(Cape Town, Franschhoek, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape Reserves)
Receive 1 night free safari at Kariega River Lodge plus a 4th night Free in Cape town when you travel between May 1 - Jul 31, 2015!
This private guided itinerary features the top sights of Cape Town, waddle with penguins, taste the varietals in the winelands, and explore the gorgeous garden route where you can wake with meerkats, play with lemurs, cheetah and lion cubs, feed ostriches, explore caves and more with your own private guide and vehicle. Rounding off the trip, enjoy an exclusive game viewing MALARIA FREE in the Eastern Cape where you'll enjoy game drive, bush walks, kayaking and boat excursions, beaches and more! This is safari like you never dreamed. In the evenings, relax in hand picked accommodations that offer elegant surroundings and the finest attention to detail.
Beginning in Cape Town, take in breath-taking views of cosmopolitan Cape Town from your vantage point high on Table Mountain; explore the cobbled streets and brightly colored houses of the traditional Cape Malay community at Bo Kaap; witness the magic of the place where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet at False Bay; and kayak with the African penguins at their breeding colony at Boulders Beach. Take a drive through stunning winelands, picturesque coastlines and superb mountain ranges as you explore the garden route. Enjoy excellent wine tastings in Stellenbosch or Franschhoek. Head for Cango Valley and experience the vast halls and towering formations of the spectacular Cango Caves. In Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay or Knysna, a plethora of activities await; from Featherbed Nature Reserve to wild cat encounters, feeding or riding ostriches, elephant interactions or elephant ride, hiking or adventure tours like zip-lining or bungee jumping, and even dinner on an old fashioned steam boat - the opportunities are seemingly endless. A stop in Port Elizabeth will put you in the midst of some of the most gorgeous stretches of beach in all of Africa for a little R&R and shopping.
Rounding off the trip, head off for safari in the private reserves of the Eastern Cape, malaria free! Kariega Game Reserve is a family-owned and operated private game reserve in South Africa stretching across 10,000 hectares of pristine wilderness in the Eastern Cape. The Reserve is situated along the famous Garden Route, making it the perfect Big 5 South African safari destination to compliment a Cape Town visit and a trip along the country’s beautiful coast. This malaria-free South African game park is home to some of the richest biodiversity in Southern Africa, as well as two abundant rivers. Experience close up viewing of the Big 5 – lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo – as well as multitudes of other South African safari wildlife from the comfort of an open game drive vehicle on day and night safaris. Take a boat cruise or kayak down the Kariega River sighting abundant river birdlife or, for something completely different, head to the beach with a picnic lunch! This African adventure will be one you’ll never forget!
Kensington Tours offers local support in each region you visit, another reason we deliver unbeatable value. Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Upon arrival into Cape Town, you will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs. You will then be shown to your onward flight, or to your awaiting transfer vehicle. Should you be collecting a rental car, you will be shown to the vehicle rental collection office.
Upon arrival you will receive all of your necessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary with pick up and drop of times. Includes a Kensington Tours branded envelope with summary itinerary, e-tickets and map.
Enjoy a private transfer between the airport and your hotel.
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 Cable Car will be closed from 27 July until 10 August for annual maintenance.
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.
Today you embark on a full day tour of the Cape Peninsula. You take in the beaches of Clifton and Camps Bay, before crossing over to Hout Bay, where you may choose to join an optional boat cruise to Seal Island. From here you drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve via Chapman’s Peak, one of the world’s most breathtaking coastal drives, where you will board a funicular to the top of the Peninsula to witness the symbolic meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans as well as have spectacular views over False Bay. You enjoy lunch near here (not included – own account) before continuing to Simonstown, the naval base, and visiting the African Penguin breeding colony at Boulders Beach. En route back you stop at the world renowned Kirstenbosch Gardens before returning back to your hotel.
Prepare for what is considered by many as one of the most scenic and picturesque drives in Africa. This delightful drive begins as you depart the chic cityscape of Cape Town, winding through the heart of the Cape Winelands and onward around the superb mountain ranges, vineyards and Cape Dutch style homesteads.
You'll head off to the epically beautiful wine country via the popular N2 roadway to the epicenter of South Africa's wine industry in Stellenbosch, world renowned for its rich wine culture, beautifully rugged mountain backdrops and ever-changing colorful vineyards. Enjoy a walk through the canal-lined avenues, shaded by ancient oak trees which surround the historical structures and buildings. The sheer number of wine estates in the Stellenbosch area makes for some great wine tasting experience, as you’re sure to understand during your first of many wine tastings today. You'll then travel over the Helshoogte Pass to the town of Franschhoek. This dainty town dates back to the 17th century and was founded by the French Huguenots who settled here. Also billed as the "Gourmet Capital of South Africa", to this day this charming location still boasts its French inspiration through its cuisine, culture, and architecture. Here you'll also enjoy some further wine tasting before heading to your hotel. Please note that not all wine tastings are included, additional tastings will require payment on-site.
This morning your guide will collect you from the guesthouse and you will drive out from Franshhoek valley up into the beautiful Franschhoek Pass, before you head inland to the Klein Karoo and the ostrich capital of Oudtshoorn. Stop to from impromptu wine tours, take pictures, grab a snack or shop, or head directly to Franshhoek. The direct drive will be approximately 5 hours depending on the number of stops made along the way. Please note that entrance or tasting fees need to be paid directly.
Sign up to wake up early and meet meerkats at 4:30am to watch the sunrise; visit the worlds big cats, White Lions, African Leopards, White and Snow Tigers, Cheetah and more at the Cango Wildlife Ranch or simply relax at your lodge. Additional fees may apply.
This morning start with a short tour of Oudtshoorn and then go on to the Cango Caves for a tour. The spectacular underground wonder of the Klein Karoo - the Cango Caves are about 29km from Oudtshoorn, at the head of the picturesque Cango Valley. Situated in a limestone ridge parallel to the well known Wartburg Mountains, you will find the finest dripstone caverns, with their vast halls and towering formations.
Next, enjoy a visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch, endangered species breeding facility extraordinaire. The oldest and biggest cheetah contact centre worldwide offers visitors the rare opportunity of interacting with the hand reared cheetahs and getting actively involved in saving this species and others from extinction.
The Ranch has many activities including: cheetahland, kidzone, Kuranda Forest, Lemur Falls, Snakepark, Valley of Ancients, Wallaby Walkabout. Other animal interaction tours include: lemurs, dive with crocodiles, tigers, servals, reptiles, giant tegu, or with tiger and cheetah cubs! (tours not included in trip cost).
From there you continue to the Safari Ostrich Farm to see one of the world’s most peculiar birds. Enjoy a tour of the farm, a traditional ostrich lunch (own cost) and perhaps even an ostrich race. Afterward continue on to Knysna through the spectacular Outeniqua Mountain Pass. This is a full day of activities and scenic drives.
Start with a scenic drive to the top of the Heads, dramatic cliffs which overlook the Indian Ocean on your side and the town and lagoon towards the distant Outeniqua Mountains on the other side. Take a 25-minute ferry ride across Knysna's magnificent estuary to a secluded nature reserve, home to a variety of wildlife, Knysna loeries, the blue crane, and one of Africa's smallest antelope, the blue duiker. On arrival, a 4x4 trailer takes you to the summit of the Western Headland for a spectacular panorama view of the Knysna Basin and the sea. After admiring the view, take a gentle walk through a Milkwood forest, into caves and along the coastline back to the restaurant. Enjoy a spectacular lunch in the Food Forest, an outside eating area set amongst the Milkwood trees. The speciality is fish cooked over an open fire. Continue to The Elephant Sanctuary where you will join an hour long trunk in hand experience. This will involve you walking with the elephants through the forest where you will learn about these amazing animals from their habits to their anatomy. The Crags Elephant sanctuary provides a safe haven for six elephants and a platform for guest’s education and interaction.
This morning your guide will pick you up to depart Knysna and head off to Port Elizabeth. Along the way you could drive past Kruisfontein and Thornhill. Located on the South Eastern coast of Africa and set along the beautiful shores of Algoa Bay, Port Elizabeth has many historical and natural attractions, adventure activities, marine and penguin excursions, shopping, museums, gorgeous beaches and more!
Aside from Port Elizabeth's famous beaches there are some beautiful parks with well landscaped gardens within the city. One of the most interesting historical attractions is the Historic Donkin Heritage Trail where you can follow in the footsteps of the 1820 Settlers on their journey of discovery and settlement. Close by are several game reserves which you may choose to visit for the day or extend your trip to enjoy big 5 game viewing. Adventure activities in Port Elizabeth are designed around the great outdoors. Indulge in wreck diving, shark diving, kayaking, deep-sea fishing, 4x4 trails, hiking trails, quad biking options, cycling routes – and when all else fails, grab a surfboard and head for the waves.
Sign up for activities or simply have your guide drop you off for some rest and relaxation at your hotel.
You will be picked up by private vehicle and transferred between Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape Reserves. Here you will have the chance to enjoy superior game viewing. The drive time is 1-4 hours depending on the location of your lodge.
Kariega offers a variety of well marked hiking trails on the predator-free, eastern section of the reserve. This provides guests with the opportunity of walking safely amongst more than 25 species of game and an abundance of birdlife. During your stay enjoy safari drives twice daily, walking safaris, fishing, canoeing and more!
There is much to do and see at Kariega Game Reserve. Guests should try to check in before 2 p.m. to be in time for lunch and afternoon game drive. Check out time is between 10 and 11 a.m.
A typical day at River Lodge includes:
06h00 : Tea, coffee and a snack. Depart for an early morning game drive.10h00 : Return to the Lodge for a late, but hearty breakfast/brunch.11h00 : Take a trip down the Bushman’s River to the coast, go fishing, have a swim, enjoy a spa treatment, or just relax or siesta!14h30 : Savor the flavors of our well earned afternoon eats.16h00 : Depart for an evening game drive.19h30 : Return to the lodge for your evening meal in either the boma or the restaurant.
A typical day at Main Lodge, Ukhozi Lodge and the Homestead includes:
06h00 : Tea, coffee and a snack. Depart for an early morning game drive or perhaps a river cruise.10h00 : Return to your Lodge for a late, but hearty breakfast/brunch.11h00 : Enjoy a walk, a spa treatment, go canoeing, have a swim, or just relax or siesta.14h30 : Savor the flavors of our well-earned afternoon eats.16h00 : Depart for an evening game drive.19h30 : Return to the lodge for your evening meal, which can be enjoyed al fresco in fine weather.
*The itinerary at The Homestead is very flexible – with your own personal chef and game ranger the schedule can be adjusted to accommodate the requests or needs of each family or group.
** The above indicated times are adapted slightly during winter months.
Game viewing is carried out during the morning and evening when you are guided by your game ranger in an open game viewing vehicle. If you have a particular interest, please mention it to your ranger; who will be happy to merge your plans with those of the group.
The game drives will take between three and four hours, with a sundowners stop at sunset and a coffee stop in the morning. It is always advisable to bring warm clothing along, even in summer. In winter, a warm jacket, beanie, scarf and gloves are advisable. These clothing items are also available in our shops. Please do not forget to bring your binoculars, camera’s and video camera’s along.
Your safety is of utmost concern and your game ranger will inform you of the necessary safety precautions as you commence your game drive.
For something completely different, enjoy a boat trip! During one of the morning game drives, guests at Main Lodge, Ukhozi Lodge, Settlers Drift Luxury Tented Lodge and the Homestead can enjoy a majestic cruise down the Kariega River on the Kariega Queen.
At River Lodge, optional daily boat cruise takes guests down the Bushman’s River, through the quaint village of Kenton-on-Sea and to its picturesque beaches.
Fly between Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg today. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Luggage restrictions applicable to this flight: The general free allowance is 20Kg in Economy Class. 90cm x 72cm x 45cm (including handle, wheels and pockets) total dimensions 207cm.
Hand luggage: One bag allowed in addition to one slimline laptop bag. No bag should exceed 56cm x 36cm x 23cm (total dimensions of 115 cm including handles and wheels) weighing not more than 7Kgs.
Welgelegen is an urban sanctuary that offers so much more than just overnight accommodation. The 13 individually styled en-suite bedrooms provide a quiet luxury that embodies the entire hotel. A spacious high-ceilinged sitting room and a cozy, rich library adjoin a grand breakfast room, all filled with contemporary furnishings and eclectic African art. The breakfast room opens out to a cobbled courtyard enclosed by ivy-draped walls that dips into a revitalising plunge pool, the perfect way for one to temper the sultry South African sun. The essential oils burn, the hearty African music resonates and the old Victorian build lends its old soul. One cannot help but feel at home, away from one’s own. Welgelegen is truly a sanctuary in the heart of town.
The Franschhoek Country House & Villas is a 5 star hotel located in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley. Guests can choose to stay in the original and charming 14 guestrooms at Franschhoek Country House or the 12 recently added luxurious Villa Suites. Voted as one of South Africa’s top restaurants, Monneaux Restaurant features a contemporary take on Mediterranean classics influenced by local Cape Malay flavours. Sample some of the mouth-watering wines from the underground cellar, showcasing local and international bottles. Relax and unwind with a range of spa treatments by qualified professional staff at the onsite spa. Lounge out by the two outdoor swimming pools and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area. Reception staff at Franschhoek Country House & Villas are happy to arrange a variety of activities for guests, such as wine tours, wine tasting on horseback, golf and more!
If you are a discerning traveller looking for luxury 4 star accommodation in the picturesque valley of Schoemanshoek, near the world famous Cango Caves of Oudtshoorn, then you need to look no further. De Opstal Country Lodge has come to be by way of converting existing buildings, into a modern, elegant property with all the luxurious of a 4 star hotel.
Belvidere Manor is situated in the Garden Route's treasure trove of pristine beaches, lush indigenous forests and tranquil estuaries. South Africa's most romantic and most relaxed getaway. Enjoy the beguiling tranquillity of the west shore of Knysna's lagoon. Relax by the swimming pool in the beautiful gardens (Belvidere Estate is a nature-lover's paradise with more than 270 bird species identified), or retreat to the secluded comfort of the sunny terrace or cosy fireplace in your own Cape-style cottage.
Hacklewood Hill is a small, fairytale-like country house tucked into the Garden Route stretch of Port Elizabeth. Genuine hospitality and intimacy promise a delightful experience. The 8 rooms exude an old world charm, while still retaining all the contemporary necessities. Four poster beds and spaciousness promise comfort and elegance to all who visit. Dine by the swimming pool and in the gardens, or with silver service in the restaurant. Gourmet meals are prepared by a skilled chef. An authentic wine cellar is on site in the fashion of old Victorian manor houses. Take a stroll through the gardens, play a game of tennis, or simply spend time with a book on the bright verandah. Hacklewood Hill is a romantic experience like no other.
River Lodge is one-of-a-kind. It has 10 spacious, air conditioned and tastefully appointed thatched suites that meander along the banks of the Bushman’s River. It offers guests luxurious peace and tranquility. Inside the Lodge guests can find a quiet spot in one of the lounges. Page through a book in the library, relax at the pool or take in the view from the magnificent deck which overhangs the river. Unique features include excellent river fishing and canoeing. Kariega is rich in birdlife and the early morning game drive and river cruise is the ideal way to experience the Game Reserve.
May 11, 2015
"We were a group of 5 to Morocco. We were impressed at how seamless our private guided tour went. Accommodations were five star, the choice of family run hotels, beautifully appointed with Moroccan furnishings and large breakfasts, contributed to our experience. Our guide, Ishmail and driver, Abdul, made us feel like family. Ishmail showed off his country with pride, listened to our needs and was flexible to our style and speed of travel. We couldn't be happier with our Kensington experience beginning with the pre-planning in the US with Lily Baffour. Thank you very much for a memorable experience! "
May 12, 2015
"Our guide, Chakim, was fantastic, and our driver was excellent. We were very pleased with our accommodations. Only negative comments would be the villa in Essaouira (room, food, service not good although people very nice), and, while probably not an issue for other travelers, we were disappointed that we could not relax over a glass of wine at the end of our journey because Hotel Le Doge did not offer alcoholic beverages. We are currently scheduled with Kensington Tours for India in November and we are now planning on scheduling with Kensington for all our trips - right now that would be Thailand to Mynamar, and Egypt with Dubai extension. We are extremely happy with Kensington Tours and their travel agents. We would recommend Lily Balfour to anyone. "
April 08, 2015
"Kensington and its partners did not miss a single deadline, appointment or function to our total satisfaction. The result, no stress and total enjoyment."
April 08, 2015
"Christine was absolutely superb both in helping us frame and develop a custom tour as well as in constant follow up until we left. Inevitably things will change on the ground when trips are planned in advance and Christine was consistently on top of the changes and advised us accordingly. As first time travelers to Kenya and Tanzania Christine's advice and guidance was simply excellent. Rose, in Kensington's Nairobi office was likewise superb. Totally responsive to our needs, she helped make a few final adjustments while we were there. Once again, an exceptional experience made possible by Kensington."
Sachi Gowda ,
December 15, 2014
"We are extremely happy with your service from beginning to end and we had very a memorable trip."
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 15, 2014
"Christine, our family trip was ALL we wanted it to be. The hotel accommodations in the cities were GREAT. We needed to make some room assignment adjustments but that's to be expected with a large family with children and same names.
I don't know where/how ya'll got those guides but...KEEP'EM! In both Cape Town and Joberg the guys knew their cities and environs excellently. Their English was very good...so good in fact that several got the sarcasm and even joked some. I do apologize if we over-tipped. I relied on each family to tip their own driver but, I wasn't sure of their "sense of what was right" so I followed up with something for each.
Simbavati was "PERFECT". As much as Glenda and I really liked Ngala, I do not think they could have handled a family as well...UNLESS, they had accommodations we did not see.
Please rest assured when ever I plan to travel on a multi-dimensional trip in the future, for sure with a group, or maybe just Glenda and I, I'll be calling Kensington... Christine and Donna specifically. And most definitely, anytime I can recommend a travel professional, your company and you two will be mentioned by name!
Thank you again Christine...you presented us the exact trip we dreamed about for our family and your folks on the ground made it happen! I sincerely hope you, Donna and everyone else involved have a most Blessed Christmas and a wonderful, successful New Year!"
Bruce Lundstrom ,
December 15, 2014
"Morocco has a lot to offer. Food, historic sites, craftsmen (rugs, jewelry, ceramics, furniture, etc.), natural beauty, roads and infrastructure, and a reasonably safe environment. Both Guide (Abdel) and Driver were excellent. Service-oriented, timely and easy going. Abdel was not afraid to speak his mind, offer suggestions and give us feedback on ideas. We enjoyed their company."
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
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