You arrive at Cape Town International Airport and our local guide says amkela (“welcome” in the local isiXhosa language) to the Mother City. As you travel into the city, you fall under the watchful eye of Table Mountain and can look across Table Bay to Robben Island and beyond. Our guest house is located in the chic inner-city neighborhood of Gardens, one of the oldest parts of the city and within a short, safe walking distance to vibrant and trendy Kloof Street and its southern extension, Long Street. All along here you’ll find restaurants, coffee shops and bistros along with a wide range of shops and markets peddling creative and authentic wares. Your time in Cape Town includes a private guide and can be totally customized to your wishes, with each day interchangeable with the other. Your guide is available every day (evenings included at extra expense) and all entrance, tour and tasting fees are already included in the cost of your safari.Day 2: Cape Town – “History & Heroes” city walk, Table Mountain & Robben Island
Sheltering between ocean and mountain – with a national park at its heart – this spiritual city bears a soul influenced by a cultural melting pot of indigenous Bushman peoples, settlers of Dutch, Indo-Malay, French, British and German origin, and African Nguni tribes originally from the north, such as the Xhosa. Today we show off our Mother City with an insightful and enjoyable walk through the city’s historical heart followed by the dramatic ascension by cable car of Table Mountain. (Cableway closed for two-week annual maintenance in late-July to early-August). For nearly 400 years, Robben Island was a place of exile and imprisonment for those regarded as outcasts and troublemakers – the most famous being Nelson Mandela who spent 18 years of his life here. The 3½ hour tour includes a return boat trip across Table Bay, a visit to the Maximum Security Prison, interaction with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute guided bus tour of the island.Day 3: Cape Town – Cape Peninsula, Cape Point & the Cape of Good Hope
A relaxing day awaits you today on a meander around the scenic Cape Peninsula with our Compass Odyssey guide. Leaving the city behind, you first visit the eclectic fishing village of Kalk Bay and the historical naval town of Simon’s Town and its resident colony of African penguins at nearby Boulder’s Beach. You then venture further south to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, where the many legends and shipwreck stories that abound at the “Cape of Storms” are brought to life. After visiting both Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope, you travel back to the city via the Atlantic coastline and the dramatic and picturesque Chapman’s Peak Drive.Day 4: Cape Town – Cape Winelands Eco-Encounter
South Africa’s celebrated Cape Winelands region is not just internationally famous for its exquisite wines, but is also highly valued for its extraordinary beauty and diversity. Set in soaring mountains and sweeping valleys amidst the carefully preserved, natural bounty of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Cape’s vineyards are rich in fascinating tradition, history and unique Cape-Dutch architecture, as well as exceptional wines and cuisine. Today offers a meaningful and inspirational visit to a number of vineyards, allowing you to enjoy the fine wine and good food on offer with the peace of mind that our hosts are committed to both the environmental and social welfare of this scenic and historical region. Should the theme of this day not be of interest, you may prefer instead to visit the world-renowned Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or the many museums within the city. Or you may prefer a shark viewing excursion (additional expense and seasonal)Day 5: Greater Kruger – Private Wildlife Reserve
Our guide returns you this morning to Cape Town Airport for your direct flight to South Africa’s wildlife-rich Lowveld from where our local driver transfers you into the Associated Private Nature Reserves – better known as the Greater Kruger – and you immediately embark on your first game drive on the way to your camp in Klaserie Private Nature Reserve. This afternoon and over the next two days, you can anticipate quality wildlife viewing within this “Big Five” reserve adjoining Kruger National Park.Day 6-7: Greater Kruger – Private Wildlife Reserve
One of the most undeveloped and pristine wilderness areas of the Greater Kruger, animals migrate freely between Klaserie and Kruger National Park, creating an incredible biosphere and one of Africa’s premier safari destinations. Located in a remote and private location within Klaserie Private Nature Reserve and managed by James and Corlia Steyn, Senalala Luxury Safari Camp offers a truly authentic bush safari experience. Set on the banks of the seasonal Ntsiri River, you can expect an abundance of quality wildlife viewing while at Senalala, with the camp itself overlooking a watering hole that draws a constant flow of wildlife. You can choose a game drive or bush walk – the latter is a specialty of Senalala.Day 8: Johannesburg
Your last morning in the Greater Kruger offers a final morning game drive (time permitting) before you return to the airport for your flight to Johannesburg. Our local guide greets you as you enter the arrivals area and transports you to our welcoming guesthouse in the city’s leafy suburb of Craighall Park. Craighall Park sits within a collection of leafy neighborhoods on the western side of Johannesburg, and is one of the city’s oldest and more upmarket suburbs. Its large properties and epic gardens lend the neighborhood a sense of green tranquillity despite the close proximity to a number of major road arteries. The guesthouse owner is happy to make a dinner reservation at the “Corner Cafe”, which is – literally – around the corner.Day 9: Johannesburg – Soweto & the Apartheid Museum
Today is a fascinating, informative and inspiring cross-cultural voyage of discovery into the many facets of South African society. You first visit the Apartheid Museum for a fascinating audio-visual experience depicting South Africa’s “long walk to freedom” (the title of Nelson Mandela’s autobiography) from apartheid. This is followed by a visit to the famous, sprawling township of Soweto where you are also accompanied by a local informal guide. You visit Nelson Mandela’s former home (the Mandela Museum), the Hector Pieterson memorial and nearby Vilikazai Street (famous for being the location of two Nobel Peace laureates – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu), as well as ‘Millionaires Row’ and Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital (one of the world’s largest with almost 3000 beds). Towards the end of the day you depart Soweto and we say Hamba kahle (“Goodbye and go well” in isiZulu) as you return to Johannesburg-OR Tambo for an evening flight back home.