(Johannesburg, Sabi Sands)
The morning sun begins to warm the dusty, dry grasses of the seemingly endless plains. Thirty feet in front of you the large cat makes her presence known with a low, throaty rumble, and you feel more alive than you ever have before.
Prepare for an epic South African Safari in one of the best “Big Five” wildlife habitats as you explore the exclusive Sabi Sands Game Reserve located within the eastern confides of Kruger National Park. The reserve was the birthplace of sustainable wildlife tourism in southern Africa and is the oldest of all the private reserves in South Africa. Spend your days immersed in breathtaking scenery tracking lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino, along with over 500 bird species, 30 amphibian species and 110 reptile species. In the evenings, stay in a mix of contemporary hotels that will delight your urban side, and traditional game lodges that will thrill your inner nature lover.
Tour Johannesburg and visit the Apartheid Museum and the Constitution Hill precinct, then hop on a bicycle for an exciting eco-friendly tour of the surrounding townships that will take you by Meadowlands, the historical landmarks of the 1976 student uprisings, and Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela used to live and where Bishop Desmond Tutu has his home. Take a picturesque drive glimpsing boundless views of forested mountains, fertile plains and extraordinary rock formations and arrive in Sabi Sands. Enjoy shared sunrise and sunset game viewing drives each day that will get you up close and personal with some of the most wondrous creatures on the planet. Your African adventure promises to 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 Johannesburg-South Africa, you will be met at the door of your aircraft with your name on a paging board, and your documents will be handed over to you. You will be assisted through immigration, baggage collection and customs.
Upon arrival you will 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).
A privately driven vehicle will provide you with a transfer between the Airport and your hotel, or vice versa, today.
The urban, contemporary and edgy Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Melrose Arch is the latest hot-spot in the trendy Melrose Arch Precinct, a unique city within a city, which boasts a new variety of trendy retail & leisure amenities. Following the success and conversations around its predecessor in Cape Town, this contemporary hotel guarantees to spice-up any visit to Jozi and is aimed at the traveller who enjoys being amidst the energetic urban vibe of the cool city life. The hotel is the choice amongst the “forever young” set and offers affordability and value for money mixed with a sense of unique style, unlike anything seen before in this market.
This tour provides you with an opportunity to take an in-depth look at South Africa’s turbulent past. Starting with a drive across Johannesburg to the south of the city to visit the Apartheid Museum (closed on Mondays!), which opened its doors in 2002. Here you will embark on a historical voyage of discovery, a personal exploration of the past that examines the story of apartheid right up to the first democratic elections held in 1994. The tour of the museum lasts approximately two hours. Then continue to the Constitution Hill precinct, bordered by the inner-city neighbourhoods of Braamfontein and Hillbrow. It is here that South Africa’s new Constitutional Court opened in March 2004. The new court building is, most appropriately, established on the site of the Johannesburg Fort, built as a fortress in 1898 and later converted to one of the country’s most notorious prisons – popularly known as “Number Four”. Your visit here includes entry to the museum which has been established in the old prison and brings home the significance of this development and what it means for the future of Johannesburg.
Experience this exciting and eco-friendly tour for a half day cycling adventure around the township and get to know the different communities and its history. Go to places such as a former migrant workers hostel for men - continue to Meadowlands, famous for the forced removals from Sophiatown in the 1950’s. Cycle through historical landmarks of the 1976 student uprisings and visit the memorial site of Hector Pieterson. You will also cycle down Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela used to live and where Bishop Desmon Tutu has his home. Stop for a local lunch - Kata (township Burger) and finish the tour off at the local sheeben, have a drink, play pool and dance to kwaito music.
You will be collected early this morning by your private guide. Depart Johannesburg and travel to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun – Mpumalanga – via the magnificent Panorama Route. Weather permitting, en route you will visit God’s Window, a boundless view of forested mountains and fertile plains, the Blyde River Canyon – the 3rd largest canyon in the world, and the extraordinary rock formations at Bourkes Luck Potholes.
The most spectacular stretch of the Panorama Route is the Blyde River Canyon. From many well-positioned vantage points one has a view of the 33 km long gorge, which starts at “Bourke’s Luck Potholes” and ends at the “Three Rondavels”. A stop will be made for lunch en route. Late afternoon arrival in the park. (Note that 30 ZAR pp with be required as entrance fees for this tour)
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.
Simbambili Lodge is situated among dense stands of knobthorn and jackalberry trees along the meandering Manyeleti River in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve, part of the world-renowned Kruger National Park. Simbambili Game Lodge offers unique exclusive Safari experiences in both open Land Rovers, and on foot. The private reserve is home to an abundance of species: 147 mammals including the "Big Five", 114 reptiles, 507 birds, 49 fish, 34 amphibians and 336 trees. The reserve is predominantly open savannah and with a near perfect year round climate, it is the ideal African safari holiday destination.
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.
Enjoy your private transfer between Hoedspruit Airport and your lodge.
Take your flight from Hoedspruit to Johannesburg today. The flight duration is approximately 1 hour.
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).
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."
Irene Saurwein ,
April 21, 2014
"I thought that both Raymond and Mike were outstanding guides. Our trip was wonderful. The only point I want to make that the food at the Farm House was not very good. Pretty disappointed. Our stay at the Serena in both locations was great. Overall great trip that we will never forget."
Francis Quinn ,
April 21, 2014
"The Mbugani Camps were nice but the beer was warm and they don't have ice. The owner was a great guy. Enjoyed Mara West. The staff and food were great. The second evening the loud mouth owner conducted a business meeting on the front porch disrupting a peaceful cocktail hour. It was totally inappropriate since he was very loud and discussed his business dealings with Kensington with others. They also need an ice machine. They ran out every night. Albert is probably the best guide I have ever had. Very knowlegeable. Mike was great too. Fabulous trip. You guys did a great job. We had a wonderful time."
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"Our party of 4 believe that we were given incorrect information regarding the type of suitcase that we should purchase for this trip. We were advised to buy a suitcase that was soft sided and no wheels. We arrived in Africa to see many others going on Safari with suitcases that had wheels. It was difficult for us to manouever our bags. I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We learned a great deal from Wasari . Our tour guide in the Mara was just ok . It would have been great to have the tour guide that we had in Serengeti for the complete trip. We understood that he could have crossed over from Tanzania into Kenya to get us . There was one flight within the country that we felt we may have been better off driving. We all believed that our Sales consultant could have spent more time with us on the phone going over the itinerary and guiding us through some of the decisions that we were making. For example Lake Manyara was not really necessary and perhaps we could have used that extra day in Zanzibar . These are some of the decisions that we felt our consultant could have assisted us with . 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!"
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
Frank Manna ,
April 21, 2014
"Our guided transfers were exceptionally accommodating even though our flights were considerably delayed. The Annavillanas Jungle Lodge was spectacular for location, accommodations and food. The Rio Carnival experience was unique and unforgettable and our seats were wonderful. Loved the location of our hotel in Rio.......right on the street of Copacabana Beach.......fantastic. The only negative during our entire trip was the routing of the airline flights. Was there no way to avoid the flight from Rio to Manaus and then Manaus to Rio for our flight home. We seem to have travelled 2000 miles to the same starting location. Next time I would appreciate a more thorough exploration of all possible routes that would be more expedient and less strenuous for the travelers. I realize that there are limitations but I rely on Kensington to assist me in making the best decision for my wife and me."
Michael Melvin Marsh ,
April 21, 2014
"The trip was very special and i credit Sunita Singh for helping to make it such. We worked on the itinerary for three months and she was very helpful, knowledgeable and present."
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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