(Cape Town, Hermanus, Madikwe Game Reserve)
From adorable lion cubs, thundering elephants and waddling penguins to treasure hunts, pony rides, beach time and boat cruises, this kidtastic new tour is destined to become a family favorite! Marrying South Africa's renowned luxury for grown-ups with exotic animals, interactive activities and educational fun for the little ones, families of every age will go wild as they discover Cape Town, Hermanus and Madikwe. Keep young minds growing and small hands busy with bumble safaris, day and night game drives, special children's guides, cooking lessons, arts and crafts, stargazing, eco-walks, whale watching and swimming pools. Complete with babysitters, gourmet cuisine, VIP airport treatment and5-star hotels and lodges, this customizable adventure has everything family legends are made of.
*Kids stay free when they share with 2 adults, Children must be 12 and younger. The following holidays are excluded (Dec 16- 5th of Jan) and(21st Mar - 8th of April).
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.
Situated in walking distance of the famous Victoria and Albert Waterfront, overlooking the popular Robben Island, the Radisson SAS Hotel Waterfront is one of the most attractive hotels in Cape Town. The 181 rooms are offered as standard, business class, and suite class. Some feature balconies overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and the harbour. Free broadband is available throughout, as well as mini bars and satellite television. Culinary surprises soaked in local and international flavours are prepared at Tobago's Restaurant, at the Radisson SAS. Lunch is displayed buffet style, while dinner is an a la carte affair. Watch the sun set at Tobago's Bar and Terrace after a meal. Otherwise, plan a mountain-biking or paragliding trip and get to know the region's natural surroundings.
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 our descent, we stop at the Bo Kaap, home to the Cape Malay community, with its cobbled streets and brightly coloured houses.
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 transfer from Cape Town will take your guests 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 your guests will have many photographic opportunities of these amazing creatures.
Grootbos Nature Reserve, with its two 5-star lodges is a jewel of Cape ecotourism and luxury accommodation. The reserve is spectacularly situated on the fynbos and forest clad hills overlooking the whale-watching haven of Walker Bay. Grootbos has carved a unique niche in the up market eco-lodge sector by specializing in the Cape region of South Africa’s world-renowned flora and marine biodiversity. This multi-award winning 1750 ha reserve is home to more than 750 different species of plants, offers warm hospitality, excellent cuisine, fine South African wines and is a nature lover’s paradise.
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.
At Grootbos Nature Reserve the children’s activities are not just activities – they are a combination of education and fun in our wonderful nature setting. Our tailor-made Family Fun Package is about inspiring, educating, enthusing and exhilarating the children to make them curious of what is coming next and to ensure that they spend an exciting, interesting and enjoyable time with us.
Specialized guides accompany the children during exciting treasure hunts, excursions to the beach, the rock pools and trips through the reserve. The children get familiar with our fascinating eco-system and the history of the area. Picture Frame or Shell Bracelet Making are great activities to inspire their creativity and to give them a lifelong memory to take back home. While exploring their immediate and natural environment they can collect shells, porcupine quills or bugs, which will be brought back to their own activities rooms for exciting identification. At the same time we teach the children not to destroy or interfere in the natural habitats that they can find everywhere.
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 Cape Town.
Take your flight from Cape Town to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 2 hrs. Flight times confirmed when booked.
Today you will drive from Johannesburg to Madikwe Game Reserve. This drive will take approximately 4 hours.
In the afternoon, enjoy some time on your own to relax.
Prepare for an adventure this afternoon as you'll meet up with other guest from your lodging accommodation and embark on an exciting afternoon game drive. You'll find that the majority of the wildlife within this game reserve a most active during the sunrise and sunset hours. 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.
Etali Safari Lodge is located in the heart of the spectacular Madikwe Game Reserve, embraced and nurtured by Mother Africa's rich red soil and meets you with lavish hospitality. Built in harmony with nature under the vibrant African sun, Etali Safari Lodge is an exclusive, intimate haven, where body and soul are rejuvenated in surroundings created by people who understand luxury. You will find the accommodation at this lodge sheer bliss in any one of the eight luxury air-conditioned suites, each set apart for total privacy in its own busheled domain. The mix of cool and earthy colours in the decor is a peaceful contrast to the unsurpassed beauty of the sweet-thorn Acacia trees outside. Dining is available on location featuring a mixture of African and fine dining as well as other special dietary requirements. Recreational facilities include a Wellness Spa with a steam room and an air open gym available to you at any time. Since Etali Safari Lodge opened to guest, it has received the prestigious 5 star rating from the South African Tourism. Etali is operated and run by the owners.
Before first light you'll meet up with others at the lodge and embark on your early morning game drive. As to stay as cool as possible the wildlife of the area tend to feed during the somewhat cooler sunrise and sunset hours. This morning's game drive will take you deep into the Madikwe game reserve for some exploration before returning back to your lodge for lunch.
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. The game guides of Madikwe prefer to focus on the “Top Ten” rather than the Big Five. So, in addition to boasting more sought-after African species such as lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant and rhino, malaria-free Madikwe is home to hippo, giraffe, wild dog, hyena and cheetah. Of these, the cheetah, wild dog, brown hyena and black rhino are the most endangered species. Madikwe’s location close to the edge of the Kalahari Desert means there’s an overlap of a number of species, offering visitors greater viewing diversity. The reserve supports a number of large antelope species, such as eland, gemsbok, sable and nyala, to name but a few. Smaller buck species such as springbok, oribi, duiker and klipspringer also abound.
Embark on an early morning game drive with your expert guide. Madikwe is known for it's diverse wildlife species as a result from the help and effort put forth in the 90's to encourage conservation, a program named "Operation Phoenix". This epic project is to this day one of the largest game translocation exercises ever undertaken in the world. More than 8,000 animals of 28 species have been released into the Madikwe Game Reserve including elephant, rhino, buffalo, lion, cheetah, Cape hunting dog, spotted hyena, giraffe, antelope and other various herbivores.
Children under the age of 6 are not allowed on game drive vehicles as per the North WestParks and Tourism Board. However, we offer a free bumble drive after breakfast where the kids are joined by their parents after the normal drive and then do a short drive. Rangers then concentrate on smaller things with the kids, they do plaster of paris imprints of tracks, discuss medicinal and other uses for trees and grass, and let them in on many other secrets of the bush and the inhabitants thereof. Whilst we welcome families with kids, the experience of all our guests is our priority. We have wonderful babysitters to take care of the children and allow parents the opportunity to enjoy a wonderful meal, game drive, treatment or the luxury of an afternoon nap. At Etali we offer activities for the kids like biscuit baking under the guidance and supervision of our chefs, games and puzzles they can use. Kids often enjoy spending a lot of time in the pools in summer as well.
Today you will drive from Madikwe Game Reserve to Johannesburg. Travel time is approximately 4 hour.
Depart from Johannesburg international airport - End of itinerary.
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."
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!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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