(Cape Town, Hermanus, Sabi Sands)
This is an all encompassing trip that takes in all of the highlights of southern Africa. A private guided tour of the top sights Cape Town including the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve and Cape Point, Simon's Town and penguins at Boulders Beach. Nestled between Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean and famous for its beaches, this is a cosmopolitan city with superb cuisine and world class vineyards only an hour's drive away. You'll then experience the magic of Grootbos, spend your days at the sea watching whales or having your own private picnic. You'll fly from here to the exclusive Sabi Sand Game Reserve to enjoy the best Big Five game viewing in the country. Located on the north east corner of the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sand is unarguably the most renowned game park in South Africa. Included is your flight back to Johannesburg, to connect to your international flight.
This special is only for travel before December 15, 2012
Upon arrival into South Africa you will be met at the door of the plane and escorted through Customs and Immigration avoiding any queues. You will also receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary, maps, restaurant suggestions, top tips for exploring each city or region and a 24 hour concierge service (for restaurant reservations, spa treatments, child minders, day tours etc.)
Enjoy a private transfer between the airport and your hotel.
The Cape Cadogan boutique hotel is quintessential Cape Town, with each of its twelve bedrooms individually decorated with touches of history blended with contemporary chic and bohemian influences. Guestrooms feature comfortable, high-quality linens and beddings, top-end bathing amenities, and most importantly a spacious sense of homeliness. Like the city, oblivious to the world rushing by, Cape Cadogan has a laidback quality, which makes you want to sink deeper into your armchair and just soak it all in. You can take a walk to the buzzing bistros, boutiques, cafes and restaurants of Kloof Street, where you can enjoy the energy of the city and truly experience Cape Town.
Today you will be met by your guide for an exploration of Cape Town, known affectionately as the Mother City. Your tour will take in the Houses of Parliament, the Castle (built between 1666 and 1679, this is South Africa’s oldest building), 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 Peninsula (cable car fee is not included as it is weather dependent). On your descent, you stop at the Bo Kaap, home to the Cape Malay community, with its cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses.
Table Mountain Cableway will be closed for annual maintenance on Monday 28 July 14 to Sunday 10 August 14.
Sign up for optional activities (not included in tour price); diving to see Great White sharks, whale watching, visit to Robben Island to see Mandela's prison, visit to local townships, walking tours, visit winelands, cycling, cultural tours and more.
This morning you will be met at your hotel and transferred along the R44 from Gordon’s Bay to Hermanus. This is regarded as one of the top scenic drives in South Africa, hugging the coastline with amazing views of False Bay. Between June and November, whales are often sighted on this drive. The route winds through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, which is known for its beautiful fynbos. En route to Grootbos we will visit Stony Point in Betty’s Bay to view a colony with over 3500 African Penguins (the same penguins, guests would experience in Boulder’s). There are incredible pathways leading past the penguin nests and you will have many photographic opportunities of these amazing creatures.
Nestled between mountain and sea, the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve is a five-star eco-paradise showcasing the incredible Flora and Marine life of Gansbaai in the Southern Tip of Africa. Home of the "Marine Big 5" - whales, sharks, dolphins, seals and penguins; and with unparalleled floral diversity, Grootbos offers guests a one-of-a-kind luxury African experience. The 27 superbly designed lodges and villas offer luxury and comfort. Making a point to sourcing all of his ingredients close to home, Chef Duane Lewis promises delicious, outstanding cuisine. All of the wines served at the restaurant, with the exception of sparkling wines and champagne, come from within the Overberg region. After an action packed day of eco activities, a therapeutic full body massage is a must, leaving you in a state of absolute calm at the onsite spas. Venture out and enjoy whale watching, shark cage diving, horseback riding and more! For guests wishing for something a little lower key, there are beautiful flowers scattered throughout the reserve – perfect for a relaxing walk and bird watching.
Grootbos works with Marine Dynamics located at Kleinbaai Harbour (a mere drive of about 15 minutes), which we regard as the top sharking company in South Africa. It is not only known for its extensive conservation efforts, but also for their highly qualified marine biologists and staff on board, which makes it a truly amazing experience. Transfers from Grootbos to the harbour are included so you don’t have to rise early. After the boat trip you'll come back for a warm shower and a light lunch is already waiting for you.
Grootbos offers many wonderful adventurous trips that weave throughout the majestic reserve; it is the perfect place to recapture one’s outdoor spirit through the panoramic and beautiful scenery. On a guided walk through the nature reserve trails, visitors are far more likely to encounter birdlife which they would not have been able to spot and discuss if they had been in a vehicle. The Grootbos hiking trails offer so much to explore above the obvious flora and fauna. Animal tracks, local insects, flower details and much more are far more easily observed on the pleasant guided walks and hikes through the Grootbos reserve.
Other activities incldue: forest walks, visit the historic Klipgat Caves, spend a day at the beach, or enjoy 4×4 reserve drives through the last of the Cape’s Milkwood forests and the beautiful floral Kingdom. On another day you could choose to go horseback riding. One of the most satisfying and enriching ways of exploring Grootbos Nature Reserve is by horse back. The horses at Grootbos are ideal for beginners and experienced horse riders alike. Experienced staff look after 18 horses at the Grootbos stables, and accompany guests on rides.
The Overberg has long been known for its great wines, starting with Hamilton Russell and Bouchard Finlayson in the late 1980’s. During the last seven years, the area has become known as the new vogue area for wines in South Africa. This area boasts over 70 wine estates, many of them with award winning wines. Grootbos has decided to offer a guided wine tour, visiting three wine estates, where guests have the chance to interact with the winemakers during the wine tasting, and including a visit to the true southernmost tip of Africa – Cape Agulhas, where your guests will enjoy a hearty picnic lunch. The wine route will take guests also through the small village of Elim, which is the second oldest missionary station in South Africa, with the only functional watermill in South Africa.
Grootbos boasts the last of the Cape’s Milkwood Forests and the beautiful Cape Floral Kingdom. For those who wish to venture farther you can sign up for other activities as well. Whale Watching - By land, sea or plane (from June to December). Shark Cage Diving - By air, boat or cage diving. Big 5 Marine Tour - By boat, enjoy sights such as penguins, seals, dolphins, sharks, or even whales. Scenic Flights - View mountains, vineyards, shipwrecks and even sharks and whales. View the southern most part of the African land mass from this unique perspective.
Today you'll depart seaside Hermanus and enjoy a drive through scenic mountains back to Franschhoek.
Take a flight from Cape Town to Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport today. The flight duration is approximately 1.5 hrs.
Transfer between your Sabi Lodge and the KMIA Airport. This drive should take approx. 1.5 to 3hrs. Delays may occur in rainy seasons and drive time will vary depending on the location of your lodge.
This afternoon you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your afternoon game drive. Sunrise and sunset are when the animals are most active. You'll be out in the reserve for a few hours before returning back to the lodge to freshen up for dinner. A private vehicle can be booked at an additional cost dependant on availability.
The spirit of safari comes alive at historic &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp. Step back in time into the gracious early Transvaal atmosphere of this original 1920s homestead and marvel at the spectacular views of the unspoiled landscape that surrounds the Sand River from each of the 18 guest suites. Rolling lawns carve out a niche in a wild and tumbling wilderness that host memorable game viewing in one of the most renowned Big Five wildlife regions in the world. Spacious sitting, dining and bar areas steeped in the colonial atmosphere of gracious style and luxury contain mementoes of a time long past, while the untamed wilderness outside whispers a promise of adventures not to be forgotten. A sparkling swimming pool boasts a magnificent view over the valley of the Sand River.
Before first light you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your early morning game drive. Sunrise and sunset are when the animals are most active. You'll be out in the reserve for a few hours before returning back to the lodge for breakfast. A private vehicle can be booked at an additional cost depending on availability.
Take your flight from Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! I seriously doubt that two other people could have made this trip as fantastic and special as they did! Within days, it was like 4 friends were traveling together through the country.
Ismail did the tour in English and Spanish for us to ensure that we fully understood everything we saw and experienced. His passion for his country and culture was incredible and we learned an astounding amount about Moroccan history, food, agriculture, business, religion, fashion, and people. Through his shared knowledge, we have a deep love and appreciation of Morocco that we have would not have had otherwise.
We were so happy with all of the amazing places Ismail took us which included the common tourist spots but also a ton of local places tourist never experience. We were exceedingly thrilled and it enriched our vacation beyond any expectations. Ismail even helped us get jobs in Morocco; I kissed snakes and Armando worked in a public bakery. ;-) (see the pics)
We are also aware that we would not have experienced 10% of what we did had we done this trip alone or been on a large bus tour. Clearly, you have given us a wonderful gift of special memories, which we will never forget. We both want to return to see the north and of course we want to have Ismail and Said with us.
Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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