(Cape Town, Franschhoek, Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Port Elizabeth)
Eastern Cape Reserves
(Kichaka Private Game Reserve)
A mélange of ocher plains, purple mountains, gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, famous National Parks, striking winelands and lovely colonial architecture, South Africa is a destination that will overwhelm your senses in the most intoxicating ways.
This private guided itinerary features the top sights of Cape Town, the gorgeous garden route were you will visit some of the most legendary vineyards and restaurants the continent has to offer, and exclusive game viewing within the best private reserves. In the evenings, relax in luxury accommodations that offer elegant surroundings and the finest attention to detail.
Explore dynamic Cape Town and visit the Houses of Parliament, the 17th Century Castle, lively Green Market Square and of course Table Mountain, which offers sweeping views of the city and Peninsula below. Take a picturesque 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, zip-lining or bungee jumping, or 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! Embark on a thrilling game drive in an open 4x4 vehicle across vast plains in search of lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo, as well as cheetah, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, warthog and numerous species of antelope. This African adventure will be one you’ll never forget!
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 neccessary documents for your trip which contains a detailed personalized itinerary with pick up and drop of times.
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.
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, Stellenbosch. Stellenbosch is 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", this charming location still to this day 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 including, 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.
Enjoy time at leisure or sign up for one of the many and diverse activities in Oudtshoorn: Cango Caves, Cango Ostrich Farm, zip lining, tubing, hiking and more. 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.
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. 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. Aside from Port Elizabeth's famous beaches there are some beautiful parks with well landscaped gardens within the city. 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. 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.
This afternoon you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your afternoon game drive 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. You'll be out in the reserve for a few hours before returning back to the lodge to freshen up for dinner.
This Morning you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your afternoon game drive in an open game viewing vehicle. Experienced rangers maximize every opportunity to ensure exceptional viewing during your game drive on this established 20,000 acre Big 5 game reserve in the malaria-free Eastern Cape. Excellent sightings of lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo, as well as cheetah, hippo, giraffe, hyena, zebra, warthog and numerous species of antelope are enjoyed on game drives across the open plains of the reserve.
This afternoon you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your afternoon game drive in an open game viewing vehicle. The game drives will take between three and four hours, with a sundowner stop at sunset. It is always advisable to bring warm clothing along, even in summer. Please do not forget to bring your binoculars, cameras and video cameras along.
This morning you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your open vehicle game drive. Try to spot the exceptionally ellusive caracal. The word caracal comes from the Turkish word "karakulak", meaning "black ear". A slender, yet muscular, cat, with long legs and a short tail; it is best known for its spectacular skill at hunting birds, able to snatch a bird in flight, sometimes more than one at a time. Caracals produce the usual range of sounds for cats, including growling, hissing, purring, and calling. Unusually, they also make a barking sound, which is possibly used as a warning. Unfortunately these beautiful cats are often viewed as vermin by farmers in Africa as they may prey on domesticated livestock such as poultry and young sheep and goats. Caracals are a rare sight as they hide extremely well, but have been spotted recently at Kichaka!
At Kichaka Lodge you can enjoy private game drives & walks, game viewing from the main lodge, bird watching, swimming, massage therapies, or just rest and relax. If you like, sign up for other activities such as a Cosmic Safari with your ranger, and view the wonders of space with our high powered telescope. With little or no light pollution, a Cosmic Safari at Kichaka is an opportunity to star gaze in wonder at the Southern Hemisphere’s Milky Way and identify Orion’s Belt, the Southern Cross and Scorpio.
Within the immediate vicinity, the lodge can arrange additional activities including golf, hiking, horse trails and fishing. Due to its prime location, Kichaka Lodge is also well placed as a base to explore the stunning & historic Frontier Country & Sunshine Coast. Additional fees apply for excursions.
Travel between Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg today. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Luggage restrictions applicable to this flight: Hand luggage: One piece not exceeding 8kg (18lb) and maximum dimension of 56cm (L) 36cm (W) 23cm (H). Checked luggage: One piece not exceeding 23 kg (50 lb) and maximum dimension of 158cm (62inches)
The Cape Cadogan boutique hotel is quintessential Cape Town, with each of its 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. From Cape Town International Airport, it will take about 30 minutes to the Hotel.
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!
Rosenhof Country House is situated on the outskirts of Oudtshoorn en route to the Cango Caves and Ostrich Farms. The carefully renovated homestead (Circa 1852), with its yellowwood beams and ceilings and a tasteful collection of antique furniture, exudes an aura of authenticity. The lovely rose garden, which gave Rosenhof its name, leads to stylishly decorated bedrooms, each individually furnished. All rooms provide air-conditioning, satellite television, telephone, mini bar and tea trays. The two Executive Suites each have their own pool, lounge and patio, with tranquil views of the Swartberg Mountain.Rosenhof has a cosy pub and several luxury lounges with fireplaces where visitors can relax and admire works from well-known South African artists. In summer, cool down in the pool or take tea in the manicured gardens. The Wellness Center offers a fully equipped gym, Jacuzzi, sauna and a beauty clinic. With its luxurious facilities and excellent service, Rosenhof is recognized as one of the finest establishments in the region.
Gloriously situated on the apex of Kanonkop Hill above Knysna, South Africa’s favourite coastal resort town, Kanonkop House offers unique 5-star boutique accommodation. Set adjacent to the family home, Kanonkop House commands a breathtakingly beautiful view of the Knysna Lagoon stretching all the way to the famous Knysna Heads. Each of the five individually appointed rooms boast unique and beautiful views of the surrounding area. The garden and small indigenous forest attracts a variety of wildlife and an abundance of birds – from the elusive Knysna lourie to the iridescent sunbirds and humble wagtails. Enjoy their antics while relaxing on a lounger next to the pool, before venturing down the hill to discover and experience all that Knysna and the Garden Route has to offer.
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.
Located in the malaria-free Eastern Cape Province, within a 7,500 hectare game reserve, is the luxury Kichaka Private Game Lodge. Set between two streams in a lush bushveld valley, Kichaka overlooks a large water hole in this Big Five reserve. Constructed entirely of stone and thatch thus blending in seamlessly with the natural surrounds, Kichaka offers only 10 comfortable suites. Named after the surrounding indigenous vegetation each suite lies in a secluded setting ensuring privacy and space.
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 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!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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