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Ultimate South African Holiday Experience

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Ultimate South African Holiday Experience

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Overview

From the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape, the magic of the mother City Cape Town, the hustle, and bustle of the City of Gold; Johannesburg to the roaming wildlife of the Kruger National Park, South Africa is an untapped wonderland of unforgettable experiences. Expand your horizons and explore this beautiful land with this Ultimate South African Holiday Experience.

It’s important to note that this is not a group scheduled tour and this packaged tour can depart daily subject to availability of flights and accommodation. This tour is suited for all ages as well as families with children and will depart with a minimum of 1 person. Some activities may see you join other guests. Elements of this tour can be changed as well as excluded to make the tour shorter.

Day 1: Depart from London Heathrow

Make your way to London Heathrow Airport for your direct evening flight to Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport in South Africa. You will be flying on Virgin Atlantic and your departure time will be at 20:00 pm. The flight will take approximately 12 hours to Johannesburg.

  • Flights
    Flight from London Heathrow Airport to Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport in South Africa is included

Day 2: Arrive in Johannesburg

On arrival in Johannesburg, you clear customs and make your way to the arrivals hall. A driver will be waiting for you with your name on a board. If by chance you miss him, just make your way to the information desk in the arrivals hall. Once you have done the meet and greet, you will be transferred by road to the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton.

Known as ‘Africa’s richest square mile’, Sandton has headed upward with a barrage of Manhattan-style skyscrapers that function as landmarks throughout Johannesburg, particularly Sandton City’s pyramid-style rooftop. Spend the rest of your day visiting Nelson Mandela Square, various art galleries, or go on a personal walking tour that takes in 29 Sandton landmarks and stops off at various restaurants.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Lunch & Dinner is for your own account today
  • Transfers
    Airport transfer from Johannesburg's OR Tambo to Radisson Blu Sandton is included

Day 2: Sandton to the Palace of the Lost City

Enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel before checking out and meeting your guide at the reception area at 8:30 am. Departing Sandton with your guide in an air-conditioned vehicle you make your way to the Palace of the Lost City at the Sun City resort.

En- route to the Palace, you pass through the small town of Hartebeespoort dam and after crossing the dam wall you stop at a local curio market to stretch the legs and perhaps purchase some African curios. We spend about an hour at the market before continuing on our journey to the Palace. From the market, it’s about a 1.5 hour drive through farmlands to the Sun City Resort.

On arrival at the Palace, you are assisted to check into your rooms and you have the rest of the day to spend at your own leisure. Sun City has so much to offer in the form of activities and you can enjoy your time here relaxing in the valley of the waves, playing a round of golf, trying your luck at the casino, visiting the crocodile farm, taking a walk around the resort, being adventurous and paragliding or simply relaxing by one of the many pools.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfast included at Radisson Blu Hotel Lunch & Dinner is for your own account today
  • Transfers
    Transfer from Radisson Blu Hotel in Sandton to the Palace of the Lost City at Sun City resort is included

Day 3: Palace of the Lost City to Kapama Game Reserve

Bright and early you enjoy breakfast at the Palace before meeting checking out and meeting your guide at the reception area at 7:30 am. You make your way in an air-conditioned vehicle back towards Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport. The drive takes approximately 2.5 hours and your guide will stop along the way for a bathroom stop.

Your flight from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo Airport to Hoedspruit Airport will depart at 11:30 am. This is a short 50 min flight and when you arrive at the Hoedspruit Airport your guide will be waiting in the arrival’s hall with a name board to meet and greet you.

You are about to experience your first wildlife animal sightings as the short trip from Hoedspruit Airport to the lodge is through the Reserve Situated in South Africa’s northernmost province of Limpopo, renowned for its prolific and diverse wildlife, Kapama Private Game Reserve is home to over 40 different mammal species, including the most dangerous Big Five of elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhinoceros. Approximately 350 bird species and a myriad smaller species can also be seen here in their natural environment.

On arrival at the 5-star lodge, you are welcomed by the friendly staff and checked into your luxurious suites. Time to catch your breath and relax before making your way to lunch. The Siyatla Lounge is purpose-built as an enclosed dining area, where lunches are served. It has its own bar and lounge with two large fireplaces, while glass stack doors open up the lounge to the surrounding bushveld. All cuisine at Kapama is prepared using fresh seasonal ingredients and herbs grown in the lodge gardens. Traditional South African dishes and accompaniments, such as mealie pap (African-style polenta) and chakalaka (a hot, spicy relish) further enhance the luxury game lodge experience by giving a taste of real Africa. Menus include warthog stew, kudu casserole, impala sausages and oxtail curry. Vegetarians, vegans, and various other dietary requirements are easily catered for.

After lunch spend time in one of the lounges with  African artifacts that adorn the lounges and a palate of red and gold reflects the colors of Africa’s earth. Glass stack doors open onto the rim-flow pool to create an al fresco experience. The long, L-shaped lounge and bar, under double-volume thatch, follow the line of the pool to create an airy but cozy atmosphere. In winter, a double-sided fireplace provides additional warmth.

Recliners under umbrellas beckon guests to enjoy shady relaxation around the pool, which is also a prime vantage point for game viewing. A small, permanent waterhole lies just beyond the perimeter of River Lodge and attracts various antelope species, elephant, and buffalo, so viewing the Big Five – cocktail in hand – is quite usual from here.

At around 3:30 pm, everyone gathers for a decadent high tea, before heading out with your ranger and tracker for the afternoon game drive through the reserve. En route, you’ll stop for a sundowner drink and will have a chance to stretch your legs as you watch the sunset over the distant peaks of the Drakensberg mountains.

As darkness falls, the nocturnal animals of the bush come out. The skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge is usually around 7: 00 pm, allowing time to freshen up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Luxury Suite
  • Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner included
  • Transfers
    Palace of the Lost City to Kapama Reserve
  • Activities
    Sunset Safari Drive
  • Flights
    Flight from Johannesburg's OR Tambo Airport to Hoedspruit's Eastgate Airport is included

Day 4: Kapama Private Game Reserve

The day starts with an early wake-up call between 5: 00 am and 5:30 am. Tea, coffee, and rusks are enjoyed together before heading out at first light. While seeing the big game is always exhilarating, there are many other smaller species that are also captivating, and birding enthusiasts will be delighted at the approximately 350 species of birds recorded on the reserve. Halfway through the game drive, there’s a stop for hot drinks and snacks, before returning to the lodge at around 9:00 am for a full breakfast. Throughout the day, it’s likely you will see wildlife around the lodge – nyala antelope and vervet monkeys are frequent visitors, though seeing some of the Big Five is also not uncommon.

At around 3:30 pm, everyone gathers for a decadent high tea, before heading out with your ranger and tracker for the afternoon game drive through the reserve. En route, you’ll stop for a sundowner drink and will have a chance to stretch your legs as you watch the sunset over the distant peaks of the Drakensberg mountains.

As darkness falls, the nocturnal animals of the bush come out. The skilled tracker will scan the landscape using a spotlight, which illuminates animals’ eyes. A variety of completely different species can be seen on the night drive back to the lodge. Arrival is at the lodge is usually around 7: 00 pm, allowing time to freshen up before enjoying a sumptuous dinner.

For the more adventurous, you may want to replace a game drive with a bush walk. Feel Africa underfoot on a guided bush walk with a highly trained game ranger. The experience offers an intimate encounter with nature and wildlife, and medicinal and other plants are identified en route.

Rangers also teach walkers to track wildlife in the traditional way, using animal footprints and scat. Expert trackers are able to tell the gender of many animals just from their footprints. Large and dangerous animals are avoided on walks, but many other species can be viewed from a safe distance at ground level. A bush walk through Kapama Private Game Reserve is a truly memorable and authentic encounter.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Luxury Suite
  • Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea & Dinner included
  • Activities
    Morning & Afternoon Safari Drives with an optional Bush Walk

Day 5: Kapama Game Reserve to Durban

This morning you have one last chance to spot some of the wildlife animals that may have eluded you thus far when you go on an early morning safari drive in the Reserve. The day starts with an early wake-up call between 5:00 am and 5:30 am. Tea, coffee, and rusks are enjoyed together before heading out at first light. After the drive, you return to the lodge for breakfast.

Its time to pack and check out and a driver will be waiting for you at the reception area to take you to Eastgate Airport in Hoedspruit for your flight to Durban’s King Shaka Airport. The flight to Durban is via Johannesburg and you are expected to arrive in Durban mid-afternoon. A drive will be waiting for you at King Shaka Airport in Durban to transfer you to Protea Hotel Edward which is on the beachfront in Durban.

The rest of the day is spent at your own leisure. Durban offers a lot more than beautiful, golden beaches. It is the center of world-class sport and hosts major international events. It is a shopper’s paradise with world class standard shopping malls and precincts, craft markets and street bazaars.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfast is included today Lunch & Dinner is for your own account
  • Transfers
    Transfer from Kapama to Eastgate Airport and Transfer from King Shaka Airport Durban to the Edward Hotel is included
  • Flights
    Flight from Eastgate Airport Hoedspruit to Durban's King Shaka Airport

Day 6: Durban to Port Elizabeth

After an early breakfast, you check out and your guide will collect you from the reception area in the hotel at around 7:30 am. We depart to visit the Sani Pass in a four-wheel drive vehicle to the top of the Drakensberg Mountains in the Kingdom of Lesotho some 3 000 m above sea level.

We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. Then further through Underberg, a picturesque little village situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. Now we set off to Sani Pass, named after the primitive people who lived in the area millennia ago, for a four-wheel drive with hair-raising bends and breathtaking views to the top of the mountain. Lunch is served at the top of the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho some 3 000 m above sea level.

After lunch, we make our way back to King Shaka Airport in Durban where you will be dropped off for your flight to Port Elizabeth. On arrival in Port Elizabeth, a driver will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall with a name board. Its a short transfer by road to the Protea Hotel where you will be staying. By now you may be exhausted so we recommend the rest of the afternoon and evening is spent relaxing.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfast & Lunch is included Dinner is for your own account
  • Transfers
    Transfer from Port Elizabeth Airport to the Protea Hotel
  • Activities
    Drakensberg Mountain & Sani Pass Tour
  • Flights
    Durban's King Shaka Airport to Port Elizabeth Airport is included

Day 7: Addo Elephant National Park Tour

You will be collected after breakfast from the hotel reception area for an Addo Elephant National Park Tour. Addo Elephant National Park – Home to the ‘Big 5’ and one of the densest Elephant populations in Africa. Addo offers unrivaled biodiversity and a magnificent game viewing experience in a Malaria free environment. Spend a full day exploring the 3rd largest National Park in South Africa with our expert guides! 

The original elephant section of the park was proclaimed in 1931 when only eleven elephants remained in the area. Today this finely tuned ecosystem is home to one of the densest elephant populations on earth, with over 600 elephants, lion, buffalo, the endangered black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, a variety of antelope and zebra species, as well as the unique Addo flightless dung beetle, found almost exclusively in Addo. The park can exclusively claim to be the only national park in the world to conserve the “Big 7” – the Big 5 as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay coast.Plans are currently afoot to include the proposed proclamation of a 120 000 ha (296 500 acres) Marine Protected Area which includes islands that are home to the world’s largest breeding populations of Cape gannets and the second largest breeding population of African penguins. An excursion to the Addo Elephant Park is a must when visiting this unique area. After the tour, you will be dropped off back at the hotel.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfast & Lunch is included today Dinner is for your own account
  • Activities
    Addo Elephant National Park Tour

Day 8: Port Elizabeth to Cape Town

Today you can have a sleep in and enjoy breakfast at your own leisure before checking out. Your driver will be waiting for you in the reception area at 11:00 am to transfer you to the airport for your flight to Cape Town International Airport. It’s about a 2-hour flight and on arrival in Cape Town, you make your way to the arrivals hall where a driver will be waiting for you with a name board. You are transferred to the Radisson Blu Hotel at the Cape Town Waterfront where you will be staying for the duration of your stay in Cape Town. After checking in you have the rest of the day to relax and spend at your own leisure.

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfast is included today Lunch & Dinner is for your own account
  • Transfers
    Transfer from Protea Hotel Port Elizabeth to the Airport and transfer from cape Town Airport to the Radisson Blu Hotel is included
  • Flights
    Flight from Port Elizabeth to Cape Town International Airport

Day 9-12: Spend days exploring Cape Town at your own leisure

Cape Town is one of South Africa’s most historically important cities. It was here, in the Mother City, where the first European colonists set foot in South Africa—which also marked the beginning of the South African slave trade. It was home to perhaps the world’s most famous political prisoner—Nelson Mandela—who was held on the tiny Robben Island in Table Bay. Here are a few of the landmark historical moments that make Cape Town the place it is today.

Would you believe the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway is nearly a century old? Before then, the only way up the mountain was by foot and only the most adventurous—or foolhardy—had been to its summit. On 4 October 1929, after two years of difficult and dangerous work, the first Cable Car chugged its way to the top filled with excited and probably very nervous visitors. It’s been upgraded a number of times since, and today the trip to the top is smooth sailing.

South Africa’s Mother City is certainly no matron. Exciting and exhilarating, beautiful and beguiling, it most likely she will steal your heart. When you arrive in Cape Town, you will instantly see why this gorgeous African city is a top global travel destination. Cape Town, in the Western Cape Province of South Africa, is one of the most popular cities in the world. It is the second largest city in South Africa, its seat of the National Parliament and legislative capital. The city center includes the site of the first European settlement in South Africa in 1652. Rich in history and culture, abundant in its natural beauty, precocious in its multi-culturalism and modern quality of life, Cape Town is an all-around stunner and many a visitor returns for more.

Some exciting things to do in and around Cape Town:

1. Catch a cable car up Table Mountain…

…then abseil back down. If you fancy following a rope 112 metres down Table Mountain (and we’d recommend it as the world’s highest commercial abseil even if it wasn’t for the views), then Abseil Africa (297 Long Street, 021 424 4760, www.abseilafrica.co.za) is your best bet. The less adventurous can catch the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway up… and back down. The quick ride will give you a bird’s eye view of the City Bowl. The summit can also be reached on foot through a multitude of beautiful albeit exhausting, trails. If you want a longer experience – spending up to five nights in tented camps – take the long-distance Hoerikwaggo Trail (www.sanparks.org) up from the Cape of Good Hope.

See all major attractions in Cape Town

2. Dive into shark-infested waters

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water… South Africa has an incredibly diverse shark population. A quarter of the world’s shark species (98 to be precise) dwell in South African waters and around 40 of these call the waters around Cape Town home.

Adrenalin junkies will want to make the 175-kilometre (110-mile) journey to Gansbaii, the white shark capital of the world. Shark cage diving is big business here and the tourism bureau endorses a whopping eight companies. Most charge around R1,100 for a session, but offer different packages (refreshments, shuttle service to and from Cape Town and so on) so phone around to find one that suits your needs. Try Great White Shark Tours (028 384 1418/083 300 2138/www.sharkcagediving.net); Marine Dynamics (028 384 1005/082 380 3405/www.sharkwatchsouthafrica.com); Shark Diving Unlimited (028 384 2787/082 441 4555/www.sharkdivingunlimited.com); Shark Lady 028 312 3287/083 746 8985/www.sharklady.co.za; UnrealDive (021 553 0748/083 273 4920/www.unrealdive.com); White Shark Ecoventures 021 532 0470/083 412 3733/www.white-shark-diving.com); or White Shark Projects (028 384 1774/076 245 5880/www.whitesharkprojects.co.za).

Alternatively, take the safer option and visit the Two Oceans Aquarium. The I&J Predator Tank is the pièce de résistance, with its mob of ocean predators, including ragged tooth sharks, blue stingrays and black mussel crackers, all drifting together in seeming harmony – until feeding time, that is (3pm).

See all zoos & wildlife parks in Cape Town

3. Get the gastronomy juices flowing

Cape Town’s best gastronomy is to be found dotted around the central city. Try Jardine for pared down, subtle flavours (dishes might include tender Chalmar beef fillet with oxtail, and tomatoey West Coast crayfish risotto), Bizerca Bistro for bistro classics with a fresh twist brought to you by award-winning chef Laurent Deslandes, or La Colombe, where chef Luke Dale-Roberts wows foodies from across the globe with the likes of springbok medallions with celeriac purée in a rich port and truffle sauce.

See all restaurants & cafés in Cape Town

4. Take a lesson in South African history

Robben Island and the District Six Museum are must-visits for anyone interested in South Africa’s period of apartheid, which came to an end in 1990.

The fascinating and inspirational Robben Island is a symbol both of centuries of cruel oppression and the triumph of hope. It has become synonymous with the former leader of the free and democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela, who spent 18 years in its maximum security prison.

The award-winning community museum, District Six lays bare the time when the ruling government declared the area ‘whites only’ and over 60,000 of its residents were forcibly taken from their homes and shipped out to the Cape Flats, before their houses were reduced to rubble.

See all museums & attractions in Cape Town

5. Explore the continent’s unique tastes and flavours

Cape Town offers adventurous eaters tastes from across the African continent, be it Xhosa fare like samp (crushed maize used in porridge) and marog (African spinach), spongy injeras (flatbreads) from Ethiopia, or Cape Malay cuisine.

For an authentic taste of Cape Malay food (samosas, lamb denningvleis, or mild chicken kalya) head to Biesmiellah’s. For dishes from across the local spectrum, try Nyoni’s Kraal, which serves braaivleis (barbecue), Malay curries, amangina (chicken feet) and smileys (sheep’s heads). For something more universally appealing, try the Africa Café, where you’ll have your pick of everything from Xhosa spinach patties and Mozambican peri-peri prawns to Ethiopian lamb. Mama Africa is another Pan-African treat, boasting a live (and loud) Congolese band and as much meat from feathered, scaled and furry beasts as you can eat, all served with a side of samp and pap (mealie meal porridge).

There’s more African food at Marco’s African Place. The menu includes specialities like Zwelethu’s Favourite Chicken (simmered with onions and peppers) and a platter of pan-fried springbok, ostrich and kudu fillets. End your meal with the tongue-in-cheek Group Areas dessert, comprised of white and dark chocolate mousses. You can taste the food of Ethiopia at the beautiful and authentically decorated Addis in Cape, where you are encouraged to eat with your hands, mopping up every drop sauce with pieces of injera (flatbread).

See all restaurants & cafés in Cape Town

6. Walk a Museum Mile

Running straight as an arrow down the leafy haven of Company’s Gardens (a symbolic silent bell stands testimony to the slaves who once toiled in this former vegetable garden) is the oak-lined pedestrian strip of Government Avenue, providing access to Adderley Street, the National Gallery (with permanent and temporary exhibitions showcasing South African art spanning the centuries, as well as the occasional retrospectives of the likes of Picasso and Marelene Dumas), Houses of Parliament (buildings which have seen their fair share of action though the years), the Iziko Museum (home to the animal kingdom in taxidermy form), the  Iziko Planetarium (which covers all things celestial), and the Iziko Slave Lodge (built by the Dutch East India Company to house up to 9,000 slaves, convicts and the mentally ill).

See all museums & attractions in Cape Town

7. Drink in the Long Street vibe

Long Street is the place for partying: bars like Julep (one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets, with bare brick walls, comfy couches and a spectacular selection of cocktails) and the Waiting Room (a cosy, unpretentious bar with retro chairs and lighting of the kind that your granny might have had. There’s also a stunning roof deck for hanging out on those hot summer nights), while Neighbourhood has a laid-back feel and a vast balcony from which to watch the goings-on on the street below.

See all bars & pubs in Cape Town

8. Dip your toes into hidden waters

To avoid squealing kids, whirring jet-skis and wayward Frisbees, head to one of these secluded sandy shores for some undisturbed rest and relaxation.

Beta Beach Situated a convenient ten minutes’ drive from the city centre, this postage-stamp-sized beach is flanked by big boulders, which makes it great for swimming as well as uninterrupted sun-bathing.

Oudekraal Oudekraal lies right next door to Beta Beach. It offers a protected cove at the bottom of a steep set of stairs, which is surrounded by a thicket of milkwood trees. Since this area forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, there’s a R10 entrance fee, but it’s a negligible amount to pay for the splendour that waits inside.

Smitswinkelbaai Further out of town, and heading in the direction of Cape Point, keep a lookout for the tiny gravelled parking area by the side of the road between Simon’s Town and the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. Once there, dash across the road and commence a 15-minute downward amble along the overgrown footpath until you reach the unspoilt, isolated Smitswinkelbaai. The view of the lush valley is well worth the extra effort involved in getting here and the calm water makes for great snorkelling.

Tietiesbaai Just under two hours’ drive from town, Tietiesbaai is situated in the Cape Columbine Reserve on the West Coast. It boasts carpets of colourful wild flowers in spring and a guaranteed soundtrack of silence thanks to the prohibition of anything that blares, barks, roars and whirrs.

9. Take home an African memento

Savvy visitors know to come with a half-empty suitcase ready to fill up with well-priced buys for themselves, friends and families, a portion of which is reserved for African mementos. Visit the Pan African Market (a gem for Victorian tiling, old fok art, and custom-tailored garments) and Greenmarket Square (offers a full range of African folk art plus well-priced CDs and souvenir clothing) for a real-deal bargaining experience.

For quality gifts and souvenirs head to Heartworks (abuzz with a broad range of local crafts hailing from locations as diverse as rural Africa and cutting-edge urban studios), Imagenius (a stylish horn of plenty, fusing neo-Rococo with modern third-world knick-knacks), and Baraka (something for all tastes, ranging from wire woven baskets, cacti and pop-art pics to authentic African masks and beautifully bound Indian leather notebooks). For homeware make tracks to Africa Nova (an encyclopedic treasure chest of Pan-Africa objets) or African Image, where Africana is juxtaposed with modern transitional pieces, and for antiques get along to Lütge Gallery.

See all shops in Cape Town

10. Waddle down to a penguin colony

Enjoy some beach time with the endearing jackass penguins (so-called because of their unrefined singing voices that resemble those of braying jackasses) who call the African Penguin Colony at Boulder’s Beach home. For R5 extra, you can spy on slippery sea life or beach babes through the binoculars dotting the walkway.

See all zoos & wildlife parks in Cape Town

11. Eat something fishy

Some of the world’s finest tuna can be found off South Africa’s shores and luckily Cape Town’s chefs snap some of it up before it’s shipped to Japan. Order fresh tuna just-seared – anything more and the flavour will be destroyed. The prawns you’ll find on local menus are generally well priced and portions plentiful – ask for yours peri-peri: the spice makes all the difference. Capetonians are big on line-caught fish and if yellowtail or cob is on offer, be sure to order it. But try to steer clear of kingklip, as it’s on the soon-to-be-threatened list. Restaurants are increasingly aware of eco-friendly seafood choices and if you’re not sure that the special of the day is above board, simply text the fish name to 079 499 8795 and you’ll get an SMS response giving the red (no), orange (maybe) or green (yes) status of the fish you’re thinking of ordering.

Not sure where to start? If you’re watching your wallet, the cheap and cheerful offerings of the Ocean Basket chain are ideal (www.oceanbasket.co.za; branches around the city). Nobu is on the opposite end of the price scale, but a culinary and seafood experience par excellence, as is Baia. Miller’s Thumb in the City Bowl is a family favourite, with the freshest fare treated with care. Willoughby & Co, at the V&A Waterfront, remains one of the city’s most popular sushi and seafood destinations, while you can’t go wrong with fish and chips from Texies on Grand Parade.

See all restaurants & cafés in Cape Town

12. Relax and unwind in a palace of pampering

Cape Town has all the ingredients for an alluring city break: sun, sea, shopping and thankfully, if hedonism’s your bag, quality spas too. Here’s our round-up of the best rest and relaxation spots.

Cape Town’s best spas

13. Toast the Cape Winelands

It’s only an hour’s drive from Cape Town – though it’s a very scenic hour – but the famous Cape Winelands feel like a different world. There are rolling vineyards, towering mountains, historic wine estates and more than enough wine to keep even the thirstiest old soak satisfied.

Cape wine enjoys an impressive reputation, and the Winelands are home to most of South Africa’s premier wine estates. The good news is that nearly every farm and estate in the area offers wine-tasting: you’ll need a designated driver, though.

Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch are the largest, nearest and most famous towns in the region, but the further you go the more you’ll discover. The Winelands, and their rustic, rural gems such as Robertson and Montagu, offer more than just wine presses and vineyards.

Visit the Cape Town & Western Cape tourist board website (www.tourismcapetown.co.za) for general information about the Winelands, and the following regional tourist board websites for specifics: Paarl (www.paarlonline.com), Franschhoek (www.franschhoek.org.za) and Stellenbosch (www.tourismstellenbosch.co.za).

Fairview Wine Estate
The cheeky goats in front of the Goatshed Restaurant love kidding around for the cameras. They have completely stolen the limelight from all that this lovely wine estate has to offer: three wineries producing well-loved wines; a cheesery and a range of top-notch olive oils.

Suid-Agter-Paarl Road, Southern Paarl (021 863 2450/www.fairview.co.za).

Stellenbosch American Express Wine Route
At this dedicated Wine Route office, staff are on hand to help you tailor-make your own tour to suit your priorities: big, classic wines or new, unusual tastes; restaurants; or child-friendly activities.

Wine Route Office, 36 Market Street (021 886 4310/www.wineroute.co.za).

14. Swan about in the St-Tropez of Cape Town

Dubbed the St-Tropez of Cape Town, this classy cove offers an array of swish bars and restaurants, Riviera-style palm trees and yachts bobbing on the water. As you cruise down the Victoria Road stretch, the rows of ritzy drinking holes with their blinged-up, tanned-to-a-tee and beautiful patrons mean that you’re unlikely to be winning any best-dressed trophies should you turn up in flip-flops and a weather-beaten sarong. At the northern, and less busy, end of the beach surfers wait for a few killer waves; at the southern end, you can practise your bobbing skills in the tidal pool.

Read more about Cape Town’s areas

15. Go to the heart of the art scene

At the foot of Devil’s Peak, the tattered suburb of Woodstock is fast becoming Cape Town’s new art centre. Worn Victorian buildings are getting new licks of paint, while derelict warehouses are being transformed into swish art galleries. Not too long ago the area’s gang-ridden reputation branded it a no-go territory for the affluent. Today, the gallery names lining the streets read like a who’s-who of the local contemporary art scene.

Indie outfit What if the World (created as a community-conscious platform for emerging young artists to strut their stuff) was the first to take the plunge; other stalwarts soon followed, with the Goodman Gallery Cape (the creator of which made the careers of the biggest names in South African art today) pioneering the migration and Michael Stevenson (which showcases an international collection of contemporary art in a swish, industrial-looking space) and Bell-Roberts (where the focus is on prize-winning Cape-based art stars) following hot on its heels.

See all art venues in Cape Town

16. Sip the best afternoon tea in the world

Get ready to arch your pinky: the Mount Nelson Hotel, known by locals as the Pink Palace, boasts the best afternoon tea in the world – and a host of international foodies and travel writers agree.

See all restaurants & cafés in Cape Town

17. Pick up some local bling

The African continent is rich in both precious gemstones and metals, as well as jewellery design talent.

If a visit to the V&A Waterfront is on the cards, there are plenty of slick jewellery spots to visit, while contemporary jewellery-lovers feel right at home at bastion of local design Tinsel (021 448 6183, www.tinsel.co.za) at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock, featuring cutting-edge pieces by a mixed bag of designers. Olive Green Cat (79 Kloof Street, Gardens, 021 424 1101, www.olivegreencat.com) is the shared shop and studio of young guns Ida-Elsje and Philippa Green, and a must-stop for those who like to stay on the cutting edge of jewellery design.

And for an all-in-one experience, visit the newly opened Jewellery Avenue (021 446 4600) in the heart of the city (corner of Hout and Burg streets), with more than 20 stores carrying everything from Afro-chic crafty items to custom-made pieces and bargain diamond buys.

Visit Afrogem (64 New Church Street, Gardens, 021 424 0848) for a fascinating factory tour and insight into the jewels that come from the continent and the Gold of Africa Museum to see the largest assortment of African gold objects in the world.

See all museums & attractions in Cape Town

18. Discover the Cape Jazz rhythm

Cape Town’s jazz scene is a crucial part of its heritage. The city’s rich jazz tradition stems from artists finding inspiration in their struggles during the apartheid years. Since then, the music has evolved into its own genre, Cape Jazz, a style with a distinct African spice. It’s a way of life in the Cape – and you’ll find it everywhere from the heart of the townships to the most lavish cigar lounge.

The number of jazz festivals and venues speaks for itself, and events like the Cape Town International Jazz Festival (021 422 5651/www.capetownjazzfest.com) and the Jazzathon (021 696 6961/082 450 0079/www.jazzathon.co.za) draw enthusiasts from all over the world.

Read more about festivals & events in Cape Town

19. Knock back a glass of Karate Water

Brandy and coke is a favourite local tipple, known colloquially as ‘Klippies and coke’, after popular local brandy Klipdrift. Another local name for it is Karate Water (because consumption is said to induce drunken bravado).

See all bars & pubs in Cape Town

20. Pull on some skinny jeans

Indie rock in Cape Town has become a genre that is embraced by almost every subculture from  emo girls with asymmetrical hair and impossibly tight jeans to  jock types more typically taken with Jagerbombs and rugby.

From the guitar-heavy indie pop sounds of Eat This, Horse! – who can be heard at venues like Evol and Zula Sound Bar – to the grooving synthesizers of Unit R, Capetonian bands span the genre.

Look out for Capetonian bands Dirty Skirt (www.myspace.com/thedirtyskirts), Ashtray Electric (www.myspace.com/ashtrayelectric), The Beams (www.myspace.com/thebeamsband) and New Loud Rockets (www.myspace.com/newloudrockets1) frequenting the stage at venues including Obz Café and Klein Libertas Theatre.

See all music venues in Cape Town

  • Where you will stay
  • Room type
    Standard Room
  • Meals
    Breakfasts are included daily Lunches & Dinners are for your own account these days

Day 13: Cape Town to London Heathrow Airport

Today is your last day in Cape Town and time to do some last minute shopping. We have arranged for you to check out but leave your luggage at the hotel so you can spend the day in Cape Town without all your baggage. Make your way back to the hotel by 3:00 pm as your drive will be waiting in the reception area to transfer you to the Airport for your flight back to London Heathrow Airport.

The flight departs Cape Town International Airport at 8:00 pm and you are scheduled to arrive back at Heathrow Airport at around 8:00 am local time.

  • Meals
    Breakfast is included today Lunch is for your own account today and dinner will be provided on the flight
  • Transfers
    Transfer from Radisson Blu Hotel to Cape Town International Airport is included
  • Flights
    Flight from Cape Town International Airport to London Heathrow Airport is included

Optional Add On

For those who may have a few more days available in Africa, we suggest on day 13 instead of departing back home you enjoy a luxury journey by rail from Cape Town to Johannesburg which takes 2 nights.

This 1 600-kilometer meander is a perfect illustration of South Africa as a world in one country. Travel the grasslands of the gold-rich Highveld to the haunting barrenness of the Great Karoo; trundle through the spectacular mountain ranges and scenic Winelands of the Cape, a visit to the historic village of Matjiesfontein; this authentic perfectly preserved Victorian Village – founded by Mr. Logan as a refreshment stop in 1890 – also boasts an impressive museum on the platform. Another stop is made in Kimberley providing an opportunity to enjoy a city tour and a visit to the Diamond Mine Museum and the world’s largest man-made excavation, the Big Hole.

Day 14: Arrival at London Heathrow Airport

Today you are scheduled to arrive at London Heathrow Airport at approximately 8:00 am local time. On arrival, your Ultimate South African Holiday Experience comes to an end.

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