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15-Day Safari and Sea

Southern Sky Adventures: 15-Day Safari and Sea

Highlights

This two week trip emerges as one of the more popular routes to follow when traveling through South Africa. This route never disappoints for the first time traveler in hitting the high points of game viewing in world renowned Kruger National Park (a nature reserve the size of the state of Massachusetts), the scenic drive and varied topography of the Garden Route, one of the world’s best whale watching locations in Hermanus and then culminating in a visit to The Mother City, Cape Town, a city sometimes described as San Francisco on the Italian coast.

Map

maps tours 15day

Summary Itinerary

Day Route Overnight
Day 1 Depart USA Airline
Day 2 Johannesburg Johannesburg
Day 3, 4 & 5 Kruger National Park Game Lodge
Day 6, 7 & 8 Garden Route Knysna/Plettenberg Bay
Day 9 & 10 Hermanus Hermanus
Day 11, 12, 13, 14 Cape Town Cape Town
Day 15 Depart South Africa Airline
Day 16 Arrive USA

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1

Depart New York, Washington, DC or Atlanta. South African Airways flies direct from New York and Washington Dulles and Delta flies direct from Atlanta; all into Johannesburg.. The New York flight departs and arrives in the morning. The Dulles and Atlanta flights depart and arrive in the late afternoon within about an hour of one another.

Other carriers can fly you through Europe or Dubai, U.A.E. The latter two options provide reasonable options as the layover times between flights are usually just 2 -3 hours.


Day 2

Arrive into Johannesburg International Airport at about 5PM local time if taking the direct flights from Dulles or Atlanta. If flying from New York, you will arrive about 8:30AM. After clearing customs, you will then take the provided transportation to the hotel if on the afternoon flights. There are a wide range of accommodation options both at the airport and within a short drive. We recommend that you check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at the hotel or a nearby restaurant. If flying from New York you will take a connecting flight into Kruger Park.

Overnight: Johannesburg Hotel


Days 3, 4 & 5

DAY 4, 5 & 6 - LODGEFlights from Johannesburg into the airports and airstrips servicing the private game reserves adjoining Kruger National Park begin departing in the morning. The flights usually last about an hour to an hour and a half, arriving near lunch time. You will be met and driven to the game lodge.

Arrival into the game lodge will be about 1PM – 2PM. There will be a chance to order some food from the kitchen, should you be hungry. At approximately 4PM, you will meet your game ranger, have a drink of your choice and snack, and depart for the afternoon/evening game drive. The game drive will last about 3 hours and a beverage break will be taken about half way through. After the drive, you will be taken back to the lodge, given about 30 minutes to freshen up after which time, supper will be served. You will be welcome to stay up as long as you like while sitting around the fire or return to your room.

DAY 4, 5 & 6 - LIONDon’t stay up too late, as the following morning game drive begins with a 5-5:30AM wake up call. African animals are best scene in the morning and late afternoon when they are moving, thus, the reason for the early start to the day. However, your efforts will be well rewarded with nature’s form of blockbuster entertainment. Coffee, tea will be served before and during the game drive. Upon our return at about 8:30AM, a large breakfast will be served. After breakfast, the day is yours to relax by the pool, take a bath or an outdoor shower, take a nap, get a massage or do some reading. There will be no other scheduled activities until the afternoon game drive.

The same schedule is kept through each day, but depending on the location of your lodge, various activities can be taken in during the day.

Overnight: Game Lodge


Day 6

Take in the morning game drive, eat breakfast, shower and depart for the local airport or airstrip at about noon. You will then take a plane to Johannesburg where you will transfer to a flight headed for the coast. You should land in the late afternoon in George, which is in the heart of the Garden Route, pick up your rental car and you drive about an hour and a half to either the coastal towns of Knysna or Plettenberg Bay.

Overnight: Garden Route


Days 7 & 8

 

DAY 7 & 8 - POOLIf visiting during the spring, summer or fall, there will be ample opportunity to swim in the waters of the Indian Ocean. Short one-hour drives can be made from this central spot to enjoy the following:

Cango Wildlife Ranch
Cango Caves
Knysna Elephant Park
Monkeyland
Tsitsikamma National Park
Birds of Eden
Whale and Dolphin Watching
Hiking
Outeniqua Steam Engine Train Excursion
Bungi Jump
Unique dining
Klein Karoo Wine Route

Golf

Goose Valley Golf Club
Fancourt Resort (home of the 2003 President’s Cup)
Pezula Golf Course
Ouibaai Golf Course: (Ernie Els’ South African home course)

Overnight: Garden Route


Day 9

Continue your drive down the coast with a short visit to Mossel Bay where you can get a bite to eat on the harbor docks. After lunch you will head toward Hermanus, and depending on the time of year, will begin your aquatic discoveries to get a closer view of the Southern Right Whale and the Great White Shark.

Overnight: Hermanus


Day 10

DAY 9 - WHALES

If travelling during the months of June – November a must will be a half day excursion with Captain Rudy Hughes and his Ivanhoe Sea Safaris. The Southern Right Whale, all 60 tons, comes to the shallow waters of South Africa’s coast to give birth. Captain Hughes offers a unique opportunity to accompany him on board his new 42 foot boat.

Whale Viewing

For the more adventuresome, another half day charter can be arranged to go shark diving with our favorite captain, Brian McFarlane. If you have seen the documentaries of the Great White Shark, most of the footage you will see is shot in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef or, more likely, in the cool waters off the coast of Gansbaai, a thirty minute drive from Hermanus. The experience of seeing a two ton, 15 foot Great White Shark from the protection of an underwater cage is an experience for any outdoor enthusiast. Once again, all age groups are welcome to join in this trip and it is always optional to get in the cage. Seeing these magnificent creatures up close and personal is, alone, worth the trip to South Africa.

Shark Cage Diving

Overnight: Hermanus


Day 11

Today you will drive the short 90 miles to the Mother City of South Africa, Cape Town. The road hugs the rugged coastline and there will be plenty of time to stop in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek to visit a few wineries. Depending on your interest you can overnight at a winery, or you can continue on to Cape Town. A small sampling of the wineries include:

Spier Wine Estate www.spier.co.za
Morgenhof www.morgenhof.com
Rustenberg www.rustenberg.co.za
Vergelegen www.vergelegen.co.za
KWV www.kwv-international.co.za
Vrede-en-Lust www.vrede-en-lust.com

Once in Cape Town, you will be staying in accommodation to suit your needs whether it be simple and clean or a fully staffed house overlooking the white sand beaches of this shining city.

Overnight: Cape Town


Days 12 & 13

Day 12 15daysafari5You will spend the last few days of your trip based in Cape Town. The visual splendors of this city will leave you overwhelmed with this city, my favorite destination in the world. Every modern convenience will be offered to you as you relax during a trip you do not want to end.

There are enough activities to spend your entire trip in and around Cape Town and you can embark on numerous day trips to take advantage of what interests you. A few musts include climbing or riding the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, a 3,000 foot peak sitting but a mile from the white sand beaches of Cape Town, driving the dramatic cliff top Chapman’s Peak Drive en route to Cape Point, visiting the city’s local craft markets including Greenmarket Square, walking the boardwalks at Boulders Beach – home to the world’s only warm water penguin colony, browsing through the restaurants and shops at the V & A Waterfront, lapping up the sand, water and palm trees of the beaches of Camp’s Bay, Llandudno, Sandy Bay, Muizenberg or Fish Hoek or taking in the beauty of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Cape Town has it all.

Cape Town Tourism

Overnight: Overnight: Cape Town


Day 14

You will depart from Cape Town airport in the afternoon and catch your connecting flight to Johannesburg back to the US.


Day 15

Arrive USA

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