven distinct habitats. This community-owned reserve offers game drives and nature walks (included) and for an extra charge, boat and canoe trips. Here, you can track the endangered black rhino on foot with a specialist ranger and visit a local community center assisting orphans and a clinic providing health care to more than 12,000 children and adults. Enjoy two full days of shared safari activities. Meals and overnights at Phinda Vlei Lodge.

Phinda Vlei Lodge is intimately integrated into the surrounding bush. Gracious and elegant, this charming lodge comprises six thatched suites decorated in a subtle blend of North and West African styles, with hints of a Balinese influence. Each suite, which features a luxurious ensuite bathroom, dressing room, private plunge pool and game viewing deck, overlooks a grassy meadow where you can observe herds of grazing antelope and zebra, as well as a variety of birdlife. The atmosphere is exclusive and personal, with a mixture of understated sophistication and pure luxury. Large private lap pools provide the ideal place to relax, while warm and inviting open fireplaces make the sitting area the ideal place to unwind on a cool afternoon. Delicious and innovative cuisine is served on the expansive outdoor decks or in a beautiful and remote bush setting, creating lifelong memories. 

Day 7 – Cape Town: After breakfast, fly to Cape Town and enjoy a private half-day City & Table Mountain Tour. Your tour of the “Mother City” will take in the Houses of Parliament, the Castle (built between 1666 and 1679, this is South Africa’s oldest building), the lively Greenmarket Square with its daily 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. Visit with local shop owners and then learn to cook in the famous Cape Malay style during a hands-on lesson in a Malay woman’s home, then enjoy eating your culinary creation. Finish the afternoon with a walking tour of the area. Overnight at Kensington Place.

Kensington Place is a contemporary private hotel which combines cutting-edge design with a tranquil but prime location off trendy Kloof Street, below Table Mountain. Eight bespoke ensuite guest rooms have extra length king size beds and private outdoor terraces. This is a private home styled with immaculate taste, the finest linens used on the beds, the thickest towels used in the bathrooms and flat-screen TVs, iPod docking stations and personal laptops with complementary Wi-fi access are just a few of the modern accessories.

Day 8 – Cape Town: Enjoy breakfast, and then explore South Africa’s political past and lively communities including District Six, Apartheid-era townships, and Robben Island, prison to Nelson Mandela and many others. Overnight at Kensington Place.

Optional – 2-Day Cape Winelands Extension: 

Day 9 – Cape Town/Franschhoek: After breakfast, you will be transferred to Franschhoek, to the Le Quartier Français. This afternoon, enjoy a rare and exclusive glimpse into Nelson Mandela’s final years of incarceration at the Victor Verster Prison. See how he lived his last few imprisoned years, hear amusing and humbling stories, and walk through the same gate Mandela walked out to freedom in February 1990 (tour dependent on availability)! Return to Le Quartier Français for overnight and dinner on your own account.

Le Quartier Français is a romantic 25-room boutique hotel located in the heart of Franschhoek. It is the ideal base from which to explore the surrounding winelands, or you can simply walk into the village to discover its quaint charms. The private wine tastings, incredible food, extraordinary staff, luxuriously comfortable rooms and attention to detail ensure that this hotel is the ultimate destination. 

Day 10 – Winelands Or Township Tour: After breakfast, enjoy a full-day private Winelands tour, which you and your guide can choose to include any or all of the three main wine-growing centers: 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/or 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). Alternatively, you may visit Kayamundi township in Stellenbosch, where you can enjoy a private guided tour meeting locals, learning about community projects and then helping to cook traditional Xhosa dishes for lunch enjoyed in a local resident’s home. Overnight at Le Quartier Français.

Day 11 –Cape Town/Depart: After breakfast, you will be transferred to Cape Town airport for your onward flights.

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

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Cultural Visits
  • Perfect for Historical Sightseeing
  • Perfect for Big 5/Wildlife Sightings
  • Duration 9 days
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Deluxe boutique hotels and luxury game lodge
  • Fitness Rating Easy
  • Activities Historical and cultural tours, game drives and tracking, nature walks
  • Safari Type Cultural/Historical
  • 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