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Our Southern Africa Itinerary Fall 2024

Over the past few years, I’ve had a few clients and friends indicate interest in traveling to Africa to experience all the great things it has to offer. I thought it might be worthwhile to sha

re our upcoming itinerary for next October 2024 in case anyone would like to join us.

We plan to leave North America to arrive in Cape Town on October 20th, 2024 and at this point, our primary itinerary ends on Thursday, October 31, 2024 in Victoria Falls. Our itinerary includes:

- 3 nights in Cape Town, one of my favorite cities in the world

- 2 nights in Franschhoek, one of South Africa’s must visit locations for wine and food lovers in the Western Cape

- 4 nights at a beautiful safari lodge in the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park, and

- 2 nights at a lovely lodge located on the mighty Zambezi River near the famous Victoria Falls on the Zimbabwe side.

Here’s a day-to-day itinerary as put together by an excellent ‘preferred’ company that does a great job with ensuring the entire trip is seamless for all travelers and they’ve been in the business for a very long time.

Day 1: Sunday, October 20, 2024 - VIP Meet and Greet at Cape Town International Airport

On arrival, we will be met, assisted through immigration with luggage, accompanied through customs into the arrivals hall and then privately driven to Cape Town’s fabulous “One & Only” Hotel.

Framed by the towering natural wonder of Table Mountain, One & Only Cape Town is located moments away from the vibrant Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. This luxury Cape Town resort is designed to celebrate the city's wine, art, design and spirit, balancing contemporary glamour with an authentic South African style.

One & Only Hotel, Cape Town - Photo courtesy of Virtuoso

Day 2: Monday, October 21, 2024 – Private Cape Town City Half Day Experience

Today, we’ll explore South Africa's oldest city, affectionately known as the Mother City. On this half-day tour, we will encounter unique cultures, architecture, historical sites and unforgettable scenery.

Cape Town - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Highlights of this day include:

The Bo Kaap or Cape Malay Quarter which has a rich cultural, religious and architectural heritage, and is a mixed and cosmopolitan neighborhood.

Table Mountain (Weather Permitting) offers spectacular views in all directions and gives a bird's eye view of the city. There are numerous pathways on top, viewing decks, souvenir shops, and a self-service restaurant and coffee shop.

Table Mountain - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

‘Company's Garden’ is the oldest garden in the country and was formally established in 1652 by Dutch settlers. It is located in the middle of the Central Business District and is home to a beautiful rose garden, Japanese garden, fishpond and bird aviary. It is adjacent to numerous important landmarks, including the present-day Houses of Parliament, the Iziko South Africa Museum and Planetarium, the South Africa National Gallery and other historical buildings.

The Castle of Good Hope is one of the oldest buildings in South Africa and was built between 1666 and 1679 by the Dutch East India Company as a maritime replenishment station. It is a fort rather than a castle. The Castle Military Museum depicts Cape military history with one of the most impressive sword collections in the country. The William Fehr Collection of historical paintings and period furniture has a special relevance to the Cape. The Key Ceremony is performed during weekdays, followed by the firing of the Signal Cannon. Horse and carriage rides are also available.

Castle of Good Hope - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Green Market Square, one of Cape Town's oldest markets, is set on a cobbled square and still has an exciting buzz with some colorful and eccentric characters. You can pick up local art, crafts, fabrics and artifacts from almost every country on the African continent.

Day 3: Tuesday, October 22, 2024 - Private Cape Point Full Day Experience

Today, we’ll travel around the Cape Peninsula, named by early explorers as the 'Fairest Cape'. On this full day tour, we will encounter beautiful beaches, remarkable scenery, the mythical meeting place of the two oceans and local wildlife. As this is a private experience our guide will discuss the various options available to include during our Cape Point tour.

Beaches in Cape Town - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

The Mother City has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world including Camps Bay and Clifton with spectacular views and sunsets. The Cape of Good Hope is home to an array of fynbos, over 250 species of birds, buck, baboons, and Cape Mountain zebra. False Bay has one of the Cape Peninsula’s most tranquil and picturesque stretches of coastline. Known for its scenic beauty, it encompasses small seaside villages along the coastline. The most popular small towns include the historical naval village of Simon’s Town, Muizenberg - known for its epic waves, St James with its colorful huts, Kalk Bay for great seafood restaurants and Fish Hoek. Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town is home to the Jackass African penguin, now said to number over 3000, though the species is listed as endangered. Wooden walkways allow visitors to view the penguins in their natural habitat.

Cape of Good Hope - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Boulders Beach, Cape Town - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Day 4: Wednesday, October 23, 2024 - Private Transfer from Our Cape Town Hotel to Our Franschhoek Hotel

The Franschhoek valley, with its Cape Dutch heritage and strong French influences, is renowned as one of the world's finest food and wine destinations. Leeu Estates encompasses an exclusive boutique hotel, winery and wellness spa set among vineyards, gardens and fynbos in the scenic Franschhoek valley, minutes away from the village of Franschhoek and just under a one-hour drive to Cape Town. There are a variety of dining options available from fine dining, including great wineries to the informal setting of a Microbrewery located in The Village.

Leeu Estates, Franschhoek, South Africa - Photo courtesy of Virtuoso

Day 5: Thursday, October 24, 2024 – Private Cape Winelands Full Day Experience

The Cape Winelands are amongst the most scenic in the world. A visual feast of lush green valleys, rugged mountains, fine cuisine, and world-class wine producing estates make up the Cape Winelands. The most popular and well-known wine estates are in Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Wine Tastings will be planned according to our wine preferences at some of the premier estates in the Cape Winelands.

Paarl is one of the oldest towns in South Africa. It offers historical charm, culture, architectural heritage, wine and fruit farms with breathtaking scenery. Main Street Paarl is a colorful collection of beautifully restored buildings representing Cape Dutch, Edwardian, Victorian and even Art Deco styles. Places of interest include the Afrikaans language Monument; the oldest Dutch Reformed Church in the country; and The Groot Drankenstein Prison, the last place in which Nelson Mandela was incarcerated.

Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa, full of charming scenes and rich in history. Old oak trees line the streets and frame the most beautiful surviving examples of Cape Dutch, Georgian, and Victorian architecture in the Cape.

Franschhoek was founded by the French Huguenots over 350 years ago, and widely regarded as the culinary capital of South Africa. It lies against the backdrop of the majestic Franschhoek and Drakenstein mountains. It’s beautiful setting with many guesthouses, café lined streets, antique stores, art galleries, bakeries and the chocolatier demonstrate a truly French flair. Places of interest include the French Huguenot Museum, Vintage Motor Museum, and Chocolate Tasting at the boutique Chocolatier.

Day 6: Friday, October 25, 2024 – Private Departure Transfer Franschhoek Hotel to Cape Town Airport to board flight from Cape Town to Skukuza Airport in Kruger National Park. Upon arrival, another private transfer will provide transportation to Sabi Sabi Selati Camp in the private game reserve by the same name, i.e. Sabi Sabi.

From Day 6 through to Day 10: Friday, October 25 to Tuesday, October 29, 2024 – Luxury Suite at Sabi Sabi Selati Camp

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp - Photo Courtesy of Swain Destinations

Our stay includes all meals, all drinks (excluding French Champagne and Private Collection Cellar Wines), open vehicle safaris, environmental awareness walking safaris, WiFi and transfers to and from the Sabi Sabi airstrip.

Fashioned in a colonial “Out of Africa” style, this award-winning, exclusive, luxury lodge comprises six opulent thatched suites, each with full bathroom en-suite and private alfresco shower nestled under majestic indigenous trees. Previously created without electricity to preserve the ambiance, now overhead fans and air-conditioning add a touch of comfort.

Sabi Sabi Selati Camp - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Each day from Day 6 to Day 10 - Enjoy Activities at Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve

Southern Africa captivates everyone who is lucky enough to experience its power and magic. The concept of ‘Safari’ conjures up images of adventure, dramatic landscapes and exciting wildlife. Sabi Sand Game Reserve has no fences between the reserve and the Kruger Park so that animals can move freely through this unspoiled part of the ancient African continent. The Reserve has a great biodiversity so that there's an excellent chance of close encounters with the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard), as well as wild dogs and cheetah. With over 300 bird species, the reserve is a birdwatcher’s delight.

Lions - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Safaris take place each morning and evening in open safari vehicles that drive through a wide variety of habitats, allowing visitors to view the vast interactions of the wild. After breakfast, we can go on a guided walking trail in the natural environment. The dedicated, highly trained and experienced Rangers lead us to discover miracles of nature you may never have dreamed existed.

Safaris in Open Air Vehicles - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Day 10: Tuesday, October 29, 2024 – Private Departure Transfer Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport. Fly to Victoria Falls Airport. Private transfer from VF Airport to Old Drift Lodge

Old Drift Lodge is ideally situated within Zambezi National Park. The activities offered emphasize the rich natural environment, focusing on the abundance of wildlife that roams through the park and swims beneath the surface of the Zambezi River. The park can be explored on a 4 x 4 game drive, river safari and walking safari, satisfying guests needs to experience every aspect of this natural utopia.

Old Drift Lodge - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Victoria Falls are a truly awe-inspiring experience. This tour is conducted by a qualified guide. We will enjoy complimentary transfers and the fully inclusive use of the Lookout Café, perched 394 feet above the turbulent rapids of the Zambezi River. The café overhangs the spectacular chasm of the Batoka Gorge, just down from the iconic Victoria Falls Bridge, which forms part of its backdrop.

With the Zambezi River at our doorstep, river safaris are such an amazing experience in order to be able to witness elephants crossing the river, crocodiles lazing on the banks and plenty of hippo sightings. There's nothing quite like this experience!

Zambezi River Safari - Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

Day 10 through to Day 12: Tuesday, October 29 to Thursday, October 31, 2024 - Old Drift Lodge Tented Suite

Our stay includes all meals and drinks, complimentary mini bars in the rooms, return airport transfers, shuttle to Victoria Falls town, laundry, Emergency Medical Evacuation coverage, Tourism levy, VAT on accommodation, meals and drinks.

Located in the historic heart of Victoria Falls Town, Old Drift Lodge is a bush paradise that exudes an old-world charm amidst modern luxuries. It lies upstream of the iconic Victoria Falls, on the banks of the Zambezi River. The lodge boasts luxury accommodation overlooking the pristine Zambezi National Park, a mere 4.3 miles from the mighty Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Old Drift Lodge is nestled within a wild paradise frequented by elephant, buffalo, herds of sable, eland, zebra, giraffe, kudu, waterbuck and impala.

Victoria Falls

The spacious canvas en-suite rooms exhibit an air of elegance that blends in seamlessly with the natural environment. Each suite has its very own viewing deck, with a private plunge pool. The suites are resplendent with stylish furnishings and fittings, accentuated by an indoor and outdoor shower, private plunge pool and star bed. There's even an outdoor bath that allows guests to submerge themselves in hot, bubbly water while listening to the river rush by.

Photo courtesy of Swain Destinations

The Old Drift Lodge presents exquisitely crafted dishes that pair modern cooking techniques with fresh local produce to ensure that every meal is uniquely indulgent. Food should reflect and celebrate a sense of place, and there is no place more heavenly than the Old Drift Lodge.

Day 12: Thursday, October 31, 2024 - Departure Transfer Old Drift Lodge to Victoria Falls Airport. Our primary itinerary ends here. We’ll be carrying on to Maun, Botswana via plane to stay for 3 nights at Wilderness’ Little Vumbura Camp until Sunday, November 3rd, 2024. This can be included if anyone is interested.

I can't recommend visiting Southern Africa enough. We've been here multiple times and keep wanting to return to this magical place. It's truly very special and a well-worth bucket list trip! Join us and I'm certain you won't be sorry you did.

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