Relish the best of what South Africa has to offer on a comprehensive but compact reconnaissance.
Guests are met upon arrival at O R Tambo International in Johannesburg from where they are assisted in transferring to a flight bound for the Sabi Sand Private Game Reserve and the start of the 10 Day Best of South Africa Tour. The reserve forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park and is generally regarded as the finest private game reserve in South Africa. Guests are met by their ranger upon arrival at Sabi Sand and are assisted with check-in. Lunch and some time for relaxation is followed by a first afternoon game drive in this unique wilderness area. The game drives are led by an experienced ranger who is assisted by a skilled tracker. All safari drives are conducted from the back of open 4x4 vehicles.
Two game drives and a bush walk will bring guests close to the famous African Big Five, offering sightings of lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino. Walking through a wilderness area with nothing but a guide and his rifle to protect you is a surprisingly peaceful experience. Once you overcome the fear of being in the wild with nothing to separate you from the animals, your senses reawaken and begin to tune themselves into the immediate smells, sights, and sounds of the South African wilderness. This is undoubtedly an experience that will live with you for a lifetime.
After a morning game drive, guests may relax at the pool or make use of the spa facilities on offer at Lion Sands. The lodge also offers an optional tour to a local rural village and community center, where guests will learn more about how the locals make their living. Once again, the day will end with a late afternoon game drive in the company of your experienced ranger and tracker.
A last morning game drive is followed by breakfast after which guests are transferred to Kruger Mpumalanga Airport for a flight to Cape Town. Guests are met upon arrival at Cape Town International Airport and are transferred to their hotel. The afternoon is spent at leisure.
The spectacular Chapman's Peak Drive, cut into the 650m high Chapman's Peak, leads the tour through the town of Noordhoek to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve . A botanical and scenic delight, the reserve is home to several antelope species, as well as a great diversity of flowering plants and birds. A highlight is sure to be the walk to the summit of Cape Point, where it is said the stormy waters of the Atlantic are met by the calming influence of the Indian Ocean.The tour traces False Bay on the way back to Cape Town, with a visit to Boulders Beach, an attractive secluded haven which comprises a tumble of huge round rocks on a sandy shore. The boulders are ideal vantage points for watching the antics of the colony of mainland-based African penguins.
The day is spent exploring one of the world's most beautiful cities. Table Mountain, arguably the most famous natural landmark in Africa, is first on the agenda. From Table Mountain, one of the most impressive views of the world can be enjoyed. We also visit the world famous Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which were established when mining magnate and philanthropist Cecil John Rhodes donated the land to the people of South Africa. The gardens are home to 4 000 of the 18 000 species of flora which are found in South Africa and create a most remarkable display.
Guests are met at the hotel after breakfast. From here we travel in a northeasterly direction, traversing the towns of Riversdale and Swellendam before reaching the small town of Albertinia. A visit to the House of Aloes will offer guests an overview on how the gel and bitter sap derived from the leaf of the Cape Aloe is manufactured into a range of beauty and wellness products. We then continue on to Mossel Bay and the town of Knysna, our overnight destination. The route between George and Knysna is often described as one of South Africa's most scenic, as the road travels through Wilderness and Sedgefield, allowing you the opportunity to witness some magnificent views over the forests and ocean.
After an early breakfast, we make our way through George and travel to Oudtshoorn by crossing the Outeniqua Mountains. Oudtshoorn is a large and modern town relying mainly on farming and the ostrich industry. We visit a local ostrich farm and experience an ostrich race, stand on ostrich eggs and cuddle baby ostrich chicks. The nearby Cango Caves , a natural wonder of the world, are then explored. The extensive tunnel systems, a quarter of which are open to visitors, extend for over four kilometers into the limestone hills. If cheetahs are of interest to you, a visit to the Cango Wildlife Ranch will be a rewarding experience. The ranch is one of the leading cheetah breeding centers in South Africa. You will be allowed to enter a fenced area and interact with and photograph a tame cheetah. After visiting the Cango Wildlife Ranch, we return to the overnight destination.
Knysna was developed on the northern shore of a large warm-water estuary which is fed by the Knysna River. The estuary opens into the ocean as it passes between "The Heads", infamous for the high number of shipwrecks in the area from times past as boats passing through the treacherous and unpredictable narrows ran aground. We cross the lagoon by ferry to the Featherbed Nature Reserve, a prime example of eco-tourism. In order to protect the splendor of this reserve, visitor numbers are limited. During the afternoon we visit the Knysna Elephant Sanctuary and enjoy a closer look at the African elephant . Visitors will also have to opportunity to touch and feed these gentle giants.
Breakfast is followed by a transfer to George Airport for a flight to Johannesburg, where guests are met and transferred to any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria. Alternatively, a representative of African Sky will assist you with check in to your international flight home, bringing to an end a thrilling tour of the best of what South Africa has to offer.